Friday, August 31, 2012

Rainy Beach Walks and Kitchen Surveillance

We just got back from a very wet trip to the beach.  I loved walking on the beach in the rain!  Jenn and Eric were not so thrilled, but it was really quiet and comfortable anyway.  Here's me and Jet with Jenn on a wet walk.   We got to say hello to lots of nice people and dogs that also didn't mind getting wet on the beach. 

Bernie got his own private walks with Jenn.  Apparently, people on the beach thought he was very cute and polite.  Hmmph! 
Jet had her own agenda while at the beach.  She has developed quite a strategy for mooching food off Eric while he makes his lunch.   First, she positions herself in the kitchen so she has a good vantage point to see what Eric is making. 
 I, of course, have learned to follow Jet's lead on certain things.  So, I'm close by while Eric starts prepping his lunch.
Jet quickly moves to a more central kitchen floor location to get a better look at exactly what Eric is doing.
Jet has also perfected the "sad and very hungry face" and does it to Eric every chance she gets.  See the ears go back, her eyes get big.  Boy, she's good.
When the "sad face" doesn't get the reaction she was hoping for,  Jet repositions herself so that just in case something falls off the counter, she's in strategic position. 
At this point, we've taken up most of the floor space in the kitchen. It would not be the first time that someone has accidentally tripped over a red dog and their lunch lands on the floor.  But Eric tries to move around us as best he can.
Then, Jet flashes the "sad face" again.  I give it a try too.  Eric is unfazed by our attempts to solicit food.  Perhaps Jenn has taught him better than we think. Well, we'll just have to keep an eye on things anyway.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Jet Gets Spayed the OVE Way

Jenn has been waiting and waiting to get our little Jet spayed.  Spaying a female dog is a surgery that removes their reproductive organs.  There are many differing opinions about when the best time is to get a dog spayed.  Jenn read as much as she could and decided to wait until Jet had reached a level of "maturity" and gone through at least one heat cycle, so her body could get all the hormonal benefits including bone, brain and organ development. Little did we know that we would be waiting almost three years.  

Has Jet reached a level of maturity?  The jury is still out on that one.  But she did have a heat cycle in May, so Jenn felt that it was a good time to have Jet spayed.

There are two types of spays, OVH-which is a complete hysterectomy and OVE-which is only removal of the dog's ovaries.  Jenn had read several articles by veterinarian Dr. Nancy Kay, about the advantages of the OVE spay:

A Newer Way To Spay by Dr. Nancy Kay

A Different Way To Spay by Dr. Nancy Kay

A New and Safer Way to Spay-Whole Dog Journal

Basically, the advantages of the OVE, ovary only spay, are it is a shorter, less invasive surgery with less time under sedation, it is overall less traumatic to the body, which can translate to less pain and a faster recovery time.  Jenn's vet Dr. Brady had done the OVE and said it was a good option for Jet.

Jet had to spend the night at Dr. Brady's clinic and came home the next day looking like this:

Jenn started treating her immediately with the homeopathic remedies Arnica and Hypericum Perforatum for pain, inflammation, and to help clear the body of the aftereffects of sedation. Jet spent several days basically sleeping and resting, our house has never been so quiet.

Dr. Brady used a special surgical tape on Jet's incision, which kept Jet from trying to fiddle with it.  Here's her small incision after one week, completely healed. 
 So Jet didn't have to wear the dreaded cone like I did when I got neutered:
I did not like that cone!  So Jet pretty much had it easy all around.  She was back to herself within a few days.  We still had to keep her activity limited, no running around, only leash walks for 10 whole days.  But overall, Jenn sees that the OVE, ovaries only spay, is a great option for pet owners. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I have a tumor in my mouth!

Jenn took me into see Dr. Brady for my annual wellness exam and they found something scary!  Dr. Brady noticed a tumor/growth on the side of my tooth that looked abnormal.  It looked like this:

See that marble looking thing?   Eww!  Dr. Brady said that I needed surgery to remove the growth and then they had to send the tissue to a lab to make sure that is wasn't anything to worry about.   I wasn't worried, but poor Jenn was a mess.  First off, Jenn felt really bad that she hadn't noticed the growth.  She usually checks my mouth regularly, but she hadn't seen it. 

So I had to have a brief surgery to get the growth cut out.  After the surgery, my mouth looked like this:

The real bummer was having to eat soft food for a week. You know how I like to chew bones. 

Anyway, the test results came back yesterday, and there was nothing in the tissue to worry about.  The growth is called a Fibromatous Epulis, which is a common, non-cancerous tumor that some dogs get.  No one knows why an Epulis starts to form and it can grow and envelope a tooth or part of the mouth like this:
Yikes!!  The best treatment is surgery to remove it.  Lots of types of cancer can look like an Epulis, so it is important to get a proper diagnosis.  Most Epulis types do not return after surgery.  That's a relief. 

Jenn said she's not taking any chances, so she's giving me a homeopathic remedy called Calcarea Fluorica which is recommended for non-cancerous, epulis by one of Jenn's favorite books Homeopathic Remedies for Dogs by Geoffrey Llewellyn.

And, Jenn said she is never going to forget to check my mouth regularly to make sure the epulis doesn't come back.  So, it is a really important thing to regularly (weekly or more) check your dog's mouth and bring anything abnormal to your vet's attention.  It could save their life!!