Friday, February 27, 2009

Sophia's dental drama

Given the sheer number of critters here, I have no choice but to spend a great deal of both time and money with our local vets. Mostly it's the dogs that are frequent patients, but occasionally it's the cats too. When my cats get sick, they seem to get really sick! No fooling around with just being a bit under the weather for this clowder.

Sweet Sophia has had dental problems since I met her almost two years ago; in that time she's had three major dental surgeries. The last one was done on February 13 and left little Sophia with just two teeth in her entire head, her lower fangs. Why just have a couple bad teeth when you can have stomatitis that affects your entire mouth?

Sophia has recovered well from her previous dental procedures, but not this one. She wouldn't eat; she wouldn't move; she didn't purr; she didn't groom; she had terrible diaherra and drooled like a St. Bernard! Over the course of the past two weeks, three different vets have cared for Sophia, all at Alpine Vet. She's had bloodwork, tests, fluids and multiple medications. One of the docs was even brought home medication for her after hours last Friday night, saving us another stressful trip to the clinic. Nothing worked for long though; Sophia would show improvement for brief periods and then crash again. . She was miserable! I was deeply afraid that I would have to let her go far sooner than expected. I don't know how old Sophia is, but she's likely between 8 and 10. Really not that old for an indoor kitty.

Occasionally she would eat a bit a salmon, but not nearly enough and she wouldn't even look at cat food. Sophia is my little fat cat; she doesn't miss many meals.

A second round of bloodwork on Tuesday showed that every cell that can be inflammed in Sophia's body is severely inflammed. Perhaps the stress of surgery triggered it; maybe whatever causes the problems in her mouth spread to the rest of her body, but in any case, she just couldn't fight it on her own. Sophia started on prednisone Wednesday afternoon. I've never given pred to a cat before, although several of the dogs have taken it at one time or another. Sleet takes a form of it for her allergies every year and her symptoms stop within a couple hours of her 'roid shot.

Sophia's response that almost as fast as Sleet's. By Thursday morning, she was eating. By Thursday night she was grooming and purring. Today, she's not quite back to normal, but she's 100% better than she was 48 hours ago! Now if the inflammation will just stay gone when she goes off the prednisone!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

My team...

I'm way late posting these. They were taken on Christmas Eve. Pictures of my team from the front are a rare thing!

A six dog team with Daisy woofing in front them. She's a bit of a pain in the butt at the start, but she's handy once she settles down. She's a good early warning system!

Stuart's step-Mom was in the sled for a short ride. A friend came over to take the pics. I should get him to do that more's a nice change of pace from pictures of doggy butts!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Quest 300 Start...

I didn't make it town for the 1000 mile race start, for any number of reasons that I won't bother going into publicly! I know a few of the mushers in the Quest 300 start so I did make it for that. Well, part of it, I left right after Will VanRanden, my neighbor, was out of the start chute!

Before Will's turn, Karen and Mark Ramstead were up! The Ramsteads have a devoted base of siberian husky fans. Since I started with purebreds, I have a bit of a soft spot for them too. Karen is one of mushing's good guys and her sibes shine both on the trail and in the show ring.

The Ramsteads' truck is easy to pick out! I once again did not meet Karen. We've been emailing for years; I've even run the odd errand for her, but we've never actually met.

Getting ready to go.

Crunchie was quiet, but anxiously waiting to get hooked up too!

Karen leaving the start chute; the third musher out.

Her happy Huskies!

Calm, cool and collected Karen.

Mark followed shortly after Karen.

Mark looked a bit more tense than Karen!

This is my neighbor, Will VanRanden, heading out. It's quiet around here without Will's dogs. He lives just down the hill from us and our teams chat a few times every day! I really like Will. He's a real dog whisperer and I have great respect for how he cares for his dogs. I hope he does well!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

That's gonna leave a mark...

Sundin was on the loosing end of a disagreement with Ozzy two weeks ago. He had surgery to put his face back together two weeks ago tomorrow. The wounds actually looked worse than they really were. Facial wounds bleed like crazy!! But that's still gonna leave a mark!

The stitches are out now and he's healing nicely. New scars do not stop Sundin from pulling. That's him in the middle of the team this afternoon.

Being beat up has been a bit of a blessing for Sundin. Sundin is painfully shy and I often have difficulty getting close enough to touch him. He knew that I would get him help when he first got hurt though and let me catch him without any problems. I am glad to know that he trusts me when he has to anyway! He's spent the last two weeks in the house with me...getting medicated, handled, socialized. He could go back in his pen now, but I'm keeping him in the house until I have to go back to work. He's never going to be the type of dog who runs up to strangers, but maybe I can get him to run up to me, when he's not covered in blood!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Brazen Raven

This raven really wanted Heyoka's bone!

Not much distracts a Malamute from his food. He was quite tolerant of the raven's antics!

Right up til when the bird started pulling tufts of fur out of his tail!

The ravens are always entertaining, suicidal sometimes, but entertaining!