Enter Ralphie Laughing

Well, just like I read….it took a little over 2 weeks for Ralphie to get back to his normal, perky self.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  He races around the house like a lunatic, picks on his brothers and sister and acts like nothing ever happened to him.  Thank goodness!  Now I’m dealing with Simba, who has a terrible sinus infection, much like Henry had a few years ago.  I am using both a humidifier and a vaporizer, alternatively, on him, but nothing seems to help.  He is still eating, most of the time, but he prefers sleep to anything else.

 

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Ralphie is back to normal!

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Simba is fighting the good fight.

 

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The Rainbow Bridge

There is nothing harder in this life than to say goodbye to a loved one.  Even when that loved one has 4 legs and fur.  Our beloved Moose passed away on December 26.   As I’ve mentioned, he struggled for a long time with a myriad of issues.  He was going on 15, which is old for a big dog, but his passing has left another huge whole in our hearts.  Dixie, our Border Collie mix, seems lost without her brothers, both which left us too soon.

Good-bye dear Moosie.  I hope Bosco met you on the other side of the Bridge.  You are missed every day, and will always be loved.

September 2005 002

Cats and Strokes

Do you ever have one of those years where you should have stayed in a locked room with all the windows bolted shut?  I feel that way this morning.

Moose, the Chocolate Lab, has been doing relatively well.  He actually had a real stool specimen yesterday instead of diarrhea, which is always a good sign.  He’s getting up by himself and continuing to eat well.

Ralphie, on the other hand, not so much.  Ralphie is my “failure to thrive” kitten that I adopted from a Shelter where I volunteered.  I think I posted about him before.

Anyway, I went down the hall to the office to do a little work and he was in the sitting room.  I heard him cry out….which he does when he can’t find me, so I didn’t think too much of it.  I called for him and he came in and jumped on his chair.  Then he started looking back at his back legs like something had bit him.  Then he started walking in circles.  THAT freaked me out.

I got him back into the sitting room and he seemed okay.  He jumped up on the couch back and took a long nap, snoring because he has a stuffy nose.  When he woke up, he went right back to the circling thing.

I grabbed my trusty homeopathic book for cats and  gave him Aconitum (200c) and another dose 30 minutes later.  He continued to walk in a circle.  After checking other websites, I opted to give him some Belladonna (30c) and 30 minutes later, Arnica (30c).  He finally settled down but I didn’t get much sleep last night.

No more circles this morning.  He’s quite weak, keeps bending his front paw when he walks and he’s dragging.  Wasn’t quite sure what to do with the dry cat food, but he did manage to eat his wet cat food (made wetter with some bottled water).  This is a cat that jumps off the bed 4-5 times a night to munch, mind you.

He used his litter box this morning and he actually played with his sister and with a string attached to one of his toys.  He’s now on Conium (30c) for 10 days.

He’s resting comfortably on the rug in our sitting room.  That isn’t common.  Usually he’s up on the couch, on his scratch post or on my lap.  This is going to be a tough one.

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UPDATE:  I’ve been doing a lot of reading on Vestibular Disease.  The more I read, the more I think (hope!) this is what Ralphie is dealing with.  Check out this blog:  http://felinevestibular.blogspot.com/2007/07/feline-vestibular-syndrome.html.

I gave him one pellet of Nux Vomica to help with his dizziness.  He’s been sleeping a lot (as cats do) but he does get up and wander around for a few minutes, then goes and lays back down.  Here’s hoping.

 

Holiday Miracles

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You know that Moose has been struggling for a long time with laryngeal paralysis and a host of other ailments.  Well, you can probably add kidney problems right along with everything else.  For the past several weeks, he’s been very wobbly and continuously fell down when trying to urinate, walk past his sister, or even walk around the living room.  Last Friday he couldn’t get up on his own.  He looked like death warmed over and I really thought he wouldn’t make it through the night.

