Sunday, May 30, 2010

New helpful trick

I've been a bit slack with posts, life just keeps getting in the way!
But since we left Wellington Pepper has learnt a few new tricks - we're plugging away with trying to learn "limp" but it's proving to be a bit tricky (hehe) and she's learnt to cover her nose with her paw, and this weekend she learnt to put her toys away!
Here's a video of that one!

Also, we went for a walk with the fabulous Cinnamon and Mint yesterday in Conrwall park. I couldn't believe how big and beautiful the park was and we were so glad to have been invited by the beagles! We had a great time and it was a gorgeous day. I had so much fun I didn't take any pictures (sorry!) but Cinnamons Mum got one so hopefully she'll post it. We can't wait to go for more walks.
PS - Mint is even more cute in real life than in pictures

Friday, May 21, 2010

The plot thickens ......

Yesterday morning, when Pepper was dropped off of by the "dog catcher" one of the first things he said to me was, "Does she ofter wander when she's on heat?" @@$%??#??!! Well, you can imagine my surprise - Pepper was spayed at 3months old (the SPCA spay their puppies pretty young and she was spayed about 2 weeks before we brought her home), she couldn't be on heat!!!??? My heart sunk, did they pick up the wrong puppy? But, sure enough, there's Pepper in the back of the van. And sure enough, she was bleeding! First thought was that she was bleeding from her bladder, but then she peed - normal colour, no blood in it. All very odd. So onto the phone and an appointment with the vet that afternoon (boy, she stunk like they'd disinfected her at the pound too, yuck, start into the dreaded bath, it wasn't much of a home coming hehe)

You may remember that since Pepper was little we've had some problems with urinary infections and a little bit of incontinence. Also, shes had episodes of really yucky pus coming out of her girl bits. We thought that we were getting "on top" of this problem after lots of vets seeing her and investigations and medications. I have been increasingly thinking that her problem was not bladder related but more female reproductive related. She hasn't had any incontinence for months and her infections have become milder and less frequent. But she has never had any bleeding from that "region"

When the vet saw the amount of bleeding (he imagined just some light pink from licking too much or something) he was most surprised! So she had cervical swabs (and the vet said that that is definitely where that bloods coming from) and we are all still left scratching our heads. She's a mystery. One theory is that some ovarian tissue was left behind or that if they have just done a tubal tie as opposed to a full "removal" spay the tie may have come loose - I rang and spoke to the vet who did her spay - she said that her notes indicate a routine full spay with a healthy puppy and no complications. The vet nurse said she was so funny when they took her to do the swabs - she just lay on her back straight away, wagging her tail saying "Rub my Belly!!" It's so nice having such a friendly people loving pup.

We've started her on some pretty hard out broad spectrum antibiotics in case there is a infection above her cervix - she is on 4 different types - until we get the swabs back, but due to the weekend it will take a few days so better to part with a few more dollars and just cover everything. She doens't have a uterus so she can't get pregnant, so we can still go walking and things. In the mean time Pepper is her normal happy playful energetic self. A bit confused as to why I'm obsessively following her round with a towel and all the mats are up off the floors! Thank god we have wooden floors.
If anyone has had experience with anything like this I'd love to hear from you.

Oh, also, the Dog control people inspected our property - they agreed, its a bit of a Fort Knox, definitely too high for her to jump out and very very safe, so they didn't charge us with a fee (phewwf!) So now we're still head-scratching as to how she got out (or who has let her out)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thursday night nightmare

Yesterday I was working a 12 hour shift from 11am until 11.30pm. I got a phone call at 7pm -it was Ben, he'd just got home from work "Hi, Um have you done anything with Pepper today?" me - "No, why, what do you mean???" (quietly panicking) "Ummm well shes not here, she's not at home" (Now I'm really panicking) My first thought was that she was lying sick somewhere, it was dark and had been raining too, so I got Ben to get a torch and look under all the bushes and under the house while I became mildly hysterical and told my boss I needed to go home (Puppy obviously being much more important than sick people). Ben called back - she was no-where to be found.

