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Raggs Update...finally

dbg10
March 10th, 2010, 09:11 PM
This post is long passed due and I apologize to everyone for not posting sooner. This follows Raggs Has Arrived (http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=67861)

We saw my vet shortly after my last post. We had the lab work done in Sept 09 by the rescue showing a couple of abnormalities that my vet thought might be due to stress. The blood work had been done when he arrived at the rescue from a long term stay in a boarding kennel. Their vet thought it might be stress too. The biggest shock was his weight was 41 lbs. In his medical history from 2007 he weighed 58 lbs, later in 2007 he weighed 53 lbs. He was very bony when he arrived but I couldn't believe he had lost that much weight. The rescuer told me he was 34 lbs when she got him from the boarding kennel. I found this very sad. :(

My vet found that the muscles in his front and hind legs were what she called "mushy". She said this was often due to either a prolonged stay in a cage or to a neuromuscular condition and in his case both were possible. She told me that he was probably more Beagle than Spaniel and that beagles often have disc problems in their spines. His hind legs were also quite weak. We had noticed this weakness and I was concerned because he has to use the stairs to go outside. She started him on Omega 3's and a trial of Deramaxx that she didn't think would do much to help him. He was pronounced healthy and plans were made to repeat the blood work if he did well on the Deramaxx, prior to starting him on an NSAID full time. I was to increase the amount of food I was giving him.

We finished the trial of Deramaxx and were amazed at the increase in strength in his hind legs. Prior to the Deramaxx he had been having trouble getting to his feet during the day and at night we had to help him get to his feet, I blamed this on the stairs. After the Deramaxx, he had no trouble at all during the day and only a little at night. He did have a bit of diarrhea while on it, so when the trial was over we went back to our vet.

My vet did blood work and switched him to a trial of Previcox. The blood work came back almost the same as in September and we'll keep an eye on it regularly. His weight after 2 weeks on 3 cups of food instead of 2, was 48 lbs. He looked and felt much better at this weight and I think he was overweight at 58 lbs, because I couldn't imagine him weighing another 10 lbs and being normal size. The previcox only lasted three days before he had severe diarrhea. He was eating and drinking normally and we were in the process of switching his food. As we had started the switch while he was on Deramaxx, I blamed it on the Previcox. After talking to my vet, we took him off all NSAIDS for 3 days and started him on Metacam. I am very happy to say that he has no vomiting, diarrhea or any other side effects from the Metacam, and his legs seem even stronger.

I successfully switched him to Purina Pro Plan Senior because I found out that it was the food he ate while with his previous owner. He loves it.

Now to the fun we've had with him. He is very talkative and at times demanding and definitely knows what he wants and when he wants it. He is hilarious at times making me laugh. :laughing:

We are still having a bit of a problem with the cats as he has decided he likes to scare the youngest one. However, Smokey is getting used to being barked at, and is now making attempts to make peace with Raggs. All day long Smokey can sniff and get close to Raggs, it is only at night when I have to divide my attention between Raggs and the kitties that Raggs has a problem. However, I am working on this by giving equal attention to all, and also give treats to everyone at the same time. This has been the most successful. Yesterday, Raggs had to go out when I was busy and couldn't let him out immediately. Smokey was there and meowed in a voice I'd never heard before, and then tried to show Raggs where his litter box was. It was adorable to see and I know eventually they will become friends.

As for his separation anxiety, he howls and barks when either of us go out, but we did a 10 minute test the other day with both of us out, and he settled down shortly after we left. I am getting him used to longer and longer times away and hope that works. We usually take him with us when we can. but at some point he will be left alone for several hours. I have a list of ways to deal with separation anxiety and I'm working my way through them.

I plan to take some new pics of him and will post them in a day or two. I'll try to remember other things that have happened. The one thing I have to say is he is one of the happiest and well trained dogs I've seen. :thumbs up

I love him more every day. :cloud9: I was so lucky to find him and wish his sister had been healthy enough to join him here as she was a real sweetheart. :( :candle: :angel: At the moment he is waiting for me to go and watch TV as we do every night. I'll think of some more anecdotes about him and post them soon. :D

hazelrunpack
March 10th, 2010, 09:26 PM
Great update, dbg10! It sounds like Raggs fits your family so well! :cloud9:

I'm looking forward to the pics. :D (Some things never change! :laughing:)

Glad to hear he's responding the pain meds. Does the vet think glucosamine/chondroitin supplements would help? We have a few dogs with spondylosis and, although the scientific data is thin on the benefit of its use in spinal conditions, it does seem to be helping our three. Worth asking about, maybe?

So happy to hear how well things are going! :goodvibes:

14+kitties
March 10th, 2010, 09:31 PM
Thank you so much for the update on Raggs. He sounds like a real sweetie!! :cloud9: I love the story of Smokey trying to show him where the litter box was. What a hoot!! I can just see it too. The kitty successfully taking him to the box and Raggs looking :confused: and asking "You want me to do WHAT in that little box?" :laughing: Too funny!
I am :pray:ing you will enjoy many, many more happy adventures with Raggs.

growler~GateKeeper
March 11th, 2010, 12:18 AM
Great update :thumbs up Nice to see Raggs getting along with everyone (or at least getting better at it :))

TeriM
March 11th, 2010, 12:42 AM
Awww, sounds like Raggs in fitting in nicely :thumbs up. I agree with Hazel and would include a glucosamine supplement as it has made a big difference with my dogs and many others.

