Saturday, December 29, 2012

Lily's Paws Update

I am pleased to announce, that for the past 2 weeks I have had dry and cosy toes and no bleeding. I have been going for daily gentle walks, and it looks like I have tiny new claws coming through although they are a bit odd and crumbly looking. My coat is extra glossy and I am on an expensive but fishy rich diet at the moment. I am also having Viacutin spray on my food which is a mixture of plant essential fatty acids (for an omega rich diet) and also has some fish oil. It is like a highly concentrated evening primrose oil. The vet thinks this is better than adding fish oils because that can cause tummy upsets (especially in greyhounds) and occasionally gall stones and pancreatitis from too much fat.

Anyway, I am a much more settled and happy pooch (although I do need to have constant access to a sofa cushion of my choice, all 3 on one sofa may sometimes be necessary) and I do need to be kept warm and cosy with a daily supply of Christmas dinners....

Here are a couple of cute pics of myself and Dizzy in our Christmas mistletoe matching collars. I think I am the prettiest out of the two....of course.

We also had a naughty but nice Christmas Stocking from our friend Jed (and his owners) of Sacred Stitches.

Mummy also got herself a T-shirt with Jed on, which she thought was very cute but we were not very impressed with....I mean, who wants to wear a picture of a dog that is not me?? At least Daddy still wears his T-Shirt with Snow Queen Lily on, and Mummy should stick to wearing the Russian Dolls T-Shirt and forget about stuff with dogs on if she can't be loyal to her own hounds.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

I'm a Bleeder

Finally the bleeding has become less frequent on my missing claws and raw quicks from SLO . It seems I don't have an infection or other cause of  so much bleeding but am one of those greyhounds that is commonly referred to as a 'Bleeder'. It appears that due to inbreeding around 75% of greyhounds test positive for something called Von Willebrands disorder. This is thought to be Type 1, it says this on wikipedia about it:

Type 1 vWD (60-80% of all vWD cases) is a quantitative defect which is heterozygous for the defective gene. The production of von Willebrand factor vWF is decreased. Decreased levels of vWF are detected at 10-45% of normal, i.e. 10-45 IU.Many patients are asymptomatic or may have mild symptoms and not have clearly impaired clotting which might suggest a bleeding disorder. Oftentimes the discovery of vWD occurs incidentally to other medical procedures requiring a blood work-up. Most cases of Type 1 vWD are never diagnosed due to the asymptomatic or mild presentation of Type I and most people usually end up leading a normal life free of complications with many being unawarethat they have the disorder.Trouble may however arise in some patients in the form of bleeding following surgery (including dental procedures), noticeable easy bruising, or menorrhagia (heavy menstrual periods). There are also a minority of cases of Type 1 which may present with severe hemorrhagic symptoms.

This explains perfectly why us ex racers have such a reputation for bleeding and have problems even with minor scratches. When my claws were taken out, I was bleeding constantly for 12 hours...then intermittently all claws bled for 3 weeks. The vet Linden Basha (he is a lovely man who always gives me biccies) stopped my zinc supplements because that can cause anaemia and poor iron uptake and it didn't go well with the bleeding. Mummy and Daddy were also advised to stop bathing my feet, because that was setting it off, and it has meant my exposed quicks are now much drier and less raw.

I feel a little bit cross that so many ex racers have problems like me, from poor nutrition, stress but more importantly too much interbreeding. They didn't care what my life might be like after racing for one or two years, and it made no difference to them if I bled or got sick as long as they get their money's worth on running dogs into the ground. Yes, given the choice, we love to run and cannot resist chasing things. There is so much joy in running free as fast as the wind but now I cannot run at all. It is a horrible price to pay for a couple of races. And I didn't get any choice.

Anyway my treatment for SLO and managing my condition will be a lifelong thing but it is possible to go into remission with the right nutrients. Many dog owners are advised to take lots of fish oils as Omega 3 essential fatty acids are supposed to support a poor immune system. However, as greyhounds are a little sensitive to diet and can easily get diarrhoea our vet thought that the amount of omega 3 needed would result in taking in too much oil. Oils can be a problem too as they can lead to pancreatitis or gall stones. Also most fish oil  from tuna or salmon has a lot of environmental poisons and heavy metals. So we have been prescribed Viacutin which is all the essential fatty acids taken from plant sources, with a tiny bit of fish oil and highly concentrated. A tiny squirt for each meal is all that is needed. I quite like it and Mummy says that she had been covering my antibiotics with the oil so when mixed with food, I don't spit them out as they taste yummy now.

