Monday, February 29, 2016


Zodiac is doing a lot better-for the most part. He started drinking on his own Friday finally so got to have his IV catheter removed. He's getting around much better too-walking all over the house and yard almost as much as he did before. He still has a head tilt though and circles to the left a lot.

The biggest issue is eating. He acts like he wants to eat-and will eat something that he really wants, but it's getting harder to find things he really wants. He seems to be having trouble adapting to eating with his head crooked. Which is pretty tricky if you think about it. But, since he may always have a head tilt he needs to learn! He has been enjoying some chicken breast-so far he still thinks that is worthwhile. I also picked up some a/d today which he can lick-either plain or watered down or can be syringe fed. Hopefully he will be willing to lick it up because long term force feeding is not really ideal. But it's only been a week so hopefully by the time we leave on vacation he will be more improved. 

Meanwhile I worked on some more crafts. I was supposed to do this crayon thing with the girl I'm mentoring today. But she was sick so we are doing it in 2 weeks. I tried it on my own today to see how it would work. I like how it turned out. 
 I made some more bottles and jars too. 
The blue one I already posted but these three look cute as a set so I left it in the photo. 

The grape one turned out good. I was  little skeptical at first but I ended up really liking it. I would suggest superglue and not hot glue though-I had to reglue some of the grapes because they kept popping off. 

I really like the way this silver paint looks in the middle one. It actually says live, laugh, love if you rotate it. I think it would  have been better to use one word per bottle or write the other direction so you can see it all better. 

The last one is torn wrapping paper glued and sealed with mod podge. Really easy and looks cute-endless options too. I have also seen it done with road maps. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Craft stuff

Although we do recycle our bottles and jars I saw some ideas online about how to use them for craft projects so I have been experimenting.

 Sorry for the poor photo quality-I was too lazy to get good shots.  Most of the sites recommended spray paint, but the first day I didn't have any so just used regular craft paint.  This is ok if you are just doing a smooth flat surface, but otherwise it's too hard to get smooth.

 These first two are from the first day.  I did some others as well, but I didn't like how they turned out.  These two I was pretty happy with.

Today I got some various spray paint colors.  I like how this cute little bottle turned out.  It has a handle but it's kind of obscured by the bow. 
For this one I stuck foam letters on before I painted it.  I tried this the other day with regular craft paint and it doesn't work.  You can't ever get it to look smooth.  It actually says "woof" but you can't quite tell in the photo because the letters are so big. 

The other thing I'm trying instead of the foam letters is to write or draw in puffy paint and then spray paint over it like the foam letters.  Right now my puffy paint is drying.  I'm not sure how I will like them-I think I need a different brand of paint that doesn't come out so runny or have such a wide spout.  I'd like to have better control of the paint.  The foam letters are nice, but you are kind of limited in size, font, and artistic flair.  Anyway, that's what I've been up to!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Weekend stuff

Saturday night my friend's husband was competing in an Endurocross dirt bike event here in Springfield.  We decided this would be a fun new thing to watch so we went along.  It was fun-we got to see some high jumps and lots of crashes.  But it's not something I would do every weekend.  It was really loud and there were lots of fumes in the building.

Sunday Nadin was invited to a surprise birthday party for one of the other exchange students.  We picked up two other girls on our way to the party-and since it was over an hour away we stayed for the party too.  The food was great, the kids had fun and we enjoyed watching them play games.

I've been working on my goal, once again, to run 1000 miles this year.  Luckily we have had some great weather lately-not too cold for me and not too hot for Legend, so she has enjoyed going with me quite a bit.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Oh baby Z

As if Zodiac doesn't have enough trouble getting around, when we came home last night we found he had come down with Geriatric Vestibular syndrome (if you don't know what this is I wrote about it a few years ago-you can find the link to the right). He had a pretty classical presentation of head tilt, nystagmus, ataxia, and circling.  We are treating him with Cerenia for the dizziness and carrying him out to potty and hand feeding him some canned dog food.  I would say he is marginally better today.  He has been able to stand up a little, his nystagmus is slowing down and he just generally seems more able to get comfortable and respond when we enter the room.

Please send prayers for a continued recovery!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

This month's animal updates

Slick has gained a ton of weight since getting here and looks so much better.  Maybe when it's nice this week I can get some photos.  She looks like a regular horse again!

Reaghan has settled in well, She has readjusted to the rules of the house and is happy and social and giving us no trouble.  As soon as I get some new pics of her she will up for adoption again.  I don't think she has lost much weight but we are working on it.  It's hard to believe her adopters had such issues with her.  She's been great here.

Legend had a seizure sunday evening.  It has been four months since the last one and since I bumped her back up to 50% of her starting phenobarb dose.  Four months is an acceptable interval but I prefer her to have none if possible so we have put her back at 100% of her starting dose for now.

I started Zodiac on Adequan injections today in hopes it helps him get around better.  I took some radiographs of him the other day and didn't notice an appreciable amount of arthritis in his legs and spine but his reflexes are strong and normal. So I'm still not sure if his mobility issues are orthopedic or neurologic but I figured the Adequan won't hurt anything.

