Showing posts with label dog health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dog health. Show all posts

Monday, February 26, 2018

No Easy Way To Say This - I Have Canine Dementia

Dear friends, for a few months now, Mommy and I, and our small family, have been dealing with a difficult reality that we've been reluctant to share. Not sure why. Perhaps we've been in denial, or maybe it was the fear that you'd think I'd lost my fun-loving Pixel ways. I'm still me, and Istill have those joyful times, but I'll get to my point... I have doggy dementia, medically termed "canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome", and I was officially diagnosed a few months ago. This is in addition to my seizures, neurological issues, liver issues,  and arthritis.
I was showing a lot of signs Mommy tried to explain away, but by December it just became overwhelming for both of us. I get lost in corners, under side tables and in the fridge door, I eat odd objects I shouldn't and sometimes I forget who Mommy is and where I am and I get scared, or I zone out and scare Mommy.
Mommy is doing everything she can for me, and she's keeping me as safe as possible, figuring out new ways to keep me out of "troubling situations". She works hard not to let me see her frustration but it's heartbreaking for her, I know it is, it's hard for me too. I'm only 10 years old.
Luckily there is a medicine for canine cognitive dysfunction called Anypril that we are trying for me. It helped my Uncle Happydog 5 years ago, so we insisted on  trying it as soon as we knew for sure I had it. I've been taking it almost a month now, and Mommy thinks it is starting to help me. I'm having more moments of clarity, less of the "lost look" in my eyes, more initiated playtime. I am also initiating more interactions with her. She was crying a lot over it, but taking action helped her a lot. Our family is so wonderful and helpful as we navigate this diagnosis. Mommy has  found a very helpful Facebook group for pet parents who have dogs with canine cognitive dysfunction and they are are a great support as well. 
I promise Mommy and I will be talking and sharing a lot more about this topic, our diagnosis and what you can do if this disease affects you.
As my friends and faithful readers, I just didn't want to keep you in the dark any longer. It's a dreadful disease, but no one has to go through it alone. And it doesn't have to mean our fun or adventures end. In fact, Mommy and I are taking this as an opportunity to do more, seek out exciting pet job opportunities with the blog, go to the beach, travel, and just have more fun. I hope you will have more fun too! Life is short, and you must seek to enjoy it with those you love every moment that you can.
Mommy and I have made the following  pact, shook paw in hand on it, and we'd like you to do the same with us. It's simple really, and it is inspired by Mommy Jenny's favorite composer and pianist, Yanni. She got to see him in concert and briefly interview him and hang out with his musicians twice in the 90s. He said the following words right before playing her all time favorite song called "Until the Last Moment". Follow the link to watch Yanni play it like she saw it then.
"Sometimes we get caught up in our troubles and our problems and we let life slip away, but life is precious, all of life, and one must try to take in as much of it as possible." ~ Yanni
So, let's all make a pact to take in as much of the joyful moments of life as possible, both big and small. Don't let life slip away. It can happen far too easily. I love you my friends, and I am always here to share a joyful moment with you! 
With much love, 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Pixel's Top 5 Ways to Make the Best of a Tough Medical Situation - When Your Body Betrays You

