I'm For Bikes!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Long Journey Finally Over...I Hope

Bailey had her 5th treatment for demodectic mange yesterday, and the results of her skin scrape were.....


Wait for it......


NEGATIVE!!!! YAY!!!!

For those who don't know, Bailey is a 1 yr. old chocolate Lab mix I found at my school back in February. She was running around campus and my students - knowing how much I love dogs - told me about her and eventually helped me catch her. I brought her home and took her to the vet, where she was diagnosed with several ailments (you can read about them here) including demodectic mange. The vet's initial treatment idea was to use something called ProMeris. This is a topical drug used for flea and tick control that also, according to the vet, had proven successful in treating demodex.

Now, I don't know about you, but I'm VERY picky about what I use on my pets. I decided to do some research on ProMeris before I bought any and BOY am I glad I did! I read some absolute horror stories of pets being permanently disabled or even dying due to this treatment, so there was no way I was going to use it on Bailey. Add in the fact that it's also toxic to cats (of which I have 3) and that's a definite no-go.

Damn good thing, too, because ProMeris has now been taken off the market and is no longer being produced. YES!! I was right!!

Since the mange was localized, mainly on her face, I tried Goodwinol ointment since it seemed pretty harmless. Unfortunately, it didn't work either. In fact, Bailey's mange went from being just on her face to several spots in her sides, back, and legs. I was getting desperate. This poor puppy was going bald before my eyes.

Before


I did more research and found something called Dermisil, which looked very promising. I liked that it was more organic and not so much a chemical, so I tried it. Nope. Didn't do a thing. She was losing fur even more rapidly than before.

Before

Before

After exhausting all these options, I took Bailey back to the vet to see what else could be done. This is where I learned about ProMeris being taken off the market. The vet (a different one) recommended doing a Mitaban Dip treatment series. I had read about this and was skeptical about it as well, but after asking MANY questions of the vet, decided to go ahead with the treatment. Basically, it's a 6-week series of medicated baths followed by the actual dip, with a skin scraping done after the 5th dip to make sure the mites are gone. If the test is negative, she is given one more dip just to be sure, then she's done. I would take Bailey in at 7:30am and she would stay at the vet all day to dry off and for observation to make sure she wasn't experiencing any major side effects. The only side effect I saw was that she would be very drowsy when she got home...but I was also giving her Benadryl to help relieve any itching she might be experiencing so that probably contributed to the drowsiness.

She's been in treatment for 5 weeks now, and the improvement is amazing. Her fur is growing back and her coat in general is glossy and soft, and she has experienced no adverse effects from the treatment. She still has a few spots on her face, but they are improving rapidly. Now that her skin test came back negative, she'll be done after next week's treatment. Yay!! 

This was definitely a learning experience. If you are reading this and are planning to get a dog or puppy, make sure they are mange-free! The vet thinks it's very possible Bailey got demodex through her mother, since it can be passed on from mother to puppy (this is why it's highly recommended that female dogs with demodex be spayed so they can't breed. Bailey will be getting spayed later this summer). The main thing now is to make sure her immune system stays strong, since a suppressed immune system is one of the main reasons the mites get out of control.

I know we're not quite out of the woods yet, but the negative result was very encouraging, and it's obvious just by looking at her that she's improved.

Cheers, Bailey!
After

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Saga Of The New Shoes



Can you think of a better way to spend a summer Sunday afternoon than going out into the sizzling heat and walking around the outlet mall?

I didn't think so!

As averse as I normally am to shopping in ANY kind of mall, I have to admit I was pretty excited about this little jaunt. I hadn't been to the outlet mall yet so Sig (who also needed new shoes) and I decided to brave the 100+ degree heat and Sunday shopping crowds and wander from shop to shop, looking for the ever-elusive, oft- dreamed-of-but-seldom-found

PERFECT PAIR OF SHOES

Sig had her sights set on a new pair of Nike Free running shoes. I've never met a pair of Nike shoes I liked (they just don't feel good on my feet, sorry) so my goal was to find a good pair of Saucony running shoes.

