Since I am rarely home during daylight hours this time of year these snow photos are from very early this morning. The roads are pretty good today. We tried to pick up Jerry's car on the way home from work but it was still pretty frozen so we just left it for another day. Work was pretty slow and it's looking like that may continue to tomorrow since I have no appointments scheduled in the morning. I do have some contrast radiographs to do on a dog that just dribbles bloody urine but has no obvious stones on regular films. Plus I can pass a catheter but can get no urine. Very weird.
It started with freezing rain yesterday afternoon as I was tucked away at home by the fire and got worse from there. Jerry called at 6PM, he left work 90 minutes ago and was just now getting to Ozark. An our later he called and said he did not think he could make it any farther in the car. I heated up the truck (with 4 wheel drive) and set out to drive the 3 miles to get him. After about 2 miles I was in a ditch. I tried to get out and ultimately was unable to move in any direction. Plus I didn't want to inadvertently damage my truck which, other than being stuck, was ok. I called Jerry and told him to start walking, a kind stranger picked him up and brought him to where I was and then was able to help him guide the truck out of the ditch and we got home ok. Overnight the ice continued along with sleet-which at least provided a little traction. We started out late to work (didn't figure anyone would be there first thing anyway) and arrived there a little over an hour after leaving home. We had very little business but our practice advisor is in town for a few days and that always makes things hectic and somewhat annoying. (Really, if I wanted to be a boss and a manager and order people around and enforce rules I would just own my own practice and get paid more for it but apparently "L" feels I should be doing all those things as an associate, not to mention I have yet to get a single "way to go" or "good job" for all the projects I had to assign to myself after her last visit. But this is a little off subject and a topic for another time perhaps-back to the weather).
I was able to leave early so we could get home before dark. I had a few minutes of daylight when we arrived home and took these photos. The camera flash created some cool effects with sleet as the sun went down.
It's still sleeting here and then is supposed to turn to snow. The car is still on the side of the road somewhere and we have to go back to work tomorrow. Yeah.
In other news our garage cat-Jelly- seems to packing on the pounds despite supposedly being served the same amount of food daily for her whole life. I think someone may be being a little generous on serving sizes.
Barney and Lefty have been on a diet for almost a year and did so well that I recently increased their food a little. Lefty seems to have gained a little weight back (but he always does some in the winter when he quits hunting so much) but Barney seems abnormally hungry and almost a little bony. I think I will check some bloodwork on him.
Wiggles is not doing very well. He was having a lot of sneezing fits but otherwise ok, then he started to have a snotty nose and I gave him some antibiotics and he seemed better for awhile but now he is a little lethargic and his appetite is decreasing. Since he almost died last year and was so sick for so long I don't really want to put him through a lot of tests and treatments this time. He's over 8 years old and may very well have renal failure or cancer or some other disease. I was sort of worried about a nasal tumor with the sneezing and it's not out of the question. I would love it if he perks up but if it's his time then we will let him be with Holly. Meanwhile I'll give him lots of carrots and parsley-his favorites right now.
Josh and Jessie challenged everyone to post some sleeping pics of their dogs so here are a few of ours.
We are supposed to have some combination of ice, snow, and sleet tonight and tomorrow. And, as luck would have it I have this afternoon off instead of tomorrow which means I had time to "prepare" anything that needed attended too before the weather gets yucky. Since my "frost-free" pump is frozen again I had to drag the hose (which had been thawing in the garage) out back and hook it up to another faucet in order to fill the horse tank. I also picked up some more feed for the horses and even got a bag of bird seed for the birds-I have a feeder but hardly ever fill it.
