Meclizine, Miracle Drug for Carsickness?

Yes! Meclizine is an antihistamine that suppresses nausea and vomiting. Like I’ve mentioned before, car sickness is something Ellie has struggled with since we met her. On her first car ride home from the shelter, the poor thing arrived wet with slobber from snout to belly. Obviously, I didn’t realize what was going on, it wasn’t until we kept taking her out for car rides that we noticed the pattern.

The Shelter Veterinarian where I had been taking her, assured me that she would grow out of it. It was an ear thing they said. It was a puppy thing, others said. I was advised to give her Benadryl when planning to travel to help with the nausea. That, however, worked once and never again. It was more trouble trying to get her to swallow the darn pill than what it actually did to help her. So what did I do? I stopped putting her in the car unless absolutely necessary. Because we don’t frequent groomers or parks on a regular basis, this worked out for a while.

Due to other health issues, I ended up switching to a trusted Veterinarian I had visited with Argos in the past when we resided in Orange County. These ‘other’ health issues that I shall discuss with you at a later time, forced me to find a better Veterinarian for Ellie, we were desperate. The Commonwealth Animal Hospital welcomed us back with open arms. After a thorough consultation with his new patient, Dr. David Johnson prescribed Ellie Meclizine 25 mg for those traveling days. He quickly figured out what was going on when Ellie, yet again, was wet with slobber and I had traces of half digested kibble on my jacket from that morning’s breakfast. I have to say, there has been a lot of trial and error when it’s anything to do with Ellie, so I took the prescription but I had very little hope of it working.

But it worked! Over the Christmas holidays, while making our rounds about the city visiting friends and kinfolk, we decided to give Ellie a pill to try. It’s chicken flavored Sharon said (Dr. Johnson’s office manager), but Ellie wasn’t having it. She spit it out 3 times before I gave up and covered in peanut butter. We went all day without a drop of drool or vomit. ‘Twas a Christmas miracle!

Meclizine is a drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating the symptoms of motion sickness and vertigo. Ellie is approximately 20 lbs., which means one 25 mg pill’s effectiveness lasts all day. Some side effects may include drowsiness and dry mouth (in humans) and to be on the safe side, I’ll be sure to administer the medication only when I know she’ll have a relatively sedentary day.

So for those of you out there with dogs who get motion sickness, skip the Benadryl and ask your Veterinarian about other options. Because let me tell you something, there are definitely other options.

All those of you who know what half digested kibble smells like, let me hear you say “There’s hope!”

Welcome 2015

2014 is now in the past and so are the rest of my unfulfilled promises of greatness. Hope…hope is an evil and amazing thing, all at the same time. So like every other human being, I’ve made resolutions for the new year, and since it’s January 1st, I have every intention of keeping every single promise I make to myself in the next 24 hours.

So I know I’ve visited this subject many times and I want to do so again, for good measure and in hope that in these words perhaps I find my own answer. To work and to tend to a family is really hard work. Let me not confuse you further, I have no children. I live with my partner of 9 years and our two furry dogs and I call this my family. Like every other couple, we have goals. We want to, one day, be property owners. We would like to travel to different parts of the world. We would like to one day walk down the street and have our dogs not bark and snarl at strangers. You know, just like what any normal human being wishes for. The first two, like a lot of things in life, requires money. Lot’s of it. So we do what we can to save money to put towards our future endeavors. But when you try to save money, you must deduct from somewhere else. It’s a constant transaction of time and money. So to save money we cook at home a lot, try to eat out only once a week and to help us towards that effort we purchased a small chest freezer for our 720 sq. ft. apartment. Chris and I were lucky enough to have been raised by awesome stay-at-home moms who devoted themselves to cooking for us. So there is absolutely no pre-made food in our home. So while we have that going for us, we do try very hard to keep down our intake of restaurant food. We also have a dusty ass apartment that covers itself in layers of dust every 2 days. It’s impossible to keep up with! So no cleaning help here (boo hoo, right?). We wash the dogs weekly and groom them every 1.5 months. That saves us a lot of money and but its takes up a Saturday afternoon and we all know those are sacred.

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Do you ever measure how much it’s worth to do something based off of how much you’d want to waste your precious Saturday afternoon doing it? Saturday afternoons are currency and I find that there is rarely anything I’d spend my precious currency on. Maybe there is something wrong with me, but that’s another blog post.

So where am I going with this? In our pursuit of monetary goals, we spend all of our precious free time preparing extra meals for weekdays, cleaning, grooming dogs, exercising them and exercising ourselves and it all just makes time melt away. Sure, I’ve created a million schedules where I try to squeeze in as many chores as I can during the week, before and after work but it.just.never.works.out. Which has made me wonder if I’m lazy. Another blog post perhaps.