Frenchy
March 11th, 2010, 08:32 AM
Of course Raggs is happy ! He's in doggy heaven at your house :cloud9:

I'm so glad everything is working out , can't believe the kitty tried to show Raggs how to use the litter box :laughing: good kitty !:cat:

can't wait to see pictures of all of them ! :goodvibes:

mummummum
March 11th, 2010, 11:57 AM
I love happy endings! :lovestruck: Lucky Raggs to have landed in your lap!

I second (third, fourth?) adding Glucosamine + Chondroitin but I would add MSM in there as well. The research I've read points to MSM as an important part of re-building/ maintaining joint health. You can buy the supplement with all three in pill, liquid and powder form.

Any pix in the offing that we can look forward to?

dbg10
March 11th, 2010, 05:43 PM
I went to take some pics today and the battery on the camera had 4 minutes remaining :wall: so it is in the charger and I hope to take some later. I am having a conversation with his rescuer and her group about Muggs and they have thanked me over and over for taking Raggs. I really want to send an update with pics to them as well as post some here.

As soon as Raggs arrived I started him on UBA-Vet hoping it would help him with the leg weakness. I have continued to give it to him after starting the NSAIDS because it provides help for his joints. It contains Glucosamine, Condroitin and MSM and when purchased from my vet in the 190 ml bottle it costs $50 and lasts 6 months. I find that a reasonable price compared to what one of my friends paid when she tried a bottle of "mobility formula" powder (containing only Glucosamine and some trace minerals) for $20.00 at Walmart and it only lasted a month.

I also started him on some vitamins with omega 3's as well, that I picked up at walmart but since they only lasted a week, I am looking for a better formula to give him. So far I haven't found what I want, because Petsmart was out of stock on the ones I chose.

I was very sorry I hadn't heard about them earlier, apparently they were on Animal Housecalls back in August and I missed it. I had just lost Pepper and found it hard to watch any shows about animals at that time.

He is an amazing dog and I'm hoping his health holds for a few years at least. He definitely wants to be Alpha in the pack and it is a constant battle to make him understand that the humans are Alpha. However he is so funny when he doesn't get his way, he goes to the opposite end of the room and turns his back on us. It is so obvious he is pouting, I have to prevent myself from LOL. :laughing:

The episode with Smokey and the litter box was a hoot. The box is in one of our spare rooms and is a covered box. Raggs was lying in the hallway in front of the door and Smokey tried to get him to go into the room to show him his litter box.

Smokey is the one who Raggs likes to fight with at times and others they seem to be friends. I think with time they will become fast friends. Smokey almost seems puzzled when Raggs all of a sudden starts barking at him.

It seems Raggs has accepted Sam (the oldest and 23lb cat) as an equal. They will lie beside each other without any problem. Raggs allowed Sam to sleep on his bed the other night and then Sam finally got up and let Raggs have his bed. There isn't much interaction between them but they just seem to have accepted each other.

Bailey (the little girl kitty) races around the house and has received some of Raggs barks and growls when she does this. I suspect it is because she startles him. Otherwise she is also accepted.

Tiger keeps his distance, but also doesn't pay any attention to Raggs barks and snarls, he just keeps doing what he was doing. Raggs seems to be slowly fitting in well and I think he makes his own entertainment with the cats. It almost seems to me that it is a game he is playing.

The one thing that really puzzles me is I can't find any toys that he is the least interested in. I have the usual doggy toy box with balls, frisbees, a kong, stuffed animals and squeeky toys. I'd love some suggestions for toys because I've never had a dog that totally ignored toys especially balls.

For treats he likes dentabones and dentasticks, jerky strips, chicken drumsticks and bones both rawhide and shank bones. He likes the shank bones but only until all the marrow is gone. The rawhide he doesn't seem to like at all no matter what form its in. Any other treat I've offered him. He definitely was brought up with human food as part of his diet because he sits and waits quietly until the meal is done and then asks for the plate.

He has an incredible personality and loves people of all shapes and sizes. I am so lucky to have the chance to get to know him :lovestruck::cloud9:

Thanks Hazel and everyone who suggested glucosamine. I promise the pics are coming :fingerscr

dbg10
March 15th, 2010, 02:15 PM
Here are the latest pictures I promised. They were taken last night and today. :) Enjoy.....:D

BenMax
March 15th, 2010, 03:05 PM
He looks absolutely wonderful. I notice that he is so happy to be with you as he is smiling!:)

You are GREAT!!!:angel:

hazelrunpack
March 15th, 2010, 03:13 PM
He looks so happy, dbg10! :flirt: What a great ongoing story--sounds like a win-win for both of you!

chico2
March 15th, 2010, 04:03 PM
Awww,he looks great and happy:lovestruck:I hope with your love and care,he will give you several years together:grouphug:
He's one lucky pup:cloud9:

Frenchy
March 15th, 2010, 04:44 PM
awww he does look sooooo happy !!! :thumbs up :lovestruck:

Chris21711
March 16th, 2010, 10:12 AM
Boy, does he look like a happy camper. I just love his markings :cloud9: