Miss Merci's Guest Book

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Valentine's means expressing your Love

Be Mine.........Love Merci

I was talking today with some co-workers about exercising and diet and how good it is to start doing it at an early age because when you get to be my age, it just gets harder and harder to take it off blah blah blah.... we all know the story... We take care of our cars, kids, and ourselves...

Well I starting thinking that it is the same for our pets... Puppy mill dogs haven't had the luxury of being well cared for with any type of maintenance plan really... Cheryl and Dr. Frost got them going on the right track, and even though this economy has affected us all - don't forget that your dog can't pick up the phone and make an appointment!!

When we rescued Merci, I took all her records from Cheryl and I know both Cheryl and Dr. Frost did so much for her. I did make an appointment with my vet, who I think the world of, just for a "get to know you visit." (check out their website)

Dr. Jim Nelson of Prairie Village Animal Hospital was so glad to meet Merci. He had been through a lot with us when Buster and Zoey were sick and he and his staff are like family to us. He gave Merci the once over, observed her and said she was in pretty darn good health considering everything she'd been through in the last 6 years. What he did suggest was that we do a series of base line blood tests including thyroid testing just so that we know what we're looking at.

Her bloodwork came back fine, but at least we have some inital findings that if anything does happen to her, we have something to compare against. THIS IS IMPORTANT!!! We started this with Zoey too at age 4 and we were glad because at age 6, her enzymes were very elevated and it pointed to kidney disease. ]

It's important to START YEARLY BLOOD WORK AT AN EARLY AGE TO ESTABLISH BASELINE VALUES. Baseline values are then compared and can then determine if your dog is experiencing kidney failure problems or possibly some other disease.

I did feel a "bulge" on one of Merci's sides before her exam. I asked Dr. Nelson about it and he said that he felt it too... BUT, his advice was feel the same place on the opposite side and see if you feel anything there... If you do, then all is well.... if you don't, then your animal should be see by a vet. Thankfully Merci's bulge had an exact match on the opposite side. She's just a little pudgy!

EXERCISE!!! Now that spring is coming around, do yourself and your dog a big favor and get out and enjoy the fresh air and both of you can reap the benefits of a nice walk. It's also a great time to encourage good leash habits and in some instances, get them accustomed to their surroundings and odd sounds of cars, trains, buses... etc...

I've found that Merci led a very sheltered life and everything is new to her. It can be very intimidating to a rescue dog, but with some gentle leadership and coaxing, she has become a great walker and loves seeing what is new around her!!

PLEASE be sure to vaccinate for Heartworm and Lyme's disease. My sister lost her beautiful black lab to Lyme's disease and it was devestating to her and her family. It is so preventable. Heartworm goes without saying!! I know that everyone involved in rescue is as passionate about these things as I am, but it never hurts to spread the word!

Oral health... we've all smelled the awful dog breath. I admit, I'm not good at brushing her teeth. Did I tell you she has the biggest and longest canines I've ever seen? I can be petting her under her chin and catch my hand on her canines hanging down... Chris thinks she is part vampire dog lolol.... I'm starting slow with Merci just because everything puts her into a tailspin...

I've been taking my finger and just running it along her gums when she is tired. Next week, I'm doing the toothpaste teaser... let her sniff it and lick it and see where it goes from there..., I'll keep you posted.. Bad teeth lead can lead to other health issues....and they can't do it themselves!! Remember... dog toothpaste only... human toothpaste can make them very sick.

Happy Valentine's Day to all !!

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