Tag Archives: health problems

Problem Child

“He’s your problem child,” said both the vet tech and the vet separately, each smiling. The second time, when our vet said it, we all laughed, and I held Charlie up saying, “we can’t afford you!”

We were supposed to be going in for a mere second distemper round, but, in the week before we were to go, he developed itchy, flaky, scaly skin everywhere and started losing/chewing off his hair.

 

Waiting for the vet
#NationalSelfieDay pic at the Vet

 

It began with his knees and looked like dry/hot spots, so I found some good moisturizing hot spot treatment and used that, his knee/thigh hair started to grow back. But then, like *that* it was EVERYWHERE, and he wasn’t just chewing off his hair, it was falling out.

coconut oil and hair loss
Charlie – Greasy with Coconut Oil and Losing Hair

I didn’t call the vet because he didn’t seem to be in pain and I knew I had an appt this week. I decided to try helping the dry skin. I coated my 5.5 lb puppy in coconut oil two nights in a row. Even though we put it on at night, it didn’t soak into the fur, so it was kind of funny to have a greased up puppy running around.

That didn’t help so I went and got medicated shampoo and he got a bath. He was going to get one anyway – I certainly wasn’t going to take a greasy puppy to the vet – so I chose between oatmeal style shampoo and medicated.

The next day we went to the vet. She was stumped by the particular look of his skin and the way it was thinning. She decided to take a skin scraping to check for a particular kind of mite but found nothing as she suspected. She took him to her co-worker, a woman who has been practicing for 30+ years, she too was stumped.

So, with a combined 45+ years of vet practice, nobody knew what Charlie could have. My vet came back and said, “This is the only time I think I will ever say this, but I hope maybe it is just allergies? Environmental even?”

She knows how hard we have worked on getting Callie’s food right given her allergies, but we may have to consider the possibility of him having them too. Unless this skin stuff goes away with Benadryl and applications of flea/tick stuff every two weeks just in case it is a different kind of mite, the next step is an animal dermatologist an hour and a half away. He can’t even wear sunblock, with all the thin fur he’s getting sunburns, he has to wear shirts to protect his skin. The vet doesn’t want anything else possibly irritating him.

Charlie wears shirts
Charlie has to wear shirts for now, not happy about it! ❤️

He was SUCH a crybaby after getting his one vaccine that he literally climbed up my shirt and under my neck. He was so loud it startled both the vet tech and the vet. If it wasn’t that our wonderful vet already knew Charlie, I don’t know what she would have thought happened. She had to put a note in Charlie’s chart for any of the other vets, just in case, “Very Sensitive Boy.”

Do you have a problem child? Tell me about them!

The kiddo and the puppy
Who is cuter? The kiddo or the puppy? 😍

Just in case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s Mama B helping Charlie with his hill climbs 😂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, Charlie

Last week I introduced everyone to Charlie, our newly adopted (surprise) puppy. Charlie comes from the same rescue as Callie and likely the same puppy mill. It’s not just my guess that they might; the women in charge were pretty certain, the other male, a five-year-old stud, had the same look as Charlie and Callie, as well as another dog rescued three years ago by a woman I met recently on FB. Here’s last week’s post if you need to catch up.

 

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Twinsies

 

It’s interesting because this mill breeds for certain positive breed aspects, like the slightly longer nose which helps to avoid bronchial issues and a size that fits close to the breed standard. No, they are not good breeders. It is a farm. I just found that piece of the puzzle curious.

Charlie rode the puppy roller coaster. He was sent out to a broker to be sold to a pet store, but the pet stores didn’t want him, and he was sent back. Lucky Charlie, just before the next auction, the rescue took a trip out to Ohio and brought him back.

Charlie is a puppy mill mascot. Unlike Callie who managed to make it out at six years old and in perfect health, he came to us with some things we knew about and some we didn’t.

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Puppy Snuggles 😍

Before they headed out, all the dogs visited the vet in Ohio where they noted that Charlie has “grade 1” luxating patellas and an umbilical hernia.

