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Topics - jennifer

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I don't want to contribute to or start new drama, I was just wondering.

General Board for Big Dogs with Big Paws / lots of gas lately...
« on: March 05, 2009, 05:19:17 am »
Nakita has had a lot of gas lately. I know, big paws are infamous for their flatulence, but lately it's been really bad. Some nights it seems almost constant and it is particularly r-e-e-k-y. :P  She's an old girl (12 in January) and her diet hasn't changed. Should I be concerned? Well, about anything other than air quality? ;)

Boxer Discussions & Pictures / kind thoughts for a loving boxer
« on: February 12, 2009, 04:55:15 am »
My sister's 7-yr-old boxer Gracie is having surgery today to remove an ulcerated mast cell tumor. The location is good - upper flank area - so removal should be relatively easy. Kind thoughts to dear Gracie for a quick and full recovery, please.  :-[  :-*

And more thoughts and prayers, please, to my sister and her family who are still recovering from losing their boxer pup Annie a year ago. The possible poor outcome with Gracie is breaking their hearts all over again.  :-[

They all could use some of that powerful BPO energy pointed their way...

We moved from the Boston Metro-West area to the Central/Western part of Massachusetts in April and maintained our relationship with our current vet (McGrath Animal Hospital in Billerica) through Bear's struggles, decline, and death. We're now considering changing vets to someone closer to our new home as the 4-hour round-trip is... taxing. So we're looking for a good vet in the following areas: Amherst/Northampton areas, Belchertown, Petersham, the Brookfields... Any referrals/recommendations are much appreciated.

While we're mourning the loss of Bear, no one is more affected than Nakita, his partner for six years. It's heart-breaking to watch her anxiously search through the house and around the yard looking for him, whimpering quietly. How to help her through this process? I'd be grateful for any known "do's and don'ts" to help her through this transition.  :-\ :-[

Remembering those no longer with us. / Goodbye sweet Bear
« on: July 29, 2008, 07:41:31 am »
Bear suffered another episode of seizures Sunday night. We think that his medication level slipped, as he had two days with increased energy and playfulness. Unfortunately, the other effect of this - of course - was that his threshold for seizures lowered. We knew that increasing his medications again to keep him free of further seizures wasn't an option for his quality of life, so we made the difficult decision to have him euthanized yesterday morning.  A tough decision, but the right one. We feel lucky to have enjoyed his 'old self' over the weekend.

I know you'll all join me in wishing him sunny days and cool breezes full of chasing birds, romping with buddies, and eating all the hotdogs and watermelon he wants. 

Rest in peace my big sweet boy.  :'(

General Board for Big Dogs with Big Paws / collar preferences?
« on: May 14, 2008, 07:45:05 pm »
Bear came home from the hospital without his collar.   :-\  He's had the same kind since we adopted him - came with it, actually.  Nakita has the same collar so I have an example to describe but I apologize for the limited language -- I'm still exhausted from the weekend. 

Okay - the collar.  It's nylon and has a black slip-through buckle kind of thing.  It doesn't have a clasp or latch and goes on/off over the head (but it doesn't stretch).  It's adjustable and it kind of has a hand-hold place near the one big ring for tags and attaching the leash. 

Anybody know the name of this collar?  I guess I can call the SPCA where we got them... Or do you have a favorite that works for your big dog?

Bear's been at Tufts Vet Hospital since 5am Sunday. We came home Saturday afternoon to find him seizing, with signs of more seizures all over the house. Over the next 10 hours I gave him all the liquid valium we had (about 22cc-s) and he kept breaking through. He seized again when we arrived at Tufts. They started an IV and gave him valium 'til the seizures stopped.

He had an MRI yesterday - no tumors! - and I'll bring him home tonight. He's been weaned off the valium and loaded with potassium bromide. Hopefully the KBr and pheno will maintain the threshold without making him too dopey. This is his second cluster in under four weeks - whatever is causing the seizures is getting worse. The next few weeks will inform us about decision-making and what's best for our boy.

