Buying a Puppy for Christmas

Considering buying a puppy or pet for Christmas?

Please don’t!

PETS ARE NOT GIFTS/TOYS. Please do NOT give a dog as a gift/toy. A dog is a family member, very much like a baby in many ways. Don’t buy the dog on a whim-yes they are sooooo cute and can be cuddly, but they also can pee and poop all over your house and tear apart your belongings. Puppies have fear periods and the holidays are full of commotion. You want to get a puppy or dog at a time of stability and calmness. Breeders don’t usually sell Christmas litters because it takes TIME to train them and socialize them properly. You might be disappointed with a puppy when you find out they keep you up every night crying and make messes. They might not be the “Christmas Present” you thought they would be. Please don’t adopt/buy during Christmas or for Christmas-many dogs are returned during this time and this can have a profound effect on the dog for the rest of it’s life.

If you have talked about getting a dog, please be serious and committed to the dog. Do your research if you haven’t had a dog. Ask neighbors, friends, and trainers the effort that needs to be put into training and having a dog. Consider adopting a shelter dog. Instead of adopting/buying a dog right away, perhaps have a card saying, “Let’s talk about getting a dog!” Over the holidays you can discuss many different things:

  • Where to get the dog (finding a reputable breeder, adopting from a shelter, etc)
  • How to train the dog
  • Do your research about dog training, adopting, house training, etc.
  • Discuss breed type-get some books!
  • Discuss cost of a dog/puppy and consider all the food/vet bills/equipment
  • Discuss time you will need to put into training with your dog/spending with your dog (make sure you have time!)

Overall, adopting a shelter dog is a wonderful thing to do. Adding a puppy or dog to your family can be very rewarding, however, please don’t do it around the holidays.

Urinary Tract Infections

Dogs get UTI’s just like people do. There are many reasons for UTI’s.

Some include:

  • prostate disease
  • stress
  • trauma
  • cancer
  • bladder inflammation or infection
  • stones, crystals or debris accumulation in the bladder or urethra
  • weak bladder/hormonal issue

How do you know if your dog has a UTI?

  • fever
  • inability to urinate
  • increased frequency of urination
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • increased water consumption
  • vomiting
  • soiling in inappropriate places
  • lethargy
  • changes in appetite

There are many different treatments including supplements, powders, and antibiotics for your dog. The most important thing to do is to take your dog to the vet asap. An untreated UTI could lead to kidney and other more serious problems.

Why talk about UTI’s? Well, a week after bringing Oreo to the vet for her lumps, I noticed increased urination, then noticed blood in her urine at the park. She is on antibiotics for a UTI. We are going to send a urine sample in a week after she finishes antibiotics to make sure it is gone and there aren’t any crystals or anything else in her urine.

As for her bumps…the large bump on her leg has gone away completely. The red lump on her leg has disappeared. She seems to have large bumps…more like swelling in a few areas, but she seems happy and content.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving everyone!!!!

Be Your Dog’s Advocate

Stand up for your scared pooch!

Yesterday my husband and I took a lovely, long walk. Even though the air was cold and crisp, we enjoyed a walk around the neighborhood. We encountered a few dogs in yards. Luckily enough they stayed in their yards. We decided to keep our distance and I grasped my treats to give to Oreo as we walked by. I was also holding onto those treats tightly incase I needed to launch them into an approaching dogs face.

We must stand up for our dogs. If your dog is scared of another dog, don’t let the dog come up to it. We had a close call on the way home when someone was greeting relatives. The man opened his door and started walking across the roach when his little poodle came running out after him. I’m sure the dog was nice, as everyone reassured us. However, I place myself in between my dog and the white poodle looking to say hello. Luckily I was with my husband, who picked up Oreo (she is not light anymore, around 45 lbs.). I yelled for the people to get their dog. I told them my dog will attack their dog (seemed like a good thing to say to get them moving, they were moving sloooww). “Oh, she’s nice, don’t worry about it,” they replied. I don’t think so….I called back to them telling them she WILL bite their dog, they need to call it back.

You know that awkward moment when someone tries to walk by you, you move out of the way, but you actually move in their way. Then they move to the right, and you move to the right, and you both are gridlocked like you are playing a blocking game. Well, that’s what we were doing. The poodle moved to the right I moved in front of it and said “No!” The people might have taken offense, but too bad…MOVE YOUR DOG, it’s like 2 feet away from being attacked or who knows! They called their poodle, yet it didn’t listen. Luckily I kept blocking the dog long enough for the owner to scoop it up when if finally swerved to the side and started peeing. Unbelievable.