When you are an active dog full of joy and vigor, you tend to believe and feel you can do anything and that life is an endless bowl of fresh dog bones. My endless joy ride came to a screeching halt a few weeks ago when Mommy noticed that I wasn't walking very well. She'd actually been noticing it for a little while longer but took me to the vet a little over 3 weeks ago. That was when solitary confinement started. Okay, not so solitary and not so confining, but confining enough for a little dog who could previously go wherever I wanted to whenever I wanted to in my own house.
Uncertainty and Limitations
With an uncertain diagnosis of my exact issue (either neck/back/spine related or neurological - another blog post coming with details on that soon), I was placed on 3 weeks of strict bed rest. And Mommy "RAN" with that whole "strict" word. There was to be no running, no jumping, no playing, no pulling, no tugging, no fun. Heck, my vet even limited walking. So I went from being Cowabunga Pixel, to being Princess in the Tower Pixel.
I was a sad Pixel for a while. Sad that I couldn't do all the gymnastics type activities I was so used to, sad that I couldn't run, sad that I couldn't jump up and down off the hassock over and over, and depressed that I was unable to grab a toy at a moment's notice and shake the Dickens out of it.
Mommy found ways to let me "roam free" on the bed but have zero risk of jumping off by using a rigged leash. She would keep me close around the house by literally walking me on a leash. I have been wearing a safety harness non-stop. And we have a huge mobile soft-sided "Princess Tower" playpen that I would hang out in occasionally and watch Mommy while she cooked dinner or did other things nearby.
My sisters tried to make me feel better. Peanut and Sassy would come visit me, snoodling and kissing my face and Sassy would either bring me one of our favorite happy balls or an already started chew bone. And sweet Dixie Mae kept sneaking into my bedroom and snuggling with me while I slept. It was a wonderful comfort. I stopped feeling sorry for myself, appreciated my loving sisters company, and realized that Mommy had my best interest in mind with all the limitations she put on me. She had to follow the doctor's orders to keep me safe and get me well, otherwise I might get worse and never be able to run again. It was time to make the BEST of this tough situation.
Appreciating the Little Things
So I started appreciating all the things that Mommy and every member of my family was doing for me. Things like getting my meals brought to me in bed and being carried around from room to room. Always having a fresh clean blanket available to me, getting many more loving belly rubs throughout the day, and having little treats brought to me because I couldn't walk over to get them with my sisters. I started savoring the chew bone Mommy brought me a little longer because I knew she chose the very best one for me, and I didn't complain when she prevented my ability to jump off the bed, because I knew it was bad for my body to jump down any more.
Oh, I've slipped up a few times and "gotten away from her" but mostly I've been a very good girl. I know it's hard on her too. She can't bear to see me unable to walk normally. I see her cry on occasion worried about whether or not I'll be okay, or whether my walking issue is a permanent neurological issue. We've got more vet appointments to go, scans and tests, and uncertainty ahead, but in spite of it all, when your body betrays you, like mine has for right now, you have to make the best of it.

Here's my Pixel Top 5 Ways to "Make the Best of a Tough Medical Situation":
1. Listen to your Vet/Doctor's advice on what to do. She said to rest, so I'm resting. Of course, Mommy is ensuring I do that because sometimes we need our family to help make it happen.
2. Take your medicine faithfully everyday. It will help you get better or at least feel better.
3. Find ways to stay positive and appreciate the little things. Thank those around you who are helping you. Encourage others who are in a tough medical situation might be the positive direction that someone else needs. If you are positive, it will help you heal as well.
4. Take advantage of the time. Catch up on sleep. Read a new book. Sit outside and listen to the birds sing in the sunshine. Watch a few favorite movies. Enjoy a new TV show. Talk with old friends. Mommy and I spent an entire afternoon sitting outside doing nothing one was GREAT!
5. Write. A letter, a story, a blog post or two. Start a journal. Write your story. You've got the time...make the most of it if you can.
Do you have other ways that you make the best of a tough situation? I'd love to hear them. Leave me a comment friends! And I promise to keep you posted on my own medical walking situation. This Thursday I will be having scans done of my body that, paws crossed, might show them something in the bones. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Pixel Returns from a Blogging Leave of Absence - I Had Surgery!

