A small, family farm in Wisconsin

Posts tagged ‘Pet’

Frankie’s Nose

Smooshy faced dogs and cats often have a condition called stenotic nares. Their nostrils are too small to allow them to breathe efficiently. We’ve had 2 Boston Terriers, and both have had this problem. In both cases our vet surgically reconstructed the nostrils to improve airflow in their poor little noses. We had it done at the same time the dogs were neutered, so that they only had to be anesthetized once. There is an associated condition called elongated soft palate which is also found in these dogs and can be surgically corrected if necessary.
Here’s an article that explains the procedure. http://www.vetsurgerycentral.com/resp_brachycephalic_airway_syndrome.html
Frankie just had his surgery last week and once the swelling is down completely he will be a new puppy. Here are his before and after picturesYou can see he still has some swelling. It’s only been 4 days. I don’t know if it will stay pink, and the nostrils are not quite symmetrical but he’s not a show dog so that’s not important to me. I’m just happy he can breathe deeply.

frankienose beforefrankienose after

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A New Addition

After our Boston Terrier Charlie died in July, Lee and I missed him so much. The house wasn’t the same without that little clown around. We agreed that we needed to find another pup to fill our home and hearts. It didn’t take long to find a few Bosties fairly close to us. We chose Frankie.
Frankie is a fawn colored Boston Terrier. He’s beautiful. He has dark lining around his eyes, and he looks like he’s smiling. His ears are magnificent, and he may or may not grow into them.
We’re still learning about his personality, and I think it’s evolving. He’s a snuggler, a little shy and nervous in new situations. He’s stubborn and sassy and challenging. House breaking is mostly done. He has had the occasional accident, but they’re getting rare.
I had forgotten how time consuming puppies can be!
Our memories of Charlie will always be with us. We talk about him so often. Frankie isn’t a replacement. He’s an addition to our family.frankie 8-21-14 Frankie 9-27-2 Frankie2 8-24-14

Another Post About Charlie

A few weeks ago we took Charlie to the vet because he was having pain in his back. He probably injured it while jumping from furniture. The vet gave him steroids and by the time he was done with the prednisone he was feeling good as new. I think I must have had a premonition, because I had asked the vet to draw blood, just because he’s getting a little older, to keep tabs on him really. The blood results were a bit wonky…high white cells, low red cells. He was put on an iron supplement and antibiotics. Two weeks later there was virtually no change in his lab results. The vet suggested an ultrasound. We had to take him to a clinic that does ultrasounds and the vet there found a large, grapefruit sized tumor on his spleen. Long story shortened….he had surgery, spleen removed, tumor tested and it is cancer. Charlie is 11 years old and we had expected to have several more years with him. He truly is our furry little child and this diagnosis is heart breaking. The vet feels he could have 6 months left. Now that we know our time with Charlie is limited we’ll be enjoying every moment with this funny little guy.

There are a few posts about Charlie on this blog.  You can search his name and come up with them if you want to read more about him. I’ve linked to 3 of them.

 

charlie2

A Feline House Guest

I’ve written about Violet before.  At nearly 11 years old she’s my oldest barn cat.  She lives a mostly solitary life because she refuses to associate with the other barn cats, and she’s terrified of most humans.  Violet loves me.  She chose me to be her person and so I’ve always watched her closely to be sure she’s doing well.  This winter has been hard on all of us.  I noticed Violet shivering  at times, and because she’s pretty old for a farm cat I felt like she needed special care.  So I brought her in the house.  I’m hoping she’ll be ready to return to her previous life of freedom when the weather warms up.  Her residency here has been almost trouble free.  I’m surprised that Violet has taken to using a litter box as if she’d been doing it her whole life.  She had never been in  the house before.  She learned quickly that the kitchen table is off limits.
We do have a serious problem though.  Charlie.  Violet hates Charlie.  I hoped at first that they would meet, be wary, and tolerate each other.  They rumbled twice.  First time wasn’t too bad.  Violet tried to kill Charlie, he backed off and left her alone.  The second time was more violent and Violet clawed his face, very close to his eye.  Charlie has typical Boston Terrier eyes and they are vulnerable.  I’m now very afraid that Violet will scratch his eyes out, so I keep them safely apart.   They each have plenty of roaming time, but just not together.
Violet’s favorite place to be is wherever I am and especially in my lap.  I’m determined that she will not be a permanent house cat, but time will tell.

Competing with the computer

Competing with the computer

Charlie 2/14

Charlie 2/14

Snuggling in my lap.

Snuggling in my lap.

May and June Catch-Up

blossoming treeIt’s been a crazy spring.  Cold and wet.  We’re closing in on the middle of June, and  the fields are not fully planted yet.  Lee has been planting as the fields dry out, but he still has to plant around the wet spots.  It’s raining again today so no planting for a few days.  We just haven’t been getting enough time between the rains to let the ground dry off.  We just have to be patient and wait and see how it all works out.  Lee’s definitely feeling the pressure.

The good news is that the rains have brought lush growth to the pastures.  Too lush for the minis, but the sheep are benefiting from all the lovely grass.  Of course we went from seldom  mowing the dry, brown grass last summer to frequent mowing this spring.

