Posts Tagged ‘Noodle the Poodle’

Square Foot Gardening!

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

I cannot even tell you excited I am about this article published today by Mel Bartholomew on his website!

If you have been to our yard, or seen my pictures, or gotten excited with me about the first chives of the season (chives!) or let me help you plant a kitty garden or had my husband Russ build you a Square Foot Garden box…well, you know how much I love gardening and especially love Square Foot Gardening.

Thank you Thank you Thank you to Kevin Espiritu of the Square Foot Gardening Foundation who said “nice picture” and I said “thanks” and he said “Do you have more?” and I said “Do I?” and next thing I know he and Mel apparently stayed up till 2 am and made THIS…

Gardening with Pets and Pests

by Mel Bartholomew

Thank you guys!  I love it, and I have been waiting for a chance to tell you…I love Square Foot Gardening!

Yay.

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I Lost a Poodle! (Not a Real Poodle)

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

One of my resolutions this year is to return to a healthy weight.  I get discouraged when I see before and after pictures that go with weight loss success stories…

“I used to look like THIS! and in the time it took you to move your eyes to the other side of the magazine page, I lost a gazillion pounds, found a cuter t-shirt, and now I look like THIS!”

So, I wasn’t going to write about it at all.  Losing weight is a pretty emotional, personal thing.  But when has that stopped me from sharing anything?  Ha!  But since I am sharing, I will not play the “instant change” trick on you.  This is hard stuff.

It took me till mid-February to lose a couple ounces.  I was discouraged.

About the same time, I met a super cute gecko who weighed a couple ounces.  Gary was a complete being!  I had lost an entire gecko!  A few weeks later and I had lost SEVERAL geckos!  Woo!

Nevermind before and after (and NO there will be no pictures!  Haha!)  We all live in the NOW.  Even if you are not losing weight, you are striving to be healthy NOW.  You are trying and succeeding and trying another new thing NOW.  Life is not a snapshot one day and a second snapshot several months later.  It is much richer and deeper and moment by moment than that.

So I will tell you after several months of really watching what I eat, becoming more active, being encouraged by Real Life friends and family also on the same journey and the online encouragement of Dr. Ernie Ward, I lost a Poodle.  A small Poodle to be sure, but an entire Poodle.

In fact, Ernie Nelson is the smallest Poodle I know, but he would be sad if you said his weight was not incredibly important.  His weight is one of the most endearing things about him!  It is super important!

Then I lost the amount of weight that my friend Ike the Poodle weighs!  Still a small Poodle, but Ike too is Very Important.  This was another milestone!  Woo!

Several weeks later, and I am proud to say I have lost the same amount of weight as the Biggest Poodle I Personally Know Well weighs!  Woo!  Can you believe it??  The Biggest Poodle I Personally Know Well is our own Miniature Poodle, Noodle the Poodle.  Still, another whole Poodle!

I am using the Weight Watcher online system, which has been so helpful.  However, with Weight Watchers, you reach milestones and earn stars on your chart in 5 and 10% and 5 and 10 pound increments.  That seems a little arbitrary, don’t you think?

Next, I am going for medium sized Poodle mix and by the end of the year…

STANDARD POODLE!  WOO!!!

Then I will maintain my healthy habits and quit tying everything in my life to pets…

(Just kidding about the second part!)

Happy Heartworm Free October!

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

If you give your pets their heartworm preventative medication on the first, it’s the first!  And, as a friend pointed out, if you do not…it is still the first. :)

Happy October!

GUEST POST!!!! By Russ

I am kind of spoiled.  Shawn (Dr. Finch) takes such amazing care of our pets and keeps really good track of what they need and when, including the heartworm stuff.  I can do the stuff like fill water and food dishes, open the door to let them out or in, play tug with Joy, give lots of pets.  I can do stuff like build scratching posts or steps up to the bed.

I cannot keep track of medicines.  I always have leftovers from prescriptions and can’t get the concept of “daily”  vitamins or taking pills as prescribed, and that is for me!  I am amazed at how my awesome vet and wife can keep track of our pet’s health needs.  I am glad that she does it.

But today, Shawn went to work.  Then we had a birthday party.  At a bowling alley/arcade/laser tag/noisy/crowded place.   Followed by a sleepover.  With cake, ice cream, candy and hyperactive 9 year old girls.   So, while we are both kind of drooling and not focusing our eyes from the party, I have more energy right now.

This is what the party feels like:

http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2011_01_01_archive.html *

So I am reminding you to do your heartworm preventative stuff now, then I am going to do ours.  I guess that what is important is that someone remembers to do it.   Shawn remembered and may need to help me figure it out, but I can do this…I think.

Today’s Checklist:

Noodle the Poodle - Wormshield tablet

Joy the Puppy – Wormshield tablet

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* Permission granted to repost images from Hyperbole and a Half with the website link included.  How cool is that??  Thank you so much!  We appreciate it ALOT.

Oh Yeah! This is a Pet Blog…

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

Yesterday (Friday) was a REALLY good day!  So is today.  Here are a few pictures from today of my Saturday friends :)

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I had to wait for Noodle to take his head out of Russ’ boot to take this picture. In hindsight, that picture would have been equally cute.

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Max enjoying his Caturday…

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The other Betta is taking a much needed rest after a bowl switching-Lego castle arrainging-counter flopping incident. All involved parties are fine.

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“Do you have more pizza crust or are you just saying you have more pizza crust?”

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Abby and Joy the Puppy :)

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Abby and Noodle the Poodle. They will sit for Abby for “free” – all others must pay pizza crust…or something.

Happy Saturday!

Tomorrow…Back to “WITW Does This Have to do with Pets?”

Then…Back to pets! Though, I will of course wander off on many more tangents in the future. Fun. :)

Update on Max the Cat’s day! —>

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Happy Heartworm-Free May!

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

January

February

March

April

Actually we have had two cases of heartworm disease this spring, which is really discouraging.  Another sobering fact – last year Banfield Pet Hospital diagnosed over 5000 cases of heartworm disease in dogs!  I did not hear how many cases were treated or how the dogs did, but FIVE THOUSAND!  Granted, there are 750 + Banfields across the country, but that is still so many for a disease that is 100% preventable.  As a community of pet people, we can do so much better.  The number will not be zero this year (It will be at least two) but I hope it is WAY lower than 5000!

This month’s topic…

Proheart 6

Where does Proheart 6 fit into the world of heartworm preventative medication?

Proheart 6 is an injectable sustained release medication labeled for dogs only (not cats or ferrets).  Its active ingredient is moxidectin, which, like the heartworm larvae killing component of all of the oral and topical preventatives available, is a macrocyclic lactone.  Moxidectin is also found in Advantage Multi, a combination topical heartworm-flea preventative that is applied monthly.  Proheart 6 is also labeled to treat hookworms.

Why is Proheart 6 only given every six months?

The moxidectin in Proheart 6 is in a sustained release formula, which means medication is constantly released over several months.  It stays in the dog’s body at therapeutic levels for six months, after which it tapers off to levels that are both ineffective to kill heartworm larva and are also safe when combined with another full dose.

Will Proheart 6 save the world?

No.

Pfizer recommends that veterinarians not give Proheart to dogs who are too thin, dogs who are ill, puppies under six months of age, and dogs who have not had Proheart before the age of seven.  If they have had Proheart before the age of seven, they may then have it at any age.  They also recommend that Proheart not be given to dogs who have allergic dermatitis.  Generally, allergic dermatitis includes any allergies, food, inhalant, or contact allergies that manifest as itching or skin problems.  Reactions to Proheart may occur.

Who should be on Proheart 6?

Every other dog, unless he or she has issues your veterinarian has deemed incompatable with injectable moxidectin, should be considered for Proheart 6.  I really think this is a great tool in the fight against heartworm disease.  Joy the Puppy had her first dose of Proheart 6 on February 1, 2011 and has done great.

Things to consider when deciding whether to use Proheart 6:

  • Proheart 6 is an injection given every six months (thus the clever name).  You have two chances a year to space giving your pets’ heartworm preventative instead of twelve!
  • Even better, the responsibility, at least in part, for remembering your pets’ heartworm preventative switches from you to your veterinary team!  You will receive a reminder when the time for Proheart is approaching, and the visit itself will be a quick one, or incorporated with a biannual wellness exam you would already have planned.
  • The cost of Proheart tends to be similar to that of monthly topical and oral heartworm preventative medications.
  • You will not be tempted to flout the American Heartworm Society‘s year-round heartworm prevention recommendations and guess at future weather patterns  and presence of mosquitoes in those iffy (AND VERY DANGEROUS AS HEARTWORM RISK GOES!) spring and fall seasons, as the twice yearly Proheart administration will protect your pet all year.
  • You could put a box of chocolates for yourselves on that safe-from-pets tip-top shelf where you used to keep the box of heartworm preventatives.

Great Heartworm Posts I Have Read This Month:

“Reading About Heartworm is One Thing, Watching a Dog Suffer is Another” – guest post by Pet Saver Ashley on Dawg Business by Jana Rade

“Don’t Let Heartworm Become Heartbreak” – guest post by Awesome Veterinarian Lorie A. Huston on Dawg Business by Jana Rade

…And maybe the best, and also the most discouraging, heartworm post I have read this month is on heartworm preventative resistance:

Heartworm Prevention for Dogs:  New Concepts and Concerns – by Lorie A. Huston, DVM on her website, Pet Health Care Gazette

Yes, heartworm preventative resistance does indeed seem to be a reality in a very, very small portion of the dog population…*sigh*  I was hoping it was not.  But I trust Dr. Blagburn, one of the very best veterinary parasitologist in the world – I have always very much admired his work, and I trust Dr. Huston…It sure looks as if it is true.  All the more reason to be neurotically vigilant about heartworm prevention…And because Proheart is so easy and convenient, you can be vigilant without being neurotic…if you want.

Tomorrow’s Checklist…

Noodle the Poodle - Wormshield tablet

Max the Cat - topical Revolution

(Joy the Puppy is on injectable Proheart 6.  Perhaps I will spend the few saved minutes reading her this post.  Naw, I will give her a cookie!)

 

Happy Heartworm-Free April!

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Wouldn’t that be something?  If we went through this entire month and NOBODY was diagnosed with heartworm disease??  We just saw another case of heartworm disease very recently…So sad.  I know I have been on an “I hate cancer” kick lately, but as always, I am on my “I hate heartworm” kick too.  (I have quite a few kicks…)  Heartworm disease is 100% preventable, and though treatable (treatable in dogs – not so much cats and ferrets), prevention is so much less expensive and easier on the dogs’ systems.I promised to be more upbeat here at Riley and James as soon as possible!  So here goes…

Today’s monthly heartworm post is on how heartworm preventative medications work!

Science…medicine…the wonders of canine physiology…heartworm examined not as a pet stealer or dog damager, but more clinically, as a very cool (disgusting) mortal, intricate parasite.  How exciting is that??  Well, I think it is exciting…

The Medicine

All heartworm preventative medications currently on the market are a form of macrocyclic lactones, medications derived from bacteria in the Streptomyces genus.  They do not prevent heartworm infection in the strictest sense, they prevent heartworm disease – they kill the larvae (L3 and L4, “baby heartworms”) before they can mature into adult worms.(Interesting side note!  Until the late 1980′s, only daily medications were available because they were only powerful enough to kill the “L3″ stage, which lasts only two or three days.)Macrocyclic lactones are neurotoxins to the heartworm larvae (L3 and L4), paralyzing their mouthparts and causing them to starve to death.  The medication needs to be repeated monthly because they kill all of the parasites that are in the pet’s system that have infected him or her in the last thirty days.  The picture that came to mind when I was trying to make it understandable was one of a rainstorm.  Bear with me…Heartworm preventatives are not umbrellas – they are windshield wipers.  Your dog is continually at risk of being bitten by a mosquito that is carrying heartworm larvae (L3) – the mosquito would be the cloud and the heartworm larvae would be the raindrop…if clouds were buzzy and annoying and raindrops were potentially fatal.

