Friday, January 31, 2014

Happy 1st Birthday, Pyg!

May we have many, many more!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Review: Fromm Four Star Nutritionals Cheese Treats from

This month the Muppet dogs were lucky enough to try Fromm Four Star Nutritionals Cheese Treats from Predictably, the little stomachs-on-legs loved these crunchy treats. In fact, they liked them so much that I ended up tasting one, too. Not bad, though the cheese flavor is subtler than I expected.

-few ingredients
-only 1 calorie each!
-light color makes it easy to see them on a dark-matted training ring floor

-a bit larger than I like to use for training
-they do not break up into smaller pieces without making a huge mess
-the first ingredient is wheat
-risk of eating all the dogs' treats and then running out of cookies is high

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Happy Gotcha Day 7, Maisy!

It's blurry, but it's Baby Maisy on her four month birthday. 

It's hard to believe that this furry thing has been in my life for seven years. It feels like forever, and yet I know it will be over far too soon. Forgive the morbid thought, but it's been a hard six months. Still, despite the pain and fear and not-insubstantial vet bills, I regret nothing.

Well. I regret not taking more photos of her as a puppy. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Poodle Eyes

I recently discovered that Maisy's supposed poodle half is as close to confirmed as one can get without a DNA test. I know this because she has Poodle Eyes. Or so her ophthalmologist told me.

In the never-ending saga that is Maisy's health, she has racked up another specialist and two more diagnoses: entropion and corneal dystrophy. Both are inherited diseases, and both are, apparently, common in poodles.

About six weeks ago, I noticed that Maisy was having more discharge than normal from her right eye. She always has some sleep crusties in the mornings, but this had progressed to something weird. The discharge was clear, not the yellow or green one would expect from an infection, so I just kept an eye on it.

When it didn't clear up within a week, I took her into the vet, where they did all kinds of Fun Tests. Maisy was a rock star, and Dr. Jessy commented on how unusual it is to be able to do those tests and not need restraint. She didn't see anything in Maisy's eyes, but she prescribed some antiobiotic ointment and sent us on our way.

The discharge got better by the end of our ten days of drops, so I figured it must have been some weird infection and went on with life. But then the drainage came back... along with an odd white spot on her right eye. It was very small, and my boyfriend had a hard time seeing it, but it was there. It was the weekend, so I completely freaked out and called a vet friend, who told me to watch it for a few days to see if it got better on its own. I did and it didn't, so back to the vet we went.

Not the white spot from the light reflection. Below that- the larger, cloudy spot. 

We did the same testing, and this time, Dr. Jessy saw the white spot. She also noticed some squiggly marks I hadn't seen on the left eye. She had another vet in the practice take a peak at it and while neither knew what they were seeing, they knew it wasn't normal.

True story: the Twin Cities has four animal ophthalmologists. and all four are quite busy. Thankfully, I was able to get an appointment for just over a week away. It wasn't with the U, where I wanted to go because they have all of Maisy's history, but I was very happy with Dr. Trumble from Blue Pearl.

Dr. Trumble was kind, quick, and thorough. Maisy has entropion, which is when the eyelids roll in toward the eye. Maisy has a very mild case, wherein her tear ducts are slightly blocked, which is causing the excess drainage. Dr. Trumble said we could correct it surgically, but that it's a cosmetic thing at this point. I laughed and said no. Ain't nobody got money for cosmetic concerns.

Maisy also has corneal dystrophy. This inherited condition causes mineral deposits to build up on the cornea. Maisy's case is mild, and the hope is that with treatment (EDTA eye drops), we will be able to stop it from worsening. It is unlikely that the white spot will go away, but since it doesn't seem to be affecting her vision, that's okay.

We'll go back in three months to see if the drops are working. Fingers crossed!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Project Gratitude: Save Flash!

In September 2013, Maisy became suddenly and critically ill. Our blog readers rallied around us, providing us with the emotional and financial support needed to get through a very stressful time. Although I will never be able to pay everyone back, I can pay it forward through Project Gratitude. Each month, I donate my time or money to a person or organization that needs it. Please email me at reactivechampion(at)gmail(dot)com if you know someone in need.

This month's Project Gratitude recipient is Flash, a doxie who broke a paw. It looks like Flash has gotten enough to cover his vet bills now, but I'm glad that I could have (a very small) part in that. Maisy's continuing vet bills have made it hard for me to donate as much as I would like, but I know how every little bit counts, not only financially, but also emotionally. It's good to know that people- even complete strangers- care.

Flash came to my attention via one of his friends, and what a good friend she is! If you have a friend who needs some help- whether furry, feathered, or otherwise- send me a link and I'll see what I can do!