Saturday, October 8, 2016

Bogie has not had a good year.

It's been a stressful month.  I never did find out what caused Bogie to have his toe amputated, despite the advanced fungal tests and even more x-rays. 

His foot has healed and mostly seems to not be bothering him.  A couple hours after we go for a walk, he starts to chew on it.  But pain medication stops that. 

Still, we've been to the vet 6 times in the last month. 

His Valley Fever numbers are down.  Yay!  But he kept having a loss of appetite, diarrhea, his coat got rough, and he was shedding up a storm.  Which he usually doesn't do. 

Add to that, he developed a wattle.  Suddenly instead of a smooth throat, he has a ruff.  Sometimes it shrinks almost back to normal, but mostly he looks saggy.  

Lots of test, including 2 days I had to leave him so they could do before he ate/after he ate comparison tests.  

I hate those days.  I have a hard time not feeding him in the morning.  And I won't feed Angel if Bogie can't eat.  Nor will I eat in front of them. 

Bogie goes into the car just before time to leave for the vet, I rush back into the house and feed Angel and gather my work stuff.  Then I eat after I've dropped him off.   

The upshot of all these test is that Bogie has been diagnosed with Addison's disease.  

Addison's is an adrenal disease where the glands fail to produce enough hormones for normal function.  Cortisol is the "bad" word in all those weight loss commercials, but it's necessary to prevent symptoms like weakness, dehydration, low blood pressure, depression, vomiting, blood in feces, and weight loss.

Yeah, those symptoms could be almost anything.  Add to that, Addison's waxes and wanes.  I'm convinced this recent flare-up was from the Valley Fever. 

I've even wondered if the people who abandoned him knew about his condition.  He's had diarrhea off and on ever since I got him.  If they knew, it would have saved me a bunch of money for the tests.

Initial treatment is steroid pills every morning.  Thankfully he's been taking his pills willingly.

Addison's is very rare in dogs. Even rarer in large, male dogs. With odds like these, I should win the lottery.

Bogie has not had a good year.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Bogie and the phantom disease

So I posted earlier that Bogie has Valley Fever.  First he developed a sensitivity to the medication and had to be cut back to half a dose.  Which means taking the fungicide for 5 or 6 months instead of 3. 

Then, his toe started to swell up. 

Took him to his regular vet and had x-rays taken.  The vet figured the swelling was inflammation and gave him antibiotics.  

This is not good news because he does not take pills willingly.  Well, he lets me shove them down his throat without fighting me, but he won't just take them. 

However, when the radiologist looked at the x-rays, it was determined to be more than an infection. 

The bone in his toe was disintegrating.  

So on August 23rd, he had his toe (his left "forefinger") removed.  Apparently, dogs mostly walk on their middle two toes so he should eventually be able to go for walks again. 

However, as of Thursday, he was still limping and sore.  The vets (specialist and regular) both expected him to be pain-free by now.  So he is still on pain pills and off walks. 

They biopsied the toe.  No signs of bacterial or fungal infections.  Or cancer. 

So what the fuck was it?  Do I need to worry about any more digits falling off?  
The lab is going to do an advanced fungal culture to see if anything shows up.  Both vets said the diseased tissue was completely excised and there should be no repercussions.  

I wish I was convinced of that.  

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Lego Homage to Sharknado

Decided to merge two of my favorite things - Legos and Sharknado. 

Happy day at Lego Beach - surfing, dining, playing frisbee, dog training.

Oh NO! Sharknado!

Park side view

Water side view
Fin Shepherd, our hero, with his trusty chain saw. Nova in foreground with rifle.
Horrified, and soon to be eaten, life guard
Heroics and terror
Closeup of Sharknado

Closeup of Sharknado

Interior of Sharknado

Friday, July 22, 2016

Fine! Go ahead.

Bogie is on medication for Valley Fever that seems to be affecting his appetite. 

This morning: 

Dog food bowls five feet apart as usual.  

 Angel finishes before Bogie. Not usual.  

 Bogie eats some. Takes a drink. Eats some. 

Walks around the room. Eats some. 

Steps 3 feet away and just stands there. 

Angel approaches the remaining food. 

Bogie looks at her. She stops dead in her tracks. Then backs up. 

He goes over to the food. Looks at it. Gets a drink of water. 

Then he goes 4 feet away, and lays on the floor with his back to his bowl as if to say, "Fine, you can have it." 

Angel cleans up his bowl.

Angel and Bogie

Sunday, July 17, 2016

What's done can't be undone

Beautiful canopy before the trimming

I was looking at the poor Palo Brea behind my gate. It breaks my heart. Technically not my tree since it is on community property, but I hate how the tree trimmers butchered it.

When the HOA Manager and I walked the basin with the landscaper, I told him not to bother with the Palo Brea, that I would take care of trimming it away from the wall.

He said they would trim it enough to lift the branches off the wall. Sure I said.

Worst decision I could have made.

No “lifting” was done. Instead the trimmers lopped off all of the north branches to distance it from the wall, putting the tree into shock.

And, as any physics student could have told you, because the counterweight from the north branches was gone, the tree started leaning southward down the slope. The only reason it is somewhat upright is that they left the south branches as is. Those are holding the tree up.

I didn’t bother to say anything because what was done can’t be undone.

But that’s the second time I’ve been screwed over by a tree trimmer. A landscaper who was removing a storm-damaged tree offered to trim frost damage off my jacaranda.

 The trimmer proceeded to remove the multiple trunks, which I had specifically chosen the tree for.

And left it looking unbalanced since the remaining trunk leaned east.

Again, what’s done can’t be undone.  In both cases, I've wondered what the trimmers could possibly be thinking? How could they think these were good ideas?

I will never trust a tree trimmer again. Ever. Ever. Every time I think about either tree, I get sad - and angry. 

After trimming

Saturday, July 16, 2016

An early morning walk

One leg of this morning's walk with Bogie:

We got scolded by a cactus wren for walking too close to its cactus.

We heard a bird that sounded like a cellphone, a dove coo and a gilded woodpecker chirp.

We saw a scrawny little chipmunk scamper into its hole

We saw one bunny stay sitting, knowing it was safe behind an iron fence (not shown)

A second bunny ran right in front of Bogie and he gave chase. (But stopped when I called him.)

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Territorial dispute

While out working in the yard, I saw hawks circling above my yard and the retention basin*, wafting on the air currents.  There were at least 5 of them.

Three dropped down behind the wall.  I hurried over to the east steps to see.  My view of the landing area was blocked, but one large bird was sitting on the ground in plain view. That’s when I realized it wasn’t one of the Harris hawks that nest behind me.  It was a turkey vulture.

I went to get the binoculars and got a close-up of the turkey vulture tearing apart a rabbit.  A hawk watched from a dead tree.  The sitting hawk screeched and launched itself at the turkey vulture.  The vulture flew away.  

But didn’t stay away. It landed again and started picking at the rabbit.  The hawk attacked again.  This happened twice more before they landed where I couldn’t see. 

A little later, the hawk landed on my block wall, looked right at me, and shrieked. I can only assume it was complaining about the interlopers.

*a retention basin is a large depression of dirt or concrete designed to hold the run-off from fast, hard monsoon rains.