Since I had to be outside anyway I took a few minutes to work on some agility. Mostly weave poles and a few jumps. She's doing really well with getting her weave entries but sometimes still gets too excited and pops out at pole 11. The contacts were already glazed over and too slick to use-she skidded right off the table, oops. And what I don't understand is even though it's freezing outside and there should not be any mud, is how they managed to come in so dirty. And Legend brought her obligatory collection of leaves in with her along with the mud. I have confined her and Zodiac to our tiled entryway with an ex-pen until they dry out and shake some of the dirt off. I love long haired dogs but seriously-we just had the carpet cleaned!
Since we were headed to St. Louis for a wedding reception anyway I decided to bring Zodiac along for the rally trial nearby. We only entered for saturday and he scored a 99 in Excellent for second place and a 98 in Advanced which did not place :( This combined for his fourth RAE leg.
The wedding reception was for a friend from vet school. They were married two weeks ago on a beach in Florida and had a reception for all their friends and family last night which was really nice. The photos from the beach wedding were really beautiful too.
Today we all slept in and did a little shopping before heading home.
I don't have any new photos so here are some old ones...
Lazy dogs with glowing eyes (hard to get rid of those, darn it). Notice the very cool carpet we had in our previous house-no, we did not pick it out. Actually the vast majority of the house was pink when we moved in. We painted the walls but left the carpet since we couldn't afford to replace it. And from the "don't try this at home" collection. Don't worry, I posed them and made them stay for the photo, then removed them safely!
I forgot to mention that we had our carpet cleaned on Saturday and since it only took 45 minutes and they look significantly better I must say it was well worth the $85. As an added benefit our house still smells a little like oranges (which was obviously the flavor of the cleaner they used-it was really potent the first few hours). The dogs were bummed because they spent most of the day locked up in the computer room (the only one we did not have cleaned) while the carpets dried.
Tomorrow we (well, the dogs) will be featured on "Dogs on Thursday" so you can check that out if you want but it's basically a repeat of their "stories" that I have posted on this blog but with updates. Alternatively if you have not read them they are linked to their photos to the right here.
An update from Peyton's mom indicates that she is doing great and is basically the center of their world-I'm so glad everything worked out so well for her.
I had a busy day off-maybe it would not have seemed so busy if I had gotten up before 11. Anyway, when I did finally manage to get up I realized I must have slept in some sort of torture position because my neck was (and is still) very stiff and painful.
I started with getting laundry and dishes started, vacuumed the rabbit's carpet, cleaned the sinks (they were a little crusty-hard water), and then off to do some errands. I stopped at the bank do deposit my check (well, part of my check-seems someone forgot to notify payroll of my raise...) and then to Hobby Lobby where everything I needed was 50% off! I got some more marbles to finish my vase project for the kitchen but also got some fake grapes to stuff into the biggest jar because 1) it would take a ton of marbles to fill it and 2) I thought it might look cool. Here's how it turned out-I thinks it looks neat.
Of course I have a bunch of extra marbles because I was not sure if I would like the fruit idea and I didn't want to have to make another trip for more marbles. I guess I just need more vases now!
I also got some flowers so I could redo an aging and dusty arrangement we had in the living room. I recycled some of the greenery but the rest of this is new (well, the vase is old). I couldn't get it to look quite right but it's ok for now. I think it might need some more filler and for my mom to work on it next time she is here.
I also got the floor mopped and worked Legend in agility until I got cold. I was going to rearrange my equipment but I forgot I was going to do that until I was really ready to come in. Maybe next week.
1. Cats with bladder problems 2. People who want to breed their mixed breed dog because they think she is "awesome" (well who doesn't think their own dog is awesome?) 3. People who don't want to pay for services or diagnostics (like we're supposed to work for free?) and then tell you how their neighbor wants them to use their vet who doesn't charge office fees (go right ahead pal, we won't stop you). 4. People who will spend 5 minutes begging their dog (who knows no commands) to come out from under the chair before they physically remove it and put it on the table where they make no attempt to hold onto it (as if a dog that hides under a chair will not try to jump off the table). 5. Dogs who freak out and/or try to bite during basic procedures simply because the owners do zero training and are apparently not interested in any. 6. People who show up to their appointment with only a urine sample and not the dog, then decide they need the dog and leave to get it so that they are now late for their appointment. 7. Working on Saturday-doesn't everyone know Saturdays are for a) sleeping in or b) agility trials?
