Sunday, April 1, 2018

Jack Update and Some Food Stuff


Happy Easter to those who celebrate! :) I'm not a religious person, but I do love to celebrate holidays for the fun and the food. I made some construction paper Easter baskets this morning to hold our chocolate Kisses. :)


Jack is doing so much better today. He hasn't howled in pain once, his panting and trembling stopped too. He's eating well. But he's not out of the woods yet, he must stay in his cage for another 28 days, only coming out to pee and poop. Alex built a ramp for Jack so he could manage the 4 steps down to the yard. It's on hinges so we can lift it up and secure it if it rains or snows. Here is a little animation I took of him climbing it:


You can see that his tail is very low between his legs, this could be due to a herniated disc. I have something to report about the medication he was taking. It's a bit of a rant but also a warning.


I will try to make this brief. These are the two pain killers prescribed to Jack...on two different visits by two different vets. I know they can't work miracles...but they did NOT tell us everything about side effects. Both of these medications are known to cause trembling and panting in dogs. The one on the right, Tramadol, is worse. We stopped giving Jack the Tramadol this past Wednesday but the symptoms continued...actually got worse with him howling even more and "crying" in pain. On Thursday, his panting, trembling and howling lasted SIXTEEN hours straight before he passed out. The vet INSISTED that the Gabapentin wasn't the cause of this and that taking him off it would be bad for him. She also said that he needs to keep taking it for the full  month. 

We decided to cut his dose by a third on Thursday night. thinking that maybe it was too much for him; but his pain continued. At that point we stopped the Gabapentin completely and guess what miraculously happened? No panting, no trembling, no more howling, no more "crying" in pain.


I was reading cookbooks to Jack all day Friday. We both decided on onion soup for dinner. :)

Since it's a long weekend, I have not informed the vet yet that she was wrong about the Gabapentin. We have a 24 hour emergency clinic here, near Montreal. I decided to call to speak to one of their technicians who confirmed my suspicions. She also gave me much more information on the anti-biotic he's taking in the case that he has a stomach infection. I am not sure I can step foot into that local vet clinic ever again...the trust is gone. Why don't they listen with an open mind? We observe Jack 24 hours a day...no, we didn't go to vet school, but I'm just shocked by all of this. If we had followed her instructions, Jack would have been in constant pain for a month. The tech at the emergency clinic said we did the best thing because all the pain that the Gabapentin was causing, also caused him anxiety and he couldn't rest properly which would have made his healing time worse. We are considering a holistic vet from now on, despite the cost. I've had such trouble with vets...and btw, I know some of my Blogger friends are in the field, or were...this is not a slight on you, I am just reporting my own experience.

I'm devastated that I was giving Jack medication that was making him hurt so much that I can barely handle it. He needed me to help him take the pain away and I was making it worse by believing what the vet was saying without doubting her. My instincts were right. I'm so sorry my little Jack. :(


I spent yesterday drawing while watching over him. Please always ask questions, YOU usually know best about your own pet's behaviour and comfort. Not to say that you should abandon veterinary medicine altogether or be distrustful at the get-go, but do some research and get a second opinion if you can! 


Not only are the Zinnias blooming, my Nasturtium decided to bloom just in time for Easter. :) Now let's talk about food real quick!


Jack's Onion Soup (formerly French Onion Soup)!! :) Alex is still sleeping as I type this, we've been on shifts watching over Jack and Alex has only been to bed around 5am for the last week. But last night I can say I got the best sleep of my life! :)


For the first time in a very long time, I made some cheese! Just a Quick Mozzarella for our pizza - notice the bite marks? I HAD to test it!! ;) It felt good to be at the cheese making again. I stopped for a while due to Cheddar fails and then with doggie issues. I hope to get back to it soon and re-ignite my cheese making blog!


For my weekly food challenge, I tried a new recipe. Cinnamon Crunch Knots.


I made 12 yesterday, there is ONE left lol...they are SO good!! These are actually made with pizza dough and it works wonderfully, they remind me of donuts a little bit. I may try to add some apple next time too. Very easy recipe, you should try it! :) 


Jack asked me to thank all of my friends for their love, support and care over the last week. He feels the love and he promises to rest up and get better soon! :)

56 comments:

Marsha said...

