Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Update on Katie

Thought I'd better post an update after Katie's vet appointment this morning. I was SO glad we went. Here's the vet info:

Sierra Veterinary Services
1607 N. Date
Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, 87901
(575) 894-6773

We saw Dr. Cristina Danks, DVM

She might have been the best vet I've ever taken a pet to.  She did a thorough exam of Katie's hips and legs, and the seroma on her right rear leg; she answered all my question about giving her Glucosamine, which food is best, can I give her baby aspirin (No, bad for dogs).  She was so patient and thorough, and explained everything.  Here's the deal:

Katie's issue is her LEFT rear leg, not the right one with the seroma (which is back to normal size today).  She agreed that the seroma was caused by the red ant nest, that sounded reasonable, and also that nothing should be done now.  She said Katie is having considerable pain in her left hip due to arthritis, and that's why she won't or can't jump.  I had no idea it was on that side.  Good to know.

She said to keep giving her the Glusomaine we've been using and put her back on the Royal Canine for Chihuahuas.  I have switched her food twice in the last month or so, trying to find something she likes more and Katie has gained weight.  Dr. Danks said she's done research on the different dog foods, what they contain, and if it's a "complete" food.  She's read the studies on how the dog's bodies "use" the food.  Apparently some of the good manufacturers do very complete studies and Royal Canin is one that has all the studies. She said its the one she recommends, although they don't sell it in their waiting room "store."

And here's the "poop scoop."  On Royal Canin, Katie eats much less and poops once a day.  On Kibbles and Bits, she eats more and poops 3 times a day.  Next I tried Sojos Turkey Complete Dog Food (freeze dried, raw) and she's been eating MUCH more and pooping 4 or 5 times a day.  (I feed the recommended amount for a dog her size.) The vet said she's not getting enough from those foods if she's pooping that much, yet she's still gaining weight that she doesn't need. 

Then she prescribed an an anti-inflammatory, Carprofen caplets.  She said Katie would be feeling much better in 2 to 4 days, and would again be jumping, and I'd be able to liift her up into the overhead bed again without hurting her.

She took some blood and ran a Chem 10 Panel to make sure Katie's organs would be able to handle the anti-inflammatory, and it came out really well.  We have a 60 day supply, and she put 5 refills on the Rx, which I'll be able to order on-line.  She said Katie will take them for the rest of her life.

When they took Katie back to draw the blood, I was SO RELIEVED and so happy we went in this morning.  And very grateful to have found such a good, caring vet here in Elephant Butte.  (Thanks Annie!  Annie recommended Sierra Vet Services.)

When they brought her out, Katie was full of beans, so happy to be done.  AND they trimmed her nails, too, free of charge!

This post is again longer than I planned, but I like to document things on the blog, it's so easy to use the search feature when I want to go back and find something.  Hopefully no more Canine Issues!

We've moved to another campground for six days and plan to return to Elephant Butte for another 14-day stay.

I was so sure Katie would need lots of medical care for her leg, and maybe lots of $$$, but we were lucky. It'll be nice to have Katie back to normal again.  She's such a good girl!   :)

Monday, September 21, 2015

Poor little Katie :(

We're still at Elephant Butte, just hanging out.  There's not much going on, but I thought I'd better check in because it's been a while.

The weather is cooling off a bit, but it's still A/C weather for part of the day.  In Quartzsite this would be perfect weather, but the air is dryer there and that makes a big difference.

Here's our current site, until Wednesday - we have a nice view of the lake out the front window:

There's a metal railing in front of the campsites and sometimes Gambel's Quail will hop up and walk along it.  A few times they have stopped to check out the surrounding area.  This one kept looking forward, left, forward, right.  There are tons of Quail here:

There are also a lot of tiny lizards here.  I don't know if they are babies or just small lizards, but they are pretty:

The beetle below is an iridescent greenish color.  I've seen these guys from time to time, just walking along.  Very pretty.  When I was driving here, one flew into my windshield and got caught in the windshield wiper.  It tried to get off, spread it's wings, etc.  I really got to see all of the beautiful parts.  There wasn't room to pull over, otherwise I would have done that and carefully removed him.  Thankfully, he finally got loose and flew off the windshield.  I couldn't find him on the web to see what kind of beatle he is.

Here's Katie on the rug, if there's a tiny bit of sunshine, she'll find it.  

As you know, Katie has an injured rear leg.  She stepped into a fire ant nest a couple of years ago and that caused trauma to her right leg joint.  A seroma formed and we've been having issues ever since.  If she walks or runs too much, it fills even more with serum from her blood, according to her vet in Las Vegas, NM, and there is nothing we can really do about it as long as she is not in pain. Lancing it or removing it is a possibility, but no guarantees.  It might come back.

She was having issues in the spring and I brought her to another vet in Yuma, AZ and he felt that at that point, it could be her joint.  He said she probably has arthritis in the joint now and he thought the joint might be releasing fluid, which was filling the sac on her leg.

