Newsletters for 2007
Pox (May 2007)
We called him Pox as he was a Chi x Pom. The most soft gentle little boy and so easy to train - just never put a foot wrong. He had his operation and injection. An elderly lady fell in love with him and he with her even before we listed him as available. So we let him go with all the normal instructions including walking on the free harness we gave her.
The two follow up calls led us to believe this was the perfect match as she was just so happy with him and his obedience. Then the phone call. She said he was so well behaved she let him walk on the street "off lead". Sure he was obedient, sure he was well behaved, BUT there is no way you can control the big dog running loose. You guessed - one bite and Pox was dead, bleeding on the street while she watched in horror.
How many times do we tell people to keep these little dogs harnessed while out walking. It does not guarantee they will not get attacked but at least it gives you a chance to grab the little one up and into your arms.
On a happier note, we wish to offer thanks to Dot of GTE Pet Transport, phone 0409 434 445. Dot is going to pick up little dogs from "all over" and deliver to Cranbourne for us.
Thanks to Linda, Sue, and Rhonda for their efforts in saving so many little Chi's in NSW pounds. Linda, for the many knitted doggy jackets sent to us. A special lady known as "I Bite" has sent many little raincoats especially for the very tiny dogs. Many of these little jackets are being given to adoptive parents with their new baby to help them on their way. Huge big thanks to Joyce and Russ for the many dozens of little harnesses donated to rescue. How are we able to ever thank Terri in Perth for all the work she does on our web page, keeping it up to date listing all the new dogs etc. What a good job she does on this page.
Donations of money ranging from $5 to $200 have all been gratefully accepted on behalf of Rescue. These donations are used specifically for sick little ones who need attention over and above the normal desexing and immunising done by our vets. Some is used for "difficult to place" doggies; or when elderly pensioners who lose their long loved little pets and want another but cannot afford the cost of the vet fees (which is what we charge).
Thanks to Beach St. Vet Clinic for all the help and advice given quite freely and willingly, along with all the very special care provided for all these little frightened dogs.
Finally we wish to thank all the breeders and Committee of the Chihuahua Club Vic. for the wonderful support and goodwill shown to our rescue group.
Two wonderful recent rescues (August 2007)
Here is some news about two beautiful Chihuahuas we have rescued recently.
Somewhere, someday, every little dog will find a new and loving home through rescue work. Mindy was left, along with her two bigger friends at a vet surgery to be euthanised, as her owners were intending to travel. This vet asked if the dogs could be re-homed and her old owners agreed, hence the phone call to Chi Rescue.
Mindy was about six years old and in a terrible state.
This poor little girl was riddled with fleas, had raw and inflamed skin with loss of hair, and what hair she had was very matted. She was so terribly overweight and was generally in a very poor condition. First stop was at Beach St. Vets for an initial assessment. The prognosis was "poor" as not only was her poor little body in terrible shape but she had Spina Bifida, however we decided to take on the challenge as Mindy was, and still is, the most loving and gorgeous little dog!
A flea "drop" on the first day, then two days later we commenced daily baths and very gently grooming out the matts. Just as importantly she was put onto a good healthy diet. Six months later her coat had improved and will continue to improve; she had lost 1.5 kg in excess weight which allowed her to start walking again on her poor little crippled back legs!
Spina Bifida in dogs is very similar to that in humans. The spine is not fully formed, in Mindy's case, and so she compensates for this by tucking her back legs slightly under herself which allows her to walk.
Forty years ago a baby girl was born with major heart problems and given very little hope of survival. Last week this same lady was looking for a "quiet" little dog for company; met Mindy and fell in love. Another success story! (Contacted another rescue group who took in the two bigger dogs who have now been successfully placed).
Phone call, two little Chihuahuas, terrified, biting and very nasty - can you take them? Of course we will take them! Thick gloves and towels to the rescue. They are Princess, the mother; and Peanut, her 15 month old puppy. Information and vet advice has shown that little Princess had been used as a "breeding machine" by an unregistered and unscrupulous owner. A few months ago the lady passed away and her male friend took the two little dogs in.
Due to them biting him, he would hit them. Finally he had the sense to take them to a couple of very caring ladies, who rang Chi Rescue.
Despite heaps of love and tenderness, little Peanut continued to bite for no reason.
Princess settled down and became a really loving little dog who has now gone to a wonderful family in N.S.W. where she is idolised and cared for with tenderness and love - no more puppies!
What could possibly be causing Peanut to be so strange, we wondered? Off we went to the Beach Street Veterinary Clinic. After some examination, the vet told us that Peanut was born blind! That explains so much; the reason why she bites whenever something touches her; why she is so terrified and screams whenever you pick her up. Several months of loving tender care and she now allows me to pick her up and cuddle her. However she still screams as soon as her feet leave the floor but then she snuggles into my chest. We feel that she may be seeing "shadows" as she sometimes turns her head when you wave your hand around without noise. Certainly she follows voice instruction. Peanut will spend her life with Chi Rescue.
