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659 A Name To All

About elenamarie

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  1. If you aren't certain what she's been eating, and given that she ate and kept it down afterward, I'd suspect something she scrounged or was given caused her vomiting. Assuming, of course, she isn't running a fever, etc. Make sure she isn't carrying drug-resistant worms, and enforce strict rules about what and when she's fed. Sarah suffered a bout of pancreatitis due to our giving her pig ears too often as treats. She's sensitive to too much fat in her diet. Once we ditched the high-fat treats, the pancreatitis abated and she returned to normal. ETA: regarding respiratory rate, I'd ask my vet to check her heart and lungs to ensure no physical problems. I live in a hot, humid climate and Sarah always pants more during the summer when outdoors and for a while after coming inside. She has her own AC vent and spends most of her time indoors when the heat builds. If the vet says her lungs and heart are fine, I'd assume heat and act accordingly. Offer her plenty of water, limit outdoor time to early morning/late evening, and give her a thin sheet or other cool item to lie on rather than a warm bed.
  2. Hi Everyone-- The surgery is over and the pathology report came back this morning. It was a Stage 2 Low Grade mastocyoma. Pathology says the excised tissue had 2.5 cms of clear surface tissue surrounding the lesion, and clear cell depth of 9 cells subcutaneously. Hence, the entire lesion was removed and shows no signs of metastasizing. There's no guarantee that a single cell hasn't migrated to a lymph node and will eventually show up but there's nothing we can do about that. Knowing me well, Dr. Strom told me that the pathologist included a study indicating the mean life span of dogs with that tumor of that stage and grade is 2.5 years. That gave me a bad jolt but it turns out that the study doesn't account for the age, breed, physical condition or cause of death of the dogs included in the study. Given that, and given Sarah's otherwise good health (despite the ZRD) we think the study doesn't say much about Sarah's ultimate outcome.He's promised to look for any data specific to Sarah's situation and send it to me if any is located. ETA: Dr. Strom ended up taking almost three inches in diameter after examining the area after shaving and seeing signs that it had started expanding beyond the original margin. I shiver just thinking about nine cells' worth of depth before the cancer reached other tissue. There's no way to know how long it would've taken the cancer to deepen that far but it isn't hard to imagine a much worse outcome had I waited to take her to the vet. Please, please don't ignore skin problems on your dogs. Sarah now must endure a monthly "chimpanzee party" consisting of a careful study of her skin--from muzzle to anus--to look for other lesions. Dr. Strom didn't locate any data on recurrence of mastocyoma but is another subject he will research. In the meantime, I'd rather endure her displeasure over the party than risk losing her to another lesion. I wish I'd photographed the lesion prior to the initial biopsy so I could post it here. All I can do is encourage everyone to take skin abnormalities seriously. Now we have 2.5 weeks of trying to keep the stitches intact so the incision will heal. She's on two sedatives that help but she's a Sibe and even drugged wants to act like one. Many thanks for all the good wishes. Sarah the evening post-op.
  3. Thank you Nix and Maz. Surgery is day after tomorrow and I'm already severely stressed out. Plus, while my vets do a lot of pathology in-house, they send cancerous tissue to a specialist, which means it will be at least several days before I know how bad it is. Trying to stay positive. Dr. Strom is such a great vet. He's returned two calls from me regarding whether or not additional procedures eg thoracic studies, should be included.
  4. We built a 5.5 foot tall fence out of anti-climb horse gauge mesh, with 9' posts concreted at 8' intervals. Yes it's expensive but it's the best way to protect Sarah from other animals coming in and her getting out. I've never tried wireless fencing but I'm almost positive it wouldn't work for Sarah. She's hunted, killed and eaten at least 25 rabbits over the past three years and that is the only item she will not give me without a "trade" of other meat for the dead/partially eaten rabbit. She's gone as far as snarling at me over it. If I didn't have that fence, she would race across that line in pursuit of a rabbit without delay. Costs can be reduced by doing the labor yourself (not fun, trust me, but it helps.) The last thing I'd do is rely on the wireless fences.
  5. Thank you Jo, Emma, Robke and BBava. I'll update with histopathology results ASAP. I hope others read this and pay attention while combing out the undercoat. I'd hate for anyone else to go through what Sarah is going through, and will go through soon.
  6. Thank you so much Andy. Dr. Strom estimated Stage 2 for the surgical estimate but we're both hoping it's Stage 1. I haven't been this frazzled since my daughter hemorrhaged following a tonsillectomy at age 17. It's the only thing I can recall worse than this, and that's because my daughter had blood pouring out of her mouth while I blew out my engine getting to the ER at 2 am.
  7. Sarah has been diagnosed with ZRD. While she has some small patches on her muzzle it's mostly around her eyes. When this issue popped up I started a thread on it with photos and the like. If you're interested, it's at
  8. Many people would protest my tactic but it's worked for 6.5 years. The one command for which Sarah ALWAYS receives a treat is the Come command. The few times she's gotten away from me, I call COME and she immediately returns because she knows she'll be rewarded. Of course I have to have treats in my pocket any time we're out and about but I'm okay with that. ETA: Everyone else is correct, do everything you can to ensure your dogs don't escape. But sometimes stuff happens.
