Monthly Archives: September 2012

A Play Date with New Friends Blitz and Mercedes

Last week, I met up with a longtime colleague/client whom I had never met (we work together through email) and who was one of many friends I discussed multiple-dog ownership with before adopting Cora and Dusty. Roberta is mom to Mercedes (8) and Blitz (4), two adorable and playful dachshunds. As a matter of fact, it was Roberta who alerted me to the fact that Dusty’s face looks a whole lot like a dachshund’s and started me thinking he may even have some German-hound blood in him.

Introducing Mercedes, the long-haired dachshund, and Blitz, the dapple. Aren’t they adorable?!

Mercedes chasing down her stepbrother, Blitz

Dusty played with the dachshunds a little bit, but Mercedes and Blitz seemed to have the most fun chasing each other.

Blitz sneaking up for a whiff of Dusty.










Cora doesn’t exactly know how to play with other dogs at a dog park, but she does enjoy sneaking up for the occasional sniff.

Cora meeting Blitz and Mercedes

It was fun to watch the dachshunds run. Despite those short little legs, they sure can move!

Blitz on the go!

All in all, it was a great play date, and I look forward to our next one!

Dusty’s Allergy Report

Well, we got Dusty’s allergy report yesterday. Seems he should never step foot outdoors again…unless we move to a concrete paradise (were there such a place). Our poor boy is allergic to every kind of grass and most weeds.

He’s allergic to everything marked with red.

Dusty trying to enjoy the outdoors from indoors.

We haven’t met with the vet yet to decide a course of action, but we’re leaning toward the eight- or nine-month course of allergy shots just so he won’t have to go through the discomfort of itchiness and gucky eyes again next August/September. Plus, we don’t want steroids to be our go-to plan again. We need to learn more yet about the options, though, before we make our decision.

For those interested, Dusty’s allergies were determined from a relatively large—and quite expensive (just over $500)—blood sample.

On the upside, we feed Dusty Orijen and have learned it doesn’t contain any of the foods he’s allergic to. Yay for Orijen!

Allergy Season Can Affect Dogs, Too

We guessed in late summer 2011 that Dusty has environmental allergies. But it turns out that summer 2011 had nothing on summer 2012.

So itchy!

Midway through our vacation, Dusty started scratching himself nonstop. My immediate concern was bug bites (since we don’t use heartworm prevention because of toxicity concerns), but we had seen nearly no mosquitoes, and there was no evidence of fleas: neither Cora nor Hogan was scratching. It was just Dusty.

We treated him with Benadryl—one tablet twice a day. It helped, but he was still getting itchy about four hours after each dose. We also started putting a T-shirt on him whenever we took him outside and wiping him down thoroughly when he came inside (we really wanted to avoid a cone!). Other measures we took included increasing the flax oil we give him daily, spraying him with Benadryl spray (in places he couldn’t lick, either because he couldn’t reach them or because they were covered by the T-shirt), brushing him more often, and using a special conditioner for itchy dogs.

The vet suggested we give him Reactine, so for about four days, we tried that, along with medicated oatmeal baths every other day (which we did for two weeks). The  baths seemed to make no difference at all, other than making our poor hound dog look even sadder than usual. And the Reactine didn’t work as well as the Benadryl, so we returned to Benadryl.

Dusty looking handsome (and extra-long) in one of his T-shirts

A couple of days later, after Dusty had cut himself both below and above his right eye by scratching, we gave in and put him on a steroid/antihistamine drug, Vanectyl-P. We don’t want the steroid to be a long-term solution because of the risks involved, but we’ve got to get the allergies under control.

We went through one course of the drug—four days on one tablet twice a day— and then weaned him down to one tablet a day for seven days on our way to one tablet every other day. That didn’t go so well. After six days on one tablet a day, I called the vet, desperate for something else we could do for him. She put his dose back up to two tablets once a day (together). A couple more calls to the vet later, and he’s now on two tablets twice a day.

Dusty in his new “Canada” T

Tomorrow, we start weaning him down again, but the good news is that he’s hardly scratching himself at all. Fingers crossed that will be the case tomorrow, too.

In the  meantime, we decided to spend the money on allergy tests so that we can learn what he’s allergic to so as to prevent such agony next summer/fall. Once we get the test results, I’ll let you know what they say!

(I also found this great article about relieving the itch of allergies in dogs. If you think your dog may have allergies, check it out!)

Our First Play Date with Misha

All the dogs welcoming Wes back into the house

Last week we took Cora, Dusty, and Hogan over to visit my mom and Misha. Misha seemed to love having other dogs over but wasn’t really sure what to do with them. When we took all four dogs for a walk, Misha kept nipping Cora’s and Hogan’s back legs. It was cute at first, but they got pretty annoyed!

Back in the house, Dusty and Hogan did their usual tug-of-war play thing after finding one of Misha’s toys. Misha kept trying to get in on the fun, but she wasn’t quite sure how. Dusty tried to include her, but Hogan wasn’t much liking that idea. (See video below.)

One of my goals for the evening was to get a good picture of Misha and Hogan, the two Mexican mutts. It was tough to do because Hogan didn’t really want anything to do with her (not unusual for Hogan, who is particular about the dogs he will get along with). But I did get a few shots. Here’s one:

The Mexi-mutts

All in all, our visit was fun. Hectic, but fun. I think they’ll all get along just fine.