That Works!

Morning walks are typically very relaxing around our neighborhood.  Sure we run into the occasional fox, chipmunk or deer but more often than not, I’m right on top of those things and can quickly avoid or redirect.  What I can’t anticipate is the dog owner that let’s their dog(s) out into the e-fence without checking to see if anyone else is around.

Which is how I found myself wrestling Sampson and Delilah last Sunday morning, while the woman in question gingerly made her way up her driveway in her pajamas and bare feet in an attempt to get her dogs under control.

Both of us apologizing as we dealt with our dogs.

I may have mentioned these dogs in a previous post .

I am the peeper, a sweet chocolate seeker.

I am The Peeper, a sweet chocolate seeker.

One dog is very docile (I call this one The Peeper)  (s)he just looks, then runs to a different spot in the yard to see if there is a better vantage point.  The other dog  (I shall call The Speaker) because she is a barker. She will run to a safe distance and start causing a ruckus.

Delilah, my darling sweet chocolate, can be reactive with other dogs.  Mostly I’m aware of what sets her off and work hard to either avoid the situation or work her with treats to help her through it.

I'm a dogbassador, it's my job to make friends!

I’m providing a public service.  You know they want to pet me.

Sampson is reactive in the total opposite way.  (These dogs are literally night and day in terms of personalities.)  Sampson is very social and sees all people and dogs as potential friends.  I’ve also been working him with treats when we approach other dogs and people.

Except this time I didn’t see it coming and I didn’t have my treats ready.  It ended up being a frustrating experience and not a happy way to start the day.

Flash forward to a week later.

I slept in a bit so our walk was around 10:00 am which means more people are out and about.  As we approached the house with the dogs I saw their garage door was open and the woman was outside working in the yard.  This led me to believe her dogs were out there with her and sure enough they were.

But I was ready!  I had my hand in the treat bag and I was doling out Jones Natural Chews lamb lungs as fast as I could.  Both Sampson and Delilah had their attention focused on me.  Our walk past the house was somewhat slow, BUT there was no wrestling involved.  Neither one of my dogs paid any attention to what her dogs were doing.

My attention was on my dogs and making sure Delilah did not remove one of my fingers, but the woman and I managed a brief exchange.

“Hello.”

“Hi, how are you?”

“Good, how are you?”

“Good.”

As we passed the house I heard her say, “That works!”

Yes, yes it does.  I’m hoping Sampson, Delilah and I are setting a good example for our neighborhood peeps and showing them there is a positive way to train your dogs.

Do you have a reactive dog?  How do manage on your walks?

Yesterday I added 175 words to my book, bringing my word total to 44,664.

What Causes Elevated Liver Levels in Dogs?

 

I've heard Jones Lamb Lungs are wonderful for elevated liver levels.  Perhaps you should give me some.

I’ve heard Jones Windees are wonderful for elevated liver levels. Well, don’t keep me waiting!

In Friday’s post I showed a partial comment left by Retro Rover.  After I scheduled that post there were a couple more that really resonated and I thought it would be good to address those as well.

First up, Retro Rover’s comment: ” Pings levels have fluctuated quite a bit over her liver disease journey of two years. Also I would ask the vet about what will be gained from the biopsy. In Pings case we elected not to do it as they said it would only possibly reveal the big C and there was basically nothing to be done about that. Of course I’m sure the situation could be very different with Delilah and there might be much to gain. I was also told that the procedure was somewhat risky.”

One of Red’s dogs has been having liver issues.  In fact, Red and I have had a couple of e-mail conversations and she’s been very helpful.  She has Ping on Denamarin which she buys online.   Delilah has been on the Denamarin for a month.  BUT since it hasn’t helped, our vet is switching the medication to Hepagen-C , this has Milk Thistle like the Denamarin does but it also has B6, B12 and Curcumin which is one of the properties in Turmeric.  While reading up on canine liver issues I found one of the suggested supplements was Turmeric.

Thursday afternoon the vet called with the results of the Acid Bile test.

What is a Bile Acid test?

My understanding of a Bile Acid test is such.  The dog is fasted and blood is drawn, the dog is then fed a (fatty) meal and two hours later the blood is drawn again.  This tells the Vet how well the liver is functioning and doing it’s job.

According to our Vet Delilah’s levels were ‘slightly’ elevated and she recommends a liver biopsy.  I asked her, what is the purpose of the biopsy. Here’s what she told me.

She feels Delilah’s liver issue (for lack of a better word) is one of three things, 1) Chronic Hepatitis 2) Reactive Hepatitis 3) the liver is storing copper.

Each of these illnesses is treated in a different way.  Without knowing what is causing the elevated liver levels, we cannot treat the underlying issue and make Delilah feel better.

What about risk in performing a liver biopsy?

There is a risk with any procedure, but they take precautions.  They will check her vitamin K levels and will be checking her blood to make sure it clots.  From what I understand the biggest risk is bleeding.  Trust me, this did not reassure me in the slightest.

I asked could these just be normal levels for Delilah.  She is after all an extraordinary dog. :-)

The vet said her levels have always been normal before, so no.

Seeing as Delilah’s liver levels are only slightly elevated, my vet feels we have time before needing to perform the biopsy.  Which turns out well as funds are a bit tight right now and I’m really on the fence about this test.

I also had a comment from Hailey and Zaphod who said, “Our first dog had immune mediated hepatitis that caused psoriasis of the liver. It was a difficult journey for him and us. I hope your lovely girl does not have anything as serious. POTP.

I’m so sorry to hear about this.  I cannot imagine how heartbreaking and difficult that was for you.  I’m hoping since we caught this early we will have a good shot at getting to the bottom of whatever it is and making sure Delilah gets the best treatment possible.

Sherrie Petrie said “Jodi – Ask your Vet about putting Delilah on Milk Thistle it helps support and clear toxins from the liver. I had a Sheltie who had liver difficulties and this helped decrease her numbers. You never know anything could help. ”

Thank you Sherrie, the Denamarin we had Delilah on is a combination of Milk Thistle and SAMe.  Our vet leans towards the holistic which is one of the reasons I love her so.

Rachele Baker DVM said, “If you ever feel that you would like more information about her liver issues or that you would like a second opinion, you might consider taking her to a board certified veterinary internal medicine specialist in your area. You could ask your veterinarian for a referral or just check online and/or talk with friends to find a specialist in your area that has a good reputation. It is usually possible to take your pet to a specialist without a referral from your veterinarian and it is usually not that expensive for an examination and consultation with a specialist.”

Thank you Dr. Baker I am going to ask my vet about seeing a specialist.  

Interestingly enough, as I was researching some of the potential reasons causing elevated liver levels, I discovered they can be caused by dental disease.  While Delilah does not currently have any dental disease, she does need a tooth extracted and because of this she is beginning to get some tartar build up.

While the person I spoke to at my vet’s office said Delilah’s tooth should not have any bearing on her liver levels, I prefer to have them checked again after her cleaning and extraction.

I thank you all so much for sharing your knowledge and experiences with me.  I hope this has helped in explaining a little bit about what Delilah is going through.  I will of course keep you informed of any changes in Delilah’s health or changes in our decisions regarding treatment.

You Make Me Smile – July 20, 2014

You make me smile, the funny, sweet, loving things my dogs do on a daily basis that brings a smile to my face and a laugh to my lips.

Delilah the way you drool on your walk, like your attending the all day smorsgasboard

Chocolate-Labrador

You make me smile.

Your turn, sound off in the comments with the funny, sweet things your dogs do that make you laugh or smile.

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