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  #211  
Old January 31st, 2011, 10:00 AM
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Sounds like Timber is doing really well, SW! Albeit getting a little demanding about her daily massages! But how wonderful that she feels well enough to get demanding!!!

If you're not already trying to turn the backward walk into a cued behavior, have you considered teaching her to back up on command? It's one of our staple training commands here--comes in handy if they have me trapped against a door or are crowding one of our (infrequent and very adventurous ) guests. Choose a command, then walk forward till she steps back out of your way. If you have to, bend over the guide her gently backward by the waist. Reward when you get so much as a step back to start with and work from there. Eventually, she'll catch on. Especially when she realizes that this is a rewardable activity!
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  #212  
Old February 4th, 2011, 01:48 AM
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I was giving Max a loading dose of Adequan - my vet had me give it SubQ twice weekly for a month it made a HUGE difference in his neck. Of course he still needs the chiro!

I believe in Canada you have carprofen injections for the joint? I always get the name mixed up with the name for Rimadyl, so I hope I got the name right.the one you guys have that we don't I have heard is supposed to be better than Adequan.
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  #213  
Old February 6th, 2011, 07:27 PM
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SW, how is Timber doing?



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Originally Posted by MaxaLisa View Post
I believe in Canada you have carprofen injections for the joint? I always get the name mixed up with the name for Rimadyl, so I hope I got the name right.the one you guys have that we don't I have heard is supposed to be better than Adequan.
That would be Cartrophen .....

http://www.arthritis.au.com/DMOAD.2006.FINAL.pdf
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  #214  
Old February 6th, 2011, 09:54 PM
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That's it! Thank you
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  #215  
Old February 7th, 2011, 02:18 PM
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Thanks for the tips,

Timber does know the "back-up" command -- when they are in the car I use it before I close the hatch. Training using that command along with a treat might just do the trick.

I haven't heard of Cartrophen. I'll look into that. Problem is I don't know if they know why she's limping -- is it coming from joint, muscle, shoulder, spine??? It's really hard to say. As the holistic vet was doing her acupuncture/chiropractic/massage stuff, she did say that she could feel heat in certain areas. When I have been massaging her, I also notice areas that are warm -- between her shoulders and back near her pelvis.

I think she should be on some kind of arthritis supplement again -- she's previously been on and off of glucosamine. I am getting confused with all the supplements available -- am currently looking at Recovery SA or Sashas Blend. Also, a company called the Honest Kitchen (San Diego) make a herbal product called Lithe Tea. Don't ask me how you get a dog to drink tea

Timber had blood taken today so I'll let you know where we're at. Just hoping there hasn't been another decrease in platelets. It is my understanding now that sometimes tick disease can trigger ITP (low platelets) and I'm really hoping that is not the case because steroids would be the recommended treatment. The holistsic vet we see also has some blood boosting herbs so I would consider that as an option.

One more bit of info... my vet said today that our province is considering making Anaplasmosis a reportable disease now so that is a big step forward.
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  #216  
Old February 7th, 2011, 03:12 PM
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Also wanted to ask if anyone has tried the green lipped mussel from the health food store? It seems less expensive than the pet formulas so wondered about adding it with a glucosamine product?
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  #217  
Old February 7th, 2011, 06:29 PM
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WOO HOO ....great to hear that Manitoba is considering to make Anaplasmosis a reportable disease. I hope they follow through with it and other provinces follow suit.

I checked into the green lipped mussel but we haven't tried it for Chase. He is doing well enough on Glucosamine/Chondroitin (and sometimes with MSM) supplements right now. There are so many different choices out there and I think some things work for some dogs and some things work for others.

Have you read the dogaware website on all the supplements and treatments for arthritis? It has a lot of information and a lot more if you click on the blue highlighted info .....

http://www.dogaware.com/health/arthritis.html

Good luck with Timber's blood test .....I hope his platelets have increased or at least remained steady.
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  #218  
Old February 7th, 2011, 06:59 PM
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That would be wonderful if they made anaplasmosis reportable, SW! Then Lyme's and ehrlichiosis, as well! Sure would make it easier to diagnose--vets would have the evidence that it's in the area right in front of them!

for good results on the platelet level. When will you hear?
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  #219  
Old February 8th, 2011, 05:17 PM
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The results are in and I am happy to report the good news!

Timber's platelets are back up to 245 (last month they had dropped to 191). Her RBC is now normal at 6.56 and WBC is 6.6. Packed cell volume is 42% (not even sure what that is but I am told this is good).

She is off the antibiotic so we'll see if that changes anything but I feel very positive about her progress and hope we are now 100% in recovery mode.