The Worm

We think of heartworm preventatives as protecting our pets against heartworm disease, and they do.  But they do it more as a windshield wiper (that sweeps every thirty days) than an umbrella that is a constant barrier to infection.  Our pets are at risk of being infected by heartworm larvae – but are protected from heartworm disease that is caused by adult heartworms in the pulmonary vessels and heart.

The Disease

I think the disease should be called subcutaneous-tissue-then-pulmonary-arteries-and-if-it-is-a-really-heavy-infestation-even-right-heart-and-vena-cava-worms, but it is not.  Heartworm is too cute of a name for such a horrid disease.

That’s All I’ve Got.

If that helps you understand the pathogenesis of heartworm disease, awesome.  It helps me to be disciplined when giving heartworm preventative medication to my pets to think of it as a “windshield wiper” stopping heartworm larvae that may have already started their unholy travels to the very heart of my pets, rather than a barrier or “umbrella” that I can just put up when it is sunny and warm and just right for a heartworm attack.  If it just grosses you out, and you like being grossed out, that is good too, I suppose!

Coming Soon…More Awesome Heartworm Information of Some Sort

Let me know what other heartworm related topics you would like to cover.  Ideas…heartworm disease in cats and ferrets, treating heartworm disease, I would love a guest post from someone who has had a pet with heartworm disease, or worked in a rescue organization and dealt with heartworm disease, or any guest post with a heartworm-related story!  Let me know if you have topic ideas or would like to write a guest post here!

Today’s To Do List:
Noodle the Poodle – Wormshield tablet
Max the Cat – topical Revolution
(Joy the Puppy is on injectable Proheart 6.)

Coming Next Month…

How do injectable sustained release heartworm prevenative medications (Proheart 6 and Proheart 12) work?

Previous Happy Heartworm Free Month Posts…

January 2011

February 2011

March 2011

American Heartworm Society Website

Isn’t this FUN?

 

The more that you read,The more things you will know.The more that you learn,The more places you’ll go.

-Dr. Seuss

Do Pets Mourn?

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Yes, of course they do!

I tend to anthropomorphize, I am highly (not excessively, highly!) emotional, I love, love, love pets and I spend most of my time at home and at work with them.

I realize that I am not unbiased.

So instead of just saying “yes,” I wanted to share this sort-of-a-scientific-case-but-more-of-an-intriguing-story…

Joy the Puppy has a built-in stress barometer

localized juvenile demodicosis that manifests as periocular alopecia.

Look!  The scientist in me is coming out!  Let me explain that super-nerdy sentence and then move on to how it supports the theory that pets do indeed mourn.  I know that this is a case study of one subject.  Still, I would believe it with no proof, so it is more scientific than my usual carrying on here, wouldn’t you say?

localized – in one or a few areas.  Generalized demodicosis would typically be more serious and warrant a more aggressive search of an underlying cause and more aggressive treatment.

juvenile – puppy disease.  Again, adult-onset would typically be more serious and warrant a more aggressive search of an underlying cause and more aggressive treatment.

demodicosis – a form of “mange” – Many mammals have a species-specific mite, demodex, which is present in small numbers even in healthy individuals.  Since I am an animal doctor, not a human doctor, I will not say “human” or “eyebrows” to you.  Dogs have a species-specific demodex mite called Demodex canis.  It can become a clinical problem if there is an immune system issue or stress, though the underlying cause is not always known.

microscopic view of Demodex canis

periocular – around the eyes

alopecia – loss of hair

When Joy was a pup, she had a mild case of localized juvenile demodicosis that manifested as periocular alopecia.  It came and went pretty quickly and quietly, with no discomfort to Joy.  I treated it with “benign neglect” and she did great.  She had no symptoms for over a year.