Gabapentin has soooo many side effects, even in humans. I do not like the stuff at all. Tramadol is another drug I am not fond of. I, like you, prefer as holistic as I can get for my pets. Maybe Jack woukd benefit from accupunture. It has become quite popular for dogs although I am sure it is quite pricey.

Your onion soup looks amazing but those cinnamon knots......my mouth watered just looking at them lol.

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

Oh honey.... I could bend your ear on how human doctors also don't believe their patients about bad side side effects of drugs. Your poor pup. You did the right thing taking him off that. It's tough when they can't communicate how they feel and what's wrong. On a different note, it's funny but I was just thinking of French Onion soup and how it used to be something you would order from a menu on a regular basis. Now it is "out of fashion" (to be replaced by sweet potato fries?). You've got me thinking about learning how to make it (complete with that delightful soup 'bowl'!) -Jenn

Rain said...

Hi Marsha :) So you know the meds he was taking. For the most part we use home remedies and natural remedies for everything. But this was something out of our reach completely. There is a holistic vet two towns over, I'm thinking of contacting her. Actually when I went to the pet store to get him a harness, the lady who owns the shop told me acupuncture might work wonders too. She also suggested turmeric as a pain killer, not just the spice, but an herbal blend, I have to learn more about this kind of thing because we'll have dogs all our lives. Oh the cinnamon knots...I couldn't believe how good they were!!!

Rain said...

LOL Jenn at "sweet potato fries"...I do love them, but I know what you mean about "out of fashion" food. I pretty much stick to everything "comfort". By the way, the soup bowls were acquired at a thrift shop...maybe even Value Village, for a buck a piece, there are so many of those cottagey types of dishes at thrift stores these days. You won't believe how easy it is. Though I'd say avoid the slow cooker for onion soup, I've done it both ways and it doesn't have the full flavours if it is slow cooked for some odd reason. Check out the link in the post, you'll see how easy it is! Let me know if you make it!

Yes...I know what you mean about human doctors. You've been through hell recently...I went through the same hell for many years, first doctors telling me my anxiety symptoms were "all in my head" then being wrongly diagnosed with IBS and told I'd have to live with the pain, when all it was, was a milk protein molecule intolerance that I discovered on my own doing an elimination diet. I told Alex that one of us should go back to school to get our vet technician degree and heal our pets ourselves.

Sandi said...

"Jack is doing so much better today."

I am so glad to hear this, Rain. I just want to reach in here and give Jack a big hug and snuggle.

I have a friend who is a pharmacist. She says that there are side effects with everything, so a patient is really just deciding if they want symptoms from the illness or the side effects of the drugs. I hope for the holistic approach, but even that has side effects. I hope Jack gets well soon! Praying for healing for him.

Rain said...

Thank you Sandi!!! :) xx Jack says thank you too, woof woof. :) Interesting what your pharmacist friend says, I believe it. The holistic approach is what I prefer for myself, and I knock myself on the head for not thinking about it for the pets too. Sigh...Live and learn. Thank you for the healing prayers and Happy Easter to you! :)

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Poor Jack! He's had such a rough time with everything. But it's good to hear that things are starting to improve now.

Happy Easter! Enjoy that chocolate!

Birdie said...

Over the last year I have lost almost all faith in the pharmaceutical industry. It may get rid of one problem but it can create a dozen more. That vet should have listened. I bet when you tell her the story she will still not listen. I hope I’m wrong.
A pat for Jack.

Nicole Thomas said...

I am happy that the little guy is foing so much better *applauding at him walking up the ramp*
I can totally understand that u lost trust in your vet. We are so lucky to have a wonderful vet that patiently listens to our concerns and observations 24/7 I hope it will only go uphill for Jack from now on.
Happy easterbto u guys. I love the little baskets u made :)
You food looks delivious like always. I have a turkey in the oven and the house smells delicious 😁

Sunnybrook Farm said...

Your flowers are doing good, the Nasturtium flowers are peppery, you just need a bunch more of them to put in a salad. I like the dog ramp, it will help the healing.