After that, I got Katie some OTC Glucosamine at Wal-Mart.  It looks and smells like a little treat and she loves them.  She gets 1/2 a treat every other day.  After a bit, she went back to normal.  (Her normal, with the seroma not very large or hard and not bothering her unless she overdid it.)

I found another type of Glucosomaine, and the manufacturer also had a vitamin, so I bought both.  She doesn't always eat a lot, and getting that vitamin helped to make sure she was getting enough of everything she needed.  They are shaped like a dog treat, and she really liked those, too, and did fine on them for a brief time.  Then suddenly, her leg started really swelling and now she can't jump up on the couch and I can't lift her without hurting her.  I checked the amount of Glucosamine in each, and the first one had more, so I'm hoping that by switching her back, she will soon be okay.  Or as okay as she can be.

I tried to put her in the stroller yesterday and she squealed, I put her down with her right rear leg out, and it got caught when she sat down in the stroller and it was so sad.  She was looking at me, smiling and whining, her tail wagging.  I knew it hurt her.   Today it's even more swollen.

Katie has been living on the floor for the past week.  She had a bed on the couch, and a blanket, too, that she liked to nap on that was on the dinette bench opposite the one I use.  But she can't jump up now.  I put her back on the first meds about a week ago, hoping that by now they would calm down her joint and she would feel better, but it isn't working.   She used to sleep up in the bunk with me, but I can't lift her up onto the bed without hurting her, so we don't try.  She sleeps on her blanket under the dinette table and I've put her other blanket on the rug so she can lie on it, too. 

If I pat the dinette bench seat next to me and say, "Can you jump up?," she immediately runs to the blanket under the dinette.  Poor thing.  I feel so bad, and decided I don't want to wait any longer to see if the Glucosamine will just take a little longer.  I have a feeling we need more help, so I called a vet here in Truth or Consequences to see if they have a solution.  Maybe a little bit of pain medication for now, and maybe a stronger Rx for the joint.   Hopefully that is all we'll need.

Katie is only 9 1/2 and I hate to see her like this.  We still take walks, though.  I put the stroller in front of the door, sideways, and tilt it so she can jump into it from the first step inside the motor home.  She does that really well without hurting herself, and we reverse it to get her back in.  She LOVES to get out, so we take a stroller ride at least once a day.  With the weather getting cooler, we'll do more.  She can still hop up and down the RV steps to go outside for potty breaks, so we're okay there, too. 

(Note:  If you see someone out walking their dog in a stroller, please don't scoff and say "Well, that's a spoiled dog!"  I can't tell you how many times I've heard that.  Would you say that to a human in a wheel chair?  I really don't want to stop and explain why Katie is in a stroller.  Can you tell I'm getting a little sensitive about this?  If you have to say something, say something nice!)

This is Katie two weeks ago:

This is Katie 3 days ago:

And here she is today:

It's Monday and the vet is busy until Wednesday, so we have an appointment at 11:30 Wednesday morning.  They said they'd call me if they have any cancellations today or tomorrow.   I just hope they can do something that won't be too expensive to get her back to normal.  

Right after I talked to the vet's office we went outside for a potty break, and there was a man walking his two dogs.  One had a kind of harness on - it was on his back end and one the front of the dog, too. They were attached to each other, making one device.  I asked him about it, and he said his dog has cancer, a tumor on his spine.  He's had surgery, but has a problem getting up and this device has been a lifesaver for his dog and also for him, since his dog is 75 pounds.  It's call a Help Em Up Dog Harness.  We had a long conversation about the device and I checked on-line as soon as I got back in The Palms.  If Katie can't be helped, like if this is just arthritis, this would be a good alternative.  I could easily lift her up without hurting her leg using something like this.  There are other harnesses available on Amazon (here), too, that are less expensive, and I'm going to ask the Vet about a harness if they think one would help.  Isn't it serendipitous that I'd see him and his dog right when I might need something to help Katie?

We've stayed in two different campgrounds here in Elephant Butte.  Completely different scenery out the window, and completely different sunsets.  This is a sunset from the campground we're at now:

This is a sunset from the other campground:

We have new Follower - welcome to coffeekittie!   Thanks for following along with Katie and me, coffeekittie.  Unfortunately my Followers gadget isn't working for me anymore.  I can see you, but I can't click on the icon to find out more.  I'll have to let my readers do that - maybe it will work for them and they can get more info, like if you have a blog.  Or, if you do have one, leave me a comment, and I'll add the info.  Katie and I are happy to have you along with us.  :)

Wish us luck at the Vet on Wednesday!  From me and Katie, have a great week, everyone!  :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - Tree Goats

Isn't that the coolest thing?  Click on the link to read about them.  The Tree Goats of Morocco.

Welcome to our newest Follower, Wendy W!  Thanks for following along with me and Katie, we're happy to have you aboard.  :)

From me and Katie, have a great Wednesday, everyone!  :)