It started yesterday morning. A relatively light morning of appointments of which the last one was a cat who had been adopted from the Humane Society in the fall and was only supposed to be 2 years old and been left there by someone who was moving and couldn't take him. I sort of doubted the age thing but we'll come back to that. He was not eating well and lethargic and upon exam I found a huge mass in the abdomen so we kept him for radiographs and some fluids. While the techs worked on the cat I anesthetized Legend for her root canal (recall her busting her face on the concrete in the fall). Dr. B worked on the tooth while I hovered over the anesthesia as her blood pressure constantly teetered on the edge of acceptable and I had to keep upping her IV fluids and turning down her rate of anesthesia. Finally we were done and my sleepy girl woke up while I prepared to tell the cat owner of his treatment options for what was shaping up to be either a splenic or kidney tumor. The owner elected to let us perform and exploratory surgery the next day and so we got the cat settled in for the night. Just as the day was winding down a newer but really sweet client called-their 7 month old puppy was attacked by her littermates in the yard (they adopted a pregnant dog and kept mom and babies) and wanted to know if I would see her. Even though it was already after 5 the emergency clinic didn't open until 6 so I told them to come on in. She was cold-94 degrees (normal 101.5), shocky, and had several non-life threatening bite wounds. We gave her an injection for pain, placed an IV catheter and began giving her warm fluids and cleaning up her wounds. When she was stable enough to transfer I sent her to the e-clinic for further stabilization, heat, and possible surgery overnight.
Fast forward to today. I expected to see Sissy (my emergency from last night) transfer back this morning. By 8:45 when she didn't show up I called her owner. An obviously distraught and tearful woman relayed to me how Sissy did great overnight, her temp came up nicely and her surgery went very well but around 7AM she suddenly passed away during routine treatments. The doctor suspected she threw a large blood clot. There was no way anyone could have known or prevented it. Her owner felt bad for putting her out with the other dogs and also feels bad for having ill-feelings towards the other dogs. The whole thing was very sad. I tried to counsel her on the phone the best I could before heading off to other appointments. My last appointment before my big surgery was a well cared purebred cat with pet insurance (WOW!) and chronic urinary issues. Of course, he was blocked. Put cat away for now and head off to surgery.
A quick exploration of the abdomen revealed a very large and cancerous looking kidney. So I set about starting the removal of this tennis ball sized tumor. About 30 minutes into the surgery I checked with Dr. B for some advice (I've never removed a kidney before) and we came to the conclusion that it would take both of us to work on this ugly thing. Shortly thereafter we discovered that the cancer was invading nearby structures and may even have incorporated the vessels. In short, if we continued the cat may not make it through surgery and even if he did there would still be cancer left behind. Rats. The owner elected euthanasia on the table, which was the best choice given the situation. (Remember when I said we'd come back to the age thing-I was starting to wonder if someone knew this cat not only wasn't 2 but also that it had a mass and turned it in to the HS with a different story....we'll never know, but the whole thing is a little suspicious to me) Then I worked through my lunch hour to get the other cat's urinary obstruction relieved before afternoon appointments. It took forever and then the cat thanked us by spending the rest of the afternoon trying to tangle and disconnect his IV and urinary catheter lines.
Afternoon appointments seemed to mostly involve anal glands and one very sick dog that the owners had to be convinced to bring in today and not later in the week (repeated vomiting, dripping blood from rectum, barely able to stand-you know, no big deal). The poor thing was so dehydrated his blood was almost black. Labwork was run, antibiotics and IV fluids started and then he was transferred to the e-clinic for overnight care. I suspected severe GI disease or toxin.
