I always crate Boogie before I go out and I have been doing this for years. The main reason being that he used to relocate or destroy stuff when I was out, and the second reason – I didn’t want him getting into the habit of barking at people outside the window when I am not around to divert him from these triggers or to help calm him down.
About a month ago when Boogie was on his recent course of Temaril-P (side effects: extra thirst & restlessness) I felt bad about keeping him cooped up for up to 3 hours at a time. I thought it would be more comfortable for Boogie if he could move around, so for those couple of weeks, I stopped crating him.
Everything was fine at first. I would come home to a Boogie curled up in his open crate, on his bed or in my bed. He’s a bit deaf so sometimes he doesn’t even hear me enter the apartment.
And then one night when Nathan and I were out to dinner for only 30 minutes, this happened….
Yes, Boogie was on my computer keyboard and I don’t know what password he entered. And that trash can is actually twice his height and heavy! Of course, the steroid meds had made him so hungry and he was so obsessed with finding food that he was prepared to do anything! I felt I had no choice but to start crating Boogie again because there was no way on earth I was going to risk him eating something dangerous from the trash. (coffee grounds and Darwin Pet’s ‘raw meat’-lined plastic packets – eeeuughh!)
However, the temperature in LA has been 100+ degrees. It has been so unbearably hot that Boogie has been flopping down on the floor – changing locations throughout the day – in order to keep cool. And once again I wonder if it’s cruel to keep him enclosed in a small space even with the fan and AC on. It can’t be comfortable in that crate when all he wants to do is spread out all over the floor.
I am pleased to report that I have come up with a no-crating management solution for when I am out of the apartment. Before I step out, this is what I do…
- I still call Boogie to his crate and give him a treat. (He usually runs in there by himself anyway when he sees me pick up my keys) But I don’t shut the crate door.
- I move Boogie’s water bowl out of the kitchen and block off the kitchen with a baby gate. (no access to any food or trash)
- I fill the bath tub with some water so if Boogie is hot he can go cool down his paws (this is his Summer thing)
- I still lock my PC keyboard.
Everything has been working out great. I can’t believe I never thought of blocking off the kitchen before. When I come home – all is as it should be. Trash is safe. Boogie is sleeping in one of his many beds. He may still bark out the window but oh well…
Masked Dog is a character from Mucha Lucha. I designed him over 10 years ago and I can’t believe I have never owned a Masked Dog plush toy until now. Boogie was very excited to meet Masked Dog but I will have to keep these two separate because Masked Dog is MINE
Last week I was sent a free packet of Bionic Biotic by Pooch & Mutt for Boogie to try out. Poor Boogie still has skin issues – his coat is thinning very drastically – he is getting so bald you can see his black freckles showing through the white parts. He will soon turn into a black and grey boston terrier
And now that he is no longer on antibiotics, I am seeing the dreaded return of red (bumpy and crusty) spots on his skin. From what I have been told, it could be a few weeks before I see a result with Bionic Biotic, and we only just started a few days ago so it is too soon to tell if this will help. I really really hope so! I will keep you all posted. I am also bathing Boogie with Cortisoothe and Hexadene shampoos – and still adding Brewers yeast and garlic to his food. I have a suspicion that these medicated shampoos may be contributing to his hair loss… I don’t know for sure. It seems that the more I bathe him, the more hair he loses… But I can’t not bathe him when he is so allergic to grass and pollens.
What antibacterial shampoos do you all use?
The schedule for next year’s Clicker Expo is up! I just remembered that I still have notes from this year’s Clicker Expo that I was going to turn into blog posts but I haven’t gotten around to doing this yet…
I really want to go to the 2014 Clicker Expo. Not only is it in Long Beach (I CAN DRIVE THERE), there are lots of NEW speakers including Emily Larlham, Dr. Susan Friedman, and Dr Susan Schneider! Irith and Sarah will also be presenting seminars.
So I need to make more money to attend this three-day conference. With massive bills and two international trips to save up for, my finances are not looking so good.
