Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Giveaway: The Art of Racing in the Rain

the author and his dog
It's about time I jump started this blog back into action! I was away for a week and just let things lie not unlike the dogs on my couch. I promise not to let it go so long next time.

To get things rolling, I found an awesome book today that I've read and got another copy for one lucky reader. It's called The Art of Racing in the Rain. by Garth Stein. It's a heartwarming tale about dogs, family, and love. I think it's better than Marley and Me but if you liked that one, this one is sure to be up your alley. I got a paperback copy which has this cute cover on it:

Here's how to win

Mandatory: write a comment below saying something you love about dogs

Sorry US and Canada only.

Extra entries:
Follow on Google Friend Connect (on the sidebar)

Tweet about this giveaway using the link and @siennastaffie in the tweet.

Blog about this giveaway with a link back to this post.

Winner will be drawn on February 1st at noon PST. Be sure to either leave your email address or come back here to see if you won.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

a dog without fur


Last week's notes:

Now that Ellie is slowly fading from a Collie to Chinese crested, it's been a bit disturbing. Yes, I am upset that she's in pain. Incessant itching is not fun, as I know from my own endless bouts of poison ivy. But there is something about a dog not having the proper fur that is upsetting. Like anything that takes away their doginess, like a lack of a proper tail, ability to walk or play, it disturbs.

The dog nature is to be happy, to pursue all things instinctual, like finding food, wrestling with other pups, chasing cats and other small creatures. When something takes that away, I am depressed for them, because they are closer to human-ness in a way. We humans are so burdened by the demands we place on ourselves that we hardly remember to take pleasure in the immediate: walks, fresh air, springtime, meals, and naps. Life becomes a chore for us. Can you tell I'd rather be a dog? Oh yes please make me one in my next life.

I really hope Ellie gets better. We have an appointment tomorrow at the vet. This past 6 months has been full of dog and cat medical issues: Zuki's death, Foucault's lily-eating and subsiquent 3-day hospitalization, Heather's blood clot and death, Sienna's chocolate eating ER mess, and now Ellie's iches that have progress and are undiagnosed. It's been a tough time.

Ellie finally got diagnosed with mange. Once Sienna started itching and even I had a tiny rash (which I thought could have been just dry skin, it was so mild), I knew it probably wasn't allergies.

Our vet had done several skin scrapings and not found any mange. Finally a dermatologist diagnosed it though not finding the mange but the droppings and eggs. I wish we had gone to a specialist much earlier. The downside to going was that she had to off her medications for about a week which really made her feel a lot worse. She was shedding loads of fur.

Notes about sarcoptic mange (contagious type):
  • Can be contracted from kayotes or from the groomer (the wet water keeps the mange alive)
  • Mange don't live long off the dog, unlike fleas their life cycle is shorter.
  • Mange can take awhile to progress, Ellie has likely had it since we've had her, for 4 months but took awhile to get this bad, one reason why it's often misdiagnosed.
  • Mange is contagious from dog to dog, but not very contaigious to cats or humans (they might get a mild irritation but nothing like what the dog gets).
  • All dogs in the house must be treated.
  • There is an internal medication but some breeds of dogs are prone to neurological disorders from it. Consult the vet for more information.
  • There is TONS of conflicting information and wrong information online about mange (I know because I researched it!). In fact even some vets are misinformed. Consult a dermatologist for accurate diagnosis and information.
If I have one piece of info to pass on, I'd say if your dog has been a stray, to a groomer/kennel, or just around a lot of other dogs in the last few months and is itching, try to rule out mange with a dermatologist (who can catch it much earlier than a regular vet).

We are still not sure Ellie does not have food allergies so we will see once she has completed the treatment if she is still itchy.

We are glad she is itching a lot less now and losing less fur. Phew! Vet says it should all grow back.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

puppy and kitten mini-mes

Happy New Year from all of us at Bitt of Paw. Sienna shouted it a little loud. She had to be heard over those loud firecrackers. Thankfully the cold weather kept the firecracking to a minimum which makes happier 4 leggers (and their humans too).
happy new year!!!!
 Foucault has been extra snuggly lately, perhaps due to the cold weather. He's a little stir crazy from not being able to play on the porch.

Ellie has had to wear a t-shirt to keep her from itching so much until we can get into the see the doggie dermotologist.
Since our pups were adopted at older ages, I often wonder what they looked like as puppies. I ran across these pics on The Daily Puppy and I can imagine Ellie and Sienna looked a little like this as pups.

shelby the collie mix
Look, the left ear is even bent on Shelby. Ellie used to be called Sheba at the shelter she was at for awhile, which is similar. She still answers to it.

pixie the pitbull
 Pixie has master the stare into the eyes look that Sienna loves to do. By the way Sienna's former name was Tagra. Ick. She didn't know it.

We got Foucault at 5 months so we have an idea of how he was at a kitten. He still acts like one too.

foucault 6 months
I can imagine him a little smaller looking like this cute guy below. Except probably he was cuter. Sorry, I am a biased mom.

male kitten
Foucault was called Max and Toonces in his foster home (which is a store), but he figured out Foucault quick.

Hope you all had a wonderful new year and here's to a happy and healthy 2011!