Friday, December 9, 2011

A cute video and a puppy update

OK this time I have a good excuse for not posting lately. I am exhausted! The good news is that Zola is feeling pretty good. Her eye has healed so we are done with the daily drops. She will still have a small scar on her left eye but that is minor. It doesn't hurt her anymore. Even though I am not normally a big fan of the Science Diet foods, I have her on their prescription L/D formula. I am just to paranoid to try something else. I have to admit she has improved since she started eating it. She wasn't eating the dry very well until I started soaking it so it was soft. I think the kibble was just to big for her tiny mouth. (and her questionable under bite)

She has a bad knee so I am not teaching her to sit on cue. Because she is a resource guarder of food I am also not teaching her to love a kong toy. Normally I use kongs for crate training as a classical conditioning response. However since Jenny is already obsessed with Kongs I thought that might just make things tense between them. Zola has already learned to stay away from Jenny when she has one. Because of Zola's special diet she hasn't learned how to beg for table food either. Jack and Jenny both sit and watch us eat because I haven't been able to stop my husband from feeding them from the table! Thankfully he understands how serious Zola's problem is so he isn't slipping her any extras.

We have been working on crate training and she is getting better. She sleeps in her crate at night as well as she is crated for part of the day while I work. (when she doesn't come to work with me) She likes her crate and runs into it for her treat now. She was fine the first week but she slept all the time so it wasn't a problem. (because she wasn't feeling so good) Once she started feeling better that wasn't the case. She is still getting up very early in the morning but I have just adjusted my own schedule for now. I have to admit it wasn't easy. I am NOT a morning person! Thankfully the few times she is wakes up in the middle of the night she goes back to sleep after I take her out for a potty break. Housebreaking is taking a bit longer with her because I do not withhold water like I would with a normal health puppy.

One thing I found that was a help was the Molly Mutt Armor bedcover. She had a couple accidents in her crate which meant extra laundry for me. The waterproof armour cover goes over the bedding so you don't need to wash everything when it gets wet. I put a towel on top of it so the urine had somewhere to go (to keep it off her) and because a wet towel is easier to wash than the whole bed. I can just wipe the armour cover down with Natures Miracle and put in a clean towel. Ironically after getting the waterproof cover she has only had once accident since. (Maybe it's a magic cover?) I also use a towel because they don't make a Molly Mutt cover small enough for her crate. (I fold the armor cover in half to make it fit.)

She is learning not to resource guard her toys. Thankfully Jack and Jenny both could care less about hoarding toys. Jack just wants to play tug but he won't challenge her for it. If she growls to loudly/intensely he backs off. She is learning that if she wants him to play with her she needs to be nicer about it. It isn't as much fun to guard when the other dogs walk away!

I cannot stress enough how much easier this whole process has been with 2 already trained dogs in the house. Zola goes outside on leash but Jack and Jenny can be off leash. If I needed to have all 3 on leash it would be so much more work for me. Jack and Jenny don't need to go out as much as the puppy either. Dogs that don't guard their toys and that listen when I tell them to leave something has also helped a lot. The puppy was intimidated by Jack the first couple of weeks so I just told him to leave her alone. So he ignored her until she approached him. I knew she would eventually. He really is the perfect uncle dog with puppies.

Jenny has also been far more tolerant with some of her antics than I imagined she would be. She does tell Zola off when she is getting to big for her britches and so far Zola has responded well. I am keeping a close eye on them though because 2 females in a home can be tricky if they don't have a good give and take relationship between them.

We did run some more bloodwork and other tests. They weren't as good as I'd hoped. It looks like the 8 months of no treatment for her shunt caused some damage. The general consensus at work is that if I hadn't started her meds when I did she might not have made it this far. We will retest her again later and see if maybe the current diet and medications have helped her levels. (L/D food in 3 meals a day, Lactulose after every meal, Denamarin every evening.) I don't want to get more specific because I have found not everyone agrees with my choices when it comes to how to handle her treatment. I refuse to feel guilty for doing what I am able and that is not up for discussion. The good news is that she has a good quality of life for now and is a happy puppy.

I know I have been slacking with the blogging but to be honest it takes more effort to blog than post on facebook. (especially when blogger doesn't cooperate) I do try to post daily there so check out my page if you want more recent info and updates. I will try to post more here when I can. I know I promised to post more Christmas gift ideas but I haven't been surfing sites very much. Here is a post by my friend Prudence with some great ideas instead. I also highly reccomend The Smiling Frog Pets handmade dog (and cat) toys. The bunny in the video is one of theirs. They make great stuff!

Happy gift hunting!


Ruth said...

Quality of life and happy is what counts. I am sorry to hear that The Honest Kitchen food didn't work for her though.

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy to read this update. As you say - your decisions for her health and happiness are YOUR decisions. And they appear to be working! She's a happy playful pup :)

She's so lucky to be in a home where she has companions to teach her, and a caretaker who thinks of her every need.

Marie said...

Ruth, I might try the food again once she is stable.

Jen, Thank you. I keep meaning to tell you that the Basenji story on your blog killed me. :-(