Thursday, December 30, 2010

Be Prepared

After cutting myself in a freak coffee cup accident on Monday night, I turned to the dogs' first aid kit to clean, control, and wrap the wound. When I updated my status on Facebook with the news of my trauma and the supplies I used, I received several emails about what I kept in the girls' first aid kit. So here's the list of stuff that is piled into tackle box:

The Basics: to me these are the items that should be in every greyhound/dog first aid kit

  • No burn wound cleaner
  • Q-tips
  • Cotton disks - these are easier to use than cotton balls IMHO
  • Non-stick gauze pads in assorted sizes 
  • Vet wrap - get a couple of widths (and colors)
  • Bandage tape - stick it on the floor or your pants first before applying to skin
  • Baby Socks - the 0-3 month baby socks work great for covering pad/toe injuries
  • Antibacterial Salve
  • Bag balm - good for conditioning pads
  • Peroxide - for inducing vomiting if needed 

Medication: you need a supply of these on hand, especially when you travel

  • Benadryl
  • Baby aspirin
  • Imodium 
  • Dramamine
  • Melatonin - good for nervous dogs in new places
  • Papaya tablets - you can find these in the vitamin section, good for soothing tummies and nausea
  • DMSO - this is a horse-lovers trick for soreness, purchase at tack store
  • Capstar - if you travel with your dog, you never know where you'll pick up a flea, or 10
  • Pain medication - talk to your vet about buying one or two pills to keep on hand

Tools: these will make your life easier if you have them

  • Ice/heat pack - they make the kind that your shake and get cold/hot instantly
  • Sandwich bags - good to cover bandaged feet to keep them dry
  • Rubber bands
  • Bandage scissors - you can order these from any medical supply and you'll be happy you have them
  • Medical gloves 
  • Zip lock bags
  • Bottle of water
Extras: these are more for OCD people like me

  • Canine first aid/cpr book - they have these on amazon
  • Pepper - I steal borrow these packs from McDonalds. Good to help stop bleeding.
  • Canned pumpkin - always good to have one on hand
  • Honey - in the event a dog's blood sugar drops
  • Ace bandage - this can help cover large wounds
  • Sunscreen - especially if you have a white dog
This list is far from a perfect. I know that you guys have other things you keep in your dogs' first aid kits. Or better yet, stuff you wish you had when you had an emergency. Share your ideas in the comments section. I'm always looking for tools to add to the ole' tackle box!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Beware of Blueberries

Kev: Why didn't you tell me we had blueberries?

Me: We don't.

Kev: Yes we do. I just found one next to my chair, see...

(holds out hand with fat, blue-ish, round thing with legs)

Me: That's not a blueberry.

Kev: Looks like one.

Me: It's an engorged tick. Probably thanks to Walter.

Kev: No it isn't.

Me: Look closer. It has legs.

Kev: Really?

Me: Yep, but if you still think it's a blueberry, go ahead and take a bite.

Kev: I'll pass.

Me: Smart boy.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Greyt Reindeer

Eventually all advertisers will realize that greyhounds/whippets/igs/sighthounds are the supermodels of the dog world. Until then, they will wear antlers at Christmas.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


My whole life I've loved clothes, shoes, accessories, jewelry - you get the picture. I'm a girly girl who likes to dress the part no matter where she's headed. Case and point: sporting events. Now, Kev simply throws on shorts and a t-shirt that has the logo of the team we are going to see on it. Me, I need to plan an ensemble that is team-supportive, weather appropriate and of course cute. 

So in August when I bought tickets to take Kev to Chicago to see the Patriots play the Bears for his 40th birthday, I knew it would be cold. No worries, I could come up with something cute and warm, like this little number:

As December 12 got closer and closer, and the weather man started laughing at all the idiots fans who would be attending the game last Sunday, I had to rethink my wardrobe. For those of you who do not follow the NFL, Sunday's game was one of the coldest on record: 9˚F,  -4˚F windchill and 55 mph wind gusts. These conditions caused me to dress like a ninja instead of like a cute football chick:

But it was worth it. I braved the cold for more than three hours without wussing out. The Patriots won and I received the title of coolest wife in America (no pun intended). I just wish it had a crown associated with it. Maybe some new Uggs instead?

Roxy likes to be cute too. She's been rockin' her PJ jammie jams despite the static electricity jumping all over the place. Beauty is pain.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I would have liked to watch her work her way up from the way back of the SUV to the front passenger's seat, but I had gone back in the house to get something I forgot. 

I think that my girls have some sort of low jack on me so they know when to attempt amazing acts of strength and courage and not get caught. I swear I was only inside for 30 seconds.

The funny thing is, I let her stay upfront and she rode so much better than she does in the back. No panting. No crying. No begging to put her head out the window. Looking back, I probably should have put the seat belt on her. I guess Kevin will have to ride in the back with Seka - if she lets him.

Roxy said she's been calling shotgun this whole time, but I obviously didn't hear her. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I'm Not a Vet, but I Play One on the Internet

There are days that I kick myself for not going to vet school. I've always loved the idea of caring for animals, helping them feel better and taking their pain away. I guess two things made me chicken out of taking the plunge - the idea of putting an animal to sleep and the math requirements to get through college. The panic that rises in me when I think of either of these two obstacles is equal - I kid you not.

But you don't have to have a degree to be an Internet animal health expert! Yep, if I see a symptom, I simply research it. And I don't want the stories about the dog who exhibited signs of XYZ but really had ABC. I like looking at the medical papers and reports that are being read by those up and coming vet students. So, I guess that's why I've spent so much time with Mr. Google tonight looking for diagnosing thyroid disorders in greyhounds.

We went in for a simple nail trim today (Dr. Hottie provides this torture service for free) and the young doctor (I call him Little Hottie) came over to love on Roxy, noticed her not-so-flattering skin and asked to take a closer look at her. We've been struggling with a horrible skin rash for the past two months - red bumps, puss, peeling skin, and her fur is coming out in tufts on her bum. It's not a pretty picture, but we've been managing it with benadryl, an herbal topical spray, a short-term antibiotic and a lot of telling her to stop licking. I don't do steroid shots with her if I can help it because it is hard on her kidneys and she is in constant need of going potty.

Little Hottie asked if we have tested Roxy for low thyroid. I know that greys have these issues. I also know that the medication is over-prescribed and the condition is poorly diagnosed. About a year ago, when we had a titer test done, we pulled a thyroid panel to see if it might be causing some of this itching and it came back low even for a greyhound. I chose not to medicate because she didn't have symptoms. Now I wonder if I should have done it anyway.

I will agree that Roxy has lost a lot of hair on her neck and back thighs. I'll also admit that her coat doesn't look super shiny, but she's never had the lush, long locks that Seka sports. We've not changed our food or feeding habits, so unless she has suddenly developed an allergy to chicken (in a multitude of forms) or ground beef I don't think it's a food issue. 

I know that just because the lab report shows a low number, doesn't mean it indicates a true thyroid issue. So I think that I'm going to bite the bullet, have Dr. Hottie pull blood for a particular thyroid panel and send it to a greyhound expert for a consult. 

Maybe it will help us find out what is wrong with little miss Itchy McScratchy Pants. Seriously, waking up every hour to a dog chewing, scratching, licking, or snarking herself isn't what I would call a good night's sleep. IMHO, as an expert Internet vet, we may be on to something.

PS: I apologize for the lack of photo today. Roxy would not let me photograph her from the rear.  Smart girl.