Posted by: arcticpacksiberians | August 22, 2015

Our dogs are trying to kill us….

Okay, so maybe not quite.

But the last month or so certainly feels like there is some sort of canine conspiracy going on to at least make my hair turn grey overnight.

Having this number of dogs is certainly a huge responsibility.  It can be a bit overwhelming at times when things aren’t going quite as planned and the dogs are poorly.

Following on from my last blog, our wonderful girl Betty, very sadly developed glaucoma in her remaining eye and went blind.  It is so dreadfully unfair that she had so little time left being able to see since having her first eye removed.  She did get quite a fright when she first went blind as it happened while she was sleeping.  How awful that must be to wake up and everything be dark.  We started he on glaucoma meds straight away and she had a couple of days where her vision would come back, then go again.  The day came when she lost it for good.   Betty coped superbly throughout and amazed us at how quickly she ‘mapped’ inside and out.   She was keen, eager to learn her way around and faced everything with an enviable enthusiasm.  She was happy to jump on and off boxes outside and could wander round the pens without bumping into anything.  She was so scarily good at getting around that we wondered if she could actually see.  When we took her somewhere she wasn’t as familiar with though, it was very apparent she couldn’t see anything.  She also had no blink reflex and couldn’t see a cotton ball dropped in front of her face.  It became quite obvious within the first week that Betty felt she should still be running in harness.   So we let her, and tried to help her as best we could to enable her to do what she loves.

A very smiley, blind Betty after a run in harness.

A very smiley, blind Betty after a run in harness.

Her willingness to continue to run in harness even totally blind was a major factor in having to make one of the most awful decisions we have ever had to make.  Given the fact she would need to be on meds, highly likely for the rest of her life, and that she would continue to suffer painful pressure spikes along with the probability of her getting poked in the eye from bushes while running, we made the decision to have her remaining eye removed.

11 days post op and she has stitches removed and is looking good.   It wasn’t all plain sailing though!  The second removal had a lot more swelling and definitely took longer to look healed.  It was also much more stressful this time round, as obviously she couldn’t see while she recovered.  We had to guide her everywhere to make sure she didn’t bump into anything and damage her wound.  This had quite a negative effect on Betty who had suddenly went from being pretty independent, to being ushered around, on a lead outside in the pen, confined to a crate indoors and us being quite worried and stressed.  Because we were worrying, so was she and she lost a little confidence.  Midway the swelling around her eye socket and wound went down (as expected), only to reappear the next day.  Panic stations and back at the vets for some reassurance that all was indeed, ok, which it was.    Betty is now very happy to be let out of jail (her crate) and is very much looking forward to getting back to (her new) normal and back in harness.  Her confidence is back and she is getting herself in and out, re-mapping her environment and turfing the others off the couch when she wants up on their spot.

patiently waiting to be let out of jail

patiently waiting to be let out of jail

While Betty was recuperating Omar decided to have a 5 second brawl with Pirate which resulted in a burst lip for Omar.  Idiots.   Girls fault as usual.  It was one of those small skin rips where you think, ‘hmm, wonder if that needs a stitch’.   But i was right, it didn’t and it is healing fine.

A few days later Vixen went one better and decided to eat a wasp.  This did not go well.  I just happened to look out the window and saw the girls looking like they were up to something.  I went out to look and was confronted with Vixen looking very sorry for herself.  My immediate thought was, ‘you’ve been stung’ so i ran back in and got antihistamines.  Once I had given her one i then discovered the various piles of fluidy vomit.  And a little bastard wasp crawling about on its last legs.   I made sure it was definitely its last legs!
Vixen rushed to vets where she got IV drugs.  That whole night we were awake just watching her and making sure she stayed hydrated.   Her breathing was so rapid and her muscles were solid.  She had a temp of 103.5 and she was very, very poorly.  By 4am her temp had come down to 102, which is still hot for our guys, but she was a little brighter and very hungry.   It has taken her a couple of days, but she is finally back to normal.  She is back indoors being guide dog for the blind dog.   I think we will have to make her a kennel run covered with mosquito netting! Of course, the next morning I caught Omar on the bench with a bee.  Like an angry tennis player i’m screaming at him ‘You CANNOT be serious!’, while he just looks at me as if to say, ‘what? it’s buzzing.  must eat it’.   Dogs! Stop eating buzzy things!

Blind Dog and The Wasp Eater out for a walk.

Blind Dog and The Wasp Eater out for a walk.

So, after two weeks of very little or no sleep, enough stress to cause an ulcer and grey hair, we are looking forward to some cooler weather, dying wasps and getting dogs back out in harness.

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