July to September 2011

Life with Riley
  The Diary of a Spanish Water Dog

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To October to December 2011

To April to June 2011


Friday 2 July 2011


Riley is 20 months old today.


Tuesday 6 July 2011


Another blood test today, which showed similar results to last time, with her red blood cell count remaining around the low end of the normal range. It seems that in the future it may not be in the normal range all of the time. She will have further tests soon to see if the red cells are still being broken down.  If the results show they are not, then hopefully the dosage of prednisolone can be lowered.   Mike


Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 July 2011


We decided that Riley was well enough to go to Di's SWD weekend, although this year we travelled down each day rather than camping.


Riley got the opportunity to try some Rally-O, as well as agility and gundog training.  She wasn't so keen on the swimming pool; although she is a confident swimmer in rivers and the sea (even in the surf), she seems to panic if you put her in a swimming pool.  She was quite content to watch Lola enjoying herself in there though.   Jayne 


Monday 18 July 2011


Following on from our introduction to agility at Di's weekend, Riley and I started to attend Jackie Doddington's classes. Riley seems to love it, happily going over A frames and through tunnels, though she does initially prefer to go around the jumps, rather than over them.   Mike 


Tuesday 27 July 2011


Riley is having a more comprehensive blood test today.  Her red blood cell count in 35.5%, which is below the normal range of 37-55%.  However, the vet is not too concerned; it may be that Riley's count will settle around the low range.  Her white blood cell count is normal, her kidneys are fine, but her liver enzyme is still slightly high.  The best news is that it seems the red blood cells are no longer being destroyed. Her weight was 16.8 kg.   Mike


Monday 2 August 2011


Riley is 21 months old today.


Saturday 6 August 2011


We decided to enter Riley into the National Gundog Association Championship Show.


She was placed 3rd in the Post Graduate Bitch class and 1st in the Good Citizen Dog Scheme Bitch class.  Both good enough to qualify her for these classes at Crufts 2012.


Unfortunately, due to her impending operation, it will be the last show for a while, including missing the Spanish Water Dog Club Show - again! - last year we were a day late with our entry :-(   Mike


Monday 9 August 2011


Riley is being spayed today as our vet (in consultation with a referral service) believes that she could have a relapse if allowed to go into season again.  We had already made the decision that we would not take the risk of letting her have a litter of puppies (both for her health and not knowing whether Riley may have a genetic predisposition to this condition).  They will be doing a full range of tests on her before proceeding to make sure she is fit enough for the operation ... we shall still worry until she wakes up from the anaesthetic. 


The phone call we having been waiting for ... the operation was successful and Riley can be collected later this afternoon.  They extended the cut so that they could carry out a liver biopsy (as one of her liver enzymes was elevated).  The liver showed some "fatty infiltrations" but that is not unexpected when a dog has been on steroids.  Nothing sinister apparent, and hopefully the biopsy results should confirm that.  She has 9 stitches in total, and a red blood count of 36%.


Riley is now back at home but is not quite with it - she just stands staring into space.  Even Oscar the cat touching noses with her has had no effect.


She eventually curled up on her mat by the fire and went to sleep. As she seemed settled for the first time and we didn't want to try and get her into her cage, we put a blanket over her to keep her warm and Mike spent the night on the sofa to keep an eye on her.   Jayne


Tuesday 10 August 2011


Riley is up and about and walking around, albeit somewhat gingerly.   Jayne 


Wednesday 11 August 2011


She already seems back to normal, and although she has to be kept quiet with no walks yet, she has been running around in the garden.   Jayne  


Monday 30 August 2011


The last of the stitches came out today.  She also had another blood test, and surprisingly her red blood cell count has gone up to 52%.  One of her liver enzymes is still high (but had reduced from 547 to 266).  She is staying on 1.5 prednisolone until 7 September, (one in the morning and a half at night) and then we can reduce it to 1 per day. Her weight has increased to 17.3 kg, so we need to watch her diet and increase exercise to normal.  Mike 


Thursday 2 September 2011


Riley is 22 months old today.


Monday 5 September 2011.


Riley and Mike started a 7 week beginners agility course with South Cotswold Dog Training Club.   Jayne 


Monday 12 September 2011

Back to the vets for a blood test.  Even after her operation, Riley still loves going to the vets.  She doesn't flinch when they take blood as she is always held by one of the nurses who then give her treats.


Her red blood cell count is 41.1%, which is lower than last time, but still within the normal range.   We can reduce the prednisolone from 1 per day to 1 every other day from 19 September. 


We have reduced her food slightly, been careful with the treats, and increased her exercise.  It has paid off though as her weight is now 17 kgs.   Mike



Tuesday 13 September 2011


Riley was beginning to look scruffy and needed to be cut.  We had bought clippers at Crufts, and Mike had already practiced using them under the supervision of Di Williamson when Riley was last cut.  However, this was the first time that we had done it ourselves.  It took 5 hours (with plenty of coffee breaks) but we are pleased with the results, and Riley appears to have all the body parts she started with.   Jayne


Saturday 17 September 2011


Mike was working in the garden when he noticed that Riley was eating something, and assumed that she had stolen it.  Even though her steroid dose is now quite low, she is still always on the hunt for food, and her stealing spree loot has included loaves of bread, stilton cheese and raw potatoes.


However, this was less stealing and more like pick your own, as Riley finished what she was eating, walked to the outdoor tomatoes, picked a ripe one and settled back down to eat it.   Jayne


Wednesday 21 September 2011


Now Riley has discovered pick your own, she is helping herself to the tomatoes when she wants one.  She now carries them into the house and eats them on her rug by the fire.  Today she picked a green one by mistake and wasn't impressed ... unlike Oscar the cat, who was found wrestling with the tomato on the grass.   Jayne


Monday 26 September 2011


Today Riley is off to the vets for a check up and blood test.  We are on holiday for a couple of weeks, and unfortunately Riley can't come with us; she will be boarding with Sue, where she sometimes goes to daycare.


Excellent news.  We can head off on holiday knowing Riley's red blood cell count is 42.4% (normal 37-55%).  Sue knows our vets, and will take Riley for a check up if she has any concerns.  Riley's weight is 17.25 kgs.   Jayne

To October to December 2011