After hitting several shops and walking out empty-handed, we saw, in the distance, shimmering like a mirage, the blessed sign of The Holy Swoosh.

Yes, we had finally found the Nike outlet store. On the complete opposite side of where we had parked.

Oh, well.

We went in, greeted by a welcome blast of arctic air conditioning, and Sig was drawn to rack upon rack of Nike shoes as a moth to the flame. A nice young man intercepted her and asked if he could help, so she asked him if they carried the Nike Free.

Much to her dismay, the answer was no. NO?? It's a freakin' NIKE store, for Pete's sake! He was very nice and tried to help her find something comparable, but only the Nike Free would do for the Sigmeister. I couldn't blame her. She had her heart set on something and the Temple of the Holy Swoosh had let her down.

To make matters worse, we had spotted a pair of Frees in another store but the price tag was a bit too steep, which is why we kept searching. When Sig asked what the price at the Temple of the Holy Swoosh would be - if they carried them - the nice young man mentioned a price that was about $40 cheaper than they were at the other store. Ouch. Talk about rubbing salt in the wound.

We continued the journey and ended up in another store which, to my delight, had a Saucony shrine right at the entrance. I found a pair I liked but, true to how our luck was going, they weren't available in my size. It seemed our shoe sojourn was destined to end in failure.

Well, not total failure. Sig did find two pairs of tongs she's been wanting for her kitchen, so it wasn't a total loss.

TONGS, I said!! Get your mind out of the gutter.

Anyway, we left the outlet mall and were in search of something to eat when I remembered there was a new Academy Sporting Goods store on the way home, so we decided to stop there and check things out.

HAL.LE.FREAKIN'.LU.JAH!!!  

They not only had a fairly large selection of Sauconys to choose from, but also a pair of Nike Frees for Sig! Mission accomplished!!

I tried on several pairs of Sauconys, the Brooks Ghost 3 and Ghost 4, and a pair of Mizunos before settling on the Saucony ProGrid Guide 3. I like the Brooks Ghost 4, but I've never owned a pair of Brooks shoes before so I was a little nervous about dropping $80+ on a shoe I might not be able to wear. The Mizuno was a terrible fit so I put that box right back on the shelf. I was actually torn between the Saucony Guide 3 and the Saucony ProGrid Ride 3, but ultimately I felt more comfortable in the Guides so I went with them. 

Check 'em out:
Dig the lime green. Nice, huh?





These are designed for people with high arches who need heel support as well - that's me! Fingers crossed that this is a match made in heaven. I'll post a review of these snazzy beasts once I've put some wear into them.

Sig and I are planning to ONCE AGAIN start the Couch to 5K program tomorrow, now that we both have our fancy new kicks. Hopefully this time it will take!

After we bought the shoes we went to Chili's for lunch. Who knew shoe shopping would make one so hungry? While we were waiting for the food to arrive, Sig went to the restroom and it wasn't long before I got this text from her:

"There are two women in here having a very intimate convo. I don't think they know I am in here. Haha"

OMG that cracked me up! I replied "LOL!! Rip a big fart!" but I don't think she did. Too bad, I'd have loved to have seen their reaction.

I had the avocado burger and it was FANTASTIC. I'm trying to lay off soft drinks and caffeine so I had a mug of their strawberry lemonade....all I can say about that is YUMMMMM. 

Great cold drink on a hot day!
The puppies were ecstatic when we walked through the door, so they got a bit of romp time before their dinner. I just have to post this photo of Riley - she is absolutely the silliest pup in the world. I'm convinced of this. Looky:

Yep. She's comfortable with herself.

This silly pup (she's only 2) gets herself into the oddest positions. One day soon I'll do a blog post dedicated to Riley and what I like to call her "Svaroopup yoga". You'll crack up.