Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Skelly Video Teaser

A little something to tide you over until I find the time to finish editing the new video...

The Amazing Skeletor!!!

More Skelly Threads via CafePress

Clothing and Merchandising Juggernaut, Skeletor has just put together a CafePress store, which offers additional merchandise. CafePress also offers additional payment options, such as paypal.

Items include doggie tee shirts, hats, wall clocks, and more!

Click to view Skelly Threads: CafePress

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Skelly Threads - Shirts, Hats and Mousepads Now Available

Check it out Skelly's got his own line of clothing haha :)

I'm looking for a place that actually prints shirts for dogs so he can be his own model.

So far, I've added some different shirt designs, a couple of mugs and one sweet lookin' mouse pad!

Visit Skelly Threads

Monday, March 29, 2010

Good news for Annie!

My Aunt has decided that she would like to adopt Annie!

She lives in Texas, so we're working out the details. If anybody has any money saving advice regarding pets and airplanes, it would be most welcome :)

Thanks for spreading the word about this little lady.

How to untrain your foster dog in 2 seconds

Hiya folks!

Skelly's been doing quite well lately (all things considered). We're back to doing our best to put them pounds on this guy. His appetite is very strong and his muscles are too.

We've been shooting a lot of video, but have had little time to import and edit it! I'll get something up soon... even if it's not a masterpiece ;)

This weekend was a bit dreary, so we hung out inside a bit. Skeletor was being such a cute lad, the ladies couldn't bear to kick him off the couch!!! Naturally, he instantly forgot everything he knew about staying off the couch :) He's now become the world's largest (and clumsiest) lap dog!

Skelly and Sophie were visited by a crazy little wiener dog by the name of Bella. (this visit made for some hilarious video!) On Saturday, I did a little experiment to see how well Skells would run beside a bicycle. He did very well actually. As expected, the higher rate of speed meant less A.D.D. on his part. One thing that I found strange was that he never really galloped. He only trotted as fast as he could. Perhaps his infected heart is preventing him from running at top speed. He does seem to tire out rather quickly for a dog.

So, he's working on building stamina. He's still quite an excitable guy!! Especially when new friends (dogs or people) are concerned! He's definitely a very wiggly guy. His tail is rarely seen sitting still.

Woohoo, the photo upload is now working!!

Tsk Tsk Tsk!!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Adopt Annie bloggy buttons!

Simply copy and paste this code if you would like to put this button on your blog or webpage.

Back to the vet we go!

Wes had lots of work to do yesterday, so it was just me and Skells - off to the vet!

He was really good in the car! All smiles. He got pretty sidetracked when he saw a motorcycle :-) I think he wanted to to join him on the Harley.

When we arrived he was wayyy too excited for a dog at the vet. He hardly ever barks, but at the vet, he barks and howls and yells until they take him back! Everyone was thrilled to see him, and very happy that he was in better spirits than before. And OH MY GOSH YOU GUYS!! Skells was such a terror on this vet visit, but we will get to that!

Dr. Fish took some blood from his back leg (because he was soo jumpy) to test his blood cell count. His red cell count was up a bit. Unfortunately his white cells are WAYY high. Dr. Fish explained that he might be fighting an infection other than the heart worms, but we aren't sure what that is quite yet. So now our boy is on 3 different medications. Poor dude. You wouldn't know he is sick from his award winning personality though.

Now for the fun part...I know you all think that your precious Skeletor is a perfect angel, but please allow me to enlighten you...

The jar of vet treats that he loves so dearly? All over the floor within minutes of being in the room. And HE ATE THEM ALL! He must have had 20 treats, yall! So then our boy was thirsty (after eating 20 cookies who wouldn't be!?) I noticed his thirst because the sink in the room was dripping and he was struggling on his hind legs for just one savory drop. too cute.

