a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Meanwhile Back at Taj MuttHall

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Meanwhile Back at Taj MuttHall

SUMMARY: Boost and Tika

Still trying to figure out Boost and food and her weight.

She's also getting MUCh worse about scrounging stuff. I have all these varieties of dog foods to keep Tika's interest up, and a lot of the unopened ones (or sealed shut) are on the floor. This has never been a problem. But yesterday she ripped open one of the brand-new, still sealed bags and I caught her gorging herself! Yikes. Is nothing sacred?

She is now the fastest eater i the house. After all those years of Tika sucking down her own food at twice Boost's speed, now that Tika is slow and methodical... and Chip is even slower than that!... I wonder whether Boost thinks that she's getting less food than they're getting?

She also now knows that Tika doesn't always finish her meal and lurks to dive in the instant that Tika's head moves away, and I have to catch her and drag her back from that, so maybe she feels deprived fromnot getting to eat that?

It's a puzzlement, why packages of treats and food are no longer OK around the good border collie after all these years.

A couple of people suggested adding pumpkin, in the ratio of twice whatever kibble I was taking out of her diet.  I bought several cans, and what I'm doing is smearing it all around the inside of her dish and pouring the food onto it, so she has to spend time licking out every molecule, giving the other dogs time to finish eating.

Tika is mostly eating most of her meals, with only occasional meals where she won't eat the first thing that I set out for her.

I'll tell ya what's working with having Chip here, apparently: Before, she was consuming her pill pockets (containing meds) cautiously and fairly often spitting them out and refusing to eat them until I remove the pills. Since Chip has arrived, wow, does she suck down those 2 pill pockets! Doesn't want a chance for the usurper to get one, I guess.

After several days of Tika doing a lot of coughing and acting old and frail, she's back to very little coughing, more enthused play, more alertness. This cycle keeps going over and over and over.

Boost is scratching obsessively still/yet/again, after a couple of weeks off prednisone. I *SO* hate having her on pred all the time, but milder things don't work, and she's now chewing herself raw, which I really hate to see and isn't good for her, either. So I guess it's back on prednisone again. Sigh.

And that's the news from Lake Dogbegone, where all the dogs are cute AND above average.


  1. So you finally did try Pill Pockets? I am still a fan of those. So convenient.

    And for the scratching, have you tried different antihistamines? Vixen was rubbing her face raw, and the vet suggested trying Claritin. However, Claritin doesn't work on me at all for similar seasonal allergy itches but Allegra does! So with vet approval I have been giving Vixen Allegra (actually the Costco cheap version I take, Aller-fex). IIRC the dosage is 2-5 mg/kg, so Vixen at 44 lb gets 1/2 of a 180mg tablet once per day. She no longer rubs her face raw! Maybe something like that could at least help cut down on the pred.

    1. Yep, Cheryl, out of desperation I finally shelled out for some pill pockets. Tika does usually take them (although as I noted some of the time she spits it out and I have to give her the pills manually anyway); it's just that they're so expensive on top of all the meds. Best price I could find the 2nd time around works out to over $25/month. ($5.99/bag) And I'm still popping one of hte big ones behind her tongue manually because I just don't want to bump that to over $37/month.

      The first year Boost was itching, benadryl helped. The next year, it didn't. I didn't think to ask about other possibilities. Thanks for the suggestion; I'll check with my vet.

  2. Wow, how many Pill Pockets are you going through? Wiley gets 4 pills a day (granted not really big ones) and I use less than 1 pill pocket for that, actually about half. I pinch off some pill pocket material, squish it in my fingers until it is about the thickness of a dime, and wrap the pill with just enough to cover it. He actually swallows the thinly-covered pieces more readily, I guess because they are smaller? He does chew one occasionally, and Tramadol tastes really bad! But at 15 years old he seems to forget pretty quickly about the potential yuck and goes back to just swallowing them almost immediately. It takes over a month to go through one capsule-sized bag of 30 pockets. Of course I have a chow-hound un-suspicious dog!

    I haven't found the pockets at a good price lately either, and I have been looking for sales. My vet did offer to go in with me on a big wholesale order...I may have to take her up on that!

    1. She gets 3 1/2 smaller pills, which go into one pocket, and one big pill, half of which fits into one pocket, and the other half she gets straight up. Twice a day. Capsule size also.

      Would be interesting to see what your vet could get them for at wholesale; hope that works for you.

    2. I might use your suggestion and try thinning it out a bit, but given her propensity to spit them out if she gets the slightes hint of pill, I'm doubtful. Worth trying, though, to save a pocket or two a day.

  3. You should ask your vet about Apoquel. It's a new allergy medicine for dogs that seems promising. I'm going to try it with Icon but it's on back order. Hopefully in by end of April. The other thing that keeps Icon's allergies in check is I wipe him down with a damp cloth after he comes in from outside to get rid of allergens. This works best when I go to work for to the day (it's not so easy when I'm at home and they can go in and out as the please).