I am definitely going to pull out the 'scope and do some deeper investigations today! There are too many variables in play here. Miss Collie could have had a reaction to the shampoo I used on her when she first came to visit, or her hair loss could have been from stress and boredom or..God knows! Happily, she is in her new home with a great and experienced handler. Capricious went to the vet yesterday because she is the most tormented. She is the one with sores. The vet thinks it is a reaction to fleas and treated her accordingly but did not examine any scraping under a microscope. Capricious is itching away today despite the Cheristin the vet sold to us. Yes, I have broken and embraced the pesticides. This plague must be ended! Sentry hasn't done a flipping thing for Izzy's bald butt line, and the jury is out on whether or not the Fipronyl is helping Mack, but he seems to be fine. He of all the animals is the most unaffected. He is fat and fluffy, ruling the yard with his tufted paws. At this point, I am praying for winter! So far, the rabbits remain safe and unaffected from the whatevers that are tormenting Capricious and Izzy.
This beautiful, super energetic, and very much untrained 6 month old Border Collie spent about a month with us and is now with a better owner. She was way too much for me to handle in the ways that she needed to be handled! Unlike my laid back Izzy, Skye needed so much more than potty outings, the occasional walk, and Netflix binges. Skye is very energetic and easily bored, so she is definitely not the right sort of companion for an old woman with a bad back and arthritis! I am so happy to say that now she has a home with a young lady that has the energy, fitness and knowledge to give Skye everything she needs! This young lady also has the acreage! Occasionally, dogs and cats visit us for a while until a new and better home is found, or until their original owners can take them back home. Occasionally, certain animals stay, but only if they are comfortable and can handle our lifestyle. It is important to know what you can do and what you cannot do with an animal, and to respect the animal's instincts and needs. Skye would have been perpetually miserable living in a house in a subdivision with a tiny yard. Border collies have been bred to herd. This means they have incredible stamina and a natural drive. If they cannot let this out in the right environment, they develop all sorts of weird and undesirable habits! Many collies take to cars as replacements for livestock, and others apply the urge to children. This can result in nips and bites. This type of dog will not be content snoozing at your feet until you take your evening stroll, especially when the dog is young. Skye has a great deal of intelligence, and needs expert handling and training with lots of exercise and mental stimulation. Now she is where she gets everything she needs! Sometimes the best thing you can do for a dog is to find the right person for the dog.
This has been the worst biter season ever I think! I gave the nematodes for fleas yard treatment a go, and the results were not so great. Many factors, including dryness and temperature could have played a part in the lack of results. Some diatomaceous yard dusting did help a bit. Now a new horrid biter has arrived along with a new dog. She looks terrible right now. I believe she has some form of mange. This new dog in our household is allegedly a border collie and herding breeds can die from ivermectin injections. So, how do I get rid of her problem? I am giving the old fashioned sulfonated lime dip a go. I have not actually looked at any samples under the microscope (because I am lazy), but a few weeks of fart smelling dogs and cats would happen if the samples revealed mites, so...I decided to just go ahead and stink every critter...and myself because I can't refrain from petting them all. I think the safety for the animal is better with the sulfonated lime than it is with the now common internal and external modern pesticide formulations. Our beloved Izzy had an itchy spot on her rump, so of course she is now fart dipped. Capricious has become an indoor kitty, but she too has some nasty spots. Dipping a cat is hell on earth. She does seem to be feeling better after our first torture session in the bathroom, and neither one of us is looking forward to round 2 this Sunday, but it has to happen. If her problem is ringworm, this treatment will take care of that as well. Our big Mack is suprisingly unaffected. I am also giving the entire yard a nice stinky sulfur treatment.
Here is the long ago promised update regarding the dog doo composting effort! It has indeed worked, and I have indeed been lazy about things. When is the last time I dumped it around any ornamentals? I forgot! No worries though. It seems the perforated plastic trash can never gets full! You may gasp in horror to learn that I have switched the Boss Queen over to pine shavings instead of kitty litter so that her products may also be added to the doodoo can. I once kept the can lid on, and now that too has fallen..right beside it! The rains have been quite beneficent for the doo doo project and this has saved me from having to water hose moisten things. There is NO STINK FACTOR! I acheive this by keeping a layer of dried up leaves or shavings over the doo doo deposits. The non edibles may get a nice humus dressing either this fall or next spring. It very much depends on my laziness factor. As for the edibles..did I mention the two fertiliser producers working effortlessly every day? Nothing perks a bit of garden like the gifts of the house rabbits! One of the best features of rabbit excreta is that it does not have to be seriously composted before application. It does make great worm food though. My Uncle Bill kept some fine fuzzy rabbits just to feed his fishing worms. I just point out areas in need, and my daughter dumps the rabbit products around the plants. The reserve gets dumped around the Mimosa, or the rose bush. With a little smoothing, it serves as a great mulch.
