Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ostrich Tail

I finally opened the box of ostrich tails that I purchased from Creston Valley Meats. The tails are in a big ziplock bag with about 7 pieces of ostrich tail in it. Right when I opened the bag the pups came running into the kitchen sniffing out the new raw item on their menu. Needless to say they were excited and trying to jump all over me trying to figure out what I'm attempting to take out of the bag. I carefully took one out, probably with a look of disgust on my face, something about tails didn't sit right with me, but I knew the ostrich tail would make a great RMB for the pups. Sucked it up and put it on the cutting board to snap a picture of the pup's treat that evening. I mean, how often do dogs get to eat an ostrich tail? The first piece I grabbed is one of the smaller pieces in the bag. It is about 1 1/2 inches in width (at the widest part of the tail) and about 4 inches in length. A pretty decent size and definitely not a choking hazard. Even though I have been feeding raw for quite some time now, each time I give them something new I am a bit cautious, especially when it is a bone item. I wan to make sure they are able to gnaw and chew on the bone without hurting themselves. I usually do not have a problem with Mika since she chews her food and doesn't swallow or gulp down her food (unless she gets a boneless meal). Kyuubi, on the other hand, will try to swallow things sometimes so I have to be careful with him. I was glad the pieces were big enough that I did not have to worry so much about him trying to gulp the entire tail.

First pup to try the ostrich tail was Kyuubi. I laid their raw towel out on the patio and put the ostrich tail down on it. He immediately jumped onto the towel and sniffed out the ostrich tail. A few licks and then he started to try to chew the meat off the bone. He doesn't like using his paws so it was a bit difficult for him to rip the meat off the bone. He slowly started to chew the bone with the meat attached. He was happy when I came up and held the ostrich tail for him to chew on. He had the most satisfied look on his face while crunching away at the tail. He got a good chunk of the bone off and so I rotated the tail to a meatier side so he could get some of the meat. He ripped off pieces of the meat with his teeth and it helped a little since I was tugging on it a bit when he was getting a grip on the meat. Since this was a new item I did not let him eat very much of it. I wanted to make sure he would digest the tail perfectly fine before feeding him an entire tail as a bone-in meal. He did just fine with the ostrich tail and will probably get it later on this week as an evening meal. The tail is quite boney and I would most need to give him an organ meal in the morning before hand.

Now it's Mika's turn. I figured she would do just fine with the ostrich tail since she's been on a raw diet for almost a year now. She does what she usually does when she gets a RMB. She sits excitedly waiting for me to put it down for her. After putting it down and giving her the "ok" to go for it, she slowly walks up to it, sniffing the ostrich tail. Slowly, she starts to lick it, trying to figure out if she really wants to snack on it. She also doesn't like to use her paws on RMBs so after a while I come save the day again and hold the ostrich tail for her. She immediately opens her mouth and gets the tail in between her molars. She knows exactly what to do when wanting and needing to crunch up bone pieces. I felt more comfortable with her eating the tail than I did when Kyuubi was eating it. She chews the bones thoroughly before swallowing it. Mika has always been good about eating bones and has never thrown up any of the RMBs she's eaten. After a while I remove the ostrich tail and put it back into it's ziplock bag with the other tails. Unfortunately, Mika scared me a bit after eating the ostrich tail. She was hacking a bit 30 minutes after eating some of it. This is the first time she has showed signs of wanting and needing to throw up after having something bone-in.

Kyuubi's rating of the ostrich tail? Best RMB he's had to date! He is tired of the boring chicken cuts and the pork neck.

 Mika's rating of the ostrich tail? Loved it, but probably won't be having it very often. I will try it again with her to see if she can handle it better than she did the other night.

As for me, I will probably purchase ostrich tails again when I run out. Kyuubi did very well with them. It's also another protein that they get that is different from the normal cuts that I can easily get at the supermarket. Oh, another plus? It's only $.60/lb. Yeah, I'll definitely be getting these again in the future!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Importance of Research

My heart is aching for poor Wrinkles. Wrinkles is a 12 week old Chinese Shar-Pei that my BIL's brother(s) (he has too many brothers so this entry might get confusing) had bought. He is the cutest little thing with all his wrinkles (hence the name Wrinkles).

When I first saw him, I noticed that his left eye wasn't opened. He couldn't see out of his life eye very well and had felt very uncomfortable when he first was introduced to Mika and Kyuubi. I saw how run and hide so I put Mika and Kyuubi in my office and went out to give Wrinkles some treats. I heard that he wasn't eating much so I wanted to see if he would take some Stella & Chewy's freeze dried patties from me. At first he wouldn't take it from my hand so I put pieces on the ground, and slowly he started eating it. Slowly, but surely he started taking the treats from me. After an hour or so we reintroduced the dogs one at a time to Wrinkles. He and Kyuubi hit it off very well (there's a video of them playing together in my last post).

Amy, who is taking care of Wrinkles, is my BIL's younger brother's (not the brother who purchased Wrinkles) girlfriend, and they have taken on the responsibility of caring for him although they did not purchase him. They are both very new at raising a puppy and were pretty scared that his left eye was completely shut and having puss form around it. I scheduled a vet appointment for them yesterday afternoon to get him checked out since Wrinkles did not have his first vet appointment yet. I was intending on staying at work, but Amy was going to go alone to the vet and was a bit scared. She asked me to accompany her and so I went with her and Wrinkles to the vet.

12 weeks, weighing in at 20 lbs! He was such a good boy when being handled by the vet tech. Even got his nails trimmed without a struggle. Only problem was, they couldn't see his eye. They took him to the back and put some numbing medication on his eye to see if they could open it and take a look. Turns out his eyelid was curled all the way down. Poor guy has entropion! The vet told us that he has a very severe case of entropion and referred us to an ophthalmologist.

Amy wasn't expecting to care for a dog anytime soon, especially one she did not research and want herself. She is now caring for a dog that someone else purchased because they do not know how to care for him or take time off from their lives to feed him, play with him, put the drops needed in his eye. I am just upset at the irresponsibility that I witnessed these past few days with Wrinkles. I am glad that Amy has stepped up to help take care of him, but she shouldn't have to.

Before taking Wrinkles home, my BIL's brother had asked the breeder about his eye. The breeder shrugged it off and said it will go away. I told them they need to contact the breeder and let them know what is going on with Wrinkles. I read through the contract that was sent with Wrinkles. Funny thing is, there's a spot for the "seller" to sign, yet no signature. There isn't even a number to call and contact the breeder. Only way to contact is via e-mail. I hope they can get things settled with the breeder.

This morning Wrinkles was brought to the ophthalmologist. They didn't do the corrective surgery, given he is very young, they didn't feel like it was needed at such a young age. However, they did put him under and pulled his eyelids back out and stapled them. They are hoping that he will eventually grow into them and that having the staples out will get rid of his infection and he won't need the corrective surgery in the future. The staples will stay in for they are hoping 2 weeks, however the ophthalmologist said there's a chance he will need to have the staples in for a few months.

The poor guy is only 13 weeks old and is already in so much pain. He is going to lose out on the important socialization window. I wish there was more I could do to help, but I can only keep trying to spread the word about researching breeds that one may be interested in and then researching breeders. It is so important to find a breeder that will be there 24/7 for support.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Kai Ken meets Shar-Pei

Sister's brother in laws recently purchased a Shar-Pei puppy. He is the cutest little thing ever! He will be joining Mika and Kyuubi at work from now on too! They have a new playmate while at the office!

Here's a video of Kyuubi and Wrinkles, the Shar-Pei puppy!