However, the downside to feeling a little better is that I can't stop trying to climb up the hierarchy again, challenging the pack leaders with little Royal duties they must carry out for me (immediately!) and I have started bullying Dizzy Rascal again. For 3 weeks I have done nothing but lie on the sofa or my bed and couldn't get up as my feet were too sore. Now I have been underneath everyone's feet while they eat breakfast, trying to scrim up the tiny crumbs. I have also been checking on the oven regularly and whining in front of it to try and get those humans to cook faster, and I have been begging at the table. I have also been whining for no particular reason they can see...although I keep trying to tell them that I want my favourite bed, and I want Dizzy to move from whichever bed I choose to lie on. And as I can't go on walks at the moment, but Dizzy can, I have been howling and screaming blue murder everytime that lowly hound gets to go out with MY Daddy on his own while I have to stay home.....oh yes, I am feeling a bit better and everybody better watch out. The Princess Is Back!!!


Errr.....Could somebody please find a way to medicate Lily so that she stops bossing me around? Could I claim its part of her SLO and get Linden our vet to get rid of it immediately?


Sunday, December 2, 2012

I haven't done a very good job of keeping up my posts. I have still been a bit under the weather and after 2 weeks of no claws, am still raw and bleeding. Mummy and Daddy are still having to keep the sheets and towels down and when I get a bit excited, like last night over the Chinese takeaway delivery, a quick turn can bring on a bleed...which is what happened. Mummy was very stressed and Daddy is a bit upset too.

Some of my quicks seem dry and scabby but a few look bright red and raw still. When I jump up on the sofa, I sometimes have a little squeak if I hit the raw quick on something. Mummy is thinking of making me some booties, perhaps a very loose bag with Velcro on. The commercial booties are too tight around the ankle and on the toes, I could easily stub my quicks. They would not be easy to get on my paws either. 

At the moment, I am having some fish every other day. Then I am having a zinc supplement every other day from the fish. I have been told by Mummy, who looked this up and vaguely remembered it from school, that zinc and iron are in direct competition with each other when ti comes to taking it up and absorbing it. That is why it is never a good idea to drink cups of tea and certain drinks with your dinner. So as I am losing a bit of blood, and am having fish with good sources of iron I don't really want to take zinc on those days. Zinc is supposed to help support healing and growing of claws. I am also on clavoseptin antibiotics for secondary infections and was on the two baths for 5-120 mins every day. However, Mummy and Daddy have seen improvements in healing if they leave me alone and just give the one soak and wash per day. Daddy puts a timer on his iPhone and then everyone squeals at me and tells me what a good girl I am for keeping feet in the nice warm water. When the buzzer goes off, I get a biccie. I also get biccies for most minutes that I keep the feet in the water.

Now there are a lot of SLO sufferers out there who tell me their owners have tried Omega 3 oils and it worked wonders and put the dogs into remission. However, our vet did not seem that keen on the idea. He said the amount of active ingredient from the oil needed to get to the nails, is so high it is difficult to dose a dog with it. Mummy also read that the sources of omega, generally fish, can carry other things that are not healthy from the environment like heavy metals, or radioactivity etc....this means that high doses could be getting those harmful things into the body and might counteract the good....I will be asking Mummy to go and study this....I can't do it, my paws are too sore to be Googling things.

I haven't got any photos of this condition yet. We looked online and to be honest, nobody's claws look quite as bad as mine and it is unclear what the pics are of. I might ask Mummy to take a photo this week, and we will think about whether it is too shocking or upsetting to put online. The important thing to remember about SLO is that every dog is different and it is unusual for all the claws to come off at once like me.



Harrumph I am getting a little fed up of the attention princess is getting, and she always gets more biccies and gets to go first while I have to stay away. It isn't my fault if she gets in the way when I walk backwards. Last night though, I started a little attention thing of my own and screeched if anybody touched my collar to pull me away from Lily....