Moose is nothing if not a fighter though.  I did a lot of research in my 2 favorite homeopathy books – Dr. Pitcairn’s and Homeopathy for Dogs (I also have Homeopathy for Cats) and decided to try a little Plumbum Metallicum.  The description on the label says for paleness, BUT….the Homeopathy for Dogs book states:  “This remedy may be indicated in those conditions where excessive wasting over the lumbar region is accompanied by a tendency to paraplegia or weakness of the hind quarters.  Other signs of incipient paralysis may arise such as difficulty in retaining saliva.  Extreme constipation is invariably present.”  Moose IS constipated, but hasn’t eaten much over the past few days.  However, since giving him the Plumbum Met. twice a day since Friday, he’s eating better.  Not great, but better.  Also, he has been walking on his own, going outside and coming back without falling over once.  He’s still a bit unsteady, BUT….to go from having my husband and I having to lift him up on his unsteady feet, to him getting up on his own truly is a miracle.  (And a good homeopathic!)

I also gave him one dose of Mercurius vivus for his uremia.  Uremia can cause ulcers in the mouth, bad breath and increased saliva, which contributed to his unwillingness to eat.  He’s been smiling all day today, which makes me very happy.

Something else I just started giving him (because I am a little slow sometimes!) is Vetoquinol Epakitin Antioxidant Supplement for Dogs & Cats.  I’ve been giving it to Henry for months and it seems to have slowed her kidney digression, so I thought….gee….why not try it on Moosie?  I sprinkle it on lunch meat (one of the few things he’s been eating).  I am cautiously optimistic.

References:  

Dogs – Homeopathic Remedies, George Macleod, MRCVS, DVSM, Vet FF Hom
Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats, Richard H. Pitcairn, DVM, PhD and Susan Hubble Pitcairn
Vetoquinol Epakitin Antioxidant Supplement for Dogs & Cats – purchased from Chewy.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tcairn

Laryngeal Paralysis, Part II

Moose, our elderly Chocolate Lab has been suffering from Laryngeal Paralysis for months.  That, along with what I believe is Cushing’s Disease and a liver disease of some sort makes for a very thin, stark coated dog.  Just a few days ago, he was still sucking in air like he couldn’t breathe and we just wondered how much longer we were going to have him around.  We discussed surgery, but…..with his poor health and age, it didn’t seem like much of an option.

I did a lot of research in my favorite animal homeopathy books and found that a daily dose of Vitamin E and Selenium would help muscular dystrophy.  Now, truthfully, I don’t know if Moose really has muscular dystrophy, but….his back legs have been very weak and he falls down a lot (especially when he’s trying to pee!).  So….the Vitamin E and Selenium would help strengthen his back legs.

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When he got up this morning to go outside, he seemed like his old self.  No sucking in air, no falling down, nothing but a big ole grin on his face.  It was really nice to see him so happy.

I know a lot of homeopathics aren’t supposed to be given with food, but frankly, I can’t get them into my animals any other way.  This is Moose’s morning meds:

I use 2 pieces of lunch meat.  On one piece I sprinkle Vitamin C (sodium ascorbate, purchased at a health-food store), Causticum and Lachesis.  The Causticum and Lachesis are for his throat, the Vitamin C is just a good thing to give all around to help boost the immune system.  On the other piece of meat I’ve been giving him a liver booster from PetAlive and it’s called Immunity & Liver Support.  It contains Dandelion, Echinacea, Ashwagandha, and Milk Thistle.  I break up a Selenium pill and cut open the Vitamin E to squeeze onto the meat.  I roll each piece up and he’s pretty good about eating them.  Once in a while, he’ll fiddle with it in his mouth so all the Causticum falls out.  I swear, that boy could tie a cherry stem with his tongue!

Right now he has a runny nose.  I think it’s either allergies or a side-effect of his other health issues, but I’ll give him Kali Bich. at night to try and help that issue.

