Friday, March 30, 2007

A Ray Of Sunshine In Your Day

I have a few more minutes before our afternoon appointments start so I wanted to share with you some good news. Yesterday I brought Lily to work and decided to run her yearly bloodwork chemistries/complete blood count. I came to work today and saw that for the first time her chemistries are all within normal limits. Her CBC had a few elevations but is still the most "normal" that it's ever been (in addition, levels with the CBC can change due to transport, etc.) So we are jumping for joy right now. If you know anything about Lily, you know that she's had a tough life from the beginning. And it's the best feeling to see her come around a corner. Not only is she a different dog with her attitude and liveliness, but her blood count and chemistries are showing it too. We never gave up hope and I'm glad that David and I gave her a chance and believed in her...I knew that our little girl had it in her.

I Can't Believe This Just Happened

Just a little bit ago something happened. I am currently at work and while our receptionist went out to get lunch for the rest of my coworkers I was answering the phone. As usual, I received a telemarketing phone call...I answer the phone, "Companion Care Animal Clinic. This is Heidi speaking." And she starts her in on her "deal" as though she's reading a script. I'm thinking to myself "I don't have time for this" So against my better judgement I hang up. Yeah, I know, now usually I say, "I'm not interested at this time or something." But I didn't. I just hung up. Within a minute I receive another call and it's the same woman. She says, "Heidi, you're an f---ing b--ch. Didn't your mother ever teach you any manners?" Say what??? Yeah. I couldn't believe it. I just hang up again. No more calls. Now, I'm thinking to myself. "Aren't you recorded at your work and won't you get in trouble for treating your "clients" that way?" I must say I did feel slightly guilty but I can't go back on what I did and man, sometimes I get so sick of telemarketers. At the same time I remind myself that it's a job and someone's got to do it. In the end though, the Lord will bless her according to her deeds and in the meantime I get a little chuckle out of it.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

They've Been Ordered

Yes, the time has finally come. I placed an order for my orange crocs today. I'm excited. I also placed an order for David too....yellow crocs. He was planning on waiting for the NFL Vikings crocs to come out...but he can't wait any longer. We'll just have to get the Jibbitz when they come out. Needless to say, you'll be able to see us coming from a mile away. This will make for my 4th pair of crocs. I'm so freakin' excited.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

If It's Not One Thing, It's Another

Today seemed to be one thing after another. I hardly slept last night. When I woke I was sick to my stomach to the point of wanting to vomit. More than likely I was just nervous for my speech assignment. I went through the day dreading the moments that I was going to do the speech. Anytime I thought of it my heart began to race and started to sweat. Why the heck am I going through this? I've never been this anxious about assignments like this. Even my interview assignment for this class "freaked" me out. I just think I feel my grade is so important to me. In addition, not only am I talking in front of people but I am also recording myself. The rest of my work day went well. Then to come home and find that our garage door wasn't working properly. For a few weeks we've been having issues. For instance, it will go all the way close and then immediately open. However, in the past we've been able to clear the "eyes" (where there was no problem anyway) and it'd work. Not today. I started pacing trying to find the manual, while trying to eat because I had made a previous engagement and really wanted to continue with that. But at the same time was worried about getting the door fixed. David said, "I'll take care of it" and I went on to what I was planning on doing, which is odd because I never leave when I feel something needs done. It helped because I got to get out and take a walk. The fresh air was refreshing and I felt as though I was getting some sort of workout per say. My company was nice too. I came home to find the door fixed, thanks to my awesome husband. Yay! Then, the next thing. The internet wasn't working. As I tried to fix it, it made me think of something. Even though I've had all of these things thrown at me today, I think it's was God's way of telling to to slow down and take a breather. By making me go through getting frustrating I finally threw up my hands in the air and said "God, take it." After making this realization it made me think of something someone had sent to me awhile back. Of course I searched for it in my stash of quotes and couldn't find it, but God once again delivered by allowing me to find it on the internet (obviously, our internet is finally working after a little tinkering.) Anyway, so this is the "letter" that I thought of....

Good Morning.
I am God.
Today I will be handling all of your problems.
Please remember that I do not need your help.

If the devil happens to deliver a situation to
you that you cannot handle,
DO NOT attempt to resolve it.
Kindly put it in the SFJTD(something for Jesus to do) box.

