Monday, April 29, 2013

Greyhound Club of Northern California Spring Specialty 2013

On April 20 the Greyhound Club of Northern California had its spring specialty. Although the class size was small-no majors in bitches or dogs, the specialty had a large specials entry-11 greyhounds.
Best of Breed was  the one and only Echo!  GCH Aragon Black Ice VCD1 RE AX AXJ JC.
As no show photo has arrived to date this picture was taken in our back yard.
Best of Opposite Sex was Darby! GCH Aragon Aroi Silver Lining CD RE. Winners dog was Goose! Aragon Golden Canyon JC. Reserve Winners Bitch was Emma! Aragon Emerald Hills JC. Reserve Winners Dog was Riser! Aragon Full Moon Rising JC.
Select Dog went to Bruce! GCH Aragon Helios Blue Spruce. This gave Bruce his last Grand Championship point. Breeze Ch Aragon Northern Lights TD JC earned an Award of Merit.
No one entered in obedience-probably a first time but the two dogs who were planning on entering Echo and Darby were both out of training with muscle injuries.

It was a good specialty for the Whisper and Lyric puppies. In addition to the fun of the show and visiting friends, it was nice to have 7 of Whisper's puppies back together again.

Missing from the photo but entered was Riser- Aragon Full Moon Rising JC
From left to right-Bruce- GCH Aragon Helios Blue Spruce, Costa Colbert, Emma-Aragon Emerald Hills JC, Janet Stringer, Goose-Aragon Golden Canyon JC, Kahlua-Aragon Tidal Wave, Cherie Bond, Freyja- Ch Aragon Desert Willow JC, Janice Senior, Breeze-Ch Aragon Northern Lights TD JC

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

California Horrors

With the arrival of spring so do the foxtails. For non Californians, foxtails are the seeds of non native grasses brought over from southern Europe and northern Africa in animal foods in the mid 1800s. Slowly but surely they have taken over the grasslands of the state.

The grasses are beautiful when they are green so why are the seeds bad? They cause untold injuries in pets and wildlife. The seeds have one way barbs so once they get into an animal, like a fishing hook they can only go one direction-forward somewhere into the body. The seed carries bacteria and spreads infection where ever it goes.

As a veterinarian I have removed them from the nose, eyes,lungs, rectal,vaginal,prepucial regions and the abdomen. Once they enter an animal they slowly move forward into the body with their bacteria. If they are caught in the nose or eye they can be removed with sedation. More serious areas include the lung. Once they get into the lungs they either stay there and abscess the lung, requiring lung removal. Or they rupture the lung and spread into the abdomen, often ending up near the kidney.
Foxtails don't show up on xrays or CAT scans so the area has to be opened up and draining tracts followed to their origin. Many many times the foxtails have moved on and are never found. The body can not break them down so they continue spreading infection throughout the body.

Moving to California years ago I was not prepared for their damage. To date I have had three dogs with serious run ins although luckily none died.

 My first encounter was with Shattab years ago. One spring she was out running the fields and having a grand time. Early the next morning she was struggling to breath. Radiographs showed a ruptured lung that wouldn't seal. Although the air was pulled out with a syringe it kept refilling immediately and she ended up in ICU with a chest tube for several days. The foxtail never was apparent. Months later she developed a huge abscess  on her left  flank which was surgically explored and cleaned . She had inhaled the foxtail running and it went into and though her lung into her abdomen and out into the body wall. After surgery she never had a problem again.

The next occurence happened several years later to her son Merlin. He was running my farm  and one spring day spooked up a coyote. Off all the dogs went chasing the coyote until he disappeared. The dogs came back tired but happy. The next morning I heard a soft moist cough and noticed he had labored respiration. Radiographs showed a small spot of pneumonia in the back part of the lung that quickly responded to antibiotics. Within a few days though he was in screaming pain whenever he moved. Shortly afterwards a small abscess developed over his ribs. It was surgically cleaned  and there was the foxtail in all its ugliness. He had inhaled it and it lodged in his lung. Then it kept moving and migrated between his ribs and to the outside of the body. Lucky it did as otherwise he would have lost his lung.

By this time I was understandable wary about letting the dogs run in spring. My last run in with them was with Apollo. At this point my dogs were always on leash  spring time and to this day I don't know how he found the foxtail or it found him. One morning I noticed labored respiration and radiographs again showed a ruptured lung. At this point I pretty much knew what had happened. The lung rupture wasn't severe and I immediately started him on antiobiotics and waited. Sure enough a few weeks later he started crying when he would move. Ultrasound revealed a large retroperitoneal abscess(abscess around the kidney). Major surgery cleaned the area but the foxtail was not found. He lived on antiobiotics the rest of his life but at least it never caused a problem again.

California in the spring is lovely but can have deadly consequences.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Ch Aragon Desert Willow JC

 New Champion   Ch Aragon Desert Willow

Shortly after Willa/Frejya came to live with Janice and Ed she was entered in the Rose City Classic shows in Portland Oregon. She needed only one point to finish and had four days to accomplish the goal. One the first day she finished and went Best Opposite sex for Whisper's third puppy to finish their championship. The remaining three days she went Best of Breed over several specials.

For Janice's first show dog she has been a dream come true. Not only is beautiful but she has a sweetness and willingness to work she inherited from her mother.

Now onto other accomplishments!!! She is well on her way to her Grand Championship but we hope to see her in the obedience and agility ring-if not tracking as well.

Congratulations Janice your puppy is a star!