Baby Food to the Rescue

Rebel has not been eating since he arrived here almost a week ago.  He was too skinny then, and worse now.  I’ve tried several varieties of dry kibble, canned dog food, and various combinations of rice, premium canned dog food, chicken soup, and milk.  Nothing tempted him … except one.  A small tub of chicken in gravy cat food that I had on hand.  That he he licked clean and wanted to eat the lid.  But it came back up an hour later.  And the vomit was bright yellow: that’s bile and indicates a stomach problem.

I’m taking Rebel to the vet in a few minutes so, of course, he decides to eat this morning.  I tried him on one baby food hot dog (they’re labeled as “meat sticks”) and he scarfed it.  I gave him the rest of the jar (minus the oil they were packed in) and he scarfed those.  To make a proper meal would take 6 or 8 jars – which I didn’t have and wouldn’t do anyway.  Better to stay with a small meal that stays down (and it did) than to stuff him and have it all come back up.

So, what changed?  I’m afraid I did not hold to the scientific method at all here because I changed several things all at once.

  1. I brought him inside the house yesterday afternoon and let him over-night in a crate.   My thinking was that he may be feeling lonely outside by himself since I take his two outside companions in the shop and crate them at night.  They don’t do well in the cold.  It wasn’t cold last night, but they’re accustomed to going to bed at night.   Rebel did well in his crate, waking me only once at 3:00 because he needed to go out and pee.
  2. This was his first time on the baby food  meat sticks.  These were recommended to me by another rescue person, so I picked up a jar as part of an assortment of foods to try.
  3. I have been using a stainless steel bowl for his food.  I feed all of the foster dogs in stainless steel and wash each dish after every meal.  I don’t remember whether Rebel’s bowl at “home” was ceramic or plastic, but it wasn’t stainless.  So I got out a hard plastic bowl and tried that this morning.

Which of these –or maybe some combination — broke through his resolve I cannot say.  But he ate a little bit this morning and I’m glad of that.  We’ll see what Doc Sandra says and go from there.

At The Vet

Rebel was well behaved at Cedarwood Veterinary Hospital.  They examined him and their initial prognosis was not good: Megaesophagus.  I took the doctors comments to mean that. if this was indeed the case, we’d be euthanizing him.  But they wanted to keep him for the day and perform a barium G.I. series.

I came back that evening and Tessa took me in to see the x-rays.  As I watched the progression, it was obvious (even to me) that he did not have a distended esophagus.  And there was no blockage of the bowels.  There was an issue in the stomach – perhaps a foreign object.  But that can be dealt with.

Each staff member I spoke with commented on what a pleasant, good-natured boy Rebel is, especially for a Husky.  They said Huskies can get cranky and nippy when forced to do things they don’t want to do (like undergoing multiple x-rays and enduring a rectal exam), but not Rebel, he took it all in stride.  All except having to lay on his back on a table for the X-rays.  But he is SO skinny that there is no fat in his skin, he’s just bones, and that hurts.  Once they put padding under him he was far more tolerant of the process.

They sent Rebel and me home with a case of prescription gastroenteric dog food and a follow-up exam appointment for next week.

This evening Rebel is resting comfortably in the house, on a pile of blankets with plenty of food and water at hand.  He did eat a small amount of the dog food when we got home.  He played in the yard with Blondie and came in all bouncy and happy.  I love seeing him that way.  With Cedarwood’s help, we’ll get this precious boy healthy again.

Progress Notes: Oct 7, 2018

We’ve taken in two new pack members this week, and are planning another facilities upgrade.

Low Rider

Seriously? Don’t you have a harness that fits?

I picked up Low Rider on Tuesday.  She went straight into a crate in my workshop for several reasons.

