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 The Desert Pack

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aljones
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aljones

Male Join date : 2014-08-18
Location : Terlingua, Texas

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PostSubject: Re: The Desert Pack   The Desert Pack - Page 15 EmptyThu Mar 18, 2021 8:11 pm

@TwisterII I'm not sure about a back pack, depending on traffic (Spring break right now, BAD traffic even on dirt roads!) what I do is to let him out and then hop in the jeep and follow him down the road.  He's good for about a mile at 25 then he slows down to a fairly constant 15 for another couple of miles.  Then his tongue is hanging out so far I'm afraid he's gonna trip over it and I call him to the Jeep for the ride home.  I'm fine with him going out for a run, just let me know so I can go along.
Sasha's not that much older than the other two, if my guess about her age is right, but she's in much worse shape physically.  (I'm guessing she was three-four when I brought her home; the other two I actually have birth dates on.)

@"Everyone"  Does anyone have a dog you have to feed on a schedule.  I've found that Sasha has her own schedule that looks like:  (get up), snack, breakfast, snack, brunch, snack, lunch, snack, lupper, snack, supper, snack, bedtime treats, snack, (bedtime) ... and she gets bitchy if I try to go by my schedule ... sorry girl!

@Amymeme Bicycling?? No, I go in the Jeep since he stays close to the road (most of the time.)  I wouldn't want to try a peddle power two wheel vehicle here, the roads are rutted most of the time which make them rough.  Even the powered kind sometimes end up where they aren't supposed to!!

_________________
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Lostmaniac
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Lostmaniac

Female Join date : 2018-10-22
Location : Colorado

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PostSubject: Re: The Desert Pack   The Desert Pack - Page 15 EmptyThu Mar 18, 2021 11:49 pm

I would swear squirt can tell time. About 5 minutes before she comes out for whatever reason she scratches the door to remind you she is waiting. Shadow thinks if the bowl is on the floor that i am going to feed him, even when he just ate. Spider knows but she just patiently stares at the bun the food is in. And splinter is like ocd where if im not sitting near him he wont eat.

Squirt kinda reminds me of sheldon from big bang theory. Tap tap tap feed me tap tap tap feed me tap tap tap feed me
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TwisterII
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Female Join date : 2013-06-14
Location : Missouri

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PostSubject: Re: The Desert Pack   The Desert Pack - Page 15 EmptyMon Mar 22, 2021 10:33 am

Kye is very routine oriented and I have to feed him on a schedule (well, I have to feed everyone on a schedule due to meds) but if I don't keep him on a schedule then his potty breaks get random and he's all over the board behaviorally. I've been researching possible canine autism with kye. He checks many autism boxes if he were human. I keep him on a pretty strict schedule even when traveling. He struggles with travel change more than I expected him to considering we are potentially his 4th home.

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amymeme
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amymeme

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PostSubject: Re: The Desert Pack   The Desert Pack - Page 15 EmptyMon Mar 22, 2021 10:59 am

My guys have an amazing internal belly clock. They can be outdoors roaming, sleeping, doesn't matter. 5:00. That's dinner time. Ami rings the doorbell. 9:00PM? That's whippy creammmmmmm and bone time. These guys can be sound asleep (and me as well🙄).9:00 PM? Ami starts pawing at me and Z'ev starts helicoptering.

Morning is not so regular, wakeup time depends on how late we watched tv and how well (or not) we slept. They're quite patient in the morning and let me sleep. But once I'm up....BREAKFAST!!! Though, I have to admit, Ami doesn't start his "time to eat, Mom" until he hears the toilet paper roll rattle 😝  I know, I know, TMI🤣


Last edited by amymeme on Mon Mar 22, 2021 3:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Lostmaniac
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Lostmaniac

Female Join date : 2018-10-22
Location : Colorado

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PostSubject: Re: The Desert Pack   The Desert Pack - Page 15 EmptyMon Mar 22, 2021 2:48 pm

So did you get sashas lab results back?
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aljones
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aljones

Male Join date : 2014-08-18
Location : Terlingua, Texas

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PostSubject: Re: The Desert Pack   The Desert Pack - Page 15 EmptyWed Mar 24, 2021 12:56 pm

Results are back but my vet's out with COVID along with her daughter and husband ... they all play important parts in my local life so really hope they're all okay. Their son had it earlier (which is probably why they all now have it) and he works with Mary (he's also a vet) but doesn't want to give more directions without conferring with her. It is not Cushings which is what Mary was trying to confirm.


