Did You Know? June 5, 2018 Edition

The Ranch is starting a new periodic feature called “Did You Know?” beginning today. I plan to take various issues or weirdness and share info about it. Today’s entry proved to be a bit of a doozy but one you too may have experienced.

You know that gurgling sound that comes from your dog’s stomach? Did you know it’s got an actual name? “Borborygmi.” Nope, that’s not a typo, borborygmi, pronounced [bawr-buhrig-mahy]. What the dog?! Yeah, I know. I was blown away too. If anyone can explain why science has to get all ‘scientific-y sounding’ with its descriptions, I’d love to hear it. 

Anyway, Sam recently experienced some unusually loud stomach gurgling. I mean REALLY loud. So I did what many fur-mom’s do…I consulted Dr. Google while waiting for the vet to call back. Not one to put blind faith in ‘Net misinformation hyperbole, I figured I’d do a bit of research and the kindly Doc did provide lots of rabbit holes to dive into where I rather quickly found some reliable sources. Dogs, cats and even us uprights experience ‘borborygmi.’

The simple  definition is intestinal agitation caused by moving gas. Well, why didn’t you say so in the first place? So let’s dig a bit deeper into this weird scientific phenomena. So it’s apparently normal for there to be gas in the intestinal tract and it’s also normal for the intestines to engage in motility…the condition whereby intestinal contents move around, thus audible intestinal gurgling is pretty normal.

According to Dogster, “abnormally loud intestinal noises occur when the intestines contain abnormally large quantities of gas, or when the intestines experience abnormally increased activity. Both of these phenomena often occur simultaneously.” Super loud (as in, you can hear it from across the room) is not normal but does not necessarily mean a crisis is brewing. Stomach grumbling may indicate something is off or, your pet could be hungry. Empty intestines in dogs may start to exhibit activity in response to anticipated feeding, thus the audible intestinal noises, or “tummy grumbling” may occur. Serving a meal usually takes care of that since the intestines of hungry animals do not contain significant quantities of food and thus have a higher ratio of gas to solids. Okay,so far  this sounds legit.

In Sam’s case, he acted normal (well, as normal as he is capable of acting). He displayed no other symptoms indicating there was a problem (i.e. lethargy, fever, stuff like that). But then he began experiencing some diarrhea. Not good but I figured a couple of days of bland rice and pumpkin meals should clear up the upset. Sadly, it didn’t clear up and I feared dehydration so off to the vet we went.

I wasn’t able to get into my regular TV star vet any time soon but they were able to refer me to another clinic close by. They asked whether Sam “had perhaps partaken in some sort of digestion indiscretion” (a diplomatic way of saying your dog may have gotten into the trash or had eaten some novel food or worse…goose poop…really? who admits to that). Nope, nothing like that had occurred, so they decided Sam was suffering from a minor gastro-bug after ruling out intestinal parasites, IBD, or foreign bodies (which would be Elsa’s speciality).

Long story short (ironic since we’re probably 600+ words in but I digress)…a couple of doses of Metronidazole for inflammation and an antibiotic for the bug, brought Sam back to normal poops while simultaneously clearing up those loud gurgling sounds. Other than expecting specially prepared meals after recovering (sheesh talk about one spoiled baby), he’s back to his usual knuckleheadedness.

So the next time your pooch’s stomach is gurgling figure out if he’s just hungry or suffering from borborygmi. Your family will think you’re trying to land a fat contract on Animal Planet but if he eats with his normal enthusiasm and the noises stop, the problem is solved. If like Sam it was accompanied with diarrhea, put your TV career on hold and check with your vet to rule out other issues.

I’m better now. So where’s the Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki Sauce?

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Surviving July 4th with an Anxious Pet

Photo Courtesy of John Leyba, The Denver Post (Getty Images) from the July 4th 2017 game

Every year I dread July 4th, the US holiday celebrating its independence from England. Please know it’s not that I’m unpatriotic (as a naturalized citizen, I believe patriotism need not to be measured by the size of your fireworks display but by your civic action) and in spite of bans and fire restrictions being in effect for many cities and suburbs, there will be loads of knuckleheads fools shooting off what sounds like military artillery fireworks throughout the Mile High City. My own neighborhood has been a big offender ever since I moved here 16 years ago. The ‘Ranch’ is a mere three miles from downtown so we’ll hear three consecutive days of professional firework displays from Civic Center Park to Coors Field. This being the 25th anniversary of the woeful Colorado Rockies (FYI occupying the second to last place in the NL West), that show will probably be even bigger and louder. World Cup enthusiasts will be able to celebrate with the Colorado Rapids club who are offering their own boom-fest in Commerce City, a nearby suburb. Personally I’d wish all these displays would go away, opting in favor of concerts with laser or drone shows, especially since Colorado is in midst of one of the more active fire seasons in recent years with severe drought conditions throughout the state.