Prayers for my sweet Bear, please.  :'(

Medical Conditions & Diseases / Bear is at the hospital
« on: April 07, 2008, 11:10:47 am »
Bear had 6+ seizures in 90 minutes early this morning (3am).  The worst cluster yet for our big guy.  I gave him a dose of pheno but they were coming closer and closer and we were concerned about his body temperature.  Plus he had a focal seizure and bit his tongue or lip -- blood everywhere -- though the bleeding stopped before we got him into the car.  He's been at the emergency clinic since 5:30 this morning, he had a seizure upon arrival.  Scared me to death because he was strapped to a stretcher (he was postictal in the car and wouldn't get up) and his seizures are super physically active.  They gave him diazepam immediately to calm him, then started a diazepam infusion about 6:30.  No seizures since so that's good.  They'll keep him for six hours after they stop the drip so he'll probably have to be there overnight.  I'm told he's eating and drinking, even with the drip, so he must be feeling better.  I hated leaving him there.  He's such a sweet, gentle soul and he must be scared.  And I like to be involved in his care; handing it off to someone else is just not my style.

What a horrible night.  Plus, we just bought a house and are seriously cash-strapped.  The estimate for his treatment was about $2000.  Good lord.  There was no question about our doing it, but it adds another dimension to the stress and concern we feel about Bear.  I hope this new behavior doesn't mean his epilepsy is getting worse.  I hope and I pray... 

Food Discussion & Information / Merrick foods
« on: November 01, 2007, 07:35:01 am »
Just wondering if anyone uses Merrick foods (canned or dry, cat or dog) and what they think of it.

Medical Conditions & Diseases / More Bear news
« on: September 19, 2007, 10:30:29 pm »
We're six days on the pheno and he's only had one seizure that we know of (Saturday night), which is great. My step-son is coming home from school at lunch to check on him and give them a pee (Bear on pheno is a pee monster).  :)

We've ruled out environmental causes and dystemper.  He was positive for Lyme last spring and took antibiotics for it but was completely non-symptomatic.  Since he has since developed no other symptoms of Lyme disease the vet doesn't think that's a possibility.  No neuro referral yet.  The pheno seems to be working, but I have a new, probably related concern... Bear is essentially losing control of his back end.  :-\  I'm not exaggerating - he struggles to get up, falls going up and down the stairs, struggles to get on the sofa or bed, and is expressing a lot more gas than usual.  When he goes up the stairs he lets an audible fart at each step. You can imagine the reaction this gets from the goony guys in the house (I'm surrounded by testosterone).  ;D   He's kind of a goofy guy normally and a little clumsy, so he has a soft benchmark for judging this kind of stuff, but yesterday while outside he jerked his head to the side to bite at a bee  ::) and completely lost his balance and fell, landing hard on the pavement.  Plus he seems to be scratching and biting at his hips and thighs a lot and Sunday I was giving him a light massage and when I would get near his hips and hind-end his back legs would twitch.  I've spoken to a tech and a doc at my vet's office.  It may be a side-effect of the pheno, a lingering effect of the seizures, maybe some of each, or something completely new.  Sigh.  Today he was a bit better - a little more energy and not quite as pathetic, but I made an appointment for him to see his vet on Sunday morning (she's on vacation this week, of course :P).  He's letharic and clingy, but we expected that with the pheno.  No other alarming symptoms and, like I said, no sign of seizures yet this week.  But I want a vet look-see and opinion on this hind end stuff.

Nakita is doing well. She's asking for more snuggles than usual but hasn't growled or snapped at Bear again (thank god!).  Probably because I'm feeling a bit more confident in this new situation -- thanks in large part to BPO-ers!  She's got a little energy though, since our walks this week have slowed down and been shorter to accommodate the stumbling, less energetic Bear.

All the info and support from fellow BPOers has been so helpful.  And the added help from those with seizure experience has been invaluable.  :-*  Just wanted to update ya'll on how he's doing. 

General Board for Big Dogs with Big Paws / Bear - seizures getting worse
« on: September 13, 2007, 04:46:01 pm »
Hi all.  Sorry for the long post (again), but we had a bad night last night.  Whatever is causing Bear's seizures is getting worse, fast.  He had two seizures in five hours (each about three minutes).  And I'm pretty sure he had one Weds during the day as well, as we came home to a regular-type poop in the main, carpeted hallway and neither of them EVER have normal poops in the house. 

The seizures last night were a little different than the one he had two weeks ago.  He started with the same chomp-smacking kind of behavior, all foamy around his mouth and making a strange whimpering noise, then transitioned into the whole body jerking.  But for these two he tried to get up and move around during the seizure.  Really scared me as he could seriously hurt himself.  His paws were turned under (normal neuro response, I understand) and he couldn't support himself so he just kept flopping over in a very unnatural way.  And with both seizures he was visually impaired when he came to - the second one with total blindness for a few minutes. 