Just got back for a walk and she seemed like she had good energy today. She did start to limp a little at the end but overall, I think that may be improving as well

She has started to shed like crazy -- don't know if she's making up for lost time or maybe it is just the natural cycle now that the days are getting longer but maybe all of her shaved spots from the ultrasound and blood tests will finally fill in. One guy asked me if she swallowed a cell phone so I guess it looks like she's had some kind of major operation.
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  #220  
Old February 8th, 2011, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by SuperWanda View Post
The results are in and I am happy to report the good news!

Timber's platelets are back up to 245 (last month they had dropped to 191). Her RBC is now normal at 6.56 and WBC is 6.6. Packed cell volume is 42% (not even sure what that is but I am told this is good).

Yay!! That is very good!! Nookie was down to 8% when he had his transfusion. We were told PCV is the overall red blood count and 42% is great

She is off the antibiotic so we'll see if that changes anything but I feel very positive about her progress and hope we are now 100% in recovery mode.



She has started to shed like crazy -- don't know if she's making up for lost time or maybe it is just the natural cycle now that the days are getting longer but maybe all of her shaved spots from the ultrasound and blood tests will finally fill in. One guy asked me if she swallowed a cell phone so I guess it looks like she's had some kind of major operation.
Nookie was shedding like mad as well. They thought at first it was just because of his illness and all the meds, but they did a full thyroid panel and sent it to Dr. Dodds. Turns out he has hypothyroidism. The drugs that he (and Timber) were on can cause onset, so if she continues to shed and it doesn't seem "normal", you may want to have a panel run. Nookies shaved spots FINALLY grew in!! It took a good couple of months being off the pred. One spot was shaved in June of last year and the others between July and Sept. He has such a cute, furry little tummy now
It just grew in about 3 weeks ago. I'm SO happy that Timber is recovering. You both deserve a huge break SW
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  #221  
Old February 8th, 2011, 10:46 PM
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Awesome news.

The normal PCV range is 37% to 55% so she is doing great. Sending lots of for her continued recovery.
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  #222  
Old February 9th, 2011, 09:02 AM
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Thank you Rainbow, Rgeurts!

I never thought to connect the steroids to a thyroid problem but that makes sense so I'll watch the shedding for sure. Right now she seems normal in every other way (maybe a little more talkative) but I take that as a good sign!
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  #223  
Old February 9th, 2011, 03:38 PM
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Great test results, SW!! Nice to hear she has some energy, too! Does the vet want to monitor via blood tests for a while now that she's off the antibiotics? Sometimes it takes multiple courses of antibiotics to get anaplasmosis under control, so we always monitor carefully for a few months after treatment, just to make sure...
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  #224  
Old February 10th, 2011, 09:36 AM
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Our vet said to wait until spring but I think that might be too long. You can be sure I'll be watching her very closely!
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  #225  
Old February 10th, 2011, 01:04 PM
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Oh, and I wanted to ask you hazelrunpack,

I know you've had to deal with tick issues so wondered if you use a tick preventative like Frontline? I have never used anything like this before but am now considering it. But, at the same time, it is insecticide that you are putting on your dog so that made me feel a little uncomfortable. Mind you, if it's safe, I'm sure it's a better alternative than the disease itself. I guess you apply it in the middle of the shoulder blades where it can't be licked off.
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  #226  
Old February 10th, 2011, 04:47 PM
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Yes, we use Frontline Plus one month out of three if the temps are above freezing. The other two months of a three-month cycle we use Frontline (doesn't have as much flea protection, but the flea protection of the Plus lasts for three months). I've heard that it was deemed safe enough to use as an anti-louse treatment on German school children, but I've never investigated if that story is true or not... We've never had any bad reactions to it.
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  #227  
Old February 10th, 2011, 07:29 PM
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SuperWanda, you asked about Sasha's Blend. When I popped into the vet the other day I found they are not selling it anymore. They told me that Pernaease, at around $50 a tub, has exactly the same ingredients and quantities as SB, which they now want $90 for. So, I've had Perkins on Pernaease for quite a while now as I told you, so now we are changing his diet, he is on Hills Science Diet JD and loving it. I can only give it a trial, for as long as a small bag lasts, because they are having trouble getting it into the country, he'll go onto a different brand but similar feed after that. I think he already is improving but early days yet.

Rgeurts, does Nookie have to be on thyroid treatment all his life now, or is he okay off the cortisone? I know it can cause Cushingoid symptoms too, the hypothyroidism bit I must have missed.
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  #228  
Old February 11th, 2011, 10:04 AM
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I forgot to add that even if you do go with Frontline, you'll still need to check Timber periodically for ticks. Although the stuff is very effective, nothing is 100%...
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  #229  
Old February 11th, 2011, 01:11 PM
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Thanks Hazelrunpack -- that's what I was wondering because I know ticks tend to go for the neck area but I imagine they could still not come in contact with the medication.

