Category Archives: Puppy Diary

Turning Silver & Still Itching

Watson & KevHere are my two favourite boys chilling out – the way Watson is with his Dad just melts my heart, but then pretty much everything he does melts my heart lol.

You can see from the photo that the silver in his coat is getting more noticeable and he also has two little cheeky silver bum cheeks bless him. I still have hope that he will remain mostly chocolate, but I’d love him if he was pink & green of course. Alas, his itching has come back with a vengeance and we have no idea why. I could literally cry every time I see him pulling at his paws, usually at 5am. The christmas socks work really well though and we do have the drugs when its really bad. Our next specialist appointment is in January and that will be another lot of tests and potentially immunotherapy.

His bum has been doing ok. Not brilliant, but not awful. I’ve never had so many conversations about poo in all my life! He is still on Royal Canin Medium Junior, and the vet told us that although it specifies that it is only up to 12 months, he can stay on it permanently as long as we watch his weight – puppy food is more fatty than adult food.

I ordered about 8 samples of different dog foods, and do you know he wouldn’t touch any of them. I know I know, a lot of you will want me to “force him” to eat it, i.e. leave him with no food and when he is hungry enough he’ll eat it, but I’m determined that he’ll enjoy his food. If he goes off his RC Puppy food, we’ll have to take that route anyway, but for now I’ve still got a few other foods to try. Next on the list is Lily’s kitchen venison – he won’t eat the chicken one, but I know he loves Venison. Wish me luck!

Letter to my Puppy

Watson 1To my darling Watson,

It is your birthday tomorrow and I simply can’t believe that you are already one year old. I didn’t think anything could come close to the love I feel for your Dad, but you coming into our lives proved that wrong. I have fallen completely and utterly in love with you. I’m besotted. We both are.
The first fews month with you in our lives, were challenging for me and that’s an understatement. More than once, both Kev and my best friend asked me if it would be better if I gave you up. I was terrified every time we went for a walk due to my fear of other dogs, I didn’t realise how high energy you’d be and how much attention you’d need, I had ripped clothes & ruined furniture, money pouring out with vet bills, and more than that, I felt like I wouldn’t be able to give you the best life. Still I told those well wishing people that there was no way I was giving you up – I promised you a forever home, and that’s exactly what you would get.
We are finally over the worst with you, and thank goodness you were sent to us. With your various health problems, I wonder if many other people would have been in the position we are of being able to send you to specialists, try numerous foods etc, and I feel extremely lucky to have you. You have taught me to stop and enjoy the little things in life like just being out in the fresh air, and sitting looking out of the window just me and you. You are the first person in my life with the ability to make me stop whatever I’m doing and just spend time with you doing nothing.
You have taught me to be a mother and I can’t wait to spend the many years to come being the best mother I can be. Anyone that thinks you are “just a dog”, clearly didn’t own a dog themselves. As the saying goes, “Once you’ve had a life with a wonderful dog, a life without one is a life diminished”.
Your Dad & I love you more than words can say, and whilst you won’t have a clue that its your birthday, we are going to make it a day to remember!
xx

Anxious puppy but otherwise doing well!

IMG_6632So, you probably know by now from You Tube and Social Media that we had an amazing holiday. I can’t tell you how warm and fuzzy it made me feel watching my little guy running around excited cause we were near some new grass and new sea water lol. There are lots of photos on my Facebook page if you want to see – beautiful scenery and we all had a ball.

The above pic just makes me smile every time I look at it – you may remember that hubby was against Watson being on the bed, and he has stuck to it quite rigidly. That was until the separation anxiety seemed to improve after I left the bedroom door open and came home to find him on the bed not nervous about being alone. We now leave the door open purposely – if he feels safe on the bed, we are happy. Now, the only thing is that I did leave a cream throw over the bed for him to lay on, but oh no, he wants to sleep where his Dad sleeps, be still my beating heart :0)

What also moved hubby along was that on holiday Watson was a bit of a cuddler and jumped up on the bed with us for a cuddle at nighttime and again in the morning. He hasn’t been like that since being home unfortunately but we live in hope.

The colitis situation is under control…..today. It seems to be a different story each day with it – on Tuesday we were celebrating a day of firm stools, but on Wednesday it all went wrong again. The slippery elm and psyllium husk help immensely but its hard to get the powder into him. Every time I thought I had a solution, Watson changed his mind – I mixed it in some yoghurt at lunchtime and he wolfed it down but by dinner time he wouldn’t touch it. He is currently eating it happily with a tablespoon of Country hunter duck & plum wet food, long may it last. We are also introducing a tiny bit of Wainwright puppy food which he seems to like and not only is it hypoallergenic but its for up to 18 months old.

