Friday, March 28, 2008

Some hope for the injured!

Well, I just received an email from Christine Zink, DVM, the noted doggie sports veterinarian. I had emailed her about Kyler's injury asking if she had any advice. She replied that knowing what type of groin injury would determine her long term outlook. Apparantly if it is a iliopsoas strain, then it will need intensive physical therapy, but the outlook is good overall. Without physical therapy the injury will continue to crop up here and there...

This gives me some hope that perhaps Kyler will still be able to be the normal hunting dog she loves to be! I am going to investigate this further and see if we can determine what type of groin injury she has.

We leave in 2 days for our cruise, thank goodness!! I have been working a lot of overtime to pay for it and I need a break!

So, I will be away from blogland likely for a bit over a week, to return hopefully refreshed with some cool photos of all the places we will see! I am most looking forward to a jungle climb in Dominica that ends with a zip line!
P.S. That stinkin' cute puppy picture is of Kyler's first born, now named Max. He is so handsome! He was the mellowist puppy in the litter, he would rather think about things than jump into stuff!

Monday, March 24, 2008

A Tough Case

So I am just getting off a long week at work, I worked 2 extra 13 hour days...Yuck...We had the worst chocolate toxicity I have ever seen...He was a small, 20 poundish lab mix who had eaten 3 times his toxic dose of dark chocolate. He had been to his regular vet and vomited the chocolate and was given activated charcoal (which helps to bind the toxins) He came in a little agitated and just got worse by the minute. His temperature, which had been normal at 101.5, suddenly went up to 105. He was trembling so hard we couldn't get an iv catheter in him. We gave some valium iv quickly twice with no effects. We then gave him a couple other medications intramusclularly because he was trembling so hard we almost couldn't touch him. (these type of toxicities cause extreme sensitivity to sound/touch) This poor dog was just getting worse despite what we did. We finally had to set up the gas anesthesia to mask him to sleep because he was so out of control. When he finally fell asleep enough to really touch him, his temperature had skyrocketed to 107! Danger territory! When a temperature climbs this high they are at real risk of some serious problems. They can basically cook their insides, including their brain...Which obviously, can lead to death. We hoped that wouldn't be this dog...

The toxic effects from chocolate can last for a bit, so we needed to keep him sedated long enough for it to work through his system. We tried several iv medications to try and keep him just sleepy enough to not tremble, nothing was working...He was either awake and trembling, or not breathing. Neither option was really a good one! We had to intubate and ventilate him for a while.

Our criticalist finally came in to help with the case, as it was an extremely frustrating case. We ended up putting him on light gas anethesia to keep him out plus a Valium and a Fentanyl CRI. (continuous rate infusion) This dog ended up being on a ventilator for several hours and fully sedated for about 14 hours before they could take him off the gas anesthesia completely. a nurse had to sit with him all night. (obviously you can't leave a sedated dog alone) Then over the course of the next 12 hours they slowly weaned him off of his CRI's to wake him up. When I went into work yesterday afternoon, he was just on oxygen, and doing much better.

WOW...We really didn't know if he would make it he was so sick. He could have had long term damage from the fever...He visited with his owners and acted like his normal self. He was going home this morning...To a tune of $3000, now that was one expensive Easter bunny!

On another note, we are leaving for our vacation in less than a week! Mike and I are going on our first cruise! We will be visiting the islands of St. Thomas, Dominica, Barbados, St. Kitts, and St. Maarten. It took a lot of convincing on my part for Mike to agree to go, but I think even he is looking forward to it!

In closing, I thought I would add some cute pictures of Kyler's 2007 litter of puppies, looking at them is getting me excited about her litter this summer! I can't wait!

This picture of Kyler and the pups was taken when they were 10 days old. The other picture is of the light blue boy, now named Roscoe, who lives in New York. He decided that watching TV was a grand plan while the other puppies played in the living room. He was watching Dragon Tales, which is one of Jaida's favorite PBS shows...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sunday March 16, 2008

So we returned from the specialty show with not much to show for it. We weren't expecting much, as the show scene is so political. Sad to say, unless you hire a proffessional handler at $75 per day at a minimum, there isn't a whole lot of chance to win.
Kyler's chances drop dramatically due to an old injury she sustained as a 3 month old puppy.
At the time, no one was able to figure out what she did to herself, a few incidents happened within a short period of time and she was 3 legged lame for a couple months. After seeing several veterinarians and going to Tufts University, we still didn't have an answer. Radiographs showed nothing, medication didn't help at all, anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, etc, did not make a dent in her lameness. My final hope was a veterinary accupuncturist/chiropractor. We still didn't know what was wrong, but after a couple weeks she was dramatically better.

