It’s been a bit, but we’re back and Suki is recovering well! She had a bump that looked like a bug bite for a year. It was previously aspirated with no cells being present. I noticed a change in it recently which concerned me. It was larger and looked bruised around the outside. Unfortunately, this time the needle biopsy confirmed my worst fear…mast cell tumor. Waiting a week for the surgery appointment was difficult. I wanted this awful thing out of her, but I was also scared to put her under anesthesia. Time stood still until the vet called to say Suki was awake and ok. The pathology results came back as a level 2 tumor, low grade…not exactly what I hoped for but not the worst it could have been either. The vet thinks it was fully incised and no chemo is needed. Whew!
The “restricted activity” for 14 days was a constant battle between Suki & me. The cone of shame resulted in a very annoying car ride home and major doggie tantrums. For both of our sanity, we switched to using t-shirts to prevent licking the incision. My t-shirts had to be tied up but still made it hard for her to walk. To say she wasn’t amused is an understatement, so off to Walmart I went. Their youth t-shirts were a perfect fit, and she had cute colors to show off each day. She had a bad reaction to one of the pain meds, so we had to stop it. I spent the rest of the recovery period dealing with a bored pup, following her around the house to prevent jumping onto furniture (failed a few times…she’s surprisingly stealthy), and trying to explain why we couldn’t go for a walk every single time we went out for a potty break. Luckily her incision healed well, and we avoided any infection. Suki was so excited to have her stitches removed and to get out of the t-shirt! She’s still rocking a punk, shaved look, but she’s back to her usual silly self!
So I was at a party recently, and of course we started talking about our fur babies. I mentioned products I liked and disliked, and people were jotting them down (well…typing into smartphones). Yes, I love to research products, check blogs, peruse reviews, and may even go a tad overboard, but then others don’t have to. So why not share my “love them” & “never agains” with Suki’s followers too? I’ll continue adding to the list as I have good or “what on earth was I thinking” experiences.
- LOVE THEM
- Sporn No Pull Harness – Suki is a little Houdini in every other harness I’ve tried.
- TagWorks Blingz Collection Personalized ID tags at Petsmart – cute & durable
- Arm & Hammer Diaper Pail – use it for full poop bags. Garage no longer smells.
- Unrefined Coconut Oil – great for skin & coat
- Petzlife TickZ natural flea & tick preventative – powder that goes on food & no harmful chemicals
- Dremel 200 Series 2 Speed – economical model great for filing nails even for dogs like Suki who becomes a WWE wrestler during nail trims
- Omega Paw Tricky Treat Ball – still one of Suki’s favorites & durable
- Simple Solution or Earth Rated poop bags
- Flat Out Dog Leash by Ruff Wear – adjustable handle can be hand held leash or waist worn leash
- Nature’s Miracle Stain & Odor Remover – better than anything else I tried –
- Kong Zoom Groom brush – great dry or wet
- Bamboo Pet Collapsible Silicone Travel Bowl
- Kyjen Outward Hound Quick Access Treat Bag – mesh pocket on outside and interior pocket for phone/keys. Can access treats quicker than other bags but stays closed so no spilling.
- Nina Ottosson Dog Twister toy – can adjust difficulty, Suki loves it
- Our Pets Atomic Treat Ball – durable & keeps Suki entertained
- PediPaws Nail Trimmer – spend the money on a real dremel
- Any standard step in harness at a pet store – I haven’t tried Gentle Leader
- Jolly Pets Monster Mouth toy – hard to get treats out & Suki gets bored quickly with it
- Bags-To-Go poop bags at Walmart – No, No, No!! Way too thin. Felt like I was touching poop.
- FURminator brush – useless & painful on short haired dogs no matter what store employee tries to tell you
- Citronella bark collars – Suki emptied the whole canister and kept barking. Didn’t phase her a bit.
- Nina Ottosson Dog Magic puzzle toy – the bones have holes in top & Suki kept getting stuck on her nails
- Nina Ottosson Dog Maze toy – Suki likes it, but not very durable. I’m always picking up torn off pieces of plastic from it.
When someone mentions milk, you probably think of a mooing cow and whole vs 2% vs skim. Chances are raw goat’s milk doesn’t even come to mind, but it should. Goat’s milk has been gaining popularity in the world and for good reason. It’s not only a good source of probiotics and prebiotics, but it also acts as a natural anti-inflammatory. Raw goat’s milk maintains its nutrients and enzymes whereas typical milk pasteurization destroys them in cow’s milk.