If you know of anyone interested in custom pet illustrations , please send them my way!
I would also be happy to do dog training/behavior-related illustrations for books , posters and seminar presentations, and I have many images on my site that are FREE to download and distribute for which I am always very grateful for donations!
To be honest, I am not sure how to teach Boogie to play this Nina Ottoson game.
I put pieces of CHEESE underneath the cups. Then I called Boogie over to get the cheese. Boogie hasn’t quite figured out the mechanics of this game yet. If I don’t remind him to slide the cup thing (by demonstrating the sliding action to him), he sniffs and nudges and paws at the cup, and doesn’t know what else to do. Sometimes he slides the cup and retrieves the cheese and I assume that he gets it; but sometimes he doesn’t, and he continues to nudge the cup with his nose. When the cup stays put, he gets confused, backs away to his little bed, lies down and looks at me: “Please can YOU get the cheese?”
I was hoping Boogie would know to LIFT or PICK UP the cup from the base. My sorry attempt to demonstrate “lifting the cup” and holding it in front of Boogie’s mouth, ended up with him running off with the cup as if it were a new cheese-scented chew toy…
We were at the vet again last week. Boogie is now on Cephalexin (antibiotics) and Temaril-P (steroids). 30 days of Cephalexin.
The itchiness has stopped but Boogie’s skin is still splotchy. Hopefully it won’t take too long to heal. One side effect of Temaril-P is increased hunger, so the poor little dog is constantly starving. Walks are frustrating. He has become obsessed with scavenging off the sidewalks (“Leave it” only works 50% of the time) and at home he often sits looking up at me, pleading for treats. He won’t even play fetch or tug. He would rather eat.
The upside is that Boogie is paying no attention to his usual triggers on the street. He is ignoring other dogs and scary humans and concerned ONLY with finding food scraps on the ground.
I told Dr. F that I cook for Boogie, and she mentioned that she orders her dog’s meat from Darwin’s Pet . Knowing that Boogie does not eat raw meat – he has either walked away from it, or eaten it and vomited later – I at first figured that this wouldn’t be something worth trying out. But when Dr. F told me that she cooks the meat and that it is ok to do so, I placed a trial order…
The prices seem really good. I spend about the same amount of money each week at the local market anyway; and the meat from Darwin’s Pet is organic, antibiotic-free and already mixed with organ meats, bone meal, veggies, apple cider vinegar and supplements. In the photo above – our first shipment of 10lbs of food – $15. When the box arrived, my first thought was – there is NO WAY THIS IS GOING TO FIT IN MY FREEZER – but then I realized the contents were mostly dry ice. The meals comes sealed in 1/2 lb packets. They include a fed ex slip for you to send the box back to be recycled.
Interestingly – the instruction sheet says that if the dog has a compromised immune system, he should not eat raw and it is advisable to cook the meals…
This evening I started transitioning Boogie over to Darwin’s Pet food… I sauteed 1lb of food – as you can see in the photo the meat is still red in color – definitely rare – and added 2oz of this to his usual fully-cooked mix of meat and veggies.
I have a question – does “rare” meat keep longer than “raw” in the fridge? This is a transition period so I won’t be feeding all of this rare meat too quickly but I don’t want it to go bad sitting in the fridge for too long… How many days is safe? I suppose I could cook it some more…
I have been receiving LOTS of tips and product/supplement recommendations from Boogie’s Blog readers. Thank you!!! I am going to list some of these items here for people whose dogs are suffering the same problems. I can’t tell you if all of these work because I have only just started using some of them, and keep in mind that Boogie’s skin problems are REALLY BAD.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar.
I have been spraying a diluted mix of this on Boogie’s coat after his last two baths. I can’t tell if this is making a difference. I have been told by several friends that adding ACV to a dog’s food makes a big difference and eliminates the skin itchies so I started doing this today. We’ll see if this works. From this Whole Dog Journal article: “recommended dose usually 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon per 50 pounds of body weight.” According to our vet, diluted ACV also makes a good ear cleaner. I have ordered some ACV pills because I can’t stand the odor.