I'm a bad daddy!
My morning routine looks something like this (give or take 1/2 hour or so):
08:00 Get woke up
08:10 Avalanche outside on lead
08:11 Breakfast for Sasha
08:30 Sasha for a "business" walk
10:30 Let Sky out of her crate and let her out

Sky doesn't make any noise, she just patiently waits in crate till I let her out ... and her crate isn't where I see it easily so she tends to be the forgotten child. If she'd move around or whine or something I'd be more aware but ... I'm not a morning person!

_________________
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“Properly trained, a man can be dog’s best friend.”
Corey Ford
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Lostmaniac
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Lostmaniac

Female Join date : 2018-10-22
Location : Colorado

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PostSubject: Re: The Desert Pack   The Desert Pack - Page 15 EmptyWed Mar 24, 2021 1:10 pm

Its ok my day is already a failure also. Covid is no joke that i would only wish upon my worst enemies. Its good its not cushings but now you still have no answer and i know that frustrating.

Shadow is like sky where you could forget him. We put him in the bedroom when things are going on or we leave and then hours later im looking for shadow and then i remember hes in the bedroom.
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amymeme
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amymeme

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PostSubject: Re: The Desert Pack   The Desert Pack - Page 15 EmptyWed Mar 24, 2021 2:59 pm

Nope. No forgetting Z'ev. No how, no way. He had a shrieky yelp that will wake the dead😬

Glad to hear it is not Cushing's. Hope your vet family rallies quickly from COVID-19.
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aljones
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aljones

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Location : Terlingua, Texas

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PostSubject: Re: The Desert Pack   The Desert Pack - Page 15 EmptySun May 09, 2021 12:35 pm

I've been lax on following this up because I dread the inevitable ... and, as of now, it's it's still inevitable.

Sasha's somewhere between 10 and 13 - best guess by me and Mary - and what bothers me as much as her failing is that, agewise, the other two are just a year or two behind her. 'Course there's no indication that either of them have problems.

Sasha goes into the vet on Wednesday and I think it's time to talk to Mary about how much longer I really have. While Sasha's eyes are still bright and she looks at me when I call her (if she wants to, of course) she trips over things that she shouldn't. Avalanche has dug a hole at the bottom of the steps and Sasha can't seem to get across / around it without tripping. If she knows where she is she's fine, if we get into territory we may not have been in for a while she's more than careful to stay close.

Yesterday morning we went out for potty call and when she hunched her back legs collapsed. Poor girl sat there whining and being me, I waited till she collected herself and stood up again. We continued on our walk and she eventually finished her task. It's this falling that gets to me. She plays with Sky and Avalanche and the cats - and the cats always accompany us when she's out - so mentally I think she's doing okay. She gives an indication of pain occasionally when she goes to lay down but it's only occasionally. As has been said repeatedly, our pups are experts at hiding their pain so I have to wonder how much pain she's really in. She'll trip over something or nothing two, three, four times during a 15 minute walk - which is about her limit before she heads back to the porch.

She stays in her crate most of the time, sometimes sleeping (well, her eyes are shut), sometimes watching me or other animals. She comes out at mealtimes - of course! - and she's still eating though with less vigor and comes out to play (and harass Sky) when they come in of an evening. Quality of life - she's maintaining but failing and, for me, failing too quickly.

I'm rambling ... not sure where to go with this ...

_________________
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“Properly trained, a man can be dog’s best friend.”
Corey Ford
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Lostmaniac
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Lostmaniac

Female Join date : 2018-10-22
Location : Colorado

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PostSubject: Re: The Desert Pack   The Desert Pack - Page 15 EmptySun May 09, 2021 1:11 pm

All i can say is hope for the best and expect the worst. Not very encouraging i know.....

Is she having vision problems? Blurry vision is a gabapentin side effect. The being unsure in less traveled areas, staying in her crate, those are things shadow did before his vision completely went. Same with stumbling.

I would be freaking out about the fall though.
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amymeme
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amymeme

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PostSubject: Re: The Desert Pack   The Desert Pack - Page 15 EmptySun May 09, 2021 2:11 pm

Al, so hard to watch them get old. Good days and bad days... Hugs to you and extra ear scratches to Sasha and the crew 🥰
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aljones
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aljones

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Location : Terlingua, Texas

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PostSubject: Re: The Desert Pack   The Desert Pack - Page 15 EmptySun May 09, 2021 5:15 pm

@Amymeme yep, it sure is ... and trying to decide when the right time to call it is the absolute pits!