  • She was infested with fleas.  We work hard to keep fleas out of our home, so that has to be dealt with before she can come anywhere near our other dogs.
  • She is fearful.  She’s obviously been abused and is frightened of new people, insects, falling leaves, and the outdoors in general.  But not dogs: she ran right up to Ugg and Lady and said howdy to each.  She’s only comfortable in a crate and prefers a quiet environment to herself.  The workshop is perfect now that it’s not so hot every day.  I can run my big turbo fan in front of a window and keep it tolerable in there.
  • She would not walk on a leash.  If used with a collar, she’d drop and gator-roll trying to get away from it.  A harness works better, but it has to be removed when she goes back into her crate or she’ll chew it up.  We lost a $30 Walk-Rite harness learning that lesson.  The next smallest harness I had was a poor fit, but it served the purpose while I ordered more harnesses.

LowRi got a Capstar to get rid of the fleas and was given a topical flea & tick prevention to keep them away.  She was spayed on Friday, and has, over the past few days, done exceptionally well.  She has lost her fear of me and Marie (NAC said she warmed up to their staff too once she was sure they weren’t bent on hurting her), has come to grips with the Great Outdoors, and has gotten to where she will allow me to lead her on a leash (using a harness), has learned to go down stairs, and just last night went up the steps for the first time.  Early on, I carried her from workshop to play yard and back, so these advances are a kindness to my back.

I’m pretty sure she was pad-trained and kept indoors all the time in her previous life.  Teaching her that it was okay to pee and poop in the yard was an odd new challenge.  When in the play yard I take the leash off and she follows along behind me.  She would pee a little here and there, but do it on the sly and scamper away from it quickly.  The first time she pooped, I had gotten a ways out front of her, noticed she wasn’t right behind me and turned around to see where she was.  LowRi was hunched up “going” about 30 feet away.  She saw me looking and immediately stepped away, dropped to the ground and went belly up in a classic, “please don’t kill me, I submit” move.  So I rubbed that belly and gave her a few enthusiastic “Good Girl”s.  That shocked her and it took a few moments to grasp that not only was she not about to die, but I was happy that she did that.

By the time Transport Day rolls around next Friday, she will be adoptable and house broken.  She may be timid around new people (that takes time and exposure) but will be worlds better than when she arrived here.

Highland

The other newbie is Highland.  He was pulled from Newport Animal Control on Friday, taken straight to Kathy’s Grooming Salon to get rid of the “shelter stink” and any fleas he might have had, and is now living in a crate in our den.  This is easier on me because I can walk him to the back door when he needs to go out.  At least that’s the theory.

In actuality Buddy Wingo, Callie, and Moonshine have taken exception to my bringing a new dog into THEIR house without their permission and go ballistic when I let Highland out of his crate.  So I have to first crate these three, then escort Highland to the door, wait for him to finish and return, get him back in his crate, then let the ruffians out.  These three then dash into the den to see that Highland is properly secured before they can go off to amuse themselves with their own affairs.

His first night here, Highland was quiet and we all got a good night’s sleep.  Since then he has gotten “clingy” and fusses loudly if Marie or I are not in the room with him, day or night.  We have dealt with this before, it’s just insecurity and trying to find his place in the home.  What it means is that one of us (mostly me, since Marie has a job to go to every weekday) will be camping on the floor of the den at night until he gets used to the idea that we are all here and he has not been abandoned even if he can’t see us.

Other than this insecurity and the fact that he is not even remotely housebroken, behaviorally he is a great dog!  His gentle nature and happy demeanor make him a pleasure to be around.  He is affectionate without being demanding.  He IS a lab mix, so he’s got that squirrely, high-energy aspect that is common to labs, but it’s not as overt as it is in Moonshine.

Highland is not going anywhere for a while, so I’ll have more on him later.

Moonshine

Moonshine had her first Immiticide treatment Sept. 20th and it bothered her very little.  She remained the energetic, lovable goof that she has always been — except now without a load of puppies.  She will be going back for her 2nd and 3rd treatments Oct 18th and 19th, then 30 days of enforced convalescence.  That will clear her of the heartworms and she will, once recovered, be ready to go back to C.A.R.E. for adoption and a full, happy life.

