Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Colin's Cool Camo party

Last month our buddy Colin turned 5. He had a fantastic party. Everybody came in their camo outfits and got to participate in a really great obstacle course.
Colin first demonstrated the moves for all the kids.

And then it was our turn...

Crawling through the tunnel.

Water balloon target practice.
Up the rock wall.
Scope out the terrain.

Down the slide.

Through the hoops.

Attempt a pull up & just hang around!
Through the buckets.
Monkey walk under the canopy.
A bit of bat-to-pinata combat.

He got a couple pretty good shots in.
Calvin really had the baseball stance going.
Remarkably nobody got smacked with the bat, although Kaden came pretty close a couple times. It was just so hard to wait in line for the next turn.

Snack time for the troops.

The top of the cupcake is always the first casualty.

Everybody got to take home some pretty fun party favors, too!
It was lots of fun, we can't wait to see how Debbie will top this next year!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Portland Zoo

So lets get caught up with what we have been up to the last month or so we have been on hiatus...
At the end of September Kaden & I went up to the Portland Zoo. Grama Betty went with us and we met up with Brad's sister Brandy & her husband Josh, & their two year old Howard & little Baby Charlie. Brad's brother Bryan also came, as well as my sister Amy & her husband Dave.

Cousin Howard

We thought trying on the funny hats was cute, till he thought it'd be funny to run away with it!
" What, you can't quite see the animals, let me throw you over the fence to get a better look!"

Uncle Josh, Howard & Kaden in the Safari Jeep.

Kaden trying to share his green bean snack withthe monkey.

Feeding the Lorries was the best part of the day. Bryan showed Kaden how to hold real still and let the birds eat right off your arm.

I was so impressed that he was so calm with the birds.

Kaden the Bird Wisperer!
The leopard was quite active while we were there. He would brush right up against the window.
Funny faced boys playing with sticks.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Poor little Wickett

Wickett has had quite a rough month. He's probably in the running for patient of the month at the Vet's office since we've spent so much time ($) there this month. So, for the record, here's the story.

It really all started a few months ago, Brad noticed that Wickett had dribbly pee. I thought maybe he had a UTI so I gave him some collodial silver in his water & didn't think much else of it. Then a few weeks ago I noticed it was still really dribbly so I did an internet search to see what that could possibly be a sign of. The results brought back a host of problems that could be a symptom of, most likely though was bladder or kidney stones or some sort of prostate problem. While doing this search I also came across The PetCheck Up site, where you can order a home urinalysis test for your pet. You can test for a whole range of problems with just a few drops of urine. I thought this was a great idea because I hate going to the vet wondering if I am wasting my time & if there is really something wrong. It is so expensive for them to even look him over, I would hate to spend $60 to have them say he's perfectly fine. So, a few days later the test came & Brad followed Wickett around one morning with a dixie cup. The test showed him in the normal ranges for just about everything, except blood in the urine... it was off the chart. So, we went straight to the vet that day. They did a few ultrasounds and determined it was bladder stones & sent us home with medicine to treat them while they awaited the lab results. The next day they called to say that the lab determined the type of stones he had, calcuim oxalate, were not medically treatable and had to either be passed or surgically removed. Waiting for him to pass them could lead to an emergency surgery in a much more delicate location if they get stuck & could be unbearably painful. So we opted for surgery the next week. The procedure was supposed to be pretty simple, open up his bladder, flush out the stones, close him up & while he was under they were going to go ahead with a dental cleaning-(they threw that in for only about $100 bucks more- we had it done last year as it's own procedure and it was over $400). Well, it didn't go quite that well. Once they got him opened up they didn't find the stones but found & removed 5 polyps from the lining of his bladder wall (likely caused from stones embedding themselves in the soft tissue). He was in so much pain, the vet almost wouldn't let him come home that night, but I assured him that he would do better at home with us then in the overnight clinic. He was on 2 different pain killers and he still was inconsolable. He couldn't really move & just laid on his blanket screaming in pain, everytime he needed to pee using those bladder muscles was excrutiating. He would try to stand and take a step and then collapse screaming and peeing all over himself. I slept on the floor with him that night & got about 2 hours of was awful. By morning he woke up vomiting everywhere. He wasn't drinking anything and had vomited up the little bit he had eaten. So we went back to the vet & he showed me how to administer an injection of pain medication to add to the other two he was taking and they gave him sub-q fluids. This seemed to help him a little.