It will be addressed in MY time, not yours.
Once the matter is placed into the box, do not hold onto it or attempt to remove it.
Holding on or removal will delay the solution of your problem.

If it is a situation that you think you are
capable of handling,
please consult Me in prayer to be sure that it is the proper resolution.

Because I do not sleep nor do I slumber,
there is no need for you to lose any sleep.
Rest, My child.
If you need to contact Me, I am only a prayer away.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Anyone Else Hate Hearing Themselves Talk?

Okay, I think I'm ready for my speech. I came straight home and had dinner. It was quite yummy...this salsa chicken thing. Thanks to Jen Poho for pointing me in the direction of Kraft Foods, and my husband for fixing it. Yum Yum in the tum tum. And even better...I had a Snickers waiting for me that David brought home. Then I started working on school work. I feel as though I've been working on my persuasive speech outline all day...oh, maybe that's because I have. Any spare minute my nose is in a book. I headed upstairs for a bit to practice my speech. I figured I'd record myself. After about a million times through the speech I feel more confident to complete the task tomorrow. But man, do I hate to hear my voice. Anyone out there hate to listen to themselves talk on video or an answering machine. I always think, "Is that really the way I sound???" Whatever. Wish me luck for tomorrow. I just want to get this over and done with. Then I will have 1 more test and 1 more speech to go....the countdown begins.

Monday's Thought For The Day

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Planet Earth Is Amazing

Just getting settled in for the next week. Is anyone watching Planet Earth of the Discovery Channel? If not you're missing some amazing footage of wildlife. By hopping around to different situations it keeps you interested. We've been keeping our eye out to see when it'd be on and then Sita called tonight to let us know that it was on (thanks Sita!) We saw the book at Barnes and Noble a few weeks ago and that got us even more excited for the show. It's something that you got to be into to enjoy, but if you like animals and tend to like the Discovery Channel, be sure to check it out. While keeping my one eye on that I've been keeping my other on the computer as I try to catch up with any school work. It's so hard not to get preoccupied on the weekends (heck, even the weekdays) when you've got spring fever. I keep pushing it off, just dreading these final weeks of speech. This next week I'm going to have to give my informative speech and I have to turn in my persuasive speech outline. I'm not so worried about actually giving the informative speech, but for some reason the persuasive outline isn't jiving with me. I'm hoping to have a moment tomorrow to talk with my preceptor to hopefully get some form of inspiration in the right direction. Is it so bad of me to think, "What if I didn't complete these assignments? What would my grade be?" All I need to do is pass. I don't need an "A"." Okay, yeah, I need an A, because that's when my perfectionist mind kicks in. Other than worrying about school our weekend was great. David got to meet Antonio Pittman at the mall and get his autograph. I must say it kind of was a buzzkill, but I just keep telling myself, "he's only a human." To begin, they were supposed to have Anthony Gonzalez and Jay Richardson...On Friday Jay Richardson dropped out but Antonio was going to come. Then Saturday morning Gonazalez pulled out. When we got to the mall there was a huge line, but thanks to David winning a certificate through the radio he was allowed to jump the line. So we were there on time only to find that Antonio had a tryout in the morning with The Patriots and was running behind. About an hour later he arrived and it was as if nothing happened. Meaning, no one knew what was going on. Since no one was aware of when he was exactly due to arrive he game in unannounced and just appeared. Then the "normal" line started moving immediately. Wait a minute, David was supposed to go first, along with the others that had won the same certificate. It wasn't that big of a deal because within a few minutes they let him go, but instead of being in front of Antonio he was behind him almost trying to force him to take his stuff before the people that were in the "normal" line that were in front of the table. Basically, in military terms it was a gagglefuck (please excuse the language). It was as though Jesus had entered the building. No one cared where they were standing or who they were running over just to get a picture. Not to mention he wasn't the most charismatic fellow we had ever met. I'm sure that was because he was forced into doing this because his fellow teammates pulled out and he had previous engagements that were for sure occupying his mind other than signing some person's picture. Anyway, it wasn't a total waste of time because David was still excited about it, but once again....he's only a person. In addition to doing that on Saturday we had time to hang out with friends this weekend and got to finally have our game night with David's 'rents. And they found out that "Taboo is really fun". So all in all a good weekend. Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and has a happy beginning to their weeks.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Generation Me?

