Friday, July 27, 2012

taking a bite out of...

Friday, July 27

Poor Milo is pretty swollen.  I've been giving him ice chips with salmon over it to get him to lick it which seems to have helped the swelling.  He also had an 81 mg aspirin this afternoon.   He has loose stools from the anesthetic and stress so he is on metronidazole for that.   He seems to be in pretty good spirits despite his discomfort.   A little extra clingy today.  He is less disoriented this evening so the morphine is wearing off.  

The vet sent me home with Milo's teeth and they are really something.  I never knew that the canine teeth were so very large.  Amazing!  No wonder his face was so swollen today.

surgery part 2

Friday, July 27

When I picked up Milo from the vet yesterday in the late afternoon he had been given a very strong dose of morphine for pain so he was pretty out of it.  Still mobile, but needed guidance or he would just stand in one spot.  Once I got him loaded into his crate in the car he passed out and when we arrived home I had to wake him up.

He went out to potty and then came in, had dinner and passed out on the couch.

Later in the evening I noticed some spots on the sheet and realized that he had some bloody discharge from either the nose or mouth.  The vet said that this was not unexpected and was most likely bloody drool.   He was sooooo out of it.  I kept the basement door blocked so that he wouldn't accidentally fall down the stairs.  I also put him into his crate for overnight so he wouldn't wake and wander around in his disoriented state.

This morning his muzzle is terribly swollen and looks very uncomfortable.  He should still be getting some relief from yesterday's morphine injection, but we'll start baby aspirin this afternoon for pain relief.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

dental surgery part 1

Thursday, July 26

Milo went to the vet to have his surgery this morning.  Of course he had to greet all of his friends at Skyline Veterinary Hospital as he got checked in.  Milo had some dead teeth that although it appeared that they were not problematic at the moment would most likely become a problem down the road.

I received a call from Dr. Ryan Speltz as they were finishing up around 10:30 this morning.   As I suspected, due to the fact that my dogs will not drink from a bowl after Milo was there, his left upper canine was abscessed.  The dogs would periodically sniff his mouth and pull faces as well.  Unfortunately, the abscess was up into his sinus and created a nose bleed in both directions - into the sinus as well as through the mouth.  They were trying to get the bleed to stop as I was getting the news from Dr. Speltz.   I'm very glad that we were able to be proactive before the abscess really blew up.   Several other dead and dying teeth were also removed.

There are a lot of stitches so there will be more antibiotics and decongestant because the tube in Milo's throat will have irritated it again.

 Through kind donations with matching to Minnesota Wisconsin Collie Rescue, Milo was able to get the surgery would help him lead a normal life.   A big thank you for this kindness.

I will be picking him up this afternoon.  More later.  

Monday, July 23, 2012

The real deal

Monday, July 24

Tonight when I arrived home from work and was collecting dogs from their various confined areas, Leo and Milo barked enthusiastically at their release and Milo mounted Leo.  That was a first.  It was an excitement act rather than dominance, but it is yet another glimmer that there is another facet to Milo which we have not yet seen.

This is progress.  He is feeling better.  It is good, but it means that things will change a bit possibly including the dynamic around here.

Surgery for Milo on Thursday.

Collie house guest (dog sitting for a friend) through Friday.  Competitive chew sticks abound!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

weekend summary

Sunday, July 22

It was hot.  It was humid.  Milo barked at the livestock, got lots of pets from various people.  We are all TIRED!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

short and sweet

July 21

1)   First dog fight between Milo and Sabrina.  Vocal with no injuries.  Didn't see it as I was in the next room cleaning cat boxes.  There was kibble left in a treat ball and a discussion was had about who should take ownership.  

I won.

To me, that says that Milo is feeling more healthy and beginning to show some more of his true personality with this assertion of himself.

2)  Herding clinic this weekend which was to begin at 7 am.  Thunder and lighting beginning about 3:30 am.  Milo concerned.

Worse thunder and lightening at 4 am.  Milo more concerned and wanted into his crate (Sabrina was sleeping in front of said crate.  In other words, the troll was under the bridge)   Thunder shirt goes onto Milo.

