Friday, December 31, 2010

Playtime...and some just for cuteness

Fun times playing with puppy...

Resting up with the kitty

Just for cuteness...

The obligatory bow on the puppy's head photo
 Puppy has had enough of this nonsense!

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Our  holiday ended up a little different than planned.  Due to uncertain weather conditions we ended up staying home for Christmas instead of traveling to see my family in St. Louis.  It was kind of nice to just spend time at home together, see a movie and relax.  On Sunday Jerry's mom came to visit. 

Ribbon is doing well-catching on to the crate training idea and sleeping through the night (well until 6AM anyway). 

Today was super warm so the dogs got some time to play outside.  No agility though.  I'm letting them have a break since it's two months between our last trial and our next one.  They deserve it and I'm sure it's good to get a rest from all that jumping, weaving and climbing for a bit.

Here are a few pictures of the beggars I took last week. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pet Poisons Part 2

Anticoagulant Rodenticides (aka Warfarin, etc.)

Almost everyone realizes that ingestion of mouse or rat poison is also toxic to dogs (and less commonly cats, because cats are more resistant and less likely to ingest unusual compounds unlike dogs!).  So, what makes it toxic?  Warfarin, Bromadiolone, brodifacoum, diphacinone, difenthiolone, chlorphacinone are the most common anticoagulant rodenticides used.  Warfarin is the oldest and is now rarely used due to resistance-so don't assume that what you purchased was warfarin when you tell your vet your pet ate rat poison.  All of these substances interfere with Vitamin K, and several clotting factors are dependent on Vitamin K for proper function.  So, take away the Vit K and the whole clotting cascade is disrupted causing bleeding.  Once this happens the pet can essentially bleed from anywhere into any space such as the abdomen or lungs. Sometimes they can even bleed into the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) causing seizures or other severe pathology.  Clinical signs can be lethargy, pale gums, difficulty breathing, weakness and many more. 

So what do you do?  First of all, don't panic.  If you come home and find your pet has eaten the rat bait it's not the end of the world.  It takes 36-72 hours for the body to use of the Vitamin K it has stored so your pet will not start bleeding and suffering effects the toxin right away.  Of course if you think the ingestion has been in the last 4 hours go the vet so they can induce vomiting and try to get what you can out of the system.  Whether or not you get there in time to induce vomiting your pet will be placed on oral Vitamin K capsules for 2-4 weeks.  Here's the important part-bring the package or write down the active ingredient.  Some of the longer acting products need to be treated for 3-4 weeks whereas Warfarin only needs to be treated for 7-14 days.  Your vet may also check clotting times during and after treatment to make sure you have treated long enough.

If your pet ingested the toxin and you didn't find out until clinical signs are showing your vet will likely run some blood tests including clotting times.  Your pet may need to be hospitalized and given a transfusion depending on their condition and blood tests.  The good news is that as long they get past the crisis or are adequately treated before becoming critical there are no long term effects from this toxin.

Also important to note is that not all rodenticides are anticoagulants.  Other ingredients such as cholecalciferol, bromethalin, and zinc phosphide are also being used.  These are much more dangerous than the anticoagulants and treatment options are much more limited.  If your pet eats these it is an emergency!  Do not use these products if you have pets-the risk is not worth it.  And naturally use caution and keep any and all rodenticides out of reach of pets!  Don't forget you have used them and then let the dog in the garage or in the shed, etc.  If you do use them check them frequently to make sure large amounts are not suddenly missing and always keep the package so you know what you used. 

Another note-it is a very rare phenomenon (some say it's not even possible) for an animal to become poisoned by eating mice or rats that have killed by anticoagulants so don't panic if your cat is eating a potentially poisoned mouse. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

The not for Christmas Puppies

This is our new foster puppy Ribbon. 

Ribbon's mom is a border collie who was running loose in the woods for several months.  Some nice people were feeding her and trying to catch her and finally resorted to a live trap.  Once caught it was obvious that "Millie" had recently had puppies.  So she was put on a harness and taken back to the woods where she ultimately led the rescuers to 6 fuzzy black and white puppies.  With no place for the new family to go MOKAN border collie rescue stepped up and found foster homes for mom and all the pups in just two days! 