@Lostmaniac Okay, you got me to looking for side effects of Gabapentin in dogs and she's falling right in line.  Dizziness - would account for the difficulty walking; drowsiness - would account for the amount of time she spends "sleeping"

VCAHospitals wrote:
The most common side effects include sedation (sleepiness) and incoordination.
As I said she fits that bill completely ... they also say
Quote :
Gradual increases of the medication over time is recommended to alleviate these effects.
so I think that's something I need to discuss with Mary when I see her Wednesday.

If she were a problem or seriously had a problem I'd be more inclined to say that quality of life has reached the point that it's time to call it. She aggravates Sky but with very rare flare-ups the coexist without problem. The cats are a foolish challenge ... they walk under the dogs and all the dogs will react with "I'm gonna eat you up!" as the cat goes strolling off - almost as if they did it on purpose just to get a reaction. As I said the cats go walking with Sasha and me and have no fear of walking in front of or under her, shoot I've even seen two cats "attack" each other with Sasha being the defensive perimeter.

Obviously, I'm not ready to put her down yet, but just wonder how much more she's gonna take before it's really time. I read here that they'll let you know but I don't see that ... yet.

_________________
The Desert Pack - Page 15 GY3Hm5The Desert Pack - Page 15 REEum5The Desert Pack - Page 15 2zERm5
“Properly trained, a man can be dog’s best friend.”
Corey Ford
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Lostmaniac
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Female Join date : 2018-10-22
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PostSubject: Re: The Desert Pack   The Desert Pack - Page 15 EmptySun May 09, 2021 5:39 pm

They say you know... when it came to prince, there were several times i wanted to make that call. When my grandpa and uncle finally did make that call, that time i didn't think he was ready. With dusty, we knew. But those were horses, ive never had to put a dog down. I know shadow is going to end up being the first dog i have to put down.

My blind german shepherd that can barely walk still wanted to go after a pack of coyotes last night.
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TwisterII
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TwisterII

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Location : Missouri

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PostSubject: Re: The Desert Pack   The Desert Pack - Page 15 EmptyMon May 10, 2021 5:28 pm

With the kind of issues she has the time will come when she just simply can't get up. She will go down and just not try to get up. When they can't get up on their own or stop wanting to then it's time. The logical part of your brain will know when it's time. That part that says she's not okay and you are no longer bandaiding a bullet hole, you are now trying to slap a bandaide on an amputated limb so to speak.

_________________
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aljones
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aljones

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Location : Terlingua, Texas

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PostSubject: Re: The Desert Pack   The Desert Pack - Page 15 EmptyTue May 11, 2021 11:21 am

@TwisterII  That's what makes this such a tough call for me.  I don't want to wait (don't want her to have to wait) till she can't get up.  In the first place, if I have to lift her, she's let me know that it hurts her (if I'm reading her struggles right, could be she just wants all four on the ground - wouldn't be the first dog I've had who simply doesn't want to be picked up)
Second, I'm an hour plus away from my vet.  For some reason she wants to stand when she's in the Jeep - she's not looking around, she's just standing there - I can't help but think that's got to be painful for her ... she doesn't show any signs of discomfort - but what do I know.

She still eats every meal but it's been a while since it's been with the anticipation and gusto.  She hasn't even been telling me it's supper time ... which is unusual for her.

We have a vet visit tomorrow and I'll see what Mary has to say.  Personally I'm thinking it will be time in about a month but want to discuss some things with Mary ... "time" may be tomorrow and I'm dreading that.

I've said it before ... over the years she's bitten me, like, 5 different times.  I'm going to say that most, if not all of those, were within the first three years so we've had 5 good companionable years ... and I'm not ready to let those end at least not until it's really obvious that it needs to.

On another note, I seem to have had a visitor last night.  Heard a cat yowling outside, looked around and my three were all inside.  I don't know if I'm the proud owner of a fourth cat or if he was just passing through.  Nights are dangerous for little critters because we have owls who'll gladly make a meal of a cat ...