Yarrow said...

Oh Rain, my heart goes out to you, Alex and Jack. I hope he can start to heal soon and you were so right to listen to your instincts. Love and hugs to you.xxx

Travel Bunny Alex said...

I'm so happy to hear that your fur baby, Jack, is doing better. Good thing you followed your instincts. That ramp is so cool and such a great idea. Jack looks cute going up on it.

tpals said...

Hey, Rain. Poor, sweet Jack! And how lucky to have both of you loving and fighting for him. I see Amazon has books on holistic pet care, might be a place to start.

I am seriously going to try those cinnamon goodies. (at first I thought they were some kind of baked fowl - lol)

wyomingheart said...

Hey Rain! Thanks for catching up on Jack, and sending such great pics of his very cute face. I know what you mean about Vets. I have gone through a lot of them until I finally found one who is Awesome! My little Jack Russell's have been jumpers their whole lives and recently my boy started whining a lot. A trip to our awesome Vet and she let me know that the jumpers days needed to be over and gave us some anti-inflammatory. A script for extra pills was pretty expensive, but I couldn't stand his crying out in pain. I was able to locate the pills online much cheaper, and our Awesome Vet ok'd the purchase. Saved us half the price. I have been using essential oil for both dogs. Lavender keeps them both calm. I just sprinkle a couple of drops on their blankets every morning and at night before bed. They are much calmer than they were, especially my crying boy. Probably should have sent you and email. Sorry so long! Happy Easter!

Mama Pea said...

Whether it's for ourselves or our pets, we have to be proactive, do the research, go with our gut feelings. And you do all of that, Rain. Look how much better Jack is. I would refuse to interact with (or depend upon!) a vet or doctor who won't really listen to you. For the one vet to say the panting and tremors weren't a side effect of the drug and then you find out the exact opposite . . . either that vet was totally misinformed (ignorant?) or too stupid to do the research that would change his/her mind. OR the ego was simply too big to allow that to happen. No matter the reason, I would not put any trust in that vet again. (Can you tell this makes me so mad?? Gnash-gnash.)

The upside of your post is that some sense of normalcy is returning to your life (oh, what you've been through!) and Jack is getting better. Sending wishes that it's all going to be fine from here.

MrsDuncanMahogany said...

Hi Rain,

You know, after seeing that video with Jack's tail hanging limply, a few years back I worked with someone whose dog had the exact same thing with her tail - and she would cry every time she moved or someone bumped her tail. She did take her dog to the vet and it was something to do with the tail, but for the life of me I cannot remember what it was called. And I have lost contact with her otherwise I would reach out to her to ask if she remembered what it was called. I will try and reach into the deep recesses of my memory!

The photos of your food creations are scrumptious! Love the bite out of the cheese! I laughed out loud at that!

Darling Jack with his soulful eyes! He's a beautiful boy!

Anonymous said...

Oh Jack - hope you feel a little better everyday - poor baby - it's so hard to see your fur baby in pain and not know what it is - just give Jack lots of love and know we are thinking of him and wishing him a speedy recovery. Mary Ellen & Buddy his canine "buddy"

Christine said...

So glad Jack is doing better, sounds just like the problems we have with our own doctors. Your food looks delicious!

RO said...

OMG - poor Jack! I can imagine you were both suffering through this ordeal, but thank goodness you were so observant to help your baby. I was prescribed Tramadol once which I never took, and had no idea that it was also prescribed for our pets. I'm sending a wave out to Jack right now. Once again, I'm in awe of all the things you know how to do. (lol) Those baskets look so fun, and I hope you saved that last sweet treat for me.(lol) Hugs...and Happy Monday! RO

Rain said...

Thank you Debra :) Yes he's getting better each day. I'm so relieved, all the chocolate is gone by the way LOL!

Rain said...

Hi Birdie :) I think that you're right, I will be very surprised if the vet actually admits that there could have been side effects to that medication for Jack. He started taking antibiotics on Thursday night, and I have a feeling she's going to say 'oh it just coincided with the antibiotic starting to work' or something like that. In any case, we'll be looking for a new vet, it's a shame though that they have to be that way.