Unlike cow’s milk, goat’s milk contains low amounts to none of the alpha-s1-casein protein which may be more likely to cause allergic reactions. Goat’s milk not only carries a lower risk of allergic reaction, but it’s more digestible. It contains smaller fat globules and higher concentrations of fatty acids than cow’s milk. Raw goat’s milk maintains its lactase which is the enzyme that breaks down lactose. Breaking down the lactose makes the milk easily digestible especially for dogs and cats. Heat during the pasteurization process performed on cow’s milk destroys the lactase enzyme so lactose isn’t broken down. The lactose in store bought cow’s milk is difficult for dogs and cats to digest, whereas the body can digest goat’s milk within 20 minutes.
Goat’s milk has been proven to treat many chronic conditions:
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Gastric issues
- Poor digestion
- Heart Disease
- Urinary Tract Infection
- Brain and nerve disorders
One of the most amazing benefits of goat’s milk is its cancer fighting properties. It contains pro-Vitamin A and Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) which have been linked to lowering the risk of cancer by up to 60%. CLA has also been shown to shrink existing tumors!
Suki has early kidney disease and has started getting benign lumps common in older dogs. I’ve recently added raw goat’s milk to her diet, so she can reap the amazing health benefits and try to prevent cancers common in older pups. It’s her bedtime snack, and she loves the taste! I currently use goat’s milk from Answers Raw Pet Food Company, since that’s the brand my pet store carries. I highly recommend checking out their website. It’s chocked full of good information on raw goat’s milk and why you should add it to your fur baby’s diet.
We’ve all seen them…those dogs with calluses on their elbows from laying on hard surfaces. You’ve probably even thought to yourself why don’t the pet parents buy the poor dog a comfy, cushioned bed? They may very well have! I have a pillow bed downstairs, an orthopedic bed upstairs, and I’m allowed on all of the cushy furniture. Yet sometimes I still choose to lay on the hard floor. Don’t ask me why.
Recently mommy noticed I was starting to develop hardened skin on my front elbows. She tried encouraging me to lay on cushioned surfaces, but I wasn’t always cooperative. So mommy ran to the store and came back with a pretty green can. Turns out it was not a treat, but rather Bag Balm for my elbows. Mommy’s been rubbing it on my elbows and pads for a few days now, and things are getting softer. I usually hate having anything slathered on my pads, but this doesn’t bother me. It was around $10 so didn’t break the bank either and will last a long time. The best part is there’s no awful smell, and it actually stays on me well. Bag Balm gets the Suki Seal of Approval….though I still would have preferred a treat.
Allow me to apologize for mommy’s absence lately. There have been a lot of social, personal, financial, medical, and professional tension. Mommy is working through them, and I’m helping with cuddles and nose nudges. We’ll be posting soon!
Winter is definitely here in the Midwest which means lots of snow, ice, and paw burning salt. While I always use a pet safe de-icing compound at home, I know the city and some of my neighbors don’t. I don’t want to confine Suki to the yard and take away her walks until spring nor do I want to subject both of us to trying to put boots on her unless absolutely necessary…Fou Fou Pet Pawstick to the rescue. I’ve used other paw protecting balms and sticks but they always ended up being mushy and messy after a few uses. The Fou Fou Pet Pawstick reminds me of chapstick consistency and stays true to its form after repeated uses. It’s so easy to apply…no sticking your fingers into goopy jars. You just swipe the stick across the pads and you’re ready to go! I’ve also noticed it doesn’t leave a smeary stain on floors like other products I tried. It’s great regardless of your dog’s size. This stick is by far my favorite paw protecting product. Suki must not mind it either because she doesn’t try to wipe or lick it off immediately like previous ones.
It’s that time of year again…Christmas! Extra treats, new toys, Christmas carols, glorious fluffy snow, and pet parents torturing their pets with silly antlers!
Unfortunately, Christmas can also bring some serious, evenly deadly holiday specific hazards for our fur babies. I’m sure you’d rather be enjoying some eggnog and Aunt Martha’s fruit cake than visiting the emergency vet. Ok, maybe not the fruit cake. Protect your fur baby and your holiday cheer with these pet safety tips.
- BE AWARE OF CHOCOLATE! This heavenly smelling concoction is irresistible to most of us including our pets. Even a small amount can be toxic to pets though. Chocolate contains theobromine which attacks a pet’s central nervous system and can lead to death. Make sure to keep all chocolate safely out of reach of curious 4 legged family members. This goes for gift wrapped chocolate as well. Mine is kept on the top of a closet with doors secured. If your dog does get hold of some, call your vet immediately with the type of chocolate and amount consumed! All chocolate is dangerous, but the darker the chocolate the more toxic it is. Your dog may need their stomach pumped and to be monitored closely by their vet.