5 am  light rain with some rumbles of thunder.  Milo is outside with us, but can't pee due to thunder.

6 am - breakfast then another trip outside.  Leo pees and Milo goes to sniff.  Going to... and then it THUNDERS!   Milo still can't pee due to thunder.

7 am HEAVY rain and thunder lighting, but dogs are in car on the way to herding clinic.

8 am  still raining, thunder in distance.  at training site.  FINALLY.... a pee!

Enjoy a video of Milo and Leo.  Leo is a bit too rowdy for Milo.  They are still not playing even though there is a bit of romping.

Shortly following the romp:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

july 18

We've scheduled Milo's surgery to remove dead and damaged teeth for next week.  I've discovered a small hard lump on his neck near his ear, but not part of the scar tissue from the neck abscess.  I will have the vet look at it when he goes in for surgery.  I wonder if it might be pellets or bb's.

Milo has the run of the house at night and doing well with that.  He doesn't leave me so there is pretty low risk.  He is definitely progressing!

Here are some photos from the last couple of days.  Note that he is growing more fuzz and is filling out nicely.

Monday, July 16, 2012

New tricks

Monday, July 16

Sunday morning we loaded up and visited the same dog park as we did on Saturday.  It was interesting that on this trip Milo totally hung out with me and responded immediately to a whistle rather than a recall or his name.   He did a great job and met even more new friends.  

One kind of funny thing the occurred was that there were some older men who were offering me "helpful" advice on Milo's overall health and haircut status.  One of them said very quietly, "Do you know that he still has wood ticks on his belly?" I had to gently explain to him that he was viewing male dog nipples.

Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Giving back feels good

Saturday, July 14

I know that a few people are following Milo's progress and I wanted to share a few thoughts about some of his history.

Milo is well down the road to recovery because some kind strangers brought to him to Red Lake Rosie's Rescue rather than shoot him.  I'm not sure that any of us can appreciate the extreme poverty that the people who live on the Red Lake Indian Reservation experience or the number of animals who are left to fend for themselves there.  I was reading Red Lake Rosie's blog and was shocked as I read this entry:

Sarah Beth's Experience of Red Lake for the first time

The people who were going to shoot Milo were going to do him a favor.   Rather than let him starve to death - which he was clearly doing - they were going to end his misery.  Certainly not in the manner we would want to have happen, but when one has no resources, you make do with what you have.  Seeing so much suffering on a daily basis, sadly, one must become immune to the scenes of starvation.

Obviously, I'm relieved that Milo is here with me now and is getting the medical care that he needs.  It is just a way of life which we don't want to consider, but it is a reality for some.

This leads me back to where it began with Milo in Red Lake.  If you don't know about the work that Karen Good of Red Lake is doing with Red Lake Rosie's Rescue you MUST watch this:  Eleven Who Care

I had questioned the state of Milo for his trip down to the Twin Cities crawling with wood ticks, but now I understand.  They don't have the $$ for tick preventative when there are so very many medical needs.  Where do you even decide to begin when you have to triage an animal?  What is the most life threatening?  In Milo's case, there was a whole lot to consider life threatening - the abscess which was the size of a soft ball and had driven infection into his ear and his eye.  And when you consider that the vet costs $$ where does a rescue start when there are so many others also in need of medical attention?  The work they are doing is fantastic as it must seem overwhelming at times when there are so many in need.  I love that so many groups are affiliated with Rosie's; from rescues to spay/neuter projects to volunteer groups doing service projects.  It is a wonderful collaboration.

Read a few of the blogs from Red Lake Rosie's Rescue and then donate to them.
All contributions are tax deductible. Please send to:

Karen Good
Red Lake Rosie Rescue, Inc.
23880 South Good Road
Trail, Minnesota 56684

Do you have other items that they could use from their wish list?  Visit:
If your item is to large to mail, get it to me and I'll send it up with Milo's transport pal.  I know that I have some items that I will be sending.

