Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Late-Breaking News

I intended on writing a full training update yesterday, but life got in the way.  My cat, Layla, suddenly started going to her litter box every few minutes, only passing small amounts of urine each time.  I know that urinary/bladder/kidney issues are something you really can't screw around with in cats, so I took the first appointment at the vet that was available (which involved waiting in the waiting room with someone who was euthanizing their dog, UGH, so sad) so I could try to figure this out.

Fortunately, according to my vet, my kitty likely just has an infection.  The vet said that the sudden onset implies this.  She was not concerned about kidney disease or anything like that.  She said stones/crystals are possible, but she felt around and didn't feel anything (and Layla didn't seem to be in much pain when she was doing so). Today's urinalysis results showed no crystals or stones, thank goodness.  They gave her sub-cutaneous fluids to flush out her system (some of which she still hasn't absorbed, so she's looking like a football player with big puffy shoulders) and a 10-day antibiotic.  She seemed to go to the box less almost immediately after the first dose, so hopefully, hopefully, hopefully, we caught what ever it is and it'll go away and never come back.

On a happy note, my vet said it'd be alright to start giving my cat some canned food again.  She is only on a dry prescription allergy food, the food that really saved her after her very bad illness in 2005.  Though, ideally, I'd like to switch off of that and find something different, I don't want to mess around with her system too much.  So, I'm going to leave it and supplement with some canned food a few times a week.  Layla got a taste of wet food for the first time in probably about five years today - Wellness CORE Grain-Free Salmon, Whitefish and Herring.  So far, she's kept it down with no problems.  Yay!


As for Marge..

Demonstration Monday
Okay, so she wasn't a really demo dog, but she did something pretty big on Monday.  She accompanied me to the Pet Agility class that I teach and did really, really well.  She hung out in a crate for the duration of the class - she didn't LOVE it (evidenced by the peanut-butter stuffed Kong that she left uneaten), but she didn't make a fuss, either.  Her one grumble of the night came when the other teacher stood near the door to the crating room and told her dog to shush.  Marge gave her the stink eye from her crate, but when I went over to make sure she was okay, she settled down.

At the end of class, Marge got to come out for a few minutes.  She met the fearful dog that I've been working with and really liked her.  (Which reminds me - that doggy's been doing pretty well.  She's still kind of "my responsibility" in the class. She can go through the tunnel now and we're just beginning to extend it!  And, with my help, she put three paws on the A-Frame.  This was all using no force.. just positive reinforcement and patience.)  I let Marge run around loose for a few minutes when everyone had left; she worked her A-Frame contact with me a couple of times, and that was it.  But, I thought that this was a big step for her.

Tuesday Agility
Marge has been ON FIRE at agility class.  Last night was not an exception. No videos, because I was by myself, but here's the course map:

I led out to the broad jump with Marge on my right.  Used my inside arm to wrap her around jump three and front crossed simultaneously to get to the dog walk.  Her contacts were FANTASTIC, including the A-Frame.  The offside tunnel entry didn't screw us up, either - just ran like hell diagonally to it - and her teeter was both quick and somewhat independent.  No problems getting to the A-Frame, and then the rest of the course was just a pinwheel with an easy weave entrance and one final jump. 

I wish I could move up to the Excellent class, which runs two courses each night instead of just one.  But, the time is inconvenient for me, and there isn't enough room in the class.  Oh well.

Our next trial is a week from Friday.  It's at a new site that neither of us have been to before. I'm just hoping for cool temps and no noise.

As for my last post, thanks for your thoughts and ideas.  Nothing has happened since then, so I'll just try to stay diligent and hopefully make more progress on the issue.


SissySees June 9, 2010 at 3:22 PM  

Wellness Core served Sissy well, for a while. Be sure to sign up for their newsletter to get a coupon every month!