I should be hula hooping. But considering I have cramps, I figured I'd let that chocolate cake from last night sit on my hips while I type this morning. With that being said, I'm sure you can gain that I'm in a "mood" this morning. Yesterday was my day to sit at the front desk and I have to tell you about something that happened. I had two phone calls that were from parents of teenagers in regards to certain situations. The first one was calling because "my daughter's friend is coming in tomorrow to shadow one of the doctor's for a school project and I was wondering if it'd be okay for my daughter to come too." Wait. Let's start at the beginning...someone's shadowing someone tomorrow? That's news to me. She explained that she was told it would be with a certain doctor (even said the name) and that we were to have surgeries. That was accurate information. I did a little research and explained to the lady that I was unaware of the situation but I don't see it being a problem if her daughter came too. After getting off the phone I did more research to find that other coworkers had no idea about anyone shadowing either so we may have quite a surprise when 2 high school girls arrive to shadow one of the doctors today. Yeah, considering we have possibly 6-7 surgeries. That will be tons of fun. On to the next phone call, "my name is so and so and I was a previous dog daughter who is 17 is interested in doing some work and I was wondering if you'd be hiring this summer." I passed him on to my office manager's voicemail and will let her deal with it. You see, I don't have problems with people calling. I have problems with parents calling when their kids should be calling. You mean to tell me, you're calling for employment for your 17 year old??? Come on, give me a break. I was out on my own looking for employment when I was a freshman in high school. The only thing I can see is that he was trying to use his weight as a "former dog warden" to get employment. No. Not going to work. This just frustrates me. And it's no wonder why my generation and thereafter are the way they are. There are so many of my former school mates that went to college. Some made it through, some didn't. But there is a huge percentage that are now at home living with mom and dad and not even doing what their degree is supposed to do for them. Obviously there's a glitch in the system somewhere. More than likely more than one glitch. I'm just seeing a trend that is quite frightening. Mom and dad walking you through high school, holding your hand...that then continues through college and on and on and on. Man, let your kids go. Make them do what they need to do. If you do it for them, why should they do it themselves? And stop thinking "my poor kid." When they get a bad grade don't go after the teachers for "teaching wrong". Go after your kid for not not taking the time to learn and doing what their supposed to be doing...and stop focusing on all the extracurricular activities that should be just that, extracurricular. And whatever happened to the squeeky wheel gets the grease? So what if your kid calls somewhere and they don't get an answer. First of all they shouldn't have all their eggs in one basket depending on one certain thing and in addition, call again, and again if need be. If people don't take you seriously to begin with, they will at some point if they find you're determined enough. Sorry to get in a rant...I continue to think to more reason...I have decided this will be a good day...yes it will be. I hope yours is too.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

It's A Perfect Day For A Cadbury Egg

We went to eat at Panera last night. Before we left there David said, "maybe we can make it to Dairy Frost tonight." Watch out...Speedracer Heidi arrived. Before we could head home we had to stop at Meijer to get creme soda for tonight's Dinner Night with friends and I figured, just to play it safe, I'd grab something sweet to just in case Dairy Frost was already closed for the night. David didn't realize why I was running to and from the car and then he had a lightbulb moment and said, "Ah, you want to get that ice cream, huh?" I said, "Heck yeah. You can't dangle a carrot in front of a horse and take it away." We continued to home and rounded the corner only to find that it was 7:03 and they had already closed. Total bummer. I wanted frickin' ice cream. And this isn't the first time we've missed them. It's happened two other times this season thus far. Now I know it's early in the season, but why must they close so early? Since I get off of work so late I can't head right there, I have to eat dinner first, ya know? So, I was bummed. I had my Cadbury Eggs from Meijer, but I wanted ice cream. David then says, "what about mcdonalds?" I'm there. It's not Dairy Frost, but it's ice cream and even better yet, it's not sugar free either (that's all we keep in the house). Now as I finished up my second half of my sandwich from Panera for lunch I ended it with a small dessert...a Cadbury Creme egg. Yes, it is a perfect day for a Cadbury Egg.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Electrician I Am Not

