Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Food musings

I've tossed and turned changing foods on Elvis, and started looking into some higher fiber foods.

I also spoke with Tim over at the shelter and Melody at the clinic.

Elvis is currently on Purina ONE Sensitive Systems because I like the protein source and he does really well on it. I've been taking two cups of kibble, mixing it with two cups of hot water and then blending it until it was relatively smooth. He would get 1/3 cup in the morning and 2 tablespoons at night. With each feeding, he also had 1/2 tsp canned pumpkin.

Having looked at different foods, I was mulling a switch to either Wellness Senior or Avoderm. My only issue with the Wellness was it included some ingredients I'm just not too fond of (cranberries, etc) and Avoderm's smallest bag was 4.4 lbs, and I really wanted a 6-7 pound bag.

Both had fiber content between 5-6%, so I liked that (ONE is 3%, but I do supplement with pumpkin).

Tim and I talked over some food ideas (he came from Petsmart and has some decent knowledge of pet foods), and I also talked to Melody (she said Dr. Walthall would recommend Hill's ID...I loathe Hill's/Science Diet, so I was pretty sure unless something changed here with the food that I couldn't work around, I wasn't going to go that direction). I got some good input from both of them.

Elvis' main problem isn't constipation. It's soft stools. They're not loose, but they reflect the fact his food is ground up. And that does make him strain because I suspect he never feels like he's "done." So I've decided that's my first change.

Last night and this morning he's gotten his food whole, but soaked in water for a few minutes. Lack of teeth always concerned me, but since he eats in his crate and can take his time with no competition, he does OK.

So this is where I will start. I'll keep him on ONE, but it will be kibble, not ground. And rather than 1/2 tsp pumpkin twice a day, I'll give it once a day.

I'll try this for a few days and see what happens. I may still end up switching him to a different food, but I do want to try the whole kibble first since I know the form can make a difference.

I'll post an update on how he's doing towards the end of the week. It appears he has a second hernia showing up on the OTHER side of the base of his tail, but if we can keep what's there the same and no worse, I think he'll be fine.

I just refuse to let something like this be the end of him. He's come so far and doing so well that I'm going to dig my heels in and work this out. He deserves that from me.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Elvis update

We took Elvis in to see Dr. Walthall this morning, and she's on vacation, so we saw her relief vet.

Elvis has a perineal hernia which isn't particularly uncommon in un-neutered  dogs his size with docked or no tails. Unfortunately, the solution is surgery, and neither Randall nor I think he would survive it even if the shelter would give us the go ahead (and that's doubtful considering their funding issues right now).

I was hoping it would be something that wouldn't require surgery, but it does. :(

I told Melody I'd call Dr. Walthall later in the week and we could put our heads together. I suspect this is only going to be palliative care, and there's no telling how long that will be enough.

But, as Randall reminded me, Elvis' care has never been anything BUT palliative.

So that's where we're at right now. We know what it is; we know what the ideal solution is; and we know the ideal solution would work for a dog other than Elvis with his many other medical issues.

I will post another update once I know more about our course of action.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Calling the clinic on Monday

Elvis has developed a lump by the base of his tale that I'd like Dr. Walthall to look at. It's only been there since maybe Friday, and it's getting visibly larger.

It's not bothering him, and it may be nothing serious, but I'd like her to see it. I'll give Melody a call in the morning and set up an appointment.

I'll post an update after we get back.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Update, March 8, 2011

I was just thinking yesterday that it had been a long, long time since I updated Elvis' blog, and here a situation presents itself.

Elvis is doing well, which is why there's not been anything posted. He's still doing well today, but we had a bit of a crisis in the house. The dishwasher flooded the house...as in it ran overnight and flooded every room but the bedrooms. So, needless to say, all the dogs stayed crated most of the morning except for a couple of potty breaks.

Because of the mess, I had to give Elvis a half a Valium so he wouldn't panic too badly. That settled him down, and by late morning, we were able to have everything back in place and the kids out.

Randall called me into the den to see Elvis. He had nabbed a chew flip and was working at it under Randall's desk. That always surprises me since the little fella only has three teeth, but there he was, gnawing away at if for all he was worth.

