Mia and the Thundershirt

I have said a few times before that my poor dog has many issues.  On top of severe allergies, she suffers from severe anxiety orders.  We have tried EVERYTHING.  Calming pills.  Kenneling.  The Cone of Shame.  Mia’s anxiety comes in the form of self-mutilation tendancies.  She gnaws on herself.  And it breaks my heart.

So, we were coming to the court of last resort here lately.  Doggie prozac.  Now, as much as our pets are totally dependent on us, we can’t claim them on  our health insurance.  And I’ve looked into pet insurance, and it costs more per year that actually taking my dog to the vet, and the basic cost doesn’t cover extras – emergencies, drugs, etc.  Sad.  We’ve had Mia on calming pills (made of brewer’s yeast and ginger and some other holistic ingredients for a month) but the problem is, you can’t predict when she is going to have a bought of separation anxiety.  And those pills are expensive, so you don’t want to have to give them to her every eight hours.

My girlfriend has a dog who was also abandonned, and he freaks out at thunderstorms.  She’s been doing some research and looked into the Thundershirt.  She forwarded the link to me and I looked into it as well.  The thundershirt is basically an anxiety wrap for dogs.  Vets have long stated that constant pressure on the dog’s nervous system tends to calm them.  This shirt wraps around their torso and waist and fits them snuggly, like swaddling a baby.  But they aren’t cheap – they run around $40.  The material is breathable, soft and washable (very important when you have dogs).  But still, $40 during Christmas season was just slightly out of my budget, and honestly, was it going to work?

But, my wonderful mother (who worries about her granddog) decided that she was going to go ahead and purchase the Thundershirt for Mia.  So yesterday, we tooker Meems and had her fitted.  I was still skeptical, but let me tell you, the difference was night and day (after of course we got her home from there store where there were kitties and treats and toys all at eye level).  She is a different dog.  No pacing.  No biting herself.  No chasing the kitties (they are thankful).  Instead, she spent most of the evening passed out on the sofa.  Even when I went downstairs to bring up laundry, which normally would have sent her into a biting episode.

And today, she’s a calm, happy dog.  She’s not pacing.  She’s not constantly begging me for attention.  She’s not biting herself.  She’s not searching the house for her daddy (who is off hunting).  I’m amazed.  I’ll give it a week, but if this is the thing that brings my baby some peace and serenity, then I’m all for it.

Thundershirt HO!

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A Bit of a Vent

So, by now, if you’ve been reading my blog, you should know that we rescued Mia last March.  This is Mia:

Mia was a rescue dog through For Pete’s Sake Rescue out of Tennessee.  She’s a young husky mix who had been a stray.  And she came with a host of problems, the largest being a very serious skin issue.  After much hair loss (hers, not ours), and a really foul odor, we took her to our vet, and they determined Mia had the mange.  Basically, dog scabbies.  We went through about $600 worth of treatments, including three treatments of Ivermectin, a painful injection of a drug that kills and prevents scabbies.  In addition, knowing Meems was going to have very sensitive skin, put Mia on a diet that limited her wheat consumption.  And Mia’s skin cleared up.  Beautifully.

So, after her skin cleared up, we switched her back to pedigree dog food thinking the problem was all mange.  And Mia did fine.  Until this month.  We notice she was biting at herself again, and there was more hairloss, and the odor was back.  Sigh.  Since our yard is adjacent to woods, and we have a bunch of wild animals that use our yard as a dumping ground/home – including red fox who are notorious for mange – we assumed she’d been exposed again and was developing another skin infection.

So, we took her back to the vet on Friday.  The vet sniffed and and made a simple diagnosis – no mange.  Never had mange.  She had a yeast infection which was a result of an allergy.  A wheat allergy.  Sigh.  I was a bit annoyed in that they didn’t test her for that to start with.  So, after another $164 dollars, Mia is on yet another round of steriods, and has to have a bath twice a week with an antifungal shampoo.  And we’ve switched her back to her much more expensive food with NO WHEAT anywhere in it.

Mia has been an expensive project for us…LOL.  But she’s a great dog.  Just as sweet as she can be, and is happy to be in a loving home again.  Hopefully we can finally get her to an all over coat in the next month or so.

I’m Here

I’ve been so swamped that the internets have become a bit of a “wow I’d really like to get back to that soon” idea that hasn’t really materialized.

So, some quick bits…

Mia is doing great.  She’s a great dog, and so well trained, that it’s hard for me to believe someone could dump her.  It’s apparent from her behavior that she was dumped – she’s skittish about going to the park – doesn’t want to get out of the car until she’s absolutely sure we aren’t going to leave her there.  She’s underweight and has patches of skin that are healing but we can tell where she dug at them with her nails or teeth.  But she’s sweet, and loyal and loving.  She knows a bunch of commands, loves to play with toys, is very good with the kitties, and loves me to bits and pieces.  I just can’t wait to fatten her up a bit.

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Work is very busy and is kicking my butt.  I once again owe Bluz cookies for fixing something for me yesterday.  He’s requested chocolate chip.  I’ll try for them soon.  I’m also on a committee here to make the work place a happy happy joy joy place to work when it’s more like Office Space.  Sigh.   I may need to take my printer out to a field to beat it.

Winter sucks and I’m glad it’s almost gone.  My skin is so dry you could use it for sandpaper and my fingers are splitting.  I need spring.  Seriously.

We’re going to see my Mom this weekend.  We’re taking Mia to meet her gramma.  I have a feeling trips to my mom will be slightly less frequent now that gas costs are now priced at:

Dear lord let me hit the lottery.

In other news, I finally got around to watching America’s Next Greatest Restaurant.  The whole reason I watched it at all was for this man:

Curtis Stone, you are made of win, and awesomesauce.  And hawtness.  You are now on my list of five.  As a result of watching the show, though, I’m now having a major Chipotle craving.  NOM

Mia is Home!

My new dog is made of win.  She’s well trained, so she belonged to someone at some time.  She knows sit, shake, lay down, and roll over.  She was a good girl getting her bath (she stank) and she’s good with the kitties.  She loves toys (and I suspect is much younger than 3) and is absolutely gorgeous.  And she’s home!  Now we just need to fatten her up (and get her license).  So, my hillbilly goggie from TN is right at home here in MD!  We also decided we’re going to keep her name as Mia – she answers to it already.

We’re Expecting

A dog.

What, you thought I was going to say baby?  Yeah.  no.

We’re adopting a siberian husky mix named Mia and she’s going to be delivered to us from Tennessee (!!) tomorrow.

This is Mia…

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