Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Day at the Vets

Well, it sucks. Lucy and Jack went to the vets this morning. Jack wasn't scheduled, but I fell asleep watching the Olympics last night, dropped the remote off my lap at some point, it cracked it open, and Jack decided to snack on one of the AAA batteries. What a bonehead! Didn't swallow it, but ate it open and I found vomit, which I assumed was his. The vet checked him out, didn't find burns or lesions in his mouth- gums and teeth okay- he was as happy as a clam to be getting checked out and prodded. Thankfully that ended well (and I didn't even get charged!).

Lucy is not so lucky. :( The vet watched the video I made of Lucy's gagging attacks, and found a large mass along the bone of her top jaw. I never noticed it, but if you look at her muzzle from the top you can see the left side is incredibly large compared to the right. She said nothing could be diagnosed without exploratory surgery, but it has a chance of being squamous cell carcinoma, in her jaw and spreading to her throat. The other issue might just be an infected bone, and the gagging attacks from a collapsing trachea.  Or, it could be larangeal paralysis which is incurable without surgery (which would be risky, given Lucy's bad reaction to anesthesia during her dental) and can cause suffocation if the dog goes into an attack and can't get out of it. The vet said she was also concerned about Lucy's condition, seeing she lost another 4 lbs since her dental 2 months ago. This means she is almost 10 lbs. below her normal weight of 61 lbs. I think she's even a lb or 2 below her racing weight now. :o(

The vet gave us antibiotics (in case, by chance, it may be an infection), tramadol for pain and more Deramaxx, an anti-inflammatory. We also got a brochure on Pet Haven, to plan end-of-life issues if that is the route we choose to go. I have no idea what to do. What the heck do I do? She galloped a few paces in the snow today, but refused to eat even peanut butter (her favorite snack). I did get her a timbit at Tim Horton's, which she ate. One minute she's looking perky on the bed and the next minute her mouth is covered in blood from her bad gums. I don't know what to do?


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lucy's Not Feeling Well

A week and a half ago, Lucy started waking up in the middle of the night with these horrible breathing attacks. She's seeing the vet on Saturday.  Last night (or, early this morning I guess) I took a video of it when she woke me up- it always starts with a cough or two, then becomes huge gasping breaths. They last about 2-3 minutes each, and are really disturbing. Lucy seems to be frightened during them as well. Sometimes she has 2 attacks per night (I'm not sure if they happen during the day since I'm at work?)?

This summer she started having problems breathing in the heat, and she "lost" her voice last year, but these attacks are new and scary. Could it be larangeal paralysis? If so, I'm kind of scared because I've heard of dogs dying from suffocation during breathing attacks. :o( 

Any thoughts? I'm worried sick. :o(


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Playin' in the Snow

I meant to post this week, but time got away from me. I started a new job on Monday, and by the time I get home at 6 I'm exhausted! Lots of learning new things, training, a longer workday and longer commute etc. So I haven't really gotten any art done, no website work, no nothin', lol. I bought a jar of vitamins and protein bars though, so hopefully that will boost my evening productivity.  :o)

In the meantime, here's a video of the pups playing in the snow. Please excuse my muppet voice! I hate how I sound.  Why do you sound so different in your head than you do in real life, can anyone explain that?


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Some Photos from the Week...


Working on my "Valentines Day" challenge over at WetCanvas.  I really wasn't 'feeling' the last sketch (with Jack and Lucy on the couch) so I switched to all 3 dogs laying together- I had worked on their sketches in November but never went anywhere with them. This sketch isn't as 'sweet' and 'cute' and 'cuddly' an image, and frankly not very Valentine-y at all. Maybe if I carve some hearts all over the dogs' collars? lol.


Sunset the other evening-looking down the street from my house on the hill.  If you look really REALLY closely, you might be able to see the chew-holes in the eaves of all the houses, from the Psycho Squirrels we have in our neighborhood. The other day I went out to the car and saw a squirrel hanging off the corner beam of my carport. It had a sneaky gleam in its eye. So I went over, right? Half the fracking beam was gone along the backside! Chewed away! He was eating my carport-! And I noticed that the top "spikes" of my stockade fence have been chewed down to nubs, too, in one section in the backyard-! Insanity Junction around here.

And my three sighthounds doing nothing about Our Grand Squirrel Situation?


Pups in the yard this weekend. Snowy and cold- we did get a couple walks in, though.  After a few months with Jack, we're finally settling into a walk schedule (at least for winter). Jack and Cliff go for a longer, faster walk first, then we swing by and pick up Lucy for a short, slow amble around the block. Actually, "amble" might be too much for what we do. She is REALLY slow. :o) But at 13 she is allowed to go as slow as she darn well pleases. :o) I'm just happy to keep her up and limber.


