Saturday, November 7, 2009

Update (11/7/09)

I just wanted to post an update on how Penny is doing. I know I have not done this for quite some time. I am happy to say that Penny has been doing much better. I feel like I have finally getting a grasp on her problems. And since her condition has improved we were finally able to get Penny fixed, about 3 months ago, which was a big relief for me. Where should I start, I guess I will start with her biggest problem that pretty much started them all, her allergies.

Allergies (skin issues)
I have still been feeding Penny Wellness (the allergy one) since I still wonder if she may have a food allergy. In the future I plan to experiment a little to see if she does or not. I now believe that her skin problems were caused by a very bad case of dry skin. I determined this when her skin started to bother her and got red, right around the same time when my hands start to get dry and bother me, when it gets cooler outside. It makes sense because I could never understand why during the winter was when she was at her worst. During the summer she hardly scratches. It also makes sense that when I put the boots on her when she goes outside, she is 100x's better. I have been putting her boots on her again for the past couple of weeks (at least, maybe 3) and she has been doing fairly well.
Difficulty Eating
I am also happy to say that Penny has now been eating with no problem at all. I believe that the reason why she was having trouble eating was because she had fur or fur balls that was causing the problem. After she threw up some fur balls she seems to get much better, and now has no problem at all.

Burping up of Clear Liquid
I think that this was also associated with the fur balls, along with her difficulty eating. Since it also stopped after she threw up her fur balls.

Eye Problems
Penny's eye problems although we have not discovered a reason her eyes have improved drastically. For a very long time I was putting 2 and for a while 3 medications in her eyes. I did not really like any of them though, they all just seemed to dry out her eyes, and for a dog with a low tear count it just was not working out. As the medications started running out I slowly stopped using one at a time. The only thing that I continued to put in her eyes was artificial tears that I got at the store for $1.00 (vet said it was ok to give to her). Of all the things I was putting in her eyes it seemed to be the only thing that did any good. When I had her on just the artificial tears it was so much easier to clean out her eyes, and she can see again! Before she had some much gook in her eyes that she did not like to even open them, she would just lay around and sleep most of the day. But now she is playing again! And she is much much happier. I have been putting the artificial tears in her eyes about 3x's a day for about 3 weeks now. After I put the artificial tears in her eyes I clean them out with Q-tips every time. It seems like every time I clean out her eyes their has been less and less discharge.

She still has ear problems, of and on, but Oxyfresh Ear Cleaner seems to control them fairly well, as long as I can catch the problem soon enough. Since her ears do not stick up it is easy to not realize that her ears may need some attention. She does not ever scratch them when they are bothering her so if I do not check them often I may not realize there is a problem until they smell, which at that point they are pretty bad. It then takes a while to get them back to where they should be, but we are working on it, and it is getting better.


So to sum things up Penny has been doing much much better. Allergies and skin problems are mostly understood and becoming under control. She has not had any difficulty eating, or burping up of liquid for many months now. Her eyes are improving and getting much better everyday. Since her last problems with seizures she has not had any episodes, not even when she has been very active. I have finally found a way to control her ears without having to go to the vet every other week, which is very good. Also her dry nose does not seem to be as bad as it has been before, still slightly dry but not anywhere as bad.

Copper and Diabetes
After all that good news I do have a some bad news to share also. Right around the time that I started to feel I was getting a grasp on most of Penny's problems our other dog Copper was diagnosed with diabetes. It has been a rough past couple months. He has slowly been getting better, but we are having a lot of trouble trying to get him to gain weight. Before the diabetes he use to weight somewhere around 65 lbs. he now weights 45 lbs. He just does not seem to want to gain weight. I am not considering making up a special diet, that is specially designed for him. If anyone knows of a good web site or some one who is good at specially designed diets, I would love to know about it. I am hoping that one day soon both Penny and Copper can be happy like they use to be before, and all their problems can be under control.

I wanted to post this update so in case there is anyone out there that has had any of Penny's problems maybe it can offer some possible solutions or some things to try for your pet. I know how difficult it can be to see you pet unhappy and uncomfortable and not know what to do to help them, and what it is like to seem like there is no end in sight. I now have hope that if you do not give up there is an end in sight, it may take a while but it is there.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Update- June 1, 2009

I have not posted an update for some time now and thought that I better do so.

For about the past week Penny's allergies seemed to have really improved. I am wondering if maybe her allergies are food related and maybe she ate something she should not have eaten.

Still the same have not really improved. Optimmune (3 times a day), and Dexacidin (two times a day).

They were red inside and had a slight smell to them. I am now putting Mometamax in her ears once a day (started Wednesday May 27th).