Ugg

Ugg says, “I want to eat, but I feel too yucky (video)

Our big boy was neutered last Friday.  He was pretty rough that evening, but was able to eat again the next morning.  Since then he has bounced back well.  His incision is looking pink and puffy, but I’ve not caught him licking at it once.  As long as he’s not licking I see no need to cone him.  Ugg continues to calm down and accept that proper interaction between people and Ugg does not involve clawing or chewing or jumping.  It has gotten to where I really enjoy my time working with him.  He is still affectionate and goofy.

He has lost the desire to play fetch, but has decided he likes “tug” better — as long as I let him win.  It is recommended that you always let your dog win at tug — but don’t make it too easy.  And don’t let it look like you let him win.  And DO congratulate him so he knows you’re not angry that he won.  Then he will come back to play that game over and over.  It’s a GREAT confidence builder.

Lady

Lady says something is in the woods

Lady was spayed on Friday.  It took a little longer for her to bounce back than it did Ugg, but that would be natural: spaying is a more invasive surgery than neutering.  She did, however eat dinner that night, but spent longer laying on her dog bed looking at me with eyes that said, “I feel awful.”

Lady too has made great strides in her play behavior with me.  In fact she’s decided I’m not much fun to play with at all, and wanders off to sniff and pee.  But when she’s done she will come back and want to be petted and told what a good girl she is.

Lady, too, is ready for transport as soon as someone claims her.

Facilities Upgrade

New Kennel will go around the play cabin until I get earth-moving done on final location

I plan to buy another 10′ x 10″ Stephens dog kennel from Tractor Supply tomorrow.  This will give me a more suitable place to keep LowRi so she can get some safe social interaction with the other dogs and get her out of the workshop.  She needs to learn to be a normal dog.

And, since we are bent on pulling as many dogs as we can from Animal Control, having more kennels is a good, and a needed, thing.

Moonshine says, “this is a good spot for a kennel, as long as I don’t have to stay in it.”

The end location for the new kennel may be here: in front of the existing kennels and along a fence.  But, the ground here is sloped and rolling.  I can’t do anything about the slope, but need to flatten out the rolling to reduce the temptation for a dog to dig out.

Pipe Dreams

I want to replace tarp roofs with a shed style roof from the garage to posts and a beam on the outside of kennels

My long term plan is for a serious upgrade of our kennels as well as adding more of them, but this is an expensive project that will have to wait until funds are available.  It will involve pouring a 12 foot by 24 foot concrete slab next to the garage for three 8′ x 10′ kennels to sit on, and installing a proper roof over them (attached to the garage roof at the “hip”) so nearly all rain will be excluded from the kennels.

Location of new door to the workshop (aka cold weather kennels)

I also want to install a door in the end of the mobile home that has been my workshop so I can convert two rooms of that into kennels for cold weather use and a dog bathing facility.  We no longer have air conditioning in there, but we do have heat.  That will be a great thing when the weather turns bitter cold.  Trying to bring 9 or 10 dogs into our home (most in crates) just will not work.  Our house is too small, there just isn’t room unless we stack crates on top of one another!

By putting in a door on the end of the trailer, I will have access to it from the play yard and not have to leash dogs to go outside the play yard to the shop’s side door.

Location of 5th or 6th kennel – depending on if I give Blondie’s play cabin back to her.

Once I sell this lumber pile I can place another kennel here, build a shed style roof from the trailer to cover it and make it well sheltered from summer sun and winter winds.  It will have no view of the yard, but for some dogs that may be an advantage.

God willing, I’ll work on getting these things done in 2019.

There have, in the past, been times when I would say something about waiting to do something until funds are available (because we prefer to stay out of debt) and one or more of our rescue friends stepped up and sent us money to take care of the need. That has always amazed and humbled me (not that we don’t help others too, it just amazes that people want to help US). And it generally leaves me scrambling around trying to facilitate an offer to help out. So if you are so inclined, I’m ready this time.