I'm finishing up a re-read of The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan. I've read all her books now (I think) but not Joy Luck since my freshman year of college, when it was one of our assigned readings for a first-year class we called 'Core.' My parents recently moved and so I had to get all my old books (from youth, high school, college) out of their attic- total craziness. I had 5 huge boxes up there! Joy Luck was one of them. It has been an absolutely delish re-read. Next on the docket is The White Rose: Munich 1942-1943 which was also for one of my college classes- it's about an anti-Fascist resistance movement that started at the University of Munich during WW2.*

...and chug, chug, chug. Winter continues to putter along....


*Lest you think re-reading college books are pretentious and/or overly academic, I must add that before Joy Lucy I reread The Dirt: The Official Biography of Motley Crue for, like, the 20th time, and thoroughly enjoyed every darn page of it. ;o)

Friday, February 05, 2010

In Memoriam

My website is currently dead. This weekend I'm going to (hopefully) set everything up with a new look, new art, etc etc. using Wordpress as my CMS (which, I learned recently, means "Content Management System" and is apparently a fancy word for "website" nowadays). I was using Netobjects Fusion which I like, but I want to combine everything on one page- site and blog. It just seems easier and more cohesive.

Yesterday during lunch break I tried to freshen up the look of some of my other pages (this blog, my Twitter page, and Etsy store) and the whole shabang died. All I wanted to do was try out some new wallpaper and put up a new banner- and WHAM- things folded. I lost a lot of stuff. :o( Thankfully I was able to recover it all, I think (except a few pics? sniff). Could I have been hit by a virus or spider somehow? Does anyone know how that stuff works?

Anyway, stay tuned. By Sunday I hope to unfold my new online digs.

Right now I'm on my way to the city to do some errands but I am NOT ALLOWED to stop at the art store. I have enough linoleum, I need to get a grip! lol.


P.S.- Clifford is doing great, although we almost had a catastrophe last night. The dogs were amped (I had just gotten home from work which is HUGE EXCITEMENT for them) and were racing through the yard. Cliff was feeling great apparently- going full tilt- and even Lucy ran a bit. Anyway, the boys collided while running. Seriously, if I had eaten lunch yesterday I would have lost it- it was very frightening. I have heard of greyhounds who have actually died running into things (from their sheer bulk and speed). I know one local lady whose greyhound ran into the fence after a squirrel, and her chest caved and blew both of her lungs out (the dog died at the E-vet). Good Lord.

Jack bounded up unhurt, but I had to help Cliff. And Cliff was ANGRY. Once up, he attempted to go at Jack like a monkey on a hambone. Since I still had my hands on him, though, I spun him around and away so no one was bit. It's kind of interesting how -offended- Cliff gets when Jack bumps or hits him. When Lucy bumps him or gets in his way, he doesn't care at all. If Jack does, then the growls and mean looks start. I wonder if it's because Jack is another male? Because he is younger and stronger? Because Jack is pushier than Lucy? Because Cliff senses Lucy is a loose canon and is secretly afraid of her? Because Jack competes more for my attention, where Lucy could care less if I lived or died (lol)? I would love to know how his mind worked.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The Weekend of Cliff

My poor boy Clifford. He had a rough, rough weekend. I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before, but Clifford has a bum back leg that has always been wonky for one reason or another: one of the paw pads has a corn, he had a knee strain at one point, the leg always trembles when he stands too long, etc. The past 6 months has been a limp-fest, so we've tried Deramaxx, which gave him the Big D very badly. We tried another round of the Deramaxx before giving him a break and then switching him to some of Lucy's old Metacam (she's on Dereamaxx now). The Metacam worked great for several hits but then stopped working. And the limping continued.

This past weekend, Cliff wasn't even putting any weight on the leg. Even my parents noticed. :o(

Monday I called the vet, and they said I should call an orthopedic specialist for x-rays. I then rang Dr. B., Lucy's specialist, and they were able to get me in yesterday (Bless my boss, who let me take a personal day!!).

After a long, worried-filled day of waiting, Cliff's problem was pinpointed: Disc Disease. I forgot the long, official name for it but basically he has two areas that are pinching at his discs, causing sciatica-type symptoms. He's on Metacam every day for 2 weeks, and then we'll go from there. He may need cortisone shots in his spine periodically.

I'm so thankful it isn't bone cancer. When you hear "greyhound" and "limp" in the same sentence, it's usually osteosarcoma.... and yet I've had 2 limping greyhounds, and have dodged the bullet twice. Tonight when I got home  from work, Cliff was running around the yard like a dzikus with a toy in his mouth... chasing Jack, peeing on the fence, galloping here and there. It's great to see him so full of life and happy- with no limp at all! What a guy. :o)