Saturday, October 15, 2011

Reyna's Helping Paws

Some of you know about my financial circumstances, but for those of you who don't, I was laid off two years ago from a well-paying job. Since then, I've struggled to find regular work but have only managed to find part-time and temporary positions. We've been getting by, but Reyna's recent medical bills are beyond my current financial capabilities. To help with this, several folks have donated items for a raffle. Many thanks to Suzie Kalafian of Superior Dog Training, Claire Apple of Dog Training for Obedience and Herding with Claire Apple, J. Lee of Portraits by J. Lee, and several others.

Tickets are $5 each and give you a chance to win each item offered! Tickets can be purchased by sending money through PayPal to The more tickets you purchase, the more chances you have to win! The raffle runs through Wednesday, November 2, when Reyna (or a pack member) will select the winners.

Hand crafted by Bob Christensen. Bowl measures 10” diameter x 4 3/4" tall.

Custom towel with a whimsical Christmas dog design embroidered by Ellen Christensen.

Hand towel with welcome bird and bird house embroidered by Ellen Christensen.

Hand crafted by Bob Christensen. Beautiful custom pen comes complete with cross pen insert and takes cross pen refills.

9"x12" watercolor painted by local artist and dog trainer, Claire Apple.

7"x10" watercolor painted by local artist and dog trainer, Claire Apple.

Large short-sleeve t-shirt.

Large short-sleeve t-shirt.

8"x10" acrylic painting by a local artist.

7"x10" watercolor painted by local artist and dog trainer, Claire Apple.

7"x10" watercolor painted by local artist and dog trainer, Claire Apple.

9"x12" watercolor painted by local artist and dog trainer, Claire Apple.

8"x10" acrylic painting by a local artist.

Large Ruffwear K-9 Float Coat, donated by local artist and dog trainer, Claire Apple.

Gold and diamond heart pendant.

You could win a beautiful pet portrait by Portraits by Lee. Just send in a picture of your pet and receive a 10 x 8 painting!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Today's Vet School Visit

Lot's of info from today's visit, but not a lot of definitive answers (anyone surprised by this?). Let's start with the easy stuff...

The urine tests showed that her kidney's are working normally, with her UPC back down in the normal range.

Her hip x-rays showed that the implant looks just like it did two years ago, no sign of infection or other problems. They also showed that her left hip looks a lot worse than it did two years ago, but that's not a surprise, either. Its good to know that the implant is doing its job.

The sore that was on Reyna's belly two weeks ago appears to have healed up, although its a bit hard to tell since the latest mass ruptured fairly close to the last one. The vets are happy with the general improvement (smaller sores) but concerned that there was a new mass. The bacterial infection is completely cleared up, but Reyna is to finish the last week of her antibiotics. The Derm vet prescribed two topicals (one anti-fungal and one antibacterial) to keep the infection gone until she sees him on the 18th. They did a surface swab today and found eosinophilic inflammatory cells, which can be caused by parasitic infections, allergies, bug bites, foreign bodies or certain tumors. The Internal Med vet still thinks there's some underlying cause to these masses/sores, but the Derm vet has a different opinion. He seems to think that the healing incision has irritated Reyna and she's causing the sores by licking the thin skin. Of course, he's not explaining how she's creating the masses first, nor is he explaining what caused the initial mass/sore that resulted in the surgery that created the incision... We'll chat about all of that on the 18th. And about the fact that if Reyna were reacting to an irritation of some kind, we wouldn't be dealing with small sores (I'll have Dr. Lapham chat with the Derm vet to explain just how much damage Reyna tends to do with this sort of thing - the Derm vet will believe him more than me, I'm sure). So, no more info on the sores/masses for another two weeks.

As for the weight loss, it turns out Reyna has lost another two pounds in the last two weeks (she's down to 67lbs). The GI panel came back normal, which means she should be absorbing nutrients properly. I had a long chat with one of the nutritionists today, and she's putting together a potential food plan to try and get Reyna back up to at least 72lbs. She thinks Reyna probably isn't getting all of the vitamins and minerals she needs, but she realizes she's dealing with a dog with several food allergies and a sensitive stomach. She also thinks its possible that Reyna doesn't have enough pancreatic enzymes to properly digest everything, no matter what the test results show (those enzymes actually came back near the low end of normal). We tracked her weight over the last few months, and it shows that she started losing in June (could have been muscle mass since we weren't walking due to her stomach issues) with the significant loss starting around the appearance of the first mass. Reyna did gain weight after the surgery, and then lost again around the time the second mass showed up. The nutritionist and Internal Med vet both agree that whatever's messing with her belly has most likely had at least some impact on Reyna's weight. Hopefully we'll get the nutritionist's suggestions tomorrow and we can start trying them to see what (if anything) works.

I think that's everything from today...

Wednesday, October 05, 2011


A few photos that didn't make it into the blog last month...

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Love It When I Catch The Action

Here We Go Again

The open sore on Reyna's belly that I've been monitoring for a few weeks had just about healed up. This weekend, though, I found that a new mass had formed near that sore. As of this morning, the mass has ruptured and is draining. Reyna goes back to the vet school Thursday for a follow-up with Internal Medicine, hip x-rays, the results of the GI panel and urine test, and possibly a consult with Nutrition. I'm not sure, but I think the IM vet may also have Derm do a consult for another smear test to see if the bacterial infection has cleared up so they can do a culture of the sores (Reyna was supposed to see Derm this week but they couldn't fit her in for another two weeks).

Sunday, October 02, 2011

The Pack

Here's my pack, waiting ever-so-patiently for me to throw Reyna's ball. And yes, they stood like this all on their own, no coaching or encouragement from me.

And here's what the pack looks like after I throw the ball. Its a good thing Reyna's so tolerant of the boys.