Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Radiohead (and other music & podcasts too!)

Working in the studio I have a rotation of what I listen to depending on my mood or what I'm doing at the time. For example, whenever I'm reading a script or story to illustrate -- straight on through the brainstorming and thumbnailing/layout stage -- I'll usually have either classical or ambient music or just plain old silence. Pretty much all of my other working time I am SO thankful to have such great options to listen to while I work. There's streaming internet radio from around the world (for free!!), or I can listen to music from my iTunes library (most of it purchased through but organized in my iTunes player), or choose from the fantastic variety of podcast options that are available for free (!!) online and at the iTunes store. I also toss in a fair amount of listening to C-SPAN (especially during election season), and of course NPR and some selected Air America programming.

Anyhow, nothing profound to say here (obviously!) but having so many options to choose from for a soundtrack of sorts to one's working time (when you want it) is a plus in my book.

This rambling post is accompanied by a Radiohead sketch I drew while Laini and I watched some Masterpiece Theater the other night. The likenesses aren't necessarily the greatest, but I tried to do it loosely and without erasing, so that's what you get I suppose ;)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Adequan Canine for Dog Arthritis

I've titled this post with care much like Laini had over a year ago for canine nasal tumors, so that if someone out there was Googling the subject, this post and info would come up.

Briefly here, our dog Leroy has had a limp for about 4 years. Initially, we started putting him on human Glucosamine Chondroitin as suggested by some friends AND our vet. His limp never seemed to get any worse from that point on, and he mostly only limped a bit right after he'd get up from a long nap. He still went on his long walks with us (30 - 45 minutes a day) and he still ran like a maniac in the back yard. Then, early in May '07, his right leg swelled up quite profoundly one morning after he and I returned from our walk. I called the vet and we took him in for x-rays. The X-Rays showed "severe arthritis" and that Leroy actually didn't have much padding (if any) left between his bones on his right leg elbow joint (the doctor assumed that it was the same for his left leg since, until that morning, that had been the leg he'd been slightly favoring for several years).

So, the vet prescribed Synovi G3 (to provide fatty acids and glucosamine), and the non-steroid pain reliever Rimadyl. The latter helped to reduce his swelling, and along with a break from walks for several weeks, on-leash visits ONLY to the back yard, and being carried up & down the stairs of our home, his swelling went down in a couple of days. However, the combination of meds wasn't really seeming to get rid of his limp, which had gotten fairly substantial at that point. What to do, what to do?!

So, wanting to do more for him, I did some research on the internet and found this, this, and this. (Now, I'm not necessarily sales-pitching the last site, but that's where I've gotten Leroy's Adequan ever since and it's about $25 cheaper per bottle than it would be at the vet). Anyhow, after this research, and knowing not to necessarily trust everything you read online, I consulted with a couple of the doctors at our fantastic vet clinic. One doctor hadn't used it but had heard great things about it, and the other had used it quite successfully in the past. I ordered 2 bottles online and we began the twice-weekly IM (intramuscular) shots in his butt muscle for the recommended dosage for his weight for 4 weeks. Then once a week for 4 weeks, and then maintenance shots every 2 to 3 weeks thereafter. I should note that IM shots can be done at home after you've been trained on how to give them, but since we live so close to our vet, and since their techs there REALLY know what they're doing, we've had them give him the shots all this time.

I should also explain that basically, the Adequan provides a cushion in the joint where there used to be cartilage, etc. and keeps him from having bone-on-bone contact in his elbows every step of the way all day long.

Now, I'm certainly not proclaiming that Leroy's AMAZING recovery is purely because of the shots, because he's always been a very muscular, strong, and amazingly tough dog, but 8 months later, we've been slowly returning back to his long-walk route (we got there about 6 weeks ago!). Also, he still takes Rimadyl as prescribed by his vet, and he still gets Synovi G3 mixed in with his food (but not on or around the days where he's getting Adequan shots). We have to keep him relatively lean to reduce the weight his legs have to carry, and he can't ever be outside off-leash because he still wants to take off running like he used to, and the threat of a piece of bone breaking off at the joint is much more likely if he goes off running like a nut. BUT all of that is a small price to pay for having him around, happy, and pretty darn healthy for a 14+ year old dog.

For anyone who might be reading this with a dog in similar circumstances, I hope this information helps!