Thursday, August 30, 2007

This Is Why I Love My Vet

I talked to my regular vet yesterday, and he agreed that Reyna’s increased seizures are most likely a side effect of the allergic reaction. He does not think that increasing her Pb dose is a good idea, especially since each change in her meds sparks some new and annoying reaction. He did say that if she wasn’t significantly better by Friday, I should bring her back in, and we’ll give the steroids a try. She seemed to be feeling better last night, and the hives were gone this morning. Her face is still puffy, but she looks much better. She’s still not interested in eating, so I’m basically bribing her each meal with nummies she wouldn’t normally get. With luck, she’ll be back to normal by the end of the weekend and I can go on my vacation without this one additional worry.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Poor Girl Just Can't Catch A Break

As if her other problems weren’t enough, Reyna got bit by something Monday afternoon/evening (I’m guessing a spider) and had an allergic reaction to it. Her face was swelling, and she occasionally had trouble breathing. On top of that, she also had 3 mini seizures Monday late afternoon, and another shortly after midnight. Yes, I know what her seizures sound like, and since I wasn’t sleeping well anyway, it woke me up.

Tuesday morning, her face was still swollen and she developed hives on her front and back legs in less than 15 minutes. So I called the vet to let them know we were coming in. My vet was off (who does he think he is, taking a day off??), so we had to see a different one. While I was on the phone with my boss letting him know I’d be late, Reyna had another mini seizure.

After taking 15 minutes to read Reyna’s file (this is why I don’t like new vets – that, and they don’t know what’s normal behavior, because they’ve never seen the animal before), the vet said she couldn't give Reyna a steroid to stop the inflammation, because it would react with her Rimadyl and could cause gastric bleeding. And yes, that could be bad. Instead, she told me to just give Reyna more Benadryl. She’s already on 50mgs of Benadryl twice a day, which I’m sure is why the reaction wasn’t as severe as it could have been. While we were talking to the vet, Reyna had yet another mini seizure. I figure that the allergic reaction was stressing Reyna’s body and sparking the extra seizures, and that once we got through the reaction, the seizures would stop. The vet’s response? Up her Phenobarbital and come back in 2 weeks for blood work.

Last night, Reyna was still having cycles of swelling and hives, and her face was still swollen this morning. She still doesn’t want to eat, and she still looks and acts miserable. I’m going to talk to my regular vet today and see what he says. I really don’t like the idea of increasing her Pb, because she doesn't need to go through the clumsy and stupid phase again.

She's really not having a bad hair day in these pictures....its the hives on her forehead giving her that oh-so-attractive bumpy look.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Almost There....

This time next week, I'll be on a plane to Hawaii (well, DFW first, but then on to Hawaii).

Oh, The Drama

Duncan decided this weekend that it is finally time to blow his coat. He didn’t bother doing it in the spring, like normal dogs. No, he decided to wait until its just too stinking hot to carry all that fur. I tried explaining that, if he’d blown his coat in the spring like Reyna did, he wouldn’t be so hot now. I’m pretty sure he didn’t bother paying attention to me. So now there’s enough Duncan fur in my yard (due to a bath, a thorough brushing, and random scratching) to not only re-house all of the birds currently living here, but to provide new homes for all of their extended relatives.

On a slightly sadder note, Reyna learned today that she cannot make sharp turns while running. Because her back legs? They just don’t do that anymore. Instead, they give out and make her slide around that turn. The vet gave me a new pain killer, Gabapentin, to give her on top of her Rimadyl. It seems to help the pain some, but it isn’t putting the strength back in her legs. Fall should help with that, though, since we’ll be able to get out in the woods and do more walking when the weather cools off. We’ll just have to wear our orange vests a lot, so we can go out more than once a week during deer season. Of course, when winter comes, her hips will hurt from the cold, but we'll deal with that when it gets here.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Soon, So Soon...

In just 15 days, I will be on a plane to Hawaii, taking my first vacation in almost 3 years. And only 7 of those 15 days will be spent at the office. I have 2 more papers to write, a slew of supplies to buy, and suitcases to pack, and then I have 2 weeks of glorious vacation. I'm not too bad, yet - I haven't started counting the hours...