An English Shepherd June 9, 2010 at 3:44 PM  

Sorry to read she has nort been well :-(


Golden Woofs! SUGAR June 9, 2010 at 4:22 PM  

Woof! Woof! Sending my Golden Healing Thoughts to your kitty. Oh! Do I miss agility. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Deborah June 9, 2010 at 6:02 PM  

I am glad your kitty is going to be OK. That is so scary, I had to take Lou once to Tufts because he got sick in the middle of the night. I also read your post about your Dad, that is so strange. I have had dogs and cats that didn't like certain people, I just add it up to that they are like humans and you can't like everyone! Or can you ????
Have a nice night!

Amy / Layla the Malamute June 9, 2010 at 6:33 PM  

I'm glad that Layla had such a fast reaction to the antibiotic. That's the good thing about not waiting around, the longer they have infections untreated, the longer it takes to kick them. Sounds like you caught it super early! I bet she's loving the canned food, too.

Congratulations on the improvements from the fearful dog. That's a LOT of improvement in a short amount of time. But you must be joking about not using force to train agility. You mean you didn't drag her up the A-frame by her prong collar? (So, so kidding.)

You guys will LOVE Thompson Park. It's easily one of my favorite parks. I don't know how close it'll be to the show, but there's a gigantic lake that's very nice to walk around. I've never walked around the entire thing, but all the trails are very pretty. I don't think they allow dogs near it, but they have deer that you could feed. I don't think anyone sells feed there, but you can bring your own. I really hope we're able to go to that trial too.

Amy / Layla the Malamute June 9, 2010 at 6:36 PM  

Oh, I almost forgot. I found an agility quote that got me all choked up thinking of Layla, but you'll probably like it for Marge too:

"If natural law refused her wings, that law she would defy, for she could do unheard-of things, and so, at times, could I." -Ogden Nash

Cyndi and Stumpy June 9, 2010 at 6:42 PM  

I am glad Layla is on the mend! so sorry you missed the khontest!

Why am I NOT surprised Marge is doing so well? It's great to hear!

the teacher's pets June 9, 2010 at 6:43 PM  

It has been a loooong time since I've visited your blog and it looks like you have a new template and I like what I see! As you may remember, I tried changing my template and I nearly lost EVERYTHING so you must've found a reputable company to help you out!
So glad you shared your kitty with us! I never knew you had Layla until now so it's nice to meet her! I can relate to worrying about cat's kidney/urinary issues b/c of my tabby, Henry, who had a few urinary tract infections and they were all related to stress, believe it or not. In addition to the UTI meds he was prescribed an anti-depressant that was in the form of a cream that had to rubbed into his inner ear! What a new experience that was for both of us! Glad Layla is back to her normal self now!

Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart June 9, 2010 at 7:29 PM  

Poor Layla. I'm glad she turned the corner back to health fast.

Two French Bulldogs June 9, 2010 at 8:13 PM  

Our paws are crossed furr kitty
Benny & Lily

Dexter June 9, 2010 at 8:59 PM  

I hope that it is not serious. Those subcutaneous fluids to make one look a bit enlarged, but she carries it well.


NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! June 9, 2010 at 9:20 PM  

We hope THIS Layla is purring well tonight!

Thanks fur the Marge updates too!


Bijou June 9, 2010 at 9:38 PM  

Hi Marge and Sam,

Sorry your kitty was sick, but happy you got good news it was not too serious. I bet she enjoyed the yummy wet food.


Diana June 9, 2010 at 9:48 PM  

Im so glad your cat is getting better. I hope it continues. Great job in class!! Diana

The Army of Four June 9, 2010 at 9:49 PM  

We are so glad you got Layla in and that she's going to be OK!!! Please keep us posted!
Tail wags,

Scout and Freyja June 9, 2010 at 9:52 PM  

I am so happy that your kitty is going to be OK. I know all too well how quickly kitties can get sick. Sometimes it seems that it happens in a matter of minutes.

Good for Marg to be such a sweet girl. Given all of her baggage I'd say she's making great progress - by leaps and bounds.

houndstooth June 9, 2010 at 10:05 PM  

Aw! We hope Layla recovers soon! Being sick is no fun!