- Have cats? Then don’t have tinsel! Cats are notorious for eating tinsel. Unfortunately, tinsel can cause serious intestinal blockage which usually requires surgery. It’s just not worth the risk.
- No sweets or baked goods. They can be too rich for pets and upset their stomachs. Many sweets also have artificial sweetener in them which can lead to liver failure and death in dogs.
- Be wary of holiday plants. Amaryllis, mistletoe, balsam, pine, cedar, holly, and poinsettias can cause health issues for pets.
- Try to keep cords out of reach or at least unplug them when not around to supervise pets. Electrical cords look like fun chew toys to our 4 legged family members and can deliver a dangerous shock if chewed through.
- I don’t know of too many dogs who want to climb a Christmas tree, but cats are a whole other story. Trees must look like beautiful climbing posts to them. Secure your tree to the ceiling with fishing line, so your cat can’t knock it over and risk injury in the process of falling. Even if your dog doesn’t climb the tree, a strong tail wag can topple it over.
- Also keep sharp or breakable ornaments towards the top of the tree and out of reach of wagging tails and curious noses. You don’t want broken pieces being swallowed or stepped on by little paws.
- If you have a real Christmas tree, supervise your pets around it and keep the needles picked up. Block off the tree or pet when no one’s home. If ingested, the sharp needles can puncture your pet’s intestines.
- Pets have sensitive stomachs and new, richer foods can wreck havoc on them. Unless you enjoy dealing with your pet having diarrhea or vomiting, limit the table scraps. You don’t have to completely exclude your pet from partaking in your holiday dinner…just be smart. Suki gets a few pieces of plain turkey or ham on top of her food. She does not get gravy, biscuits, cranberry sauce, stuffing, etc. She’s still part of our dinner without any ill side effects.
- Keep burning candles supervised or out of reach of curious pets. It doesn’t take much to knock them over or too curious nose to get burned.
- Don’t allow your pets to drink the water in the tree stand. Bacteria and tree needles can accumulate in standing water.
- No alcohol! Inevitably, there’s that one relative who has a few too many and thinks it will be funny to watch a drunk pet. Alcohol is toxic to pets! It can slow down their heart rate and breathing and ultimately lead to cardiac arrest. Make sure your guests know alcohol is off limits to your pets.
- Watch the door! I can’t stress this enough. Many pets are lost during the holidays because they bolted out an open door. During the holidays, friends and family come and go frequently, and they may not be used to watching the door for fur ball escapees. Make sure your pet is secure before the door opens.
Suki & I wish everyone and their fur babies a very Merry Christmas!
Christmas is almost here! I keep checking my stocking each day for goodies from Santa. Mommy hides my gifts from her until Christmas Eve. You break into gifts early one year and suddenly you can’t be trusted. Geez! Now I know some doggie parents out there don’t shop as early as mommy. For those who are still looking for doggie gifts, I thought I’d share my list of favorite gifts to receive.
1. Bully sticks. Any kind of bully sticks. Short, long, thin, thick, straight, braided. Lots of bully sticks!
2. Bacon rolls!
3. Puppy Kisses! I tolerate baths for these.
4. Mother Hubbard P-Nuttier Biscuits.
5. Atomic Treat Ball. I love flipping this around trying to get the treats out.
6. Snoop Interactive Dog Toy. This might be my favorite toy! It has a deep crevice in the middle for treats. I love trying to get the treats out by flipping, tossing, and nudging the toy.
7. Thinkers Duck Sticks. These don’t last as long as bully sticks but I love them the same! They also come in chicken.
8. Zukes Minis. These are great for when I’m practicing commands & tricks. So many flavors!
9. Tricky Treat Ball by Omega Paw. It takes some thinking to get these treats out.
10. Himalayan Dog chew. It lasts a long time. I nibble on it over days.
11. Pet Dreams Cratewear Plush 3 Piece set. I love this! I don’t like regular kennels after being in a shelter cage. Mommy bought this wonderful kennel set and now my kennel feels like a plush, safe den to me. I love going in it now when I want some alone time. It comes in different colors.
12. Petzlife TickZ – suppose to work on fleas and ticks. Mommy just bought this a couple days ago. It gets sprinkled on my food for 5 days and doesn’t irritate my skin like the spot treatments.