Hi Friends, sorry I've been away from my blog. This big smile on my face has come after a long hard battle that I am still dealing with, but the worst seems over for now. I know many of you have followed my Mommy's updates on my Facebook page since we first found out on January 19th that I had a scary growth on my right ear. It all happened very fast. Within a week of finding the aggressively growing growth, I was having surgery to remove it, along with part of my right ear to make sure that in case it was cancer, none of it would be left over. The vet did an amazing job of putting my new ear back together in a different shape and now I have a perkier ear that will be just as pretty as can be when it all heals up. They even tried to leave as much of my signature pony tail hair as they could so I wouldn't be bald on one side!
Needless to say, I've been unable to blog for almost a month while we dealt with this scary medical situation, with the surgery and while I was recovering. I am still in recovery mode, but I just got my stitches out yesterday and am doing much better. Here's what happened...
On January 19th, Mommy was petting me and stroking my long hair on my ears, as she always does. She suddenly felt a lump. Sure enough, an odd lump was there. We went to the vet, she did a needle biopsy of it and said it appeared to be okay, but let's "watch it for a week" to see if it goes away or not. It was not a typical growth, like a little wart or a pimple or something, it was a small pea size and it got bigger fast. By the 6th day, Mommy was so worried and we went back to the vet. The vet was worried it was cancer, saw how much bigger it got, and said, "we've got to get it off right away to get it tested". You can see it poking out of my hair in this photo.
So Tuesday, January 26th, I had surgery on my right ear. Dr. Robinson took a wedge-shaped section of ear off along with the growth to ensure it was all gone. She creatively sewed by ear back together and recovery started right away. She left as much of my hair as she could so I could still have a pony tail on that ear.
I was out of it and loopy and stuff for a while. Mommy and my family took great care of me. Here's a photo of my sister Dixie Mae who came to visit me on mine and Mommy's bed. Yes, I was on pain meds at the time, but believe me, I needed it. See the look of concern on her face? She's such a good sister. My other sisters Peanut and Sassy were also so very sweet, coming to visit, nuzzling me and checking on me. It was a great comfort.

My good friend Patrick Purple Duckie was on special assignment when we found out about the growth and subsequent surgery, so he came back immediately and stayed by my side as I began the healing process.
In fact, some of my closest duckies came for a group visit a few days after the surgery. I lovingly sniffed hello to each one of them and though I couldn't play or anything, it was great to just have them come for a visit.
Mommy fed me my meals in bed for the first week or so because I was just not feeling so great. The blue neck pillow ensured that lots of air got to my ear, which was double stitched, but it prevented me from scratching at it in any way. It also made a great "on the spot" pillow for napping!
After a couple of weeks, I started feeling better and my smile returned! We still don't know for sure if it's cancer or not, but the preliminary finding was that it is not, however the pathologist wanted to verify for certain because the kind of growth that I have looks the same as cancer. So, she is doing a two week special test to verify if it is or not.
Mommy and I are not going to worry because we don't know. It will not benefit us to worry about what we don't know, right? However, this whole experience has taught me and Mommy a some important lessons.
Here are 5 Things We've Learned:
1. Always look for unusual lumps, bumps and changes on your pet's body. One little bump or skin change can be a serious medical issue. It might not be, but better be safe than sorry. Mine was serious and it got bad quickly...don't wait. Pick a day once week perhaps to check your dog, cat, rabbit, ferret or other pet's body over. Make it a fun, gentle, loving treat time so they enjoy it. Make sure to note any changes and talk to your vet if you see changes.
2. Make sure to build a good relationship with your veterinarian so you can "swing in" at a moment's notice for an appointment (if possible) to get things checked out.
3. Blow up neck pillow collars are GREAT for keeping little dogs from messing with head wounds, but they ensure that air gets to the incision site, a point that Dr. Robinson was very concerned about and thus refused to allow me to wear an "E-collar" (thank goodness!) because they trap moisture around the head area.
4. Things happen. Pet parents, don't beat yourselves up if you miss medical things on your pets. You can only do the best you can do.
5. Take each day as the gift that it is. Don't waste it being anxious, angry, resentful, living in past hurts, or doing any of the emotional things that weigh us down and keep us from enjoying the precious moments we have with our loved ones that day. We only have today. Things could be much worse, and many people DO have it worse off. We don't know what will happen tomorrow, so let's not waste it today.
Do you have a routine for checking your pet for changes in their body or an experience similar to this? It just might help others to know. If you wish to share, please feel free to tell us about it in the comment section or visit my Facebook page and post it there. 
Below, you'll find lots of my fellow pet bloggers with all kinds of stories, reports or just fun and interesting photos to share. Today is officially #WordlessWednesday, but I I had far too much to share to be silent. Visit some of my fellow bloggers to see what they have to say...