Difficulty eating
She does not seem to be having much trouble eating now. Not quite normal but much better. I have still been putting a small amount of water in her food.

Burping up clear liquid
She has still been doing this when she gets active, although today Penny and Copper were playing with their new toys together and she did not burp anything up. I still wonder if all the fur that she ingested when she was severely chewing on her paws could be causing this and the trouble eating. It makes sense to me, after all how many different problems can one dog possibly have?


On Wednesday I took Penny to the vet for an allergy outdoor allergy test. Hopefully the results will be in soon, and it will tell us something.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Copper's Eyes and Update- 5/13/09

Copper's Eyes and Nose
I think Penny's eye problem is contagious. Yesterday I noticed that Copper had some discharge in his eyes similar to what Penny gets in her eyes. This is the first time that I have ever noticed Copper to get this. It was not as bad as Penny's, by far, and today I do not notice any in his eyes, but that is also the way Penny started out. I also noticed that today his nose is also dry, which it usually is not. So I am wondering if the two are connected.

Update (Penny)

Penny's Eyes
I do not think there has been much of a change in Penny's eyes. Still pretty much the same.

Penny's Face

Penny's face has gotten much redder and there are now two or three spots that are open cuts.

Her feet still look the same, little red, but not bad at all, and they seem to be staying about the same, which is good.

Penny's belly looks really good now, all the redness as pretty much gone away and looks mostly normal.

Dry Nose
Still very dry.

I think that the stuff that I put in her ears did help a lot. The areas that were open soars have been slowly going away. I think on Sunday I will put it in her ears again, that will have been a week since I last put it in her ears.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Ear Cleaner

Today I put Oxyfresh Ear Cleaner in Penny's ears.

It looks like she has been scratching her right ear a lot today, because she has more fur scratched off compared to yesterday.

Tomorrow I am planning on taking Penny for a walk around the yard. She has not been really active since the last time she had seizure problems. I have been trying to deal with the allergy problems and have only wanted to deal with so many problems at once. I think she does need more exercise though, I figured that I would start her off easy and she how she does. If she does ok then I can slowly increase her activity level. I will post back tomorrow as to how she does.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Update- May 9, 2009

I am beginning to get worried that Penny's allergies may be returning.

I believe that it was around April 25th that I decided that I would try taking Penny outside without her boots on. At first there seemed to be no difference in her paws and the amount that she was chewing on her paws, and it is hard to tell for sure but I do not believe that there is really a difference as of today.

Red Skin on Face
What does seem to have gotten worse is the areas on her face where you can see her skin, they pretty red, which they have not been for a while. On one of her ears is a large spot, then a little by her nose and somewhat around her eyes. I have noticed her a couple of times rub her face on the ground, but I am not sure if it is because of her eyes, ears or allergies.

Her paws are slightly red on the bottom, but in between her paws, the skin on the top is not really red at all.

For a while her belly was very red and dry, but it has now mostly cleared up, and is looking pretty close to normal.

Penny's eyes have pretty much stayed the same.
I am now using:
Optimmune: 3 times a day
Neo-Poly-Bac: (Triple Antibiotic Ointment) (Instead of Artificial Tears) 2 times a day
I believe that it has been about 2 weeks since I switched from the Artificial Tears to Neo-Poly-Bac.

I am beginning to think that Penny's ears may be infected again.
Left ear- Does not look real bad inside. There is a little build up, but not as much as there has been in the past. This is the ear that is red on the outside of the ear and she is missing quite a bit of fur, so it seems like she must be scratching it.
Right ear- This is the one that I am starting to get very concerned about. There is not a ton of build up in this ear but there is a lot of spots where she must have been scratching because it is all scabby. I would like to put some stuff in her ears but I am hesitant to do so because of the scabby areas. I have not seen her ear bleeding at all, but it seems like every time I look inside her ear there are more and more scabs.

Unusual Eating
Her eating is sill the same as the last time I posted, and I have been putting some water in her food, which seems to help her have less difficulty when eating.

Dry Nose
Her nose is usually still very dry, and now her lips are very dry, and scabby is some spots. I am not sure if the dry lips are related to her allergy problem or her dry nose problem.


I plan to give Penny a bath, and to start putting her boots back on her when she goes outside, to see if there are any changes, and see if it makes a difference.