When Ebony Dog passed away last month, the disease came back with a vengeance.  Joy moped around the house.  That is, she had decreased energy levels and was much less active than usual.  She circled on the bed that she and Ebony had shared, finally flopping down every night with a deep sigh and her chin on the floor at the edge of the bed.  She would come to a complete stop during walks with Noodle the Poodle and look around as if confused.  For her whole life, walks had always been the three of them:  Joy, Ebony and Noodle.  Most telling of all, the area around both of Joy’s eyes went completely baldy-bald…um, I mean alopecic, again.

Here is Joy in all her shiny gorgeousness…

Here is Joy at the worst of her recent bout of demodicosis…

And here, I believe, is the reason for the stress that has caused this most recent flare-up…

She and Ebony were so close…

In fact, Joy wanted to be Ebony when she grew up…

Joy the Puppy is mourning the loss of her friend Ebony Dog.

I saw it with Wuzzy Rat when Fuzzy Rat passed away…

(She had no hair to let fall out as an outward sign of her mourning – ha!)  I have seen it with other personal pets.  I have seen it with clients’ pets.  This is the first time I have seen it with such clear physical manifestations.  Have you seen this with pets you have known?  The mourning, I mean?

My Prescribed Treatment for Joy: Routine cleaning with a gentle cleanser and topical medication, extra attention, extra love, extra walks and extra empathy.*  Her stress levels are going down, her immune system is becoming strong again, her demodicosis is going back into remission and her hair is growing back.  That is to say…her heart is healing.

*I miss her too Joy.  We’re going to be ok though Puppy, I promise.

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Tomorrow Will Worry About Itself

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

Our herd is down from eight to three, 37.5% of capacity, and we are not repopulating.  Fortunately, Max the Cat, Noodle the Poodle and Joy the Puppy all tolerate hugs*, because they have been put on Grief Duty.  I find myself asking “Who’s next?” and waking the poor things up if they are sleeping too comfortably.  Noodle has been known to sleep with all four paws up on occasion.  He has been the recipient of the rudest awakenings.

In an attempt to back off from this dangerous path, I am making the conscious decision to appreciate my pets on a day-to-day basis and enjoy the time I have with them.  Yes, approximately 67% of the remaining herd is oldie-old, but they are also all healthy, and probably tired of being included in my late night panics.  So hold me accountable.  There is much grieving yet to do, but I do not want to miss out on today.

I can’t really pull myself out of this of course, even with all of your wonderful support (And you ARE wonderful – thank you so much for walking through this with us) – This is going to take the power of God Himself.  While I hope you are in a happier season, this next quote is a good reminder to us all, and then a word of “encouragement” from my very favorite singer ever, Rich Mullins.  And then, I will come visit the blogs of other pet blogger friends on the Saturday Pet Blogger Hop.  And then…I am going to go hug my cat.

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“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

-Jesus

“It’s hard to be like Jesus.”

-Rich Mullins

*Note:  Hugging most dogs is ill-advised.  Normal dogs do not like hugs.  Hugging most cats is just asking for it.  Our pets are all sorts of special.  Do not attempt this at home unless you are a Trained Pet Hugger.  I am not.  I just have really tolerant pets.

Happy Heartworm-Free March!

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

March 2011…Safety of heartworm preventative medication – Is it safe to give my Collie heartworm preventative medication?  Why is Joy the Puppy getting Proheart but not the old dogs?  Are some pets developing heartworm preventative medication resistance?  Are there valid drug-free options for preventing heartworm disease?

Confused?  You won’t be after this episode of…Pets!

Who knows that super-awesome…I mean cheesy…I mean awesome…reference?  First person to tell me wins coffee…or cocoa…or whatever.  (C’mon, Dad!)*

Is it safe to give my Collie heartworm preventative medicine?

