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Archive for March, 2010

Our great and powerful veterinarian, Dr. Rick, battled with Dixxy’s dental dejects and won! The poor girl was a mess. One abscess had begun to work it’s way out of the front of her face. She had several broken teeth with roots dangling and just the pulp exposed. The girl had to be feeling massive amounts of pain. He pulled a total of 10 teeth after working on her for over 2 hours. She had to lose both upper canines but the bottom ones were ok. If we’d lost those, too, her tongue would be permanently hanging out. She was sneezing up blood a good part of the night but she already feels much better. We’ll be continuing the heavy-duty antibiotics.

Her orthopedic worries are much more than simple age-related arthritis. In fact, he thinks she’s only around 10 years old. Dr. Rick also thinks she has the equivalent of rheumatoid arthritis, every joint is affected except her hips. All of us viewing the x-rays cringed in pain as we saw all the inflammation and creaky edges of bone that are supposed to be smooth. The body tries to heal itself and make up for any instabilities. Her spine has attempted to do just that. Each vertebrae has formed a bridge to the next in an attempt to further protect the spinal cord from damage. All the doctors felt it’s unreal she can walk at all, much less sprint across the yard. Remember, this is one tough broad. Dixxy’s range of motion in her wrists, ankles and knees is severely limited. That, along with the swelling, is why she resembles a bulldog in her conformation. Her attitude is amazing. She’s happy, she’s joyful at every little thing and that’s with being in a tremendous amount of pain. So, we work on giving her pain relief. Usually we start off with the basics of pain care but in Dixxy’s case we have to start by throwing everything at her. Her plan includes diet, supplements, drugs, acupuncture and hydrotherapy. I’ll be administering one of the drugs at home to save costs. It’s called Adequan and it’s shown great results with injured race horses for many years. It can actually repair joints. The dog world has been using it and seeing great results, too. We’ll start off with 2 injections per week for a couple months and then go to once monthly for potentially the rest of her life.

She’s sporting a cute, pink bandage on her back left foot. The growth that was there was removed during the dental surgery. Dr. Rick first did a needle aspirate to determine if there were any cancerous cells but all he got was blood. The location and size of the growth dictated removing it since she was already under sedation. Let’s all pray the lab tests come back showing it’s benign. Dixxy is also hypothyroid – meaning her thyroid doesn’t function properly. This makes them feel sluggish, itchy, thirsty, etc. That’ll be the easiest problem to get back on track. Thankfully, the meds for that are cheap. So, all in all, Dixxy Blü’s a trainwreck but no sweeter dog deserved our help. She’s got a fantastic team in her corner.

Red Jöölz went along with her mother (we all feel that’s their relationship) to meet the great and powerful Dr. Rick. She worked him just like I told her and immediately climbed in his lap and started kissing. She has a strange gait and I wanted him to do an orthopedic check on her and pull some bloodwork. In comparison, Jöölz is the picture of health – she’s probably hypothyroid, too, but he couldn’t find much else to worry abut. Her hips and pelvis were ok. She also has a simple joy about her and it’s infectious. She makes everyone smile.

I have no idea what our bill was from yesterday. I left with them after hours so the computers were already shut down. We’ve already gotten some generous donations from fans and we thank you deeply for that. Dixxy’s got a tough road ahead of her but she’ll walk it as pain free as possible. Please keep these sweethearts in your prayers. 🙂

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Better Off Dead?

Sometimes, as seen in the case of Karen the minpin, this is true. But not so for the girls you’re about to meet. If you’re a fan of John Cusack movies then you’ll get my reference, “Now that’s a real shame when folks be throwin’ away a perfectly good dog like that!” This is how we first met Dixie and Jewel, in a photo from a neighboring county shelter. You can see the fear and the question, “why are we here?”

These two adult, possibly senior dogs, were found when shelter workers began their day. They were left together in what’s known as a night drop cage. It’s set up so people can leave dogs, cats or whatever animal, under the cover of darkness but without facing the scrutiny of others. God takes care of selfish cowards. The note left with them simply said their names, estimated ages of eight years and “they’re good girls”. I suppose many will say, at least they did this much for them.

