Jan. 2019: Around Christmas I started noticing that Isis (my dog) had been drinking a lot more water than usual. I noticed her backbone sticking out more. But I wasn't sure if it was because she's getting older (almost 11) and the fact she's missing a hind leg? I wasn't sure. I also noticed the barn cat had tape worm. So I grabbed him a dewormer, then I picked up one for Isis, too. This did not help with her thirst or her backbone.
Jan 22: To the vet. We had a blood test done, wondering if maybe she had diabetes. Teeth are good, heart is good, kidneys are good. It's her liver. That's not good. We tried 10 days of antibiotics, incase it was an infection of her liver. During those days, she decided she didn't want to finish eating her meals (she loves her food), has a hard time getting her back leg under her, belly started to swell, can't do the steps anymore. Still drinks a lot, poop looks good, doesn't urinate excessively. We bought a high quality canned food to mix into her dry food, which seems to help.
Christmas Eve vs Jan 22 at the vet. She looks fairly normal, except looking back at Christmas pictures, we realized how bony she looks here.
Feb 5: Back to the vet. Belly is huge. I had to put down more mats so she can get around. The vet wants to do X-rays. X-rays show an enlarged liver and possibly her spleen. And a whole belly filled with fluid. Can't see anything else. They took a sample from her belly. The fluid is not clear, but blood-tinged and full of cells. They made a slide and am now waiting to hear what the cells are. They're thinking cancer. She mentioned trying diuretics to help with the fluid and supplements to help her liver, but instead of just guessing and giving her a bunch of stuff she doesn't need, we're waiting for the results. I know she's uncomfortable, so here's hoping we have answers soon.
At the vet on Feb. 5, hoping for answers, but none were given.
Feb. 8: So I called the vet myself after not hearing anything. The vet had said they hadn't seen any cancer cells in the slide. But there is blood and pus in her belly. She said I could try antibiotics again, if I thought they had helped (they did not). She said they only two things she can think of that would be wrong would be cancer or a tear in a bowel somewhere, but neither of those things are adding up. So we can try an ultrasound, and exploratory surgery, a liver biopsy, or take another sample of stomach fluid and have it sent to the lab for testing. I stopped on my way home from work and got some diuretics to see if we can't get some of the fluid off her belly and make her feel more comfortable. So far, it doesn't seem to be working.
Feb 16. Took her back to the vet, as I had decided to do another fluid sample, as the only other option I was considering was the ultrasound and I would have had to take time off work to drive to the city and it would have cost $400. Monday is a holiday, so they won't be able to send the sample off until Tuesday, hoping to have an answer by Thursday.
Feb. 23: Results are back. Still no answers. The lab says either a tumor (still no sign of cancer cells), or a walled off abscess. They suggest a CT scan, but there isn't anyone around who has one. An ultrasound probably wouldn't give us any more answers. I can tell she is now very dehydrated, drinking excessively, not really interested in food. She's very uncomfortable and can't get around due to carrying the extra weight with less muscles on a single back leg. Her leg is also swollen. She's breaking my heart. We could do an exploratory and try to fix what's wrong or make her comfortable. She said I could try antibiotics again, anti-inflammatories, and steroids. I've got the weekend to think it over.
We’ve made out decisions. I will call the vet tomorrow and have her euthanized. Friday will be the day. My heart is broken and I don’t know how I’m going to get through the next few weeks.
That’s right. I love “pit bulls”. I put that in quotations because pitbull isn’t a breed. It’s a generalization of appearance. Stocky bodies, blocky heads, short fur. One of the most common breeds to be called a pitbull is the American Staffordshire Terrier. I also happen to have one.
Her name is Isis. And before you ask, she’s a 9 year old rescue dog and named after the Egyptian Goddess.
I can tell you two things. 1: that she is an amazing dog. And 2: that I am a responsible pet owner and if she weren’t good with people, I wouldn’t take her into stores and public parks. But I do, because she is. She loves kids. And food. And balls. And food.