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Joy of Vitality and Good Health with #Somapet

For the Love and Life of your Pet
People often think that I am still a puppy or at least no older than a year or two. They are surprised to discover that I am almost 7 years old. To me, that's just as young as can be, however in dog years, it can mean that a pet starts to slow down. Mommy has always sought to keep me in the best health she can, so she has tried various vitamin and mineral supplements, she has me on probiotics that are incorporated in my meals and she makes sure I exercise (which means play time for me).

Recently, we were asked to try a special high quality supplement called SomaPet, an all natural, vegan whole food supplement specifically designed to jump start your pet's natural ability to repair and regenerate cells. How does it do that you ask? Through the special dietary blend of 8 amino acids which are the building blocks of protein. These amino acids, which are the only ingredients in SomaPet, are designed to work together to improve the overall health of your pet, especially ones who are over the age of 3 and might be showing any signs of aging or slowing down. 

SomaPet was created by Dr. Dr. Philip White developed SomaPet after noticing his pet German Shepherd, Rover, struggling up stairs as he aged. Dr. White had already created SomaLife for humans and realized his beloved Rover could benefit from a supplement just like it. Hence the inspiration for SomaPet was born. 

Benefits of Using SomaPet   

1. Improved Immune Function
2. Improved Nervous Function
3. Promote Natural Healing
4. Increase Vitality and Longevity
5. Improve the Quality of Skin, Hair & Bones
(Select diagram to view bigger for details on health benefits)

I love eating, so whenever it's time to eat for me, I "drop" whatever I'm doing and come running. Sometimes, if I am sleeping and the "clink" of my food bowl on the counter occurs, I run in so fast I carry my blanket with me! It doesn't matter what I'm wearing, the SomaPet supplement and my food tastes great! The instructions said to give a dog that weighs up to 50 pounds one scoop a day, but because I'm only 11 pounds, we started with half that and then built up to the full dose. 

The SomaPet supplement tasted fine to me mixed in with my cooked chicken, rice & veggies. It is such a fine powder that I'm sure it would blend with anything. One thing Mommy noticed with me specifically is that my skin seemed healthier. I have issues sometimes with my thin, pink skin, and often with the skin near and on my tail nub, but having the proper blend of vital amino acids seems to make it healthier with less itchiness. Mommy's been very pleased. 

But don't just take my word for it. Many other pets have tried it too with amazing results! It has given new life to dogs much older than me with crippling arthritis, and cats who had all but given up on being able to run around chasing a laser pointer anymore. Remember that SomaPet is made up of ONLY the finest amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein.
To learn more about it or try some yourself, visit their website (you may need Flash to view website) and shopping page, both of which has a wealth of information including ingredients and testimonials. 

Join me (@pixelblueeyes on Twitter) and @SomaPet on Twitter
for a huge #BlogPawsChat on Aug 5 from 8:00 PM – 10:00PM EST. 
They will be giving away bottles of SomaPet!!
I'd love to see you there friends!

This post is sponsored by SomaPet and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about SomaPet, but Pixel Blue Eyes only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. SomaPet is not responsible for the content of this article.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Pixel Ponders "Is Natural Enough?" - The Joy of Knowing The Difference