Rain said...

Hi Nik :) Yes, a good vet is like a good mechanic isn't it? I had one really good vet, way back when Winston and Spencer were sick, she was such a good vet but I can't find her anymore. I think she gave up her practice because she had kids. It's a shame though, it just seems to be a big marketing game now. The vet technicians seem to care more than the actual vets do. I hope your turkey was good! :)

Rain said...

Hi Gill :) that's pretty cool, I didn't know I could eat the Nasturtiums! There are few more blooming, it's really nice to see them at this time of the winter!

Rain said...

Hi Yarrow :) Thank you for your well wishes :) Yes you are right, our instincts are there for a reason aren't they? I feel like the modern world has placed too much doubt into what our instincts are telling us. I'm just glad we figured it all out on our own.

Rain said...

Hi Alex :) Thank you, Jack is doing better every moment. It's such a relief! The ramp was made out of an old door actually. One of those folding ones that you would find on a closet in an old house. It works perfectly. My Alex has to make a few new ones for the couch and for the bed now. Jack is very proud of going up and down the ramp he actually hopped off it this morning lol! :)

Rain said...

Hi Tpals :) I have to check out Amazon for Holistic Pet Care books. I'm really wanting to get into this, I've been wanting to do this for us for a long time too, and I think now is a good time. The cinnamon goodies are really amazing, I think you should try them they are very easy! I had to laugh at your baked fowl remark haha! :)

Rain said...

Hi Wyomingheart :) Thank you for your comment, and trust me I love long comments! I'm so sorry about your little Jack Russell, those dogs are bundles of energy, no wonder you need lavender LOL! It's hard to change their patterns isn't it? Jack is a jumper too, but he's too small to jump off the couch and off the bed, he sprained his legs before doing that and we try very hard not to let him, but we can't watch all the dogs 24 hours a day. That's why we're building the ramps. You're lucky to have a good vet, I hope you have that vet for the rest of your life! Happy Easter to you too! :)

Rain said...

Hi Mama Pea :) Thank you for your comment, you're always so supportive! I really don't know what was up with those vets. It's a vet clinic in the town where I do most of my grocery shopping, there are two vets there, they seem to have their heads on straight, very friendly. But the resistance I felt to that medication absolutely not being the cause... It was so frustrating. When I called the emergency clinic, and got the exact opposite information, I kind of knew it anyway. I figure the emergency technicians probably see all sorts of different cases, so they have much more knowledge. I'm going to be looking for a good book today, for holistic pet care. And at the same time why not look up something for me and Alex right? Thank you for being mad LOL! Yes, our lives have been topsy-turvy since S&P came here in September. There's more news on that too, but I'll save that for another time.

Rain said...

Hi Dianna :) If you can reach into those deep recesses of your memory I'd appreciate it LOL! :) We had his tail x-rayed, just in case there was a broken bone in there, but it was perfectly sound. He does have a bump on it, but he's always had a bump on it since we got him and the vets seem to think it's just benign. This morning though, as he was walking around the yard his tail came up almost parallel to his body so I squealed and delight! I knew you would laugh at the bite out of the cheese LOL!

Rain said...

Hi Mary Ellen and Buddy :) Thank you for the well wishes and sending all the love! It is very hard to see your pet in pain, I agree with that...but at least he is improving! I'm so happy :)

Rain said...

Hi Christine :) Yes, I can't begin to talk about the doctors here... Nobody seems to care anymore. Every man for himself, every woman for herself, every pet for itself right? We call the medical community here the "dispatch" because all they do is prescribe pills these days.

Rain said...

Hi RO :) Thank you for the support :) My biggest problem is that my entire life I've been told that my instincts are wrong, that I'm overly sensitive, that I'm exaggerating...all the things that controlling people say to make you feel inferior. All of this past crap makes me doubt myself, but I knew something was up, I'm so glad that I listened to my gut after all. I just wish I had done it quicker. I can't wallow in the past though. Tramadol is for a lot of pain, I wonder if you took it you would have suffered those side effects as well - better not to know! Hugs back to you!

Susan said...