When people come up to me, they tell me what a beautiful dog she is. Sometimes they ask if they can pet her. Then they ask what kind of dog she is. If they’re already petting her and seen comfortable, I’ll tell them she’s a pitbull. And they’re like, “Oh!” Sometimes they’re like, “Okay!” And they’ll pet her a little more. And sometimes they’ll tell me that their daughter/son has one, too. If they seem nervous before they even pet her, I’ll tell them she’s an AmStaff, because most people don’t know what that is. Does that seem counterproductive to trying to advocate the breed? Maybe, but I don’t want to scare someone off before they know her. I don’t want them to make assumptions. Again, a lot of people have no idea what an AmStaff or American Staffordshire Terrier is. So I tell them that so they aren’t concerned about what she may do, or I tell them pitbull so they’re not confused on breed. I try to gauge people before deciding on my answer. I do know that some people are more knowledgeable about dog breeds, and sometimes I will say AmStaff and they’ll go “oh, a pitbull!” And then continue to tell me how beautiful she is. Since getting my dog, several of my friends have gone out to get themselves a “pitbull” or mix.
I love taking her out and letting people meet her.
One of my coworkers has a mix and I’ve heard her try to explain to people why she wanted her dog before they even meet her. I hear “why would you want dog like that?” And she’s left to defend her choice. Which is sad. You should never have to defend your choice of dog breed. I’m not a fan of small dogs. I figure if you want a small dog, why wouldn’t you just get a cat? But it was their decision, not mine. Their choice, not mine. And I don’t ask why. It’s not my business.
Every once in a while someone will disagree with the choice and then try to make up for it by saying “Oh it’s all in how they’re raised!” NO, it’s not. A lot of dogs in shelters or rescues weren’t “raised right”. And mine wasn’t. She was tied to a tree for 2 years. With her mouth shut from a muzzle (because she yips when she’s tied, so we don’t do that) That’s not being raised right. And once they hit shelters or rescues, so you think they’ll will get adopted out of they have aggression issues? Surely not, if the shelter has any morals.
These breeds are extremely forgiving. And that’s what makes them so great. Do you know one of the main factors that makes them not great? Poor breeding. Backyard beeeders. People who don’t care about the lineage, the health, the disposition of the dogs they are breeding. Just out to make a quick buck. And inbreeding is a big factor, too. And that goes for every breed out there, not just “pitbulls”.
Why does it seem like there are more “pitbull” attacks in the news? Because most people don’t have any idea what breed it actually is. AmStaffs, American Bulldogs, Mastiffs, Boxers, Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Terriers and several other breeds and mixes there of, appear to have similar features. So they automatically become “a pitbull”. There are several other “aggressive” breeds out there, but you don’t see state or province wide bans on ex. huskies. BSL is not the answer.
Did you know that “pitbulls” tank higher in temperament testing than retrievers? And that “pitbulls” were actually nicknamed the “nanny dog” for how well they were with kids? I’m not telling you to leave your baby home alone with your dog, no matter what the breed.
Here’s a link: www.google.ca/amp/dogtime.com/dog-health/general/1220-american-pit-bull-terrier-temperament-dog-bites/amp
It’s always good to use precautions around any dog you aren’t familiar with. Always ask before you pet someone’s dog. And teach your kids respect, dogs aren’t meant to be ridden or have their lips pulled. A dog can only take so much, and why risk your child?
And if you own a dog, know your dog. Don’t put your dog in a situation where someone, or your dog, could get hurt. You know what they’re comfortable with, don’t put them in a situation they’re not. Not long ago I was at work and there was a greyhound hanging its head out of a truck window. I went out to see another dog, one I was familiar with, and I must have gotten too close to the greyhound, because It lunged and snapped at me. My first thought was “Why would you allow your dog to hang out a window of your vehicle, if he dog is aggressive, or protective of the vehicle, unattended?” And then I thought, “ What if I were a child and thought I could pet it?” Not to mention that this dog was in this truck alone for several hours, it would have been best just to leave the dog at home.
In closing, these dogs cannot speak for themselves, so we must do it for them. And I will.