Now that Milo's health is improving, he is well enough to get the dental he needs for a number of dead teeth which need to be removed and Minnesota Wisconsin Collie Rescue will be paying for that.  You can help them here:  Minnesota Wisconsin Collie Rescue

The photo below?  This is what can happen when two rescues work together to help animals.  If it weren't for the work of Red Lake Rosie's Rescue and Minnesota Wisconsin Collie Rescue, Milo's best option would have been that bullet.

dog park!

Saturday, July 14

Milo accompanied Leo and Sabrina to the dog park this morning.  It was the first time for him. Leo really needed to have a good romp and work off some energy and Milo just isn't into the rough play and chase that Leo finds necessary.

The park is one with lots of trails and woods so we were nicely shaded and it was pretty early, so it wasn't terribly crowded.   Milo did great.  He did seem to gravitate towards humans more than the other dogs which isn't surprising given his penchant for human contact.   I am pleased that he isn't clingy with me as long as there is SOMEONE whom he can follow, nudge, etc.    He did get attached to a lady who was walking at a good clip whilst I was cleaning up a poo from Leo and so we were separated for a bit.  He did not have a good recall in that situation, but we were quickly reunited.  The park is completely fenced so I was not worried about him.

He did make several new friends and I did have to explain numerous times about:

a) the shave
b) the weight
c) the breed - no he is not a greyhound....

in the clear

Saturday, July 14

Milo's lab tests came in and he is 100% better with his liver values.  Yay!   

His BUN is still off, but that is not surprising.   BUN is produced by the liver and excreted by the kidneys. Decreased levels are seen with low protein diets, liver insufficiency, and the use of anabolic steroid drug. Increased levels indicate any condition that reduces the kidney's ability to filter body fluids in the body or interferes with protein breakdown.   With more time, this should improve.

Next up is a dental to remove dead and damaged teeth.  We expect that this will give him a temporary setback in his health, but will be worth it to prevent serious issues in his future - like abscessed teeth, etc.  

Friday, July 13, 2012

a little meat on his bones!

Friday, July 13

Milo went to visit his friends at Skyline Veterinary Hospital yesterday and learned that he has gained more weight.  He is now 60 lbs!  Good boy!   He started at 50 lbs a little over a month ago.   He is really liking the 2 squares a day  + treats!

Labs are being run to tell us how his liver is doing.  Should know sometime today.

Leo, Milo and Sabrina

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Wednesday, July 11

Milo accompanied me to work today as the other dogs were left at the groomer for a spa day.  He had a very special visitor - Barbie who was the person who made the trip to bring him down from the Reservation. The last time she saw Milo he was crawling with wood ticks and had long mats of fur.  It was a happy reunion for both parties.   And much easier to hug sans ticks!

How nice to be able to share Milo's recovery with someone who saw him in such terrible shape.  Barbie said that she thought he looked great.

Off to the vet tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

on the outs

Tuesday, July 10

Milo is quickly learning "out" or "get out" which means turn around and walk away.  This is a command we use in herding when we need the dog to totally release pressure from the livestock and... get out.

When there are 3 collies crowding me in a narrow hallway and I'm loaded down with... groceries, cooler, boxes, whatever... a very low, quiet "get out" is useful.  It isn't cruel to them.  It just means to turn tail and walk away.  

I try to whisper commands to the dogs as much as possible.  They can hear a can opener from the other side of the house or a crumb drop from then next room... they can hear me whisper to them when they are in the same room with me.  My goal is to not shriek at the dogs.  If you start low and quiet if you do need to escalate volume it is much more dramatic than if you begin at a shout.

Tomorrow is a big day for everyone.  Leo and Sabrina to the groomer - blowing coat!  And Milo is spending the day at work with me.  Then on to herding with everyone.

One more decongestant tablet and I'm saving it for tomorrow night in case is it a stressful day for him.

That'll do.