It’s well documented that more pets go missing this week than any other time of the year. Trying to survive this easily can pose some special challenges but you can make it somewhat easier for your pet. How you ask?

Enter CBD oil. Did you know that all mammals have an endocannabidiol system and their organs, glands, connective tissues, immune cells and even brains have cannabinoid receptors. Cannabadiol (CBD) is a substance found in commercial hemp plants and can help treat stress, pain, anxiety, fear, seizures, arthritis and other conditions. I know first hand the efficacy of this miracle product, as CBD oil has allowed a reduction in Elsa’s anti-seizure medication and has also helped calm the hyper-activated nerves when Sam rides on lengthy car trips. While CBD infused treats may contain several milligrams per treat, the oil contains much higher doses and will be far more effective for fireworks. Because no THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana) is contained in CBD products, your pet won’t have a ‘stoned’ experience, but instead experience a calming effect. A few drops on a biscuit may just be what the doctor ordered to calm your stressed pet during the celebrations this week.*

Wishing you and yours a safe and happy 4th of July.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

*Please check with your family vet before administering CBD products and always use high-quality extracts. Not all products are equal and some brands may use inferior ingredients or extraction methods.

Monday Musings ~ July 2, 2018

July already? Yikes…hard to fathom the year is half over. Where the heck did those first six months go?

After a mild weekend temperate wise, we’re back into sweltering status along with most people on the East Coast. My advice…take naps, lots of naps. I’ll be there as soon as I drink my coffee. Stay hydrated and enjoy your week.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Floral Friday

It’s hotter than bloody blue blazes in the Mile High (triple digits yesterday). And the perfect time to feature a  plant that accurately describes those temps. Known as Kniphofia or sometimes called tritoma, they are commonly referred to as Poker Plant or Torch Lilies. These guys are part of the Liliaceae family and thrive in USDA zones 5-9. Classified as an upright evergreen perennial, native to Africa with a clumping habit, there are more than 70 known species. Producing copious amounts of nectar when blooming, poker plants are attractive to bees and hummingbirds. The swallowtail butterflies have been recently seen swooning around them.

These babies need room to spread (note to self, be sure to divide these guys this autumn-notice the one coming up in the Canadian shrub who has also become insane fairly large-yikes). Preferring full sun they are not fussy about our crummy soil. They do require good drainage and don’t like ‘wet feet’ so no planting in bogs, ‘kay?

Poker plants are hardy and moderately drought resistant although some regular water is required in order for them to reach their full potential. Make sure they received adequate water during hot, dry spells and providing a 2-3 inch layer of mulch will help. Deadheading will encourage more blooms. These guys can be divided in the autumn and their crowns should not be planted deeper than 3 inches. Water throughly upon division and liberally mulch and you should have a new plant next season. Just make sure you provide enough space (something I clearly misjudged when they were planted in a few years ago).

Now it’s time for me to enjoy an extra-large glass of well-iced lemonade and work from inside the house in air-conditioned bliss. I realize many of you have had very hot temps already with the high humidity so I’ll stop whining now. Ummm, after second thought, nope, no I won’t. I’ll just finish by saying, it’s too damn hot!

Have a great weekend and try to stay cool. 

Live, love, bark! 🐾

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

While we’re providing therapy at West Pines today, here’s an image that might provide you with some visual therapy. Here’s to a happy Wednesday.

Sunset-El Moro Fortress, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Live, love, bark! 🐾

And We’re Off

Greetings, uprights. Sam here. 🎶Hi-ho, hi-ho🎵  it’s off to work I go for the next couple of days.  We’ve had some pretty good weather (as long as you don’t count the hail storm that shredded leaves everywhere) but now the temps are going up-up-up. By Thursday, it should be about 101 so it will be nice being inside in air-conditioned conditions spreading my tail-wagging wellness with patients.

Here’s hoping you have a great week. We’ll try to stay caught up with you in between our shifts. But now, like a certain group of little dwarves, it’s off to work I go. Hmm, why can’t I whistle?

Live, love, bark! 🐾

 

Monday Musings ~ June 15, 2018

Here’s hoping today is happy and bright. Happy Monday.

Live, love, bark! 🐾