Newest Member: Saltishealing

Superesse

New Puppy Search Seems Like Dating

Wasn't sure if this belongs in NB or OT, but just wanted folks in this forum to hear that if you are looking for a particular kind of puppy, especially using the internet, you shouldn't be surprised if it starts to feel like an endless exercise of having to "kiss a lot of frogs" as the old saying goes!

I've been looking hard locally and online for almost 2 months, 3 months after we lost our dear old boy at age 14, as his 9 year old girl dog is still grieving and so are we. But I keep finding so many dog folks who all are bragging about their fur babies but act reluctant to volunteer verifiable information about their puppies' parents' health-tested background.

It's like they think their puppy pictures will just melt your heart so you'll throw all caution to the wind and just commit! (We had several breed problems with our late great dog - including a hemangiosarcoma that we didn't know about - that killed him. Not wanting those issues if we can avoid them, but we still love the type of dog he was.)

But it seems the small-time breeders expect me not to be cautious about their pups, or I find the major breeders that come on all intimidating with rules and often limit who can even buy a pup from them. Too available on one extreme, and too snooty and hard-to-get on the other....like dating?!

Who else can appreciate the common struggle in "The art of choosing The One?" 😃

Hey wow, that's a book title, guys!

8 comments posted: Monday, January 23rd, 2023

Doctor effectiveness: which works better, tell patient to make lifestyle changes or just treat increasing symptoms with more pil

Seems the (male) doctors my H sees don't come down too hard on his lifetime dietary problems: morbid obesity, hyperlipidemia with age-related rising hypertension and glucose intolerance levels, GERD, sleep apnea and now a possible gout issue. It's always been vividly clear to me where all this is leading: early incapacitation or a shortened life span.

We attended a year-long weekly hospital support group with a diabetes educator and each have a large binder of reading materials to help us learn how to manage weight, get enough exercise and make right food choices, so it isn't like my H hasn't been warned by a professional of the risks of his uncontrolled weight; he just never has been warned BY HIS DOCTORS. So to him, his health must not be that bad, or the doctor would have said....whereas I see what I see, and I have a longer-range viewpoint; like I know I will not be able to lift a 330 lb. man if his feet break down.

I'm wondering if this is a real thing: doctors not wanting to confront a heavy middle-aged guy with his growing health issues? My medical peeps are often quite frank about anything I need to change, but H says he never hears any warnings (perhaps due to 'selective hearing'). I know his doctors, we see some of the same ones, and when I've been with him, they've never said anything to him about what will happen as his chronic illnesses progress. Even his paper records never note a need for him to make any lifestyle changes - like my docs have done! He always just walks out satisfied with yet another prescription. Now they want to try Prednisone and he's all for starting on it, so long as his big toe stops aching OMG.

So is this maybe some guy thing with the doctors? It's just so easy for them to write another 'scrip, and for him to think that's the end of it.

Thoughts?

12 comments posted: Friday, December 30th, 2022

Thanksgiving expectations versus realities

A survey, if you like: How many families do you know who seem able to plan and carry out their Thanksgiving Day celebrations successfully most years, versus how many families do you know who, more often than not, during the weeks before Thanksgiving have drama or crises which effectively quash that year's celebration?

I'm asking about repeat occurrences you may have noticed among your circle of friends: Do they generally say it went ok? Do they generally report it got screwed up!?

In my experience of 70 years, I keep planning this annual feast despite almost always having some negative circumstance crop up suddenly just beforehand to scuttle my plans, and I'm talking 'for decades and decades' this has happened. Makes me wonder if it's just getting harder to do this for the majority of people, or just harder for people like myself: older, with no kids?

For me, it started when I was 12 years old with the assassination of JFK in 1963 a couple days before Thanksgiving. Everyone felt horrible, but we figured it was just tragic coincidence. Now, though, this seems the norm in my FOO, as well as for most of my 2nd marriage (for the reason we do not discuss on this forum). Then of course we had the pandemic, when nobody much was feeling thankful or could get together freely.

We tried volunteering at a Salvation Army homeless center on the first Thanksgiving Day after my October D-Day 1, but there were more of us trying to be volunteers than they had homeless to feed! One year, right after my father died, we just went out to eat at a buffet but it was not the same as having the wonderful atmosphere of home cooking. And no leftovers.

