Meko the Miracle Dog

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Jim and I are big fans of technology having both worked in the industry. And we love the newest and latest gadgets out there, too. We've also gotten sucked into the video wormhole and watched cute Pomeranian and other videos for what seems like hours.

Well, we thought it was about time we created our own YouTube Channel - you can find us under "Help Shelter Pets". We only have a few since Jim just created this space for us on YouTube.

Visit the http://youtube.com/HelpShelterPets Channel and stay tuned!!!!

 

 

Our dogs are very vocal about letting us know that they want to go for a walk with us. Sometimes, particularly in the early spring months when things are thawing, the roads can be quite messy. So, as much as we want to take them, we leave them home. Otherwise the morning would turn into bath time for all of them since their paws and fur would be filthy by the time we got home. We do have one dirt road that we walk on and that is the road that stays the muddiest this time of the year.

Kitsu, our newest pack member, has an interesting little habit that we just had to get on film - she does something that just sounds to me like she is saying, "oh no, she's putting on her shoes, she's going out, oh no, is she taking me, I know she's going out, I'm not going, I know I'm not going....." She sounds like she is so worried that we are going to leave her. The worry sounds start and then soon turn into barking.

It is the time of year when we are thinking spring (despite having just had yet another winter storm here in the northeast!) and want to bring the promise of warmer weather and flowers into our homes. With Easter just around the corner, we often purchase the traditional Easter Lily or other seasonal plant and set it on the table as a center piece or on the floor. But what you might not know is how toxic this beautiful and seemingly innocent plant is to your cat or dog.

The Easter Lily is especially toxic to cats (other poisonous bulb plants include: daffodils, hyacinths, and tiger lilies) and can cause kidney failure and death. Eating any part of the Easter lily will cause vomiting and severe depression in cats. The vomiting may subside but the cat will continue to become more depressed and will refuse to eat. If you suspect that your cat has eaten a part of an Easter lily plant, it must be treated within 18 hours or the damage to the kidneys will be irreversible. A better idea would be to pass on the Easter lily and purchase a silk Easter lily plant, instead.

Variety of Tiger Lilies
A variety of lilies from my garden.

For many years now I've given my dogs a small piece of carrot every night, somewhere around 5 -6pm. And don't think for a minute that they don't remember and start hanging around the kitchen from 4:30 on. Although they are on a schedule for when they get their carrot each night, their schedule for eating a meal isn't as strict. They seem to be hungry at different times, from first thing in the morning to early afternoon. There have been a couple of times when I was eating carrots as a mid-morning snack and offered my Poms a small bite. Kitsu was fine with it, but Meko promptly threw it up. It didn't seem to agree with her with nothing else in her stomach. But I will mix up a small piece in her food with other raw foods (apple, piece of meat, green beans, oatmeal, etc) and she is fine with it.

It seems she has a couple of odd little food sensitivities like that since she had IMHA over two and a half years ago now. I don't know if there is any connection at all but it is enough to know that she has this reaction and to not give her even the smallest piece of carrot on an empty stomach. I found out that a neighbor whose dog is also being treated for IMHA has a similar problem with carrots and will vomit it up even though they gave their dog carrots for years without any upset. I don't know if the dog receives the carrot on an empty stomach but I think it is an interesting similarity between two dogs who are both on IMHA medication.

 

           

                           Who will get the carrot? No drooling!

 

Although it is the law in many states that your dog must receive a rabies vaccination every 3 years, you can decide whether or not to give them a regular 'booster' shot which protects them from a variety of other diseases.  Our vet recommends we give our dogs the regular vaccination every three years. In the meantime, we have a titer done - a titer, which costs a lot more than the actual vaccination, is a blood sample taken from your dog to see if it still has the immunities to protect it from the various diseases that they are at risk of getting. If they still have the immunities and are protected, great. If they no longer have the immunities, we have them vaccinated.

When Meko got very sick (with IMHA) from having a bad reaction to too many different medications all at one time, we became very leery of giving our pets too many vaccinations. Consequently, they now only get titers and get a vaccination only if they no longer have the immunities to protect them.

Meko, of course, is exempt from ever having a rabies shot (we have to get a letter from a board-certified veterinarian every year to give to our town when we renew her license). And although we are taking a chance, we do not give her any other vaccinations. We will not take the risk of going through what we went through again when she contracted IMHA (for more about Meko's story, see "The Miracle Dog" which will be available for purchase from this website this spring). 

Our dogs are mostly indoor dogs so we feel they are at less of a risk than a dog that is allowed to roam free. 

For more information about titers and immunizations, contact your local veterinarian.

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News about Help Shelter Pets.

Life with our "pack" - Meko, Kitsu, and Jacquay.

Musings by the Cofounders of Help Shelter Pets.

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Animal news, product reviews, and other useful information for pet owners.