I wonder if there is a mesh/net bodysuit available for dogs Hey, I should invent something like that, I could probably make a fortune if I had the right infomercial


Thank you Goldsfield -- that is expensive. When I contacted the company it was $96 and that was without shipping. I've decided to try a product I found at a local pet store called Esperanza super arthritic formula. It doesn't have the green lipped mussel but contains shark cartilage with glucosamine, msm, kelp and alfalfa. One of the reasons I liked Sashas was because they harvest their shark using sustainable methods and use conservation standards to harvest non-endangered species. That's the same for the Esperanza. Sharks are having a tough time these days because they are in such high demand, not to mention the degradation of the world's oceans so that is the only way I'd purchase a shark based product. I figure I could just add the green lipped mussel separately, but for now, I'll try this and see if I notice a change.
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  #230  
Old February 12th, 2011, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by SuperWanda View Post
Thanks Hazelrunpack -- that's what I was wondering because I know ticks tend to go for the neck area but I imagine they could still not come in contact with the medication.

I wonder if there is a mesh/net bodysuit available for dogs Hey, I should invent something like that, I could probably make a fortune if I had the right infomercial
The oil spreads out over the skin so the whole dog is protected after a few hours--we're as likely to find the resistant ticks in the fur on the neck or around the ears as in the feathers behind the leg. Just depends on where the tick attaches... But there are only a very few that live to attach--and most of those die within 24 hours and so (theoretically) don't transfer disease.

I do remember seeing a mesh anti-tick suit for dogs! Looked ridiculous and was expensive...the idea didn't seem to catch on, so I wonder if there were issues with fabric tears and overheating, or something like that...
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  #231  
Old February 13th, 2011, 12:52 PM
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@Goldfields I am not sure where you live but there is an online site in Canada that will ship Sasha's Blend.
Sasha's Blend Powder
I am not sure what you have been paying for it but the 100g size is $46.77 Cdn. and the 250g size $97.59 Cdn. Hope this helps
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  #232  
Old February 26th, 2011, 01:24 AM
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The results are in and I am happy to report the good news!

Timber's platelets are back up to 245 (last month they had dropped to 191). Her RBC is now normal at 6.56 and WBC is 6.6. Packed cell volume is 42% (not even sure what that is but I am told this is good).

She is off the antibiotic so we'll see if that changes anything but I feel very positive about her progress and hope we are now 100% in recovery mode.
I'm a little late to the party, but great news!!!

I sure hope that she will be able to stay off the abx, but since she was so sick, she might be one of those dogs that needs a low dose. I hope that's not the case.

Frontline hasn't been very effective here, have switched to Advantix, since it also repels mosquitos, but it is more toxic, so I'm playing with sprays of essential oils. toying around with using a preventic collar, since fleas really aren't an issue here. Gosh, I wish there were a better way to fight against these blasted ticks!!

The joint stuff is tough. I've been using Cosequin and synthetic hyaluronic acid because my boy is an allergy boy. With my girl, I really liked using a bit of Cosequin combined with some glycoflex.

So glad to come back and hear that Wanda is doing well!
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  #233  
Old March 6th, 2011, 02:50 PM
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Thank you MaxaLisa!

I'm really happy with her progress. I would say that things continue to improve. I only notice a small limp now after walks. She use to lie down and really have trouble getting up with stiffness but now she seems to recover more quickly after exercise.

Her legs still quiver during walks and sometimes when lying down at home. I still don't know if that was from the muscle wasting and will just take some time to build up strength again.

The one thing I'm a little worried about is a thyroid problem after what Rgeurts mentioned happened to Nanook after high dose steroid use.

We are approaching Spring and Timber is still shedding like crazy. I have been brushing and most of the undercoat is out now. You can see new hair growing in (about 1/2 inch long now) where she had shaved spots but she looks terrible. Her tail is so thin and her coat is dull with a lot of dandruff. I have never noticed her to get so much flaky skin during past shedding periods so this is why I am paranoid about the thyroid. I don't know. Next blood test I'll ask for thyroid just to ease my mind.

Rainbow -- you are a long time husky owner -- did your guys ever have dull, flaky coat during the "blow-out" period?

Otherwise, she doesn't show any other symptoms of hypothyroid -- she has good energy and is a good weight. She seems energetic on walks and doesn't seem to be drinking excessively so maybe it is just a extreme shedding period for her -- out with the old, in with the new!
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  #234  
Old March 6th, 2011, 05:45 PM
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Sometimes stress, including illness, will cause dogs to blow their coats more severely than usual, too, SW. I hope that's all it is!

