Head high …

… and nose to the wind, little one.  Prayer flags whip in the crisp air, the lofty peaks of the Himalayas gleam in the distance … and the ancestral home beckons.  Godspeed, Lanni.

I got word this week that we lost one of our fosters.  A 14-year old, she recently developed canine cognitive dysfuction (CCD) and was clearly unhappy and uncomfortable in her surroundings.  Never easy to let them go even when we know we are doing the right thing by taking their pain and making it our own.  A milestone for us as this is the first placement (that we’re aware of) that’s aged out.

Lanni arrived in rescue as a shaggy 7-year old.  Her elderly owner had passed away and the family was unable to keep her.  I recall how badly infected her ears were.  During the intake exam, I flipped her ear leathers over and was appalled at what I found … ears full of black, gunky debris.  Literally full.  I started cleaning them out, getting black chunks as large as my thumbnail.  A review of the medical records provided noted she had an allergy to corn.  The food and treats dropped off with the dog all contained … corn.  No telling how long her ears had been chronically infected.  A larger Apso, it was a wrestling match every time we dosed her ears with the Panalog.  Applying topical medication is normally not a problem for me; however, I couldn’t do it myself and had to enlist hubby’s assistance in restraining her.  Very much like holding a greased pig.

Lanni had not been socialized around other dogs and was a bit, ummm how shall I say …  lacking in canine manners.  My crew did not appreciate her shouldering her way through any situation like a bull in a china closet.  Gentle as they come, just not able to read the other dogs’ body language. 

After a short time in rescue, Lanni hit the jackpot and went to live with Elaine and her mom, Anne, where she was well cared for and deeply loved.  I know the days ahead will be a bit less bright without gentle Lanni to grace their home.  My thanks to Elaine and Anne for taking such good care of her all these years.

‘Til we meet at the Bridge, little one …

Lanni

Hair of the Dog …

After what’s been termed the “transport from hell” due to problems with vehicles and people, Bubba from rural Kansas finally arrived Thursday at 10:30 p.m.   We met him at I-70 and Tower Road (affectionately known as “Saudi Aurora”) …  waaay east of Denver proper and at least an hour from our place in north Loveland.  Suffice it to say it was well after 1:00 a.m. by the time we got home, pottied dogs, played musical crates, and had the dogs settled in for the night with the thunderstorms rolling low in the distance.  Note to self:  order a Thundershirt for Frankers.

While waiting for the vet to come in and do the rescue exam the following morning, I finally got a really good look at Bubba.  Both eyes are badly infected and with hyperpigmentation of the eyes and the skin around the eyes.  I first suspected something amiss while watching him around the yard that morning … he moved like my Dad’s blind Tzu, cueing on sounds.  Flip the ear leathers back and it’s obvious he’s got yeast and/or bacteria going on with abundant ear hair … hot, red, tender to the touch and inflamed.

Bubba’s lower back, rear and upper hind legs are almost devoid of hair and covered in what ‘s termed “elephant skin” … black, wrinkled, hairless and with edema present.  While I’m familiar with the term, this is the first time I’ve actually seen it on one of my dogs.  The tail is the worst with raw, scaly skin and I surmise he’s been gnawing at it.  During the transport, he received a haircut with a pair of scissors and his new ‘do is the embodiment of pitiful.  As a friend would say, “He’s got a whole lot of ugly going on.”

During exam of his mouth, I note the front lower incisors cannot be seen.  Probing reveals a wad of hair completely covering the teeth.  I manage  to pull it off and up pop five very white incisors, indicative of a young dog.  My guess, less than two years of age.  I’m betting the chewing at his tail/rear is where he picked up the hair in his teeth and it’s been there a while based on the odor.  More surprising, however, is his bite — or lack thereof.  His jaws are mismatched and he has an underbite of at least 1-1/4 inch.  So much so that the top incisors rest on the lower jaw instead of meeting up with the upper incisors.  While Apso are supposed to have an underbite, this is utterly obscene — and especially so knowing that someone is breeding these malformed dogs for a profit.

The vet walks in and immediately starts laughing, all the while apologizing.  Po’ Bubba … he’s a damn pitiful sight with a story and a haircut to match.  I have to wonder if there wasn’t some message with the tying him to a fence post.  Unlike many of the breed, Bubba is exceptional during the exam, sitting or standing quietly while he’s poked and prodded.  Final diagnosis:  eyes and ears are infected, a bit of demodex (causing the skin issues), and dermatitis.  We’re loaded up with antibiotics, eye drops, ear ointment, and Advantage Multi to get the demodex in check.  While there, he’s wormed and a microchip implanted.  Instructions are given to return in three weeks for follow-up; the eyes are a bit worrisome as it could be KCS or “dry eye,” requiring a life time of daily eye drops.  The vet is hopeful that once the eye infection is cleared up along with the skin issues, the eyes will start producing tears normally again. He’s not contagious as his problems stem from a compromised immune system so he’s fine to interact with the other dogs in the home.  Ongoing treatment, high-quality food and lots of rest should get him back on his feet.  A good haircut with a pair of clippers should help with the “ugly.”  But, then again, maybe not.  This after he got a good bath and we took him down to less than a quarter inch to even his haircut up.  Awwww, Bubba … you need some hair!