The day wrapped up with someone who needed their "down in the back" Rottie put down but when they arrived they wanted us to either get the dog out of the car or euthanize it in the car because it was trying to bite them. Um, no. But it didn't matter because they informed us that the dog had bit several people in the last 10 days and by law if we put it down we have to submit the brain for rabies testing. Apparently they did not want to do this and left. People make unusual choices in life.
Anyway, 36 hours later I'm beat. I don't usually have so much excitement in such a short time in January-it's generally a slow month. Hopefully tomorrow will be quieter.
I'm sure that's what the dogs were thinking when I got out the (dramatic pause here) obedience stuff today! I started off with Zodiac and was a little concerned he would have forgotten all the scent article progress we had made over the summer and fall. Although he is a little rusty he ended up working 6 metal dumbells with pretty good consistency in only a few minutes-yeah! He did some decent signals and most surprisingly 2 perfect go-outs, right off the bat. Granted they were only living room sized go-outs but still good. Maybe we'll get this utility thing yet. Then he worked some Rally and had no trouble with that.
Next was Legend, but first some basic agility stuff. Too cold to go outside so she worked on driving to a toy and then on speedy recalls. That of course got her really wound up for obedience but she was so over the top about having something to do that she worked really hard on doing it right, even if she was a little overly ambitious. She worked on novice exercises and a few random open and utility things. She really loves to retrieve, even the metal dumbell. I should practice having her retrieve her leash or tug toy in addition to the other exercises I am doing with her-then maybe the whole agility course will be like a giant retrive. Anything I can do to convince her it's worth it to run the WHOLE course as fast as she can, not just the ending, would be helpful. Silly girl.
Sometime overnight Jelly finally decided it would be ok to use her new cat door to come into the laundry room because she was waiting there this morning for her breakfast. And she must have liked it (how could she not-it's really cold in the garage!) becasue she was sleeping in her box when I arrived home from work this morning. That's right-it was still morning when I got home-seems hardly worth driving in for just a few hours but I am just glad to have the extra time off for a change. You will also notice from this picture how much Jelly enjoys having her picture taken :) And don't feel bad for her that she doesn't have a fancy bed to sleep in-as soon as we would actually purchase something for her she might decide to pee on it. Disposables only please. There is an old towel in the box for her-she'll be fine.
I woke up yesterday with that " I think I'm getting sick feeling" and drug myself off to work leaving Jerry to feed the horses since he got to sleep in a little. I received a call at work from him to tell me that Moses had pushed over an apparently rotted off post in the one area of the corral that is not electrified and had been running loose in the yard and down the road. He returned to the pasture to eat and Jerry put a temporary fix on the fence.
I returned home from work and went right to bed. When Jerry came home we investigated the fence some more. I reinforced the broken area with some chain and baling twine (I know what you're thinking and yes, it does look classy!) until a good day for digging a hole and pouring concrete comes along. We also used the volt meter to evaluate our electricity and found the whole fence pretty much dead. It seems the junction between the wire coming from the fencer and the electric polyrope had sparked so many times it was burnt all the way through. After replacing this the current was better but not consistent through the whole fenceline. But it was a start and too cold to do more so we left the horses free in the pasture until more repairs could be made in hopes that they will not be tempted to break free if they have all the field to roam in.
By this time I was running a fever and we spent the rest of the day in bed. I'm feeling quite a bit better today and we were even able to get out and about to run some errands. Jerry needed a new coffee pot and since we had a Kohl's coupon (big surprise) we headed there after checking the clinic and making a stop at Staples (Wal-Mart apparently does not carry pocket calculators). And we actually left with only the coffee pot and some new filters-yeah us!