At least if it's thyroid, it's easy enough to treat. We have a couple of hypothyroid dogs and give them the chewable thyroxine replacement--works well and they love it.

When will Timber be seeing the vet again?
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  #235  
Old March 6th, 2011, 06:54 PM
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Rainbow -- you are a long time husky owner -- did your guys ever have dull, flaky coat during the "blow-out" period?

Otherwise, she doesn't show any other symptoms of hypothyroid -- she has good energy and is a good weight. She seems energetic on walks and doesn't seem to be drinking excessively so maybe it is just a extreme shedding period for her -- out with the old, in with the new!

SW, I've had 3 sibes and none of them had a dull flaky coat during shedding season. One of them did have hypothyroidism and didn't show any of the normal symptoms. The only thing we noticed was she held her tail down most of the time. We got the vet to take a look at her and he took an xray but it showed nothing and he just shrugged it off. We changed vets and mentioned it to her and she was the one that thought it could be thyroid related and just a very subtle sign of low energy. Sure enough when the blood test came back she tested positive.

I would get the test done just to make sure. It is nothing to worry about and is easily controlled with medication that is not expensive.
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  #236  
Old March 7th, 2011, 12:12 PM
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Thanks hazelrunpack, rainbow,

I am due for a spring apt soon so thought I would test platelet counts at that time and ask for a thyroid test.

Thyroid disease seems very common in dogs so it wouldn't surprise me if she had some issues especially after all the stress and medication however let's hope it is just a spring shed-post tick disease renewal period.

I am also wondering about vaccinations now. They are due for 3 year rabies and 2 year DA2PP but now that they are 10 and 12, I wonder about getting titers instead. I have always been good about getting shots but especially for Timber, the thought of stimulating her immune system with a vaccine when she still might be recovering from a tick disease has me thinking about skipping them.

The one thing I am 100% sure of is heart worm since we are the mosquito capital and have a great looking flood forecast
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  #237  
Old March 7th, 2011, 02:04 PM
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Frankly, I'd go with the titer. If they've been current with vaccines all their lives, they're probably going to have adequate immunity to the rabies and distemper family diseases. Generally, the viral disease vaccines tend to confer a pretty long-lasting immunity to their targets. Unfortunately, it's not the same for bacterial disease vaccines (like the ones for lepto and lyme's) which do fall off in efficacy pretty quickly...
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  #238  
Old March 21st, 2011, 01:29 AM
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There is absolutely no reason to vaccinate a senior dog that has regularly received vaccines. I wouldn't even titer. http://germanshepherdhome.net/forum/....html#Post1598

Hope she is still doing well!
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  #239  
Old March 21st, 2011, 02:04 AM
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There is absolutely no reason to vaccinate a senior dog that has regularly received vaccines. I wouldn't even titer. http://germanshepherdhome.net/forum/....html#Post1598

Hope she is still doing well!
14 year old dog, belongs to a family member. Received all vaccines on schedule until last year. Last year titered instead, titer adequate. This year inadequate.

In areas where parvo and distemper were formerly thought gone, shortly after the trend of 3-year vaccines instead of annual, both diseases have popped up. It is true that some dogs after having received puppy shots and vaccines until the age of 2-3 years proceed to pass their titers up to 7 years past their last vaccination and beyond. It is also true that they may fail them as little as 12 month past their last regular vaccine, and at that point they are susceptible to the diseases.

The distemper/parvo vaccine titer is a moderate expense, and if your dog tests as inadequate, a decision can be made whether to risk a vaccine or keep the dog carefully isolated from possible exposure. The rabies vaccine is another story altogether; the vaccine titer is expensive, and legal and travel regulations may or may not accept a titer certificate in lieu of a vaccine cert.
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Old March 21st, 2011, 05:40 AM
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As we all know, titers being low does not mean that the dog is not protected, since the memory cells are very likely still trained. And in a dog that just received vaccinations 2 years ago, and just battled a near death battle and will be suffering chronic disease from this, this is not about expense, this about protecting the health of the immune system. And I certainly wouldn't base these decisions on the experience of one dog, when, on the health forums, we haven't seen such a trend.

I would like to see some substantiation that these diseases are making a comback. In the last 3 years, the only cases of distemper that I have seen were in recently vaccinated dogs, and one unvaxed dog in India. Of course that's a small sample that I see, but I've seen no reference to a distemper comeback in dogs following the three year protocol. As for parvo, there is the new strain of parvo which no vaccine is licensed to protect from, though anecdotally one vax is thought to be better than the other.

Certainly she can titer, and if the titers are low, I still say that this spring is too early for any vaccine with what Timber has gone through. The rabies, well, that's another legal story. I can only say I've seen dogs flair with disease after their rabies vax. I had an expemption for my girl the last 12 years of her life.
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