2. Witch Hazel.
I have been dabbing or spraying diluted witch hazel (the ALCOHOL-FREE version) on Boogie’s skin, and on mine too when I get insect bites. It is also good for cleaning “raw red areas” on his face from scratching, as well as his ears. I actually add a couple of drops of Lavender Essential Oil when using as an insect repellent. This helps ME (I am super attractive and allergic to fleas) so I am assuming it is helping Boogie too. I don’t know how it compares with the ACV in terms of effectiveness but it doesn’t smell as bad as the ACV.
Astringents work their magic by quickly tightening skin and subcutaneous tissue, and thereby reducing inflammation and redness. A classic example of such an astringent is witch hazel extract, which can be purchased in a clear liquid, distilled form at any drugstore. A dab or two of witch hazel applied by cotton ball can bring instant relief to angry flea or mosquito bites. (Whole Dog Journal)
3. Brewer’s Yeast and Garlic.
I bought a big tub of this stuff and have been adding a teaspoon daily to Boogie’s food for the past week. This is supposed to protect him against fleas. I can’t see any significant difference (yet)
Fleas particularly dislike the flavor of garlic and yeast (nutritional or brewer’s yeast). Mixing garlic and yeast with your pet’s food can render their blood unpalatable to fleas. However due to risks associated with garlic which affect cats and some breeds of dogs, it is generally recommend that you avoid feeding your pets concentrated amounts of garlic. (Eartheasy.com)
4. Fish Oil.
I have been adding Salmon Oil to Boogie’s food for years. It has made no difference whatsoever.
5. Coconut Oil vs Virbac Resicort Lotion
I was massaging Boogie with Extra Virgin Coconut Oil after every bath. The dryness disappeared and his skin was no long flaky. I found the coconut oil to be way more effective than the Virbac Resicort lotion that our vet recommended. Boogie likes to lick himself so I feel better applying something that is safely edible. And then I was alternating between the two “moisturizers”. I no longer use either of these because I am trying out the Apple Cider Vinegar spray and I can’t imagine that it’s healthy to overload his coat with too much stuff. p.s. The Resicort lotion has a very strong fragrance.
6. Pramoxine Spray
This spray is supposed to soothe itchy inflamed skin, but I couldn’t tell if it worked. It also has an overpowering fragrance (poor Boogie nose) so I would rather stick with Witch Hazel or something less intrusive.
7. Virbac Cortisoothe Shampoo… and other options?
Our vet gave us this shampoo and I bathe Boogie once a week. We have been using this shampoo for months…I think it might be a bit drying (hence the Coconut Oil/Resicort lotion), but I am open to trying other options. So far, people have recommended to me this Dermacton Skin Conditioning Shampoo Bar and also a Pine Tar or Coal Tar Shampoo. I haven’t tried these yet. Any thoughts?
9. Colostrum and Quercetin supplements
From what I have read, these are supposed to support the GI-tract and immune system, and quercetin would help with the itchies.
Quercetin is a bioflavonoid with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. I call it ‘nature’s Benadryl’ because it does a great job suppressing histamine release from mast cells and basophiles. Histamine is what causes much of the inflammation, redness and irritation characteristic of an allergic response. By turning off histamine production with a quercetin supplement, we can suppress or at least moderate the effects of inflammation. (healthypets.mercola.com)
I may consider getting some if the Apple Cider Vinegar doesn’t work.
*edit to add:
10. Chlorhexidine (antibacterial) soak and spray
I still do this occasionally. I fill the bathtub with some water and solution and let Boogie soak his feet (if he is licking them excessively). I also spray him with this Duoxo Chlorhexidine spray. Interestingly, my dentist sent me home with a prescription for the SAME Chlorhexidine solution to use on my gums so I now have more than a gallon of this stuff at home.
11. Triamcinolone cream
From Dr. R (our previous vet). This is an anti-inflammatory cream that I use only on Boogie’s face when he has scratched it red and bloody.