We set up a 50 gallon watering tub under the eaves on our deck to catch water dripping off the roof. Cullen readily jumps into the tub after a walk that has left his paws somewhat dirty. Now Tripp has been trained to do the same. After the ‘wash’ the dogs can drip dry on the deck or in the mud room before coming into the house. It helps reduce the amount of dirt and silt tracked into the house.
Tripp has been itchy and shedding in a new coat. Eric volunteered to give him a bath. Tripp isn’t a brave dog but he is accepting and you can build his confidence up to tolerate new and challenging places. He was coy, but ended up willing to enter the shower stall and receive his first bath.
Tripp is now 20 weeks old and weighs 55 lbs. He was around 20 lbs when we picked him up the 1st week of August.
Kathryn has been keeping the dogs company in the back yard. She typically gets up at 0530 and watches the sun rise; other times she reads and the dogs hang out in the yard.
Tripp weighed in at 44 lbs this week and is now slightly taller than Cullen. Kathryn started taking him on her long runs and he is doing fine.
A considerable amount of time this week has been devoted to watch-dogging the puppy – now named Tripp. He knows his name, will come when called and is learning NO. He is not yet housebroken so we spend as much time as possible outside. Cullen has been great with him with only a few retaliatory actions.
After a period of time in which we thought she was a goner, Scout rallied, regaining mental alertness and personality, eating/drinking well. We eventually saw the vet, who diagnosed myotosis and prescribed prednisone, antibiotics and iron supplement. Scout is doing pretty well, seems almost her old self, but somewhat weaker. And, of course, she is still 12 years old.
It only took about 20 minutes of brushing to get this amount hair out of Cullen.
Our winter weather has been sporadic for sure. This past week one of Kathryn’s friends visited with a plan to go XC skiing. They caught the last two days of snow before rain and warm temperatures melted it all away. Instead of XC skis and snowshoes it’s rubber boots and trying to avoid the soggy ground as Kathryn takes the dogs for a walk around the pasture.
We found lumps on Trey’s neck and had him examined. We suspect he has systemic histiocytosis – a reactive inflammatory diseases in which a disorder of immune system regulation is suspected. Histiocytosis is a cancer which proliferates rapidly and invade a wide variety of tissues. Histiocytes are a type of white blood cell called macrophages which ordinarily form part of the dog’s immune system. Their proper role is to engulf bacteria and other material which should not be present in the body and dispose of it. Histiocytosis is quite rare in other breeds but it is the most common cancer in Bernese Mountain Dogs comprising 25% of all cases.
Systemic histiocytosis can have episodes that come and go with varying severity. It invades the skin and peripheral lymph nodes in almost every case but also involves other tissues particularly in later stages of the disease. With systemic histiocytosis skin abnormalities are common, particularly on the face and limbs. If the tumor has metastasized to the lungs there may be trouble breathing. There are no successful treatments for histiocytosis at this time. It is simply a difference in how long the disease takes to run its course.
Trey’s surgery left him with stitches on his neck and left side. Below he models a t-shirt to keep him from scratching open the stitches. Since this picture we have found a turtle neck shirt which better protects his neck. With temperatures in the 70’s Trey is warm and uncomfortable, but the shirt is a necessity for another week.