Thank you to 2 Brown Dawgs Blog for hosting this blog hop, which is “a little of this, a little of that, and everything in between”!
Update on Sheba’s Limp
I wrote about Sheba’s limp previously, and we had hoped it was just a minor injury that would go away, but that was not the case. It didn’t get increasingly worse, but it didn’t go away completely either. She was kind of up and down, with good days and worse days, and lately had seemed worse more often. She also started getting some hot spots from scratching, so between those two things, we knew it was time for a trip to the vet.
On our initial vet visit last Friday afternoon, our vet couldn’t really see what was going on. Sheba was a nervous nut, and just wouldn’t stop wiggling and walk normally. The limp showed up more when she moved more slowly, but she wasn’t going to do that! We kept saying it was her left front leg, but our vet disagreed and thought it was the right. He examined both legs but couldn’t feel anything out of the ordinary. So he advised restricted exercise….no running, jumping, ball playing, or stairs (almost impossible in our 3 level home). He also advised us that arthritis was a strong possibility, and that we also needed to rule out bone cancer, which is quite common in Golden Retrievers, though unlikely here. Therefore X-rays were scheduled for Tuesday of this week.
I was hoping it wasn’t an injury, because just keeping her quiet for the weekend was hard enough. We live on three levels and stairs just cannot be avoided. Cricket wants to play ball all the time, and how could we play with her and leave Sheba out? But what do you think I focused on the most for the three days we had to wait? Of course “bone cancer”. After having lost Moses back in July to cancer (of a different kind), that was my biggest worry. We didn’t expect it with Moses, so I was going with the theory that if I expect the worst, this time it won’t happen. As it turns out, I was right (not that I’m recommending my warped way of thinking)! I dropped Sheba off in the morning since she would have to be sedated for the x-rays, and they called me early afternoon to let me know that it was arthritis. Not that having arthritis is a good thing, but considering the alternative, it is the lesser of two evils! Also on the good side, she is only in the early stages of it, she has it in both shoulders but not much sign of it in her legs or paws.
So we have started her on the joint supplement Dasuquin. They also gave us free samples of Rimadyl for bad days. She was pretty gimped up (and a bit loopy) that night but she mostly slept anyway. We started her on the supplements immediately, and when she was still pretty gimpy the next morning, we gave her a Rimadyl before leaving for work. When we got home from work, she was like a new dog! There was very little sign of the limp and she was happy and energetic. She’s even better today. We are hoping with the right supplements (I know there are other options out there if the Dasuquin doesn’t do the trick, but it was highly recommended by a friend of ours, as well as our vet), and the proper exercise, we can keep her feeling good for quite a while. I plan to do more research also to know the right or wrong things to do for her. If anyone has experience with this, advice is always welcome!
Sheba’s First Professional Grooming
When Sheba was sedated for her x-rays they also gave her skin a good looking over to check her hot spots. They were all clearing up nicely as I thought they were. I had been putting coconut oil on them and I think that might have helped ward off infection. We’re not sure why she was itchy, but she has mostly stopped scratching now. One of the wonderful assistants in our vet’s office is also doing grooming there now. I had already been thinking I’d like to take Sheba there, but she is so nervous I didn’t know if it would be best for her or not. In my post last weekend, I wrote of how grooming her is such a challenge. Christina told me how they cleaned up some mats while they were checking her over, and they always trim our dog’s nails if they are sedated for any other procedure (free of charge). We got talking about the grooming, and she offered that they had time and could also trim the unruly fur on her paws, and even give her a bath if I wanted! What better time to give it a try? My back takes it so hard when I try to do these things myself.
They trimmed her paws all up so they look beautiful. They gave her a bath and a thorough brushing/combing. She was like a new dog when she came home….soft and smooth, and so pretty! She smelled so good too. We were thrilled! The women jokingly told us about how good she was…..ha ha, she was still half asleep! I told them to wait and see how she was next time I bring her in!
I feel so much less overwhelmed about the grooming now. I feel like I have a clean slate to work with, and now I can keep up better on her brushing and trimming. I love the women who work at our vet’s office, and I totally trust them. One of the reasons I never had the goldens groomed was because we don’t have a lot of groomers in our area, and I wasn’t comfortable with some of the ones I did know. Now I have a place to bring Sheba…..not all the time, but once in a while I can get her bathed and trimmed now, and it will be especially great in the Spring to get her really trimmed up for the Summer.
Good News in the Animal Welfare World
If you haven’t heard, there was a big step taken this last week in the battle against puppy mills. For years there has been a major loophole in the Animal Welfare Act, allowing large scale breeders who only sold online to be exempt from licensing and inspections. Breeders who sell to pet stores were regulated by this act, but those who sell directly to the public were not. I wrote about this in Part 2 of a series I wrote on puppy mills.
The USDA has finally closed that loophole! Now breeders who sell online (those who have more than 4 breeding females) will be required to be licensed and will be subject to inspections just like all other large scale breeders. Animal advocates, people like you and I, who signed petitions and had our voices heard over the last two years were a big part of getting this change to finally go through, led by large groups such as the Humane Society of the United States, the Humane Society Legislative Fund, and the Doris Day Animal League.
Large scale breeders who have been selling online, by phone, or by mail order are now required to let buyers see these animals in person, or to obtain a license from the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and be subject to inspections.
Don’t get me wrong; this is just a step. Even USDA licensed large scale breeders have conditions that you or I would find unsettling at the least. I wrote more about this in Part 6 of my series on puppy mills.The minimum standards could certainly be far, far better. But this is a step in the right direction, and for the most part these things have to be taken one step at a time. No one will rest until these puppy mills are shut down completely, and there is still a lot of work to be done.
So remember to spread the word reminding people not to buy from pet stores that get their puppies from puppy mills, or from a breeder if they cannot visit and see the breeding facility for themselves. Of course, if you can, “Adopt, Don’t Shop”.
You can read more about this recent change here:
- USDA Announces Landmark Rule to Crack Down on Online Puppy Mills
- USDA Cracks Down on Internet Pet Sales