Sunday, November 25, 2012

Mummy says I must keep a diary now so that other hounds who get Symmetrical Lupoid Onychodystrophy (SLO), might be able to see how we dealt with it on a day to day basis.

At the moment, I am having a can of fish every other day. I will start my other supplements after I have been to the vet next week and he sees how I am doing.

I had all my claws removed last Monday and stayed in overnight because my paws would not stop bleeding. unfortunately, this can be normal for a greyhound as we bleed more. Due to inbreeding and our normal racing jobs, we tend to have quite low white blood cells and very high red blood cells. This can also mean we carry so much oxygen around for our running, that there is not much room for other important blood factors. Bleeding can range from a very serious blood clotting problem, to mild persistent bleeding which is what I seem to have.  Mummy has put down blankets and towels everywhere I walk in the house and she is working very hard at picking up blankets and washing them. I get a little bit upset when I can see blood pumping out, and I start panting and looking stressed and alert Mummy. Mummy comes and talks to me in a soothing voice, tells me she has seen the blood and its all ok and I am not in any trouble, then she takes the bloody rags or towels away for a good boil wash. The vet says that it is far more comfortable and safe for a dog to have their paws left open although it looks a bit drastic with my raw bright red quicks.

Every morning, I have my food with a clavoseptin antibiotic and then a cimalgex anti-inflammatory tablet.
Then my feet get washed in Malaseb pet shampoo. At first, I didn't like the foot baths and squeaked when Mummy picked up my leg. Now though, I understand exactly what it is going to be like and I even curl and lift my paw ready for it. Then my paws are put onto a very clean towel and I get to the best bit, my lovely fishy sea biscuits.

Every day, after a long snooze Daddy has taken me for a drive in the car then lets me have a very very short walk on the grass to do my business. I can't really walk far at all at the moment.  However, this has set the bleeding off every time and I come home with the blood coming out on the floor. Then the dirt is washed off my feet, they bleed for while then stop. We hope this is not going to happen every single day. I still have my paws open. Mummy might try getting some very very soft felt booties, to make it more comfortable but we must have something breathable. And it must only be for very short periods. The same if we decide to try any outdoor booties.

Today there was more blood than usual and it seems to feel more sore and raw. Mummy and Daddy have ordered a Chinese though and I know prawn crackers will make me feel much better.
Tomorrow the cleaner is coming and I don't know what she will think when she sees lots of towels and blankets down with blood stains....perhaps she won't hoover the room. She always talks to us in a very soft voice and I think she likes us.

Mummy and Daddy seem extra worried about my poor little toes, and I know Daddy is very upset by them but they are doing a good job of acting like everything is normal which helps me enormously.
It is Day 7 of me with no claws, and the bleeding and rawness has not stopped yet. It seems to be bothering me more now than when I first came home. I hope the vet won't mind me continuing with the cimalgex.
He might want to stop it though, if it causes more bleeding.

Last night, I had really nice cuddles with Daddy on the sofa and on a nice soft towel. I had to keep nudging Daddy though to tickle my tummy, and I had a big long stretch as well. Dizzy was all cuddled up with Mummy and we all watched a film.

I must dash, as I have to keep watch at the front door to tell Mummy and Daddy when the Chinese delivery arrives. Can't wait for those prawn crackers....

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Toes are still a bit raw.....

Yesterday was a tiny bit of a sore day, but Mummy and Daddy managed to wash my Royal feet twice. Trouble is, big boy Dizzy keeps barging in for a biccie but he has done NOTHING to earn it? He hasn't had all his claws ripped off and suffered foot baths and horrible medicines has he?

I got a little bit excited when Daddy came home, and it meant that getting up in a rush, I hurt a raw toe and it bled a bit. Sheets are still down everywhere downstairs. It will have soaked through to the carpet no doubt. Good job it is old and that Dizzy has already soiled it.

Anyway, I still had painkillers and an evening bath. Daddy lifted me right in the air, and I did that rigid statue greyhound impression and I could tell Daddy's back was killing him so went easy on the struggle.

Today I went for a tiny walk and a bit of a sniff and did my ablutions. I liked being included, last night when I got left indoors while Dizzy and Daddy went out I was very very jealous and could not stop whining and with quavering wobble to my girly voice. However, today my toes look the same, are still a bit bleedy but smell all clean with nice toasty warm pads. Mummy keeps telling me she can smell happy dog feet, they have a special warm hammy cheese smell when they are clean and dry. 