As it often does, word got out on the internet. It didn’t take long for Dixie and Jewel to start amassing a fan base because, after all, they’re perfectly good dogs. Word travels quickly from rescue group to rescue group and these weren’t just your run-of-the-mill-generic-mutt-dogs. These two are purebred Australian Cattledogs, also known as Blue or Red Heelers. One of the most awesome breeds in all of Dogdom! The shelter staff noticed the bond between the two, are they sisters? Mother and daughter? They also noticed everyone passing them by as they saw their skin problems and the obvious age in their bodies. Who wants an old dog, even if it is a perfectly good dog? So Dixie and Jewel sat and waited. They tried to comfort one another. Both also tried to show people how good they were, but Dixie’s mouth hurt really bad and made her look as if she was snarling. Jewel couldn’t stop chewing her own itching fur long enough to tell people how much she loves giving kisses. So, they kept waiting, for nearly twenty days. Were they waiting for the owner that let them down? I’m sure of it.

Scottie and I took our two Cattledogs, Eva and Barby to our county shelters Adopt-A-Thon last weekend. It was to be a fun outing, not a work event. Barby got to see all the shelter staff from her time of incarceration and everyone was amazed at her progress. It was a challenge for Eva, who tends to be a bit on the aggressive side towards dogs outside her own pack but she behaved perfectly. We couldn’t walk two feet without someone stopping to ask us about our gorgeous girls. More than one rescue group mentioned to us that there were two perfectly good Cattledogs at another shelter. (Told you the word had gotten around.) When we got home I looked them up and saw the above photos. My heart broke for them but Scottie’s heart broke even more. I forced myself to get them out of my mind, as we didn’t need or want another dog – much less two! He, however, couldn’t do it. A few days went by and I saw a posting for them on Craig’s List. Their fans were really trying hard to get them out. The shelter was full and Dixie and Jewel now had an expiration date. They’d already been there longer than the norm.  I “accidentally” left the posting up for Scottie to see and he put things in motion to get these girls out before they were euthanized.

And that’s exactly what we did.

Many fans of Dixie and Jewel came together to make it possible. They would like to thank Cheryl Lynn, Kim, Jynni, Flavia, Tracey and Second Chance Rescue. Without them caring these two would not have had a chance at a comeback. And what a comeback they’re already making. They know their names so we’ve kept them as such, but with a twist. In keeping with our nod to the eighties and being fans of metal bands we now introduce to you Dixxy Blü and Red Jöölz! (yes, complete with umlauts over the “u” and “o”)

Dixxy has some major health issues we’re addressing. Her mouth is atrocious. The entire side of her face is swollen with infection from all the broken and abscessed teeth.  She has knees and elbows riddled with arthritis. Doesn’t stop her from sprinting across the yard or chewing on a bone, though. If one were to define her in human terms it would be as one tough broad! We probably need to buy her a Harley shirt.

Jöölz probably has permanent damage to her skin from years of infections running rampant. The likely cause is a simple flea allergy which is not so unusual. She also has some crunchy hips but will do a pirouette straight up in the air to give you a kiss. She’s the free-spirited, butterfly chaser of the two.

The acclimation into the pack went surprisingly smooth. We took advice from watching many episodes of The Dog Whisperer and made the four cowgirls walk together as a pack immediately. Barby is a bit miffed there are now more dogs to take her Scottie’s attention but she’s being good. She won’t start anything but will defend herself if someone gets too far into her space. Heck, she growls at us if we get too close. (front to back: Barby, Jöölz, Eva, Dixxy)

Eva is showing respect to the elder cowgirls. Being the youngest, she may get reprimanded but so far I’ve been able to remind all of them, I’m the alpha around here! I have no doubt Dixxy is just the biker chick to put her in her place when she needs it. (Eva front, Dixxy back)

The comeback of these two, thrown away dogs has now begun. It’s crazy that someone would toss out two perfectly good dogs that are housebroken, obedient, good with cats, calm, quiet, sweet, funny and wise but it happens on a daily basis in this country. We have a lot of work ahead of us to get them feeling better but we’re definitely on the right path.

We’re hoping Dixxy’s bloodwork will come back today showing she’s strong enough to have Dr. Rick take care of the years of neglect in her mouth. She’s gonna feel like a different dog once all that pain’s gone. He has yet to meet these two in person and I’m looking forward to it. He’s quite the Cattledog fan, as well. How could you not be?