Luxating patellas are when a dog has a very flat patella ridge. This means the kneecap doesn’t seat snugly in the groove and it can pop out either medially, to the inside, or laterally, to the outside.
There are four levels of severity of a luxating patella. Grade 1 is the mildest; Grade 4 is the most severe.
• A Grade 1 luxating patella describes a kneecap that pops out (or can be manually popped out of place) but pops right back in on its own.
• Grade 2 describes a kneecap that pops out of place and doesn’t always pop back in automatically, sometimes requiring manual manipulation to re-seat it.
• A Grade 3 condition is when the kneecap sits outside its groove most of the time but can be manually positioned back in the groove, where it stays temporarily.
• Grade 4 luxating patella describes the worst-case scenario, in which the kneecap sits outside the groove all the time, and won’t stay seated in the groove when it is manually popped into place.

The morning after the caravan arrived back in VT, we got a call about the availability of an 11-week old puppy or a five-year-old male stud – to be neutered, but if we wanted one, especially the puppy, we had to come that day. Sherry did tell us about his knees before we made the trip. We quickly discussed the pros and cons and made the call to go “meet” (i.e. get, lol) the puppy.

Charlie came home without having visited the groomers yet and with diarrhea and a little cough. First, if you haven’t ever smelled a puppy mill or a dog from one, it is horrendous. Little Charlie was so sweet and snuggly, but he reeked! The first chance we got on the trip home we stopped for doggie bath wipes to get as much of the green and brown stains and nasty smell off him.

I made an appointment with our vet, however, due to one vet being on vacation, we had to wait a few days for a time. Charlie’s cough went away within a day or so, he just needed to be consistently warm. His diarrhea didn’t though. I was fairly sure he had some parasite that wasn’t treated by regular de-worming, but it wasn’t until I saw some blood in his stool that I called the vet and made an emergency appointment.

Charlie had giardia, coccidia, and whipworms, poor baby. That was a lot of medication! Even Callie had to be treated again. The vet also confirmed his luxating patellas although she said she doesn’t grade them when the puppy is this young and also informed us that Charlie has a minor heart murmur.

Because he is so young, we are lucky, and there are some things we can do to counteract his physical issues. Regarding the murmur, the two most important are diet and exercise – keeping him at the correct weight when he is grown, and daily exercise may keep his heart working a bit better. Regarding the kneecaps, again exercise and weight, but certain exercises are particularly beneficial.

As our vet recommended, we do a lot of hill climbs, up and down, both straight and in zig zags, and anything else we can think of that will strengthen his quads as those are the muscles that will be the most beneficial. Also helps tire the rambunctious puppy out! It’s been excellent for Callie too.

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Out for a walk with the girl!

Hey – got any good game or exercise ideas that are low-impact on the knees but work the quads on our pup?

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Tug seems to be a good one, too.

Don’t worry all – Charlie is doing GREAT! These are just things we have to keep in mind as he grows. And these are some issues that puppy mills cause. FIGHT TO END PUPPY FARMING!

Cavalier hearts: the difference between what breeders say and what they do

Although this research is about UK breeders, the same problem exists in the US. Between poor breeding practices by “good” breeders and puppy mills, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are going to be, if they aren’t already, a dying breed.

Losing our Cavaliers would be devastating, but it would also be stupid when there are ways to mitigate the potential health issues. This research makes me so sad.

Cavaliers Are Special

Crufts, the dog world’s annual extravaganza, took place in March. On the Friday of the show health campaigners Margaret Carter and Charlotte Mackaness, along with television vet and author Emma Milne, presented the comments from the then 30,000 signature-strong Cavalier health petition to the Kennel Club asking for compulsory testing for Mitral Valve Disease (MVD) and Syringomyelia (SM). The KC repeated its refusal to make testing mandatory.

petition hand over The Cavaliers Are Special team handing the petition to the KC’s Bill Lambert at Crufts

Under the bright lights a few hours later the Cavalier best of breed was crowned. For the dog’s owners it was a time of great celebration. For health campaigners, it was a sober reminder of just how badly enforcement of breeding guidelines and is needed.

The winning dog turned 2.5 years old just before Crufts. To help reduce the incidence and age of onset of heart disease, cardiologists…

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