You know, I am a very natural kind of a dog. I like nature, I like being in nature, and I love things that are all natural. Mommy feels the same way. She is always on the hunt for "all natural" products and food for our family, and especially for me and my sisters. She feels strongly about finding foods that are all natural since we will be ingesting that food into our bodies. She reads the ingredients of everything, pouring over the packaging and analyzing every word. But here is a very important question to ponder:  if a pet food says "natural ingredients" on the packaging, does that mean that it's a good balance of nutrition? Does it mean it will give me every nutrient in a way I will be able to absorb properly?
As I said before, reading the labels are one of the best ways to learn about what your pet is ingesting. Ingredients are important, but it's what's in those ingredients that really makes a difference in delivering those essential nutrients that every body needs, whether human or animal. Nutrient deficiency AND nutrient excess can lead to certain health conditions. Good nutrition is just about ingredients, it's about the proper balance of nutrients.
My friends at Hill's, the makers of the new Ideal Balance Pet Food, have an excellent grasp on this very same subject. They have a few answers for the question "Is natural enough?" Hill's Ideal Balance pet food has the best ingredients like chicken, potatoes, apples, cranberries, carrots and lots of vitamins and minerals, but more importantly, they make each recipe to be a perfect balance of nutrients from those ingredients. Not too much, not too little, so every pet that eats Ideal Balance will get the right amount of nutrients to stay strong and healthy.
The goal of Hill's is to make a pet food with quality ingredients that delivers nutrients like protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals balanced in the right proportions to provide optimal nutrition for your pet. Protein is needed for muscle growth, carbohydrates are needed for energy, vitamins and minerals help create a strong immune system and strong bones and teeth.
According to Kathy Gross, Hill's Pet Nutritionist, “Creating a natural pet food is one thing. Creating a perfectly balanced one to Hill’s high standards is quite another.”
What makes Mommy and I feel good about recommending this food is that Ideal Balance is a true natural pet food crafted by pet nutritionists who know how to perfectly balance natural ingredients for better health for your dog and cat. See for yourself in this video featuring Hill’s Pet Nutritionist Kathy Gross, who chooses to feed Hill’s Ideal Balance to her own pets.

So, now that I've shared just some information on natural ingredients, good nutrients and Hill's Ideal Balance pet food, I encourage you to do some additional research yourself. I know you care as much as Mommy does about the food that your pet eats. Remember that balanced nutrition is the key to good health. Check out the Ideal Balance website for great information about finding the right Ideal Balance food for your pet, compare for yourself how Ideal Balance stacks up against the competition, and be sure to take advantage of the Try Me Free rebate!
Here are a few additional links with some further information to help you be as informed as possible:
Author has been compensated for completion of this article.
Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Joy of Hill's Ideal Balance Pet Food: Behind the Scenes