(excuse me for a moment, we have to pose for our 80s metal album cover)

If any of Dixxy Blü’s and Red Jöölz’s fans would like to contribute to their comeback it’d be much appreciated. They’ll do their best to get back into shape and be the rocking duo they once were. They love getting out and about so look for them soon at a venue near you!

Keep in mind, any donation is not tax deductible – we’re just a couple of dog devotees who do the best we can by them. You can call Longwood Vet Clinic at 407-834-2526 to help with the bills. Just tell them you’re calling to help Dixxy and Jöölz under “Kathleen Rescue”. They can take your credit card over the phone.  Or you can donate through Paypal by clicking the button below:

Thank you so much and please keep these lovely gals in your prayers.

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Becca’s going to begin training under saddle soon so we needed to address any dental issues beforehand. It’s not nice to put a bit in a horse’s mouth if there are owchy teeth in the way. She hasn’t actually lost any of her baby teeth, yet, but she did have what’s known as Wolf Teeth.

“Wolf teeth are very small teeth located in front of the second premolar and do not have long roots that set them firmly in the jaw bone. They rarely appear in the lower jaw A horse may have one, two, or no wolf teeth. While not all wolf teeth are troublesome, veterinarians routinely remove them to prevent pain or interference from a bit.” (http://dclahdvm.com/articles/dental.htm)

Yes, the horse needs to be heavily sedated for this and any dental procedure. Much safer for them, much safer for us and you can really get in there and work without the horse having any memory of it. There are those that claim “no sedation equine dentistry” and don’t use the head gear for support – I don’t buy it. Becca is so loopy because we had to double dose her, I’m holding her up. My Fjords are tough, tough girls!

Can you see that pointy thing in front of her premolar? That’s the Wolf Tooth. Cass still has hers but they’re flush to her gumline so shouldn’t cause any problems. Becca’s were another story.

The tools used are actually tools, picks, pliers, etc.

She started seriously wobbling around so we moved her to where she could lean into the barn a bit.

Dr. Roberts had to use a lot of muscle to get these teeth out. She was wiped out when we were done.

Left side out…

Working on the right…

Yep, it’s bloody in there…

Right side out!

After pulling the teeth it was time to file down any sharp points,

and remove any built up tartar.

Rinse & spit, Becca – good girl!

Smile for the camera!

Becca did well. She turns two soon and she’s shown maturity in these past months. Leslie (our trainer) thinks she’s gonna be a breeze to train to ride. I try to do my best by these big girls and we all have to keep up with our teeth. I took advantage of the drugs and trimmed Becca’s mane while she was out of it. I liked her wild look but our unbearably hot weather’s right around the corner and she needs to look like a respectable Fjord, anyway.

After about an hour’s rest in the stall she was back out in the pasture with her mother. There’ve been no repercussions and now we can start working for real. It’s very exciting! 🙂

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Barby, our elder cattledog, accompanied Scottie to the barn the other day. Becca’s used to seeing Eva everyday so meeting another dog was no big deal.

Barby requested he never bring her there again! As soon as we let her off leash she made a beeline for the gate.

When Dr. Roberts came out to do Becca’s dental, she was able to get a good look at Maybelline’s injuries. She’s as perplexed as we are as to what happened. Is this just the best cow, or what?!

This shows how the inside digits on her back hooves were literally broken in half.

These are not the weight bearing toes so it’s not really plausible she did it herself with some type of quick movement. She was very sore  and limping until the pieces broke all the way off.

During the exam, the onlookers show their support and concern.

Maybelline is no longer limping. I’m keeping a close watch on her to show any signs of infection, but so far so good. She’s also off the pain meds, which is good. Sure wish we knew what happened that night. We’re fairly sure “it” was scared off by our bravest girl, Becca. Ever since she’s shown a new dominant air and the cows are showing her respect. I wouldn’t want her whomping up on me!

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Tragedy At The Barn

Our baby lamb was put out of her misery this morning after being attacked by something overnight. We don’t know what happened. Her hoof was gone and she was trying to get around on her bloody stump. Maybelline (momma cow) and Becca were also sporting injuries. Their wounds are not life threatening. We are desperately trying to piece together what happened. One guess is coyotes, Maybelline intervened by kicking, Becca clipped herself in a frantic run. We just don’t know. Life on the farm sometimes means death. Guess I’ll see you in the clouds now, little one. Our sweet, scared, Little Mary Lamb.

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