Thursday, 31 July 2008

Wiggle - Day 42

Wiggle has been to see Bridget the vet today and the very good news is that he has put on some more weight. Today Wiggle weighed in at 29.7kg's, so nearly 2kg's in the last fortnight. Obviously I need to make sure he doesn't put weight on too quickly to reduce the chance of joint problems, arthritis etc but he does get plenty of exercise so hopefully I can manage his weight gain steadily.

Wiggle has some new fur growing, which is great news. It's still just fine hairs but the patch where he was shaved for the intradermal testing already has a nice covering of new fur. His ears are still a bit gunky but much better than they were before. I'll carry on with the ear drops so all being well in a few weeks they'll be looking much cleaner. They must be more comfortable as Wiggle doesn't scratch much now.

Once Wiggle has been on his current dose of Atopica (150mg) for a month I am to reduce it back to 100mg and see how he goes with that. We're going back on the 26th so its nice to know that he's doing well enough not to need monitoring so closely.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Wiggle - Day 41

A quite couple of days for Wiggle. On Monday afternoon we had some torrential rain and lots of loud thunder so Wiggle decided to stand in the doorway and bark. Maybe trying to scare the thunder away? Fortunately we managed to get our walks in without getting soaked.

Wiggle had a bit of a traumatic incident earlier - a moth attacked him! He was minding his own business, snoozing in his bed when something made his nose twitch. Next thing, he was wriggling around, trying to get away from the scary flying beastie until he admitted defeat and jumped from his bed and ran to the other side of the room. Once I had removed the moth, Wiggle wasn't convinced it was safe to get back in to bed so is now sleeping on the floor. Next to the bed.

Tomorrow Wiggle is off to see Bridget and get his skin checked. He'll be weighed and I'm hoping he has put on a little more weight. Even if he hasn't, he's doing well still, taking his meds and looking much better than when he arrived.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Wiggle - Day 39

Another lovely sunny day here so we went out early before it got too warm for the boys. Sadly no water for Wiggle to play in today as we went walking in the fields across the road from our house, but Wiggle still had fun.

Sir H mostly trundled about, in between stopping to sit and yawn. Clearly it was all too much effort for the old chap. Since coming home Sir H has gone back upstairs and will probably stay up there for most of the day.

Last night I met my friend Sarah at the pub. Wiggle came too and was very good, said hello to everyone who went past and seemed to enjoy doing some people watching.

Wiggle's blog has now had over 3,000 page views, which is fab, considering its just a blog about a skinny baldy dog. Its nice to know that so many of you are interested in reading about Wiggle and his time here with us.

Wiggle - Day 39 Pics

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Wiggle - Day 38

We've had a lazy sunny Sunday here. As its so warm, Dolly's still not going out and Sir H went back up to bed after his breakfast, so just Wiggle for walkies. We went over to see my parents and Wiggle was his sociable self, giving his paw and watching my dad in the kitchen. Wiggle also found the two giant tennis balls that my mum got and had a play with those before they had to be taken away as he was getting a little too excited indoors!

With Wiggle being a youngster still and needing his exercise I took him to Coate Water on the outskirts of Swindon so he could have a run around and then cool down in the lake. Being a boy, Wiggle was very pleased to see a sign pointing to the Tree Collection!

As soon as Wiggle see's water, he's there, ready to splash around. He has been doing well perfecting his swimming technique and no longer looks as daft as before. He wasn't distracted by the geese and thankfully didn't find anything nasty and smelly to roll in today. The park was busier than when we've been before in the week, but Wiggle was a good boy and didn't raid any picnics, although did need calling back when the smell of a barbecue sent him off course!

Being such a warm day, we decided that an ice cream was in order and shared one back at the car before coming home.

Wiggle - Day 38 Pics

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Wiggle - Day 37

It's a lovely warm and sunny day here today so Wiggle had his walk early before it got too hot. Sit H decided to join us so we headed off across the fields. Wiggle had a good time chasing after his tennis ball and despite a few near misses, managed not to lose it. Sir H mostly pottered about, sniffing very interesting blades of grass.

Wiggle has been playing with bubbles in the garden but can't quite work out why they disappear when he touches them with his nose. He doesn't realise that he bursts the strange floating balls.

Wiggle was a perfect homechecking assistant yesterday - he met the resident dog, checked out the garden, found a tennis ball and before long had one of the family giving in to his demands of playing with him and the newly found ball. Thankfully when we left Wiggle didn't steal the ball, although I wouldn't have put it past him!

Somehow, Wiggle has managed to get his tail in the water bowl on the patio. Judging by the grass on his back, I suspect he was rolling around on the grass but got closer to the patio than he intended and ended up with is tail in the bowl. Strange dog.

Friday, 25 July 2008

Wiggle - Day 36

Wiggle has been having fun down by the river again today. Dolly is rather poorly so not up for going out and Sir H was upstairs and didn't want to come down, so it was just Wiggle and I. Wiggle wasn't at all bothered to not have his canine companions and did lots of running and chasing after his ball. He had a splash around in the river and made some new friends.

Surprise of the day was collecing a parcel from the post office. The very generous people at Danbury Mint sent 3 beautiful Labrador painted plates to be used for fundraising! Once again, I am feeling rather overwhelmed by the support and generosity shown towards Wiggle and LRSE&C.

Here's an example of the plates:

Wiggle will be coming with me this afternoon to carry out his first homecheck. I always take one of the dogs along when I do a pre-adoption home visit but as Dolly isn't feeling go good and Sir H is being unsociable today, Wiggle will be put to work.

Wiggle - Day 36 Pics

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Wiggle - Day 35

Today Dolly is in at the vets having x-rays of her mass in her chest, so the boys came with us and on the way back we stopped off at Maude Heath for a walk. Wiggle had a great time, running around, chasing his ball and being a loon while Sir H just pottered at his own slow pace.

Sir H must have found all the open space and fresh air rather tiring as he preferred to lay in the grass. He did have a few moments of walking but mostly sat and watched Wiggle, as you can see in the video clip!

Wiggle has been helping me with the housework in his own way - getting in the way of the hoover and dropping a ball at my feet while I hang out the washing. Meanwhile, Sir H came in from the car, got on the sofa and hasn't moved since.

Wiggle will shortly be having a bath while we wait for the vet to call with news on Dolly.

Day 35 - Pics

Wiggle - Day 35 Video

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Wiggle - Day 33

Today's entry includes a few mixed photo's from the last few days - Wiggle and his new best friend, Mac the Trailhound, who Wiggle met at the weekend. Mac was rather taken with Wiggle and followed him around, chased after him while they played ball and generally thought Wiggle was an ok kind of a chap.

After Wiggle's bath yesterday, he had his usual post-bath looning around session. For some reason having a bath flicks the daft switch in Wiggle and he loves running around, playing and being silly.

As Today is Dolly's first Gotcha Day (the day she came home), the dogs all had some extra treats and all showed off how nicely they could sit, patiently waiting their turn for a sausage!

In other news, Wiggle's blog has now received nearly 2,500 page views, which is quite overwhelming really. And once again, thank you for all the lovely comments made in the last couple of days, and especially to Lady and her family, all the way from Cyprus! Your kind words really do mean the world to us, thank you.

Wiggle - Day 33 Pics

Monday, 21 July 2008

Wiggle - Day 32

Firstly I'd just like to say a big thank you to everyone who has written comments on Wiggle's blog in response to the comment posted by 'annonymous' yesterday. Sadly, I don't think 'annonymous' had read all of Wiggle's blog or they would have seen how much has changed for this boy in the last month.

I first offered to foster Wiggle because I had experience with one of my own and another foster dog with severe skin allergies. I'm fortunate to have fantastic vets with a dermatology specialist who will ensure that Wiggle has access to the best treatment available.

To read a comment suggesting that I am putting Wiggle through "distress" is naturally very upsetting but I am will continue to take advice from my vet who is incredibly experienced in dealing with allergies and I trust completely.

If curing Wiggle was as simple as changing his diet then believe me, I would do that but his allergy is not diet related, it is a contact allergy, as proven by the testing. Yes, the photo's from the testing do look unpleasant but after a couple of hours, Wiggle's skin had calmed down again and he was absolutely fine.

Wiggle is now on medication which in time will stop his allergic reaction. He is on a balanced, controlled diet which is steadily helping him gain weight and soon he will no longer be emaciated.

Wiggle now has more love and affection than he has had in a long time, has the company of other dogs and is enjoying being a dog - going for walks, playing with toys and most of all, being part of a family where he is loved and not shut outside.

I don't normally feel the need to justify my actions when it comes to my own or my foster dogs, but maybe now, 'annonymous' will take the time to read back and make a better informed decision as to the level of care Wiggle now receives.

And on that note, its time for Wiggle's bath.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Wiggle - Day 31

Wiggle has been offline as we've been away visiting friends in Derbyshire for the weekend. Wiggle started his new medication, Atopica, on Friday and has had no side effects, which is great.

He's worn out now so will write about his weekend tomorrow.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Wiggle - Day 28 Visit to the Vet

Today Wiggle has been to have his intradermal skin testing. The test involved sedating him and then shaving a patch of fur before injecting common allergens to then see what his skin reacted to.

As you can see from the photo's, the skin appears lumpy but this is because the injections are made into the skin, rather than an injection through the skin to tissue (as with vaccinations, for example).

Wiggle was, as always, a very good boy and let the vet and nurses do what they needed to. Bridget, the vet, very kindly agreed for me to take some photo's for Wiggle's blog. Although the skin looks like it has had a strong reaction to all the allergens, the results showed that Wiggle is allergic to 4 allergens: house dust mite, red clover, rye grass and forage mites.

Obviously no dog can be kept away from these allergens so as Wiggle's body has had such a servere reaction, he is now on a drug called Atopica which works to stop the immune system producing the reaction. Wiggle will start off on a low dose and then I will build it up over the coming days, 50mg for 3 days, then 100mg for the next 3 days and then on to 150mg thereafter.

As Wiggle's skin is so sore and bald, I'll continue with the Malaseb baths as these work locally and his skin had started to improve during the 2 weeks he was being bathed.

Wiggle is a little wobbly this afternoon after coming round from the sedative, but he's taking it all in his stride and was giving Bridget his paw after his treatment. We'll be going back in 2 weeks time to see how Wiggle is getting on with the Atopica.

Good news for today was that Wiggle has put on a little weight in the last two weeks - he's gone from 27.2kg to 27.9kg, which is a nice, steady increase.

Wiggle - Day 28 Pics (Skin testing)

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Wiggle - Day 27

Wiggle has had a very busy and fun afternoon. The weather has been good so we went over to the Cotswold Water Park for a walk around the lake. Sir H and Wiggle were straight in the water although Dolly preferred to keep her feet dry.

The boys were in and out of the water and Wiggle did lots of mad running while Sir H pottered about, checking out the interesting smells. Wiggle seems to have developed a better swimming style and didn't look quite as silly as last time he was in a lake.

Wiggle found a very big stick and spent ages playing - growling at it, carrying it, attacking it and running around like a loon. He had so much fun with his stick that it deserves its own photo entry!

No doubt Wiggle will be unimpressed in the morning when he realises he's not getting breakfast but tomorrow he is off for his skin testing so he needs to be starved. He'll get extra rations after, so he won't miss out completely.

Wiggle - Day 27 Pics