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I am veterinary nurse student living in Denmark, with my husband and my Miniature Schnauzer.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Amazing Treat Machine - Cardboard Toys For Pets

If you love giving your pet new activities Amazing Treat Machine will make you jump up and down, just like I did when I discovered it.

Amazing Treat Machine has three different types of pet toys made of cardboard, the Treat Machine, the Roller and the Scratchers. They are cheap, fun and recyclable.

The scratcher toys are made of cardboard circles, and mainly made with cats in mind. There are two different types - the Hanging Scratcher and the Scratch Roller.

The Hanging Scratcher functions as a scratching tree, made out of cardboard circles that are hung up in a rope. The Scratch Roller, which looks like a little wheel, is literarily a stack of cardboard circles. The Hanging Scratcher is a pure cat toy, but the Scratch Roller will also activate small dogs and ferrets.

The Roller is a cylinder shaped cardboard container, with a little hole where treats can escape, as the roller is being pushed around. The idea is an old one, that has been used in several treat toys, but making the toy in cardboard is a new approach to it. This toy will enrichen the life of cats, dogs, ferrets and even rabbits!

The Treat Machine is the kind of toy where treats escape from the bottom of a container, when the dog drops a ball into it. This is also made of cardboard, and is perfect for dogs that eat too fast, bored dogs and dogs that love to use their brain!

All Amazing Treat Machine pet toys can be bought through the website.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Rehabilitation Day 5 & 6: Slow but Steady Progress

It's been a just over a week since my Miniature Schnauzer was struck by FCE, and until now our rehabilitation results has been great. During the last week she went from not being able to stand to being able to jumping around on her own. Sometimes day to day progress might seem small, but the overall results are very good.

There has been small improvements in Colas strength and balance these last two days. She is getting better at standing and jumping around by herself.

When my husband got home this afternoon I urged her to jump out into the hall, and she greeted him with a wagging tail for the first time since she was struck by FCE! That was so great to see!

Our walks are getting easier and she has started to use her right front leg a little bit, moving it as if she was walking on it. She refuses to put any weight on it though, unless she is leaning forward.

Her right hind leg is getting better too, but she is still mostly using it in a "supporting" way. She seldom uses it independently of the left hind leg and when she uses it to jump or stand she does not have a good sense of her paw. She is dragging the top of her paw when she jumps around, and she stands with the top of her paw facing down.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Rehabilitation Day 4: Miniature Super-Schnauzer Jumping Around on Her Own

Cola stood up by herself this morning, and jumped into the kitchen without any help!

Our walks today had much more speed than before, and my tiny super-Schnauzer almost forgets that she can not run of by herself. We've still got snow here and that caused a few problems the first few days after the FCE struck, but now it is actually a help as it is both supporting her legs and softening her falls.

I’m also thrilled to see that Cola is getting more and more interested in sniffing other dogs urine again, which is a great sign that she’s in good spirits!

After todays walks she jumped into the living room by herself. During the day she jumped a bit around the apartment as well.

All of Colas legs are getting stronger, but she still has very little use of her right front leg. Her right hind leg is getting softer and she moves it a bit more naturally now,(Her hind leg has been quite stiff since she was struck by FCE) but she still can not place it properly. She seems to be leaning on it most of the time, using it to balance. She also tends to stand with the top of the paw facing downwards.

When jumping around she seems to make sure to do it quickly, using speed to make sure she ends up where she wants, and she often falls when she reaches her destination.

I'm unsure how much of the progress is due to more strength and better leg function, and how much of it is due to her learning how to balance and using speed to get from one point to the other.

I had to stay home today because of the flu, so Cola did not get any TENS treatments today. She got massages instead.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Rehabilitation Day 3: Water Walker Treadmill Disaster

Cola stood up by herself several times today, and she tries to jump around a bit. She falls down often, but responds very well to praise and keeps trying.

The water walker treadmill was not the positive experience that I had hoped for it to be. Cola refuses to use all legs but the left front leg, while in the water.