Earlier this week I came home to find that David changed his lightswitch and outlet in his "new bedroom". "Say what? You can do that and you didn't tell me?" So his honey do list grew a little bit. On Saturday we headed to Lowes to get some items and a few new switchplates to spruce things up (mind you, we prefer Home Depot for home improvement stuff, but I have to say Lowes has The Depot beat on home decor stuff). I took a nap thinking the things would be done when I woke up. Well, that's not exactly what happened. Something wasn't right and at the same time we were planning on having his 'rents over for game night. Needless to say game night turned into trying to get the light and switches on our stairs to work in addition to a new outlet in our bathroom to work. After hours of tooling, with the help of his dad, and me staying out of the way, the bathroom worked, but not the stair switches. We have older wiring that isn't marked as what is what and the switches were VERY old. So we headed to The Depot this morning and had some help from the guys. We purchased one of those cheaper electrical sets with all the testers and ohm meter, etc. and thought we'd be able to fix it. We took a detour on our way home to see my 'rents as it was Kara's birthday yesterday, so they were all coming over to open presents. We had fun doing that. Kara's such a sweetheart and it was good to see them all including Tara, Joe, and Allysen too. After that we headed home and David dug in again. I spent some time outside working on the yard to stay out of his hair. I came back in after about 1/2 hour and still nothing. He was using the detectors however, the sensor detected that all the wires were hot. Huh? Back to the Internet we go trying to find answers. At this point I jump in totally green and start fiddling with it. Somehow David and I came to the conclusion of installing the upstairs switchplate upside down and what do you know, but it worked! I'd like to thank the guy at The Depot or the Internet, but this was pure luck. And of course looking back Alpa even had that idea, but no, they had tried everything and just wanted to give up last night. I couldn't blame them considering they started at about 4pm and were still going at it until midnight. David said, "I'd like to say it was worth it, but I don't think it was." But I do. I love my quieter switches and beautiful switch plates. And now I can actually dry my hair without my dryer coming out of the outlet because it was previously installed upside down and had lost it's tight grip. One more thing that we can check off our list. However, I must say it was never really on our list to begin with. Hope everyone else had a productive weekend too!

Kara's Birthday Pictures

Kara's 2nd Birthday was Saturday. Be sure to check out some pictures at Our Flickr Site

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Fun Pics Of Mr. J

What I Did Today

Hey. I just got home from work after a VERY long day, but I just had to post this. These are the stones that we pulled from a 14 pound dog's bladder. Ouch! Could you imagine living with these things in your bladder? The bladder was stretched to it's limit with these whoppers. The size and amount are amazing.
Bladder Stones

Only In Ohio

Only in Ohio will you have mid 60's and within 12 hours low 30's. Yes, you heard right. Yesterday was a little cooler than the previous day. A little gloomy too, but it was still a decent day with rays of sunshine. Then approximately 6pm last night we had thunder. By 6:45pm it was a straight downpour with thunder and lightning. We awoke this morning to snow on the ground, while it was continuing to snow. It looks like it's stopped snowing for the time being. Ah well. At least I got to enjoy the weather while it was here. Only a couple more weeks until we get some more...hopefully.
I think the casserole turned out pretty good. It was kind of confusing how long to bake it. I was waiting for bubbles around the edge, which never came. But thanks to Joey's assistance it turned out A ok. It was a little dry for David and my taste. Next time I think I'd also put sauce on the bottom in addition to the top. I'm just glad I took the extra sauce. Whatever. It was better than previous cooking attempts. Now, I have to think of something to make in a few weeks. This dinner night idea was a great idea. It gives us a chance to interact with adults our age that are in the same part of their lives. It's also a way to reconnect with old friends from high school, while making new friends at the same time. All in all a good time and something we look forward to.
As of Tuesday evening the schedule for work today looked kind of scary....multiple surgeries including 2 dogs with bladder stones. You know what that means. We gotta go in there and get them out. Plus we had a full evening schedule in addition to releasing all of our surgeries. But I'm deciding's going to be a good day. Hope your day is good too!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Day Off

