Friday, July 30, 2010

Update: eat as much as you can, but not too much....

We can tell that Skeletor is trying his best to keep his spirits up. His appetite varies from moderate to nonexistent. Sometimes his breathing appears labored. Sometimes he's very lethargic, other times he's wagging his tail like nothing is wrong.

Today I gave him his meds with a lot of food. He was not able to keep it down, but still showed signs of an appetite afterwards.

I'm going to try and feed him just a bit at a time in hopes that he can keep it down. I boiled some liver to make him some really gross smelling soup. :)

Thanks to you all for the positive comments.
Skeletor will beat this, I just know it. He's come too far!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Skeletor's plague of anemia continues to baffle

After loss of appetite, lethargy and bloody urine, Skeletor was taken back to the vet. Our mission ever since the beginning of March has been to stabilize his blood. The heartworm preventative reaction sent him into a tail spin, the likes of which he has yet to recover from.

His red cell count is down... his white cell count is up.. same old sad never ending story for this poor guy. 

Dr. Fish said that a bout with anemia following such a strong reaction is common in dogs. However, it's very uncommon for it to become a chronic condition like it is in Skeletor.

Skelly was given steroid and B-12 shots. He has been prescribed Cephalexin to prevent infection. He's back on 20mg of predizone twice a day to prevent auto-immune incidents. Dr. Fish also suggested giving him a zantac 75 with his prednizone to help prevent (limit) damage to his stomach.

Dr. Fish said that he was going to speak with his colleagues about Skeletor's unusual condition. If you or somebody you know is a vet, please take a look at this chart. 

Skeletor's Bloodwork

This is a big set-back in getting Skelly ready for heartworm treatment. His red cell count is down to 28% from about 37% in June. In order to be ready for the treatment, he'll need to stabilize at around 40% for a good 3 months.

Poor guy can't catch a break! Still, he's lucky to have so many people who care to see him though this.

Thanks for reading.

Update: waitin for the doc

Skelly performing a sit & stay... Anything for a biscuit!

Update: enroute to the vet

Skelly has not eaten much at all today. He finally showed signs of appetite in the waiting room playing vacuum cleaner.

His ailment certainly didn't hamper his social disposition. He was saying hi at the top of his lungs when 2 mild mannered pooches walked into the waiting room.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Skeletor is peeing blood :(

Going to take him to the vet first thing in the morning.

Back in town - Skelly is a bit lethargic

Ian, Mel and I just got back yesterday from visiting my parents. Kim was taking care of Skelly while we were away.

Skeletor seems a little lethargic. I've beefed up his diet (quite literally) in hopes of getting him back to his chipper self. Melanie bought him some stew beef, which I've been cooking up and mixing in with his food. I picked up a big bag of the Purina Pro Plan (shredded blend of course).

He's eating and doing tricks... just much slower than usual... he is acting like he's underwater :(

Kim said that he was throwing up the other day, but I haven't noticed anything like that. He hasn't been coughing much either... hmmmm.

I'm going to give it a few days and see if he perks up. Either way, we'll go ahead and plan on a vet visit middle of next week.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

This just in: Local dog actually eats dog food

Fed up with feeding time fuss, and convinced that there must be a dog food out there that this picky punk will actually eat, I broke down and visited petsmart this morning.

I picked out 3 different small bags of dry food for this jerk to sample. Surely one of them is edible! I even got some "dog gravy", a new wubba and a frisbee. The squeaky wheel gets the grease eh?

Sixty dollars later, I wheeled the assortment out to the car. Here are the contenders...

1. Purina Beneful - Salmon Flavor
2. Purina Pro Plan - Shredded Blend with Beef and Rice
3. Iams Proactive Health - Large Breed Puppy

First, I fed him some of the Beneful. He didn't even acknowledge it as food. I poured some of the dog gravy on top and mixed it in. He picked away a bit, but really could care less. Later on, I opened up the bag of Pro Plan. Skeletor actually likes this stuff. It's got weird looking chunks of shredded "meat" inside. I am completely astonished that this dog is eating dry food!

Have not yet opened the Iam's, but will report the findings when I do.

*huge sigh of relief*

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dangerous foods for dogs, corny dog food surprise!

This just in... corn was perhaps not such a great idea.

I spent the better half of my morning cleaning up Skelly's crate and the surrounding carpet.
Apparently that corn upset his stomach and he painted the area liberally with corny dog food surprise.

Upon doing a little bit of research on the topic, I've determined that you should never feed your dog anything... ever.

Check out this link haha

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Watermelon for breakfast

The other day I cut up some watermelon and mixed it in with Skeletor's food.

Oh well, if it's cheap and good for him, he can have at it! 

Other things I've added to get him to eat include:
Pecan meal, potato flakes, peanuts, peanut butter, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, tuna juice, lunch meat, chicken broth, leftover noodles, leftover rice, raisin bran crumbs I accidentally spilled on the counter, cooked liver, raw egg, cooked egg, and even wet dog food. 