For being born and raised in the woods all the puppies and Millie are social, sweet and friendly and seem pretty healthy.  Although we don't know for sure what dad was these are good sized puppies for having such a petite mom and they are also very fluffy and one has a double hind dew-claw so Great Pyrenees has been speculated.  Either way they are all super adorable!

We are waiting until after the holiday to post them on the website as we don't want to fend off the million requests for Christmas puppies (hence the post title).

But what puts you in the holiday spirit more than fuzzy puppies! 

Christmas NADAC Trial

The girls and I headed to Lawrence, KS this weekend with our friend an her dogs for our final agility trial of the year. Despite fighting a cold the whole time we had a great time. Both dogs ran great, doing all their runs with nice focus and enthusiasm. Legend did a 12 run weekend and never lost any of her speed! On Saturday she ended up with Qs in elite regular, open weavers and elite jumpers-which finished her jumpers title. Sunday she had two Qs in elite regular and two in elite tunnelers which finished her tunnelers title. She ended up with 40 points toward her NATCH but she still needs one Q in open chances before she can start working on the elite chances part of the NATCH. And there was tons of weave pole and discrimination practice this weekend and most of them she did very well. She also would have had another jumpers Q if I had not messed her up.

Lyric ran very well getting Qs in 4 of her 5 runs. She got two Qs in both novice regular and novice jumpers to finish both those titles. She was very fast and did not visit or get distracted at all and did a pretty good job on her weave poles.

I'm so excited for next year but glad to have a little break!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


We babysat for Kennedy last night which was not only fun for us but also fun for her and the dogs as she is now old enough to enjoy playing with them.  She spent a good portion of the night taking every single toy out of the basket and throwing or kicking it to the dogs.  The dogs, for their part, were pretty patient while having everything under the sun sort of chucked at them by a small person yelling "hey puppy!"  If we can get her to throw the same toy over and over it will make Legend very happy!  

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Pet Poisonings: Part 1

In light of recent events I decided to start a series of posts on common pet poisonings.  Not only is it handy information for pet owners it's also a good review for me!

Not surprisingly we will start with Antifreeze or Ethylene Glycol...

Antifreeze is one of the more deadly intoxications in veterinary medicine.  This is in part because of the necessity of instituting treatment right away but also because the toxic dose is so small.  As little as 4.4 mL/kg can be toxic to a dog and only 1.4 mL/kg it toxic to a cat.  To put that into perspective that is 60 ml (2 ounces) for a 30 lb dog or just 6 ml for an average 10 lb cat!  As you can see cats and small dogs are at greatest risk because of the smaller volumes needed for toxicity.  That much can easily be obtained from underneath a leaky vehicle or from an accidental spill. 

So why would a dog or cat drink antifreeze anyway?  Unfortunately antifreeze tastes sweet making it a tasty winter treat for free roaming dogs and cats.  Also note that there is a safer antifreeze product available for use made from propylene glycol.  This product is 3 times less toxic than the classic ethylene glycol and consequences of ingestions and less severe.  It should not be used carelessly though-continue to keep away from pets and use caution!

So what makes antifreeze toxic?  Ethylene glycol itself is not actually toxic-it is the products of metabolism that cause the damage.  The enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase begins the metabolism of the ethylene glycol that ultimately leads to the production oxalic acid which binds to calcium, forming crystals which are deposited in the kidneys. 

Alcohols, including ethylene glycol are rapidly absorbed from the stomach and metabolism starts quickly so if you see your pet licking antifreeze or you suspect they may have-go immediately to the vet!  Other signs of intoxication include vomiting, anorexia, lethargy (I know, not very helpful), and wobbliness or acting drunk (more helpful).  In later stages coma, seizures, oral ulcers and decreased urine production can be seen.  Prognosis in the later stages is poor. 