Today is my day off for the week. I got to sleep in, and even better, we slept with the window open last night, so it was so nice to wake up to fresh air. Isn't it one of the best smell/feelings in the world. Can't explain it, but it just is, especially when you've been cooped up all winter. It's been quite nice for the past several days. Yesterday a coworker and I even got to sneak in a walk outside. It was refreshing, but my body definitely signaled to me that it's been winter for a long time. Even with doing my hula hoop I was breathing pretty hard by the end of the walk. Of course we also ended up walking into the wind at the end of the walk instead of the beginning. But according to the weather people it won't stay like this for long. Today is cooler than yesterday and it looks like it's going to continue to get cooler. That will just make me enjoy it even more while it's here. When I woke up I did some cleaning. Then since it's our turn to bring dinner to "dinner night" with our friends I made a spaghetti casserole. It looks yummy. I just hope it turns out ok. For those who don't know, I don't cook much and when I do it doesn't always go as planned. I've been having some abdominal discomfort for the past 2 weeks so I finally made an appointment with the doctor, because something's just not right. As usual, it was an interesting morning....I've been well trained by my mother to relieve myself before leaving the house, so I did so. Of course when I arrived the first thing they wanted was a urine sample. Well, after sitting in the bathroom for 10 minutes, you'd think I'd be able to produce but, nope, it wasn't happening. I can't say it's performance anxiety, because I don't have problems peeing in public, but anytime a cup is involved, even if there is pee in the bladder, it just doesn't want to come. Anyone feel me on this one? I come out and explain to the nurse, and she says, "no big deal." I get examined and there's nothing wrong. "Everything feels fine. Everything looks fine." They doctor wants an ultrasound and wants to send me to the hospital for a urine culture and sensitivity. Oh man, I couldn't pee in the cup here. How am I going to do it there, adding on to it, that it must be a sterile techinique with wet naps and all? I oblige and head to the hospital. If anyone's seen Firelands recently you'll know that it's a mess with construction and locations of departments move by the week, so you don't know where anything is. I finally get to registration and find that I need to update all my information because the last time I was in I wasn't married, blah, blah, blah. I got it done, and went to the lab. They send me to the restroom, and FINALLY, it happens. Sweet. Done sir done. I head out of there and now I wait for days to see if they find anything. Please, find something. I'm not digging this pain. Not to mention isn't it fun when you have abdominal discomfort, then they start poking and prodding around only to make it worse? Great. And the ultrasound isn't for 2 weeks. I guess Aleve will be my new best friend. Now that you're thinking "TMI...." Anyway. I've been trying for weeks to change our look of our blog, with no luck. I like the new set up with blogger where you can click and drag items wherever you want them and if you change your template to something else, you have to go back to doing all the html stuff, which isn't too fun. Not to mention, I've been trying to find something fun and not too girly, considering this is David's blog too...even though he doesn't write on it. Any helpful hints? Too bad I can't create something....I'm not that talented...yet.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Keepin' Busy

It was our first "warm" weekend of the season and ya'll know that we couldn't just sit here. On Saturday we headed to Crocker Park with the 'rents and had a yummy lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. Then, in search of orange Crocs, also known as coral, we went to Dick's and also tried at the Great Northern Mall, with no luck. Bummer. I may just have to order them. Another big bummer is that I love how my black and brown ones fit, but my pink ones tend to be tighter. I'm figuring it's because they've all been made in different places. So it makes me nervous to order them without trying them on. We came home without Crocs and took the dogs for a walk and spent some time in our muddy backyard playing ball. It was then decided that we were going to pull up our carpet in our bedroom. Yes, you heard right. So we spent 3 hours pulling up our carpet. The carpeting was old and discolored and just kept getting worse with Lily have accidents. Once again, changing something for the dog. It worked downstairs, so why won't it work upstairs? Obviously with all of these problems plus a few more, that's how we came to the decision. Now we're down to 1 room with carpet. It looks like someone put some form of finish over paint and the finish is chipping off. So we're hoping to be able to sand it down (hopefully without chemical stripping) and either paint it or refinish. We haven't decided yet. It was interesting how the carpet was laid. You had the carpet, a thin pad, this linoleum stuff that wasn't tacked to the floor with the exception of one metal strip down the middle of the room, and then newspaper. Yes, newspaper. Why there was newspaper, you got me. The newspaper was from January 25th, 1948. We kept some of the adds from the paper. It was kind of neat to look at. We also found a "trap" door and opened it, only to kind dust and dirt. Oh well....we didn't find our millions....yet. It's pretty cool though, not that we'll ever need a hiding place for valuables, but you never know. And it's perfect because it's under our bed, so you won't be able to see it. On the other hand, we'll never be able to move our bed. Later that evening we went over the 'rents because Ande' was in town. This morning we woke up and went to Perkins Pancake House with the family. And then took our weekly trip to The Depot....meaning Home Depot. We finally got David's paint for his room, and then another bug hit. "Let's go paint your room." Of course the sanding wasn't done, so we did that and then started painting. The ceiling's painted, along with the 3 main walls. All that needs to be done is the edging along the ceiling and the accent wall, which is the smallest (and probably the easiest) wall. At a later date I'll paint all the woodwork. So we've had a very productive weekend. Of course with all the hustle and bustle my school work has been put on the back burner. But hey, you need to do that sometimes. Here are some pictures of the floor thus far...

Carpet and Linoleum

The Newspaper Layer

After Removing The Layers/Before Cleaning

Saturday, March 10, 2007

A Few Fun Pictures

A Dollup Of Peanut Butter

Yum Yum In The Tum Tum

Pretty Kitty

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

My Vet Tech Side

Hello Everyone. I've recently had the bug in me to post something on here about potential foods that can cause toxicity in animals. Just recently they've discovered Xylitol (artificial sweetener) is VERY toxic and this gave me the final push to post this type of stuff on here. I know some of you may not have dogs, but I know that some do. Considering pets are part of my entire life, whether it be my own kids or my work life, I feel it's important for me to pass this information on to you. I feel quite confident in speaking in regards to the subject of toxicity, however, considering there are already articles out there that put the ideas into layman's terms, I figured that'd be the best way to go. I hope that someone finds this helpful, as I know I have. With the ever changing diets that we have (trying sugar-free foods, etc) it's important that we're aware of not only what is safe for us, but also our furry friends.

The Wrath of Grapes
Dr. Means is a veterinary toxicologist at the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center in Urbana, Illinois.

Discover why grapes and raisins prove toxic to dogs.

Magoo was a big, playful Labrador retriever who often got himself into some sticky situations. Usually, his escapades were harmless. But one day, he managed to snag a box of raisins from the pantry and ended up eating an entire pound of the sweet treats. Other than being exasperated by Magoo's behavior, his guardians didn't think much about it. They knew that lots of people shared grapes with their dogs and often used raisins as training rewards. So it hardly seemed the kind of emergency that required a call to the veterinarian. In fact, if Magoo's parents had called the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) just a few years ago, they would have been told not to worry about it.

Through the Grapevine
Enter the APCC AnToxTM database, a computerized system that contains nearly 500,000 animal-related medical conditions and that enables veterinarians to quickly identify toxic-substance exposures, recognize clinical signs and administer proper treatment. By tracking cases in this registry, similarities in animal medical conditions nationwide can be logged and syndromes can be identified.

Around 1989, the APCC began noticing a trend in dogs who had eaten grapes or raisins: Nearly all developed acute renal (kidney) failure. As more cases were reported, enough data was generated in the database to help veterinarians identify and treat dogs at risk. In all of the cases, the ingredients for potential acute renal failure were the same. Whether the ingested grapes were purchased fresh from grocery stores or grown in private yards didn't seem to matter, nor did the brand eaten. And the ingested amounts varied considerably, from over a pound of grapes to as little as a single serving of raisins. The cases weren't from any specific region, but instead came from across the United States.

The database showed that dogs who ate the grapes and raisins typically vomited within a few hours of ingestion. Most of the time, partially digested grapes and raisins could be seen in the vomit, fecal material, or both. At this point, some dogs would stop eating (anorexia), and develop diarrhea. The dogs often became quiet and lethargic, and showed signs of abdominal pain. These clinical signs lasted for several days -- sometimes even weeks.

When medical care was sought, blood chemistry panels showed consistent patterns. Hypercalcemia (elevated blood calcium levels) was frequently present, as well as elevated levels of blood urea nitrogen, creatinine and phosphorous (substances that reflect kidney function). These chemistries began to increase anywhere from 24 hours to several days after the dogs ate the fruit. As the kidney damage developed, the dogs would produce little urine. When they could no longer produce urine, death occurred. In some cases, dogs who received timely veterinary care still had to be euthanized.

Why did the fruit cause the dogs to become ill? No one knows. Suspect grapes and raisins have been screened for various pesticides, heavy metals (such as zinc or lead), and mycotoxins (fungal contaminants) and so far, all results have come back negative. In the cases where the grapes were grown in private yards, owners confirmed that no insecticides, fertilizers or antifungals had been used on the fruit.

"Raisin" the Success Rate
Even though the exact cause of the renal failure is unknown, dogs who ingest grapes and raisins can be treated successfully to prevent its development. The first line of defense is decontamination. Inducing vomiting in recent ingestions and administering activated charcoal helps prevent absorption of potential toxins. Dogs should be hospitalized and placed on intravenous fluids for a minimum of 48 hours. A veterinarian should monitor blood chemistry daily for at least three days following the ingestion. If all blood work is normal after three days, it's unlikely that kidney failure will occur. If a dog shows evidence of renal failure, fluids must be continued, and other medications should be used to stimulate urine production. Some dogs may need peritoneal dialysis, a process where the peritoneum (the membranes surrounding the abdominal organs) is used to filter waste products that are normally filtered by the kidney.

Thanks in part to the AnTox database, grape or raisin ingestion can be easily identified and treated. Today, a dog can make a complete recovery from this potentially fatal condition.

As previously stated a newer artificial sweetener that has been introduced, Xylitol, has also been proven toxic:

No Sugar Coating: Products Sweetened With Xylitol Can Be Toxic To Dogs
-Number of 2005 Xylitol-Related Cases Up More Than 150% Over Previous Year- Sugar-free Chewing Gums, Candies, Baked Goods Among Products

Urbana, Ill., August 21, 2006—The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center cautions animal owners that xylitol, a sweetener found in certain sugar-free chewing gums, candies, baked goods and other products can potentially cause serious and even life-threatening problems for pets.

“Last year, we managed more than 170 cases involving xylitol-containing products,” says Dana Farbman, CVT and spokesperson for the Center. “This is a significant increase from 2004, when we managed about 70.” Barely halfway into 2006, the Center has already managed about 114 cases. Why the increase? “It’s difficult to say,” Farbman states. “Xylitol products are relatively new to the United States marketplace, so one possibility may be an increase in availability.”

According to Dr. Eric Dunayer, veterinarian and toxicologist for the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, dogs ingesting significant amounts of items sweetened with xylitol could develop a fairly sudden drop in blood sugar, resulting in depression, loss of coordination and seizures. “These signs can develop quite rapidly, at times less than 30 minutes after ingestion of the product. Therefore, it is crucial that pet owners seek veterinary treatment immediately.” Dr. Dunayer also stated that there appears to be a strong link between xylitol ingestions and the development of liver failure in dogs.

While it was previously thought that only large concentrations of xylitol could result in problems, this appears to no longer be the case. “We seem to be learning new information with each subsequent case we manage,” says Dr. Dunayer. “Our concern used to be mainly with products that contain xylitol as one of the first ingredients. However, we have begun to see problems developing from ingestions of products with lesser amounts of this sweetener.” He also says that with smaller concentrations of xylitol, the onset of clinical signs could be delayed as much as 12 hours after ingestion. “Therefore, it is important to keep in mind that even if your pet does not develop signs right away, it does not mean that problems won’t develop later on.”

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center strongly urges pet owners to be especially diligent in keeping candy, gum or other foods containing xylitol out of the reach of pets. As with any potentially toxic substance, should accidental exposures occur, it is important to contact your local veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center for immediate assistance.

For more information on keeping your pet safe and for a list of toxic plants, foods, etc. check out
the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

A Change Will Do You Good

It was a working weekend this weekend. In addition, David was on call. They had already asked him to take care of something on Saturday morning. Then he got 3 calls (so far) this weekend. Even though they're a pain we won't be complaining about it when he gets his paycheck. And next week he won't have to be on call. Good to go. In between calls on Saturday, while I was at work, David borrowed his dad's truck and got my parent's retired recliner to add to our living room. You know what that means....changing the room layout. It seems as though we have so much room, but feel so limited. Mostly because we have the hot water radiators that take up one wall. Don't get me wrong we have come to LOVE the hot water heat, but sometimes you just wish those things weren't there. Anyway, David and I sat for about an hour discussing different set up options and tried to move stuff around to figure out exactly what we wanted. Of course we had a few sped bumps.....moved the computer the the opposite end of the room only to find that the cable wouldn't work for some reason. Good thing we were smart enough not to take everything apart and we just scooted everything across the floor. I'm sure it looked funny. This is what we came up with.....

