Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Day 1512

You learn something new every day. While Dash was at the vet today, I discovered that a side effect of anesthesia is that it tends to kill off the good bacteria in the gut. In most dogs, and probably people as well, this flora quickly reestablishes itself and life returns to normal. In highly stressed dogs, these beneficial bacteria don't return and digestive problems result. This could very easy be Dash's problem. He is definitely not a calm dog, and he has had anesthesia recently. We'll put him on a probiotic for a while and see if his 3 AM wake up calls disappear.

If the probiotics don't work, there's also a chance that he has a vitamin-B deficiency. Evidently, low levels of vitamin-B can cause all sorts of problems, including the same sort of digestive issues Dash is experiencing now. We need another blood test to determine if his vitamin-B and folic acid levels are low. I couldn't get that test done today, since fasting is required, but we'll get our boy tested soon. I can tell Dash is uncomfortable. Hopefully one of these very plausible scenarios it what is causing his problems.

Another thing I discovered today is that the dogs don't tug and pull nearly as much when I walk them separately. When I walk Dot and Dash together, they are constantly competing for what they perceive as the best side of the road, or the most pungent smell. They criss-cross themselves so frequently that I spend half my time untangling their leashes. Left to themselves, they both walk quite nicely, occasionally even seeming to remember the long forgotten "heal" command. So far, I have only discovered one problem with walking each dog separately: it takes twice as long.

It was still cold and wet this morning, but as the day progressed it gradually grew warmer. By the time I took the mail to the post office later in the afternoon, I could actually see a small patch of blue sky. I had high hopes for the rest of the week, until I looked at the weather channel and noticed that it will only be 30 degrees tomorrow morning.

I'm encouraged by the progress I'm making with my shoulder. The cortisone shot is mostly out of my system by now, and the pain isn't that bad unless I do something stupid. Walking the dogs isn't a problem, if I walk them separately. It's the little things that creep up and surprise me. I have to be careful about putting on a heavy coat, or even folding a blanket. I was wondering why I was told not to raise my hand above my line of sight until I tried it. Every time I raised my right hand above my head, I would hear a popping sound in my shoulder. It needs more time. I'm feeling better, but the shoulder is still very weak.

Work is still keeping me extremely busy, but I'm starting to get a rhythm established. As long as nobody throws me a curve, I'll be fine. People always throw you a cure though. It's just a law of nature.
Duke is today's Dalmatian of the Day

Watch of the Day