Ian tricked him into eating plain dry food by tossing a few pieces of kibble in the air for him to catch. He gradually tossed them closer and closer to the food dish and then into the dish... 

Maybe one of these days I'll find the magic dry food that he just loves. 

Friday, July 9, 2010

How to give pills to your sick dog

I made a video showing my new method of medicine administration for dogs.

Take a gander :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Art for Pit Bulls

Friend of Skelly, Souljur has a nice owner who creates and sells artwork for the benefit of the Fresno Bully Rescue. Here's some info from her site...

. Art For Pitbulls is a website where I offer you the opportunity to help me in my fight against APBT stereotype. . I sell my art here with the intention of 25% of all proceeds [ for orders under 20$ ] and 50% of all proceeds [ for orders above 20$ ] go towards the Fresno Bully Rescue who do all that they can to save this breed from becoming a victim of neglect.
. All of the art that I do is 100% custom and executed to the best of my abilities.
. Ordering is simple. Just send me an email with a description of what you want, I will reply with a quote, and if you don't want to change anything I get to work on your piece so that I complete it in an adequate amount of time.

Click here to visit

Summer heat, Picky eating and Learning manners

Well today marks the end of the "cold snap" here in Florida. The past week has brought severely low temperatures in the upper 80's. I just returned from some errands and the thermometer in my car said it was 100 degrees outside. I wouldn't take that to the bank, but let's just take a peek at OK, it's just 94 degrees.. what am I complaining about? Humidity is 38%. Tomorrow is supposed to reach 98 degrees. Wonderful!

 Skelly and Sophie: hanging out under my desk while I work - their favorite passtime.

Honestly, I don't personally mind the heat much anymore. I've lived here since 1994. You learn to take cold showers, avoid traffic jams, and stay indoors unless you're poolside. Skeletor's walking routine has been adversely affected by the heat though. If we're not out the door by 8am, it's already scorching. His heartworm condition adversely affects his stamina, which is exacerbated significantly by the heat. Sometimes we end up going after dark when it's cooled off a bit... but other times it's just not feasible. If he doesn't get his walk, not only does he become a terror, but he also has trouble keeping up his appetite.

What a goofy duo

We are all really looking forward to putting this whole heartworm mess behind us. If you met Skelly, you wouldn't even know he's sick at all. You might not peg him as a pit-bull unless you really knew the breed. He is in no way shape or form your typical stalky, bulldog-like pit. He's a wiggly, long-legged klutz.

With the extreme temperatures and dog spoiling tendencies around here, Skeletor has definitely become an inside dog. Just like his mentor Sophie, he will go outside, go to the bathroom and instantly bark to be let inside. He wants no part of the microwave oven that is our back yard.

There's a local dog park with a pond that is totally fenced in so you can let your dog loose to play and splash with the others. Unfortunately, they have a strict "no testicles" policy. We'd like to get him fixed asap, but the heartworm treatment takes priority. Surgery would only prolong the process and the sooner he's rid of those pesky parasites, the sooner he can put on the rest of that weight, and get up to 100% health.

Skelly is due for a bath though. Perhaps I'll fill up the kiddy pool after work and get him clean and cool.

Sick Dog Tip:  I found a great way to give Skelly his meds. Normally I put them in with his food, but that will only work if you've jazzed it up enough to get him to scarf it down. (peanut butter, liver, or whatever) Sometimes he ends up missing the pill regardless. We've been trying to get Mr fancy pants to eat more normal dry food anyways. One alternative is manually putting it in his mouth and holding his snout skyward until he swallows. This is an effective method, but you end up with plenty of drool on your hands. The best pill delivery system ever is to simply toss his pill to him. He'll snap it out of the air and so far has swallowed it every time! I always follow it up with a dog biscuit to help with the pill taste.

Skelly's Training Update:   Lately I've been trying to work with Skelly on his leash manners. The stronger he gets, the more he likes to prove it by pulling you around on walks. I've found online that the best method of training is to reverse direction when they begin to pull. This is supposed to teach that the only safe place to walk is right beside me. It's a work in progress, let me tell ya. By the time we're done reversing direction 10 times, Skeletor is all tired and ready to get back into the A/C.

Another trick I've been trying to get him to figure out is "wait" when a door is opened. This is actually a very important behavior because it could save your dog from bolting out the door and rampaging through the streets.

The key to Skeletor's cooperation is in the doggie biscuit. I swear, this dog would take a bullet, give a kidney and ride a pogo stick at the same time as long as you waved a biscuit in the air. He goes to bed without any fuss, he waits at the door, he lays down, he rolls over, he sits, stays, shakes paws, you name it... but no biscuit, no way!

 If the planets align just right, he will occasionally eat dry food :)

If only they made doggie biscuit flavored dry dog food.