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I’m sitting at the kitchen table and dare not move – the puppy is sleeping heavily in my lap. Sometimes a little pitiful chuckle comes from her but mostly she is still. Just hours ago, she was lying on the operating table to get a stubborn little wound on her nose emptied and flushed. Now she has a drainage and two stitches on the shaved nose. And a big funnel that she has already tried to get off. She has been given antibiotics and I think this will work out quite well and in a few days, she will get rid of the funnel. Right now, I mostly worry about the funnel – Flippa will do everything to get rid of it. The veterinarian gave the advice that besides attaching it to the collar, I could also put on a harness and fasten the funnel with a gauze band at the back of the harness, so I’ll do that. We have no clue what Flippa has done on the nose – our guess is that she’s been spiked by something.

 

Tassla has just gotten rid of her funnel – it’s been almost three weeks since she did a knee surgery to deepen her kneecap a little, move it and attach it to a new place. This summer she was diagnosed with grade 1 patella luxation, which means that her knees sometimes jump out of joint. Grade 1 is the lowest grade and on small dogs it does not even always have to be operated. But I have known, in fact, for several years, that something is sometimes wrong with Tassla. She gets stressed and becomes difficult to reach at times, eating grass in a stressful way and stumbling in a way that is “not her”. On three occasions she has squealed like a stuck pig in conjunction with flushing game. Three years ago, I x-rayed her from head to toe but I was unaware of patella luxation and did not rush to see an orthopedic surgeon. But this summer, I felt that she was getting worse and worse during the year and that she was very angry and stressed. She was also in a way difficult to reach and a little locked in the pelvis and shoulders when we went to the physiotherapist, something that kept returning after treatment. So, then we got that referral. The orthopedist made the diagnosis within five minutes and could easily get the right hind leg luxated. She described that Tassla most likely wasn’t in pain, but that a theory that is reasonable is that in certain situations when she pushes off and turns at the same time, as in a flush, the luxation can hurt really much. Besides, she compensates more or less all the time, so she has probably been hurt in the whole body.

 

The prognosis of the surgery is very good, “she will hunt again” said the orthopedist. But the rehab is between four and six months, so we’ll miss this hunting season. (I get to hunt with my bonus dog Kat, which I am very happy and grateful for, although it is of course the most fun to hunt with Tassla). I get fantastic help from a masseur and physiotherapist – the masseur treats the operating scar with laser and massages her, the physiotherapist gives me rehab exercises. The physiotherapist is the best possible imaginable – Annika Falkenberg, who wrote a book in Swedish “Rörelseboken”. We have published it at Klickerförlaget, and I was an editor, so I know very well how Annika thinks – she has also treated my dogs for about 14 years … What we do now in the beginning is standing training. I help Tassla find the right way to stand, so she can walk right. Short walks on grass, on leash, apply right now. The rehab takes a lot of time – exercises are to be done many times a day and I, who now live in a rural area spend a lot of time to drive to my helpers. But so be it, I do whatever it takes to make Tassla well again.

 

Totte is atopic and allergic to everything between heaven and earth. Occasionally his allergy gets worse and often it effects his ears. After summer with treatment following the next treatment, he finally had his ears flushed during anesthesia. After that it was okay for a while, but lately I have suspected that it came back in one ear, which turned out to be confirmed during a veterinary visit. Not as bad as before – thank goodness – but now it will probably be a low dose of cortisone that he may have to eat for the rest of his life. It’s easy to get used to having a sick dog – and suddenly you realize that this is not okay, it’s too much, something radical needs to be done.

 

The same day that Totte’s ears were examined and Flippa received a referral for the operation, I had picked up Quling who lived for four days with a good friend of mine who is also a very capable dog trainer. We were both so glad it went so well – she has a male dog that Quling reacts to, but she introduced them so nicely and gently, so it felt like Qulan had a good experience. But when I brought him home, I realized that he’d gathered everything inside him, and he got a really big stress reaction. When I opened the car after the vet visits with the others, he had vomited and pooped in the entire cage. It had just sprayed out of him so the ceiling of the car and the crate in the back seat had been showered and he was completely smeared with poop and saliva. I’ve never seen anything like that, my God. Poor dog, he must have panicked, so terrible. I had to tear everything out of the car, borrow a water hose and clean up crates and mattresses and carpets, then put everything back inside again and drive home and wash everything. It wasn’t my best day this fall – and probably not Qulans either. He has received Losec, is on a diet and had fluid replacement so now I hope to be able to turn this around without having to go with him to the vet …

 

It’s a bit tough on the health front with my four-legged family right now. But it could have been worse, so I’m just trying to make things work – and have to work a little from time to time so I can pay all the veterinary bills …

 


Retrieving for All Occasions - Foundations for Excellence in Gun Dog Training
Retrieving for All Occasions - Foundations for Excellence in Gun Dog Training

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