As I left work I turned my cell phone on (no reception in the emergency dept where I work) and a message was there from an hour ago from the Dog Control people - a member of the public had found her and she was at their kennels. While relieved that we knew where she was and that she was safe I was so confused. We spent over 3 months looking for our new place, the most important thing for us was that it was fully dog proof and this house is just that, even a bit over the top. The fences are 2 metres high at their lowest, the driveway gate only opens with a remote, the only other access is a gate that automatically closes and locks and can only be opened with a pin code. I'd left home at 1030am, Pepper had been happily munching a pigs ear on the front steps. I always double check the gate when I leave, although there's not even a need to do that because it slams itself shut anyway! So I have no idea how she escaped. The only clue we have is a courier card that was left - do they have the gate code and accidentally let her out? I'll be ringing them today to find out.
These pictures show our fences, they go all round the property. It's like a flipping doggie proof dream yard.

The dog control people said it was too late to pick her up last night (even though I protested and offered to pay if someone would get her out for me) but they said no. So I've been up since 6.30am pestering them on the phone to get her back - she needs her medication and I want her home! They don't have anyone at the kennels until 9am, so I'm still waiting to hear back from them. Poor Pepper, I feel so guilty (and still confused). Thank god for microchips, ID tags and registration tags to allow for easy dog identification. Hopefully they have the name of the person who found her so I can take them a thank-you present. I wish Pepper could talk and tell me how the heck she got out!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Yes, we're still here!

Sorry it's been so long between posts, getting our internet sorted out (and my computer connecting!) was a minor struggle
But we're here, in Auckland, in our great new wee house. (I'll post pics of that next time)
But here are a few pictures of our move.
We had a last play at our favourite beach

Check out these wicked dance moves

We were so lucky to have Bens company pay for a moving company to move us - they took care of everything but best of all carried everything down all our stairs in Wellington! Pepper was a great help of course, making sure the boxes behaved themselves and offering the movers a game of ball every time they came back up the steps

The trip up started out a little dicey (due to a big night the night before saying goodbye to friends) but it was a lovely drive.
We stayed in a rather outdated but comfortable and importantly dog friendly motel in Taupo on the way up, just to break the trip up a bit.

We stopped at the at the Huka falls - we checked with the information people and they said dogs were allowed so Pepper got to check them out too!
Ben & Pepper stretching their legs after being stuck in the car

Can you see her on the bridge? She was very brave!
Autumn in the central North Island
With Ben and a big giant dog!
Checking out the Mare & Foal with me in Cambridge. She was very wary of this, growling, hackles up, totally confuzzled. She took a bit of convincing that they weren't real, although she's never growled at a real horse, she always just wants to lick their noses.
So far I give Auckland a big thumbs up - for the weather at least! I HATE the cold and it really is so much warmer up here, especially compared to the South Island, were we're from originally.
Sadly Pepper has had some continuing urinary problems. (Ever since she came to us she's had very mild incontinence but it was causing her to have bad and recurring infections) I thought we were on top of things since starting on Propalin 3 months ago. I had been reluctant to start this medication due to her age but she has had no incontinence (and hence no infections) at all since being on it. When we picked her up from the boarding place last weekend they mentioned she had been straining, had increased frequency (all signs of infection) and some yucky discharge, although Pepper was still her same happy wee self. We went straight to a Vet that weekend and lucked out by striking a knowledgeable, kind and gentle vet called Gareth. He suggested doing a raft of new tests - bloods, bladder contrast xrays and bladder biopsy (we've already had ultrasound and urine cultures in Wellington) and we booked an appointment for that in a weeks time. Over the week at home however the frequency and straining had pretty much stopped and when I went back yesterday I explained that I had reservations about undertaking invasive procedures if she was well and that I felt possibly she had a cervical infection (due to the yucky discharge). And the Vet agreed! After reading her notes he felt it was probably not a bladder problem and that it would be a waste of my money doing these investigations (what a breath of fresh air it was to hear that!) So we will aim to do bloods & vaginal/cervical swab, try a special food to keep the urine at the right PH and go from there. He agrees with my thinking that stress may be responsible (stress & change in toileting leading to incontinence and then infection) and that we could try some herbal stress remedies if she does have to go into a kennel or has a "lifestyle change" again. She must really internalise her stress though, as she is such a laid back dog almost all of the time. So we don't really know whats going on still but it's great to have a vet that's not going to push for unnecessary procedures and is keen to give her a bit of time.
Sorry for the rant, its been great going and catching up on everyones posts!