Friday, February 19, 2010

Persian cats get a haircut

My beautiful silver Persians are a grooming nightmare. If I don’t brush them every day, there is fur from one end of my house to the other. I’ve owned other long-haired cats and have never dealt with this much shedding. My Maine Coon, Moonshine, never shed. And several long-haired shelter cats I’ve owned were never a problem.

Sterling and Whisper were also adopted from a shelter. Actually they were foster kitties that ended up staying forever. I never dreamed a silver Persian would end up in the shelter, but the owner was allergic. One year apart in age, they are now 9 and 8 years old. I recently had them both shaved down and they look ridiculous, but at least I’m not vacuuming so much.
Last fall my friend Melanie Snowhite photographed me with them (pre-haircut) for a story in Purina's Rally to Rescue Magazine. That photo is shown here. The article, by Maryann Mott, featured “failed fosters;” in other words, animals that were fostered by rescuers and never left their foster homes.

Our Southland Collie Rescue rep foisted these two off on me. I was way too willing, and they settled right in and never left. It’s a common problem in rescue. You go to the shelter to pick up a collie, and come home with two Persian cats or some other un-collie type of animal. I've done it several times. But they were worth it.
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© 2010 Terry Albert. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

This week in the New York Times

I got my fifteen minutes of fame this week. Reporter Sam Dolnick of the New York Times saw my blog about debarking my shelties. He had never heard of such a thing, so he contacted me and wrote a thoughtful article about the subject after interviewing people on both sides of the debate. We spoke several times, and I gave him some names of vets and others he could interview. He quotes me at the end of the article:

Terry Albert, of Poway, Calif., said her life revolved around dogs: she boards them, rescues them, and even paints portraits of them. And she refuses to give them up. She has had two dogs debarked.

“You may think it’s horrible,” she said. “But if I had to give up my dog or get the surgery, I would choose the surgery.”

I've been amazed at how many people I know who saw the article and contacted me. The good news is most people seem to agree with me, though I have also been soundly ridiculed on a few blogs. Such is life.

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© 2009 Terry Albert. All Rights Reserved.

Chino, poisoned dog, is improving!

From my friend Melanie: Chino is BETTER!! His eye is still paralyzed and he has to spend a lot of time crated but it looks like he will pull through for sure! Thanks to everyone for your kind posts about Chino.

After a close call with rat poison, it looks like this dog will survive.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Update on poisoned dog Chino

Update on my friend's dog Chino, featured in my last post-- he's still in serious condition, and is not eating or drinking yet. He is at home, but may have to go back to the vet's for more fluids. He will need regular Vitamin K shots for approximately the next month.

By the way. Chino is a rat terrier, about 20 pounds.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Will we never learn? Poison kills pets

I spent the day with my girlfriend at the vet hospital. Her dog, Chino, ate rat poison over the weekend, and is critically ill. I don’t know how this will turn out, but I do know how it happened, and I’ve seen it happen too many times before.

Dogs don’t have fingers to help them explore their world. Rover uses his nose and mouth. Poisons are manufactured with grains and cereals to make the bait attractive to rats and mice, and therefore to dogs too. And the results are often fatal, especially to small dogs.

Chino got up onto a shelf and behind a pile of boxes to get to the poison. I’ve heard of dogs that knocked over a shelf unit in the garage and ate snail bait that fell to the floor. My own husband once declared (about snail bait): “Tank won’t bother it; he knows,” and he was wrong. Within two hours Tank was having tremors and seizures and we were on our way to the emergency vet.

My friend’s husband swore he had hidden the bait well enough, and he was wrong too. If you set it out, they will find it. Period. Don’t take a chance. Chino has had several blood transfusions, injections of vitamin K, and IV fluids. After $2,000 in care, his lungs are still full of blood, he is lethargic, too weak to walk, and his extremities are swollen. She took him home tonight and if he makes it through the night, she will bring him back to the vet tomorrow for more treatment. Only time will tell us whether Chino will survive.

The poison interferes with blood clotting. Symptoms include bleeding from the nose or mouth, muscle tremors, mild cough (as the lungs fill with blood), breathing problems, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, blood in the urine or stool. Quick treatment by a vet is vital to survival.