I was wondering if she could possibly be allergic to pine. It would make sense why she was sill having such bad allergy problems during the winter, because of our christmas tree, maybe? Plus we have a lot of pine trees everywhere, and they are still around even during the winter. I would make sense why she improved so much as soon as I started putting her boots on her.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Info about Penny's Mom and Update- April 23, 2009

Information about Penny's Mom
Today my mom talked to the breeder that we got Penny from. She asked her about Penny's mom and if she ever had any problems with her. Here is what she told her:

First of all she said to never use Hartz Products. As if I didn't already know that one, I would never go near any Hartz Products, ever. Then she told her that Penny's mom did in fact have allergy problems. She told her that her vet determined that she was allergic to eggs. I do not think that they did any testing, but somehow they narrowed it down to eggs. She also mentioned that she would have trouble eating because of her allergy to the eggs. She told her that she would get ear infections often but would take care of the problem herself. I think that she fed her Purina Dog Chow, and would bathe her (no more than) once a month with Oatmeal Shampoo. She does not have Penny's mom any more, but claims to know the people who have her now, so I am not sure how her mom is today. She did not mention anything about seizures or eye problems, but who knows that does not mean that she didn't have those problems also.

So now things are all beginning to make sense. If you ask me I think that it was irresponsible of her to breed her mom, and even worse that she did not inform whomever bought one of the puppies. But, I am grateful that she was willing to tell us what she did and not just hide it all entirely. Besides I am not doing this to start an ethics debate, and just wish to get my dogs problems solved. The breeder whom Penny came from does not breed goldens anymore anyhow, so the damage that has been done is done.

Penny's Unusual Eating
I was finally able to get some videos of Penny eating.

I wish I could have taken better videos but this was the best I could do for today. I used a digital camera, so I was only able to take 30 second videos and the quality is not the best. This was the simplest and quickest way to do it, so here they are:

When she first starts eating, she just seems to chew every piece, then she begins to lay down and chew the food on the floor. This video shows her just before, and then the first time that she lays down to eat.

This video shows her trying to chew and eat her food while she is laying down, This is probably the best one that show how much trouble she has.

And one last video

Her eating may not seem unusual to everyone, but it is definitely not normal for her. She use to inhale her food, so fast that I do not think that she would chew any of it.

My first guess would be that it is allergy related, but why did it just start now (when her allergies are not as much of a problem) and not before when her allergies were at their worst?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Update- April 22, 2009

I just wanted to post a quick update since I have not posted in awhile. There haven't really been any significant changes in any of Penny's problems since I last posted.

Penny's eyes get better for a few days and then get worse again. Eyes seem to change from day to day. One good thing is that she does not seem to squint like she did previously, so that leads me to believe that they do not bother her as much as they did before.

Unusual Eating
She is still having some trouble eating, but not as much as she first did. I think that the apple cider vinegar seems to help. For awhile she started to eat better, but now it almost seems like she has taken a step backward. When she started to get better it took her longer to eat because it was as if she had to chew every piece. Now she has been laying down and eating again. Once again it is not as bad as before though. I am going to try and get a video of Penny's eating so maybe I will have that to post within the next couple of days.

Burping up of clear liquid
She has only done this one time since I last posted and I believe it was only two days after my last post. Of coarse she has not been extremely active since I last posted.

Dry Nose
Here nose is still just as dry as last time. No changes here.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Update: April 12th 2009

To start off, yesterday Penny seemed to have a very good day. Her eyes were not as bad, and they did not have as much mucus in them throughout the day. Today on the other had was a bad day for Penny. Today was Easter, and the family came over so Penny was very active. I think it was too much for her. Plus everyone was dropping food, which of course she had to pick up. Table scraps probably are not the best thing for a dog with allergies.

Believe it or not her eyes did not get really really bad. I thought that they probably would since her eyes are usually the worst after she has had them open for a long period of time(when she is very active). They were only slightly worse than usual. Which is good.

Unusual eating
I do think that her eating is getting better. She now seems to be chewing the food where as she would normally just swallow it (or inhale it, which ever you prefer). I think that what ever was bothering her may be improving. Which is also good.

Burping up of clear liquid
This was Penny's main problem today. She must have burped up a mouth full of clear liquid at least 10 times through out the morning. I definitely does seem like she does this when she is up and about. It does not have to be when she has been extremely active, all she has to do is run around just a little bit in the house, in order for this to happen.

Dry nose
Today even though Penny was very active her nose still remained very dry throughout the day. Usually it seems like her nose may be dry but when she is more active it will become wet, not today though. She did drink some water too, how much I am not exactly sure.


