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Sue R

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About Sue R

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    Bark less, wag more

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    Bruceton Mills WV
  • Interests
    Stockdogs, horses, chocolate

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  1. I don't know of anyone who offers classes but I do seem to recall some people that were suggested earlier on. I hope someone can give you contact information if they haven't already. In any group, you may find people who are dissing others but I am sad you have run into that. As for chasing, etc., that's what you often run into with "all breeds herding" and just one of the many reasons why people here do not normally recommend anyone who does "all breed" or AKC "herding". I hope you are able to find a good mentor. Remember, check with the USBCHA trial schedule and try to attend (or volunteer at) some trials, meet people, see who has a relationship with their dog(s) that you would like to emulate, and make connections so you can ask and find a good mentor.
  2. When Megan was diagnosed with early State 2 kidney failure (and there is always the possibility that your dog's values could have been off due to infection and that things might be back to normal, prescription kidney diet or not), I did a bit of research on the internet and got information as well from some friends. In general, they advised me to join the Yahoo group K9kidneydiet, which I did. It's not the easiest thing to do as they require quite the background survey filled in from you about your dog, and I don't find navigating around Yahoo to be my cup of tea, but I have to say that using their recommendations for feeding a home-prepared diet (which I developed for my dog using nutritiondata.self.com which provides tons of useful information about foods and ingredients), Megan is still with us four years since she was diagnosed - and she's now 16 1/2 years old. Of course, each dog and each owner's circumstances can vary, and so can results, but if I were to have another dog diagnoxed with kidney failure, I would do again what I did with Megan - the people at K9kidneydiet at Yahoo have a lot of experience and offer advice; provide a number of files and articles for you to read; and seem genuinely interested in helping you to help your dog. In fact, I would describe them as pretty hard-core but they are not judgmental and will give you their best advice. I take their advice, read their articles, and make my own decisions feeling comfortable that I have good resources to turn to and simply have to tailor my options to my and my dog's situation. Very best wishes! PS - I really wonder if your dog's blood work values have returned to normal, if it wasn't simply temporary effects of the dental infections that caused the abnormal values. Normally, the way I understand it, once a dog has kidney failure or kidney disease, it is not going to be *reversed* by any medication or diet but the effects can be moderated or controlled by diet in some cases. Of course, since kidney issues can be due to different causes, what works well for one dog might not be beneficial to another, or what one owner can afford to do in terms of time or effort might not be doable by a different owner.
  3. Dan is very useful for the jobs that he enjoys and understands as he is a dog that works best with limited input from his handler. When he has figured out what a job entails, he will get it done well. He's at his best with the younger cattle as he gives them the opportunity to make the right choice (which they don't always do), uses his eye and deliberate presence, and only turns on his afterburners when needed. With the adults, he is more likely to take a "you know what you should be doing so do it right now and I am taking no prisoners" attitude. Oppositely, Celt didn't like young stock and the younger they were, the less he liked them. When they were little, they did not play the game right! But he was better at taking direction than Dan, and he was certainly diplomatic with his stock, which made him excellent on pairs and especially the first-time heifer mothers, who needed careful, calm, sensitive dog work so that they could trust the dog and respond to him calmly, while they sorted out just what they were to do with a clueless baby in tow. One of my favorite stories about Celt and calves was one of the very last times I sent him to gather. A group of our calves had gotten onto the neighbors' property and, as Dan is not at his best gathering, I kept Dan back and sent Celt, who excelled at the gather. He was thirteen at the time and it would be an easy gather, and then I could use Dan to push the calves where I wanted them to go. Celt was all excited when I sent him come bye and took off happily in a nice cast, until he got around the other side and realized they were just young stock, not cows. He stopped, looked at me, and came back. "Calves? Not doing it. I'm retired!" His reluctance for calves stemmed from an experience when quite young when our old Aussie, MacLeod, let Celt know that calves, of all livestock, were his (MacLeod's) responsibility and under his sovereign protection. It was a few years before Celt would even look at a calf after that, and Mac did it all with just a glance. Plus, as I said, calves don't obey the rules of working stock and Celt likes his stock to stick to the guidelines, just like he does. Two vastly different dogs - Mr. Diplomacy and Mr. Dental Diplomacy! Both useful, each in their own way, and both an enrichment to my life.