The point of all this rambling is that I didn’t just push my personal goals and pursuits to the back burner, I pushed them so far off they’re not even on the stove! Although we take good care of our dogs, I fear Ellie’s behavioral needs have been pushed off. I fear Argos’s socialization has also been pushed off . First, before any smart-ass goes on about what a poor dog owner I am: My dogs are safe dogs, they are healthy, eat very well and get plenty of exercise and attention. The problem is, they don’t like other dogs and/or their people. So this my resolution list:

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New Year’s Resolution 2015

  1. Understand Ellie’s fear
  2. Socialize Argos more
  3. Hike our local dog friendly trails to expose both dogs to nature and other people (I’m thinking once a month?)
  4. Post on this blog twice a week!

It sounds like an easy task list but #1 is going to be the toughest thing I do in 2015. Ellie barks and growls at strangers and their dogs, at people making loud noises and does not like people she doesn’t know approach her. She has never bitten or attempted to attack anyone. It’s all fear. She is apprehensive of everything and everyone and pulls away and retreats to ‘safe’ places. But I keep reading everywhere that fear can turn into aggression if it continues to go unaddressed. I have tried thundershirts, bark collars, and treats. What you will read in this blog is what I have found out through each of these methods.

Come with me, as I share with you my adventures, my struggles and my love of these two mutts.

Wordless Wednesday: Argos’s 4th Birthday

I hijacked my brother’s birthday celebration to take a quick snap of Argos with a birthday candle. I actually don’t know what day Argos was born, I was only told it was sometime in June of 2010. My brother Alan turned fourteen so I borrowed the four and stuck it on a puppy pie.  Argos was not amused. Neither is Alan.

Jalama Beach

In June, Chris and I packed the dogs and took a tiny little road trip to Jalama Beach in Lompoc, CA 

The beach and camping grounds are quite beautiful in their Californian way. On one side you have hillside covered in dry brush and on the other side you get the cold and foaming Pacific Ocean. The campsites are only a few hundred feet from the actual sand and if you are lucky you can almost camp on the sand. We had stayed on the campsite a few years back and decided it would be a nice destination for one our weekend adventures . As always, I didn’t come to this decision until all the campsites were booked 5 months in advance and all I could get was a weekend in early June rather than late August when it’s typically warmer weather here in Southern California. I reserved us a camp space in early June knowing full well I’d be wearing my jacket the whole time.

We had come back from a beach vacation in Cancun a month earlier, so this was yet another reason I didn’t have a real interest in visiting Jalama Beach so early in June. But everything changed when I realize that the dogs could join us! Albeit leashed at all times, I thought it would be neat for Argos and Ellie to bury their feet in wet sand for the first time in their lives. Actually, I’m sure they don’t care for wet or dry sand or any other sand for that matter, all they cared about were the seagulls!

Bonfire Time!

Bonfire Time!

I’ve often talked about Ellie’s timidness and fear of stranger dogs and people. It was a risk to take Ellie on the trip and we did it knowing full well there was a chance we’d be headed right back home if something didn’t suit her. The beach is very windy all day and it gets worse at night. The beach campsite itself was quite crowded with families and their fury friends. Ellie bucks at the sight of other dogs or people she doesn’t know. She is startled by any off sound. So the first night, I didn’t take my eyes off of her. And you know what happened? Nothing. She didn’t care one bit about the wind, the dogs or the people. She was perfectly serene. At night she didn’t stir at the whipping sound of the wind against the tent. She just curled herself up and enjoyed our tented company.

A walk on the sand proved too much of a challenge for Argos. He kept lounging forward to get at the seagulls and Ellie kept trying to eat ocean debris. All in all, a great place for families and their dogs.

Pet Expenses June 2014

The month of June saw the demise of a perfectly good collar and its matching harness, the first at the hands of Chris and the latter by Ellie’s piranha like teeth. This is the the fourth harness Ellie has destroyed, three of hers and one of Argos’s. I began using harnesses instead of collars when Argos was a puppy because he kept biting on the leash as we went for our walks. The harness minimized his ability to get at his leather leash (which is still looking beautiful after 4 years), it helped teach him to walk nicely at my side and I felt it was bit more humane than a collar. Fast forward to Ellie’s arrival and she quickly let us know she would not be shackled by measly nylon! She sooner broke out of her own harness than I could spin around to  to clean up all the pee puddles left in her stead. She also took it upon herself to liberate Argos from his  shackle. Collars all around then!