Short answer…yes.  However, this is a very valid concern that stems from the genetic tendency of some dogs (most notoriously Collies, but some herding and other breeds) to process ivermectin and other medications less efficiently than they should.

A veterinarian at Washington State University, Dr. Katrina Mealey, DVM, PhD, Diplomate, ACVIM (American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine), has done a great amount of research on this drug sensitivity issue.  Some dogs have a mutation in a gene (called the MDR1 gene) that should make a protein (P-glycoprotein) that is an important part of the blood-brain barrier.  If they have one abnormal gene, they are carriers (They will not have the drug sensitivity, but their offspring may).  If they have two abnormal genes, they will have the drug sensitivity.  Because the barrier is not normal in these dogs, they are less protected from the effect of some drugs, and doses that would be safe in dogs without the gene mutation can be dangerous.

The amount of ivermectin in heartworm preventative medication is such a low dose that it is safe in dogs even if they have the gene mutation that makes them extra-sensitive.  If you are at all worried, there are many ivermectin-free heartworm preventative alternatives available.

A genetic test is available to determine if dogs have this genetic mutation.  This could be especially helpful if your pet needs to be treated with higher doses of ivermectin than that used in heartworm preventatives OR if he or she needs other medications to which they may be sensitive OR if you are considering breeding.

For a MUCH more articulate discussion of the MDR1 gene and genetic drug sensitivity, you may want the information right from the horse’s mouth (Animal joke in a pet blog!  Always funny!)

Ivermectin Toxicity in Collies

on

Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine Website

Why is Joy the Puppy getting Proheart but not the old dogs dog?

*sigh*

Proheart is intended for healthy dogs over six months of age who are not underweight.  Not that old dogs can’t be healthy!  And they usually are…but, to be safe, we administer this medication to dogs who are over six months of age and under seven years of age the first time they are given Proheart.  Because Ebony and Noodle were over seven when it came back onto the market, we kept them on monthly oral Wormshield (ivermectin) tablets.

Are some pets developing heartworm preventative medication resistance?

Honestly, we just do not know yet.  I suspect it is the same old compliance issue.  (Please correct me if your pet has been a victim of heartworm preventative resistance – I hope it is not real, but realize it could be.)  If some pets are resistant, it is such a low number of the population, that consistent heartworm preventative use is still warranted.  For an excellent discussion of the issue, see Dr. Lorie Huston’s October 2010 article:

Concerns About Potential Heartworm Medicine Resistance in Dogs

Are there valid drug-free options for preventing heartworm disease?

No!  That was kind of a trick question – there are no valid drug free options that will kill the larval (L3 and L4) stages of heartworm (the little guys in the subcutaneous tissue and bloodstream – ick) but all the medications are VERY safe and used at VERY low doses compared to other things they are used for.So I always always recommend staying on heartworm preventative medications even though there ARE good non-drug ways to decrease mosquito exposure – you just can’t keep every one away.

Georgia Little Pea…I would say your Mama wins coffee for making me think through that question!  Again…as soon as I have my private jet I will come right over!  *sigh*

Next Month: How do these medications work?  Plus I will address any other questions you have!  Let’s do what we did in February – we can discuss it all in “real time” in the comments (or over coffee if you win the contest!) and I will also incorporate your questions and answers into the next month’s post.

Today’s Checklist…

Noodle the Poodle – Wormshield tablet

Max the Cat – topical Revolution

Joy the Puppy received a Proheart injection on February 1, 2011 which has a six month duration.  Thus, she got a biscuit at the exact second Noodle got his Wormshield tablet, which they both deemed “fair.”

*UPDATE: Dad did indeed win the contest – the reference is to the show SOAP, which my parents loved when I was a kid…I think as much as Russ and I love Scrubs.  Dad tied with Russ, who yelled “SOAP!” as I was posting the picture.  I initially called cheating, but revised my ruling to a tie and will be taking both of my favorite guys out for coffee next week.

:)