Monday, July 9, 2012

splendor in the grass

Monday, July 9

After work this evening we loaded up on fly spray - a homemade organic concoction - and spent some well deserved time in the yard extending a raised bed that should have been done a couple of months ago.  More independence reinforcement required for the endeavor or I would never get anything done.   It is a lot of responsibility to have a dog who would prefer to be physically attached to one at all times.  As nice as it can be at times to have a snuggly dog, it just isn't practical for getting on with life.  It can also be dangerous - like if I have a knife or a hot pan or boiling water.  And, it just makes it more difficult on the dog when the humans need to leave them behind.  Independence and confidence are GOOD!

Milo was exhausted with the effort of watching me work.

Since we are 30 days out from the liver damage diagnosis we are due to have Milo re-tested for his liver values this week.  Probably at the end of the week.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

the tractor beam

Sunday, July 8

This is typical of Milo around the house/yard:  

mint sauce or l'orange?

Sunday, July 8

Milo had a very big weekend.  He accompanied us to a herding party with friends.  Sabrina and Leo each worked ducks and Milo got a turn to come out and observe our doggie pals working sheep and ducks.  Even though he wasn't actually in the pen with the livestock he was very excited by the stock and let us know he would be happy to chase down any errant critters.   He LIKES sheep and ducks!

He shows a lot of prey drive with the squirrels in the yard, but I wasn't sure how much of that is "monkey see monkey do" with Leo.  Milo takes most of his doggie cues from Leo and this has helped build up Milo's confidence a great deal.  He seems to enjoy the company of other dogs a great deal.

I have wire crates in my van for the dogs when they are not working or with me.  Milo has netting over his to keep the bugs off of him since his fur is still pretty short.   After he turned on to stock he barked when he was in the car because he wanted MORE!!

After we were through with the stock all of our dog pals had a romp in the arena together and Milo actually did run around with the pack a bit.  It was good to see him happy with the group.  Of course my phone/camera was back in the car so I don't have photos.

Today I worked in the yard a great deal and was "supervised" from the shade.

Ramon has the dogs where he wants them.
How many collies do you see? 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

bated breath

Thursday, July 5

Milo completed his month long treatment of antibiotics last evening.  He still has a day or two left of the Omegarin fish oil caplets for his skin.  And a week or so on the decongestant.

So... we will be monitoring him closely to see if any infection was lurking around waiting to rear its ugly head.

This is a milestone in his recovery for sure.

Hoping that we don't have the 2:30 am "bonus" fireworks extravaganza that we experienced this morning - after all of the melatonin wore off.   I was really not amused nor entertained.  

After all, Milo needs his rest!   :)


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Independence Day

Wednesday, July 4

Milo is very attached to me around the house.   When he's been with other people he is fine with that too.  He wants to be with SOMEONE all the time.  And being with someone from his perspective is being physically connected with them.   He would love to be petted and hugged at all times which, while very sweet and understandable since he's making up for lost time, is not practical nor something that I want to encourage for it will create separation anxiety.

The best thing I can do to help Milo is to help him become more confident and independent on a day to day basis, so we've been working on independence training.   

Independence training is pretty simple.  Milo is constantly seeking attention with nudging my hand and my arm with his nose.  I've started with having him sit for treats.  We graduated to sitting for petting when I ask him to.   I try to only give him pats and hugs when I want to, rather than when he initiates it.  This is difficult because he is so incredibly sweet and adorable.  But it is in his best interest to keep up with this training. 

At first he escalated his attention-seeking behavior, but he's quickly learning to back off.  It is a slow process and one that will need to be continued.  The good thing is that we have made progress and that he is making small steps in being more confident.  I can walk across the room without him glued to my side.  I can move around the house - a little - without having him get up to follow.  And... he will go across the yard with Leo to investigate and although he immediately looks for me he can hang out at a distance as long as he sees me.  This is a vast improvement over a few weeks ago when he wouldn't leave my side outside.   It is a relief to be able to do things around the house without being constantly nudged and bumped by a big collie nose. 

So...Milo's independence day will continue.  

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Separated at birth

Tuesday, June 22

I've been considering this for awhile, but didn't have a good photo.  Milo has a twin!


In case you aren't familiar, meet Beaker from The Muppet Show.  He is the unfortunate lab assistant to the hapless Dr. Bunsen Honeydew.    Milo and Beaker have the same hair-do!