I am certainly not a Veterinarian, nor do I have any type of medical background, BUT….I have been using homeopaths and herbs on myself and my pets for over 20 years.  If Moose continues to be stable with the stuff I’m giving him, then both my husband and I will be happy.  When the day comes where he doesn’t eat, he doesn’t grin, and he can’t walk, then we’ll discuss our options, but until that day arrives…..I’m going to support him with anything I can.

Laryngeal Paralysis

First of all, Laryngeal Paralysis does NOT mean a death sentence for your dog.  Sure, it sounds scary, and to hear your dog wheezing like he can’t breathe is VERY scary.  Because, in all reality, he’s having a real tough time breathing.  His larynx is closing.  This happens in a lot of large breed dogs, and it happens due to a variety of things.  Our Chocolate Lab Moose, I honestly believes, suffers from Cushing’s.  The Vet wouldn’t confirm that, but he has lost most of the hair on his tail, has liver problems, fatty tumors and warts.  The poor baby.  Top that off with wobbly back legs and laryngeal paralysis and you’d think he’d be a good candidate for euthanasia.  It’s not that I don’t believe in that….but….if there are options I can use to make him feel better, to keep that goofy grin on his face, than that’s what I’ll do.

There’s not a lot of information about laryngeal paralysis in dogs on the website.  Well, there’s not a lot regarding homeopaths.  A lot of people talk about surgery, but….my heck, Moose is 14 years old.  I’m not going to put him under anesthesia.

One good website I found is http://treatment.hpathy.com/homeo-medicine/homeopathy-paralysis/.  I’ve been giving Moose Causticum and Phosphorus.  Also, anti-oxidants really do help out in situations like this.  The Causticum I try to give him 2x a day for about 10 days.  He was very wheezy for the first couple, then he started breathing normally again.  I need to remember to give him the Causticum at least once a month after he recovers or we’ll be back to square one again.  The anti-oxidants are also very good for his throat and his liver.  You can buy really good ones on either Chewy.com or Amazon.com.

As for the wobbly legs, I’ve been giving him Vitamin E.  Once in a while I try Rhus. Tox. but so far I haven’t seen any improvement.  Doesn’t mean I’ll stop trying though.

Moose with his little buddy Ralphie

Moose with his little buddy Ralphie

Moose has been our sickest baby in a long time, except…..our middle dog Bosco, died last week, very suddenly.  Turns out he had lymphocytic leukemia.  We never knew.  He never exhibited any symptoms of illness except for eating very little the last week before he died.  Broke my heart into a million pieces.  He was my baby boy.   I beat myself up about it.  If I had only known….I might have been able to help.  He was only 9 years old.

Enjoying the hot Vegas sun

Bosco, enjoying the hot Vegas sun

The Importance of Being Earnest

About cat litter!

As I was perusing the cat litter aisle in my local PetsMart this afternoon, I chatted with a woman that was passionate about the type of litter she used.  She wanted the kind that’s similar to the compacted paper kind, but I believe it was made of shells of some sort.  She said her long-haired cat preferred it because it didn’t get stuck in his hair.

I thought about that while I looked all of the choices over and wondered if, as a person, I was choosing cat litter according to what I liked or what was best for my cats.

For a long time I purchased Arm & Hammer.  It smelled good, not TOO dusty and it did the trick.  Of course, years and years ago, I was content with the generic non-scoopable kind, but since the scoopable has come into vogue, that’s my Number 1 choice.

I used Tidy Cat scoopable for months and I like it, but…..I hate throwing away those buckets and then they just pile up and get thrown away anyway.  I mean, who needs 50 Tidy Cat buckets sitting around?  Seems like you pay more just because of the packaging!

Lately, however, I have switched to Tidy Cat Pure Nature.  It comes in a bag, made of corn and pine.  I LOVE the smell, the bag is easy to cart around and more importantly, I don’t feel the need to hoard the bags.  I’ve been mixing it with the regular Tidy Cat so as not to freak everyone out, but….they seem to take it all in stride.

If you want to check it out, take a look at their web page:

http://www.tidycats.com/Products/Alternative