  4. Thank you, Amy! Neither Dan nor I are "trial quality" and sometimes our "farm quality" isn't what it should be, but he is a very useful dog for a number of essential jobs, just like Celt was in his day - although the two of them excelled at completely different jobs! Now that we have no cattle of our own, having sold the cow herd a couple of years ago, Dan doesn't have much to do but, yesterday, he had a stellar day of being a useful dog. As I penned up the old dogs to prepare the dog dinners, I looked out to see a couple of young animals wandering down past the house and into our north yard just past the garden. That was not where they were supposed to be and it would not be the easy "just put them back through the fence" that it often is as the herd was in the other direction down the road and on the other side of the road. Nevertheless, I took Dan out, looked in the direction of the young cattle (yearling and weanling age), and just said, "Dan." That's his cue... He took off come bye around the garden, which placed him perfectly to move them back to the road. They were of two different minds - one was, "Oh, h***, it's that dog and I am out of here!" The other was, "Nah, not buying it." So he put the one through the fence without hardly trying but had to work, flanking and using his eye, on the second. Tammy, the postal delivery lady, stopped her Jeep to watch the work (and keep the dog safe) as Dan finished putting the calf through, and on she went. Now, they were not where they needed to be but they were safe, and I was not kitted out to go into the field and help move them out of that field, into the next, out of that and across the neighbors' driveway, and then into the final field. But Dan seemed very up to the job and like he had his listening ears on so we gave it a try and I sent him on. He put them first through the fence into the next field, where they split (the one high-tailing it towards the herd in the next field and the other being reluctant to curtail his adventure). So Dan worked (with little input from me, as usual, just an occasional reminder to "let her by" or a little flank command or walk-up) her up to and through the fence, and into the driveway. Then he came back for Mr. Reluctant and pointed out the error of his ways in defying the dog, and got him to the fence and, with a bit of flanking, into the driveway. At that point, the heifer was easy to push into the field with the other cattle but Mr. R. kept being contrary, making Dan work for it. But, since Dan was persistent and always out-flanking him, Mr. R. finally gave up with what sounded like a sigh of resignation as he went back in with his cohorts. Dan, who almost never goes on through the fence once the young stock is restored to the rightful pasture, continued on into the pasture and began to eye and move the animals there. I stopped him and called him back but he just lay down and looked at me, "Are you sure, woman?" I realized since the bulk of the older cows were up in the next field, he felt that *everyone* should be up in the next field, that his job was not yet done, and that he needed to put all these wanderers (in his mind) into the next field. I didn't want that (they have access to several fields, including the one they were now in) and so I turned away, saying, "That'll do, let's go!" And, at that, he came racing after me. Muddy, poopy, tongue hanging down, and happy as a working dog could ever be! He had to eat his dinner in the mud room but it was worth it. He got his hosing down after the dog walk so he could be suitable to be in the house. He was one happy dog all evening! I, of course, regretted not having my phone with me to film or get a picture of any of the action...
  5. Sometimes, just going to a specialist can make all the difference in the world. The quality of the x-ray (and particularly the skill of those placing the dog for the x-ray) is just one aspect that could be different. For my Celt, he was diagnosed with a torn CCL when he was six. Rather than having at TTA done on him by my local vet who does quite a bit of ortho work but is not certified (that I am aware of), I took him to a specialist who re-examined him, looked at his films, observed him, and felt he only had either a strain or a minor tear. With meds and crate rest, it was three years before he actually tore the CCL completely and required surgery. And, had I been more proactive in his meds--and-rest phase, I wonder... In addition, the specialist that did the surgery did a TPLO, which was more expensive than a TTA but which he felt, with his 25 years of ortho surgical practice, was the superior treatment for an active dog. He pointed out that he used to do TTAs but felt that the results, over time, were not as good as those with the TPLOs. Celt, who first had issues at age six with the strain or partial, the total tear at age nine, a total tear on the other CCL at age eleven, continued to work our cow herd until age thirteen, as testament to good and timely treatment when it was needed. He is still, at sixteen years of age last November, active and able to walk several miles most days. Additionally, many Border Collies with certain levels of hip dysplasia can maintain a very good quality of life without surgery by being kept at a lean body weight and in good muscular condition. The support that fit muscling can give to the joints is important and can be very stabilizing. Many people have found, to their surprise, upon x-rays, that their apparently totally sound dog had a certain laxity in the hip joint that was compensated for by lean weight and muscular fitness. Good advice for us all, I guess! I am very glad that you got good news! And there is nothing better than a good and honest vet who says your dog *doesn't* need surgery!