I have been wanting to weigh Spring and finally got around to bringing her into work today and the big number is 13.4 lbs! And 13 pounds of rabbit is a lot more spread out than 13 lbs of cat or dog-she was quite an armful to carry around. When we got home we let her out of the carrier in the laundry room and let her hop around a bit before taking her back to her pen. She was timid at first but then became more inquisitive. We need to let her out more so she has room to really run-she had a big pen-like a quarter to a third of a bedroom but she's so long she still can't really stretch out when she runs. Here are some pictures of her expedition around the house. Icy was a little startled to see her out of the pen but they really didn't bother each other.
I wanted to post this the other day but my camera batteries were dead and I couldn't not load the photo onto my computer. Anyway, when I was doing laundry the other day I left the towel closet open. Later when I went to close it I found this...
The good: Oreo is feeling much better and is gradually switching back to his regular diet. Also, I have apparently spent enough money at Kohl's that my account was upgraded such that I receive 18 extra coupons a year instead of the 8 or 12 or whatever that I was getting. And finally my favorite show "Scrubs" is back for another seaon, just on another network!
The bad: Jerry is sick and I am apparently still having electric fence problems with the horses.
The other: I wanted to recognize some birthdays that I failed to mention with all the activity of the last few months. Spring turned 1 and Wiggles turned 8-I don't know the exact dates but I know they were withing the last month. Also Icy turned 3 and Barney turned 4-those dates were only estimations at best but I feel they are pretty decent.
Today's picture is sort of random because I didn't have anything really new or exciting.
I rarely tell people what I do for a living. Mostly, I don't have to. For whatever reason when someone introduces me to another person they almost always follow with "she's a veterinarian" -as if it's normal to automatically add a person's profession onto the end of their name. That would be ok if that actually were the normal thing to do but no one ever says "this is Jane, she's a bank teller/dentist/horse trainer/teacher/etc."
And I realize that it's an uncommon profession and I appreciate that many people find it an interesting and very respectable career but that does not mean that I want it to be the only thing of importance that anyone attaches to me or that I want to be forced to live and breathe veterinary medicine 24 hours a day and in every social setting I enter. You see, allowing someone to know that you are veterinarian invariably opens the door to one of the following 3 conversations:
1. "You know I always wanted to be a vet but didn't/couldn't because (fill in the reason here) and I heard it's harder to get into vet school than med school......and I just love animals...."
2. They feel the need to tell you about every pet they either had as a child and/or every pet they own now. I'm not sure if they just want to talk about their pet, they think I want to hear about it, or they don't know what else to say to me since I must not know about anything besides animals. And they are obviously unaware that I get paid to listen to people talk about their animals all day long.
3. They somehow find it appropriate to begin asking questions about their pets current medical or behavioral condition, which they are obviously concerned about but no so much that they want to pay their vet to actually examine the animal. And usually it's a complicated condition like allergies, feline urinary issues, chronic vomiting, weight loss-you know, stuff I can obviously answer easily and without seeing the pet.
And I don't mean to sound rude, I really don't mind when someone asks the occasional question or shows an intelligent (can't tell you how may questions I've been asked that start with "what's the grossest/weirdest..." for real people, it's not a circus act-just a job) interest in what I do but I also appreciate when they try not to "abuse their privileges" and realize I have a life outside of work and believe it or not I'm just a regular person when the white coat comes off!
And it's also pretty fun to hear what people will say to you or around you when they don't know what you do for a living. I've had quite a few people give me medical advice on my own pets over the years. I just tell them thanks and assure them my vet will take care of it :)
I did some tests on Oreo this morning and everything turned out good. His bloodwork showed no new or worsening problems and abdominal x-rays were ok. So it's probably just a GI bug. I started him on Cerenia for nausea and vomiting and Metronidazole (the wonder drug of bowel problems!) for the diarrhea. Shortly after his Cerenia he ate 2 meals of 1/3 can i/d happily and licked the bowl clean. Hopefully the diarrhea will soon be clearing up.