I have let Mummy go and write up my blog, and she also drew this silly picture of us....I can't say the hounds are lifelike, but we are a comedy duo and we do stick our head out the window looking just like the cartoon. Because Dizzy is so much taller than me, it makes for a comic effect.


I would just like to add, that I have done a marvellous job of keeping quiet and out the way in general, and I believe that I have every right to be having extra biscuits and taking part in eating the salmon, mackerel and tuna (yes, I have spied that in the cupboard....mine is the £5 tin of red wild salmon please....)


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I'm back!!!

I'm back from the vets now. When got home I was still a bit dopey but when I saw Mummy opening a can of salmon, I knew I had to get there before greedy Dizzy and it was a race....suddenly I was alert again.

Then I had a lot of snoozes on my bed and rolled over for tummy tickles. That reassured Mummy that I was not that bad. And I managed to grab my favourite spot on the sofa for the night, before Dizzy got there. Daddy was worried about me in the night so he got up and checked on me, and I was doing my upside down super dog impression, with all paws up and belly exposed....they knew if I was doing that I must be alright. Here is me doing super dog just to show you an example of what I was doing last night, but on the sofa.

I had my horrible tablets this morning. Mummy just quickly grabbed me and put them down my throat. Damn! If she had slipped them in my food, I would have been able to hide them in my cheek then spit them out down the back of the bowl or somewhere else equally as surreptitious.

Oh dear, I am afraid I was not quite as brave when it came to foot bath time. I have to have each paw standing in a foot bath for 5-10 mins, twice a day, until the claws grow back....which is going to be between 6-9 mths! But this morning was my first foot bath at home. The nurses at the vets told Mummy and Daddy that I was fine with it yesterday, but I can't tell Mummy if that is true or not. I squeaked a bit and the water felt stingy so I was terrified. Mummy just did a quick dip then dry, then put antibacterial talc on them. I can't lick them now 'cos it will taste so horrible! Mummy is talking to the vets.....and I heard her telling Daddy that the foot bath is a 2 man job, and they are going to try a bigger but more shallow bath this evening...and will hold me in it...uh oh!

Now I feel a bit anti inflammatory tablet makes me a bit like a nice healthy snooze.
I don't feel like going for a walk and its cold and rainy outside. Daddy will take me for a drive instead and I can hang my head out the window, then have a quick wee in my favourite park, then home again.

Yesterday Mummy was a bit upset, she heard that some people have to put their dogs to sleep if their claws don't heel. But Linden, my favourite vet said that is not necessary. If my claws will not grow back and the exposed raw quicks are causing me lots of pain, then he can remove those. It might mean having no claws for the rest of my life, but apparently I can lead a normal life without them. Mummy cheered up when she heard that.

Everywhere I walk it is covered in soft towels or sheets...its like my own Royal carpet, just for me!
Mummy will keep washing them although they have not  turned bloody yet. I might end up having a little bleed, so the towels protect the carpet but also means I have clean sheets to walk on and less risk of infection.

Mummy hasn't put a picture up of my feet because it looks worse than it is. We would hate to put other people off the treatment as it is not normally as drastic as this. normally with SLO (see my other post about what that is) us dogs just lose one claw at a time...but I had all mine hanging off at once.
The quick is bright red when healthy, but it can also be quite messy and bloody looking and then on top of that my Royal feet are stained blue. I say this is so the nurses could identify me as purebred royalty and treat me accordingly but Mummy says that is nonsense and that they always paint bits that have been operated on to disinfect them but also identify which bits may be not well when the other staff check on me.

I would like to say a bit thank you to Linden, and his lovely practice Animal Ark. We have had such wonderful and urgent treatment there and apparently, most vets have not even heard of this and do not know what to do. We are always lucky with our choice of vet but it is about 2 hours away from us on a busy traffic day.Normally I hate men, mainly because of the racing industry, but Linden is in my inner circle of Royal subjects who I will allow the privilege of petting me and giving me biscuits. Not many men are allowed to do that. I would normally say, just leave the biscuits with my servants who will administer them later.

