Life with Jasmine and Juliet, Our Rescued Dachshunds

Random notes on our experience with our two rescued miniature dachshunds

Is This Our Dog?

Jasmine is definitely on the road to recovery.  She’s eating and her diarrhea is gone.  More importantly, she has had more zip and pep in the last day or so than she has had the entire time we’ve had her.  When I took her out the first thing this morning, she got ultra-curious in the back yard.  She sniffed the entire thing like she had never been there before.  She noticed a squirrel and got very interested.  She saw something under the hedge and tried to track it (probably a bug).  She entirely forgot why we were out there. 🙂

Jasmine has also been signficantly more playful since she’s been mending from the Whipworms.  The screaming monkey toy has been a great deal of fun, but she has also been initiating play much more frequently and wagging her little tail quite a bit.  I wonder if the parasites have been with her the entire time, and her normal, low-energy, mellow personality has been a symptom rather than her true self.  I’m enjoying the revved-up Jasmine, and I hope this happier, attention-seeking little imp is finally coming out of her shell.

By the way, any typos in this entry is directly attributable to Jasmine jumping up on my lap desk and pushing the mouse around. 😀

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48 Hours Later


Tug a Monkey

Originally uploaded by mwdonnelly

Well, it’s been 48 hours since Jasmine started treatment for the Whipworms. She’s making good progress, but she did get up in the middle of the night last night to go, and she had another bout of diarrhea this morning. I called the vet and he wants me to stay the course and see if she improves…I’m hoping for the best.

I did notice, however, that Jasmine is improving on other fronts. Her energy level and playfulness are significantly better. I gave Jasmine a bath this morning, and afterwards, she jumped around the house and began playing with her Screaming Monkey. She also ran around the house a few times and has generally been a happy, bouncy, Tigger-like dog this morning.

The Screaming Monkey is her favorite toy these days. I was cleaning the other day and I dropped the monkey on the floor. Jasmine came running to check out the screaming, and immediately picked up the monkey and ran away. She now loves to chew on it. I thought I’d share a little of her play with you.

(Keep your volume down on your PC…the screaming is LOUD!)

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Whipworms

Well, we picked up Jasmine from the vet this evening.  The vet ran a bunch of tests and did an analysis of the stool sample I brought and found out that Jasmine has Whipworms.  He told us that the worms are indigenous of the Midwest and South and not common in the area, and he believes that she had them when she first came to us.  He doesn’t know what exacerbated the Whipworms to cause the hemorrhagic diarrhea (she did not have Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis as he first thought)–it could have been a combo of the food change, the worms and a breeze in the air…but what is clear is that she’s on the road to recovery.  She ate her dinner tonight and is her normal, sweet, happy self.  She was SO thrilled to see me–and even thrilled to see hubby–when we picked her up.  She’s on de-worming medication and an antibiotic/anti-inflamatory as well as a bland diet, but she should recover fully.

I’m so glad she’s okay.  I was going out of my mind with worry today.

Thanks for all of you who sent us good wishes.  They certainly helped!

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A Long Night

Last night, Jasmine woke up at midnight, 2:00 a.m., 2:45 a.m., 3:30 a.m., 4:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. to either go outside or to throw up.  We’re just about to leave for the vet.  At least she has started to drink water and has managed to keep it down this morning, but she won’t go near her food (I just made her a little rice and cottage cheese).  She’s also lethargic (understandably so).  I’m hoping the vet will be able to do something to make her feel better.

I’ll post more today after we return from the vet.

****** UPDATE*****

I had to leave Jasmine at the vet.  She has some sort of Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis and is being given IV fluids and antibiotics.  There isn’t a way to tell the cause, but the vet is doing some “rule out” tests (X-ray, blood tests, etc.).  Jasmine was lethargic and dehydrated.  However, she did come running when I told her we were “going for rides” this morning.  Even with feeling like crap, she came bounding at me, wagging her little tail.

The vet thinks I’ll be able to take her home tonight, but it’s a wait-and-see right now.  I can’t tell you how worried I am about my little girl…

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Sensitive Tummy Continues

Jasmine was getting better with her rice/cottage cheese bland diet, so we decided to slowly introduce the new Evo dry and canned foods into her diet.  We added just a little bit of both to her food, and she seemed to tolerate it.  So, we slowly increased the proportions until we reached 100% dog food.

Well, it didn’t work.  She went back to having loose stools.  Last night, I put her back on the bland diet and stopped the dog food, but the “damage” had already been done.  She had to “go” no less than five times last night (each time was worse).  To make matters worse, she started vomiting last night and also this morning.