There is no room for arrogance in veterinary medicine, IMHO. I am very lucky in that I love my vet, I love the young woman he hired, and his staff is awesome. They read, they listen, they consider the fact that you LOVE your cat/dog/horse/sheep/guinea pig and know them best. Lovey is on pain meds - wish I could remember which ones - and, when I couldn't get up to the clinic to pick them up over the weekend, she recommended a baby aspirin once a day - which worked fine. I am so glad Jack (he is such a darling dog) is feeling better. Do not beat yourself up - you are always doing your best for him out of love.

Rain said...

Thanks Susan :) xx Arrogance is part of the culture here as I've unfortunately observed. The only vet I ever had that was so wonderful was an English gal but she no longer practices. You're lucky to have your vet!! I'm going to look into self care and holistic practices to do at home. I can't just keep handing my wallet over to the vet, saying take take take.

Lisa said...

So glad that Jack seems like he is on the mend! Good for you taking the initiative and being proactive with his health regime and going with your gut instinct!

Rain said...

Thank you Lisa :) It's like night and day with him. That Gabapetrin was doing something weird to him...he was circling a lot, howling, seemed lost...I'm so relieved we stopped giving it to him. :) Thanks for caring. xx

Pam Jackson said...

I am so glad that Jack seems to be doing better and sorry you were having issues with the meds. I take Gabapentin myself....900mg a day. But as the weather warms up I will be cutting back to the 600 I was taking. Oh my gosh...I want to come and eat with you. Everything always looks so yummy.

Rain said...

Thanks Pam :) Oh your scale would not like it if you came to live with me lol...just ask mine ha ha! ;) Jack was prescribed 225 mg of Gabapentin each day. I hope you don't have bad side effects like he did. I'm guessing that's for your Fibro. I do hope it helps you!

Tewshooz said...

I am so sorry for you and Jack. Just looking at him with his fuzzy toy and sad eyes broke my heart. Vets are like human doctors, probably even worse. Many are without empathy. We must be proactive and check out everything they do...and, of course they hate being questioned. Never be afraid to speak up and ask questions. Animals have drug and vaccine allergies, just like us. Trust you instincts and heart. Big hugs for Jack and you and the rest of the pack.

Martha said...

Oh Rain, this post really pulled at my heartstrings. Don't blame yourself. It is absolutely not your fault. We put our trust into these professionals. But they're not perfect. Thank goodness your intuition was strong and you investigated further. Sweet Jack. Look at those eyes. Such a deep soul in him. He is looking right at you. Such a sweetie. And that ramp! Such a great idea. It's no wonder he's looking at you like that. It's a look of adoration for all that you and Alex do for him. He knows he's loved.

I just finished eating, so although your food looks amazing, I am not suffering with cravings today. Finally! LOL But it all looks really delicious. Your Easter goodies are adorable. You have so much joy in you :)

I got your email and send you a reply with some thoughts first chance I get. I am not surprised at the message but I am upset for you. I'll write more later. xo

Rain said...

Hi Tewshooz, thank you. :) What you say is very true, which boggles my mind. That most doctors and vets lack empathy. Forget people, I will never understand their motives...but why get into a field to HELP animals if you show such apathy towards them? Is this a defence mechanism? I just don't get it. I've found a few books through Thriftbooks about holistic care for both dogs and cats, they're used so not too big an investment, it'll be a good start for me. :) Thanks for the hugs! :)

Rain said...

Hi Martha :) I know it's not my fault, but it's that guilt...you know, they plead with us to take the pain away and we unknowingly make it worse, that is very hard for someone like me to come to terms with...it makes me really resent the vet who refused to listen to me. I have to try to let this go though, I don't want to live in anger. I think Jack is in love with me lol... ;) I always say he's like Pinocchio and wishes he was a real boy! :)

Ha ha...dang...I didn't cause you cravings today, I'll have to work harder on that! :) Re the email...yes, deep down, I wasn't all that surprised either but I wished I was wrong anyway.

wisps of words said...

Precious video and photos of Jack.

Excellent ramp idea, by Alex!

I am so sorry that you had this experience. Horrrrrrible!