The biggest issue over the past few days with Watson has been his anxiety – he is constantly barking at the window and we really aren’t sure what we can do to make him feel less anxious. I’ve got an adaptil diffuser in the house and I give him Maxxicalm. The other suggestion the trainer had was to only put his food down briefly and that’s certainly an area I can work on!

Well, my little guy is due back from his walker soon. Just before he left this morning, I leant down to tell him I loved him and he let out a big sigh which made me giggle. He makes me smile every single day :0)

Trainer Success & Watson’s Holiday :0)

SleepingCan you cope with how cute this pic is? I have it as my screensaver and it just melts me every time I see it.

I almost daren’t write it down, but Watson seems to be going through a phase of not having to go to the vet, and we also seem to be on top of his itching, colitis, and even his anxiety. We had a mini scare last night when he was limping after daycare, but thankfully he seems absolutely fine today. It would have been unthinkable if he had an injury that meant he had to rest whilst we were on holiday. The bit we are both looking forward to is seeing Watson enjoying new walks and smells!

What’s working for his colitis? Small meals and often so he gets half his breakfast after his first walk, then the other half about lunchtime. The first meal is dry kibble, the 2nd is wet with some psyllium husk mixed in. The evening meal is half wet with Psyllium again and then the dry kibble mixed in. This seems to be working and whats more, he’s enjoying it and eating every last bean :0) This is the first time literally since we got him that he A. enjoys his food and B. doesn’t have some kind of health issue to deal with bless him.

The trainer we had out was amazing – well worth the £45 price tag. It broke my heart a little because he told us Watson has genetic anxiety and on top of that my anxiety isn’t helping. However, knowing that it isn’t all my hyper vigilance rubbing off on him helps, and also having some tools to help him is good. I’ve been working hard on leaving him and doing my “homework” which is to get Watson to a point where he doesn’t notice me leaving. I basically put boxes with high value (chicken) treats in the hall but don’t put them down till I leave then just as I’m leaving I say, “Find it” and off he goes. At first he was focussed on me as he knew I was leaving but gradually he is more interested in the treats.

I’ll let you into a secret – I left him this morning to go to Asda and I left the bedroom door open. I came home to find him sleeping on the bed. I’m not going to tell Kev lol, as he doesn’t want him on the bed but I just didn’t have the heart to move him!

I have to try and leave him 3 times a week, as any less and it’ll just not become ingrained for him. It needs to be consistent and continuous. Easier said than done as I don’t always have things to do, but the trainer suggested even going to my car and reading a magazine.

The barking at the window is more of a challenge just now, as when it happens you have to drop everything and try and distract him and lure him to his play area. Work in progress though.

Right, I’m off to make a list for what to pack for Mr Watson, hee hee. x

Nearly Healthy Puppy at last!

I finally feel like we are getting on top of all our little guys ailments, but boy oh boy has it been a journey. TheIMG_4186 copy itching is definitely now under control with the anti fungal shampoo, but the upset bum is taking longer. However, we do know the cause – he has colitis. This could be just from being a puppy and eating things he shouldn’t which can damage the colon and cause innflamation or it could be something he has all his life.

The kind of funny (funny in annoying way) thing is that when we found out about his colitis, we also found out that all our best intended efforts had actually been doing him no good – we had been buying him more and more expensive food and treats with higher levels of protein, when he actually needed the very opposite. The vet wanted to give Watson Hills ID food, but we’ve tried it before and he just won’t eat it unfortunately. Along with the fact that every food went right through him and came out liquid, was the fact that he is super fussy!

We have finally found a food he likes that should be ok for him – Royal Canin Junior – which is the exact food he was on when we got him! His poop is definitely firmer but still not 100% healthy, so I’ve started adding in some Psyllium husk and so far so good.

As for his energy levels, I thought the colitis diagnosis had also given us a turnaround in behaviour but clearly he was just having a low energy week. He maybe had a bit of pain from the colitis thing bless him, whereas we hoped he was actually feeling better and growing out of being a crazy puppy.

It was honestly like a different puppy that week after diagnosis – after his walk with Kev in the morning he would sleep right up until the walker came at 9.30am – he NEVER did that before. Then when he came back he would sleep for a few hours and then sit quietly in the window. Again, he NEVER did that. This week he is reverting back to his usual cheeky self.