So the tech brings him a pale of water. He guzzled 1/2 of it down, burped, and with a flick of his dainty paw... SPLASH! He knocked the rest of the water all over the room. So there I was... wrestling in a small, slippery room with a very excited, and very clumsy dog. We both froze like deer in headlights when the vet techs came in to see what all the commotion was about. She just smiled and returned with a mop and some towels. I think I have said this multiple times, but he's really lucky the staff loves him up there :-)

So, the vet visit was a success! Like Wes said, his weight is the same, but that is just fine considering how sick he was. Dr. Fish said his heart sounded good, so that is awesome! We have to bring him back for some more blood work in 2 weeks. His white cell count will hopefully be a lot lower next time. Our task continues to be putting weight on him, giving him his meds, and getting our boy healthy!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Skells went to the vet a day early

Nothing is wrong, it was just more convenient with our schedules to bring him in today. Kim is there with him now. She says he weighs the same as he did before the reaction. This is good news, because I'm positive he lost weight from that ordeal!

Dr. Fish says his ticker sounds good. I'll post more details as they emerge.

In the meantime, here's a funny photo of Sophie

Update: Kim wrote a big long spiel about Skeletor's adventures at the Vet yesterday. Sadly she accidentally erased it all and has to start over!! Hopefully she'll share all the details later today.

Stronger and healthier each day

I'm happy to report that Skelly has made nothing but positive progress since the reaction to the heart worm preventative. Tomorrow's the big day that he goes back to the vet for a checkup. I'm not sure what the new treatment schedule is. He was originally scheduled to be neutered before the big bad reaction.

After seeing him on what appeared to be his death bed, I have a new fear-based respect for the parasites that have hi-jacked his circulatory system. We'll see what the doc says, but it seems like his being "intact" isn't really causing too many problems just yet. I'm wondering if they will want to proceed with the heart worm treatments before neutering him. It's going to be rough keeping him from getting excited for 2 whole months. Staying calm is definitely not his style! 

I'm in no hurry to begin the heart worm treatment, but I'm certainly looking forward to FINISHING IT!

I'm sure it goes without saying, but I'm getting rather fond of this little guy. It's hard not to bond with a being like him. He's been through unspeakable neglect and/or abuse, he's been practically paralyzed by parasites, he's been cast out into the streets... yet he's still bursting with nothing but positive energy.

Skeletor has been and continues to be an inspiration to me. I'm happy to return the favor by taking care of him and doing what I can to help his fellow dog.  I feel like a broken record when I say this, but we really couldn't be doing this without all of your support! Thanks again folks!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Checkin in

This is Kim, Skells' foster mom! I want to personally thank everyone for everything they have done to help!! You guys are awesome, and we would not be able to give Skells such a great "foster" home without you!

Since I am here...

As you know, he is doing a lot better since his reaction to the heartworms. We are really happy about that, and he will be going back to the vet on this Thursday for a checkup - I guess that's when we will find out about continuing his treatment.

FYI: Skells is a daddy's boy! He has taken a liking to Wes that is pretty entertaining. He follows Wes from room to room without missing a beat. Wes, on the other hand, is still getting used to trying not to trip over a VERY clumsy Pitt bull. He likes to wrap you up in his leash if given the chance, too.

I know you all have been introduced to Sophie (Skelly's girlfriend) and I would like to report that they are definitely going steady. I have never seen two dogs lip lock like they do! We have to literally break up the make out sessions on a daily basis. I will let you know when he proposes.

Also, I don't know if it is a nervous habit, or if he really thinks everyone has fleas, but Skells LOVES checking anyone and everyone for fleas. He does that little nibble with his front teeth and pinches you juuuuuust enough to where you jump out of your chair. If he catches you off guard, it startles you! He gets my arms and feet all the time and I can’t get mad at that face.

Skeletor has become a professional sitter! I will have to ask Wes to get video of him sitting without any “assistance”. He is working on lying down now. 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sunny Saturday trip to Ringhaver Park

Here's a video that pretty much sums up Skeletor's progress on recovering from his reaction to the heartworm medication.

It was a nice, sunny 77 degrees today! We went out to explore a nearby park we had never been to. My camera does its best work in the sunshine!

