So Mark thought that my last post made him sound like Satan. Well, if he doesn’t want to come across like Satan, then he shouldn’t act like Satan. We’ve been getting along a lot better since then for whatever reason. Things are just calmer which I am obviously thankful for. What I am not thankful for is how insane my back pain has been. It alternates between my least favorite two ways – intense pain & discomfort. I recently had to cancel a hair appointment due to being in so much pain, but I simply cannot cancel it one more time because my roots are revolting and have a mind of their own at this point. I did see my pain management doctor. She increased my Topamax, as I thought she would. I told her I was getting my thyroid levels tested while I was there so if she wanted to test me for stuff, now would be a good time. Unfortunately for my drug test, I didn’t give enough urine again. I honestly thought I would be able to. Ugh. My kidney & liver functions came back fine, but my TSH level came back high. That may also explain why I’m sleeping all the time, so I bet my endocrinologist will fiddle with my dosage at my next appointment in early February.
This weekend we will finally be getting the newest iPhone which means I’ll actually get to use that new cat case I saw at BlogPaws and subsequently bought and then posted here! Speaking of BlogPaws, I got to do a lot of great reviews after attending that. I think I have reviews sitting here from that and elsewhere that will take me through the beginning of March, but then I am considering phasing them out, or at least doing them less than once a week. It just seems to make sense since I’m sleeping so much, since Mark & I have more demands placed on us because we now both have back issues, and since we have sick pets. Aside from iPhone shopping, we will be putting up our tree. I think this is the latest that it’s ever gone up! I’d love to watch the baby again too (she was in such a good mood her last time here & didn’t even cry when she was dropped off), but I can already hear my back laughing at me. As for Christmas, I have absolutely no clue what to get for Mark, and I’m not just saying that because he sometimes skims this site. Ugh. I’m 99% finished shopping for the furbabies. Guys, honestly, if you aren’t shopping at Créme de la Cat, I just don’t know what is wrong with you. Only Spenser remains to shop for, and we are getting him bones & such from Jones Natural Chews, since they were the things that sparked his interest the most this year. I also stupidly bought a new pet cam without finding out if it was PC or mac friendly, or whatever the term is. Speaking of holidays, Thanksgiving was just us at home, and that’s just how I prefer it. My mom hinted again about the family all getting together, but Mark mentioned cooking and wanting to watch the Steelers play, so the two of us stayed in and stayed close. The only bummer was the stuffing. It was a lot like the time I just couldn’t wait for my brother’s famous stuffing, only to have him murder it with too much pepper. Well, Mark used my brother’s recipe this year, but he used way too much onion. I should just give up the stuffing dream!
Okay, so Pacey has been taking his kidney supplement just fine, as long as it is ground up into his wet food. Basia throws it up, no matter if it is in food, not in food, in a pill pocket, or whatever. She has stage two and is currently taking no medication & is doing nothing which worries me to pieces. One of my mobile vets said that depending on their blood values that there is a probiotic called azodyl that makes the cats poop out kidney toxins. Another vet from the same place said that this won’t do anything to help them. Um. I’m waiting to hear back to see if their blood values will work or not, but nobody has responded to my multiple emails and calls which is super frustrating. Eva & Lulu are getting their anal glands drained soon. Apparently they can’t wait every four weeks after all, so they will now be on an every three week schedule. When the vet comes for that, I’ll pin her down on the azodyl. Also, she’s bringing several cans of kidney food for Basia & Pacey to try, as this is a potential next step as well. If they don’t like this brand, I’m told there are others that they can order in. And one of these vets has been in acupuncture school all year, and she says that acupuncture works great with renal disease. That’s obviously music to my ears! She’s coming early next week to do that for Basia. Also, we can stop taking Spenser to another vet for his appointments for that since he can now just get that done here at home as well. He started having not-so-great reactions to it while at that other office, so we were about to stop going. Hopefully now he will respond in a better fashion, and soon Basia, Pacey, and Spenser will all have sessions with her here! Lastly, she is also going to get blood and urine from Sam to verify our diabetes diagnosis for him. Holy smokes! And I am refusing to look up information on kidney disease. I guess my Gemini self is coming out and that I’m coming across again as inconsistent. I just change my mind a lot. Sometimes I feel it is important to be well-informed and “knowledge is power” and all that. But my heart doesn’t want to be shattered right now. I don’t want to worry about what is coming down the pike. I just know I won’t be able to take it. I’ll do everything the vet tells me to do, of course. She’s also holistic and wonderful in that arena too, so she does cover it all. I just can’t stand it that they have to get sick and suffer in any capacity. It’s just totally not fair to them and how wonderful they are.
