Monday, 16 November 2015

on the special diet again, sigh...

Penny had been well for the last couple of weeks, after her hospital visit for gastroenteritis, and I had even reintroduced some aspects of her normal diet.

But... last Friday she was to go to the vet to be sedated so he could look down her throat to check out her strange puffy breathing. He says he can hear 'congestion'.

So, no food after 10 pm. But in the morning she was desperate to go outside to eat grass. I took her on a street walk, but she was searching for grass. What could I do? She obviously felt ill, and there was no point in letting her be sedated if she was unwell. So out to the back yard to act like a sheep and mow the long grass.

My garden always has at least one patch of yummy grass, just in case!

She pooed out the strangest thing. (Apologies if you hate the next two photos, but I always look around on the Net when I'm worried about Penny, so I thought these photos might help someone else to understand their own dog.)

Wow! That sure didn't look good. And then she threw up white froth. (You can see some still hanging from her mouth.)

Off to the vet to explain that we didn't want the sedation and to ask for help. He gave her three injections:
anti-nausea (cerenia);
anti-inflammatory - just a little, I think- (dexadreson);
penicillin (benacillin) -in case there's an infection.

She's been good ever since, except for the worrying coughing/sneezing, which is on the back burner until she recovers from this set-back. But we're back to eating the Royal Canin Gastro Intestinal Low Fat diet. In looking for the link to add here, I notice the advice that this is a diet for management of a condition, not necessarily a long-term feeding product. (I must ask the vet about that.) It says to monitor your dog's weight. Penny has been losing weight over the last six weeks of illness, so I'll keep an eye on that.

But at least, as far as I know, it's a diet that gives her everything she needs in terms of nutrition. We're also finishing off the boiled rice and boiled chicken that I cooked up.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

hard work to restore indigenous vegetation

Two days ago Penny and I walked at a local reserve, along the Yarra River. We stopped to look at one spot where there was a great difference between two types of vegetation. On the left, native grasses. On the right, ubiquitous wandering trad.

I've heard from many people that dogs can have an allergic reaction to wandering trad, and it's possible Penny does, but I've never been sure. (She does have frequent skin issues.)

I don't usually mind seeing non-native plants around the place, because it seems to me it's inevitable that garden escapees will grow amongst our indigenous plants, but I must say I hate to see this plant, because it seems to have no natural enemies in Australia and smothers every other plant. Here's a photo of it that I wrote about in a previous post, on a day when I walked past literally kilometres of nothing but trad, with only trees able to resist its smothering embrace.

But how lovely to see the native grasses given a chance to succeed against it, with the help of the wonderful volunteers who put so much effort into maintaining Wilson Reserve.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Penny swims in the Yarra

I gritted my teeth and let Penny swim in the Yarra today. The last time she did so was the day before she ended up in hospital with what was eventually diagnosed as gastroenteritis.

It has rained a lot over the last few days and I think any bad stuff will have been swept out into Port Phillip Bay by now. Also, Penny really feels the heat and has swum in the Yarra for more than ten years. With the predicted hot, dry summer coming, I'd like to know she can swim. Otherwise we can only walk at dawn, and that's quite a struggle to do. (For me. I'm sure Penny is more resilient than I am.)

She didn't swim for long. After fetching the stick I threw, she was very pleased with herself and content to carry it back to the car.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

walking past a salsify-eating cockatoo

It's just great that Penny has recovered from her gastroenteritis and I can walk along without stressing about whether she's scouting for food. (She always is, but I'm hopeful she won't make herself sick.)

As we stepped onto a path today, I noticed a cockatoo in the distance. Penny didn't, because she was nose-down checking out for edibles. Or good smells.

We approached, and the bird flew up into a nearby tree, holding something in its beak, and then nibbled on the plant it was holding.

I wish my phone could take a better photo, but if you zoom it up a bit, I think you'll see that it wasn't a grass stem. It was something more substantial. Inquisitively, I looked around to see what the plant might be. And there was a clue...

And lots more clues, actually - clumps of stems bent down and snapped off, all along the edge of the path. Also, a clump that hadn't yet been attacked...

Salsify. How interesting. It's considered a weed in Australia, but recently I've discovered it is edible.

Once we moved further away, the cockatoo landed on the path again and, after considering the available plants, decided on a big grass seed head, which it took up onto the old tree to eat.

Penny and I headed home for our own breakfast, and I'm pleased to say that Penny is now eating her normal range of food, instead of being limited to a 'gastro' diet.