Archives for September, 2010

Gypsy’s bout with an abscess

Hello to All,

If you read my previous post, I talked about Roxie and her pancreatitis. Well, Gypsy had her own problems this week.

The same day Roxie had her attack of pancreatitis, we noticed Gypsy had a swollen and extremely tender spot on her left side. It was so tender I could barely even run my hand over it without her flinching. Not knowing what to do, thinking it would just heal, and because Gypsy would not tolerate any sort of treatment, we left it alone for a couple of days. Since we saw no improvement, we started flushing it with 2.5 pH strong acidic water to disinfect it. After a couple of flushes, the wound spewed out blood and pus. It was nasty. Rick started to flush it, apply antibiotic ointment, and wrap it at least a couple of times per day. We actually had to muzzle Gypsy because she did not want us messing with her side at all, and let us know in no uncertain terms.

However, it just didn’t seem to be doing any better, so she had a visit to our vet, Dr. Maria Williams. She took one look at Gypsy and said, “that is an abscess”. She shaved Gypsy’s side, gave her a shot of penicillin, expelled whatever pus she could (I didn’t watch that part) and treated it with hydrogen peroxide and betadine. Gypsy, of course, was none too happy with any of this, but now her side looks a lot better. She actually had some bruising and three puncture marks. Dr. Maria said we should continue to flush it with water, leave it open, continue to apply the antibiotic ointment, and administer seven days of antibiotics. Rick fashioned a “collar” out of a paper plate for Gypsy so she can’t get to the injured area. As of today, her wound is still oozing some, but it looks so much better.

We can only speculate what caused the injury in the first place, whether it was a bite (scorpion, spider) or Gypsy ran into a sharp stick or whatever.

Other than pouting about her custom-made paper plate collar, Gypsy is none the worse for wear. On the first picture you can see where her wound is:


Sep 01, 2010 | Comments are off | animal welfare, Dog Behavior, Holistic, Home Health Care for Dogs

Roxie’s bout with pancreatitis

Hi Everybody,

Our little family had a pretty intense week last week. This post will be about Roxie’s pancreatitis attack, but Gypsy also had a rough few days. I’ll cover that in another post.

Early morning last Wednesday Roxie woke us up multiple times to go outside, and when we finally got up, we figured out why. She had been throwing up. She went on a walk with us that morning as usual, but didn’t have her normal spunk, threw up during our walk, and her throwup looked slightly bloody. She drank some water when we got home, but refused to eat anything, even though Rick cooked her a scrambled egg. This is a dog that NEVER turns down food. She was also whining quietly. Rick said she threw up again a couple of more times and it was still slightly bloody. By that time I was freaking out, thinking maybe she had an obstruction.

We called our regular vet, but she was booked, so in desparation we called one right down the street. He was able to look at her that morning, so Rick took her in. This particular vet apparently has very traditional beliefs, because he spent considerable time berating Rick for having Roxie on a homemade diet. Plus Rick’s comment was it seemed like he was right out of vet school and wanted to pay off his student loans with Roxie’s visit. Anyway, they took blood and urine from Roxie, gave Rick a prescription for five days of Sucralfate to help heal her digestive system, and sent Rick and Roxie on their way.

We got the blood results the next day, and Roxie was diagnosed with pancreatitis. We were advised to give her nothing but white rice for about 24 hours, and then slowly transition her to a normal diet. By that time, Roxie was ready to scarf down anything, so she ate the rice with gusto, and looked at me like “is that all there is?” We also picked up some low fat cottage cheese, and started adding that in to the rice.

Rick and I both spend a lot of time researching canine pancreatitis, and found out that Schnauzers (Roxie is half-Schnauzer) have a predisposition to pancreatitis. Although we found a lot of conflicting information, especially regarding feeding raw food or eggs, a couple of things were clear: we needed to get her started on digestive enzymes, and modify her diet to be less fatty.

Of course, I was feeling horribly guilty since I am the one who did all the research on homemade diets for dogs. So, what we are going to change: boil any ground meat instead of sauteeing, cut way back on the amount of raw organ meat we give them, and hold off on feeding eggs, pork, beef, or anything raw for at least a couple of weeks. Plus add some digestive enzymes and probiotics. I also found several recommendations for a product called Standard Process Pancreatrophin, which is actually a supplement for humans, so I am on the hunt for that.

So far, other than acting like we are starving her to death, Roxie is recovering nicely:

If anyone has had a dog with pancreatitis, I would really like to hear about your experience.


Sep 01, 2010 | 1 | animal welfare, Dog Behavior, Holistic, Home Health Care for Dogs, Homemade Dog Food