Speaking of, Sunday night we had to take Spenser to the emergency vet because we thought for sure that he had a stroke. It all happened in an instant. He was fine one second and then he just wasn’t in the next. He was walking funny and breathing heavily, so we put him on the couch. This is usually the time when he walks around the kitchen and hunts for leftover crumbs – but he laid flat, breathed heavily, and even shook some. When we put him on the floor, he weaved around like a drunk. We were obviously in shock, so we took him to the emergency vet that we trust the most. Thankfully, as it turns out, it wasn’t a stroke. Somehow he injured his left shoulder and left paw! We just have absolutely no idea how it even happened. They doped him up on pain meds, and it was so funny. He was leaning into me at one point when we were back in the waiting room. When Mark was walking down the hallway towards us, Spenser was like, “Heyyyyy, I think I know who you are!” It reminded us of when Becca somehow hurt her back and was given hardcore drugs. She just sat on the couch and stared out the window for hours. It was so funny, and the next day she was picture perfect again! We are keeping him on the third floor for the most part. He gets pain meds three times a day. And we are seeing gradual improvement in his walking. If we weren’t, we were to take him back in for some X-rays. Whew! This old mutt knows how to put us through our paces! The whole thing was/is just so strange.
I’m going to watch today’s episode of General Hospital because it has been on fire lately and then go back to sleep so that I don’t have to deal with my back anymore. Blah, blah, blah.
I wanted to share this particular Top 10 List that I received with you because it’s about making holiday travel with your dog a great experience. I’m big on taking pets with you when you can. I just don’t like the idea of boarding them in general, and I know it’s hard during the holiday season to find someone to pet-sit when they have their own friends & families to attend to.
Paris Permenter is one of the founders of the award-winning DogTipper.com, a 10,000+ page site which features tips for dog lovers, giveaways, recipes, and more. She is also a certified dog trainer, is America’s Pet Economist™, and co-hosts the weekly Dog Travel Experts radio show with tips on traveling with your dog.
Thus, before making plans to deck the halls on a trip with your dog, here are 10 tips to make sure you — and your dog — have a jolly time this holiday season:
1. Plan in advance. Make plans early during this peak travel time. When booking, call the hotel directly and let them know the size and breed of your dog so there are no surprises at check-in.
2. Watch out for ornaments and decorations. Decorations, from tinsel to ornaments to lights, present chewing and choking hazards. Even if your dog ignores decorations at home, he may be tempted in a new environment.
3. Be prepared for accidents. Pet accidents happen, even with the most reliably housetrained pets. Carry a roll of paper towels and a cleaner such as Rug Doctor Urine Eliminator spray for quick cleanups and to keep from putting your hotel pet deposit (or your relatives’ good humor) at risk.
4. Make a pre-trip vet visit. If you’re traveling out of state by car or traveling anywhere with your dog by plane, visit your vet to obtain a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI). Make sure your dog is current on vaccinations and ask for an immunization record to carry as well.
5. Carry your dog’s food and treats. The holidays may be a time for us to indulge (or over-indulge) on food and treats but our dogs should be kept on their usual diet to avoid tummy upset.
6. Place an extra ID tag on your dog. Consider a special dog tag with your cell phone number. If you’ll be at one location for several days, make a tag with your holiday number and address as well.
7. Buckle up. Icy roads and heavy holiday traffic are two more reasons to always buckle up furry family members, just as children are always buckled up in the car.
8. Keep your dog warm and dry. If you’ll be walking in snow or ice, be sure your dog’s paws are protected with booties. Many dogs also appreciate a warm sweater or coat.
9. Carry the scent of home. Whether a blanket, a doggie duvet, or just a plush toy, bring along the scent of home for time on the road and for your hotel stay.
10. Be prepared to travel more slowly. Just as if traveling with a small child, your holiday travel is going to be enjoyed at a little slower pace with your dog. Make time for more frequent potty stops and at least one hour of walking per day. And don’t forget to work plenty of time together into your schedule. After all, isn’t that what a holiday with your best friend is all about?
We felt quite honored when just4mypet asked us to check out some of their items from this year’s holiday line. If you read the product review I did for them of that gorgeous memory keepsake box I received that is now my most treasured item, then you already know that I think very highly of this company.
Here is a snippet of info about their holiday line from their website:
We are presenting a wide variety of beautiful and high quality christmas and holiday products for you and your most special pet in the world! Gifts start as low as $4.99! Find personalized trading cards (like classic baseball cards) and folding cards for Christmas, Winter, Hanukkah, and the New Year! Buy your dog a holiday dog shirt or sweater. Personalize it for FREE with your own photo, text, or pick from a wide variety of pre-loaded designs for the season! Also pick out your favorite Christmas ornaments to sport a picture of your pet this Christmas – a perfect gift! View the vast selection of personalized holiday gifts, both for humans and pets.
We received two holiday products! Check out my video where I quickly talk about both:
2) a holiday shirt:
I just love that this site is big on personalization. It was fun to select a card and to plop holiday photos into it. I am a big fan of my furbabies – and of making other people their fans too! The cards themselves came out clear, crisp, and perfectly perfect. As for the shirt, I think mine may have been mislabeled. It said it was a size large, but it didn’t fit over our beagle’s head. As you can see, it fit Eva, our cat, nicely. I’d just check with their customer service to be sure before placing the order. They have a great selection of other cards, other shirts with sayings, ornaments, sweaters, treat packs, and more to choose from for yourself, for a pet, or for a pet lover in your life! Stop by Just4MyPet this holiday season – and all year-round too!