Do not feed your dog raisins (September 2007)
If you have a dog… and even if you do not… PLEASE read this
Laurinda Morris, DVM
Danville Veterinary Clinic
This week I had the first case in history of raisin toxicity ever seen at MedVet. My patient was a 56-pound, 5 yr old male neutered lab mix that ate half a canister of raisins sometime between 7:30 AM and 4:30 PM on Tuesday. He started with vomiting, diarrhoea and shaking about 1AM on Wednesday but the owner didn't call my emergency service until 7AM.
I had heard somewhere about raisins AND grapes causing acute Renal failure but hadn't seen any formal paper on the subject. We had her bring the dog in immediately. In the meantime, I called the ER service at MedVet, and the doctor there was like me - had heard something about it, but...anyway, we contacted the ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center and they said to give IV fluids at 1 1/2 times maintenance and watch the kidney values for the next 48-72 hours.
The dog's BUN (blood urea nitrogen level) was already at 32 (normal less than 27) and creatinine over 5 (1.9 is the high end of normal). Both are monitors of kidney function in the bloodstream. We placed an IV catheter and started the fluids. Rechecked the renal values at 5 PM and the BUN was over 40 and creatinine over 7 with no urine production after a litre of fluids. At that point I felt the dog was in acute renal failure and sent him on to MedVet for a urinary catheter to monitor urine output overnight as well as overnight care.
He started vomiting again overnight at MedVet and his renal values have continued to increase daily. He produced urine when given lasix as a diuretic. He was on 3 different anti-vomiting medications and they still couldn't control his vomiting. Today his urine output decreased again, his BUN was over 120, his creatinine was at 10, his phosphorus was very elevated and his blood pressure, which had been staying around 150, skyrocketed to 220. He continued to vomit and the owners elected to euthanise.
This is a very sad case - great dog, great owners who had no idea raisins could be a toxin. Please alert everyone you know who has a dog of this very serious risk. Poison control said as few as 7 raisins or grapes could be toxic. Many people I know give their dogs grapes or raisins as treats including our ex-handlers. Any exposure should give rise to immediate concern.
Even if you don't have a dog, you might have friends who do. This is worth passing on to them.
Confirmation of the above can be found on the Snopes page, Raisin the Alarm.
Looking back, thinking forward and pondering now (October 2007)
During the last 14 years we have seen so many little old Chihuahuas come into our care and have heard over and over "oh no that one is far too old to adopt" or "I couldn't love a little one that I know will die soon due to old age". Mayer and I decided that we will open our home to these little darlings and give them the love and security that makes them so happy for their final days.
We were thrilled to hear from Just Dog Breeds in USA that Chihuahua Rescue and Placement has won the 2007 award for Best Web Page for Rescue! Terri, in Perth has been the main "designer" of our new web page so we would like to share this award with her! It is a great honour to receive an award from a group that covers breed rescue world wide!
A web page called Catdog, based in Sydney has requested that we write an article on Chihuahua rescue and experiences we have been through, for publication on the "front page" of their web site.
A further request came to us from Doggie Deals, also based in Sydney who are publishing their second edition, (due out in about 3 months) in which they intend featuring Chihuahuas as their lead article, and requested we write some information. With very grateful thanks to Kathy Dearness for her wonderful advice and assistance, we have now forwarded this information to Doggie Deals, and await with baited breath to see what they do with the information!
Many of you met little Peanut at the last Champ Show at KCC Park. She was the little one thought to be blind.
We now know that due to the belting she received she had developed irreversible brain damage. Due to the blindness she would bite anything she "sensed" near her, and the guy would hit her whenever she bit him, which was quite often. Peanut spent two months with us as we tried to teach her that she was safe here and no one would harm her again. Despite this she just became very "out of control" and was biting and attacking every little dog here; sleep and snuggle up to the others and then for no reason suddenly attack.
Measurements at the vets showed that the front of her head was getting bigger and protruding quite a way forward.
Finally after a particularly vicious attack on a little old dog here, I took her to the vet again only to be told he believed she was in quite severe pain with the pressure on the brain. I was able to hold her and try to comfort her while they gave her a very strong sedative, and then hold her and cuddle her for fifteen minutes before she was euthanised. This time I could not cope with the sorrow and heartbreak of seeing little Peanut go. A very young gorgeous little Chi to have been treated the way she was by an uncaring nasty cruel man, she did not deserve this end. The sense of failure on my part was huge, as I believed with love and care she would "come good". Vet advice was that this could not happen, but it does not help with the sense of failure, sorrow, and loss one feels. Sleep peacefully our little darling girl.
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