  9. Hi Everyone-- It's been a while since I last visited. Sarah is six and a half now. Two days ago I came across a small, raised, solid, discolored bump on her right rear flank while back-combing her to get her undercoat out. After determining that the bump was solid, symmetrical and seriously discolored I called our vet, Dr. Strom. He had an opening two hours later and we were there. After taking samples of the lump and examining the cells microscopically, he diagnosed her with mastocyoma (mast cell tumor.) She goes into surgery Thursday, the earliest he could get her in. She has to have a 2" diameter circle of tissue removed for histopathology to determine the stage of the cancer and whether it's extended to the vascular system, indicating that it has metastasized. I wish I'd had the presence of mind to photograph the lump before heading to the vet but I was extremely worried and photography was the last thing on my mind. The lump could easily have been mistaken for a strange mole, or perhaps a tick's head had lodged there and it was an infected area. It did not cause her any pain at all, she didn't even flinch when I gently squeezed it to see if it was completely solid. It couldn't be felt by petting and running a brush over it neither caused a reaction from Sarah or a blimp in the brush. The photo below was taken after the top of the lump was removed for microscopic examination, but you can see how small it is compared to my fingers. Dr. Strom believes that it hasn't yet metastasized because it's quite small (between 1/8 and 1/4 diameter). It was pure luck that we found it at all given her coat. According to him, when small tumors are found owners often mistake the early stages of mastocyoma for moles, tags, insect bites, etc. and don't bring their dogs in until the lump has grown larger, and the larger the lump the more likely it has metastasized. Mastoycoma is often aggressive and waiting is almost certain to result in the cancer spreading and ultimately killing the dog. Although Dr. Strom doesn't believe it has spread, he can't be certain until the surgery. He's urged me to not panic but needless to say, I have and am. I'm going to lose my mind if I lose her. At any rate, I wanted to share this with you folks. While you're dealing with blowing coats, watch for odd skin items and if anything appears, don't wait to take your dog to the vet. God willing, Sarah will be fine after surgery and if so, it'll be because I immediately took her to the vet. I'm often called paranoid when it comes to her health and often my concerns are baseless, but this time my paranoia may save her life. As an aside, Dr. Strom did a literature review to determine whether ZRD is associated with an increased incidence of mastocyoma. He didn't locate any research to indicate a link but because both are immune system-based conditions, he thinks we should do regular skin checks post-op to ensure no other tumors appear. Since I haven't been here in a while, here are a couple of videos of my oddball baby. She adores citrus fruits and I had my son video her waiting for and devouring an orange slice to prove it to a skeptic. I'm also including a video of her unenthusiastic reaction to her first gift last Christmas and a photo of her and my granddaughter taken a couple of weeks ago. If you are of the praying persuasion, please pray for Sarah. We need all the help we can get. Orange Fiend IMG_0177.MOV "This is all I get???"
  10. My son selected Sarah's name. He begged and pleaded with his dad for a Siberian Husky puppy for his Christmas present. When asked why he wanted a siberian pup named Sarah he replied, "I dunno, just do." Therefore, Sarah it is. My son is registered as her owner on her papers but even he admits that in reality, she's mine. Her veterinary paperwork lists her as "Sarah Elks." It's become a big joke at the vet's office that is played on new employees. Her registration papers also list her as plain old Sarah. Apparently no one in Siberian history has selected Sarah as a name. My Umbrella Cockatoo came to me at age 20 with the name Casper. Since he was 20 years old I figured a name change would be a waste of time, though it's not the name I'd have selected.
  11. I second the probiotics. If it is a case of early c diff, the probiotics may head it off before it becomes a serious issue. I give Sarah probiotics after each round of antibiotics as a preventative. Good luck! Sometimes I wish they could talk English to make our jobs of keeping them healthy and happy easier.
  12. Looks to me like a "wooly" siberian. It's a flaw in the breed standard but some people breed for it purposefully. Could also be that the poor thing hasn't seen a brush in ages and is matted. Poor nutrition can also inhibit normal shedding, resulting in the too much hair look. I don't have mals but I've long thought malamutes are much larger than that. I vote husky, either "wooly" or in desperate need of grooming and good nutrition.
  13. At only 19 weeks your pup is still very much in the "need someone to protect me" mode of thought. When you research the breed's development by the Chukchi tribe you'll discover that their dogs, particularly pups, were both free to roam and integrated into both the human and canine social structures. They were never left alone and being alone in that environment is a deadly threat. No, your home isn't the Chukchi penninsula but your pup doesn't know that. In time your pup will feel more secure alone. A conditioning program would likely work well. You step out of sight for one second (assuming the pup is not screaming) and then reward him for being calm. After a week of that, make it ten seconds and reward him for remaining calm. Gradually extend the time you're out of sight and reward the pup for remaining calm. Enlist the whole family in this program as dogs in general, and pups in particular, don't generalize well. In my experience with Sarah she outgrew this phase when she hit adolescence, which brings its own challenges. Hang in there!
  14. Sarah's last day in the Cone of Shame.