(full disclosure – just4mypet provided these holiday products to us free of charge in exchange for this post. thanks!)
We were talking about what shows to watch together versus what shows to watch on our own. It came down to The Good Wife and Hulu’s Behind The Mask.
Mark: Save Behind The Mask for me. The episodes are short. We can watch that together.
Me: Did you hear the disappointment in my voice?
Mark: I guess not.
Me: You’re probably just used to it since you hear it all the time.
Access Pet Wellness (a.k.a. PawCheck) has created urine strips that are patented test devices specifically designed for home-use for both dogs & cats! The strip devices are for the detection of Urinary Tract Infection, Diabetes, and Kidney Failure. The method is non-invasive, pain-free, easy, and reliable. Test your pet at the first sign of a suspicious symptom or as preventive care, right in the comfort of your own home. All you need to do is collect a small amount of urine (about 2ml or a teaspoon) to run the test. It should be relatively fresh and tested within one hour. Information on how to use the test kits and run them – “Test Procedure In 4 Easy Steps” – can be found below. It’s very simple, and then you get your answers quickly. When it comes to my furbabies, I’m a crazy worrywart, so I really like the idea of having these tests handy when issues or perceived issues arise.
Here are some photos of the test kits we received from Access Pet Wellness:
Here’s a video where I take a closer look at the test kits from Access Pet Wellness:
Included in the package:
- 1 general wellness home test for dogs and cats
- 2 kidney failure home tests for dogs and cats
- 1 urinary tract infection home test for dogs and cats
- 1 diabetes urine test for home use for dogs and cats
Here is some information about how to run the tests from its website:
“Test Procedure In 4 Easy Steps”
1. Remove paw cap.
2. Dip exposed tip of device into pet urine for 10 seconds.
3. Place device on a flat surface for 2 minutes.
4. Compare color(s) of reagent pad(s) on strip to color block(s) on chart provided.
Here are photos & videos of the general wellness home test in which Spenser tested just fine:
We thought the results were kind of weird because he’s on so many meds for so many different things, but it’s just that none of those things are what this test kit tests for. Thus, it is a relief that we don’t have anything additional to worry about for him, especially since he’s about to turn sixteen!
Here are photos & videos of the urinary tract infection home test in which Eva tested high in one of the three items it checks for:
Eva has issues with UTIs and has to take Cosequin every three days for it for the rest of her life. Ugh. Whenever I think she may be using the litter boxes repeatedly back-to-back, I get nervous and watch her closer. Having this test around eases my mind considerably. One of the three items it tests for came back high, so we are going to show that to the mobile vet at their already-scheduled visit with them this coming week.
Here are photos & videos of the diabetes urine test for home use in which Sam tested positive for having issues:
Without this test, we probably wouldn’t be talking to the vet this early about what else we should be doing. We just wouldn’t have known to. Based on his size alone (he weighs 18-19 pounds), we already were putting him on the treadmill periodically. We had started implementing food changes because of his weight and because Pacey & Basia sadly both have kidney disease, so we were not allowing the cats to eat all day long whenever they wanted to anymore. With these results, our level of concern is now even higher. I am glad to know because I hate to think what could have happened otherwise.
Here are photos & videos of the kidney failure home test in which Sam tested negative:
We decided to test Sam for this too since I was worried based on what the kidney failure home test results were. Thankfully his results for this came back fine. Next year or in six months, though, he will definitely get a full blood panel done. I only did that for the senior cats this year when I obviously should have included him in them because of his weight. I feel like a terrible mother.
The verdict? I just love these tests, and I think that every dog & cat owner should have a stash of these handy. I like to think that I stay on top of their health issues pretty well, but without these tests, I just wouldn’t have known that I needed to consult with our mobile vet over two new concerns. So I’m quite obviously thrilled to have the knowledge that these tests afforded me. Both dogs & cats can be sick from the issues these tests check for without showing outward signs, particularly early on in the course of the disease. Catching a disease sooner can mean greater success in treating the disease. You can monitor their health & wellness or changes in their health & wellness from the comfort of your own home.
I want to briefly talk about urine collection. It was easy to get some from Spenser. All that was involved was sliding a plastic container under him when he squatted. He didn’t mind it at all. As for the cats, Access Pet Wellness provides non-absorbent litter with their kits. Since we just recently had litter box issues (I wrote about it not long ago), I didn’t want to press the issue too much. I put out two boxes with the non-absorbent litter near boxes with their regular litter for almost two weeks, but all they did was walk thru it. So we gathered their urine another way. It shoots out behind them in a stream, so we stood behind them and caught it in a bathroom dixie cup. We did that for two cats at two different times, and thankfully they both were just fine with our presence and with what we did.
If you purchase any of their products, please let me know what you think!
(Full disclosure – Access Pet Wellness provided these items to us free of charge in exchange for a product review. Thanks!)
Next Page »