A few years later, after more sibling drama, I decided to 'rise above it all' and host a Thanksgiving dinner in our home for people in the community we knew had no money or place to have their own meal. With the pilgrim spirit that started this tradition, I invited families, cooked a really big meal, set tables up...only to have the invited families pull no shows - this happened with different families a couple Thanksgivings in a row! (I believe they thought their presence wouldn't be missed....they weren't from this country, so to them it was 'just a meal.') But yet, it was frustratingly familiar...

This year, it's a sudden crisis with an alcoholic brother in ICU. (His son just got married 8 weeks ago and we had a rare, happy family get-together. Inspired to continue making good memories, I was attempting to organize a holiday get-together at an agreed location for this single brother and his children. One week ago, he checked himself into the hospital for alcohol poisoning and ended up on a ventilator for a week! He just was successfully weaned off of it, so we have reason to BE thankful, yes - but scratch trying to plan a get-together!) My father was also a heavy drinker who hit bottom at 48. He was healthy as a horse for 40 years after he gave up the booze - except every year, around Thanksgiving, he'd complain he didn't feel good. Wasn't up to celebrating with anyone. Still feeling sorry for his lifeI think, until he died at age 88. Now, I see the same pattern with one of his sons. But I don't know if it's just my family legacy of alcoholism and the 'other word' that brought me here...I find myself wishing I could just fast-forward to March already and not have to go through all the build up and disappointment.

Tell me what you all know about this, and thanks in advance!

31 comments posted: Friday, November 18th, 2022

Old Dog with Tummy Torments

Have any of you had an old dog (especially a Lab or Shepherd type) with both pancreatitis and hypothyroidism? I know they can be difficult and variable problems, but I am wearing out our vet with questions we don't seem to have answers for, and this dear dog is wearing us out, as well!

Last year, he got diagnosed at age 13+ with low thyroid T4 (probably had been getting worse for years), so we started on the thyroxin pill regimen the vet prescribed. Immediately that caused his metabolism to rev up (of course) and we noticed he was panting more, drinking a ton more water, and acting like somebody stole half his food! But also, tummy problems became way more frequent. He always did have a sensitive stomach.

We decided to cut his thyroxin dose to half but supplement his feed with a retail thyroid-stimulating herb mix, and it seemed he was settling into his new regimen with months of good T4 blood levels on the half dose + herbal therapy.

But then, a few months later, he started having attacks of diarrhea every four or five days, so the vet ran another blood test, and found low pancreatic enzymes. We added prescription pancreatic enzyme pills before every meal and we have had to sharply limit fat and keep his protein content under 20%. Very few affordable feeds work for this kind of diet, and he isn't happy about all this, either!

But here's the weird thing: after a year of expensive tests and prescription pills, his lab work just showed he's healthy and within normal ranges, and the vet thinks he's doing well enough. Yet he is getting more and more difficult for us to figure out (especially, when he needs to go out!)

Just last week, we found a true low fat kibble (5%) and started transitioning him to it for a quarter to half his regular senior dog food ration. At 70 lbs., he gets 1 scant cup of the mixture of 2 low-fat, low-protein feeds at each feeding, whereas their charts say to feed 3-4 cups a day. We switched to the 2nd dry kibble because my little home-cooked rice and ground beef "brownies," added to 1 cup of senior kibble, seemed too much bulk for his gut. We blamed them for causing loose stools.

But soon after we started with this new mix of feeds, he has double the volume of #2, and now wants to go OUT urgently 3 times or more a day...lately, he is even dumping a load in the house in the middle of the night! (At least it's "formed" and not too bad to deal with.) And with not a shred of guilt...in a dog who never did this in his long life? Either dementia, tummy distress, or both...

The fine print of the new feed might explain part of this: 10% fiber versus the existing senior kibble's 4.5% max. But surely, a relatively small increase in fiber would not by itself double the bulk of his #2 business?? Plus, due to the restricted diet, he had been losing enough weight we can feel his ribs. So after consulting with the vet, we figured 3 meals a day might help his tummy deal with this new blend of food while keeping his calories up.

But nothing seems to work well for long. Today, we skipped his midday feed but still only gave him his 1 cup tonight of the 2 dry feeds, along with his pancreatic enzyme pills and Fortiflora probiotic powder. Soon as he finishes eating and drinking, he begs to go out for a massive #2 but then, 2 hours later, we get another desperate request to go out, only this time, it's diarrhea. I am stumped.

My husband wonders if he is "forcing himself to go" sometimes, because the smart old dog understands the People are going to bed soon, and the night is getting long; 8 hours now is too long for the old guy, I think.