I’ve been watching her closely today.  I put her on a fast today to give her body a break, and I’m taking her into the vet tomorrow.  Outside of the obvious issues, she seems to be okay.  She’s still following me everywhere I go, and has already begged for scratchies this morning.

I just need to solve this food problem.  The EVO food seems to be the wrong formula for her, so I’m going to try a gentler chicken and brown rice formula.  Of course, she might have a very sensitive tummy, and any food will be an adjustment.  I just don’t want to cause her any more intestinal trauma.  Poor baby.

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Playful Pup

Jasmine hasn’t been the most playful pup in the past, but today, she was making up for lost time.  Blankets, ropey toys, her beloved reindeer were all fair game.  While Jasmine tends to be a low-energy dog, she had several play spurts today, complete with a bit of burrowing and tugging on her blanket and chewing on the reindeer’s antlers.  She romped around, picked up one toy after another, shook them until they were properly limp with fear and then she pounced on them, tearing at them with her mighty jaws.

While most of her play sessions last less than five minutes, today’s sessions were marathons for our little lass.  She started on one toy from her pile and went to the next.  She ran up to me to try to engage me in her game, and I happily obliged.  I teased her with her ropey, squeaked the tummy of the reindeer, and tossed the blanket over her to help bring out her burrowing instincts.

It was fun to see her enjoy a little play time.  Perhaps she’s feeling a bit better…her tummy is still a bit sensitive, but she doesn’t seem to be as distressed as before.  I hope she keeps it up…it brings me so much joy to see her happy.

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A Year With Jasmine

I can’t believe it has already been a year since Jasmine came to us.  I can’t express how much love she’s brought into our lives and how much she means to us.  We are truly lucky to have such a funny, beautiful and sweet creature as a part of our family.

I think back on the year we’ve had, and I really marvel at what Jasmine has accomplished.  When we first got her, she was afraid of everything–stairs, carpet, tile floors, leashes, asphalt (yes, asphalt), and us.  Today, she is a pampered little dog that is happiest at my feet or on my lap.  She revels in scratchies behind the ear and is finally becoming accustomed to the outside world (as long as she’s in the safety of my arms or lap).  She’s sweet, gentle and funny.  She plays with toys on her own accord.  She is an avid fan of treats and doesn’t hesitate to perform her behaviors if there’s a Simon and Huey’s soft bite at stake.

But most of all, I marvel in the trust she bestows upon me.  She is my constant companion, my loving and devoted friend.  If I’m in another room, she comes looking for me.  If I go out, she’s by the door when I return.  She lays by my bedside at night, and she wakes me with a wagging tail and happy face in the morning.

I cannot tell you how rewarding this journey of rescuing and loving this little dog has been.  I knew we’d love any dog that came into our lives, but I didn’t quite understand what a deep impact this dog would have on us and how much she would become an integral member of our family.  I think the struggles we’ve faced have made her all the more precious, and all our lives are infinitely better for her being with us.

Thanks for a wonderful year, Jasmine.  We love you.

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Buggin’ Me

Jasmine is on her way back to a normal tummy.  She didn’t soil the house last night and she is getting more stable.  She seems to be very peppy and happy–well, she’s not happy with the bland diet.  Rice and cottage cheese just doesn’t appeal to her.

Last night, I took Jasmine out into the front yard to do her business before bed.  Unfortunately, I thought she’d be okay off leash just to go (yeah, what an idiot I am).  Boy, was I wrong.  There were a few beetles running around on the driveway, and Jasmine was entranced.  She scooted around, nose to the ground, chasing those little buggers (no pun intended).  She jumped around chasing the bugs including jumping into the street.  I called her, and she just didn’t hear me or listen to me.  I called and called and she continued to follow the bugs.  I finally chased her and got her attention and called her in.

She has never paid attention to critters in the past, and she always seems to be wary of her surroundings.   Last night, all that mattered were the bugs.  She didn’t seem to mind that there were people in the driveway.  What I learned is that I don’t have as much verbal control over her as I thought.  I need to be much more diligent on her whereabouts and know that she’s not 100% reliable in recall.  That was a good wake-up for me.  At least it happened when it wasn’t a dangerous situation.  There were no cars…thank goodness.

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Recipe for a Good Tummy

Well, the vet called to tell me that the blood work came back on Jasmine, and she’s healthy and normal.  That’s a relief!  I told him about the blood in her stool last night, and he said that wasn’t unusual given her situation.  I’m to continue the white rice and cottage cheese diet until she’s completely normal, and then I can slowly introduce the new food to her.

