Fri 1st January: 2010 begins

Blood test results for my two sick puppies came back showing that they have tick fever, hopefully erlichia only which is treatable with antibiotics.  The problem is that they have to take the medicine with food and they don’t want to eat.  I’ve tried every type of food I can think of  from fresh chicken, human baby food, special recovery dog food, regular dog food – you name it.  I’m having to force feed them now, but at least there’s light at the end of the tunnel with some sort of diagnosis.  While other pups have been dying of parvovirus around them, these two boys have just kept going, albeit weakly.

I had to take the bull terrier girl out of AFCD today as I just couldn’t bear the thought of her being in there any longer.  She’s been scratching herself raw and has ulcers on her legs from lying on a hard surface for too long.  She’s as sweet as anything, and loves her new bed and soft blanket.  She’s also now wearing an all-around coat which will not only keep her warm, but will stop her from injuring herself any further.  I have a soft spot for bull terriers which some might find strange, but they make me smile with their funny faces and small eyes, and their stiff-legged gait.  I still wish breeders would stop breeding them as they’re very difficult to re-home given their limited appeal.

The “nutcase” puppies at kennels have got over their initial fear and are playing happily, while enjoying their snug, fleecy beds.  Cold weather is one thing, but when it’s wet too the homeless dogs must really feel it.  I’ve been kept awake at night by the howling and barking coming from “Dog Island”, where the dogs that were dumped there are clearly cold and hungry.  Of course my own crew start barking in response, so tomorrow I must go and give the islanders something to eat.

I’m looking forward to next Monday and getting back to normal.  By that I mean being able to contact everyone who has been off work, and to get moving on the new kennels.  The week starts early as I have to be at the RTHK studio at 8.30am on Monday morning for the Radio 3 Backchat programme, and that’s going to be a challenge. Mark, our dog trainer, will be joining me so tune in if only to see if I make it on time.

Apart from that, this coming week we’re very short of dog walkers at kennels, so if you’re already a registered volunteer please try and come for a few hours.  I’m sure I’m not the only one who ate too much over the holiday period and needs to walk it off.

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5 Responses to “Fri 1st January: 2010 begins”

  1. Helen Yeung Says:

    Thanks Sally and HKDR for all you’ve done.

    To give medicine, I recently tried Pill Pocket, same manufacturer of Greenies, I got them from the vet and they work wonders.

  2. Helen Yeung Says:

    Another way that works to give medication is to use Philadelphia salmon cream cheese spread on a small piece of bread and wrap around the pill, more cream cheese on the outside of the bread pocket if needed – give it a try and if they don’t like the cream cheese, we can have it on our bagel….

    • Sally Says:

      I didn’t have a problem giving the sick puppies medication, it was getting them to eat that was the issue. They’re now eating well, and on the road to recovery. Anyway, thanks for your tips. We use cream cheese at the kennels because the cheese sticks to the inside of the dog’s mouth so they can’t spit it out.

  3. Helen Yeung Says:

    For really sick dogs who won’t eat try using traditional rice water and feed by syringe. Easy to make, just more rice and less water, slow boil to cook, do not stir (otherwise will cause abdominal gas), scope up white rice water before rice is fully cooked. The thicky white rice water is supposed to be very nutritious and easily digestible. Continue to cook the rice until fully cooked and other dogs can eat them and there will be no wasted food.

    • Sally Says:

      This is also good for dogs who have diarrhoea as the starch in the rice helps bind the gut. Rice in itself isn’t nutritious enough to be given as part of a daily diet and is too soft (causes bad teeth) but it’s very helpful in many situations. Personally I liquidise the rice to make a thick soup which can be fed by syringe too.

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