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....