Enjoy... (click the image to view the full gallery)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

New Jacksonville team focuses on animal cruelty, neglect

Way to stay ahead of the curve, Jacksonville! Who knew that a team like this didn't already exist? We'll be a real city yet.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Home from the Vet

I called up the vet's office to see if Skelly was ready to come home. They said "come and get him."

I grabbed his collar and got the car ready. On the way, I saw that in the oncoming lane, rush hour was about to be in full effect. Not exactly great news for us.

When they called me back, Skelly was waiting in an exam room. He was on his feet and rambunctious, but nowhere near full tazmanian devil capacity. He was losing quite a bit of fur, which has never been a problem before.

Dr. Chick explained to me that Skelly has been a bad boy this morning and was being a little too chatty with his neighbors. He gave me some Prednisone and Doxycycline to administer to Skells. He confirmed my suspicion that the reaction itself was due to the dead parasites in his bloodstream, not to the medication itself. He showed me the paleness of skeletor's gums. This was an indicator that he was still suffering from low blood pressure and anemia.

I asked Dr. Chick if we should continue to try and put weight on him and he said "Absolutely."  I thanked the vets for their great care and walked an ever-excitable Skeletor out to the cashier. As expected, the complications translated to a pretty hefty bill.  Hefty? Yes, but COMPLETELY fair considering the lifesaving feats they performed!

One interesting thing to note... There's a $9.95 charge on the bill for something called a "rubber chicken." I thought this was some kind of vet lingo, but was unable to find anything about it online. Perhaps they had to give him a rubber chicken dog toy to get him to settle down and stop disrupting the other patients :)

On the way home, we were hitting some nasty stop and go traffic. I did what I could to snap a few shots of Skeletor as he stumbled about in the backseat.

"Yo, lemme ride up front!"

"Are we there yet?"

Good to have ya back, buddy.

Aah... slobber in my ear!

Nobody said it would be easy, but it certainly is rewarding. We're happy to have our little foster doggie home and in one pale-gummed, slightly lethargic, but very hopeful piece.

Happy and talking

This is how the vet described skelly this morning! We will know more this afternoon...

 This house is not a home...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Skelly is having a reaction to his meds

About 2 hrs after giving him his meds, he started acting very lethargic and his breathing appeared labored. I let him inside and found his leash. I could tell he was excited, but he could barely react. We left the house and I opened the back door to the car. He tried to jump in, but needed help. As soon as I closed the door, he curled up.

When we arrived at the Vet's office I opened the door, but he didn't budge. I had to carry him from the car to the vet. They are working with him now...

Update: they have given him an IV catheter and are administering drugs to combat the reaction...

Update: His blood pressure is very low. Reaction is pretty strong. I think they are about to send me home and keep him here while they work on him...

Update: They took me back to the treatment area. Skelly was on an IV getting some liquids. They gave him 2 injections to combat the reaction. His only movement was breathing. He was looking so pathetic.  As I was speaking to the technician about leaving and checking back in a couple hours, he moved nose to the edge of the cage. I gave him a little bit of one finger affection through the bars. His breathing sped up a bit when I did so.

Hopefully he'll stabilize and be ready to come home soon! We're crossing our fingers. Nobody at the vet's office spoke in definites. They were careful not to use phrases that might give false hope. This is a serious situation. Good luck Skells!!

Update: I called the vet's office to check on his condition. The doc was with another patient at the time. All they could tell me was that he was not interested in food and that he was resting comfortably.

I've done a bit of research. Apparently a reaction this severe is rare.
I found some pretty informative pages on the subject:

Starting heartworm prevention

The first dose of heartworm prevention medicine will kill a large number of microscopic heartworm larvae, which can cause a reaction. We minimize this by pretreatment with a cortisone drug followed by the first heartworm pill about an hour later. This can be done at home.

Do this on a weekday, when our office will be open and you can be with your pet all day. Give the prednisone tablet(s) at 7:00 in the morning and the first heartworm pill an hour later. Give food and water normally. If there is going to be a significant reaction, it will probably happen within two to four hours after giving the heartworm pill. Signs of a significant reaction might be panting, weakness, vomiting, or diarrhea. If your dog does any of these things or acts sick in other ways, please call us. Although extremely rare, severe reactions require IV fluid support and additional treatment with cortisone drugs."

