The Further Adventures of Sheena!
Sheena settled into my place, which is really just a temporary stop before going to her foster home, after a day of trying to get her and my dog Rio to get along. He’s pushy and goofy, she was pushy and not so sure of him. She was really wanting to tell him to knock it off. Some snarking went on and she even got a mouthful of Rio hair at one point. But 24 hours later, they were ignoring each other, politely sniffing, sitting side by side in the kitchen while waiting for meals and even lying close to each other while I worked on the computer. Peace! YAY! Well, almost. Sheena likes cats, but I’m afraid she was just too much for our cat who is quite wary of dogs. So poor Sheena got her nose boxed a few times and got some surprisingly loud growls out of our small gray tabby. Sheena and Rio also played a bit of tug-of-war. Rio didn’t stand a chance at just 50 lbs…literally half of Sheena’s weight. The toy also didn’t stand a chance. Stuffing was littered everywhere when Sheena finally let go and Rio took off with his prize.
On only her second day at my home, we tackled her long matted coat. There was no saving it. What wasn’t matted, was dreadlocked. It would have been torture to try and comb it out. As it was, it took me three hours to shear her. It pains me to take away a dog’s beard and furnishings but it all had to go. By the time I reached her hind legs, she was leaning on me. She was tired. She already had a thin coat over her back as well as some bald spots (could alopecia, could be thyroid), so after taking away the rest of her insulation, she was cold! I went and bought her a pretty pink and gray coat. She appreciated that, and even wore it to bed that night.
The Vet Meets Sheena, Sheena Meets the Scale
After a visit with the vet on Tuesday, Feb 15 (which lasted an hour and a half!), we got a good report on Sheena’s blood work (white cell count, good, no issues detected), but her heart rate was high. Sheena is supposed to be Hypothyroid, but the vet said her heart rate was indicative of being Hyperthyroid. After a quick in-house T4 test, it was confirmed that she was Hyperthyroid. We have adjusted her thyroid meds temporarily and some time next week well take blood for more thorough thyroid testing and then hopefully we can ensure her medication is at a correct level. Her hind mammary glands are pendulous. The vet surmised that the only way they could have gotten in that condition was if she had mastitis, but spayed females don’t get mastitis! After some head scratching about whether she really was spayed or not they took a sample of fluid from the glands (the fluid shouldn’t be there). Sheena shows no sign of infection so it was all the more puzzling. We decided to wait on the results of a culture of the fluid to see what is going on there. We have a mystery. They shouldn’t be in the condition they are in.
Sheena has some vision loss, but the vet says it’s the about same as my own, and attributed to age. She’s likely far-sighted and it’s possible that things close up are a bit out of focus. Do they make reading glasses for Airedales?
We also weighed Sheena. She’s an embarrassing 99 lbs. Carry around all that weight has put a lot of strain on her hips. She does stairs, but it’s clearly difficult for her. Sometimes she walks up each step very slowly, but sometimes she gets a roll going and can bunny hop up two stairs at a time. We think, at the most, she should be 65 – 70 lbs. She’s uncomfortable. If the weight can come off, she’s going to feel so much better.
Mystery Solved…Sort of….
The next day I called the vet clinic that was listed on some papers I got with Sheena. The receptionist remembers Sheena well, and confirmed that she did have mastitis at one time, and was subsequently spayed at that clinic at seven years old. So it explains that she did have mastitis, but not why there is still a discharge from them.
It helped us to establish as well, that some time this year, Sheena will be 10. It also told us that she’s been overweight for some time.
A Sheena Moment
That night, Sheena did something that I didn’t think she was able to do. She hopped up on the love seat! I was seated there already so the momentum of the jump caused her to plow into me. I held my ground, barely, and asked her to lie down. She did so with some difficulty on the soft, cushion-y surface, trying to arrange her hind legs under her. She ended up with her head in my lap. Then she started moaning and whining softly. I asked her what she wanted. That resulted in her raising her head and moaning even louder and bordering on a full out yodel. I told her that saying it louder wasn’t going to help me understand! Not sure what was upsetting her, I reached over and hugged her really tight. She immediately fell silent, and fell asleep. I guess she just wanted to be cuddled. I fell in love with her. What a dear girl she is. Then I had to face taking her to her foster home the next day. It’s the best place for her right now, and honestly, I did not plan to get so attached to her. Well, she’s stolen my heart, but, I want the very best for her and that would be her foster home where she’ll get the exercise she needs so much right now! So off we went to start the next chapter in her life..a healthier chapter!
The Biggest “LoseAire”
On the 17th, Sheena went to The Spa of Embarrassing Illnesses…uhm, I mean…her Foster Home. While at my home, we began to transition Sheena to a new, leaner, raw diet with plenty of veggies to help her feel full. At her foster home, she’ll also get two to three walks a day and she’s already showing signs of loosening up her joints a little and lifting her feet better (she was shuffling a bit before).
The goal is to help her lose some weight in as healthy a way as we can manage. Along with that we’ll get to the bottom of her mammary issues and we’ll balance her thyroid.
We’ll follow her progress here. Good Luck Sheena!! You can DO it!
Sheena is a happy, bubbly senior stuck in a body that won’t do what her brain asks it to do. She deserves better. She dances in the kitchen when her food is prepared. She dances when she sees her leash. She wants to roughhouse and loves to shove her head into your chest and get her ears rubbed. She loves her back scratched and her face smooshed between your hands. She talks, a lot (and has a fairly extensive vocabulary!), but each day as she settled in more, the talking got a little less insistent. She does her best to sit (verrrrrry slowly) when you ask her to. She lies down when you ask. She even knows stay. She gallumphs happily around the dog yard. That’s right. Not sure you can call it anything else just yet. One day it will be an impressive gallop.
If you think you may have room in your hearts and home (pending final health assessments) to provide a safe, loving and healthy home for this girl (with couch and cuddle privileges and plenty of walks preferred!), please don’t hesitate http://www.airecanada.com/applicationform.html