Aug 18 2014

Penny’s Foster Experience

Hi, we are the Wand’s, Penny’s foster parents. We would like to tell you a little bit about this special girl.

Penny has come along way since we first brought her into our home. She was shuffled around from shelter to shelter throughout her young life, so she had no idea how to behave like a normal, functioning dog. She would constantly nip and jump to get our attention and could not settle down or self soothe. We just couldn’t get through to her so we talked to the vets and decided it would be best to put her on puppy Prozac. Since then she is more calm and takes direction better.

Penny’s Progress

She now sleeps through the night on the bed with us and is mostly housebroken. She plays well with the older, bigger dogs in the house. Every Tuesday she goes to doggy daycare to work on her socialization skills; we also go to the dog park! She does pull on her walks, so we use an easy-walk harness, which helps tremendously. She loves playing in the water, especially when it comes out of the hose. She’s also very interested in swimming, but she definitely needs a life jacket.

Her Care

We free feed Penny a high-protein, grain-free diet dog food. She enjoys treats, chew toys and Nyla bones. Her favorite toys are plush squeaky toys and old socks that I stuff empty water bottles in or tennis balls. Other than that, she loves getting affection from her humans, and being the center of attention is her favorite. Penny also loves to cuddle!  When my husband gets home from work, they have a routine where they cuddle on the bed. It’s so funny because she will follow him in there, jump up on the bed and wait for him patiently.

Although she has made a lot of progress, we are still working with her on not jumping on people and her new favorite thing, counter surfing on the kitchen counter. Penny is an adventerous spitit who loves car rides, but — be warned — will jump out the window if it is down too low. We also, have a hole in our fence that she likes to try to explore. She doesn’t go far, but she likes to visit the bloodhound in the other yard.

Help Penny Find Her Forever Home

Penny will make a great companion for a family that is willing to put in a little time and extra energy, giving her their unconditional love. Thanks for taking the time to read about our special Penny girl. We love her and know you will, too!

Sincerely,

The Wand’s


Aug 18 2014

You Can Never Replace an Old Pet—But You Can Welcome a New Friend

A few years ago we lost Pumpkin, a golden retriever we had gotten as a puppy, to cancer. After we said our final goodbye, and she crossed the rainbow bridge, my husband and I cried so loudly I suspect people could hear us from the waiting room.

For a couple of days, Ginger, our other golden retriever, moped around the house. She stared at her sister’s empty bed. My husband and I decided to get a new dog. After all, we reasoned, it would be good for Ginger. It turned out to be very good for us, too.

We decided that we would prefer to adopt a dog from a shelter. Because Ginger was old and so gentle by nature, we wanted a smaller dog who wouldn’t be too tough for her. We went with Ginger to Wayside Waifs and introduced her to a cute little mix.

Moxie At Wayside Waifs

 

In the year she had been alive, the little pup had been in three different homes and had been taken to the shelter twice. She shied away from us at first, but when I was squatting down, she ran over, licked by nose and darted away. I knew she was our dog. We correctly suspected that her initial timidity hid a fierce little spirit, so we named her Moxie.

When we first brought Moxie into our house on a snowy night, she trembled and refused to take a treat from my hand. Just an hour or two later, she was curled up on my legs, as though she knew she was finally home.

MoxieOnMyLegs

Moxie and Ginger made a funny, sweet pair. Ginger was mellow, with saintly patience, while Moxie was high-strung and filled with energy. They played tug-of-war, although Ginger didn’t have to try very hard. Moxie took to sitting and lounging on top of Ginger, who found no quarrel with the arrangement.

Moxie On Ginger

Over a year after Moxie joined our family, we had to say goodbye to Ginger. It was just as painful as before. This time, we went almost immediately to Wayside Waifs for a new pet.

We were won over by a year-0ld rat terrier we named Clio. She had been picked up on the streets of Wichita as a puppy, and for the past several months, she had been in shelters.

Clio Sitting Up Straight

Clio seemed to be a good match with Moxie. True, at first Moxie defended “her” spots in our laps, and Clio guarded her food, but they soon learned there were plenty of cuddles and kibble to go around. They are funny, curious girls who love their walks and love snuggling. Every day when we come home from work or running errands, we find them sitting side by side at the front window, waiting to greet us.

Moxie and Clio at the window

Every one of our dogs has been different, and we love them for their own quirks and qualities – Moxie’s curious head tilt, for example, or the way Clio jumps about five fee in the air when she gets excited. But what all dogs have in common is their ability to love with all their hearts, once they understand they are loved.

