Thursday, August 30, 2007

Truman's Follow Up & Gypsy

Tuesday was Truman's follow up visit to the vet. I had hoped that he would be released from the vet's care, but that wasn't the case. Though his fever is gone, he still has tenderness in his back. So we are on another 2 weeks of antibiotics. He will be ok in the end, but this is seriously putting us behind in his show training. And the other part to it is, that he is showing signs in his back legs of straddling. Walking like you have one foot on either side of something. I don't know if this will go away as his back gets better or not. If not he will not be able to show.
The vet once again reminded me of how serious this infection was and is. And I am so glad that we caught it in time.

Gunther is doing great. He's growing like a weed. I need to get some of the pictures I have of him posted. It's been a couple of weeks since I weighed him so I will do that and then update the blog.

Several times in this year I have written about Noel Clarke. He is Ivan's handler and he will hopefully be helping me with Truman in the show ring. Well, Tuesday his lost one of his beautiful girls. Her name is Gypsy and she would have been 5 years old this November. She was the perfect Great Dane bitch. Here are a couple of pictures of her. This was an extremely sudden and unexpected passing. I know that Noel and Walter are hurting so much and that their other two Danes, Max and Violet are missing her too. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Truman isn't feeling well

Late Sunday night we noticed that T wasn't as active as he usually is. But he had been playing hard and having a good time, so we wrote it off as being tired. He was still eating fine, drinking fine and going to the bathroom fine. Monday, he had no loss of appetite, drank fine still going to the bathroom fine, but started isolating himself, under things, like the kitchen table, getting way back in his crate, or getting in Gunther's crate and resting. All the while still coming to the door to let me know he had to go out, eating well, and showing no real signs of being ill except for the isolation. Today the same thing, but the isolation turned in the being lethargic and he started feeling really hot, and so off to the vet we went.

Blood was drawn, a full body physical was given, and xrays were taken. They found his white blood cells a little elevated, he had a fever and the start of dehydration. The vet found also in the physical exam a sore area on T's spin. It wasn't until this afternoon that we noticed him arching his back up when he walked. It was after the fever had set in. Anyway. the xrays showed infection around two of the vertebrae in T's back, and diagnosed him with Diskospondylitis. (I will include several links that you can look up, if you are not all ready familiar with it.)

The vet believed that T has had this infection for awhile and that after a fun packed weekend his immune system couldn't fight it off anymore. He said that this is found in large/giant breed dogs, especially German Shepherds and Great Danes. I did run across this one time with a German Shepherd bitch that I had, she had gotten all her shots from her breeder and the breeder, to save money, used the same needles for all the shots and hadn't clean needles. The infection then spread to her spin. With T we caught it in time. There was no compression on the spine and T is going to be fine. They gave him fluids and have put him on an antibiotic for two weeks and an antinflamitory for 5 days, then the vet will check him again. I did find it interesting that males get this more than females. Go figure. Also the onset usually is relatively acute: some dogs have mild signs for several months before examination. There is pain or at least difficulty rising, there's a reluctance to jump, and depending on where the infection is located, they can have difficulty with their back legs. If ignored it can lead to lameness.

Causes can be bacterial or fungal and other causes can be surgery or bite wounds.

Here are the links:

ok I guess that's enough links, though I have several more. But the only thing that is important is the Truman is going to be fine. Tonight he's all ready up and around more than earlier, he even took one of his favorite toys outside to potty with him. LOL.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Gunther is 2 years old. Happy Birthday!!!!!!!

What a day we had. Ok, so he doesn't really know it's his birthday, but he did know we were doing special things. It was a super fun day. We took Gunther and T to Starbucks to see his friends and then to the pet store to get "goodies". Sara made Scooby Do cup cakes for the the humans and he got special birthday food. In his new bowl.

This bowl was a surprise gift. I was really shocked when it arrived and Gunther loves it. I wasn't sure if he would eat out of it, but he did. One of the things I like about it, is that I've been breaking his feedings down into smaller portions and feeding him 3 times a day. This smaller bowl helps do that. It doesn't look so empty with the food in it and he isn't giving me that look like I'm starving him. ;-)

Here's a picture of the cup cakes Sara made. You can't see the actual baking cups but they have Scooby Do on them also. LOL. As you can see there are two missing. It's a Scooby mystery who stole the first 2 cup cakes before I got the photo. No one around here will admit to it. So no one gets the wrong idea, I want to again mention that these were for us humans. My boys were no where near this chocolate icing.

Gunther was playing with his new toys and T was laying in bed sleeping. LOL. He got wore out with all the traveling around town and playing with Gunther. LOL.
When I first picked out Gunther. It felt like it would be forever before he turned 2. But, it's flown by. My life in those two years have had a lot of rough spots, some I wasn't sure if I was strong enough to get through them. But I did, and a lot of it was because of my relationship with Gunther. He's the best buddy I think I've ever had. There's a book out, and I forget the title of it right now, but it's something about learning about handling life's lessons through the eyes of a dog. I can say that Gunther has been a wonderful teacher.