We also had some separation issues with him, although some may say I overreacted as I balled my eyes out after seeing a video of him when I left him for half hour – he was howling & biting the bars :0( I’ve now concluded that he wasn’t feeling well that day as it was before his diagnosis and he had a particularly unpleasant bum that day and he also hadn’t had as much as exercise before going in his crate. Despite my conclusions, I’m having a trainer come over next week to give me some tips and tricks on how I can make things better for him. Oh, and also maybe how to not feel so emotional myself!

Good & Bad News

Tennis Ball 2

I have some great news since we last spoke – barely any itching! I’m over the moon! It seems to be the shampoo that is working for him, which is really ironic since he only had a very slight reaction to the yeast skin test but that still means he has an allergy to it. Washing him with Maloseb on the Thursday resulted in no attacking of his paws and no dragging of his bum for over a week. Then when it started again, we washed him again and hey presto it all stopped. Wonderful. Its so nice that he now wakes up stretching rather than us hearing him furiously itching and gnawing at 5am and making his paws bleed.

That was the good news. The not so great news is that his bum has not been so great unfortunately, it fact its been darn right unpleasant. However, again we have found a temporary fix at least and have a potential plan. We are using Pooch & Mutt “Bionic Biotic” which is a powder you add to their food, and it has certainly worked to firm up his business lol. We are in the unfortunate situation whereby he is an extremely fussy eater, as well as having a sensitive tummy. We decided that we would give raw a go and this morning was his first meal and it went down well. He didn’t inhale it like I’ve seen him do with some of his food, but he did finish it in under an hour which is a pretty good result. We are going to leave off the probiotic powder and see how this raw food is on his digestion. The only downside is having space in our tiny freezer – I like to have a good supply of things in my life, I’m not one for continuously buying – alas we only have a small freezer.

I’m still feeling like an overstressed mum as far as Watson’s energy levels go, particularly this last week or so when he has taken to barking at anything and anyone. I believe this to be his adolescence so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it is a temporary situation and things will calm down soon. In the meantime we are thinking of increasing his daycare to 2 days per week.

Allergy results :0) No sleeping in bedroom? :0(

We have the allergy results in for Watson :0) Well, not 100% but we do at least have some information and a starting point. He had sedation and then a skin prick test, and what it showed was that he was allergic to one of the 7 grasses he was tested for, and 4 of the 7 dust mites, and also one yeast. However, he only scored a 1 or 2 out of ten for the allergies, and being so young they could be false positives, so we will have the tests done again in January when he is over 1 year old.

In the meantime, we have to wash him once a week with a special shampoo that should get rid of any yeast. We also still can give him apoquel when the itching is bad and I feel better about this drug now that he has had bloods taken and they have come back normal. We also have to start working on dust mite prevention – we have already purchased the protective covers for the duvet, mattress, and pillows which is a great start, but the other big problem is the carpet. Watson sleeps in our room and we like that, but the vet said the best thing for him was to NOT sleep on a carpet.

We are going to try the bedding covers and see how that helps, as well as washing all his different beds at 60 degrees weekly, and washing him of course, and see if that helps and take it from there. We may remove the carpets and put down wooden floors, but its not cheap. I’m hesitant to use any sprays as they can cause other problems such as respiratory problems, but I might look into something I can put in my Vax carpet cleaner.

I’m just happy we finally have an idea of the enemy we are fighting! I’m also delighted that we can now give him some different food and hence some nutrients :0)

How cute is this little hoody that Kev’s team bought for Watson?!

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Humping Problems!

Watson & Buddy

My little guy is going to be 9 months on Wednesday, I can’t believe it! Time flies. He’ll always be my baby though of course.

His itching is still up and down and with seemingly no pattern. He has gone off his pork & potato diet and who can blame him after 5 weeks of nothing else. His appointment is a week on Wednesday with the specialist and hopefully that will get us some results. He is having his patch testing done that day, although I suppose we might not get the results that day (I’m pretty sure we will as from what I know it’s just seeing if any raised red bumps come up). We should also get confirmation from the vet that it is most likely not a food allergy so we can go back to giving Watson some variety :0)

Humping has been a bit of a problem this past week, but I do feel slightly comforted that his brother does the same thing to his mum, and strangely at the same time (7.30pm to 8.30pm in the evening!). It’s usually after I’ve played a game of “Find it” with him and he is really excited. I can tell when it’s going to happen as he pants a lot. It’s definitely not sexual as he has been fixed and his little lipstick doesn’t come out, but he’s quite rough and my worry is that it’s more of a dominance thing.

The photo above is him having a wrestle with one of my photography “clients”.

Some Improvement!