My friends, you know that I am a natural kind of dog that tries to stay as healthy as I can. Mommy and I both believe things should be simple, pure and as natural as can be. I've shared many an adventure where I've explored the great outdoor woods, celebrated the joys of little things, and shared wonderful food that Mommy has made for me that was all natural.  I also believe that a healthy life is about balance. I love to play & exercise, but I get plenty of rest to balance that out. I love to learn new commands and tricks, but Mommy always makes sure that I only have fun with it. And, of course, I love to eat good food and treats that are a wonderful balance of nutrition. That is how I stay in top Pixel shape.
Well, imagine my joy when I was asked to try a new and all natural grain free dog food by Hill's called Ideal Balance. This dog food is unlike most other dog foods, in that Hill's really does believe in a perfect balance of nutrition and safe, natural ingredients. Hill’s Ideal Balance has no corn, wheat (which I especially like since I’m a wheat free dog), soy, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. In fact, their healthy, all natural ingredients, such as real chicken meat, potatoes, peas, carrots, apples, cranberries, and flax seed, are guaranteed, or your money back.
I was very excited to try it out, so we had some sent to us. It seemed like forever before it finally arrived, but it was well worth the wait! When Mommy opened that box and I saw those wonderful bags of new, all natural dog food to try, I couldn't help but give Mommy the biggest smile I could muster!
Oh, the excitement of getting a new yummy food that is safe to eat is always a highlight to me and my sisters.  Peanut (the Pomeranian) and Dixie Mae (the Dachshund) were both excited about this new food too. Mommy said that only the very best ingredients go into the making of Ideal Balance. In fact, I remember getting to meet Dr. Kathy Gross at the BlogPaws conference back in May. Dr. Gross is a nutritionist at Hill's who was instrumental in the development of Hill's Ideal Balance pet food. She said that dog health, and of course cat health, is very important to everyone at Hill's.
When Mommy researched about Ideal Balance, she felt good knowing that Hill's sought significant consumer input on its pet food to better understand what pet parents wanted in a natural pet food.
The new, breakthrough packaging reflects the quality expected from Hill’s, showcasing the balanced ingredients inside. It outperformed other natural brands in "standing out on the shelf", looking unique and being viewed as a high quality product. least that is what Mommy said. I said it looks yummylicious and it made me want to jump inside the bag right away and do my own taste test.
When Mommy was doing research about the food, she got to see the making of Hill's Ideal Balance pet food commercial, where they really highlight the idea of balanced nutrition for pets. Mommy pulled out her portable tablet and showed me, Dixie Mae and Peanut the making of the video too. We were very interested in how they used the latest technology to make the commercial. Mommy said we looked pretty enthralled as you can see from this photo.
Hill's created commercials set in a hyper-realistic world of balanced nutrition for dogs and cats. In separate commercials, they follow a dog and a cat as they discover the world of Ideal Balance. Along the way, the pets journey through the balanced elements that make up Ideal Balance: Perfect proportions of what pets need to be healthy – not too much, not too little.
After we learned all that in the "making of the video", we got to see the actual commercial with all the super cool special effects that made the dog look so beautiful, healthy and like he was walking in an amazing looking world of perfect balance....we REALLY got excited! We were barking and telling Mommy we couldn't wait to try it ourselves.  Talk about getting the consumer interested in the product...we LOVED watching how they made it and then watching the actual commercials. As a matter of fact, I think they should do even MORE commercials, and that maybe they would to use ME in their next Ideal Balance commercial. I mean, I have mastered perfect "balance" while doing my twirls and can do all kinds of commands and tricks on cue.
Here is the "Behind the Scenes" video showing the making of Hill's Ideal Balance pet food commercials.

And here is the amazing commercial they made for the dog is such a beautiful thing!
Finally, Mommy let me taste this great new food for myself. We read that Hill's has received excellent reviews from pet parents who stated that their pets "love the taste" (even picky eaters), plus their pet's coat became shinier. The new Ideal Balance pet food has been very well received by both cat and dog parents alike. You can read some of the reviews from happy consumers on their Hill's Pet Food Facebook page. In spite of all these great reviews, I told Mommy that I would be happy to give my own review. I am after all, a big authority on great tasting kibble. Now, the first thing I had to do was choose which bag to open first. The one on my left looked a little closer...
Mommy cut open the top and saw that the packaging is high quality with a really neat resealable zipper type seal. I, on the other hand, was so excited I stuck my head in before she could say a word! Don't worry, she was able to stop me before I downed a huge mouth full....unfortunately!
"Wait Pixel," Mommy said. "Remember...this food, and our eating habits, are all about balance. Not too much, not too little."
She measured out the perfect amount for me, based on my weight (12 lbs) and how many times a day I eat. I get 3 square meals a day, plus occasional snacks, so this equates one of my meals. Look at how nice and well formed those kibbles are. It smells real good too!
She set it down for me and I scarfed it up so quickly, she almost didn't get a photo, BOL!! I told her it was delicious!!! I give it two paws up in taste, texture and crunch! So Mommy, when is my next meal time again?
Well, now that you know a little more about what went in to making this amazing new, natural pet food – go out and get some for your own family, and see the difference perfectly balanced natural ingredients can make. Take it from me, Pixel Blue Eyes, I promise you'll be glad you did!
Hill’s website offers all sorts of information on the products, including where you can purchase them, online or in your neighborhood – and you can even try it free with the rebate offer!
Disclaimer:  Author has been compensated for completion of this article. Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.