What Bubba lacks in beauty, he more than makes up for with his sweet temperament and ability to get along with the other dogs in the house.  Surprisingly, he arrived crate trained, sleeps through the night quietly, and is house trained.  Innately adaptable, he’s doing quite well after being moved to his foster home and is enjoying his walks around Lake Estes every morning.  When he tires out, he gets to share the stroller with little Ollie, who has bad hips.

Here’s to a new life in the West!

Kalsang …

Kalsang
Kalsang

Kalsang (“Kehl-sang” … Tibetan meaning “good fortune”) is an 8- to 10-year old Lhasa Apso who came to us from the county humane society. He was found urine-soaked and matted to the skin. He had extreme ear infections and an eye infection. The HS, who believed he was about 5 years old, cleaned him up, shaved him to the skin and began medical treatment. After their assessment, they believed he was just too sweet of a dog to wait out a new home there so they contacted our organization.

The first week in foster care was just plain sad. Kalsang didn’t move, had no reactions to anything; paid no attention to his foster home mates. He cried when he walked and cried when he slept. He was a dog with no soul. 

By the end of the first week we had him evaluated at our own vet. It was confirmed that he was older than the humane society believed him to be. Although his ear infections were cleared up, we began treating his eye infection and arthritis.

In just a few short days, a new dog began to emerge. First, with his pain under control, he was able to sleep comfortably all night in his crate. Small moments of play were noticed, either with a toy, a nylabone or with his foster home mates. It was brief, but signs of life began to show.   Now — several weeks later — his eye infection is cleared up, he’s on daily OTC meds to control his arthritic pain and his activity level has increased exponentially.

Kalsang is house trained and sleeps in a crate at night. Because of his age, his activity level is low and most likely will always be; a true couch potato. He will find a toy to carry around or chew a nylabone for awhile.  He also enjoys a Kong with filling to pass his time.  Kalsang is a good eater and loves his treats. He gets along with other small, low activity-type dogs and cats. He has shown interest in investigating his yard and surroundings, but never goes too far.

This senior would make a great companion for someone who matches his activity level. Kalsang is very loving and greets everyone as though he’s always known them.  Kalsang certainly deserves ‘good fortune’ for the rest of his life and a loving home to see to this old boy’s simple needs.  While technically a “senior,” he has many good years left … it is not uncommon for Apsos to live 15-17 happy, healthy years

Somebody needs their bangs cut ...
Somebody needs their bangs cut ...

UPDATE!!  Kalsang has literally bloomed in foster care.  He’s got more energy, is playing with toys and the other dogs.  Just a couple days ago, he emptied the toybox.  Not sure what he was looking for but he was a dawg on a mission.  Yesterday, he was at the fence — barking at the goats.  I’m sure he was telling them that was his yard and they weren’t welcome.   Like fine wine, this old boy just keeps getting better and better.  A true gentleman, he’d make an excellent companion for someone not interested in daily walks … a few cruises a day around the backyard  is sufficient.

 

Her name …

Mae-Mae
Mae-Mae

… is Mae-Mae.  And she’s a puppy mill survivor from Missouri.  Despite her lack of socialization and handling, she’s an unbelievably sweet little dog.  Living in a puppy mill, she has no household skills and is unfamiliar with even the most basic of sounds.  Like the telephone or the dishwasher.

She had her rescue exam this morning.  The vet’s office was a bit chaotic with ill-behaved and/or loud dogs.  Mae-Mae just sat there, taking it all in.  More than one person commented on how calm she was.  Pretty amazing considering what she’s *not* been exposed to in the past.  As suspected, she has a pretty severe infection in both ears.  They will need to be flushed out while she’s under anesthesia to extract a broken canine tooth.  The spay sutures will be removed as well. 

Image041More to follow on this little one as we update her progress in foster care … and her new life outside the confines of a wire cage and endless breeding.

Update  22 July— I can tell she’s feeling better now that the ear meds are beginning to work.  With the amount of black goo that was coming out during the daily cleanings, I’m pretty certain she was in quite a bit of pain from the infection.

Mae-Mae is already crate trained and sleeps the night through.  She gets along with the resident critters, dogs and cat alike.  She has good canine social skills and respects the corrections that Ali and Frankers issue, modifying her behavior appropriately.  She loves to run in the grass/yard — something she’s never had an opportunity to do before. 

At the moment, we’re trying to impress upon her that the plastic airline crate in the bedroom is the same as the wire crate in the front room.  I’d like her to sleep with the rest of the pack; however, her digging at the door when placed in the airline crate doesn’t work for sleepy humans (makes hubby really grumpy).  Baby steps … she spent a little time there this morning while I was getting ready for work.  Both times when she started to dig and get all twitterpated, a quick “ehh, ehh, no!” stopped the behavior.  She’s a quick study …