Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Hungry Much?

You know those pieces of massive machinery that crush cars into tiny cubes of metal? Yeah, I have one of those. Let me start at the beginning.

Our vet recently told us that Milo's esophagus is at least 25 times larger than it should be, which basically means that when looking at a lateral radiograph, the edges of his esophagus run closely parallel with both his spine and his sternum. That is a widely-diametered piece of tubing there. Basically what happens in a dog with megaesophagus is that the esophagus is so stretched out that it doesn't constrict to force the food downward into the stomach. So we have had to drastically change the manner in which we feed Milo, as well as changing the schedule to accommodate quatro-feeding (my term for feeding four times a day). Milo lacks any real strength in his hindquarters and if he sits, he often needs help getting up. So we have to have Milo sit on a pillow, making his esophagus completely perpendicular to the ground. This increases his chances of the food he ingests (as opposed to the food he throws into the air while sitting and which ends up on his back) actually reaching the stomach rather than just sitting in that stretched out esophagus and quickly making its way back out.

I think that the quatro-feeding makes him hungry, as he's only fed small meals throughout the day. He's never been much of a grazer. More of a gorger. This was once a full-sized can of dog food with a label. Now it's just scrap metal, completely licked clean both inside and out.

So thoroughly compacted that there aren't even
air pockets that would allow an ant to survive for 60 seconds.

How much can you get for pre-crushed scrap metal anyway? Honestly, with the vast amounts of money we've spent at the vet this year, I think we may be entitled to making use of this new skill of Milo's.

I am beginning to see a pattern in both Milo and Ivy's eating patterns. Milo has progressed from inedibles, and now tends to stick with things that are digestible, mostly foodstuffs with the occasional cardboard or paper casualty depending upon how badly he wants to eat something that is encased in such a material. Ivy just plain eats anything that was not meant to be ingested: wooden knitting needles, shoes, sticks, plastic, rocks, chicken feathers - you name it, she's happily eaten it.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I Thought We Were Over This

I really did. I thought Ivy was pretty much through her chewing stage. The last thing she chewed was the sad shoe all the way back in January. Evidently I was wrong.

I went out of town last week and left the dogs in Mike's capable hands. I was gone for 4 days and Mike stayed home during those 4 of those days with the dogs. However, he was called away to something called "work" and had to leave the dogs home one day. Since Milo is having health issues, and Ivy suffers from some type of syndrome that makes her absolutely obsessed with going outside every 15 minutes, my super sweet friend Kim dropped by in the middle of the day to check on things and let them outside. She subsequently called me in a slight panic, asking if an ingested wooden knitting needle would create much of a problem in a dog. I sighed, said no, as it was explained to me that the needle was really just chewed to shreds, and went about my day thinking that it was a bit of a bummer that I had lost a knitting needle to Ivy's boredom and obvious growing frustration with my extended absence. When I got home from my trip, I saw that Mike had left the knitting "needle" on the kitchen table for me to see, but alas, it was not just one knitting needle. No. It was about 15.

I've had these knitting needles in the same basket for about 2 years now with no problems. Now I just have an empty basket. Oh, the humanity.