  6. Jack is excellent. Debbie has a nice place for a clinic and some fine people will be there.
  7. Fourth seizure today, mild, and she peed. I had just put her in the car and in the time it took me to walk around to the other side, she had seized and fallen on the floor. Short duration, mild symptoms, and just fine but subdued after. I think she was confused by finding herself on the floor. At the vet's now for everyone's annual exam.
  8. A fecal test would be the first thing I would suggest, as many have suggested. And, just because nothing is found in a fecal, does not mean it isn't something like giardia, which can be hard to detect (make sure your sample is very fresh for best results). Amy mentioned IGS - I had a dog with cobalamine malabsorption deficiency (the inability to absorb B12 from the diet) back before this genetic defect and its DNA test were commonly recognized. I doubt this is your dog's problem as you would likely have been seeing issues (normally periodic, recurrent diarrhea and lack of appetite) for much of his life and not just now, but it is something to consider if you rule out other possibilities. It is easily dealt with by regular Vitamin B12 injections which are simple to give yourself once you know how. I doubt this is your dog's problem but it is a possibility. One other thing that I would consider in an otherwise healthy dog that occasionally vomits is a mass of foreign material in the stomach. If he is the kind of dog that swallows fibers from toys (tug ropes, stuffed dog toys, etc., and I have one of those) or even hair that he has pulled out if he is an over-active self-groomer (I have one of those), he might have a mass of indigestible material in his stomach that occasionally gets in the way of his food passing on to his intestines and he vomits his food. I have had two dogs that experienced this - once the young dog vomited the mass (after several months of regular small vomits with no discernible cause), he was just fine. The other, when going through a bad time of over-zealous self-grooming and swallowing a lot of hair, would vomit up a mass every couple of weeks, and occasionally her food as the mass increased in size throughout the two-week period. So, a couple more things to consider.
  9. Nancy's idea is great - I use a soup ladle, which works well but I have to bend over more than something like Nancy's idea might require. A female with a UTI can also be attractive to males - I have found that, in the two times Megan has had a UTI, the males were quick to let me know by sniffing her urine and her vulva area more than normally. I guess that's why dogs can be so good at detecting infection - they can scent differences from the norm. A female with a UTI will often also lick/clean herself much more frequently as well as wanting/needing to urinate more frequently, which is also common for bitches in season, so that can be confusing. I agree totally with Liz P and suggest catching a urine sample in a clean container (first sample of the day is often best as it is most concentrated) and getting it fresh to the vet, or refrigerating if you can't get it to the vet within an hour or so. In my limited experience and anecdotally, it seems that Border Collie females do not tend to come into heat at such a young age (doesn't mean one couldn't) and I agree with the others that checking for a UTI would be top priority. Also, and not likely at such a young age, could be the presence of crystals (found in examining a urine sample) that cause discomfort and irritation when urinating. Best wishes!
  10. My old dog Celt has always been very devoted but since he has lost much of his hearing in the last year, he does not like me out of his sight. Before this, I could move around the house and with his keen dog's sense of hearing, he knew where I was (and probably what I was doing). He no longer has that reassurance and some days, he wears himself out following me around as I work around the house. It can be inconvenient at times but I always remind myself that one of these days, he will not be there underfoot, and I will miss him terribly.
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