Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Vet Day!

Today was vet day for Melody, Tess, and Waldo. The "crew" and I went to see Dr. Booman, our primary care vet. Tess had a rabies vaccination so she can be licensed, and Dr. Booman had the chance to thoroughly look at her deformity. After her physical exam, she determined that Tess is perfectly healthy and shouldn't have any trouble with her leg!

Melody had blood drawn to check her Phenobarbitol blood levels. While Melody thought it was quite unfair she had blood drawn, I thought it was important to make sure she's on an appropriate medication dose for her epilepsy!

Waldo thought it was completely ridiculous to ride in the car with dogs! He had initially responded quite well to the steroid injection, so today was a recheck. We were very sad to see that, while most of his mouth looks good, he has a growth about the size of a kidney bean under his tongue. It may be just irritated gum tissue, worst case scenario is cancer. The most common form of oral cancer is squamous cell carcinoma, which has no treatments that offer a cure. Cancer may have reared its ugly head yet again...

Dr. Booman also found a growth in one eye that may be a tumor too, we have to watch it closely. At his first exam, it just looked like a little color change. The borders of his ears have started to change since he's been with us, so I asked her to look at them too. With pigment changes and small areas of skin starting to disintegrate, Dr. Booman feels it's probably vasculitis, a lack of circulation to the affected area.

Waldo is now in our "Pawspice" care (animal hospice) program. We will provide palliative care to keep him comfortable and make his remaining "golden days" as happy as possible! If you would like to learn more about pawspice care, please click here.

Friday, August 18, 2006

New Friendships

It hasn't taken long for Tess to make friends with everyone. I was afraid a new dog would be a hard sell for Melody, who can be really ugly in new situations. Tess and Melody became fast friends, as did Tess and Maverick, Quincy and Luna too.

Tess can be found running and playing hard or wrestling after breakfast first with Melody, then when she's worn out, Tess moves on to play chase with Maverick. That continues till he's tired, then she grabs a tennis ball and plays fetch with herself - she tosses the ball in the air and then chases it, which rounds out her morning. The whole cycle repeats itself after dinner - boy I wish I had her energy!

The crates in the picture above are used for feeding Scooter and Waldo, in order to make sure each kitty eats only his meal. Tonight, they got a dinnertime show too!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

A New Sweetheart

Meet Nessy (new name Tess), a Border Collie/Retriever mix who just arrived from the Humane Society of Utah, via Stacy's dad and his travels. While she looks pretty normal and happy, she was born with a severe deformity to her left front leg.

The ulna and radius (the forearm of a person) didn't grow down and straight with a paw (or hand) at the end. One bone grew too short with one toe, while the other curved, and a partial paw, with 2 pads and 3 toes rests at the end of it.

The wonderful folks at the Humane Society tried for quite a while to place her with no luck. I gave them suggestions of messageboards and forums to post her story which they did, and while many people thought she was cute, no one wanted a young dog who doesn't look normal. When asked if she could come here, of course we said yes! With some time and training, we hope she'll make a wonderful ambassador for the sanctuary and play an important part in our humane education and pet therapy programs that are in development.

We're calling her "Tess" because it's pretty close to Nessy, and we thought it important to have a name not so close to Loch Ness monster fame. She's really brought new life to the other dogs, because at 18 months old, she's still all puppy, and Border Collies can play all day!

Monday, August 07, 2006

A New Name & New Attitude!

Can you believe this is the same kitty who's in our July 29th post? This is Swope, who is now known as Waldo! He's feeling much better, thank you! His response to steroid treatment is amazing, the hole in his tongue is filling in, and the swelling is down in his gums. He's making up for lost time, eating 1 1/2 cans of food a day. (The "D" word is in his future, but I haven't told him yet!)
In the photo, he's trying out one of the dog beds, and while he doesn't mind dogs, he's certainly not planning on befriending them yet. He enjoys spending a good part of the day out in Shiloh's Yard, a small yard designed for newcomers. His favorite activity ~ anything involving people, as he truly wants nothing more than sit next to anyone who will provide continuous attention!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Can You Find The Kitty In This Photo?

Tara & Uno work hard to open the closet that holds both the blankets and the dog food, each with a different goal. As a matter of fact, it's a daily ritual. If at first you don't succeed ~ well, keep on tryin'. Today proved it ~ Tara enjoyed the blankets while Uno tried hard to unscrew the lid to the dog food. The dog food never opened, and all the blankets were on the floor before all was said and done. But they had fun (and needed a nap afterward!)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A New Way to Support the Sanctuary

There's an easy way you can support the sanctuary animals! We've signed up with GoodSearch.com, which allows the sanctuary to earn while you use their Yahoo powered search engine.

I've been trying it out, and it works very well. Just go to www.goodsearch.com, and in the second box down, type in "Golden Hearts Animal Sanctuary" and click "verify". Then, search away. There is a feature that even allows you to track how much the sanctuary has earned.

Every little bit helps, so please, give it a try, and if you like it, spread the word to your friends and family!

Kitty Update!

A couple of the boys have ongoing medical issues that we're hoping are either resolved or will be soon. Here's a run-down on who we're watching ~

Scooter - this afternoon his purse-string suture was removed, and hopefully his rectal prolapse episodes are over. His medication (Lactulose) has been increased, he's back on a low residue diet (which produces low stool volume), and he's spending a good part of his day in the main house so we can keep a close eye on him.

Leonard - has been slowly dropping some weight. He had lab work done last week and an abdominal ultrasound looking for cancer, hyperthyroidism, or a heart-related cause. His heart looks great, the Atenolol dose he's on is working well. That leaves us with the potential diagnoses of intestinal lymphosarcoma (yuck, don't want that one!) or tapeworms that we haven't seen yet (much easier to fix).
As he's the primary groomer of all cats, we're first eliminating the parasite possibility with a dose of Droncit. Reweighing him in a couple of weeks will determine whether we need to proceed with an endoscopy to look for cancer.

Swope - (still working on his name!) had completely quit eating over the weekend, in spite of the antibiotics and pain meds he was taking for his mouth. We began subcutaneous fluids daily as well as force feeding. After much research, and talking with Dr. Booman, we opted to try a steroid injection, treating him as a stomatitis kitty. This is more of a "shotgun" approach to dealing with the problem, but we felt he just wouldn't do well at this point with anesthesia and the subsequent healing from a biopsy.
He got the injection Tuesday afternoon, and now he's feeling great! He's eating, drinking and feeling much more comfortable. There are potential side effects we have to watch for, but the benefits far outweigh them. If he continues to improve, he'll receive a second injection in a few weeks, then start on oral meds which will taper over the next month. He will also stay on antibiotics to combat infection too.