Treatment is aimed at slowing down or stopping the metabolism of the ethylene glycol.  Fomepizole is a veterinary product that completely inhibits the action of alcohol dehydrogenase thus allowing the ethylene glycol to pass through the system without producing any toxic metabolites.  This is the preferred treatment in dogs.  Fomepizole is not inexpensive and some clinics may not keep it in stock.  For cats there are some studies showing that high doses of Fomepizole started within 3 hours of ingestions is a successful treatment option.  There is however, risk of anaphylactic reaction with this product.  The alternative treatment option for cats, and dogs for whom Fomepizole is not an option is intravenous ethanol (i.e Everclear).  Ethanol competes with the ethylene glycol for the alcohol dehydrogenase.  So if we can keep the alcohol dehydrogenase busy metabolizing the ethanol into non-toxic metabolites the ethylene glycol can leave the system safely.  Obviously there are side effects to this treatment-depression, hypothermia, acid-base imbalances, etc.  The rest of the treatment is supportive-fluid therapy, monitoring of certain blood values, maintaining body heat, monitoring urine production, and pain management for the hangover once you discontinue the ethanol!

Remember the key points of this post are limit exposure and treat early!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Then and Now




Hope you enjoyed these updated on previous foster puppies!   I know I did! 

Barney went back outside today-he decided on his own he was ready.  He had a great time while the horse was getting shoes checking out all the stuff he missed in the last week and hanging out with Lefty!

Monday, December 6, 2010


While looking up treatment protocols on the Veterinary Information Network, I found this reference

"The problem with cats is that if you don't treat them quick, most of them die.

Per Connally and Thrall, at 3 hrs post lethal dose EG administration, 100% recovery with fomepizole, 25% recovery with ethanol. At 4 hrs post EG, 100% mortality with either fomepizole and ethanol"

So far I have proof to the contrary recovering in my bathroom-it was more than 12 hours between noticing he was ill and coming up with a diagnosis.  Barney continues to do well, is regaining strength and appetite.  Hopefully he won't have too much permanent damage.  We are so thankful for all the prayers and well-wishes. 

Barney: 1   Antifreeze: 0

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Tulsa Dog Training Club

Just back from a pretty good weekend in Tulsa.  The big news is from Lyric-she finished both her AXJ and her OA this weekend!  What a super-pom! She's doing better at weaving at trials and not running past obstacles but is still getting distracted occasionally.  But overall she's coming along nicely.

Legend for whatever reason refused the a-frame and the teeter yesterday and then NQ'd what was otherwise a nice jumpers run due to handler error.  Stupid handler!  Today she had a nice Q in standard almost a double but missed that darn weave pole entrance.  I'm glad she only missed one entrance this weekend but I sure wish it had been yesterday!

And not that I'm proud or anything but here is Lyric with all her ribbons from this fall...

Friday, December 3, 2010

Videos and good news

Here are the videos from last weekend.  Legend's is a clean run, Lyrics's are non-qualifying but still cute!

In the good news department we did more bloodwork on Barney yesterday and the kidney values were back to normal!  Se we discontinued the ethanol and then later the fluids.  Now we just wait to see if he can maintain kidney funtion without fluids.  He's still pretty wobbly and I'm sure very hungover but he did start purring some and ate a little this morning.  Thanks for all the well-wishes, now if we can keep our fingers crossed a little longer!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Barney got into antifreeze.  We don't know where.  He doesn't usually go far but he must have went far enough to get himself into trouble.  I noticed he was sick monday night but looked him over and it didn't seem like an emergency (little did I know) so I just let him hang out in the barn like usual overnight.  Tuesday morning he was worse and I took him to work with me.  He was dehydrated, lethargic and wobbly, but without fever or obvious injury.  Bloodwork pointed toward kidney damage so we ran the ethylene glycol test-it turned positive almost right away.

Prognosis is poor in cats who are not treated within 3 hours but we decided to try anyway.  So far he's beating the odds but it's still a long shot.  Tomorrow we will run more bloodwork and reassess his condition.  Cross your fingers.  He's a fighter!

The sad thing is, this doesn't have to happen.  I know there are risks to having an outdoor cat but this is a preventable accident.  They make a pet safe product, people don't need to leave it sitting out, or let a car continue to leak.  It's not safe and it's not responsible-how would they feel if their cat was poisoned?  I can understand rat poison or snail bait-at least that is serving a purpose, but there is no reason for someone to leave antifreeze out where animals can reach it, even if they are not your own.