While I was at the vet with Wickett, Brad was at the pediatrician with Kaden. He had a suspicious looking bump on his tooshy that looked just like the staph infection he had a couple of months ago. Sure enough, the staph was back, so now I had to keep the two at arms length so Kadens staph didn't kill Wickett with his giant stomach wound. Oh yeah, & did I mention Brad was leaving for Mexico the next morning! So that weekend (the day after Brad left) I packed up my two patients & headed to my parents house. I was hoping the competition factor with my parents dog (who Wickett just adores) would be enough to trigger his appetite as it had been over 4 days since he had eaten. No luck. He was moving around a bit gingerly and drinking a little, but still no food.

Wickett still wouldn't eat the entire weekend & was clearly not getting any better with time. My sister & my mom both thought that his stomach seemed hard and swollen, but I figured that was just due to the polyp removal, & the fact that he was in a lot of pain & that it is normal to tighten your muscles when someone goes to touch you where you are hurting. We got back into town late Monday & went to the vet first thing Tuesday. The vet determined that Wickett had a a hole in his bladder that was leaking urine into his abdomen! Apparently a blood clot had formed at the incision site that prevented blood from reaching the tissue there, which caused that tissue to die & not hold the stiches. So, his not eating made sense now, his poor little body was FULL & couldn't take any more. He also mysteriously hadn't lost weight (down only 4 oz.) after not eating for 8 days. So, that made sense, too. The solution: ANOTHER SURGERY! I couldn't believe he was going to have to endure surgery all over again. I was heartsick leaving him at the vet, but it was absolutly necessary to fix this problem, immediatly. Apparently we were pretty lucky Wickett was enduring it as well as he was, if he was a Cat this would've killed him after only one day. They removed the dead tissue, found a very scary looking stone (think tiny chinese throwing star- spikey & sharp on all sides) and after relieving him of all the extra fluid he was down from 17.9 lbs. to 15.4 lbs. So another sleepless post-surgery night, and still no interest in food. He spent the entire next day at the vet being monitered, they wanted to make sure everything that was going in was also coming back out. By the time I came to get him that evening he had improved dramatically. He was walking around on his own & wagging his tail in delight to see me. Pieces of his personality that hadn't been seen in over a week. He actually watched out the window as we drove home instead of slumping down in the seat as he had been doing for the past 10 days. We had accumulated quite the arsenal of treats and favorite foods while we had been trying to get him to eat for so long so we broke them all out buffet style for him to try what he wanted & sure enough he finally had his appetite back. I don't think I've ever been so happy to see food being eaten. He didn't eat much, but it was a start. He was really weak from having pretty much been carried everywhere for so many days that he was a bit clumsy as he tried to pick up the pace outside. Attempting to run along the sidewalk the next couple of days was very wobbly looking. He had lost a lot of muscle mass and also wasn't able to jump up to his spots on the bed and couch. We had to put little stairs at the foot of our bed and crates next to the couches to give him a boost up.
It's been just over 2 weeks since he started eating again and other then still feeling pretty boney when you run your hand along his back he is back to normal. He had his stiches removed on Tuesday and hopefully it is a long while before we find ourselves back at the vet's office agian.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

M. I. A.

So I really am alive & well. Although we obviously have some explaining to do. Why have we been missing in action the past month? Well, to start with my laptop is not alive & Wickett has not been well. But we have remedied both these situations. As of yesterday Wickett had his last visit to the vet (for a while let's hope) & my new laptop has been ordered. So, let's get back to the business of blogging shall we!