Monday, September 2, 2013

Reunited with West

On vacation, so I'll write more later, but thanks to Valerie for meeting me so I could see West again!

Monday, August 26, 2013

And more updates..


Archie has spent quite a bit of time "on vacation" up at my mom's place over the past few months. He loves it up there, has free reign of the land, and plays with her new boy, Vegas. But when he's here, we do the usual activities.

Archie also gets to play IPO/Ring!

From Archie 2

And Ttouch:

From Dogs at ttouch aug13

And Tracking:

And Agility:

And Nosework:

From Nosework - July - Fri PM

Okay, so it's been a while..

I've got West updates to post from months ago, and we've been busy!


Last I left off, Reiker and I were just experimenting with Disc. Since then, we've attended a fabulous evening seminar with Dana Gallagher, and learned a ton. Plus, she provided us with some "real" discs. I'll note that Reiker has not yet destroyed a SINGLE ONE, despite chewing on them madly. He also prefers them very much to the hard plastic dollar store ones. Wahoo.

That's just some of the video from the seminar. It really was great.

We've got a small local group together working on IPO/Ring stuff, and Reiker got to bite his first Leg Sleeve the other day. He loves this game:

From Reiker 2

We're auditing Shade's IPO101 Tracking course at Fenzi Academy, and have worked a tiny bit on scent pads. I haven't gone much farther with it yet.

And we had a blast doing some Ttouch workshops in Vernon. Reiker got to work one on one with Linda Tellington-Jones, AND Robyn Hood. He did amazing and I had a great time.

From Dogs at ttouch aug13

Reiker and I, notice the slack leash!

Finally, we've also done a nosework seminar and a bunch of practices. I haven't got the video edited for that yet, so it'll come soon.

Plus, the usual agility and Rally-O. Here's the final week of the agility class we took in June. This was Reiker's first real agility class.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A month later, more frisbee

Those previous videos were from early May. We had daily long frisbee sessions while I was house sitting :)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Nosework with Reiker!

Reiker and I attended a Sniffinar with instructor Dana Gallagher a couple months ago. She's coming back in July!
Anyway, she graciously allowed us to video the seminar, and said I was free to share the video of Reiker working through the stages as long as I stripped the sound. So excuse the music, or turn off your volume!

We had four turns. The first turn was just an intro, the second was similar but Dana handled our dogs while we set boxes. The third we took off our leashes. My dog was the only one who left the 'search area'. And the fourth was puzzles and blind hides. Fantastic seminar. We have been practicing nosework once a week after my class, and both boys love it.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Reiker and the border collie

Kaylee really wants to play with him. Reiker really wants her to stay away from his frisbees!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Recovering well!

You can still see the marks on his face and his shaved leg, but he's doing far better

From Reiker 2

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Kibble Snorfle!

Reiker scoops kibble up off the lawn:

From Reiker 2

And a couple dogs I looked after are hunting kibble for the first time:

Saturday, May 11, 2013

West update!

From West's Adoptive Family:

Hi Courtenay
I'm sending a few clips of west as promises.
Better late then never !
Nina and West have become great buddies.
Can't remember if I mentioned that Nina has arthritis in her spine.
No more trials for her, I still practice with her and she really enjoys it.
West is doing great, we're off to a trial in Cloverdale as I write.
Let me know went you are coming to Victoria, we'll try and connect.
I've decided not to do Regionals with West this year, too early.
I hope Reiker is doing better.
Poor guy looks like he went through a rough time
All the best

Monday, March 18, 2013

Eosinophilic Furunculosis - AKA Face Rot

I posted a photo a few days ago of Reiker's facial.. abnormality. It's been a long week, and I'll document it here in case it helps anyone in the future.

Reiker was eventually diagnosed with Eosinophilic Furunculoses. This condition is thought to be caused by a spider bite or bee sting, and is a sort of localized auto-immune reaction to a trigger. It's generally self limiting, and very easily treated with short term steroids. I read this paper and this brief article on the subject, and found them useful.

On Sunday, Feb 24, I let Reiker outside in the morning. I was looking out the glass door at him, and it looked like his face was stuck funny in his Gentle Leader. When I brought him in, I had a closer look and determined one cheek was swollen. Assuming an insect bite or something equally as benign, and since he wasn't bugging at it or showing any signs of discomfort, I gave him a Benadryl around 11am, and checked on him every couple hours. The swelling gradually decreased, and was basically gone by Monday morning.

I didn't see anything else until Wednesday morning. Once again, he had a bit of swelling on the top of his face. Nothing major, but strange. I immediately gave him half a Benadryl (all I had left) and again watched him carefully. He started out with just a bit of swelling, then developed a couple red spots. I assumed due to the location, that he had scraped/bonked his nose under the deck or under the shed.

This was taken Wed morning:
From Maligator

By Wed evening, it was looking a bit pustulated. He still wasn't showing any signs of discomfort. I held off on the Benadryl, as I didn't want to mask anything.

