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About sandgrubber

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    Labradors, dog behaviour, health, genetics

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  1. Messy Diagnosis & Treatment

    Prednisone gives a boost, if nothing else, by increasing appetite. A Labrador refusing food is a worry, and not eating for a few days must bring a dog down. Patty is now gobbling down chicken necks (just learned that a local meat distributor sells them in 10 kg lots at a reasonable price) and her poos have firmed up. At least I'm sleeping better. So hard to say whether she's improving or I'm deluding myself, and all indicators are that the prednisone improvement will be short lived. To ward off false hope I've been digging a hole...hopefully not a grave... but useful for poo disposal if no miracle happens.
  2. Can mosquitos make a dog itchy.

    I suspect some dogs will itch given the slightest reason to do so. Most, not sensitive to mozzies
  3. Sudden Attack of the Wobbles?

    Vestibular disease sounds like Meniere's disease in humans (my mother had it).
  4. Messy Diagnosis & Treatment

    Prednisone + diuretics is what one vet said. I don't know if prednisone will help with the fluid accumulation. If it comes to being so bloated that breathing is difficult and she seems miserable, I favor the green dream. Of course death makes for heavy sadness, but there are worse options.
  5. Messy Diagnosis & Treatment

    Up and down. She's not eating much... Boiled chicken in small amounts, not the rice I cooked with it. She puked a big feed on chicken... so now she gets several little ones. The vet gave her diuretics, which have reduced the fluid in her belly, but it's clearly still there. We talk to the vet tomorrow and maybe schedule the specialist visit. The more I think about it and read, the more I conclude it's better to just go paleative and forget the specialist. None of the possible diagnoses lead to cures... mostly it's supportive measures, some of them pretty gruesome, like draining the fluid buildup. On the positive side, Patty remains cheerful and despite her bad digestive system, acts pretty healthy.
  6. Messy Diagnosis & Treatment

    I cried help on our village Facebook group and got two offers. It's hard to ask for help from strangers, but it's something us oldies gotta learn.
  7. Messy Diagnosis & Treatment

    Poor Patty. The antibiotics didn't do the trick. She looks like she's about to whelp a big litter, except no boobs, and she's spayed, so it's not pups. She's now having trouble eating. We just got back from seeing a third vet, who was inclined to different recommendations (basically he said he couldn't diagnose, but prescribed a diuretic to get the fluid down) than the first two, but agreed that it's messy. He recommended seeing a top rate ultrasound-ographer. Unfortunately a few hours drive. My arthritis makes it hard to drive that far... so it comes down to trying to find someone who can help. Sigh. I sure hope the diuretic helps relieve the pressure on her gut.
  8. King shelpard

    Do you mean King shepherd?
  9. Issues with our breeder

    What were the 'excuses'? If they had to do with waiting for the Canine Association to send stuff, I'd say it was a reason, not an excuse. There was a time when I let puppy buyers choose their pups' names. Result : I couldn't file for pedigree papers until the last pup went home. And sometimes the K9 folks end up way behind schedule after the holidays.
  10. Glad I'm in NZ. Australia seems to be going crazy.
  11. Messy Diagnosis & Treatment

    I rebooked, but did some reading and saw another vet, who says her energy level and condition are not indicative of a heart problem. The aspirated sample of abdominal fluid was inconclusive. Possibly a sarcoma. Possibly an infection. All in all a difficult diagnosis. The bloods ruled out liver disease. Patty responded so well to antibiotics that I decided to put her back on and watch and wait. If a longer course of antibiotics takes care of it, good news. If not, waiting awhile may result in a clearer reading on the aspirated fluid. If it's a sarcoma, there's not much hope of a cure...just prednisone and measures to reduce fluid buildup. When I has the kennel I watched a few clients go through expensive and difficult testing only to have their dog die soon after. Unless there's likely to be something curable, I think I'll settle for paleative care. Who knows, the antibiotics may do the trick.
  12. Working lines vs show lines

    With Labradors there's a long tradition of working towards a 'dual purpose' dog. That's show + work. Some, though not all, leading Labrador breeders take this very seriously. It's made confusing because 'work' for a Labbie can mean assistance dog work, sniffer dog work, or dock diving as well as retrieving. However, if you look around, you can still find Ch and BIS Labs who retrieve, either competitively, or as hunting companions, and breeders invest in importing dogs (often from Scandinavia) with strong dual purpose credentials.
  13. Seeking advice - selecting Labrador puppies

    The OP mentioned only one carrier. I'm old enough to remember the days when genetic testing for EIC first came out. Many Lab breeders were surprised to find they had affected dogs, although they had never seen an episode of collapse, even in working retrievers. (Read the Wikipedia article on EIC... it isn't a good thing, but it only affects strenuous exercise and it's not progressive. I'd much rather have a pet with EIC than serious allergies or a nasty temperament). Personally, I would pay more attention to testing for PRA than EIC. Btw, If you want a dog with greater potential for assistance work, ask around to find breeders (and dogs and bitches) favored by assistance trainers. I haven't kept up with this. There are many many Lab breeders to choose from.
  14. Seeking advice - selecting Labrador puppies

    1. Unless you intend to breed, being a carrier of EIC is not a problem at all. 2. Hips and elbows matter, but they aren't the primary concern. IMO they are overrated because they have clear numerical values. Plenty of dogs with 2 elbows or hip scores of 8 or more live to a ripe old age without any sign of arthritis. 3. Other health factors need to be asked about. Allergies? Epilepsy? Heart disease? Cancer? Ask what health problems have showed up in the bloodlines. If they say none, run. They are lying. Ask about longevity, and what ancestors have died from, or suffer from, at what ages. 4. As Pers says, temperament is extremely important. Ask the breeders what they consider 'good temperament'. 5. I half disagree with Dogsfevr about gentleness. I'm not a skilled dog trainer at all and I'm pretty lax about training. I've owned 20+ Labs, mostly bitches (I was a breeder). Not one was a fighter or food aggressive or fear aggressive. All had stable temperament. Virtually all were friendly to people and most dogs...even when bitches were on season or had baby pups. I also ran a boarding kennel for 5 years. With Labs, it was rare to have any behavior problems other than digging, rowdy puppy stuff, and overeating. I say half disagree because, yes, Labs can be naughty, and if you accidentally train a pup, say, to think chase is a fun game, you can end up with a dog that chases and frightens small children. True, the failure rate is high for Guide Dog training... but that's not surprising given what is expected of guide dogs... starting from a young age.
  15. Messy Diagnosis & Treatment

    Went to the supermarket just before my appointment. Dropped my keys somewhere. It took 45 minutes before someone returned them to customer service. Missed the appointment. Bugger! (it's only 16C today... no problem leaving a dog in the car).