This Donate button is tagged for “improvements” and funds received any time, now or next year will be put toward the improving and enlarging of our facility so we can better serve our county’s canine population.  And we thank you for your generosity.



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The De-Bageling of Buddy the Beagle Boy

Almost three months ago this sweet, loving, senior Beagle was attacked by three large dogs and torn to shreds. The skilled hands at Cedarwood Veterinary Hospital stitched him back together, with little hope that he would survive. But survive he did!

The last of his injuries to heal up has been a triangular patch on his rump where the skin was torn away and lost.

Click the thumbnails to enlarge each picture

Outline shows original missing skin.

Scar tissue cutting in under granulation (lump).

After granulation removed

Progress by October 10th.

All of the time since he came out of surgery, he has been wearing an e-collar: Cedarwood used a cone, but we switched to an inflatable Kong collar when he came here for recovery care. Continue reading

Intensive Care for Cheyanne

Today Cheyanne went in for her final step in the medication for heart worm treatment: the second injection deep into her back muscles. The vet tech tells me that these injections are not very painful, so the dog is not sedated for each procedure, but the aftermath is. Cheyanne is in enough pain now that they sent some medication for that as well. Not all dogs require that, but Cheyanne is “delicate”. She’s more sensitive to cold than the rest as well.

Cheyanne, nice warm shirtIt’s cold today: 12° this morning, 22° as a high. After spending the day in the intensive care room at the shelter for her procedure and observation, I put her in an old Tee shirt when she came home and needed some leg stretching time. She seemed to appreciate that. She appreciated getting the breakfast she was deprived of this morning even more.

She seemed dazed and disoriented. She spent a long time just sitting on the boardwalk. It is not at all like her to be so still. When I called her to come inside where it’s warm, she turned and went to her dog house instead. “It’s too cold for that sweetie.” I had to carry her inside. I put an extra blanket in her crate for added cushioning on her sore little body. She curled up and went to sleep.

Marie and I decided it would be best to put Cheyanne into intensive care for a couple of days to be sure she was OK. Blondie and Cochise agreed and gave permission for her to sleep in their house for a couple of nights. Continue reading

Heartworm Treatment Begins for Cochise

Cochise dogs sick heartworm treatment foster dog programHello again, Cochise here. You may recall that HairyFace & NiceLady are fostering me while I undergo heartworm treatment. We’ve spent the past month and a half preparing for me to receive these treatments. It has been quite an adjustment for me as I learned to live a civilized life and for them as they prepare to care for me while I undergo the heartworm treatment. I understand it can be rough.

Accommodations

dog foster program heartworm CochiseWhen I arrived here, I started out staying exclusively in the Guest Quarters my People set up for foster dogs: a 10×10 chain-link pen with a cabin style dog house. But I managed to wheedle my way into their hearts and they decided to let me come inside the house with them; on occasion. Because I’m so adorable, these occasional indoor visits have turned into full time. I have one room of my own (they call it a crate) in the house and one in HairyFace’s office. This is partly because it has been so hot, they felt it would be bad for me to be left out in the heat while I’m so sick to start with. And partly because I’m very good at making a pitiful, “I’m seeick” face (see above) that just melts their hearts. Continue reading

The Rescuing of Cochise: An American Bulldog’s Tale

American Bulldog, Cochise, dog fostering

Hello, my name is Cochise. I am an American Bulldog. Well, mostly American Bulldog; I’m not a purebred, but close enough as long as a certificate isn’t important to you. I was picked up by the County Animal Control officer because I was living free and easy on the streets of Newport Tennessee. I had a home once, but… well… maybe I’ll tell you about that another time. For now I want to tell you how a couple of good people rescued me from certain death.

See, when I was brought into the local animal shelter I tested positive for heart worms, that made me ineligible for the national Rolling Rescue program, which would have allowed me to be adopted somewhere that good pets are not so plentiful, and the prospect of local adoption was getting slimmer by the day. The shelter cannot keep dogs forever. I was on death row – with just days to go before it was my turn to take the one-way walk. Continue reading