We're glad to hear that Marge has made such great progress, too! Good luck on Friday!

houndstooth June 9, 2010 at 10:05 PM  

Aw! We hope Layla recovers soon! Being sick is no fun!

We're glad to hear that Marge has made such great progress, too! Good luck on Friday!

D.K. Wall June 9, 2010 at 10:24 PM  

Best wishes for a quick recovery, Layla.

Golden Samantha June 9, 2010 at 10:30 PM  

You did a great job catching whatever it was with Layla! Pawesome that she is doing okay. It sounds like Marge is also doing amazingly well in her crate. I didn't know you taught a class - no wonder you are a wonder! I totally admire your training techniques with Marge so much. I don't understand that course, but know it must have a high difficulty rating! Congrats!
Hugs xoxoxo

Sammie and Mom

BRUTUS June 10, 2010 at 1:05 AM  

Well that's a bunch of good news! I'm really missing agility training, being on the road right now (with my in-laws, UGH). Keep seeing posts from trial results of my pals at home and feeling like we'll be REALLY rust after a few weeks off! Our next trial is mid-July, so looking forward to getting home & back to work! That course you posted is wicked, you must be doing awesome to be able to handle it!


Chris and Ricky June 10, 2010 at 7:22 AM  

Congrats on the great work with the fearful dog - you're the best person for that job! And sounds like Marge is doing so well in class - that course was not easy! We're seeing a lot of wraps around jumps - maybe they were always there but we're noticing it more? So the opening to that course was good practice!

Hope kitty Layla is all better now!

Kathy Mocharnuk June 10, 2010 at 11:23 AM  

I am soooo happy your kitty sounds like she is on the mend and how lucky for her getting some great wet food, ummm.
Marge really does sound on fire, you guys are going to really have fun at the trial I bet!
Really neat the other doggie you are looking out for is doing so well, I just think it is so cool when a dog that might be a little reactive just happens into a class where there is someone who can show them a few things, just think if that dog had ended up in a class where there was someone not as versed in such things and with a full class on their own...that poor puppy would never have this chance and the poor owner might have been overwhelmed enough to take the dog home and not try classes again. See you are changing more lives then just Marge, that is neat.

Jules June 10, 2010 at 2:20 PM  

I hope your kitty is well soon. It is so scary to have a sick critter. She is lucky you are so attentive!

Very cool that Marge is doing so awesome!

KB June 10, 2010 at 6:03 PM  

I hope that your cat is ok. Sending Labraduo good vibes your way. I know all about urinary tract and kidney infections from my K who has already had 9 lives at this point. Good that you took such rapid action.

We just restarted our backyard agility and, except for popping out of the weaves early a few times, K didn't forget a thing. I need to build us a few more pieces of equipment so that the handling can get more challenging. I love reading about your agility experiences - it's an inspiration!

Gus, Louie and Callie June 10, 2010 at 6:59 PM  

Oh we sure hope the kitty is ok in no time...
Looks like you are doing great with your trials. Keep up the good work..

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Scout and Freyja June 10, 2010 at 7:06 PM  

We just sniffed our was over from The Portuguese Water Blog celebrating their red bandanna day.

Marg, we are sending you smoochies 'cause you are so furry special☺

Golden Woofs! SUGAR June 10, 2010 at 9:24 PM  

Woof! Woof! ME Again, Sugar. Just want to say hello n wishing you Happy Bandana Day. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Muttsandaklutz June 11, 2010 at 10:25 PM  

So glad to hear Layla will be just fine, what a relief! What a pretty girl, too.

Looking forward to your upcoming trial! :-)

Cheryl, Indiana, Shingo and Molly June 12, 2010 at 10:41 AM  

We sure hope that Layla is feeling much better now!!!

Happy weekend!

Woofs and Kisses
The Fiesty Three

Kari in Alaska July 4, 2010 at 10:48 PM  

so glad it turned out to be nothing major for Layla!

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