Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Day After

The neuter went ok yesterday. There was excessive bleeding, so the doctor was a bit worried about Von Willebrand disease, but the bleeding stopped, so she just wanted me to know to be aware if he needs any other surgeries at some point in the future. When I brought him home last night he was still a bit stoned, but he had no problems gobbling up supper. The nurse said to feed him a bit at a time, so I did. Oak was not impressed by the fact that he only got a wee bit of food, then had to wait! He was also not as tired as I expected him to be. He even wanted to play a bit!(I didn't let him, though) He tried to chew on his incision a couple of times and it started bleeding, he has to wear a cone :( Poor little man.

This is him outside drinking from a flower pot:)

Now for the bad news. We had his hips xrayed while he was asleep, and they don't look good. I was really surprised by this, because I thought they would be perfect. We have never noticed him having any issues with them.

We'll take xrays again after he turns 2 years, and until then we will be concentrating on joint care. Starting tomorrow, I will be adding several supplements to his diet. My vet suggested Sasha's Blend and also an Omega 3 oil like Krill or Salmon.
Oak wil also receive occasional accupuncture and chiropractic treatments. I hope to find a place to take him swimming so we can increase the muscle mass in a nonjarring way.

Eight years ago my daughter's 2 year old golden (Zanara) was diagnosed with 3rd degree hip dysplasia. At that time we switched everyone to raw and supplemented Zanara with high doses of Ester C, glucosamine and chondrotin. She is now 10 and is still in great shape. The only time she is in pain is when we go up to the cottage and she runs around and swims for hours on end. Then my daughter makes sure to give her MSM as well and this helps out a lot.

So for now, we are relaxing at home so he can recover from his surgery, then back to training, hopefully regular swimming and for me, more research.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Neuter or Not

Reasons to Neuter:
-eliminates the small risk of dying from testicular cancer

-reduces the risk of noncancerous prostate disorders

-eliminates risk of impregnating a female dog

-helps eliminate aggressive tendencies

Reasons Not to Neuter or at least wait until the dog is fully developed:

- if done before 1 year of age, significantly increases the risk of osteosarcoma (bone cancer); this is a common cancer in medium/large and larger breeds with a poor prognosis.

- increases the risk of cardiac hemangiosarcoma by a factor of 1.6

- triples the risk of hypothyroidism

- increases the risk of progressive geriatric cognitive impairment

- quadruples the small risk prostate cancer

- increases the risk of orthopedic disorders

- increases the risk of adverse reactions to vaccinations

I started this post over a month ago. I wanted to research the effects of neutering and not neutering on Oak. My last golden, Phoenix, was never neutered. He died at the age of 14 years from hemangiosarcoma. He also suffered from hypothyroidism for many years and developed geriatric vestibular disease not once, but twice(very unusual)! So it would seem not all the facts and figures I have are necessarily accurate.

Unfortunately for me(and Oak) at this point in time, I feel his newly developed dominating ( dog aggressive) tendencies out way the possible risk of disease and orthopedic disorders later in life. I have spoken to my dog trainer, the vet and numerous other people who know dogs and we all agree it would be best to neuter Oak now, instead of waiting until he is 18 months old(as my contract states). So... he's all set to go in tomorrow. I hope I made the right decision. I'm a bit nervous(ok alot), but I'm sure it all work out in the end. Everybody cross your fingers for my baby.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Helpful Gardener

Yesterday was such a beautiful day here in Oshawa that we decided to do some gardening. I had some trees in the front garden that I planted years ago and I wasn't really happy with the way they were turning out, so I decided to remove them. Easier said then done. Some of the roots were alot deeper and thicker then I thought they would be. Oak saw I was having difficulties removing the tree and he decided to pitch in and help. He looked at the root and decided the best was to begin to dig.

Then he jumped right in and stated digging and digging until we were able to remove the tree.

Time for a little break(after all that hard work).

(Please note all the dirt on my sidewalk that I had to clean up. He's not the neatest digger!)
Next he needed to lay down on the dirt just to make sure the hole from the tree was all covered and solid. There was also some leftover pieces of root that needed mulching! :)

A big smile for a job well done. What a helpful boy I have :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Class Last Night

At times it seemed like I had a totally different dog at class last night. The 2 hours per day of training we've been doing has made a HUGE difference! He wasn't perfect, but he is still learning so I didn't expect perfection. He even stayed for the down stay and the sit stay! He kept switching hips in the down stay, so I kept thinking he was going to get up, but he didn't! The trainer brought treats around as a distraction and set them about 4 ft. in front of the dogs. My little piggy did try to get up and get the treat, but when I put him back down he stayed! Yeah! I talked to the trainer about his bullying tendencies and she suggested neutering, so I'm going to have to call his breeder and discuss it with her.
I've been doing alot of research on the internet on dog training methods and I decided I wanted to buy a couple of books, so after class we took a trip to Chapters. I was looking for "The Dog Listener" by Jan Fennell and "The Other End of the Leash" by Patricia McConnell. They had "The Other End of the Leash" in stock, but not the other one. After looking at it and the other books there, I decided to try "The Loved Dog" by Tamar Geller. I remembered seeing her on Oprah a few years ago and after glancing through the book, I thought it might be of interest to check out her methods. I'll let you know what I think. I already know what Oak thinks ...

