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Friday, April 13, 2012

Vet Week

This week was "Vet Week" for Jasmine and I!   Jaz is determined to keep the veterinarians in business!!

Jaz has allergies, and is always itching like crazy in the spring time.  (Well, year round, but more so in the spring!)

I've been to my regular vet.  I've tried different diets, special shampoos, fish oil supplements, powders, sprays, pills, everything I could think of to help her stop itching!  She was miserable!
I finally just had to take her into an dog dermatologist to get allergy tests done.  (Even though it was really expensive!!)   So, last week, they shaved her side, gave her a light sedative through an IV, and tested for for 47 different environmental allergies.   

And guess what.... Jaz is HIGHLY allergic to all 47 things!  She tested positive for everything except the control group!  She's allergic to every kind of tree, flower, pollen, grass, mold, human dander, even cats!!!  My dog is allergic to cats!  Go figure.   (So it probably doesn't help at all when she goes over to my parents' house and hangs out with their cat Squeakers.   Jaz always licks his face to say hello.)

So... Jaz is now on Zyrtec, a steroid (only temporarily to get this under control), and weekly allergy shots.

She's also doing a food trial, to see what foods she is allergic to.  So for the next 6 weeks, she can only have Rabbit and Potato.  There's a dry kibble, and canned stuff (which I use to give her the pills).

But I explained to the vet that Jaz isn't just a regular dog.  She's a trick dog, and when we get asked to do commercials, she won't do tricks without a good treat.  (and Jaz doesn't consider kibble to be a high-value treat.)   So he suggested I could make my own rabbit or potato treats.  Obviously, the potato was the easier one to start with.  So when we went to agility class, I took baked potato slivers.  (Basically french fries without the salt or oil.)  They worked okay.  Not great, but okay.

Then my agent called to see if we would be available if she submitted us for a commercial next week!  (What timing!)  So I had to find a better treat that Jaz would want to work for.   So I really did have to buy and cook rabbit for her!  (ICK)   My friend actually cooked it, because I didn't want to touch it!  

She got all the meat off the bones, and put it in the fridge so I could use it for treats.  We threw the carcass away.  Later that night, we went over to a friend's house.  When we came home, we discovered Jasmine (the highly food motivated dog) had opened the cupboard, and pulled out the garbage can.  She at that entire 3 lbs carcass.... nothing but bones.

She's only a 18 lbs dog, so I knew it had to come out one way or another!  So on Monday, when she started throwing up, I wasn't surprised.  However, at one point, it looked like she might be throwing up blood in the bile, I got a worried. I took her into the vet to get checked out.  (I was worried the bone splinters might puncture something.)   They took an x-ray, and as you can tell from the picture above.... there a lot of bone fragments in her!  But LUCKILY, nothing was punctured.  And the remaining fragments that she hadn't thrown up were surrounded by stool.  So they gave her an anti-nausea shot, and a subcutaneous shot of fluids (under the skin).  Then she wasn't allowed to eat or drink for 24 hours.  (Jaz was pretty ticked about that.  She kept flipping her food bowl over and over at dinner time!  I finally had to put it up on the counter.  Then the next day she was allowed 1/8 cup of food for breakfast.  (She gave me "the look" when I put that in her bowl!)   And slowly, she worked back up to normal quantities.  

But man, what a scare.  That's my dog for you though!!   She's a nearly perfect dog... except when it comes to food.  Then she gets herself into trouble.  A LOT!!   (and for the record, I had to get baby locks installed on the cabinets because of my highly food motivated dog!!)  It's great for teaching tricks!  But it's bad when she gets into trouble because of it!!  I keep telling Jaz she has to learn to use her superpowers for good, not evil!!  ;)   Silly dog.  She's okay now.  (But like I said- she's trying to keep the vets in business single handedly!!)  ;)

1 comment:

  1. Hi C.j,
    I can relate. Bandit had horrible allergies and they also put him on steroid shots that I had to give him every 14 days. It was awful! He was also allergic to many many things. When the allergy shots started making him even more reactive than he already was toward things that I had been desensitizing to, I decided to take him off his shots. I started working on calming signals and rewarding him for calm behavior. I stopped agility trials, I started walking him at times that would have less people so that he was not always worried about other dogs. I also stopped doing a lot of training or proofing his behaviors in places. I kept our house clean and washed his bedding weekly. I also made sure to stay away from foods that he was intolerant to. Even though the vet called it food allergies, I later found out it is just an intolerance. Lastly, I made sure to give him supplements in his food. He has been off his shots and not had any loss of fur, scratching, etc... for years. So, hang in there. I really think that stress plays a roll in allergies and the vet does not seem to realize that. Bandit's allergies came about after he broke his leg and started physical therapy. Not that is Jasmines reason, but I thought I would share that I know what you are going through. It has been a long road back to health for my Bandit, but it was worth all the extra effort. :)