A(nother) Paw Problem

These paws:

A lovely shade of red/maroon

A lovely shade of red/maroon

Belong to this dog:

"I'm still cute, though."

“I’m still cute, though.”

While I’m still soaking Cindy’s paw (the cyst seems to come and go, and unfortunately – or fortunately? – it’s always in the same spot), Lucy has decided she needs to get in on the special attention again.

Lucy has been a chronic foot licker/eater for the majority of the time we’ve had her. When this first started about a year ago, she was put on a dose of steroids and we were given a bottle of anti-fungal solution to clean her paws and wrinkles. The steroids worked…but only for the time she was actually on them.

Once the dose was over, she went right back to eating her feet and so for the past year I’ve pointlessly tried keeping her licking at bay with the anti-fungal rinse. We finally went back to the vet a few weeks ago and were told to wipe her paws with baby wipes every time she came inside and to put fish oil in her food.

A few weeks later and I’m still obviously fighting a losing battle, as evidenced by the photo. I read that a diluted mix of apple cider vinegar can prevent the growth of yeast so I’ve now been chasing Lucy’s feet around with a spray bottle a few times a day.

I can’t tell if it’s working yet; I’d really like to avoid putting her on allergy meds since her feet don’t hurt her from what we can tell and we don’t even know what she’s allergic to – it’s obviously not grass as she rolls around in it (and eats it) every time we’re outside. The vet also said her feet don’t actually have that much yeast on them. I’ve honestly thought for a while now that she just licks her paws out of habit, which means that instead of a highly-allergic dog, we have an OCD puppy 🙂

Anyone have any tips out there to help with yeast/fungus infections in dogs?

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The Feeding of Cindy

It has been well documented that we have struggled to get Cindy to eat out of a bowl. We finally figured out a few weeks ago that it wasn’t so much the bowl, although that was part of it, as much as it was the water we soaked her food in was too much for her tummy to handle.

However, we had gotten a tip from a fellow foster family that maybe starting with a Frisbee and working up to a bowl would be a good idea. So here’s our twice-daily process…

You start with a hungry Cindy.

You start with a hungry Cindy.

Letting the food soak while Lucy eats

Letting the food soak while Lucy eats

Transferring the food over to her Frisbee with a slotted spoon

Transferring the food over to her Frisbee with a slotted spoon

Feeding time!

Feeding time!

Could we start feeding Cindy out of a bowl now? Probably. Although given her flat face, I do think she has an easier time eating out of the flatter, wider Frisbee. Yes, she scatters food everywhere while she eats – definitely not the neatest eater you’ve ever seen – but she manages to eat every little bit of food that escapes from the Frisbee!

"Hey mom, this is really good!"

“Hey mom, this is really good!”

Happy Weekend!

I’m hitting the road for a quick 24-hour trip back to New Jersey, sans doggies, so just stopping by to wish everyone a Happy Weekend from Lucy and Cindy!

They apparently started their weekend partying a night early.

They apparently started their weekend partying a night early.

Back to Square One

I found out earlier today that we’re back to square one in terms of Cindy’s adoption 😦

Short story is that the home which was selected as Cindy’s forever home withdrew from the process. This isn’t the appropriate place for details but I understand the family’s decision.

However, I’m obviously disappointed and honestly a bit depressed. We were so close to getting Cindy to her forever home and I was emotionally prepared to say good-bye to her and now we’re back into the great unknown. Cindy will now be re-posted for adoption and applications will again be accepted.

I'll just wait right here until you find me a home.

“I’ll just wait right here until you find me a home.”

Cindy has been with us for five-and-a-half months and it looks like she’ll be staying with us for a while longer which is really more than fine with me. I (obviously) love Cindy and she’s the least-needy dog ever, so I’m mostly just trying to accept the fact that the next few weeks will continue to be in flux for all of us.

Eventually we’ll find the perfect home for this squishy face:

"All I need is couch and I'm happy!"

“All I need is couch and I’m happy!”

Beyond Weird

Well, Lucy has taken her weirdness to entirely new levels this weekend. I had long planned to make the trip to northern New Jersey to spend Father’s Day Weekend with my parents. For a while it looked like I would be dropping Cindy off at her forever home on my way, but that did not happen…a different story for a different day.

Thus, since Cindy was not going to her new home, I made the decision to take Lucy on a road trip to NJ while Cindy stayed back at home in Pennsylvania with Marty.

It has been well documented that Lucy is weird, which could not be more evident when it comes to my dad.

Well, Lucy has gone and outdone herself this weekend. It normally takes her a good 20 minutes to a half hour to warm up to my dad. This picture was taken 24 hours after we’d gotten here and is pretty much as close as she’s gotten to my dad all weekend.

"I will not come any closer, not even for food."

“I will not come any closer, not even for food.”

Honest to God, I’m just about at my wits end. She not only refuses to go near my dad, she also will not walk on the linoleum floor, will not go outside and once outside, will not come inside. There are painters working on the outside of our house – won’t go near them. Our neighbor offered her a treat and she acted as if it were poisoned – would not take the treat from him. She won’t let anyone pet her and she’s acting utterly depressed. I even resorted to buying a stuffie for her, which she destroyed in less than 30 minutes but did not seem to make her any happier.

I have had to literally drag her out from underneath the table she enjoys “hiding” under to get her to go outside to do her business. I haven’t the faintest idea what has gotten into her; she’s spent extended time with my parents before and we were here for a few days over the holidays a few months ago.