_________________
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“Properly trained, a man can be dog’s best friend.”
Corey Ford
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Lostmaniac
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Lostmaniac

Female Join date : 2018-10-22
Location : Colorado

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PostSubject: Re: The Desert Pack   The Desert Pack - Page 15 EmptyTue May 11, 2021 1:11 pm

Im shocked at the number of outdoor and ferel cats here considering owls, hawks, eagles, coyotes, and mountain lion.

I do think the gabapentin is creating some new issues, and i know you already plan on bringing that up. And if pain is the biggest issue, i might try cbd at this point. Its unfortunately a hit or miss thing especially with no optimal dose per lb at this point. Ive been on alot of the meds they give dogs also including gabapentin and long term they have some potentially very bad effects.
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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: The Desert Pack   The Desert Pack - Page 15 EmptyTue May 11, 2021 4:33 pm

I'm not comfortable that pain, per se, is actually a problem with her.  If a dog's hurting and they get rolled in play (she does since she's less steady) they're going to yelp (she doesn't) - I've only occasionally heard any indication of pain.  There have been times when she's trying to set that she seems "stiff" and will whine, like it's not easy to move the old bones like they used to - tell me, I know that feeling!  Once in a while she'll be turning before she lays down and for some reason she seems to not be comfortable curling to lay down.  It's more, in what I see, like someone who's getting ready to go to bed and twisting to get the body into shape to make that twist ... and things just don't work as smoothly as they used to. A couple of times at night I've heard her whimper but I don't know whether she's hurting of "chasing" something.

If the gabapentin were a tablet rather than a capsule, I think I'd be cutting it back to 50 rather than the 100mg... part of my talking with Mary tomorrow.

_________________
The Desert Pack - Page 15 GY3Hm5The Desert Pack - Page 15 REEum5The Desert Pack - Page 15 2zERm5
“Properly trained, a man can be dog’s best friend.”
Corey Ford
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Lostmaniac
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PostSubject: Re: The Desert Pack   The Desert Pack - Page 15 EmptyTue May 11, 2021 5:41 pm

It goes all the way down to 25mg and all the way up to 600 mg. My shepherd is very stoic also. I can tell by how he walks that he hurts but the only real indication of yelping is if i try to pick him up.

Shadow has some issues sitting. And sometimes getting up. He has a couch so that its easier for him to get up.
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Lostmaniac
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PostSubject: Re: The Desert Pack   The Desert Pack - Page 15 EmptyWed May 12, 2021 1:10 pm

Hoping for good news
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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: The Desert Pack   The Desert Pack - Page 15 EmptyThu May 13, 2021 12:04 am

@LostManiac  "The 100mg (of gabapentin) is the lowest that we should consider going since it's dependent on her weight."  While I understand that, I'm not sure I agree with it ...

Her liver is enlarged but not due to Cushings which is a saving grace.

The results of her blood work today compared with her previous on 2/10/21

TestResultsReferencePrevious
GLU108 mg/dl74-14398
CREA1.3 mg/dl0.5-1.81.3
BUN22 mg/dl7-2720
BUN/CREA1715
TP7.6 g/dl5.2-8.27.7
ALB3.7 g/dl2.3-4.03.6
GLOB3.9 g/dl2.5-4.54.1
ALT207 U/L10-125343
ALKP1936 U/L23-212> 2000
I'll note that both the problem readings ALT and ALKP have come down significantly since Feb, possibly due to the ProHepatic that I've been giving her.  I'll continue that and see.

Mary sent me home with two antibiotics -  Metronidazole and Amoxicillin - to give her for a month with a return visit to see if possibly there's some liver infection that causing the elevated results.  She also sent some Galliprant which is a new NSAID aimed at to see if that help with the pain from her Osteoarthritis (known problem with her hack seen in a much earlier x-ray.

Both she and Zac (her son and a younger vet) agree that the only other way - other than trial and error - is a biopsy and at her age and physical state that's not a good possibility.

She was laying in her crate talking to me, it's not an "I hurt" which wouldn't surprise me after a three hours road trip, it's an "I want <something>" but she hasn't figured how to tell me what the <something> is. Oh, if her water bowl is empty she'll stand over it and whine, if she wants out she'll (sometimes) go to the door ... but figuring out what the whine is could drive a person nuts.

_________________
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“Properly trained, a man can be dog’s best friend.”
Corey Ford
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: The Desert Pack   The Desert Pack - Page 15 EmptyThu May 13, 2021 11:25 am

So, sort of no real change. Hope the galiprant is helpful.

