Caturday quickie: Pupdate

Crash puppydog

What Nuala spends most of her time doing these days 😦

It’s been a while since I’ve had to offer a proper pupdate of this nature.

All was going well with our Nuala until a week ago last Friday. Previous to that day, our dear little pup (DLP) was handling her medication well, without apparent incident. She would snarf down her food in thirty seconds, consume carrots, apples, and cheese with wagging abandon.

In short, she behaved like the pup that she, at ten years of age, no longer is.

Then, on Friday, she stopped eating.

It started with her carrots, her mid-day and evening snacks. As a dog with food allergies, it was the snack (outside the hypoallergenic treats) recommended by our vet. Nu left a carrot uneaten.

As the weekend progressed, she ate less and less of her food.

Come Monday, she puked and wouldn’t eat any of her food at all.

Tuesday, we took her in to the vet and he examined her, performed blood tests, urinalysis, and took x-rays.

That evening, we were given the news: the only obvious issue was a urinary tract infection. We would be getting antibiotics for that.

Her blood work was troublesome, though.

Her kidney and liver enzymes were both elevated, indicating potential failure of either or both organs in the future.

There’s nothing that can be done for kidney or liver disease in dogs.

They’re starting dialysis trials at the veterinary college at the Univerity of Guelph, but it’s an ordeal for the animal and a great expense for the owners. At this point, our vet did not recommend it.

So we’d continue with the Fortekor, get Nuala back on the kidney support diet, and see how things went.

She left most of her food Tuesday evening and didn’t eat at all Wednesday (Canada Day). This is not a good thing for a dog on insulin. She needs food to process the drug. And she continued to vomit.

On Thursday, I resorted to canned salmon and plain rice. She ate. I was relived.

On Friday, Phil picked up an appetite stimulant and another medication to prevent ulcers from the vet.

When he returned, Nuala licked at her empty food dish and Phil gave her a serving of rice and salmon. She ate. He filled her bowl a second time and she ate again. Friday evening, she ate a full can of the kidney diet without being prompted.

Better days

Better days

This morning, she picked at her food and we tried the appetite stimulant. It didn’t appear to work, but then, at noon, she ate her food. And vomited it up two hours later.

The weird thing is that the UTI shouldn’t put her off her food. No obstruction was apparent in the x-rays. Her kidney and liver situations were not far enough advanced to depress her appetite.

So we’re all at a loss (even the vet) and Phil and I have the vet emergency service number in case something dire happens over the weekend.

It’s so distressing to have a sick pet. You just wish they could talk.

So that’s the latest health crisis for our DLP.

I’ll keep you posted.

Caturday Quickie

My dog has cauliflower ears

And other dogaliciousness 🙂

Yes, this is a pupdate.

Nuala’s doing well these days, but has persistent issues with her allergies/ears that have resulted in a second aural haematoma … in her other ear.

Let’s back-pedal to several years ago.

Nu was going bald in places. There were several hairless patches on her chest. She would also fuss incessantly with her ears and her paws. The vet diagnosed food allergies and after a summer of Phil and me making Nu’s food, we switched to Science Diet z/d, which is a hypoallergenic formula food.

The fur grew back and though not completely alleviated, Nu’s snarf sessions with her feet weren’t keeping up us at night.

When she was diagnosed with kidney issues earlier this year, we switched to k/d, the kidney formula diet. Since then, Nuala’s been scratching at her ears more and back to chewing at her feet long enough that wherever she sits or lies to perform this operation gets soaked with saliva.

I know. Ew.

Not long after the food switch, Nu gave herself the first haematoma in her right ear. That healed up after a month or so, but now her ear is twisted and bent.  At the time, the vet said he couldn’t find anything wrong with her ears per se, just a persistent inflammation.  So he prescribed some drops. He gave us the economy size so that if her ears flared up again, we could treat it.

Just a couple of weeks ago, Nu gave herself a second haematoma in the left ear and we were out of drops. When we went in to get her latest batch of food, we asked for some more ear drops. These were given without too much of an argument.

So now my pup will have two bent and twisted ears, akin to the condition called cauliflower ears sometimes seen in humans. It’s kind of sad because she did have lovely, perky ears (see header). I’m sure it will have some affect on her future hearing and possibly the frequency of inflammation. Dogs ears are the way they are for a reason.

Nu in profile

Nu in profile

I wrote a poem about my snow-loving Nu and posted it to Facebook. People seemed to like it, so here it is for all of you:

A dog’s ode to winter (on the occasion of the first persistent snow of 2013)

Winter, I want to roll in you
—on my back,
paws in air,
body a-waggle—
I want to get your scent
all over me.

I want to bury my nose
in your fluffy layers,
find the dainties hidden there
—this is where the garbage goes,
racoon and raven
tear it open,
leave these treats for

I want to lay down,
fold my front legs back, and
push my head into your depths using
my back paws;
slide down a hill on my belly;
shatter thrown balls of snow;
follow the scent of mouse burrowing;
bark at the strange, frozen
tower that appears in the
front yard.

Winter, you are love to a
black dog to whom the
summer sun means suffering, but
not after a thaw.
Then, all is ice, hard, and
crystalline, packed snow into which
no nose may thrust.

Let us not think of thaws and
hardness; for now, you are soft,
white, and mine!

Floppy ears, wagging tail, the new kung fu puppy movie :)

Floppy ears, wagging tail, the new kung fu puppy movie 🙂