Archive for the 'Pets' Category

The Summer of A*#-Whoopins Part 3: Crippling News

So, anyone else tired of my continuous drama this summer?  I am.  But, what the hell, let the royal emotional a** kicking continue! 


Jackson on Easter, 2002

Our sweet dog, Jackson stopped being able to walk about four days ago.  He went from walking (albeit, like an old man, but walking nonetheless) down the street with us to only being able to take two to five steps and then collapsing.  Hoping that it was just arthritis kicking in, we took him immediately to the vet to get it checked out.  Apparently he has a neurological disorder that is going to keep him paralyzed for good.  They are not sure if it is cancer or if a disc is blocking the spinal cord - they could not tell anything after X-rays or blood work.  So, we decided yesterday that we would bring him home and care for him as best as we could - as if we have an elderly family member who needs our help (which is, afterall, the case).  The vet doesn’t recommend that we take on the task of trying to care for a dying elderly dog, especially since we have two very active kids to focus on.  But, how can we not?  Jackson has been with us for twelve years - his entire life.  Granted I have only been around for five of those twelve years - he was my husband’s bachelor-days dog - but he has been my dog too and our kids’ dog their entire life.  Since I have no idea how to care for invalid animals, I am having to do my research.  We have decided that we will keep him home until we think that he is in any pain or becoming any sicker (he is having difficulty expressing his urine - not a good sign).  While we have him home though I want to make sure we are doing things right for him. 

Home care for a pet that can’t walk or eliminate is a task certain pet owners have chosen to tackle with the help of Pampers, pet wheel chairs, egg crate mattresses and ramps. Families will even acquire portable oxygen tanks for pets with compromised respiration. Some people react with fear of medical procedures and needles. Others have great interest in learning how to administer to their pets for convenience and needed financial savings. The most important ingredient to look for in oneself, in the staff and in the pet owner is willingness. Hold a staff meeting and ask the question if being a compassionate veterinary care giving facility is truly O.K. with the nursing staff. Put one special staff member as the appointed support person for a certain pet and its owner. Ask the client to direct phone calls and concerns to their designated staff member or support team. Staff can handle most of the home care problems and the doctor can see the pet on regular rechecks to answer major questions such as changes in prescription medications. 

Though most of the information I am finding is advocating hospice care for dying pets, not an option for us, it is still riddled with good tips on how to cope and, physically, how to help your pet get on with their daily functions and how to make them more comfortable. 

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Sunny Vs. The Furniture

Our beloved old kitty cat, Sunny, has taken up a new hobby. He loves to rip apart our new furniture. I have been lenient on him because, as we live on the third floor, he has been unable to go outside for the last year. For the first ten years of his life he was primarily an outdoor cat. He only came inside to eat and cuddle. So, I have been more acceptable of his icky behavior for a long time since he has had such a severe lifestyle change (who wouldn’t be a little weird, right?).

But, my days of understanding are near an ending. Our new couch is starting to get fuzzy in places it ought not to be fuzzy and out new (antique) armchair is his new target. I have looked up some sites with suggestions to remedy this. There are some keepers (rubbing some catnip on something they can claw), but mostly there are suggestions that need to be lost (trimming your cat’s claws?!?!? declawing?!?? putting an inflated balloon on whatever you don’t want them to claw at? huh?? do i really want big balloons taped to all my furniture?). Of course declawing is completely out of the question - I feel like that is one of the most inhumane things you could ever do to a cat. Until we move into the new house (he’ll be a free outdoorsman again) - we are going to have to be creative. Any suggestions?

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Creating A Dachshund Wheelchar

I love it when people not only have a good idea, but they share it too. A smart pet owner had a Dachshund dog that needed a doggy wheelchair, so he made one himself. You can make your own Dachshund wheelchair by following his excellent directions at

Dachshund Wheelchair

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Have A Pet Plan For Pregnancy Or Illness

Amy Eller in The Herald-Sun reports:

You should have plans for pet care in case you become ill unexpectedly. Daily routines with your pets can become struggles if you are not up to your physical best. Walking the dog, trips to the vet or groomer, and changing the litter box are all things we take advantage of when we are well. If you suddenly become ill and cannot do these things, who will help you out? It is important to discuss this possibility with friends, family and neighbors.

Full Story

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