The whining in the crate? I have a few thoughts... Is she looking to be rubbed? Beginning of senility? Or maybe a pain signal you're not familiar with?

As I'm writing this I'm suddenly remembering Ami a few months ago. He would whine and sort of lift his paw at us while lying down. We interpreted that as wanting attention and rubbing. Which, when provided, would stop the whining. But, now it occurs to me that since his Lyme disease was treated, we have no more whining. I'm now pondering whether he was in pain and the rubbing either distracted or relaxed his pain.

I'm following your journey with Sasha closely... Z'ev is 12 next month, Ami is 9 in the fall. Vet keeps saying arthritis and pain control. I'm just not seeing that at the moment. Gabapentin is the first thing he offered with Z'ev. Based on your experience and the sedation (as well as my mother's, she was out of it on gabapentin!) I told him I did not want to go that route. He's looking to increase the dogs' mobility but honestly, that is not an issue for us yet. I showed him a video of Ami furiously digging an crater on the edge of my garden (an acceptable spot to dig🥰). Z'ev doesn't sit still for a moment if we are up and around. Amish waits til we go outside but then he is Mr rocket man. I'm not seeing any limping, not sure about possible stiffness getting up after sleeping... There's no slowness but both always do a full body stretch when getting up after sleeping.

Sigh. Wouldn't it be nice if dogs could talk in our language ...
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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: The Desert Pack   The Desert Pack - Page 15 EmptyThu May 13, 2021 12:13 pm

@amymeme wrote:
Sigh. Wouldn't it be nice if dogs could talk in our language ...

Sometimes, no doubt it would be helpful - but could you picture a dog who could ask for whatever they wanted?  I could picture "Dad, I'm hungry, dad I wanna go out, dad that smells good, do we get any?"  Stream of consciousness from a doggie perspective.

Two things we *know* are problems:  each time Sasha's had an x-ray Mary has commented on the spurs (I forget the proper phrase) descending from her backbone.  Indicators of OA and by themselves are probably painful - I can picture this easily enough when she goes to set or lay down.  No known cure except pain management.

The other is the liver enzymes being so high without a known cause.  Presumably the Prohepatic has been helpful there since both were down considerably from Feb's bloodwork.  We'll see if that continues next month.

I started the Galliprant today and will bring the two antibiotics into the mix over the next week.  I dislike starting more than one med at a time - if there's a bad reaction I want to have some idea of what caused it.

The whining: I can hear two that are obviously different - see, I can learn - one is the "I hurt" when she's in the process of laying down or setting.  The other is the "I want" and I've figured that one out by listening to her when she's standing over her - empty - water bowl.  The two though aren't a lot different ... What's frustrating is when she stands in the middle of the living room saying "I want" and I have no idea what she's asking for.  Obviously I get the "I want" when it's supper time or evening treat time - but her lack of interest in either is concerning me.  At least she got up this morning and "asked" for breakfast.  Major concern is that she's gone from a *very* food concerned dog to one who doesn't really seem to care ... a very bad sign in my book.  Given that, she gained two pounds between last month and this - really?!?

_________________
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“Properly trained, a man can be dog’s best friend.”
Corey Ford
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Lostmaniac
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PostSubject: Re: The Desert Pack   The Desert Pack - Page 15 EmptyThu May 13, 2021 1:38 pm

Yeah my gabapentin experience ended in a dwi... and that was the end of that med.

I just hope something works for you.

And splinter will do the sit in the middle of the room and yip and cock his head sideways. When its at the door he wants out of its attention he will paw me if its water he will lay in the water bowl. So yeah i have no idea.
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: The Desert Pack   The Desert Pack - Page 15 EmptyThu May 13, 2021 1:40 pm

Technical name for bone spurs? Osteophytes. I'm loaded with them. One of several degenerative changes associated with osteoarthritis. Something stands out for me in your last post but I may be totally off the wall (just me, I've not run this by hubby). Lack of appetite, weight gain and high liver enzymes...I hope she's not developing ascites! So you notice any rounding, increasing girth in her abdomen... This is just random train of thought, I don't even know if dogs get ascites (end stage liver disease cause fluid build up on the abdomen.) Did your vet note anything along those lines?
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Lostmaniac
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PostSubject: Re: The Desert Pack   The Desert Pack - Page 15 EmptyThu May 13, 2021 2:33 pm

So thats what that term means on my mri report.
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The Desert Pack

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