This year seems to be a particularly prolific year for the fleas, ticks and tiny nasty biters. Izzy is wretched, the Boss Queen is wretched, Mack is wretched! In short, any animal that has been outside to pee has come in miserable! I started using diatomaceuos earth a few years ago, and it seemed to work fairly well. This season is different! Diatomaceous earth usually takes effect in a couple of days on the animal, barring any new infestations, and it was just fine in all preceding years. This year, it just is NOT enough. I am rubbing it on the animals daily without much of a dent in the biters. Yeah, baths help, but not for long. I mixed up a concoction that seems to be helping Izzy with her itchies that offers a temporary respite. I boiled 2 sprays of fresh lemon balm, a 5 leaved sprig of sage, 6 good sized pieces of thyme, and as much lavender as I could cut from the soon to be dead plant my mother placed in an unfortuitous location in vinegar which I diluted by half with water when the boil had cooled. I spray her before she goes outside and when she returns, as needed. This amounts to several times a day, and she isn't crazy about it. (Izzy hates all things of the bath or spray nature.) Her skin looks much better. I'm afraid to do such a thing to Mack or the Boss Queen, so they are stuck with the powder rub ins that take too long to work. I have been researching feverishly to find some way to kill the pesties in our yard without killing the bugs we love or poisoning the land and wild animals, especially our lovely toads. I ran across predatory nematodes that do their microscopic business in the fleas, and I am darn excited to try them! After we get through $735 of dental stuff for the daughter, the nematodes are the next mission. Here is a link to information about the fabulous natural killers of nasty little biters: www.fleabites.net/beneficial-nematodes-for-fleas-how-they-work/
The house rabbits are unplagued, and that is a super good thing! I will post an update on the nematode results as soon as we get to loose the million worm battalion.
Ugh. Gross. EEEeeew. This is what I say to myself when I encounter a piss pad. I know there are much nicer euphemisms, but I am sticking to the bald truth because I am ultra peevish this morning. I am trying to function on less sleep with more pain and stiffness than I have had in..oh..several weeks or more. I don't tend to keep track of the bad days because it's better to let them go. My daughter invited a canine house guest over for a trial visit, and it has been pretty close to pure hell. There are two things that do not happen here: Unauthorised object chewing and indoor elimination. I have been to peoples houses that harbor small pissers, and I like it not at all. I have my failings, and a major one is that I cannot fix small indoor eliminators such as chihuahuas, peek a poops, etc. Yes, sorry all you small dog fans, the "poop" on the end of peek a is not a mis spelling. There have been occasions in past years when a daughter clamored for a small dog of the chronic incorrigable indoor crapper variety, and we have tried the constant tether and crate training, and even once diapers. (I know, that is just terrible!) Those beasties ended up going to live with humans that thought indoor eliminating arrangements were A-O.K. There is stubborn and then there is stubborn. My beloved pit bulls have definitely been stubborn when young, but after some intensive constant tether or crating, they became excellently potty trained. The Boss Queen even prefers to go do her thing outside rather than use her emergency litter box. Alas, our little guest is one of those piss pad creatures, and has elected to shun even those! I am not up for being the tether master anymore. Izzy and the Boss Queen told me bluntly that there is no room in my bed for any other than they. My daughter spent all night in the living room as the tether master with this stubborn feces hoarder and is she ever worn down! I spelled her a bit yesterday, and that is all my disgustingly arthritic old bod can handle. To me, an allegedly piss pad accustomed dog is actually a dog that has been trained into house crapping. I cannot see it any other way. A lot of times, a piss pad dog will associate rugs, towels, jeans casually left on the floor, and whatever else that has a soft and similar landing spot with the ideal place to drop a biscuit or cop a yellow squat, and for God only knows what reason, this behavior is THE HARDEST to change. To be absolutely honest, I have never had a success. Today marks yet another failure. Maybe there is hope for this one if somebody has the stamina to keep at it, but we just don't have it here. There is no place in our home for brown biscuits. We have two rose bushes in the yard that adore them.
Fine Fat Fuzzy Needs a Home! This fine boy that we call Mack is visiting and unfortunately he intimidates our Capricious shop cat, so he cannot stay. His owner is in an unfortunate position and cannot take care of him. He is 5, fully clawed, neutered, OKRead Now
Oh No, it's almost nasty biter blood sucker season again! Spring does have it's price. Our poor dogs and cats are constantly immersed in various chemical concoctions designed to kill and repel ticks and fleas. We all want our animals to thrive, but what can we do? Having our pets absorb pesticides 24/7 is definitely not a good thing. What of the ingestible repellants? I have never tried them with my animals. Is a natural essential oil based product safer? I have my doubts. I have a rule: Keep the pets away from the essential oils. I can use soap with essential oils just fine, but I will never wash my Izzy with an essential oil containing soap. Sure, the soap washes away, but what if she sneaks in a body lick while getting soaped up or before thoroughly rinsed? I am just too paranoid. Here is a recent thing I read about natural flea and tick treatments: