Kee's Story - Myasthenia Gravis
The Saturday, the 30th of March during the early evening, Sam and Kee were doing what they did most nights, playing 'Tug'. Both play to win, and are not defeated easily but this night was different, Kee was losing, because for some reason she was tugging while sitting down.
For someone who spends hours watching our dogs, we knew something was not right, so we stopped the game, and spent the rest of the evening asking questions like:-
'Does she look a little wobbly on her rear legs?'
'Is she limping?'
'Which leg do you think she is favouring?'
It was hardly noticeable, but there was something.
Chloe's Story - Hepatic Microvasular Dysplasia
Chloe was a pure bred, Kennel Club Registered German Shepherd. She had a good pedigree on both mum and dad's side, with her grandad a VA1 Champion in Germany. But sadly, Chloe was a very sick little girl.
Chloe had just turned two years old when her stomach started to swell, it looked like she was pregnant. We took her to the vet where she had many blood tests to measure enzyme levels, bile levels etc. The tests came back and she had high levels of enzymes in her blood as well as her bile acid being hundreds of times over the normal limit. She was referred to another branch of the vet practice for further tests. These tests were then sent away to the Royal Dick Veterinary School in Edinburgh.
Kieron's Story - Living with Anal Furunculosis (Perianal Fistulae) and Atopic Dermatitis
In July, 2008 we adopted Kieron, a large male GSD X (3/4GSD, 1/4 Rough Collie) from Dumfries and Galloway Canine Rescue. He had been thoroughly checked over by the Charity’s vets and pronounced fit and well (although scruffy and thin). When we brought him home he settled in very quickly and soon looked better - after a bath, a good grooming and regular meals of hypo-allergenic dried dog food.
However, some weeks later he started to frantically scratch his ears and chin and tried to rub his chin whenever and wherever he could - on his paws, the carpet, his bedding (and on us!), and his whole lower jaw became very inflamed. Mr. Wheeler, his Veterinary Surgeon, tried several different creams, which didn’t have any lasting effect and it soon became clear that the problem was a lower lip pyoderma. A 5 week course of Ceporex anti-biotic was prescribed. This healed the chin and, so far, that problem has not re-occurred. He is still prone to ear infections, which respond well to the administration of Canaural drops.
Archie's Story - Aspergillosis Raising Awareness
Archie contracted a fungal infection up his nose. Known as Aspergillosis it is a vile fungus that nearly cost him his life. Aspergillus is a fungus that naturally occurs in the environment and is pretty impossible to avoid. It can affect humans as well as animals and can be fatal. In dogs, it mostly affects large dogs with long noses and is most commonly seen in German Shepherds between the ages of 3 and 8 years. Archie is a textbook case in that respect.
Aspergillosis mostly lodges in the nasal cavities and stays localised but can infect other parts of the body and if inhaled into the lungs sets up a systemic infection that is very difficult to treat. In Archie's case, and in most cases affecting dogs, it lodged in the nose. This fungus is in the environment all around us and is apparently mostly found in grass cuttings or decaying vegetation and in mouldy or old hay. In a healthy animal or person, it would normally not be able to get a hold and the immune system will destroy any odd spores that the body might come into contact with.
Murphy's Hip Replacement
We bought Murphy in August 2002 at 8 weeks old and by January 2003 he still hadn't cocked his leg when he was having a pee. I thought it was strange as my other dog started cocking his leg when he was very young but thought no more of it.
When Murphy slipped on some ice at the park and started howling I thought he'd broken something but he got up and kept on walking. After that he quickly got worse. He would lie down after being out for a walk and howl when he couldn't move or get up and I would get woken up in the middle of the night with him crying because he was stuck under the bed on his back after trying to roll over.