Sunday, August 12, 2007

My Birthday

I’ve had a few folks ask me about my plans for my birthday – I’m guessing because everyone knows I’d already be making plans if I’m going to do something. I won’t be having a party this year, for a few reasons. One is that I’ll be 31...and that’s just a bit anti-climactic, after turning 30 last year. Another is that if I were going to plan something, it’d be a cookout at my place, and I don’t really have the extra funds to do that. Between Reyna’s vet bills and recent and upcoming boarding costs, my money is pretty well locked up. The third reason, and really the most important, is that Reyna will be five weeks into her ten week diet. She’s doing very well right now, with no new itchy spots. A cookout would offer too many chances for someone to give her a bit of hot dog or hamburger, or for her to steal some. And lets face it, if I caught someone giving her something to eat, I’d have to slap them silly. And I hear that’s not the best way to maintain a good relationship. So, if folks really want to do something, I'm going to suggest we just meet up for lunch or dinner somewhere, instead of having a get-together at my place.

A Good Visit

The kittens went for their annual checkups yesterday. They’re all healthy, which was no surprise. Parm is just a bit too healthy, though – he weighed in at 19.8 lbs. His little sister, Per’la, weighs 14.1 lbs, and Khar’pern is the slimmest of all at 11.7 lbs. Parm also showed signs of gingivitis, but his teeth are shiny clean. The vet laughingly said he hopes Parm develops a bad tooth, as it might get him to cut back on how much he eats. I offered to let the dogs run Parm a bit, but we decided that might cause Parm heart problems. Parm still doesn’t groom himself very well, especially along his back. Most of it is just plain laziness, but the vet said that Parm responded to the physical exam in a way that indicates he may have a touch of arthritis – most likely brought on by being fat and lazy.

While I was there, the vet and I talked about Reyna a bit, too. He’s going to look into options for stronger pain killers, since she limps or drags her leg pretty much every day. We also discussed options for the dogs when I’m in Hawaii. I have a neighbor who’s agreed to watch the dogs, and I've talked to a couple of pet sitters, but I’m concerned about Reyna’s stress level with being left home alone with someone she doesn’t know really well for an entire week. Of course, I’m also concerned about the stress of boarding for a week. The vet’s opinion, and I’m inclined to agree with him, is that boarding is the better choice, because she knows those people, she likes it there, she and Duncan can do day camp each day - which will both distract her and wear her out - and I can call 24 hours a day to check on them. The cost is a problem, but I’ve gotten the last of my student loan, so I have some extra cash now. I’ll just have my neighbor pop in a few times to make sure the cats still have plenty of water. And, of course, the cats will actually be happier having the house entirely to themselves with no dogs or strangers to interfere with their fun.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Too Much Stress Is Bad

Sometimes, I really hate traveling. I flew into DC Monday for a three-day corporate meeting. The conference was good, the hotel was nice, and I should be on a plane back to Raleigh right now. Instead, the airline cancelled my flight. And somehow, in the few minutes between the cancellation and me trying to reschedule, the two later flights to Raleigh were booked beyond stand-by capacity. Still not really sure how that happened. So, my options are to 1) rent a car and drive home, which would take about 7 hours with trying to get out of DC during rush hour, 2) fly to Atlanta and then to RDU, getting home sometime around midnight, or 3) stay here tonight and take the 7:25am flight in the morning, assuming its not delayed or cancelled. And, since they cancelled because of weather, the airline isn’t covering the hotel room. Thank goodness the company is paying for it... The worst part is that I had to call the PetHotel and make sure they had space to keep the pups one more night, since none of those options would get me home in time to pick them up tonight. I also had to make sure they had enough food to give the dogs dinner tonight and breakfast tomorrow. Normally, when they run out of food, the hotel just uses some of the food they keep on hand, which is fine for Duncan, but that just won’t work for Reyna. She’s three weeks into her ten week diet, and I really don’t want to start over if we don’t have to. Thankfully, I added more food to their bags than was necessary, as a “just in case” precaution. I’m going to call one more time and double-check, because I didn’t think I’d added enough to cover breakfast. If I didn’t, I'll ask Tim or Peggy to go into the house and get more food, and take it to the hotel. Of course, this is just one more reason why boarding a dog with “special needs” is bad...

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Lucky Number Seven

Today is Mikey's 7th birthday. Happy birthday, Mikey, and many more!