She became sound and had been fine for several years, (although I continue occasional chiropractic) until the end of this last bird season. The last week of season she came home fine, slept, and got up holding her hind leg in a funny angle, one that I hadn't seen before even in my daily work. I massaged her, rested her and she was fine the next morning. We took it easy for a bit, and she seemed mostly ok. She didn't appear to have any problems in the field. Her lameness only showed up after resting.
After a discussion with the surgeon at work we believe we have the answer for her original injury that seems to be coming back to haunt her, a groin pull. One of the incidents with her as a puppy, was being squashed frog leg style into the ground by another Vizsla, who happened to weigh 70#. This is a typical way for groin injuries to occur.
Groin injuries are not very common in dogs, but when they happen, they are usually severe, and can be a career ending injury. There is little that can be done to help, except accupuncture. We are hoping that by finding the right accupuncturist, that we will be able to allow Kyler to have as normal a hunting dog life as possible. Only time will tell...

Her life in the show ring, however, is likely done, as this injury affects her movement. I don't care that she doesn't have a CH in front of her name, I was hoping to get it just to add one more to her bloodlines, but it doesn't affect anything here. Her conformation is still excellent, her field ability is still the same, her personality is still the same and I love her just as much as I ever could have. It breaks my heart though, to know that she may not be able to do the same things that she has always enjoyed doing, without causing potentially painful consequences...

We hope to start seeing the new accupuncturist in May, as that is when she is accepting new clients, and we'll go from there!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Friday, March 14th

Day 2 in blogland....

So, as you all know, we have gotten back into agility over the last couple of months. We are having a blast! the dogs are doing the weave poles almost straight up and are starting to master the teeter (seesaw). We planned to compete in our first trial next month, but it filled up before we could send in the entry form.

An interesting topic has come up for discussion at work relating to agility dogs and dewclaws. As a field person I was always taught that dewclaws should be taken off at birth because of the risk of injury to them. There are studies now showing that dogs actually do use their dewclaws to grip the ground when turning. Christine Zink, DVM, who is a noted sporting dog veterinarian, says that she has never seen a dog with "normal" dewclaws (not the dangling, double dewclaws), with an injury to them. She has seen, however, many injuries related to the lack of dewclaws, most notably wrist injuries. Apparantly, without the dogs "thumb" there to lean on the ground, they put a lot of strain on the tendons and ligaments in their wrists, which can lead to injury. She sees dogs with arthritis in these joints that may be preventable if their dewclaws were left intact. Thinking back to my veterinary career, I have never seen a dog with injured dewclaws, and the majority of dogs have their dewclaws still intact. I have been in the field for 15+ years...

This leads me to wonder, with Kyler's pending breeding, how I feel about this whole thing? Being back into agility, and hoping to continue, concerns me for the future of my puppies and their dewclaws...Since we plan to keep a puppy from this litter, do we leave the dewclaws on the litter? It is not as if we can pick our puppy before day 3 when they typically have their dewclaws removed. I think I will discuss it with Wendy at Widdershins and see how she feels about it, since she is also keeping a puppy.

Any thoughts from you bloggers?

On another note, we are off to the VCCNE's specialty show in Fitchburg, MA tomorrow. Kyler is entered in Open Bitch and the Hunting Dog class. We are not expecting anything, as there are 59 Vizslas entered, but it will be good to see everyone! Up at the top is a picture of Kyler from the last show we did early last fall. I can't seem to get it to paste anywhere but at the top...How do you put pictures further down in the posting?

Monday, March 10, 2008

My first blog!

So, here we go...After realizing that I am apparantly missing out on some fun here, I decided to try the whole blogging thing...
We'll see how much I can actually write with having a full time job and a website to keep up to date!

Here is a picture of the 2 V's resting on the futon. Kyler somehow curled herself up under Cedar. I am not sure who was there first!

So, as this is the "off" season for bird dogs, at least around here, we have started back up with agility with the dogs. We are going to Breeze Thru Agility in Vermont. We are siging up for our first competition now, it will be in April. It is a CPE (canine performance events) I am still quite confused about all the different levels and "games" that it offers, I have to speak to the instructor this week to ask her about it.

Kyler is performing quite well during class, we haven't done any agility since I was 9 months pregnant with Jaida, so she is doing well seeing as it has been a 2 1/2 year hiatus...Cedar is his usual silly self. He does really well sometimes, then acts like a goofball and just wants to run around jumping on top of the tunnels, not through them. He still seems to enjoy himself, even if Mike is shaking his head about it all.