I guess I'm at the end of what we know to try, and wondering if anybody else has figured out how to anticipate their old dog's needs - without becoming caught up in a game of "What? You wanna go out AGAIN?" :) I wonder if he's having a bit of memory loss, that he forgets he just ate or forgets he just went. Yikes. I'm committed to this dog until death do us part, but it's just about all my husband and I talk about, any more! We have heard similar tales of woe from a couple other dog owners who have had a pancreatitis and/or hypothyroid to cope with. I'm trying to cope....help!?

If you read this far, thank you, even if you have no suggestion!

10 comments posted: Friday, September 23rd, 2022

Latex allergy when its hot?

Hi all, does anybody else have a rash-type reaction to latex in undergarments but ONLY when it's really hot outside? It's a"heat rash" but I notice I get this only in places where something with spandex or latex in a garment stays in contact with my skin while I'm outside sweating and gardening or whatever. I always tell doctors I have a latex allergy but really, it's just 'hot weather dependent.' I don't break out if somebody wears latex gloves during a dental or medical procedure (I hate the odor near my mouth, however!) I just threw away another garment I didn't realize was "bad."

Tell me I'm not alone?

0 comment posted: Saturday, May 21st, 2022

Help, what to do about dog pancreatitis?

Any over-the-counter supplements that help your dogs with this issue? With our 14-year-old Lab-Shepherd, we had good luck adding a powdered enzyme-probiotic to his 2 daily meals. It was available without prescription, but now the company seems unable to restock it. A friend suggested using a fresh dog food product that is sold already packaged and chilled, with only 4% fat, so for the last month we've tried feeding that half and half with his senior kibble, and it really seemed to help.

Last week, we finally ran out of the digestive powder and had to find another product, which we got at another major pet store. It's in chewy form, so it has a little canola oil (not sure how much) in each chew. The same night as we started him on that, he had a loose stool. Now it has been 3 days, we also started a new package of his fresh dog food (beef products with veggies) and he is all torn up, messing in his kennel. The vet says time for another round of tests and a stool sample.

Could it be the canola oil in the new digestive supplement? Or possibly the new package of the beef dog food? Seems we need to withhold his food until we can see the vet tomorrow. This would really be easier on the old guy if anybody in our vets' offices knew what to feed the dog!

Thanks for any suggestions!! This dog is our baby....

8 comments posted: Tuesday, May 10th, 2022

Any high-speed cell phones without internet?

I knew the day was coming when our last-of-the-era flip phones would be phased out, and that date is now December 31st. Our carrier Sprint merged with T-Mobil and now they are attempting to "upgrade" customers to 5G-capable Smartphones, it seems. At least, that is the impression we get at the local store. Got a letter last month warning that after December, our reliable Kyoceras bandwidth will "no longer be supported." Offering to replace our old devices with 5G phones. For the reason that brought me to this website, I'd really like not to be forced to replace these phones with "new and improved" versions that seem to all include WiFi/Internet connectivity.

I'm not a tech gal, so being forced to shop for this mandatory switch is proving to be a challenge. From the little I've found online, we are looking at a Jitterbug senior phone, or ....? I know we cannot be alone in this situation, and hope some of you fellow travellers have ideas? TIA

6 comments posted: Tuesday, November 9th, 2021

Would you sign a waiver of notice in a No Fault D?

Hi all! A friend of mine who does charitable work for our church is helping someone get through his divorce, and just asked me to look at legal papers his STBX cheating wife, mother of their 4 children, sent for him to "sign off" on to finalize their No Fault Divorce (based on over one year apart, no reconciliation, and no mention of her infidelity).

The document - "Acceptance/Waiver of Service Process..." - lists a number of legal notifications the Defendant will be waiving his right to, if he signs it, one being "notice of entry of any order, judgment or decree, including the final decree of divorce."

To me, not being a legal person, that looks like the STBX is trying to save herself legal document and filing fees. Maybe this kind of sign-off document isn't a problem in this case, other than it reads like my friend will have to keep checking with the Virginia court, for example, to find out when his divorce decree gets filed. I'm just not sure that signing this waiver is a red flag in this situation (couple had no property and child custody was already verbally agreed to). Still, my friend says she doesn't trust the STBX and why this was sent, so she asked my opinion....and I'd like a more informed opinion than I can give her! Sound familiar, anyone? Unforeseen consequences, etc.? TIA

[This message edited by Superesse at 10:20 AM, April 8th (Thursday)]

6 comments posted: Thursday, April 8th, 2021

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