You can never replace an old dog. Years later, memories of them still make you smile and tug at your heart. However, sharing your love and your home with a dog in need of both is always a blessing, and an opportunity to make wonderful new memories.

 

–  Stacey Donovan, Contributing Writer for Wayside Waifs


Aug 8 2014

Canine Atopy

Canine AtopyEveryone has a concept of what allergies are in people, but while pets can suffer from allergies too they look and are usually managed quite differently.  An allergy is an abnormal immune response the body has to something that is harmless. The immune system basically overreacts and mistakenly perceives this harmless thing as being a threat to the body.  Animals can have allergic reactions to vaccinations, bee stings, a particular food, or things in the environment. In the context of this article we are going to just address environmental allergies in dogs, which the proper term for is canine atopic dermatitis or atopy.  Atopy is a fairly common type of allergic condition that is estimated to affect anywhere from 3-15% of the dog population (MacDonald) and can be very challenging to manage.

Common clinical signs of atopy include rubbing, licking, biting or scratching at their feet, muzzle, ears, armpit and belly areas. The skin in these areas may be red and inflamed and some dogs will also develop secondary skin infections due to all the self trauma they’re causing. Many dogs may also have frequent ear infections or anal gland problems.  Dogs may be itchy year round or seasonally.

As with anything, it’s important to rule out other medical conditions first since there are other causes for itchy skin.  If your vet is starting to think your dog may have an allergic condition, one of the first things he or she will do is make sure your dog doesn’t have external parasites like fleas or skin mites.  Your vet may also do bloodwork to rule out common internal diseases that can cause skin issues.  An additional test may be a diet trial to rule out food allergies. This involves feeding a special prescription diet only for 8-12 weeks and monitoring for improvement of symptoms.  If your dog responds favorably then that may mean he or she has a food allergy instead of environmental allergies.

Through out this entire process your vet may prescribe different medications to help alleviate the symptoms and make your dog more comfortable.  The goal of most treatment plans is to manage the symptoms, rather than treat the allergy, similar to people who take allergy medication when they are especially sneezy or sniffly.  Some types of medication that your vet may prescribe include antihistamines, oral steroids, topical steroids, immunosuppressive drugs, medicated baths or wipes and fatty acid supplements.  If there are any signs of a secondary bacterial or yeast skin infection then antibiotics or antifungals may also be prescribed.  As with any medication there can be side effects so ask your vet what side effects you should be monitoring for and notify them if you see any.

If your dog does not respond to the diet trial and is still miserable despite frequent attempts to manage the symptoms with medications your vet may recommend allergy testing and allergy shots by a veterinary dermatologist. This will help provide answers as to what your dog is allergic to so that specific injections can be given on a schedule to help desensitize your dog’s immune system to allergens.  It can often take a long time for dogs to respond and not all of them do.

Now if that all seems complicated and confusing that’s because it usually is!  Most of these dogs are challenging to diagnose and treat.  And because it can often take a long time (weeks to months) to achieve an acceptable degree of relief from the itchiness and discomfort pet parents can get easily discouraged.

While the most important thing is to develop a good relationship with a vet you trust, YOU as a pet parent will be a key component in helping your dog through this.  If your vet suspects your dog may have atopy here are some helpful things you can do:

1. Keep track of what you’re seeing.  Write it down and bring it to your vet appointments so that you can provide your vet the most accurate information.

2. Pay particular attention to:

  • What signs are you seeing and how severe are they?
  • When are you seeing them? All the time during particular months?
  • How long do they last?
  • Is there any improvement with any type of treatment?
  • At what age was your dog when you started noticing clinical signs?

3. Follow your vet’s treatment directions
There may be a greater number of medications with specific treatment instructions.  Following the treatment plan will not only ensure the best chance for your dog to improve but provide good information to your vet.  If you are unable to follow all of your vet’s directions be honest with them.

4. Discuss the goals of treatment with your vet, and understand that in many cases the treatment plan may be to manage the symptoms, rather than treat the underlying cause.

5. Understand that diagnostics and treatment may be financially more than you might expect. Be honest about what you can do and what you can’t do.

6. Be prepared to be a frequent visitor of your vet’s practice!

7. Be prepared that your vet may recommend your dog see a dermatologist.  They are experts in skin conditions and may be able to better help your dog.

Written by Alison Liu. DVM
Wayside Waifs

 

 

Citations:

MacDonald, John M. Western Veterinary Conference. 2012. Las Vegas, NV. n.p. n.d. Web.


Powered by WordPress, Created by Spur Communications