The water walker treadmill is a great tool for rehabilitation, but sadly I do not think it will do much good for my dog. She’s been in it before and was not to happy about it then either, as she hates water, but this time she became downright depressed by it. I've decided to concentrate on TENS, walks and massages for now. She got 2xTENS today.

Schnauzers have got a lot of fur under their paws, and to make sure that Cola has a good grip on the floor I removed all fur underneath her paws today.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Rehabilitation Day 2: Get UP Stand Up!

Our little Miniature Super- Schnauzer was able to stand up by herself today! She stood on all four and jump around a bit, before collapsing. She got three "long" walks in the harness and her confidence and strength grows steadily. I’m glad she does not weigh more than she does, as my arm I somewhat tired after a walk.

Cola now goes to the toilet all by herself, without any problems, and she no longer has diarrhea!

I bought a Nylabone for her today, so that she has something to gnaw on and play with. She shows no interest in toys and bones that does not smell or taste good, and anything edible disappears within minutes, so I figured it was worth a try. She loves it!

The walking harness got a few adjustments today, and it now works fantastically. She does not seem to be able to keep warm enough in it at this point though, and I discovered that I could use the harness coat that I made for her last weekend on top of the walking harness. This solves the problem!

3xTENS today, and a lot of luring her to jump around the living room. Tomorrow I'll take her to the hospital, for a walk in the water walker treadmill!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Rehabilitation Day 1: Fighting Colas FCE - First Signs of Progress!

I's the first day after Cola, my Miniature Schnauzer, got her FCE diagnosis and started her treatment, and there is already signs of progress! This morning my dog could support her own body for a few seconds, before collapsing. A great sign!

I finished her new harness and she had a walk in it this evening. At first she just stood still, concentrating on not falling. I used treats to lure her to try and take a couple of steps (or more like jumps in her case), and her confidence and mood went up several notches as she discovered that she could move around in this thing! She jumped a a couple of minutes before she decided to sit down and pee!! :))))) After that she was very tired.

I gave her TENS 3 times, and my husband trained “raise paw” with her to activate her front leg.
What a wonderful day! Todays progress supports the FCE diagnosis.

I'm planning to have her walk in the water walker treadmill Sunday.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My Dog Was Diagnosed With FCE

After a sleepless night without any worsening of Colas symptoms, she was put under and prepared for a CT scan. A CT scan (computerized tomography) makes a three-dimensional image from a series of two-dimensional X-ray images taken from different angles. With this method the vet can for example see a herniated disc or a tumor.

Colas fist scan showed no abnormalities. For me this was pretty devastating, as I was actually hoping for a herniated disc. To make sure nothing was “hiding” form us a myelogram was made.

A special dye, a contrast material, was injected into my dogs spinal canal to show where the spinal cord or nerves may be damaged. The next CT scan with the myelogram showed a little narrowing over one disc in the neck area, but the narrowing was not serious, and should not be able to cause the kind of symptoms my dog has.

So by the process of elimination we have ended up with FCE. FCE also fits because she is in no pain, and the lameness affects one side of her body, which it often does. I really hope this diagnosis is the right one, and that there is no secondary problem.

The narrowing shown on the myelogram CT kind of got me worried, but as one of the vets said “We could make a scan of everyone, and on most scans we would find something. Most of the finds will never ever cause a problem.” He’s right.

I understand that FCE dogs that feel pain when pinch between their toes have a good chance of recovery, and luckily my dog does feel pain when pinched.

The treatment for dogs with FCE consists of steroids to decrease inflammation in her spinal cord, and rehabilitation. Cola had a shot of steroids today and I’ve talked to our small animal physiotherapist about rehabilitation.

I feel lucky to be working in a hospital where we’ve got a physiotherapist, a water walker treadmill and TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) available for me to use.

Cola started with 2xTENS this evening. She is quite depressed, her bladder had to be emptied manually, and she got diarrhea from the medicine treatment. I can see that see feels bad when she has an accident, and I so hope she will be able to go to the toilet herself soon.

I’ve started modifying one of my dog harness designs, to be able to support both front and hind legs so that she’ll be able to walk a bit, and feel that she has some control.
Now all we can do is hope for the best!