I got an update from Peyton's new mom-she is doing great and having a lot of fun in her new home. It's pretty clear that they adore her as much as we did and I think she's so spoiled she didn't even have time to miss us! Having a great happy ending like that was definitely worth all the getting up at night and puppy walking in the cold :)
This picture of "the boys" was taken shortly before we moved here from Columbia. I framed a larger copy of it for the dog trainer we worked so long with in Columbia. You can visit their site (Ann Gafke's Teacher's Pet) over in my links section.
Yesterday I did manage to fix my horse fence-again. It was still intact this morning but the indicator light is still only showing up about half the time but at least it might be working some. In the afternoon we went just across the Oklahoma border to the new casino. You literally cross the state line as you pull into the parking lot. It was fun but we lost all our money this time. This is the first casino I have been to where most of the slots were Penny slots. If you wanted to play quarters you really had to hunt so I mostly played pennies. The thing is though you can play so many options-sometimes up to 40 lines and multiple credits per line that you really are not playing pennies, you could play almost any denomination you want. Then we came home and watched the rest of the Colts/Chargers game. And since the Colts lost and I had them picked as my Superbowl winner I doubt I will do very well in the playoff pool this year (a few years ago I won and had only one loss the whole playoffs).
Oreo is still sick-he's not eating well and has had some diarrhea. This morning he would barely eat canned i/d. He's sleeping a lot but still following me around the house and played frisbee and tug outside yesterday and today and acts interested in whatever we are eating. I hope it's just a nasty GI bug but since he's not prone to GI upsets I always worry when he does do something out of the ordinary that there is more to it (he has started vomiting occasionally over the last year but still eats well so we have just gotten used to it). I tend to freak out every time he acts weird so I am trying to remind myself that he was fine up until a few days ago and his last bloodwork was only 3 months ago and looked good (he has chronic renal disease but it is mild and has remained stable over the last year).
Legend worked agility this weekend and is doing well. I am working on sometimes carrying the toy so she gets an instant reward for a fast and correct performance and sometimes leaving the toy at the start line so she gets used to working some obstacles and then being released to her toy. Hopefully this will improve her drive/speed on course because she will know there is a toy waiting somewhere that she will get when released-might be one, five, or twenty obstacles down the road though. Right now we are alternating with anywhere from 1-4 obstacles. I'm also going to take away her football and use a tug toy or leash instead so it will simulate a trial more where she will be running to her leash and having a tugging party once she leaves the ring.
We got our Christmas stuff taken down and packed away in the garage closet using our new mouse-proof (I hope) containers.
Now about this picture. Legend may be pretty, sweet, smart, and athletic but she is also the grossest dog I have ever lived with. This is what she looked like after coming in from playing. She flops in the grass/dirt between agility exercises and ball throwing and also lays down to drink. This allows her to create a nice dirty paste all down her front as well as string a puddle of water all across the dining room. She also collects a large amount of leaves in her coat. Nice.
Peyton-she went off to her new home today. Her new family was thrilled when they met her and I'm sure she will be very spoiled and loved. We were all sad to see her go but they promised to send pictures as she grows up. The house seems very quiet now.
New vacuum-so far the Dyson has lived up to it's reputation. Seems to do a good job and has not given me any problems.
Oreo-has had a few days this week that he has seemed a little down, not really sick, just not quite himself. He's due for some labwork though so I'll be able to see if he has any new problems or just getting older and more tired.
Jelly-won't use her new door, prefers to stay out in the cold garage
Wiggles-has developed quite a sneeze at times but otherwise seems to be ok so I'm not worrying about it too much
I'm excited to have the weekend off although we do need to do some work around the house-figure out what's wrong with the fence and take down Christmas decorations/organize garage closet.
Just like that you're six years old and you take a nap and you wake up and you're twenty-five and your high school sweetheart becomes your wife...
Ain't no rhyme or reason No complicated meaning Ain't no need to over think it Let go laughing Life don't go quite like you planned it We try so hard to understand it The irrefutable, indisputable fact is... It happens