There’s only so many times I can reassure my family that Lucy isn’t actually this weird all the time before they stop believing me. I just wish I knew what has weirded her out.

But being so stressed and high-strung has finally made her crash.

Feeling safe between the couch and "her" table.

Feeling safe between the couch and “her” table.

Rooting from Afar

As I write this, Marty is in the midst of racing in the 70.3 Ironman triathlon in Cambridge, Maryland, vying for a spot in the World Championships in Hawaii this October. Normally I would be with him at the race; I went last year and despite the eight hours of spectating and waiting, I really had a good time. This year, however, I was not able to travel due to the adorable reasons below:

Adorable Reason #1

Adorable Reason #1

Adorable Reason #2 (by the way, how is this comfortable??)

Adorable Reason #2 (by the way, how is this comfortable??)

Last year Marty’s race was in Rhode Island which is obviously north of where we live, so on the way to the race we dropped Lucy off with my parents, who live in northern New Jersey. We had actually (naively) planned on bringing Lucy but my mom offered to keep her for the weekend which worked out for the best because, as previously mentioned, we had a near eight-hour day not including travel, and temperatures soared to probably close to 90 degrees if not over?

Anyway, despite the fact that Maryland is south of here, I was willing to drive Lucy to my parents’ earlier this week so we could travel to this weekend’s race sans dog, but we have a little squish named Cindy who is still with us. I did not want to force two dogs on my parents and bringing them to the race wasn’t even remotely a possibility. I probably wouldn’t have even wanted to bring one dog; Lucy is great at races, but these Ironman races are (obviously) on the longer side and it’s just not fair to bring a dog.

So the dogs and I are currently stationed on the couch nervously watching the live results on my laptop. I feel badly that I wasn’t able to travel to the race and if the race were one week later, Cindy probably would have been in her new, forever home. However, that’s not how things worked out but instead of being (too) down about it, I’m soaking up all the time I’ve been able to spend with Cindy and Lucy this weekend in what looks like could be one of, if not the, final weekend we’re a two-dog family.

Deja Vu All Over Again

Weren’t we just waiting in this very same waiting room five days ago?

Waiting very patiently.

Waiting very patiently.

Why yes, yes we were. But due to Puffy Paw syndrome, Cindy and I had an early morning date with the vet again today.

Trips really tire Cindy out (especially when she tries to jump on the bench in the exam room!). These pics were snapped before we even saw the vet!

This might be one of the funniest photos of Cindy yet.

This might be one of the funniest photos of Cindy yet.

Helping her rest her heavy head

Helping her rest her heavy head. Yes, I had shorts on.

"Mom, where is my doctor??"

“Mom, where is my doctor??”

Ultimately Cindy has a cyst on her paw between her toes. It appears to have ruptured a bit this morning and she is now on antibiotics and I have to soak her paw in Epsom salts twice a day. Luckily she doesn’t seem bothered by it in the least and the vet said these cysts are semi-common with bulldogs.

At least it’s an easy “fix” and we’ll get her plenty healthy for when she goes to her new home (which is going to happen sooner rather than later, whether I want it to or not!).

A Pup Cup for Lucy

Lucy strikes again. Yup, she took down parts of various sticks this weekend and spent the morning puking up woodchips. So far she seems to feel fine but it’s quite a sight to watch her hack up hunks of wood at 5:30 in the morning.

We hit the grocery store late this morning and I came home with some frozen doggie treats to help make Lucy feel better (i.e. spoil her). She enjoyed her frozen treat outside in the ridiculously humid weather before the rain starts moving through this afternoon.

IMG_0353

I like this stuff, Mom!

I like this stuff, Mom!

Lucy enjoyed her frozen peanut-butter flavored treat and now I’m crossing my fingers that, unlike her stick pieces, this treat stays down. 🙂

I’d say Lucy enjoyed her weekend with plenty of nap time, play time, puke time and treat time.

A Puffy Paw

Such a pretty little lady:

So pretty!

So pretty!

Who has all of a sudden developed a not-so-pretty paw:

A red, puffy paw with a side of saggy boobs

A red, puffy paw with a side of saggy boobs

On Friday when I came home for lunch I almost immediately noticed that Cindy’s back left paw looked like the above picture. Of course I remained calm, cool and collected when I saw it. And by calm, cool and collected I mean I practically had a heart attack, consulted Dr. Google and called…Marty? Yeah, I don’t know either. It’s not like he was going to be of any help.

Cindy doesn’t have much of a reaction to my gentle prodding of the lump and her gait seems to be the same, as in not smooth and painful-looking – sadly the norm for her!

If Cindy were my dog I would have been on the phone with the vet ASAP. However, Cindy isn’t my dog so I put in an email to S.N.O.R.T. to see what they wanted me to do since they cover the medical costs for the foster dogs. They told me to give her some benadryl over the weekend and if it was still bad on Monday to make an appointment.

Well, two doses of benadryl later and her paw looks…exactly the same. I’m already planning on calling the vet Monday unless a few more doses of benadryl do the work. Dr. Google said it was likely an interdigit cyst and the treatment options look they vary greatly – some recommend antibiotics, some steroids, some draining the cyst, etc. Needless to say none of those are actions I can take on my own, so I do think that ultimately we’ll need to take (another) trip to the vet.

I’m hoping it’s nothing too serious and that medication will be all she needs. I just wish I knew what caused it. Apparently it’s not an uncommon problem in bulldogs and could have happened from something she stepped on, although we don’t go for walks due to her heartworm treatment and the heat.

Poor girl just can’t catch a break!