I debated putting this into the recipes catergory, but essentially, it's for Isis. Tomorrow is her 7th adoptiversary. She's around 9 years old, but it's been 7 years since we adopted her. And last year with all her issues, I wasn't sure we'd have another birthday with her. So I'm making her a cake. Well, cupcakes really. I found this recipe online.
I didn't have applesauce so I substituted for banana. I mean, that's just common sense, right? So instead of the 1/4 cup applesauce, I used 1/2 cup of mashed bananas.
Its more of a paste consistency than a batter.
And Voila! Going to frost them with peanut butter :)
Isis likes them. But she'd probably like anything. I ate one myself, and found it kind of dry. I added some Nutella on top of mine and it was quite tasty!
Isis has a swollen leg. Yes, the one she broke. She puts very little weight on it, and it is warm to the touch. It appears to be under or around the steel plate they put in back in February. I will be calling the vet tomorrow morning.
I took Isis to the vet and they took someX-rays, and said it didn't look good. He made an appointment for me to see the surgeon again, the surgeon wanted to do a biopsy. They weren't sure if it was an infection from the plate or a tumour.
I drove her to the surgeon almost an hour and a half away. He said my options were to treat it as an infection, which would consist of surgery and reconstructing the bone, harsh antibiotics and many follow ups. Amputation, or euthanasia. Which, he was not suggesting.
Day 1: Isis came home just an hour after her amputation surgery. She has staples and a bandage. And she was as high as a kite. She was quite wobbly getting around and whimpered a bit. I hand fed her supper and a cookie. I put her in her crate for the night after giving her a pain killer. Around 2:30 am she started crying loudly. I let her out after giving her another cookie and letting her go to the living room to drink what seemed like a gallon of water. She seemed to settle down until I got up this morning.
Day 2: Isis started whining this morning. Then I realized she had to pee, really bad. She followed me around the house while I tried to get dressed, as I refused to go outside in the cold without my clothes on. I grabbed a towel in case I needed to help support her and snapped her leash on. I carried her down the steps and set her on the ground. And then she peed. A lot. She did great all on her own. I carried her back up the steps and let her in the house. I fed her breakfast, her anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and pain meds. And ahe drank another gallon of water. Before I left for work I put her back in her crate. I came home to her crying and I let her out for another gallon of water. Then I took her outside and she peed again. Inside for supper and more meds. Then she layed on the floor and started to cry again. Time for a poop I guess! She's now resting on the floor. Hopefully she will have a better night tonight.
Day 14: Isis seems to be getting around okay, but seems uncomfortable these last few days. Yesterday we had half of the staples removed. The vet said it could be the staples that are causing her discomfort. Next Monday we will get the rest of the staples removed. She is also picking at her inscision and making it irritated. She has to wear the cone of shame.
Day 20: We had the rest of the staples removed today. Seems like she may have started to have a reaction to the staples, so I'm glad they came out. Hopefully in a few weeks the incision will be fully healed and we can start life back to normal. For a long as we have. I also found out today the results of the biopsy test. Osteosarcoma. Which is the worse possibility. I will eventually kill her. I'm hoping by removing her leg, we'll have her another couple of years at least. But only time will tell.
Nov. 4: Today, after some time of trying, Isis has walked half way up the stairs by her self. This is a big accomplishment. We'll keep working on it. Hoping she can do the set by her self before it snows.
Nov 28: As of today, it's been almost 3 weeks since Isis has been going up the steps all by her self. We put down some roofing shingles to give her better grip. But the first time I saw her do it, it was like watching a child take their first steps! I was so proud! And everytime I see her do it, I'm proud. Every step is an accomplishment. We've also had to put down a runner in the living room and a small mat in front of her crate.
Im glad to see her almost back to her normal self.
May 8, 2017:
I love this animal. She's doing great. She's been slipping on the floors so we put down a runner from the edge of her bed to the door mat. And another in front of her crate. I also bought her rubber boots to give her more traction. She's doesn't wear them often, but sometimes it seems she falls more than other times. Today she had a bath, which is way easier for me now that there's only 3 legs and she can't stand in the tub. (Isis hates baths) and then we got her some flea treatment. She does t have as much energy as she used to, but wanted to play ball today. She takes a lot of breaks. We don't play as long because I don't want her to tire too much. But she about 9 years old now. We think. I think we'll give her a great birthday party this year.