Yes, we need to do our own searching for info, for pets. And for ourselves.

Your food looks delicious, as always. Hooray for more cheese making! This can tide you over, until spring really comes, and you can get out in your garden.

We had a perfect spring day, on Sun. But today is sunny but _cold_. Oh well.....

jack69 said...

As always the food looks too darn good! Meds in people and animals work different in each case. Most cases the side effects are minor. But on some folk they are tripled. Side efffects seem to bother me so I have dropped all my meds and try to eat better. Seems to work, the DR hasn't complained.
Love from down here...
jack

PS: Hope jack gets completely better. Good name! LOL

Rain said...

Hi Wisps of Words :) Thank you :) It's been a trying week for all of us. Compounded with babysitting the two extra dogs and it's been quite rough. But things are looking up, Jack is doing so much better! Yes! Hooray for cheese making! :) It's been too long, I need to start making more cheese!!! :) Spring is very welcome here! :)

Rain said...

Hi Jack and Sherry :) Well Jack, I wish I could take credit for MY Jack's name, but that was his name when we adopted him! :) Great name :)) Do they call you Spaghetti Jack too? ;) I've pretty much given up on pharmas, I use natural remedies for my little ills, though I have to say I have no big issues that I haven't been able to fix naturally yet.

Leigh said...

Aw, poor sweet Jack. I just want to kiss his nose! I'm so glad he's doing better.

Your Easter baskets are so clever! A very fun idea.

And I'm so glad to hear your latest mozzarella was a success! I know what you mean about cheese fails being so discouraging. You need chickens! They never consider any cheese a fail. :)

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Tramadol, as I recall, is a pretty significant pain medication. Good for you for paying attention.

Love the Easter Baskets. Jelly beans are my favorite.

Rain said...

Thanks Leigh :) I'll kiss Jack's nose for you! :) That's funny...yes...I would think the chickens would give any cheese fail a great review! :)

Rain said...

Hi TB :) Yes, the vet tech I spoke with said it was very strong, almost as strong as morphine. He certainly didn't need all that in his system along with the Gabapentin...he wagged his tail today! :)

Sam I Am...... said...

I feel your pain, sister...the guilt of trying to be a good parent and messing up. I've felt that way several times with my girls. It's the same with children...you feel terrible but like Maya Angelou says "when you know better you do better". Jack has the best pet parents ever and he knows it. None of us is perfect so don't beat yourself up about it. He loves you!
What cute Easter baskets...you are so talented and take such great care in everything you do. The Jack Onion Soup looks delish...I was just thinking of making it one of these days. I will be making those donut twists for sure...yummy! Your mozzarella looks wonderful and you always make me hungry!
I need Alex to send me plans for that ramp! LOL! Great job he did...and I notice it helps to have it longer...not so scary or steep. Your green thumb is working overtime...look at your gorgeous flowers and lettuce! You go girl and please give Jack a gentle hug from me. He is a sweet heart all you have to do is look at those eyes!

sandy said...

ohh that poor baby - hope he heals up good. Your soup looks delicious.

Magic Love Crow said...

Poor Jack! I am so sorry for everything he has been through! I'm so happy you listened to "you" Rain!! I hope he heals up quickly and well! Thanks for all the yummy food! Much appreciated! Your Easter baskets are so cute! Big Hugs!

Rain said...

Hi Sam :) It's so true...when you know better, you do better! My gosh, how wonderful to hear that. We NEED information. Thank you for that xx Gentle hug given...;) and more.. :) The ramp is an old door that was left in the basement...you know those folding closet doors that are made from cheap wood? Alex just took the hinges off, glued on the rugs and hinged it to the top of the porch, it works like a charm and yes, longer is better for sure! I hope you make some onion soup, oh its' so hygge and so warming! xx

Rain said...

Thanks Sandy! :) I think Jack is healing very well so far, I hope he keeps healing! The soup was very comforting and delicious!

Rain said...

Thanks Magic Love Crow :) Yes, I'm very glad I listened to my instincts...it's so scary to think that I knew what was going on, but was being convinced not to pay attention to my gut...never again. He's doing much better!! :) Hugs! :)