Thursday, July 07, 2011


We've had a lot going on in the last week! Well, maybe not a lot, but its certainly felt that way.

Saturday, Mary came over to do some scrapbooking. Thats always fun (and tiring). I spent the day working on the pups' award book - matting certificates, mounting ribbons, and adding photos. I'm very pleased with the way its turning out. Kodiak even got into it, offering his opinion on Mary's project:

Monday evening was spent keeping Reyna calm. I was expecting fireworks, but the thunder was just as bad. She couldn't settle down, and kept moving between Kodiak's crate, the hallway, the end table, and me. This is not her happy face.

I was hoping Monday would be the last of it, but because of the storms, they moved the fireworks to Tuesday, so the poor girl had to go through it all again. I'm not sure if Kodiak is nervous about thunder all on his own, or if he's picked that up from Reyna, but he's getting to where he can't really function when its thundering. Not good, considering all the thunder boomers we have during the summer (its thundering as I'm typing this, as a matter of fact).

Tuesday was a busy day. Kodiak graduated from his Puppy Confidence class! He was even voted Most Improved Pup. He's come such a long way in the last six weeks! Of course, the mortar board was terrifying, so there was no way we were going to get a picture of him wearing it.

After graduation, Kodiak and I went to see someone very knowledgeable about puppy nutrition. I'm trying really hard to keep Reyna on the absolute minimum amount of meds, especially since she generally has so much trouble with side effects. The deworming probably did some good, but it certainly didn't solve the problems. I haven't started her on the other med the vet gave me, primarily because I wanted to give the deworming time to work. I've also been concerned that she's not getting the nutrients she needs since her diet has been so limited the last several weeks.

I got a lot of great suggestions from this fellow, the first of which was to stop feeding her rice. I'd told him about her allergies, of course, including the fact that she does much better on grain-free kibbles. I also mentioned that she'd been extra itchy lately and with my luck, she was developing an allergy to turkey. The conversation went something like this:

Him: So, she's allergic to grains?
Me: Well, I'm not positive that she is, but she does better with grain-free.
Him: And you're feeding her rice?
Me: Yes.
Him: Why?
Me: Well, she has stomach trouble, and the standard response to that is to feed rice and chicken for several days. Of course, she's allergic to chicken, so she gets turkey.
Him: But she has grain allergies.
Me: Maybe.
Him: And you're feeding rice. But you think she's developing an allergy to turkey?
Me: Maybe. I know she's been really itchy for a while now.
Him: And you're feeding rice.
Me: Well, yeah. Why do you keep saying... Oh. I'm an idiot.

In my defense, even the vet and our regular trainer both know about her food allergies and neither of them ever questioned the rice. In fact, the vet's the one that told me to feed it. So, anyway, Reyna's not had any rice since Tuesday morning, and she's already itching less. A coincidence? Maybe...

I'm also adding some raw food to her diet, rather than cooking for her. That'll help with the nutrients problem, and it is healthier. Another thing the guy suggested was raw goats milk. Its apparently a wonderful thing to give dogs, and if she's drinking the milk I can theoretically stop giving her yogurt and Pepcid. Thats my kind of supplement right there. Turns out all of the pups LOVE goats milk. Duncan and Kodiak both follow me around from the time I pull the carton from the fridge to the moment they get their bowl. Reyna loves it, too, she's just too dignified to follow me around. She knows I'll bring it to her.

I know its only been a couple of days since I made the dietary changes, but I swear she's already improving. She's less itchy, there's been no vomiting, and her stool is more solid than its been in a long time. We'll see if the trend continues, because I'm fully aware it could just be a brief upswing (she's had several of those while she's been sick). Paws crossed!

We had our regular training session Wednesday. Reyna worked on her nose work skills (excellent, as always) and Duncan on his Rally moves (seeing major improvements in some things). Kodiak had to do some obstacle work. The silly pup still won't go over jumps unless he's put directly in front of them, but he did just fine for his first experience with the teeter-totter. Go figure. After training, we made a quick stop at a friend's place. She'd worked some show at the fairgrounds this weekend and managed to get a bunch of kibble sample bags. Its great - I can feed Kodiak for nearly a month!

Now for some cuteness! I have tons of little squeaky toys in the house and yard. Its usually Kodiak that plays with them, but Duncan and Reyna both still have a bit of puppy in them.

Kodiak loves to get Duncan riled up. First the squeaking starts, and then the game of tug, generally followed by a wrestling match. As pesky as Kodiak is, though, Duncan never hurts him. Kodiak's not so great about pulling his punches...

With luck, next week will be a bit quieter. We still have hospital visits for Reyna (she's not quite ready for a full two-hour shift, but she still enjoys her therapy work) and regular pup training. Kodiak won't go to his next class until August, and the break is nice. Especially since the boys have a Rally trial coming up in a couple of weeks. I'm a bit iffy on going, as I'm worried about Duncan. As far as I know, he's not had any seizures since that awful day a couple of weeks ago, but he's not quite right. There are some odd behaviors that make me wonder if he's having small focal seizures or if something else entirely is going on. There's nothing I can really take to the vet (Doc, its awful! He walked behind the chairs during training!), just small things that aren't normal for him. I've got until the 18th to get my pre-trial entries in, so we'll see how things go next week. And I guess I could always leave it until the trial and do day-of entries. I dunno. I'll figure something out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Rice!!!!!.......Who would have thunk!!!! And goat's milk.....shudder....I know you aren't drinking it!!!
Sounds like a really good report on the pups......hope they all continue to improve and hope everybody gets back to normal really soon!!!!
:)Love, Mom