Here we are again with Isis. She was rolling in the grass and let out a yelp. She came over to me so I could inspect her and saw nothing. I had to go pick up my new rabbit (pics to come) When I came home I noticed her ear was swollen. She'd been bit by something. Could have been a bee or a stump lifter. Who knows. That was Wednesday evening. On Saturday I noticed it was bigger. I was going to make her an appointment to et her needles for Monday but I figured she needed to go that day. Basically they told us it was fro. Her shaking her head after the bite. The hematoma is basically a blood blister. She's now on steroids to help it shrink and she's not allowed to shake her head of dog at it.
Update: the steroids were horrible. She was fine when she was one then, but once we started weaving her, it's like she went crazy hungry. This dog never really chewed on anything. But she was in every garbage can. She even chewed a pair of my dirty underwear up while I was doing laundry. Not like her at all. After the steroids were gone, the hematoma started coming back. I wasn't doing steroids again. I just left it be. It dried up on its own but it looks a little funny. I don't care and neither does she.
We were supposed to take Isis to the vet Wednesday for a bandage change. But shortly after we had it changed last time (and they told us the tape was stuck between her toes and caused a sore) she started chewing at her bandage. I called there vet and told me that they wanted to put her on antibiotics and to come in on Monday instead.
So I just got home. They had to cut the bottom off of the bandage, to let her foot dry. And now she must wear a cone to prevent her from licking it. Apparently she had a reaction to the tape. Warning: it's pretty yucky looking. And now she runs into everything and gets stuck.
It looks much worse in person.
July 4, 2016: We are pretty much back to normal. After the last update we found out shortly after that photo was taken that the bandage was put on too tight. Her foot had swollen to about twice its normal size. We had to take her back to the vet and she had the splint removed, which resulted in another were of crate confinement. After that it was back to taking her out on the leash to use the bathroom and carrying her up and down the stairs for about two months. After that I called the vet because I want sure if she needed another check up to say she was okay. It was getting hard to hold her back after using. The washroom. He said that if she wants to run, let her do it. So she's been running. And rolling and playing. We still haven't thrown the ball to her, as we're a bit weary of it now. But here she is in all her glory.
My poor baby broke her leg. We were playing ball and when she spun around to go after it, her foot must have gotten caught on the edge of the patio stone. She started screeching. My first thought was that she sprained it. After talking to a friend who has had similar problems, I thought she tore a ligament. She came in the house and went right to bed. I finally convinced her to come out around 1 pm today. I asked her if she wanted to go for a drive and she got up and ran right to the car. I had to lift her in, and off we went to the vet.
When we got there he knew that it was indeed broken. After X-rays, it was confirmed that she has a oblique fracture of the distal tibia. And because of the placement, she will now need surgery. So they splinted it so the bone wouldn't break through the skin and gave her some pain meds. I will find out more tomorrow.
Isis had surgery today. She went in this morning and Randy picked her up this evening. They said everything went as good as can be. She's home now resting. She's quite drugged up. I gave her a small amount of food with her pain medication. She whines every once in a while, I'm not sure if she's in pain, or just uncomfortable in the way I put her on the pillow.
Update: The leg healed well from what they could see. It was a horribly long process of healing. Lots of time being crated, many trips to the vet for bandage changes, two months of carrying her up and down the steps, putting a bag on her leg so it wouldn't get wet, taking her out on a leash. Then, an infection. She was allergic to the tape. Sores were oozing. They put another cast on that was shorter and put it on tighter. Which cut the circulation off in her foot. They removed the cast and she was confined to her crate for another week. It was horrible. Please see my later post for what happened next.
Dog food. We feed Isis dog food from Costco. The Kirkland brand. Turkey flavor. Nature's Domain.