I found him ripping it apart this morning :) Obviously, I shouldn't have left it on the floor by my bed.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

First Day

Well today is the first day of our new program. We actually started last night with leash work during a walk. He did very well especially near the end of our walk. Unfortunately, he found it too hot! He was huffing and puffing and it was only 16 C out! When we got home he lay down under the deck, in a hole he made there, to cool off. Poor guy is really going to hate it when it actually gets hot!
We went to the park this morning and he ran and ran and ran.

He even went in the stream for a little drink and to try to grab a stick. Personally, I just wanted him to clean the mud off his paws!

Then on the way out of the park I put him on lead and we did heel work, sit stay, down stay and stand for examination.

I didn't make him stay for extended periods of time, but I think he did very well especailly with all the distractions in the area.

The only thing is, I thought he might lay down for a rest when we got home, he's not. He's definitely not as hyper as usual, but he's not sleeping either! Oh well, I guess you can't expect miracles on the first day!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

New Routine for Oak

Oak is inclined to be a wee bit dominating with both dogs and people and the older he gets the worse it is getting instead of better. He'll be playing with another male dog, they'll be having a great time and suddenly the other dog will be winning the play fight, so Oak will play harder and it turns into a real fight. We end up having to pull him off the other dog and put him down in a submissive posture. I think there may be a couple of problems that need to be resolved to help with him.
First, I think he needs more exercise so starting tomorrow we're are going to up training and up his exercise. We will go to the off leash park first thing in the morning(8am) to run off some energy, then do some training in the nearby park. I'm going to go through all his exercises 3x each.

Then at 11am, while I go walk Komo and Kyan, Oak will go to daycare for about 45min. to play with the other dogs.

On monday, wednesday and thursday we walk Ranger next for an hour. We either walk through a park on lead, or go to the tennis courts and I let them play off lead. Unfortunately, tennis players are starting to use the tennis courts! :)

Then in the early evening, we will walk onlead and practise heeling and go through the commands again. He will also have to sit before going outside and before coming in and I may make him down stay more often in the house ie: while eating supper, loading the dishwasher, making food etc. We have to focus on his stay. He is really bad at that. So we are going to keep this up for a week and I will let you know how it goes.
If I don't see a massive improvment in a month or so, I may have to talk to his breeder about an early neuter. It is in her contract not to neuter him until 18 mos, which I totally agree with( hormones are needed for proper growth ). I'll talk to my vet, trainer and check out the info on the net to see what I can find. Hopefully, upping the training will work and I won't have to resort to drastic measures.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Lite and his Antics

I'm not sure if you all remember, but back in february we had a new golden puppy join the family. His name is Lite and he is my daughter Mandy's dog. I just have to tell you what the little guy did the other day. Tyler my 6 yr. old grandson was playing in his treehouse and Lite decided he wanted to climb up to see him. Now to get up there, he had to climb a wooden ladder(he'd never been taught to do this, and he'd never done it before)

Once he got up there he wasn't sure how to get back down, so Tyler tried tossing a toy down the slide for him to chase.

He followed the toy down the slide, then climbed back up the ladder to take the toy back to Tyler!

Lite wanted to be with Tyler and even the fact that he had to climb up a ladder didn't slow him down:)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Oak's Daddy

Since the last post was about Oak meeting his littermate Cedar, I thought I'd write a bit about his Dad(their Dad). I was looking a pictures of Leaf(Oak's Dad) on his website and Oak is starting to really look like him. Check it out and see what you think. This is the website for Hyline's Branch of the Tree. Specifically his pictures. This is a picture of Oak at 9 months.

What do you think?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Family Reunion - Oak and Cedar

Today we went to Greenwood Conservation Area in Ajax to meet Oak's sister Cedar. I think I was more excited then he was :)

I think they have the same facial features. Other then that, they are quite different. Cedar is smaller, slimmer and darker.

I got Oak weighed on the way there and he is now 73lbs! Cedar, on the other hand, weighs about 50lbs.

They didn't act like they remembered each other, but they did have good time playing together.

Yes, they are from the same litter. I think he takes after Dad, and She' more like Mom.