IMG_1949

There has been some improvement with Watson’s itching! Yay! Well, semi yay, cause we are still somewhat confused by it all. Literally one day after the 2 week mark, the bum itching disappeared and instead of chewing his paws he was just licking them. That went on for 3 days, so we decided it was probably a food allergy after all. Great to not have to give him the drug anymore (cause we think it made him feel poorly) but not the greatest news that it was a food allergy. That would mean introducing one food back in at the 4 week mark, then if he reacted to it we’d need to wait a further 2 – 4 weeks to get it out of his system, and then choose one other thing to reintroduce and so on and so forth. It could take more than a year to figure out all the allergies!

Anyhoo, 3 days later, it all started again. We have given him nothing different at all so out the window went the food allergy theory, with a little bit of mixed emotion. We’ve also started noticing that after walks his eyes are completely bloodshot, so our current theory is that it is hayfever. We didn’t ever think it was that because he starts itching as soon as he wakes up despite us washing all his bedding and ours at 90 degrees in allergy friendly detergent.

That’s us at week 3 now so halfway there. 3 more weeks and he can have the tests which will hopefully tell us something.

I’ve felt a bit stressed by my little monkey this week to be honest. As always it comes down to money. We’ve found a great daycare but its £25 a day, and as I’ll not be working soon that might not be something we have the luxury of using much. However, if I’m to start this pet photography business, I need to leave the house for 3 to 4 hours at a time and we can’t and don’t want to leave Watson for that long. Even when I do charge for photos, to be competitive I’ll need to price at about £30 per session which means I’ll be making £5 a day if Watson is in daycare!

I’m back to wondering if 2 dogs is the answer – I’d love Watson to have a little companion and I’d feel much happier leaving him for a few hours if he had a pal. Again its money – with my joints I won’t be able to walk them as much as they need, as is the case with Watson and why we use a dog walker. Adding a 2nd dog to that will be mighty expensive. I also think that asking someone to look after one dog is one thing, but two is quite another. Take my lovely neighbour who has Watson over for playtime with her dog – she was looking after a friends dog this week so couldn’t have Watson over one day because 3 was too much. So if I had 2 then it would have meant no playtime. Actually, thinking that through it wouldn’t have meant that at all – the only reason Watson went over was to have playtime so if he had a play buddy….. I feel a convo with hubby coming on :0)

Yet more vet visits!

IMG_1711 IMG_1709

No ranting today I promise :0) Unfortunately though, Watson has had another mishap as some of you will know. In his usual puppy manner, he charged about whilst on a walk with the walker and has sprained his elbow. It was when Kev tried to take him for a walk and he couldn’t even make it past the main door without limping that we realised it wasn’t just a bruise. The vet told us he had sprained his elbow and gave us some anti inflammatory tablets and instructions to keep him rested for a week. He could go on a few walks per day but only on lead and absolutely no play dates. I was really upset at this because it is hard enough just now only feeding him pork & potatoes and not having his usual treats to play games with, but to deny him the play dates and off lead running that he loves was awful.

Thankfully my sadness didn’t last long as I found new ideas on how to entertain him – the best idea was to take him to new places on his walks. It could be anywhere as he wouldn’t need to run around, but being new it would have new smells and that wears dogs out as much if not more than running. We also found that he did like the kibble he was originally prescribed, but only as a treat. He wouldn’t eat it in a bowl either dry or with water but in games he will work for it. Out came the many boxes we save for this very thing :0)

I’m counting down the days now till we can resume normal activities and I think that will be this weekend. We couldn’t send him to daycare of course as although they could have put him on his own in a quiet room, he’d have seen all his pals and not been able to play with them. That would be like putting chocolate in front of me and asking me not to eat it! Torture! We did at first still send him with Andy but after 2 days Andy said that he was desperate to play with the other dogs and spent the whole time walking on his hind legs to try and get to them. Again, not really fair (we had originally thought it would be ok as at least he was walking). Thankfully there is a lovely new dog walker nearby and she has stepped in to take Watson on a 1-1 walk and that works out great as she can fill in when Andy is on holiday.

I’m so proud of Kev and I for sticking to the exclusion diet with Watson, but so far there has been zero improvement. Its only 2 weeks today though and the vet said there could be improvement week 2 to 4, but more likely week 4 – 6 would be the real difference. Every morning Watson attacks his paws and tries to pull the hair out. There are little cuts in between the pads poor thing. We are giving him the apoquel which definitely helps but it of course takes a while to take effect.

Oh, and my boy also got groomed this week but I’ll save that for another blog since I promised I wouldn’t rant! The photos are him sulking after his new cut, and then me trying to cheer him up.