Story Time (How We Found Out Daisy Doesn’t Like to Run)

Hey there everyone, Kaitlin here. Today you’re going to find out how I discovered that Daisy doesn’t like to run, at least not with me anyway, at the dog park shes fine.

My Freshman year of college I was in a class called “off and running” as my freshman orientation type of class. Every Friday morning at 8 AM we would go run, and run, and run, training for the final, which was a half marathon. So throughout the semester I got in good shape and started to enjoy running, so when I moved out of the dorms and into my own place, and adopted daisy I thought she would be the perfect running companion. We started off slow, I didn’t want to over work her (we’d only go about one to two miles). After a good amount of time we started to go further and further. When we started to go around the three mile mark, Daisy would lift her paw, and start limping. So obviously because she hadn’t done this before I picked her up, and carried all forty pounds of her the mile and a half home (That was the shortest route home).

I took her to the vet, and they did x-rays, mobility tests and wrapped her paw. Told me to not have her run for a week. So that week I ran alone.

Then when she got cleared by her vet to run, we started slow. But sure enough, after the three mile mark she lifted her paw and started limping. Again I carried her home and we went to the vet. More x-rays and mobility tests and her paw got wrapped again. The Vet thought she might have sprained it. No running for two weeks this time.

Fast forward another two weeks of me running alone, and Daisy got cleared to go running again, so we worked up to our three miles. AGAIN after three miles Daisy lifted her paw and I thought something HAD to be SERIOUSLY wrong.

I took her into the vet again and this time they wanted to do a couple different tests. So we did x-rays and everything was fine. The new test we were supposed to do was run three miles, but not all at once. One run in the morning and a run in the evening. So we did just that, and daisy was just fine. She was even able to run about a mile more.

This made the vet suspicious, so we went back to trying one run, and guess what- at three miles Daisy lifted her paw and refused to keep running. The vet finally had figured it out. After about two months, numerous x-rays, and a chunk of change out of moms pocket- Daisy just didn’t like to run more than three miles. She knew lifting her paw would get her carried home, and the trip to the vet would get her lots of treats.

This is the story about how my dog played me. She figured out how to get me to carry her home. All of that trouble because she didn’t want to run with me. Shes lounging on the couch now, worn out after 2 hours at the dog park this morning, as happy as can be. She truly is one of a kind, a hound/heeler mix that didn’t want to run.

 

Parvo Puppy (The Importance of Punctual Vaccinations)

Alrighty everyone, Kaitlin here, and today I’ll be writing about my experience with Parvo, how we got through it and my cleanup/sterilization methods.

For the introduction, I adopted Athena when she was 8 months old, and as it turns out she came to me with Parvo. Now if you don’t know what Parvo is, let me tell you its an ugly, ugly, illness.

Parvo is believed to originate from cats and, like many illnesses comes in different forms. The less common is the cardiac form, it attacks the heart, typically of very young puppies. When this occurs unfortunately it often results in death. The more common of the two forms is the intestinal form (this is the form Athena had) the symptoms here are vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, extreme weight loss, and lack of appetite. The majority of all Parvo cases occur between six weeks and six months old. While still nursing pups gain antibodies from their mom and that protects them, after that they rely solely on vaccinations. The good news is the Parvo vaccine has been basically perfected, and almost no dog who has been vaccinated gets parvo.

So what happened? I always vaccinate and spay my animals, how did Athena get parvo?

Well, as I said, she came to me with it. She had all her vaccinations and still got this horrible disease, how? She didn’t get them on time.

After beating myself up for a couple of days while she was under round the clock care, hospitalized at the vet I looked at the dates, and her previous owner didn’t get her vaccines at the appropriate time. This is problematic because if Parvo gets the opportunity to strike, it will. It can live in the ground for up to 50 years. 50 YEARS! Which means parvo could be pretty much anywhere. Once you’ve had a dog with it, your entire home has parvo. If an unvaccinated puppy were to come into that area they would catch it and spread it.

How did I figure out she had it? Well, Parvo is tricky, it spreads through the body without many observable symptoms. It starts  by stripping the inner lining of the stomach and the intestines, causing the lack of appetite. Along with feeling warm Athena was lethargic, which isn’t entirely abnormal for great danes, as they are lazy dogs, but she wouldn’t want to get up to go outside. This was red flag number one. Red flag two was her lack of interest in food. I thought she may have a sensitivity to the food I was feeding her so I made her chicken and rice because that’s gentle on the stomach. When she wasn’t interested in that I tried feeding her a treat (a kind i know she adored) and she took it and continued to spit it on the ground. So I took her in, feeling crazy I walked into the vet insisting my dog was sick because she wouldn’t eat a treat. The vet thought I was crazy at first, but quickly took us back to perform the SNAP test for parvo and sure enough she had it.