This was taken Wed evening:
From Maligator

Thursday morning, it looked basically the same. By Thursday afternoon, when I took him out to pee, it was open, terrible looking and ulcerated. We were heading to see a tech friend that evening, so I had her look at it. She recommended high doses of Benadryl, and to come in the next morning if it wasn't drastically improved.

Another tech friend saw the photos and immediately recognized it as EF. I mentioned this to the vets I saw, but until the biopsy came back, they were reluctant to consider it seriously.

Thursday night, I started Reiker on Benadryl, and washed his face up with Chlorhexadine scrub. And fed him Cheez Whiz for tolerating me. Lots of it.

Thursday Night's photos:
From Maligator

From Maligator

From Maligator

Friday morning, it was still getting worse. I called and got the only appointment left of the day. We saw the vet on Friday afternoon. He prescribed antibiotics, and booked a recheck for Wednesday in case it wasn't cleared up. I continued the Benadryl on my tech-friend's recommendation, and though the vet had recommended Metacam, I held off as I was still thinking he'd need steroids.

In the interest of giving the antibiotics time to work, Saturday came and went rather uneventfully.

Photos from Saturday morning, after three doses of antibiotics and benadryl:

From Maligator

From Maligator

From Maligator

And from Sunday night:

From Maligator

From Maligator

Sunday it was still getting worse, so Monday morning, I called the vet hoping to get in for Prednisone. The vet felt strongly that the biopsy needed to be done before he could prescribe the Pred, so we were booked in for Tuesday morning and instructed to "keep it clean for the next 24 hours".

Monday afternoon, things got bad. Reiker decided his face was itching terribly, and couldn't leave it alone. I tried distractions, muzzle, cone, sleeing with him,.. nothing helped. By 2am, I was exhausted from almost 12 hours of trying to keep him from it. I took the cone off, put him in his crate, and let him scratch until morning.

We were at the vet by 8:15 Tuesday morning. After talking to the Surgeon about my concerns around Reiker's dog/cat reactivity and ... enthusiastic nature, she agreed Dex/Torb premedication in the exam room would be best. I was happy overall with her anesthesia recommendations, and knew the tech personally. He was given IV premed, topped up with more IM, then once he was flat out, we took him to the back for induction and two biopsy punches. A stitch in each, and he was recovered. I left, and returned a few hours later.

I did not speak to the vet at this point, and was given steroids and buprenorphine with instructions. I was not instructed to continue the Benadryl, and was not given any further instructions around the antibiotics. I wasn't given any cleaning or wound care instructions except to bring him back in 14 days to have the stitches out. I asked if they could send me home with a blade to do it myself, and they easily agreed.

After one day of steroids, the photos show drastic improvement already:
From Maligator

The clinic called and had me pick up more antibiotics on Wednesday (one day of steroids). When I went to pick them up, I brought a list of questions and left them with the clinic staff. They were very happy to take my questions.

Two days later:
From Maligator

I spoke to the vet on the phone on day 2 (Thursday). She answered my questions, and I felt good about the information I was given.

When the biopsy results came back on day 4 (Saturday), I spoke to a third vet about the results. She explained it was EF, I explained I wasn't surprised. She encouraged me to continue the steroids a couple more days, and gave me more Buprenorphine as well. She also recommended giving him Benadryl again, so I started the benadryl then too.

Five days later:
From Maligator

Six days later (I think the cone came off at night around this point):
From Maligator

And ten days later, I stopped the steroids at this point due to some side effects (Cone was off permanently a day or so before this):
From Reiker 2

And today (13 days after the biopsy and he started the steroids). He was playing on the deck and opened up a tiny spot. This has happened a few times, it clots and I don't worry about it much.
I suppose I can take the stitches out any day now.
From Reiker 2

From Reiker 2

Thursday, March 7, 2013

West's california trip, part 2

Here's the story that goes with the trip!

From Valerie:
Sorry about the picture without text, meant to write later (sent it from my phone ) but life got too busy i guess.
We went down to visit friends for a few days and everybody had a great time.
My friends are 2 gay guys and West really likes them.
They also have a place on Pender, across the road from us.
West has changed a lot, still crazy and full of beans but also more comfortable around people and new environments.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Premier Eco Equipment review

From Archie 2

We've recently acquired a bunch of the Premier ECO equipment. It's being discontinued, but is still available from Pet Expertise for sure.

This webbing is made from recycled plastic bottles, and is a bit finer than the usual nylon webbing. It's certainly got a bit of a different feel. And it's slipperier when it's wet.

It's strength rating is similar to that of the regular Premier nylon, and the hardware is similar was well. I got both boys an Easy Walk harness, and neither has self-loosened yet (A pretty common problem with the nylon ones, since they have fancy metal hardware). I don't know if this is a difference in the metal or the strapping material.

I got each of them a Premier collar, as well. I quite like these collars. Archie's is his current daily-wear collar, and it's standing up great. Reiker can't daily-wear a martingale because he chews it up, and with his health issues lately, I've had no collar on him at all. But he does have one!