We live in a condo area, so it’s the law to keep your dog on a leash at all times. There are many condos tightly packed together, with many people around. The man let his dog follow him and run around right in the middle of the street. It horrified me even more that the dog seemed to have no recall skills. If I didn’t stick up for Oreo I don’t know what would have happened. Maybe she would have been nice to the dog, but more likely she would have been scared and lashed out. I didn’t want her training to regress, but I also didn’t want her to have to experience that fear of being attacked or having to attack herself to protect herself. I had to show her that I would protect her. She could trust me, and I wouldn’t let her be attacked again.

It’s important to protect your dog from major triggers and fears. For example, if your dog is afraid of small children, don’t let children pet your dog. Tell them your dog is scared, sick, or training, or the truth-that it would bite them. Do what you need to do to protect your dog. They can’t talk the same way we can, so talk for them. Be your dog’s advocate.

Lumps, Bumps–AHH!

                                                       Last year Chrismukkah Card

Oreo has had a few bumps & lumps the last few weeks. She seemed to be getting a few more and some were not disappearing. I decided to bring her into her favorite place (yea…right) the VET! They did a needle aspiration, where they use a needle to take a sample from the lump or bump. It’s very easy for them to do, without needing to sedation or anesthesia.

Most of the time vets can get enough good cells from the lump to take a good look and make a diagnosis by looking at the cells on a slide. They can easily diagnose tumors such as mast cell tumors, lipoma, cysts, histiocytomas, and lymphoma. Occasionally, the vet will not get the cells from the lump, or not enough and this can lead to no conclusion or the incorrect one (doesn’t happen too often).

I would say Oreo has at least 5-6 lumps now. Some are small, round and soft. There are 2 which are more concerning to me which seem a little harder. They tested 3, and tried to get the 4th but it was too deep. The one from the neck is probably a cyst they said. They did not draw enough cells, but said when they did the fine needle aspiration yellow came out, which is usually from cysts. The second lump is different from the others. It is red, raised, and seemed to be filled with pus which came out and now it’s beginning to flatten.

The vet diagnosed the leg bump which is read as Histiocytoma, which is a benign skin tumor. These are common with dogs, especially dogs under 2 years of age (she is 2).

Symptoms of Histiocytoma:

  • small, firm, dome or button-shaped mass
  • autoimmune blistering
  • solitary
  •  non-painful
  • fast growing
  • usually found on the head, limbs, or ear edges

Treatment

  • Remove the mass
  • or wait, it usually will regress and disappear within 3 months

We have decided to wait, since it has already flattened and looks like it has started regressing.

The 3 bump concerns me much more, it is on the back leg. It is larger and has been there for 3 weeks. The vet pulled a sample and got white blood cells, but not enough to be conclusive. It did bleed a lot afterward…she thinks they may have hit a vein or something. She said it doesn’t look like lymphoma or mast cell cancer (phewww I sure hope not). She said we’ll keep an eye on it for 2-3 weeks, then move from there. If it stays the same or gets bigger we will have to do a punch biopsy with a local anesthesia (yikes). I discovered 2 more bumps on here, a small on her side, and a large bump on her stomach.

I am very confused by how many she has in such a short time. Within the last month 6 seemed to have “popped up”. They are not skin infections like before, they are inside and more concerning for me. I have lost sleep worrying about them! I can’t believe so many showed up in such a short time, and she is only 2 years old. I do have some theories….I hope she doesn’t have cancer. She seems to be happy and nothing seems to be bothering her health wise.

A theory I have is that she has had too much Omega 6-fat. I have been adding extra virgin organic coconut oil to her meals and I switched to a different recipe that seemed to have more fat in it last month. I am thinking perhaps that could be the culprit after some research. So I have switched the food to less fat and less coconut oil in it. I also think perhaps it is something she is missing or getting too much in her diet. Or…I asked the vet why she is getting so many in such a short time, when she never had one before. The vet said we would have to do a punch biopsy, but since Oreo is super nervous and afraid of the vet we will wait a few weeks, unless it gets bigger. She said it could also be inflammation. I am thinking it may be inflammation, she could be trying to fight something. I wonder if it could be related to all the ticks that were on her… or her diet, since those are the 2 things that changed around the time of her lumps.

As you can tell I worry about her a lot, she is like my daughter. I have done so much work with her so that she can be a happy dog and live a long, healthy life (the best she can). We have finally gotten to a calm, happy place with her. So I am hoping these lumps/bumps decrease with the change in diet, if not, we will be going for a punch biopsy in a few weeks.  If you see lumps on your dog, my suggestion is to go in and get them checked out-better not to worry like me! However, you may have to wait anyways, but better safe than sorry! Spend time with your dog, make them happy, like they make you happy 🙂 I’ll keep you updated.