Note the peach fuzz coming in.  Yay!

Bumpy night

Tuesday, June 2

Last night was a rough one.  Not sure if it was the stress from being in a crate with poo or the after effects of having a bath after said poo, but Milo coughed most of the night.  And then there was the thunderstorm at 3 am so not much sleep for anyone.  It is interesting how much stress affects him.  He is still on the decongestant tabs so it would be worse if he weren't on them.  I do wonder if the heat/humidity have affected him.  He's not out for very long as he starts breathing heavily from very little exertion plus I worry about how the lack of fur affects his ability to regulate his body temp.  Those double coated dogs have built in protection (normally) from cold AND heat.

After he did NOT a poo this AM which is highly unusual for him I finally gave up strolling around the yard with him and, with trepidation, left for work.   I left him in the crate in which he sleeps at night in the bedroom.

I did leave work early and when arriving home to all quiet approached the bedroom with caution. Whew!  All clear.

The fireworks tonight have him quite concerned, but the melatonin seems to be doing the trick and he's napping at my feet now.

Hoping for a good rest tonight!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Back at ya!

Monday, July 2

I was trolling through some of the stats for this blog and noticed that there was one day where the page hits spiked.  I was able to locate the source - an overview of Milo's progress thus far from Red Lake Rosie's Blog page.  I thought it was very nicely done - and much more succinct!

Check it out here:*t

Monday, July 2

Well... it hit the fan.  Or it would have but it was in a crate.

Any non dog people should just stop reading now.

Milo HAD to go (#2 if you missed the title of the post) and so went in his crate while I was at work today.  He went this morning outside, so it wasn't that he hadn't gone yet.    It was firm this AM and it was firm in the crate.  I'm thinking that as we've been transitioning him over from the ID to normal food perhaps we should cut down on the quantity since the ID has much less protein.  We've gotten him to half and half and when we started to go beyond that he was stressed out with the visit to the vet and the herding trial so I left him at the halfway point lest we give him stress colitis.   He should continue to gain weight with a lesser quantity since there is more protein than the ID.  He has been on 2 cups twice a day + handfuls of kibble to go into the crate.  I think I'm going to do 1 1/2 cups twice a day with the extra kibble tomorrow and see how he does while I'm gone.  He does not appreciate that I have to work and Leo does not help as he also protests greatly when I leave.  

So... Milo had a bath, the bedding had a bath (2 actually on SANITIZE) and the crate got a bath.  I have to say that the shave job comes in handy for this type of situation.  A rough collie with any sort of gastrointestinal issue is undesirable to say the least.  A fuzzy butt with the trots is just not even sort of fair and typically involves a haircut and a hosing.

It was a perfect day to have to get wet and he dried in 10 minutes outside. 

So... SH*T!

PS  and the flies?  Tea tree oil is the ticket.  Some of the mosquito sprays don't work at all.   Makes sense as I read that some police canine officers use menthol on their dog's ears.  

Sunday, July 1, 2012

()#)#$&()@#$Q^@&( flies!

Sunday, July 1

So today Milo and Leo decided that it would be a good day to start wrestling... in the house whilst I'm attempting to unsuccessfully pill a cat.  WRONG!

It has just been too hot and too buggy for Milo to be outside for very long.  He gets winded just doing a trot around the yard and the deer flies are horrific.  I'm constantly squashing them on his skinny little hips.  He definitely does not have enough blood to share!   They buzz me incessantly and poor Sabrina being a tri, her ears are targets for them.  I put tea tree oil/lotion on her ears for the bites today and learned that it acts as a deterrent as well.  Bonus!

I know that the flies have a very short life cycle, but it seems too long!  I don't recall having this problem in the yard last year.  On the road, yes, but not in the yard.  I wonder if it has anything to do with the smaller number of frogs and toads this year?  Not sure why that is either as we don't put out any chemicals.

Hoping for a predator to eat fly larvae.  Will see about getting some traps to hang in the trees.

Ramon considers how best to approach Milo. Note the new "peach fuzz".