A bit later, when everyone was outside but him, I looked down at the comforter I keep in here by my desk for Haley, and Elvis was doing his damnedest to chew on this big old bone that belongs to Haley. Talk about a hoot. He worked and worked and worked at it. I was even able to get some photos since he was so distracted, though you can see one where he's looking up at me not too sure about my motives. :)

All I can say is his teeth cleaning back in November must have made a huge difference for him because I've caught him working on bones and chew flips several time since then. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

"Our job is to make sure no one is left behind in the wreckage."

The Search Dog Foundation scours animal shelters for some of the worst-behaving dogs you can imagine. And after rigorous training, they enter the ranks of the most elite search and rescue dogs in the world - dogs that have been deployed at 9/11's ground zero and the earthquake aftermath in Haiti to find survivors that machines can't.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bone boy :-)

Randall heard a funny noise coming out from underneath his desk, and when he looked, he discovered Elvis chewing on one of the bones our other foster dog gnaws on. Quite and event when you remember that a) he only has three teeth and b) he had to carry it under there.

He can be a very determined little fella.

(I had to lighten one of these a whole lot since it was dark under the desk and the flash could only do so much there.)

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Stayin' warm...

The Elvis/Snickers bookends.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Update January 31, 2011 and new photos

Things have been pretty quiet lately with Elvis.

He's enjoying having Snickers, the mini-smooth dachshund we're fostering, around. I think it's because he's no longer "low man on the totem pole" in the pack hierarchy. He by no means lords it over Snickers, but you can tell he's liking having a new dog here. And they get along really well, which is even better.

I was out in the backyard today TRYING to get some decent photos of Snickers, and lo and behold, I actually got a bunch of Elvis. Though he occasionally looked sideways at his "nemesis", for the most part today he handled the camera pointing in his direction very well.

I haven't weighed him lately, but he's looking pretty much like he usually does. I've increased the food today and will the next few nights since it's supposed to be very cold here. All my guys will get a bit more calories over the next several days.

Not sure when I'll post another update. As long as things are quiet, I pretty well don't make updates. Unless, of course, I've got something good to share...like today's photos.

(Oh and for those of you wondering what on earth those brown things are in the yard...No. They're not some strange form of animal leaving...they're the damned magnolia "cones" that show up this time of year. Take it from someone who has a 50 foot magnolia tree in her back yard...if you are EVER tempted to plant one of these trees, resist the urge. They drop crap all year around, and the dogs eat part of the blossoms and then come in and puke them up. There is absolutely NOTHING good about these trees.)

Monday, January 17, 2011

An unexpected bonus...

Elvis has apparently picked up on the fact that being held is a pretty good thing.

Ever since the new foster dog came in, Elvis has been MUCH more inclined to let us bend over and pet him and to be picked up (at least by me).

He's not always OK with it, but most of the time he seems to be.

What a nice surprise!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

18 Months...

Whew! Seems like just a moment ago, I was writing about Elvis being with us a year. I blink and it's now 18 months.

Stunning. Unexpected. Absolutely marvelous.

From the puppy mill refugee in May 2009. To the foster in July 2009. To the permanent foster in October 2009. To now.

Elvis has surprised us all, and I couldn't be happier.

I would have loved to have posted some new photos of him that were better quality, but as is probably obvious from these two, he's gotten very camera shy. Unless he's VERY distracted (like at dinner), he wants nothing to do with the camera.

We did get a dinner video from a couple of nights ago. I sort of wish it had been taken last night, because he was in rare, rare form. It's not often that he barks in the house (or outside for that matter), but he was definitely making his presence known last night and tap dancing for all he was worth. In this one, though, more than any other we've done, you can almost see the expression on his face that I see. He gets SOOOOO excited and looks SOOOOO cute...sometimes I just wish I could pick him up and hug him.

(And, if all goes well today, Elvis will be getting a new canine foster buddy. Stay tuned for more on that.)

Oh NOT with that flash thing again!

I'm NOT going to look!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Coming up on another milestone

Yep. Another milestone is peeking at us over the horizon. In a few days (three to be exact), Elvis will have been with us 18 months.

Pretty outstanding, eh?

I am going to try to get at least one dinner video and some new pictures, but it's gotten so he is VERY camera shy. Every time I bring the camera out and point it in his direction, he takes off. Don't know if it's the flash that does it or the "magnification" of someone looking at him. He's not the first dog I've ever had that had that problem, and if that's what it is, there's not a whole lot I can do unless he's distracted from the camera.

Anyway, hopefully I'll be able to get some fresh footage for Thursday. :)