Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Very Vet Tuesday

Dubious Flint Is Dubious

Flint rode with me to Richmond today to the veterinary dermatologist. They ended up doing skin testing on 75 allergens--he reacted to 25 of them: dust mites (2 types), house fly, mosquito, 3 types of mold, Birch, Willow, Walnut, Cottonwood, Cypress, Oak, Sycamore, Pine, Cedar, Mulberry, Sweet Gum, Alder, yeast, 2 more types of mite, and Kapok (used in furniture stuffing).

Scratch the White Spot

So, basically, he's allergic to the world. He's going to be starting a shot regimen designed to desensitize him. It can take 8+ months to work and it works about 75% of the time, and he'll have to get shots 1-2 times a week for the rest of his life. But for him, it could change his life--he's been scratching himself bloody for most of the last two years, unless he was on steroids and antihistamines or covered by sweater or jacket that protected his skin.

Flint's been blind in his left eye for about 3 years, and since Christmas, he's become blind in his right eye. He can still see something around the edges of the collapsed lens in his left eye, but his vision is very poor. He'll be 6 this winter--not an old man yet!

Then this afternoon, I took Hunter in for a brucellosis test and Musket and Macha for their 12 week vaccinations. Musket and Macha had a blast wrestling in the exam room and mock growling and snarling and barking. They gave great eye contact to the vet and techs and had no concerns about the new building or flooring or the moving table or being poked and prodded. Such good puppies.

Macha continues to claim that I belong to her. She recognizes my truck and me from across the parking lot, and when I loaded Hunter and Musket back in the truck, she jumped on my leg and let me know that she was next. But, no, I sent her back home with Wanda, Puppy Raiser Extraordinaire (Macha is very happy there and is learning to watch TV with Wanda's husband and is doing things like picking up Wanda's aluminum cane and carrying it out of the room). Macha will be coming back to live with me, but this period of outside socialization is incredibly important for both her and for Musket. It allows them to grow up without each other and to gain more self-confidence and also to develop more of a one-on-one relationship with a person, which is very important for future training and the ability to form a strong bond.

Musket's still looking for a working home--he's actually pretty good in the house, but he's got enough drive and attitude that he definitely needs someone who is going to train him and teach him to channel his drive into constructive activities.

Macha... I suppose she's technically for sale, but I'm in no hurry to see her go. But if the absolute right home came along, I might let her go. (Of course I've been saying that about Lynx for a year now, and I don't see him going anywhere....)

Hunter just came in heat--sooner than I had hoped, so I'm making the final decisions on who the papa dog will be. I'm considering a cross into German showlines--I'm looking at a couple of very nice dogs who have proven not only their beauty in the show ring but also their solid working ability. It's a big change in bloodlines for me, but I think this type of breeding holds a lot of promise for the future of the breed--working toward the important goal of creating dogs who can work and who are excellent examples of the breed standard.

Right now, Hunter just wants me to throw the ball again...


Andie said...

Aww, little Flint! I hope those allergy shots do the trick. Poor little guy. I didn't know about the almost-total blindness. Give him an extra scritch from me.

Hunter is going to make some amazingly gorgeous puppies. Wowza.

Anonymous said...

i had 9 years of allergy shots and they really helped me. i reacted to about as many things as flint did when they tested me. you can sign up for daily emails from pollen.com that'll tell you WHAT kind of pollen is currently in the air, like when the tree pollens are high and which tree pollens are currently highest. i use the emails to keep the windows closed during that time. with dust mite allergies, wash his bedding frequently in hot water since he'll have his face right there for 8 hours every night.