Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

We're getting low on Lucky's pred and need a refill. However, at our last vet visit for his kennel cough, we had talked about starting to reduce his dose once he's healthy (given the fact that he did not.stop.moving. from 5pm to 10pm last night, I'd say he's just dandy).

So I called the vet (who's number I now have memorized, btw) to ask about the refill and the dose reduction. Their office has 4 receptionists, plus 5 assistants who occasionally answer the phone and work the front office. One of these nine people answered and I said "Hi, this is Catherine Lastname calling."

And she gushes "Oh, hi! I know you! You're Lucky the Portie's mom! He's such a sweetie. How's he doing?"

It's like Cheers, only not. If we walk in the door for his next appointment and everyone cries "Lucky!", I may insist they give me a beer.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Doing much better

Yesterday his bark sounded more like a seal's (which was hysterical!). But today he's not showing any sort of issue. He's not coughed, his bark is normal, and this is even with half a dose of cough suppressant.

He is, however, droozily.

Maaaa... don't take my picture when I'm trying to sleep....

Snoozy pup

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Kennel Cough

And, boy, is it bad. I was up all night trying to keep him calm and quiet (because, just like a sick kid, Lucky wants MOM for comfort). If I didn't gently soothe him whenever he started to wheeze, he'd go into hacking fits so bad he'd gag himself. I actually was worried for a while he was blocked, but he ate and drank and had normal bathroom activities this morning. They ran x-rays just in case (I fell asleep in the exam room while waiting) and those came back clear. Another $260 at the vet. Oh de do.

I think I partially blame the pred for this for two reasons. One, it's an immune-suppressant, so I'm sure that's not helping because, in all the years he's been in close contact with strange dogs he's not gotten bordetella once. Two, because it's an anti-inflammatory, his infection went completely undetected until he was hacking and gagging. I don't remember him coughing at all until last night. Neither does The Spouse.

Anyway, we're on more medication (doxycycline and butorphanol). I get to play with the butorphanol dose because it's also a narcotic (whee!), so we need to see what would be best to keep him from coughing but not, you know, comatose. The vet recommended starting him on 1/2 pill every 6-8 hours and seeing how that goes.

Also, the vet mentioned she'd read yet another study on Addison medications, this time on prednisone and that, again, dogs studied could be on a much lower dose than previously thought. So once Fuzzy Face is healthy again we're going to start reducing his dose.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Switching Food

When the whole kerfuffle about Canidae changing their formula and manufacturer came out, I held fast to my guns. He's been on this food almost his whole life, he does great on it, he loves the taste, etc. Plus, while some of the reports of problems came from sources I trusted, the majority were anonymous posts on the Internet. Don't believe everything you read, right? So I thought "Unless he does poorly on the new formula, we'll stick with it." We had the majority of an old bag left, too.

Then a local PWD owner complained her dogs were having serious problems with it. I know this woman. We trained together. She owns 2 of Lucky's close relatives. I'm pretty certain she'd put her dog's welfare above her own if given the choice.

So, while we were at the vet, I took the opportunity to ask her if any of her clients fed Canidae and were having problems. Her response was basically yes, quite a few of them. When I told The Spouse about these developments, he immediately changed tunes (previously he'd been resisting changing foods. if it ain't broke) and said we should switch.

Since then I've been researching food options and there's a lot to consider - Quality ingredients? Grain free or not? Cost? Regional availability? - and I think I've narrowed it down to Nature's Variety Salmon & Brown Rice. Top-notch ingredients, though not grain free. The Spouse said he wanted to try switching to a fish-based formula and it's also the most cost-effective one on our short-list, ringing in at a daily cost of $1.72 (compared to $1.81 for Taste of the Wild, $1.95 for Orijen or $2.13 for Fromm) (those number based on the cost of a 30lb bag on PFD and the recommended feeding guidelines for each). It's also readily available from the two pet stores we frequent the most.