Overall Penny was very tired after all the excitement today, which is very understandable, although I wish she wasn't. One good thing is that she has not had any seizures, which was something that I was worried about, since today was she was more active than she has been in a long time. Also in the past when she had seizures was when she was very active. Luckily so far not seizures:)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Update- April 9th 2009

Penny's Eye Problem
I have been trying to clean the mucus out of Penny's eyes (started around April 1st), and until today it seems like it has been helping, and she has seemed a little more comfortable. I am not sure why but today they seem to have much more mucus than the past few days. I have also started to notice that the skin around her eyes seem to be slightly red and a little irritated. It seems as if she has been rubbing her eyes some even though I have not noticed her doing so. I am hoping that this is just today and maybe tomorrow she will be a little better. It seems as if her condition can change suddenly in either direction (for the better or worse) from day to day.

Penny's Eating Problem
Today I tried taking a video of Penny's strange eating habits that she has developed, but she seemed to have a lot easier time eating today. I am not sure, but it seemed as if it was because she was focused on the camera. Before today every piece of food would end up on the floor and she seemed to struggle to get it to stay in her mouth to swallow. When she was done eating there would be tiny pieces of food all over the floor. She started this on I believe March 23th, about 2 1/2 ago. I am hoping that I am just getting worried about nothing an something in her mouth is just hurting her and it will heal and the problem will go away.

This may just be a minor problem that I am just over worrying about, but when you have a dog with so may serious problems that start off as just small things, it becomes hard to overlook anything unusual that she does.

Overall Condition
Her nose is still very dry most of the time and so are her lips. She does have some soars on her lips but she has had them for some time now and it is not a recent development. She has also spent most of her time sitting around sleeping like she has been since she started having her eye trouble.

That is it for today hopefully tomorrow she will have improved somewhat.


Medications she is on now:
Optimmune- 3 times a day- for eyes
Artificial Tears- 2 times a day- for eyes

I have also been giving her about 1 or 1 1/2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar with her food. I figured it softens up her food, which should make it easier for her to eat, and it is also very good for them. I started putting it in her food about 2 days ago. I have given it to her before and it greatly improved the softness of her coat, which is always good, especially for her since her coat is usually not soft at all.

I did clean out her eyes somewhat today but not perfectly like I did yesterday and the day before.

A little bit about Penny

A little bit about Penny
Penny is a purebred Golden Retriever. I have had her since she was 7 weeks old. She was born on May 16th 2006. For the first two years of her life she was perfectly normal, healthy and full of energy.

Before the problems began and when allergies started
In those first two years the only problem that Penny had was with ear infections, which seemed to be a problem that kept coming back. Other that that the main problems did not start till after she was 2 years old, when she suddenly developed allergies. It mainly affected, but was not limited to, her face and paws.

Seizure Problems
While we were struggling to gain control of her allergy problems she started to have seizures just after she had been very active. Her seizures were not like the common seizures in which they stiffen up or shake. She would be acting completely normal and all of a sudden start to run around as if she was afraid of in pain and cry continuously till she would finally stop and go back to normal. I did not consider that these episodes could be seizures until one day when she was extremely active and she suddenly collapsed and stiffened up (very, very scary). At this time she had just come off of steroids and I believe that it made the seizure problems worse.

After the seizures seemed to go away we struggled with her allergies for a while longer and then they got better. For a very short period of time she seemed to be improving greatly and almost seemed like the worst was behind us.

Current Problems- Eyes and other strange things
Currently her allergies do not seem to be as big of a problem, since her paws are just slightly red and her face is not red and bleeding. But now she has another problem, this time it is with her eyes. Her tear count is very low and so her eyes get all gooey, and at times have a lot of discharge. She has also developed some strange eating habits and from time to time will burp up some clear liquid. I am hoping that the strange eating habits and burping up liquid are not signs of more larger problems to come, but it worries me because her other larger problems have also started of small and gotten a lot worse. Hopefully it will be nothing serious. You can read more about her current condition in the Update post.

Detailed Information about Past Problems, Coming Soon
I am trying to get together a post with more detailed information about all her past problems but it may take a little while, I have a lot of information all over the place including a lot that is just in my head that I really must get written down before I forget more than I probably already have.

Why I created this blog

I created this blog for two main reasons:
  1. To give me an easy way to keep record of how Penny is doing from day to day. Since she has so many health problems if I do not write it all down I can easily loose track of what happened. This way I can easily take pictures of anything unusual and keep everything organized easily.
  2. Since there are so many unexplained problems that Penny has I am hoping that maybe someone who has had a similar problem with their dog could offer some knowledge and advice. I am starting to feel like Penny's seemingly never ending problems will never be completely solved. More than anything I just want my happy, full of energy dog back.

If anyone has any advice, suggestions, or simply would like to share problems that they have struggled with, that their dog had, please feel free to either post a comment or send me an email.