The vets guessed I caught it within the first week which is really early to catch parvo, but gives the pup a better chance at making it. In just this short time she had lost about 20 pounds and was dehydrated. They carried my baby into the back room and wouldn’t let me see her (to prevent me spreading it to my environment or to my other two dogs) and they told me all I could do was wait. The problem with parvo is even if progress is being made, things can turn bad drastically, so there’s no way to know if your dog will make it or not. This to me was terrifying.

While she was in intensive care at the vet I got instruction to throw out every toy, chew, blanket, pillow etc. that she had come into contact with while she was sick. For the things I couldn’t throw out (My couch, mattress etc.) I had to find a way to clean them that would kill the parvo. Heres the hard part, parvo doesn’t care if its hot, cold, dry, or wet, it can live practically anywhere. The one at home cleaner that can kill it is bleach. Now don’t go empty the whole bottle of Clorox on your couch, or your carpet. The solution can be diluted (so it doesnt bleach the fabric) but still kills the parvo. The ratio is one part bleach to 30 parts water. I went and bought a gallon of bleach and mixed one cup of bleach in 30 cups of water, filled and old spray bottle and sprayed every surface in my house. I washed my clothes with half a cup of this solution and bleached the grass outside (to try to kill most of the parvo there to protect other dogs). It took me four days to clean everything in my house but it is well worth it.

After about a week in round the clock care Athena was able to come home, she still wasnt eating or drinking but her stomach lining was repaired and that was all the vet could do. So she came home with me under the condition that I would give her subcutaneous fluids and a cocktail of different medications. Of course I agreed thinking it would be no problem, but when it came time to stick her with the needle I couldn’t do it. I did everything the vet told me to do, make Athena comfortable and make sure she’s laying down, prep the fluid bag, attach the new needle, scratch and ice the area to numb it, but I couldnt for the life of me stick her with the needle. So I took a breather, told myself this would be good for her and it’s helping her and finally I was able to stick her. She yelped a little in pain and I cried for a good thirty minutes.

After this first needle poke, Athena and I became much more comfortable with the process and it became second nature. Finally after three days Athena started drinking and eating water! My Precious baby made it through this horrible illness!

Now I bet youre all wondering, why does this matter to me? Well hopefuly you never have to go through this, but if you do, hopefuly this gives you hope. If not hopefully it convinces you about the importance of vaccinations (and at the appropriate times) for your pups wellbeing.

Who are we?

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Well hey there everyone! My name is Kaitlin, but the important names to remember are Daisy, Diesel, and Athena. Those are my precious pups, and in my house, it’s all about the dogs. In this dog-blog you’ll hear some funny stories about my pups, along with some of my opinions and writing on health related issues, my experiences with my dogs illnesses and our overall doggie days. To give you a little more information about myself, I’m a communications in business major at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. I’m working on going freelance for web content writing and search engine optimization! I have such a good life for me and my three pups and although it’s not always easy, it’s totally worth it!

With all that being said I’ll get right to it!

A little more about the important people (dogs):

Daisy- Hey there, I’m Daisy! I love chewing, food, treats, walks and the puppy park! I’m a catahoula hound blue heeler mix weighing in at about 45lbs. The vets say I’m overweight, and mom calls me her little sausage dog, but I’m as happy as I can be. I’m always ready to go to the park (but I don’t like running with mom, more on that later). I’m just about a year and a half old and my puppy energy just wont stop! I was abandoned on the side of the road at 2 weeks old and found my furever home with my mama Kaitlin and was her first “on her own dog”. I know I drive her crazy, because I love to get into trouble, but one look with these hound dog eyes of mine and mom melts in my little puppy paw! I’m faster than my two sisters and I can snatch food off of moms plates before she even knows I’m in the room

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Diesel- Hi new friend! I’m Diesel-Weasel! I’m the oldest of moms brood at almost two years but I’m by far the most energetic and excitable! Im the one in the picture at the top of the page, I watch mom take selfies all the time so I decided to take one of my own! I’m a pit bull dalmatian mix and I give the best puppy kisses (I’ll be entering the kissing contest at pawtober fest, so come give me some kisses!). I love to run around, bark and go crazy but deep down I’m a cuddle monster and beg to sleep with mom on the bed. My sister Daisy and I get into a lot of trouble together sometimes, but mom loves us anyway! I love carrots, green beans and cheese, especially when Daisy doesn’t take them from me!

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Athena- Hello, I’m Athena. I’m the youngest of the group at just over a year but by far the most mellow. Mom will take us to the dog park and all I do is stand by her, or get pets from other humans. I’m a great dane, but I sure don’t know it. I try to be really sneaky and crawl up on the bed or the couch with mom but somehow she always sees me! I’m afraid of everything from trash bags to Chihuahuas, but Daisy and Diesel are helping me conquer my fears! Im a big cuddle muffin who is very happy to be in my furever home.

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