Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Vet visits

We moved onto a farm property last month. Unsurprisingly, there is a lot of flea pressure. Chimera has always attracted fleas. During Clicker Expo a few years ago, Cai picked up fleas while Jacques (Sherry's Papillon) came through unscathed. Cai was on Advantix II and I've been keeping the house clean, but they still wouldn't leave him alone. When he ended up chewing at his side badly enough to pull out hair, I took him to the vet.

I had already decided that I wanted Happy Tails Animal Hospital in Vacaville to be our new clinic. I had gone onto the Fear Free website to see if there happened to be a nearby clinic with certified techs and vets, and was thrilled to find one!

Cai has always been quite good at the vet's but I wanted to make sure that things stayed that way. He is a little nervous about getting man-handled by strangers (understandably). And I definitely wanted to support a clinic that went to all that effort.

The longer appointments offered by Fear Free clinics are great - they allowed me to get to know the tech who worked with me (Shawn) and the doctor (Dr Diedrich). The doctor asked for my business cards and gave me some of hers. They gave me a tour without me even asking.

I got a free trial of Nexguard and some medication to temporarily lower his body's response to itchiness. Both helped and the potential hot spot healed up.

The doctor noted that he had enough of a plaque build up on his teeth that a dental was recommended. I went ahead and scheduled one asap - I had noted that his breath was awful lately and I didn't want to neglect his dental health. The pre-dental x-rays revealed that Cai had a couple of molars in the back of his lower jaws which are normal in big dogs, but small dogs usually don't have them because of the lack of room. There was bacterial build up around these molars and the doctor removed them. She said they came out easily and he should recover quickly, which was true.

A week later, we had an appointment with Dr Wallace, his chiropractor. We hadn't seen her in a few months because I'd had to reschedule an appointment and she always books up way in advance. Once again Cai had to have an adjustment around his sacrum. He was PISSED when she pressed in that area. He whipped around and tried to snap at her hand. I had to hold his head and he kept growling and whale eyeing. But finally she got him adjusted and was able to feel him up with no reaction. And that evening, he was much calmer during brushing around his back legs. I hate that he keeps having problems in that area even when he hasn't been very active. I made an appointment one month out and another two months out. Poor guy.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

First Fast CAT run

There's a new type of AKC lure coursing event, called Fast CAT. CAT stands for "coursing ability test." The regular CAT events are 600 yards for big dogs and 300 yards for small dogs. Fast CAT is a sprint of just 100 yards. Chimera loves to sprint and chase things, so I decided to give it a try. My mom joined us since a "catcher" is required to get the dog after he finishes chasing the lure.

I was worried that Cai wouldn't chase the lure (a plastic bag on a string, which zips along the ground), or that he would go partway and then return to me (which many of the other dogs did). However he took off like a shot the moment he saw something "running" away from him, and ran all 100 yards lickety-split! My mom reported that once the bag stopped moving, he approached it, but then she called him and he ran to her and got chicken treats. What a good boy!

He ran the 100 yards in 12.34 seconds, which is 16.58 mph. There aren't a lot of Papillons who have done the sport yet, and the fastest one is 19.76 mph! However the second one is only 15.27 mph, so apparently Cai is still very fast!

Since he is under 12", I multiply the mph by 2, and he has earned 33.15 points toward the BCAT title (needs 150 points total).

I wish I had gotten a video of him running all out. It was very cool to watch. There is another event very close to me on July 8th, and I'll definitely sign up for it.

Only downside was that the event was poorly managed by the club, and we had to stand around waiting for a full 2 hours before our turn - and we were #43. In fact, this really highlighted how silly these dog sports are: I drove 2.5 hours south to my parents' house, spent the night, got up early and drove 40 minutes to the event, and waited 2 hours in the cold, so my dog could run for 12 seconds. I then drove 40 minutes back to my parents' house and then 2 hours back home. On the bright side, I had a lovely time visiting my parents, and I would do it all over again! But I'd bring a chair, blanket, and good book.