No one else has anything interesting to report!

The people in the house are looking forward to our spring break trip!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Product review: Hill's Dental Chews

It's been a while since we have done a review.  It's been pretty busy around here, plus our Bark Box keeps us well supplied on treats. But this month since it's pet dental health month we decided to try the Hill's Dental Chews.  I picked these since I use and sell a lot of Hill's products. Also I don't get to see the Hill's rep much and didn't even know about these!

We received the bag of medium sized chews which are for 25-50 lb dogs (there is also a smaller size but I have not seen a large size).  These seemed slightly  harder in texture than a greenie so I was interested to see how long they lasted.

As far as taste-no complaints in our house.  All of our dogs and Reaghan loved them.  And they are a bit tougher than a greenie, as they seemed to last marginally longer.  So, not something they are going to chew on for minutes or hours, but it did at least take them a few bites!

I did end up taking Lyrics away though.  I was afraid since it was a little harder than a greenie she would end up chewing off a big hunk and then trying to swallow it whole.  We have had good luck with her eating greenies appropriately but I was a little worried about these.  So if you have an overambitious small dog-then I suggest just getting the small dog size and trying those.

As far as cost I think even with my veterinary discount these came out cheaper than a greenie so I will probably use them again!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Good tries and fracture failures

When a bone breaks the body will typically try and fix it on it's own.  The process involves forming a hematoma or blood clot at the fracture site, then a callous of connective tissue.  The callous indicates active healing and helps stabilize the fracture until new bone can form.  Over time new bone is laid down-initially a weaker bone, that is ultimately replaced with more compact bone which is stronger.  This is a pretty simplified version and many factors can be involved in how the fracture actually heals.

Two of the things that greatly help fracture healing are alignment of the bone and stabilization of the fracture pieces.  Poor alignment leads to bones that heal crooked or twisted.  Motion can lead to delayed healing or no healing.  Lack of alignment and lack of stabilization can lead to some pretty dramatic attempts by the body to "bridge the gap" on it's own.  Such was the case for this guy.

This was a large breed dog that had been a stray and was adopted from the the local shelter.  The new owner mentioned some ongoing lameness issues.  We thought we might find hip dysplasia on the radiographs but instead we found a femoral fracture that had never been set.  While the body did  a great job of trying to fix the problem the lack of proper setting has left this dog with ongoing pain and limited function.

On the flip side, even with proper alignment and stabilization the fracture can sometimes fail to heal.  This is most common in toy breed dogs fractures of the radius and ulna.  These little guys tend to snap their forearm when then they fall or jump off furniture or get dropped.  The bones in these dogs are so small the the blood supply is not significant enough to stimulate healing.  The result can be a delayed or non-union that requires surgical intervention.  I just rechecked a case seen by a colleague that three weeks post fracture looks no different that the original rads.  And in a puppy, this fracture should be mostly healed.  I though these were good examples of extreme, but different reactions of the body to fractures.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Ha Ha Tonka

Sunday we had more nice weather and wanted to go somewhere that we could hike with the dogs.  We knew pretty much everyplace would be busy on a nice weekend in January and and it wasn't likely we would be able to let the dogs off leash.  So we decided to go to Ha Ha Tonka where we could at least enjoy the castle ruins and natural spring-it would give Nadin something new to see besides just another walk in the woods.

It was really pretty and we got some good family photos.  But I bet it's even better in prettier parts of the year.  We have been once, but it has been so long ago we barely remember anything.  So it was a nice trip for everyone.

I just thought this green moss looked cool since it stands out this time of year.
 Cheri and Renny at the natural bridge.
 Castle ruins

 Natural bridge

 Legend got bored while we consulted the map.

 We even saw an otter swimming in the spring.  It was so cute, but too far away to get a good photo.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Lunch break productivity

At the private practice I work at part time we get a pretty long lunch break, unless it's really busy.  And since we had some unseasonably warm January weather that I didn't want to waste, I took Legend running at lunch a few days last week.  It was great to get out and enjoy the fresh air and also to not have to work out when I got home.  We ran through town and then down along the creek a bit so Legend could also swim.  I skipped the swimming.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Fabulous 15

Zodiac is 15 today!  He has made it into a very exclusive club that not a lot of dogs get to.  Of course that's based on his estimated birthday taking into account the age his original owners gave the rescue.  But it's close enough for us!

To celebrate all the dogs had his favorite treat-ice cream!  Well to be more exact it was Andy's frozen custard, even better.  No one complained anyway.
 I had pictures of all the dogs individually but only Legend's looked cute.

Everyone did good until the first bowl was empty, then there was a bit of a scuffle and some separation had to be instituted. 
 Working a new technique.
Then there was some playing outside-wandering around the yard, herding the other dogs and even a little bit of fetching and tugging the frisbee.  He doesn't play a lot anymore but this week he has been extra perky at times.

Now everyone is napping.