Oh - and Nakita was clearly disturbed by the incidents.  She hopped up on the bed (without invitation - a serious no-no) and curled up right next to me after both seizures.  And stayed that way for the rest of the night.  After the second seizure, when Bear had returned to normal, he wanted to come up too and Nakita snapped at him -- like I've never seen her do.  How do I make her more comfortable with it, or is she just reacting to my stress?  I'm a very "calm in the storm" kinda gal, but she's sensing something, I'm sure.

I'm exhausted, scared, and worried.  And I know this is unpopular and non-pc, but I'm seriously concerned about the additional cost of the vet visits, tests, and now medication.  And how am I supposed to monitor this condition when I'm at work all day?  I'll make it work (always have), but it's one more thing on the list, ya know?

Took the day off, waiting to hear from the vet.  My sweet boy is resting at my feet, with no obviously lingering side-effects.  Kind thoughts welcome.

Medical Conditions & Diseases / Bear had a seizure - UPDATE
« on: August 27, 2007, 05:09:07 pm »
So - the vet visit and accompanying labs were fine. We'll record any further seizure activity and consider meds if he seizes that severely more than once per month. My concern is that he's home alone all day. But - since his labs were fine, I have to believe that we're in the early stages of whatever this is. Phew! :) Thanks so much for your kind words and support. It really makes a HUGE difference.  :-*

Hello BPO-ers. I've been absent (sometimes lurking, but not participating) for a long time for a variety of reasons - unemployment, new job, daughter off to college... but I need to post today. My Bear had a seizure today about 2:30am. The sound of it woke me up. I first thought he was dreaming, but when he didn't respond to my voice I turned on the light and saw that he was in a full seizure. It lasted about two minutes (from when I realized what it was). He seemed to have vision loss - or certainly disorientation - after the post-dictal stage, along with a little clumsiness, but recovered fairly quickly.  About a half-hour of rapid panting, then he slept through the night. I offered him a drink, which he declined, and put the fan on to help keep him cool.

I made my stepson get up this morning (yes, I'm an evil step-mom) so someone would be around Bear all day, and I made an appointment with the vet tonight. He'll be five next month, is active and healthy but for the occasional ear infection. He's my sweet big boy and I'm worried for him. Especially since my new job won't allow me to be home with him. I have medical experience, have read all the seizure posts, but need to put it out in BPO land that I'm worried about my big boy. I know you'll all understand.

Saint Bernard General Discussions / Advice, please
« on: February 19, 2007, 11:15:12 am »
Hi all,
Haven't been around a lot lately - too much going on at home and at work, I'm afraid. :P  But I have a problem with my Saints that is getting worse. When I have them outside together, they pack against me and don't respond to command. The real manifestation of this is they charge dogs and sometimes people walking by the house - even across the street. :-\

Some history... adopted Nakita (female, now 10) and Bear (male, now 4) three years ago from SPCA. They were a breeding pair forced to surrender because the owner had too many dogs and ill-equipped conditions. We were told they were good with other dogs, but since the first day we brought them home that hasn't been the case.  No tolerance what-so-ever. I've done a lot of obedience training by myself with these guys and can/will certainly do more. We practice NILIF 24/7, to great success, but nothing I've done has touched this issue.

With a lot of work, Nakita can now meet and even go off-leash with other dogs as long as she's not with Bear.  And although Bear has only been able to meet puppies (just two in three years), he is much more easily controlled when he's not with Nakita. Together? Forget it! Any ideas?

This morning I got dragged/slid all the way down my driveway when a guy walked by with an Akita. Scary. :o Granted, Bear didn't have his prong collar on, but in these situations it doesn't help. When I finally got their attention (with a yank that took my entire body to accomplish and a shouted "NO - NOT LIKE THAT!"), they acted as though nothing out of the ordinary had happened and were their usual charming selves when back in the house.  :P  Help!

Saint Bernard General Discussions / Separating, in general
« on: October 30, 2006, 09:49:17 am »
Hey fellow Saint owners,
Just read the most helpful post re gates and have more to ask re this... we're going on our third year with our two saints (male 4, female almost 10, rescued together through NHSPCA)and it's become clear that we have to 'quarantine' them when we're not home. The naughtiness is just unbelievable -- from garbage to cat box to counter surfing and stealing... We're doubling our efforts with NILIF training, but when we're not home... I'm wondering if there's any special trick to choosing the place or area.  I.e., I've read that some keep their pups in a bedroom with the door closed, some go in the basement... is the basic idea to keep them where they'll do the least damage?  ::) Any thoughts, ideas appreciated.

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