If Eukanuba had not changed their canned pet food formula, I probably would have kept her on their food to keep from disrupting her digestive system.  But now that I’ve been forced to make changes, I’m going to feed Jasmine the EVO.  Better nutrition, better ingredients and no grain fillers make it a good choice.  However, I’m fuzzy on the “science” of dog nutrition.  The argument is that dogs, in the wild, eat a diet mostly of protein, and that whole foods are better than processed junk and fillers.  I’ll buy that–to an extent.  The Dog Food Analysis site has an explanation of how they rate the foods…but where’s the science behind these ratings?  There is a regulatory agency, the AAFCO, that oversees the feed manufacturers to ensure that a) the ingredients and guaranteed analysis of the food on the label is correct and b) the ingredients provide whole and proper nutrition for the animal in question.

What it boils down to is what do you believe?  I think either of the foods are sufficient to ensure proper nutrition for Jasmine.  The marketing hype for both is substantial.  EVO claims better nutrition due to higher levels of protein, no grain fillers, etc.  Eukanuba claims better joint health for Dachshunds because of the inclusion of Glucosamine and Chondroitin (ala ground up bones and cartilage).  Reading packaging, EVO seems more wholesome and does have a guaranteed analysis that is much more skewed towards protein.  But is this necessarily better?  I don’t know.  What is the optimal amount of protein for a dog?  Has anyone proven this?  I guess it just makes ME feel better to give Jasmine food that has better ingredients–more whole foods, less “by-products.”  She seems to like the way it tastes.  And hopefully, when her tummy settles down, she’ll be on the way to optimal health.

Some Facts for Comparison

EVO Small Bites Ingredients:  Turkey, chicken, turkey meal, chicken meal, potatoes, herring meal, chicken fat, natural flavors, egg, apples, tomatoes, potassium chloride, carrots, vitamins, garlic, cottage cheese, minerals, alfalfa sprouts, ascorbic acid, dried chicory root, direct-fed microbials, vitamin E supplement, lecithin, rosemary extract.  Protein = “minimum 42%”

From Dog Food Analysis site:

  • Rating: Six Stars (highest)
  • Recommended: Yes
  • Pros: First four ingredients are named meat products, high meat content, grainless, quality ingredients throughout
  • Cons: None
  • AAFCO Certification: Yes. “Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that EVO Dog Small Bites Dry Dog Food provides complete and balanced nutrition for all life stages.”

Eukanuba Dachshund Formula Ingredients:  Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Meal, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Ground Whole Grain Barley, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Natural Chicken Flavor, Brewers Rice, Dried Beet Pulp (sugar removed), Dried Egg Product, Fish meal, Brewers Dried Yeast, Potassium Chloride, Fish Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Salt, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin A Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (source of Vitamin B1), Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement (source of Vitamin B2), Inositol, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Flax Meal, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Minerals, Dried Chicken Cartilage, DL-Methionine, L-Carnitine, Rosemary Extract.  Protein = “not less than 25%”

From Dog Food Analysis site:

  • Rating: One Star (lowest)
  • Recommended: No
  • Pros: First ingredient is a named meat product
  • Cons: Insufficient meat content, byproducts, low quality grain, controversial filler
  • AAFCO Certification: Unknown.
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Tummy Problems Continue

Just when I thought things were getting better…

Jasmine was recovering from her tummy problems, or so I thought.  But I was wrong.  Yesterday, when I was on the phone, Jasmine pooped in the house.  Luckily, it was on the slate floor in the front entryway because she was obviously having stomach problems again.  I cleaned everything up, disinfected and used some enzyme cleaner to neutralize the odor.  I thought it was a one-time occurrance.  I was wrong.

Last night, I took her out before bedtime–as usual.  Around 1:30 a.m., I heard Jasmine trotting down the hallway to our bedroom.  She has never climbed out of bed at night, so I was suspicious.  So I got out of bed to check.  Sure enough, she had pooped again in the entryway.  This time, the results were worse.  I cleaned everything up and made sure that Jasmine was settled in for the night.

She’s been on a mix of the new and old food for over a week now, and I would have thought that her stomach would have begun to settle.  However, there’s a chance that something else is going on.  It’s off to the vet today to both have her checked out and to get her shots.

Update: We went to the vet today and got some bloodwork done, a sample turned in and some medication to prevent inflamation and infection.  We’ll know more tomorrow, but the vet suspects that Jasmine is having issues with the food change.  She’s now on a bland diet (rice and low-fat cottage cheese) until she gets back to normal.  However, Jasmine’s stressing and straining to go has become worse, and she’s now bleeding a bit when she goes.  Poor baby!  I’m so worried, but the vet doesn’t seem to think it’s serious.  Keep your fingers crossed.  I feel so bad for Jasmine!

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