It wasn't until I took the pictures that I realized we had a few too many greens going on. Mostly because of St. Patrick's Day and that can easily be changed. Even though the couch seems back so far we've added one more seat the room and opened it up tons, which I love. Of course that just gives David an even bigger excuse that now we really need a bigger tv. And I just politely tell him that "Sorry. We're going to Hawaii." And not that we have people over that much but now I feel more comfortable that we can actually have room for people. We can also have room to add more chairs if need be. So we spent a few hours doing that.
Saturday evening we had David's 'rents over for a game night. We finally got to play Disney's Scene It. We blew Sita and Alpa out of the water. Oh well. Sorry. It was kind of a buzzkill because I was really excited to play and had been waiting for awhile. I just have to find someone that knows all the stupid things your brain holds on to that takes up space, just like me. We then played Imaginiff and I won again. Say what? I've been on a roll. Don't know what's up with that.
We had something interesting happen last night. All the sudden Viking was barking, going nuts. So I immediately awaken to pounding on a door. Then David jumps up and I say, "we better see what's going on." As we scramble to make ourselves presentable I peek outside to find the police pounding on our neighbor's door while another individual is looking around the outside of the house with a flashlight. We both go outside and verify with the police that they weren't pounding on our door, just the neighbors. They say yes and we head back to bed. It wasn't until we went back up that I realized it was 3:30am. We have no idea what was going on. Our neighbors weren't home and they haven't been all day. They are a really nice family and I hope everything is okay. Isn't it amazing that in just a few seconds millions of thoughts can go through your head....Is something really going on or am I dreaming? Is someone breaking in? Who needs help? What the???? We'll have to see. Today was spent not doing too much. David woke up and within a few minutes received a page for work. So while he was out doing that I cleaned the house up a bit. The rest of the day included grocery shopping and napping on the couch. Our lives are so exciting aren't they? I can't complain because it's nice to have some down time every once in a while. Now it's time to work on some more school work before I get ready for the week. Hope everyone has an enjoyable Monday.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Shopping Etiquette

Got a story for you. I was sent to get things from Walmart today for work. Now most of you know that I'm a speedracer when it comes to shopping. I know where I'm going, why I'm going there, and how I'm getting there. However, at the same time I feel that I'm quite respectable of others and I may even take a longer way around as not to disturb someone else's shopping experience. In addition, I try to smile at others while I'm passing them. I know this isn't a big deal. But I think to myself..."What if this is the only smile they receive today? At least I can give them that one and that it may change their entire day." Maybe not...but at least I can think that, right? So on with the story. Within the first aisle I had to move out of other people's way. Not a big deal. You know, they are where you want to go so you pick up your cart and scoot it over to the side so they can come out and you can go where they are. They apologize. I smile and say "no problem." Then I continue on. So I just start to pick up some speed and come to an "intersection". I slow down as to not hit anyone, I peak out and see 1 older woman I will be merging with onto the her aisle. I quickly jut out and speed up as to not get in her way. Well come to find out there was another woman who I didn't see that she was with, right next to her. Omigosh. I must have offended them so badly.....for the next 10 aisles all I heard was "JEEZ! Someone is in a hurry. How rude can she be?" pick pick pick on me. Now remember, I was trying to be the nice person and stay out of the way. I'm thinking, "Wait you're thinking I'm rude when you're sitting there saying all these rude comments loud enough for me to hear?" It took so much in me not to turn around and say something. But my reality kicks in and I remind myself....I'm in work gear, shopping for work things. That wouldn't be appropriate. Then I think, "What would I say?" I don't want to make an idiot out of myself and stoop to their level. So I just remind myself, "the Lord will bless them according to their deeds." And I continue on throughout my day. I'd just like to make a friendly reminder that we all must be aware of what we're doing when we're shopping. Now mind you, I'm not the perfect shopper. But am I the only one who can't stand the lolly gaggers who you think are out to get you and get in your way? Or the people that stop in the middle of the aisle to carry on an entire conversation? What about those that are in the aisle and leave their cart on the opposite side of the aisle in which they are looking...which means they block the aisle with their cart and their body while they try to figure out what the heck kind of cereal they want. And this alert also goes to my fellow speedracers that ram their cart into yours. In addition to the shopping experience I would also like to remind our elders that as much as you think us younger people are rude and inconsiderate we oftentimes see you in the same light of being rude and prude. I'm not trying to offend anyone here but as stated earlier it's always nice to have that little voice in your head remind you not to judge those around you and to instead try to understand them. Okay. I'm done with my story and lecturing. Have a great weekend y'all!