It’s been fun watching my bird feeders this spring.  So many colorful birds.  I had two indigo buntings coming to the feeders for a few days.  They must have been just passing through because I haven’t been seeing them lately.  I saw at least half a dozen orioles in a tree just in front of the house.   It was before the tree had fully leafed out so it was a gorgeous riot of color in the tree.  The orioles have been using the nectar feeder I set up for them.  Lee’s favorite birds are the cardinals and he also likes blue jays.  I think because he can easily identify them.  We’ve had lots of turkeys, our sandhill couple is back to nest here again, and we’ve been seeing deer come out of the woods every day.  We can sit at the kitchen table and enjoy seeing the wildlife while we eat a meal.

charlie collarCharlie has a new collar, which has a QR Code tag.  It can be read by any smart phone that has a QR Code reader app.  It also will send you to a website if you don’t have a reader.  On the website is Charlie’s ID page, which has contact information and health history.  It was very inexpensive.  The collar with tag was $10.99, I think, and you can get just a tag for less.   Just go to FurCode.com, or they also have a Facebook page.

Charlie is 10 years old now and he’s begun to have some health problems as he ages.  Recently he injured his back, but healed quickly, thank goodness.

We are going to Oklahoma in July, and we’ll have to board Charlie at a kennel.  He’s only been boarded a couple of times and the last time was a bad experience so I’m  nervous about doing it again.  We’ll be taking him to a different kennel this time and I got references from the vet, so I’m really hoping it will be okay.

The family are all doing well.  We’re so excited to be going to OKC for Leah and Craig’s wedding.  It’s turning out to be a wonderful family reunion too.  I just can’t wait to see everyone, and this will be the first time in years that I’ll be together with all 3 of my kids at once.  It’s going to be fun to have Lee coming along.  It’s so hard to get him to leave the farm.

Here are fairly recent pictures of Carys (at her archery lesson), Payten at 3 years old, and Noah.

Carys archeryPaytenNoah

Not Made in China

everythingdogtreats-com

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think that all pet owners are pretty fed up with the China Connection as it relates to dog food and treats.  When I’m looking for treats for Charlie I spend a ridiculous amount of time reading the labels.  I’ve found a couple that I feel are safe to give him, but  I could probably make treats for him in the same amount of time I spend  reading labels and researching recall lists.
Here are some treat recipes you might like to try.  I’m also giving you horse treat recipes, just because I love my minis and they do get  treats sometimes as well.  They love bran muffins!

ROVER’S REWARDS
3/4 cup hot water or meat broth/stock
1/3 cup margarine
1/2 cup powdered milk
1 egg, beaten
3 cups whole wheat flour
Pour the hot water/broth over the margarine and mix to melt it.  Stir in the powdered milk and egg.  Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Knead 3 to 4 minutes, adding more flour as needed, to make a very stiff dough.  Roll to 1/2 inch thickness and cut out with cookie cutters or cut into rectangles sized for your dog.  Place on greased baking sheet and bake at 325 for 50 minutes/  Cool and let dry until hard.  Yields about 1/4 pound of treats.
PUMPKIN AND PEANUT BUTTER DOG TREATS
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Directions:
1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2.     Whisk together the flour, eggs, pumpkin, peanut butter, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl. Add water as needed to help make the dough workable, but the dough should be dry and stiff. Roll the dough into a 1/2-inch-thick roll. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces.
3.     Bake in preheated oven until hard, about 40 minutes.
Makes about 25 treats.
HORSE TREATS
PARTY CONES
Wafer ice cream cones
Mix together:
1 shredded apple
1 shredded carrot
1/4 cup horse feed (pellets or whatever you feed)
1 1/2 cups bran
Enough molasses to hold it all together.
Stuff the mixture into the cones.
Or, you can stuff it into cored apples.  These treats are sized for full size horses.  For minis, they only need about 1/4 of a treat.  They’ll tell you they want more, but don’t listen.
You can also modify the dog biscuit recipes for horses.  Experiment!

Cody, a Miniature Horse

About 10 years ago Lee and I decided that it was time to downsize our miniature horse activities.  We stopped breeding and showing them, and sold  most of our best horses.  The ones we kept were minis who had special needs.  It’s hard to imagine anyone else giving the kind of care we give to these needy ones.  Of course that’s an arrogant way of thinking and I know that really there are many people in this world who would do a good job with them.  What I ended up with was a small  group of miniature horses with health problems, so I knew that I would be dealing with lots of nursing care and special diets with supplements,and extra vet and farrier visits.  I also knew that my little herd would dwindle.  In the 10 years since we dispersed the main herd, we’ve euthanised 3 of the chronically ill minis, and now this week makes it 4.
Cody was born here.  At the age of 17 he dies here.  He had a chronic, we think genetic, condition involving his trachea.  His dam had the same problem. He also had chronic bouts of laminitis, although not since last winter.  Recently I became aware that he was having other, very serious problems.As he got worse I struggled with making the decision to euthanise him.  This week I realized we couldn’t make him better, he continued to go downhill,and I couldn’t bear to think he might be suffering.  Although we don’t know exactly what was going on with him (we didn’t do a necropsy) we do know that he had something bad.  At the end his blood pressure was sky high, his abdomen was bloated and full of fluid, he was dripping in sweat in the mornings in the last few days.  The vet guesses heart or liver, maybe both.  The last thing I did before the vet got here was to take Cody in the grass so he could graze for the first time in years.  Grass is a no-no for laminitic horses.  He loved it.  He never lost his appetite.
He was my little trick pony who answered questions with a nod or a shake of his head, and gave kisses whenever he was asked for them. He loved kids and they loved him.

Thanks so much Dr. Anne Clary for your compassionate care of my minis for all these years.
Please enjoy this slideshow of pictures of Cody, from his birth, through his show career, to his most recent pictures at the age of 17.  Cody was loved by many and he will be missed so much, especially by me.

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