I got two matching leashes for Archie, one 1" and one 3/4". I really like having the 1" leash attached to the EW and the 3/4" leash to the GL. This  makes it very easy to reach into the pile of "dog stuff" and pull out the equipment I'm looking for. Archie doesn't usually wear both, just one or the other depending on the occasion.
Archie's matching GL is quite nice, and I think it probably is less prone to wearing off fur due to the material. No proof of this yet though!

Reiker got MANY leashes and about 6 extra Gentle Leaders, due to his propensity to destructo-dog them. I got mostly Large's, and he seems to prefer the large to the Medium he was wearing before (since he'd eaten all my Larges!) I got a variety of widths of blue leashes for him as well. So far, he hasn't decided to take any out. So far. Hah.

The nice thing about Premier's stuff is that I really trust their hardware, so if/when he does chew up something, I can pull the buckles and clips off and reuse them on other dog stuff.

Overall, very impressed. We've been using this stuff for a couple months now, and it's standing up great. The green does show the dirt, but a quick rinse and it comes clean again. 

From Maligator

Friday, March 1, 2013

Reiker got into something...

Hopefully by the time this posts, all is well and back to normal. Poor dude.

From Phone

Thursday, February 28, 2013

West's California Trip

Valerie sent me an email with that subject, and not much content, so I'm left to assume West went on a trip to California, they took this photo, and no one died :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

An agility post..

We interrupt your regularly non-scheduled posting for a purely agility post.

For Dog Agility Blog Action Day.. See the other posts here.

I've been helping a friend long distance as she starts to work her rescue dog through some agility in her backyard. He's very fearful and dog reactive, and she's not comfortable taking classes with him, so I've been trying to help.

Agility coaching via youtube is something lots of big-name trainers are offering now, but generally they have a course and materials and instruction. I've just sort of been offering tips as we go, without any set course. This is unideal, but seems to be working!

Here's her first public agility video in Sept 2012 (there were a few before this that were unlisted). I'd suggested she try to be more "fun" to her dog. You can see them both struggling a bit with the single jump. The handler isn't quite helping the dog enough, and the dog is too green to choose the jump on his own.

They've come an AWFULLY long way since then! She's been working on a tricky sequence from Steve's Agility Nerd blog. Specifially, #1-5.

The blind cross at 3 is her current goal, and I don't think she's done any foundation work on blind crosses with her dog. My own dog reads blinds fine, but has some significant jump foundation and I was able to practice them on a slower dog with coaching first. She's just jumped in with both feet.

When I'm helping her out, the first thing I do is watch through the videos all the way. Here are the three videos from the session I'm discussing:

As soon as I got through those, I could tell one of her problems was that she was racing her dog. Even a slow-ish dog with a fast-ish handler is likely to be faster than the handler in a sequence like this. She's using a start line stay to get ahead, but it's not enough.

From Hups Coaching

At this point, the dog needs to know where he's going so he can decide how to take off for the third jump. The handler is running, but isn't in any position to have cued the dog to take the jump (yes, some handling systems expect the dog to take any jump between the dog and handler. Not this one!) or to change sides. The dog is a good sport and does change sides and come to hand, but goes around the jump.

This problem is repeated in a few more repetitions. These shots show the dog in approximately the same location, but the handler's location changes.

Second attempt:
From Hups Coaching
Third attempt (and the best one)
From Hups Coaching

Fourth attempt (further back than the third)
From Hups Coaching
Here's the first video again:

The third attempt is probably the best one as far as the change of arms go, but if you watch the video, the handler's MOTION doesn't cue a change of sides or a turn over the jump at all. So, the dog goes around the jump! :)

Here's the second video again:

In the second video, after a few failed attempts, the handler makes it easier by just asking for the single jump. By this point, the dog really needs a reward, so he's glad to have something he can do!

When she goes back to adding in the next jump, her timing is still way too late. The dog fails to take the jump again until the handler physically positions herself to block the dog and force him to take the jump. This is not a recommended method, though this dog copes well with it.

Here's the third video again:

In this video, we can see the dog's confusion at the lack of reward at the beginning. He stalls out and isn't sure what to do. Once he's reset, he gets his enthusiasm back, and the handler does a pause which brings the dog in. Her change of sides is still very late, but the dog compensates for her.
She's unclear in her side change (though the dog now seems to understand the second jump is the one being rewarded) and she and the dog collide in the third repetition. This encourages the handler to be faster and more deliberate on her fourth attempt. She manages to show the side change before the dog takes off for the jump, and he succeeds!

After this session, I recommended that she work on the second part of the exercise, the Ketschker, first, then come back to the straighter blind cross. She did, and her videos on this can be seen on her channel. After another session, she was putting the whole sequence together quite nicely! She's still a bit hesitant on her Ketschker turn, but hey.. this is a VERY novice team doing quite an advanced sequence!

If you enjoyed this post, leave a comment. I won't fill my blog up with stuff no one wants to read! :)