Chris broke the clasp on the collar. It too proved to be measly.

So when I wasn’t dealing with broken dog equipment, I was dealing with Ellie’s bum.

Ellie’s Bum

sick dog

Mid May, we noticed a couple of red dots between her anus and vagina. I thought it was nothing, maybe a couple of flea bites or something. The dots began to increase, and Ellie kept biting her butt…in an attempt to satiate the itching perhaps but exacerbating the visible irritation. Whatever it was, it wasn’t going away so I took her to Veterinarian to put her out of her misery. Now, let me explain the hesitation in taking her in. This had already happened in the past. The Vet had determined that it had been fleas somehow congregating at her rear end and so his solution was to switch both the dogs from Frontline to Revolution flea medication. The problem soon went away. I fell in love with Revolution because I have not seen a single flea on either dog since I first started using this last year. On Frontline, I always had to pick one or two fleas out of Argos during his weekly showers. So I was hoping that I could figure out what was irritating Ellie’s butt because it was obviously not fleas. I couldn’t find a single one on her coat or skin.

The Vet came to the same conclusion and the challenge still remains, what gives Ellie a rash every once in a while? He gave her a Convenia and Dexamethason injection (antibiotic and corticosteroid respectively) and put her on 5 mg Prednisone for a week and a half. Sure enough, rash was gone in a few days and has not returned. No clue what caused it.

A couple of weeks later, I took Ellie back to the Veterinarian for her yearly vaccination boosters. And because we love Revolution so much, I had to re-order another 12 month supply of flea medication that should last us till December.

Outings

dogs camping

But all these little set backs were worth it because for a whole weekend at the beginning of June we had a chance to drive up to Santa Barbara county to Jalama Beach in Lompoc, CA. We camped out on the beach for two days and two nights. We had been planning to do this for some time and when I realized they allowed dogs, it was a done deal. We’ll talk about it in detail in another post.

All that adventure put us out a cool $415. Here’s the breakdown.

 

 

Castor & Pollux Natural Ultramix Grain-Free Duck

I’ve become quite the fan of this brand. Recently we decided to give the Natural Ultramix kibble a try after the dogs took well to the canned food by the same name. Ellie and Argos have been on Evanger’s Grain Free for a very long time and it was time for a change. Can you imagine eating the same stuff day in and day out, twice a day? Yeah. And if I know anything about my dogs is that they love Duck and Fish anything.

The kibble comes in the shape of hearts and there are bits and pieces of dry vegetables. It’s being wolfed-down so fast I actually need to start putting obstacles in their bowls to keep the dogs from hurting themselves. At approximate $1.80 per pound of kibble I think it’s worth a try. Might I remind you that Argos used to be the worst picky eater. I mean, to the point where he would starve himself rather than eat something he didn’t want. This kibble has two things that have worked for us. For one, it’s grain free (I don’t think I’ll ever go back to anything other than such) and it has duck meat, one of his favorite proteins. So, if you find yourself in the same boat, give it a go. I contacted Castor & Pollux about returning product in case the dogs didn’t like it and they reassured me that the product is 100% guaranteed or your money back.

So there you have it.

Shout Out: Chewy.com

I’d like to give special shout out to Chewy.com.  A lot of these pet food websites have autoship services where you pick the dog food or product of your choice and they’ll automatically ship you the stuff every 4 weeks (or whatever time frame you chose). During one of their sales, I stocked up on dog toothpaste and Zuke’s salmon treats, I bought like 10 bags of these training treats. Well, I forgot to cancel the autoship and 10 more bags showed up at my door step and we haven’t quite gotten through the original shipment.

"You're going to give it ALL away?!"

“You’re going to give it ALL away?!”

I called Chewy, explained my mistake, asked if I could please return it and get my money back. They returned my money but asked me to please donate the package to my local animal shelter. That’s $100 worth of dog treats that they are asking me to drop off.  I smiled and gladly agreed to drop off the box on their behalf. Suffice it to say that Chewy.com has my business for a very long time.

10 Bag of Zukes Salmon Mini Treats and 2 tubes of Virbac poultry flavored  dog toothpaste.

10 Bag of Zukes Salmon Mini Treats and 2 tubes of Virbac poultry flavored dog toothpaste.

I donated the box to Lange Foundation this past Saturday 8/3/2014. I handed it over to a nice young lady who was at the counter. I was going to take a picture of the box sitting on their counter but I got distracted looking at the kitties… Anywho, although they are but dog training treats I hope they find a good use for them.