From what I understand, the death of the microfilariae and larvae in his bloodstream is causing an allergic reaction. Causing organ tissue to swell and white blood cells to go nuts performing cleanup. This weakens his entire body leaving him in a shock-like state.

Heartworms are a very strange and deadly parasite. I read that they are currently incurable in cats, but are also rarely transmitted FROM cats. However, cats and dogs are at equal risk of contracting them from mosquitoes.

Did I mention that I hate mosquitoes? Worst haematophagous vectors ever!!!

Update: The vet says he's "doing better." They are going to keep him for observation. Hopefully he'll be much better tomorrow. 

Friday, March 12, 2010

The only dog on the planet who LOVES the Vet

Thursday was Skeletor's follow up visit. Foster Mom Kim took him to the vet in her car while Ian and I rented a carpet shampooer to undo some of his little doings ;)

Kim sent me a text message with some pretty awesome news. Skelly weighed in at a whopping 51lbs! That means that in 2 weeks, he has gained about 12 lbs!

We're really stoked about this development. Way to go Skells!

So, here's my paraphrasing of what Kim told me about their little adventure...

Skeletor's reaction to the windshield wipers was priceless. He almost made me wreck the car, I was laughing so hard. When I hit the wipers to get the mist off the windshield, he was leaning from side to side in the back seat following them. It was a riot!

When we were in the waiting room, he was going crazy with excitement. He was dying to go into the back room to see the Vet and Techs. Every time he saw somebody, he started barking like crazy. Of course, I forgot to bring his harness, so he was gagging himself yanking the leash with his collar. The excitement and throat trauma resulted in a nice pile of doggie vomit in the waiting room.

Fortunately for Skeletor, he's got such a winning personality, nobody minded that he was being such a Tasmanian devil.

When we got into the room, Skelly was super stoked about the treats they offered. The same treats that took him a while to chew up last visit were inhaled effortlessly with his improved jaw strength. Skelly jumped up and put his paws on the vet counter, then with one paw, he pulled the jar of treats towards the edge. "No, Skells!!"

OK, so his manners are a work in progress. Like I said, he's such a fun guy, people find his dastardly deeds to be quite endearing. :)

So, as for the treatments... Skelly once again refused to let them take his temperature.  He was given the other half of his vaccinations. Dr. Fish also prescribed a heart worm preventative and heart worm preventative reaction preventative. (say that three times fast)

On Monday, Wes has been instructed to give him the meds and monitor his behavior for the rest of the day. Should he have a reaction and begin coughing or exhibiting signs that he's having trouble breathing, he needs to be taken to the vet's office immediately.

So there ya have it! Skeletor absolutely LOVES going to the vet, but he certainly DETESTS the whole anal thermometer aspect.

Dr Fish said that Skelly has done a good job putting on weight so far, but has a ways to go. We have scheduled his neutering for this coming Thursday. (shhhh don't tell him) After that, it's on to the eradicating the parasites in this poor guy's ticker.  I really think he's going to be a 70 pounder when he's done putting on weight!

"I love the Vet!!!"

I wanted to take a moment to give props to a couple organizations.

The folks at San Juan Animal Hospital have been absolutely amazing from the very beginning! If you live in the Jacksonville area, we highly recommend that you entrust your pets to their care!

We applied for a grant from United Animal Nations and were approved for $100 towards Skelly's heart worm treatment.

Huge thanks to these fine organizations, and to all the wonderful people who have donated!! Check out Skeletor's Thank You Page

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Playing in the sun

Skelly is doing very well so far. He's getting better and more interested in playing tug of war and will even fetch certain toys for a bit until his A.D.D. kicks in :)

Tomorrow (Thursday) is his big vet visit. We'll see how much weight he has gained! 

Skeletor loves him some rawhide.

Trying to catch the ball

Got it!

Another attempt at catching

Fetching the rope!

Good job Skelly!


He's got lips for days

All tired out

Good boy!

Lunch time! We'll hide those ribs yet!