She's been getting it for the last few years. Before that we've tried several other brands and they would bother her. She would get bumps that would itch and then she'd dig them open. This is the first food this has not happened with. I can't say it's the best, because she gets stinky pretty quickly, but we're going to try giving her some cod liver oil pills. She loves them.
The cat also gets Kirkland food.
When we got Sara, she was about 14lbs. I was concerned about obesity and diabetes. I've never had an indoor cat before. I started to cut back her food and just give her meals. She lost some weight, and then she lost her the sheen in her coat. Now I free feed her, and she still hasn't put the weight back on.
I went to PetValu today and they gave me some sample packets of dry food and I bought a couple of cans of wet, also. Hopefully she does well on this. If so, I will pick up a big bag for her.
This may be a bit of a rant, if it turns out to be so, I apologize.
I firmly believe in adopting animals. I think there are so many animals out there in need of a home, I can't see creating more just to be able to make a quick buck. I also believe in buying from reputable breeders. A reputable breeder breeds to animals to better the breed. To come as close to the breed standard as possible. That's the point of being a breeder. Many breeders show their animals. People who take any two animals and throw them together just so they can have babies to sell, is what drives me crazy. There is no thought process behind the two animals. Other than maybe "oh that would be cute!" Normally there are no health checks performed on either parent. In the end, they think they can sell these animals for big money. Some people take two purebred dogs of different breeds, put them together, give the offspring some kind of smooshed up name and call it a designer breed and charge even more for them. Drives me crazy. And I can't believe people actually dish out the money to buy these animals! If they can't sell the first litter, I guarantee they won't be having more litters!
Moving on. My parents have always had a dog. My grandparents gave my mother a Pomeranian right before I was born. They paid $40 for her. When Puppy was 8, we went to the local pet store where they had these beautiful Lab Husky mix puppies. We paid $50 for Misty. Best. Dog. Ever. When Misty was 11, my friend's dog had pups. She gave us Sammi. Things don't seem to happen like that anymore. Everyone is out to make a quick buck.
I've never paid for a cat. They're were always plenty of them around. No one fixed their cats and they all roamed free. Cats everywhere.
On to my babies. The cat I have now was found in a ditch by a wonderful family. They took her to the local SPCA where she was needled, fixed, and microchipped. We each drove an hour so I could have her, and I'm grateful to them. I've called her Sara.
I adopted my dog, as well. I got her from Dan at Paws Across Borders. She's from Georgia. She was two years old when we got her 5 years ago. Her name is Isis. This is the picture they saw when they were picking out dogs to rescue.
Looking at this picture makes me tear up. How can anyone do this to a dog? She's an American Staffordshire Terrier. Or a pit bull. Whatever. She's my life. I'm so glad I have her. I'm so glad Dan rescued her. And having a dog that was already house trained, crate trained, leash trained, and fixed is a BIG plus.
So, let's talk dogs and chocolate. I got a wonderful box of After Eight collection chocolates for Christmas. I was savoring it. I had eaten a couple out the the box. A dark chocolate leaf, a mint truffle, a medallion and a clock. There was about 3/4 of the box left (142g box) I had it in a Sobeys bag on the floor, where I always keep my Christmas candy. We went out for the evening and when I came home I went to grab a chocolate, only to find that the lid was ajar and the box was completely empty. I dumped the whole bag on the couch only to find one dark chocolate medallion left. I was so disappointed. I knew there was only one culprit.
And then I thought, "well she looks fine. Why doesn't she look sick?"
Now, this dog will let you know any time she does ANYTHING wrong. But, she showed no signs of shame. I figured she must have done it right after I left for work that morning. If it were to bother her, I believe it would have done so by now. So, just to be safe, I did a bit of research.
I found some very useful info on this site here: Petful
It essentially states that white chocolate has almost none of what bothers animals. (0.25mg per oz.)
Dark chocolate, which is what she ate, has 130mg per oz.
If a dog has eaten close to 20 mg of chocolate per pound of weight, then they need to see a vet.
I figured out that she ate about 10mg per pound of body weight. She's fine. But I can tell you that when she pooped the next morning and ran by me, all I could smell was mint.....