Bye for now....must go and snooze.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My Poor Little Toes
Poor Me! A couple of months ago, I kept shrieking every time Daddy came near me with the nail clippers. They thought I was making a fuss about nothing. Then about 2 weeks ago, a nail fell off and left the bare stump of a quick which was all raw and bleeding excessively. They stopped the bleeding and assumed I had got the nail caught on something and it ripped out. Even with just one nail like this it was awkward and painful and went on for weeks, sometimes bleeding, then healing over and over.
This weekend, on Saturday night Mummy and Daddy noticed my other claws felt a bit odd and unstable. By Sun eve they were separating from the quick and by Mon morning, the claws were hanging off and some were sticking out at right angles, it was an awful mess and I felt very sorry for myself. They took me to the vets, and I had to stay in and have every single claw removed under sedation. 

It was diagnosed, partly by Daddy then confirmed by the vet, that I have an auto-immune condition called Symmetrical Lupoid Onychodystrophy or SLO. This is an autoimmune condition and can cause severe damage to nails in the nail bed inside the toe joint, then when the claws grow they are deformed and separate from the quick. The diagnosis can be confirmed by amputating a whole toe and examining it, but that is a cruel thing to do to me and the symptoms are distinctive so it is best just to go ahead and treat it.

The nails if they do grow back may quickly crumble, or like me just separate and fall off leaving the living part of the claw exposed. It is a painful and bloody mess. With me there was no option but to have all the loose ones removed under sedation. I could not go home last night, or see Mummy and Daddy as it might have unsettled me. The bleeding stopped about midnight and I had overnight supervision from a nurse on night dutyon the animal ward.
Mummy and Daddy will be coming to pick me up later today and will need to take great care. No doubt it will be really painful and look very strange to them to have no claws. It takes around 6-9 mths for new claws to grow but SLO can be a lifelong condition and they may grow back deformed and in all likelihood, I will lose the new claws. I just have to hope it is only one at a time and very infrequent. We know from my last claw lost that even a short walk can start the bleeding again. It is quite a sad thing as I used to like to run so fast.

There are things Mummy and Daddy can do to help my new nails grow a bit better. They can supplement my Royal diet with omega 3 and fatty acids, and make sure I have enough Vit E. They can give me other supplements and make sure I have antibiotics as the exposed quick can easily get infected. I will need regular Royal foot baths too. I will have to walk on sheets (silk and pink perhaps?) and blankets as I am likely to leave bloody paw prints.
If the change in diet and supplements do not work, then the last resort is steroids....if that doesn't work not sure what they will do. I just hope my inability to walk and run properly at the moment will not last long. The next couple of months will be hard for me, but they will still take me out in the car and let me stand in the park so I can feels I have been somewhere. And, I might feel it is all worth it if I get to eat stinky fish for breakfast every day....apparently, the best tinned salmon is what works well I am told.....but only if the whole tin goes to me and I don't have to share with Dizzy.

If you own a greyhound yourself, take care to give them really good supplements of omega 3 and other vitamins. Don't wait until you see the nails suffer, because at that point it has taken over 3 mths to grow out of the paw and the damage is done much earlier, invisibly, inside the toes. Giving hounds etc supplements is not going to harm them if the amounts are considered safe by your vet. Mummy and Daddy did supplement me with her special food and vitamins. However, I do have other autoimmune problems like baldness around the backside and neck, a lichenoid type ulceration of her vulva and skin cysts.
Love to y'all, HRH Princess Lily (the 'Toe-less')

A strange thing happened last night.  I went to eat my dinner, glances over me shoulder, and saw I was the only dog with the only bowl of food....and the other bowl had water in. I felt a little subdued all evening. Things were not the same without having to fight for my favourite spot on the sofa, or barge someone out the way to get to the back door. And when I went into the garden, I had the whole place to myself to do my business.....what is going on? Oh, just realised, Lily is not here. She is like a very annoying little sister, but dare I say it, I might actually be missing her a little bit perhaps??
I heard that she is coming back later but I am not to get excited and leap at her, or stand on her toe less paws

Love Dizzy (usually the 'underdog' but temporarily the 'only dog')

Friday, January 13, 2012

Lifesize Greyhounds......we want a new toy like this.....but Mummy never makes us stuff anymore!