Saturday, 26 May 2012

Day 22 - 26

Day 26 - 12 o'clock. Just pulling double choc chip cookies out of the oven!

Day 25 - Unusual. A bowl of salt instead of shakers....not something you see everyday.

Day 24 - New. Newborn baby bunnies!!

Day 23 - Technology. The technology I deal with on an almost daily basis.

Day 22 - Pink. My 2 fave pink nailpolishes!

My Dog Chubbs

I have 2 dogs and 2 cats.

Two domestic medium haired cats, Louie and Mintie an Akita x Heeler, Keeta (very original I know!) and an American Bulldog called Chubbs.

3 weeks ago on a Sunday morning I woke up and noticed Chubbs wasn't acting himself. He wasn't jumping around all excited to see us, he seemed depressed and I noticed he was limping on his right hind limb. I also noticed a small lump on the lower part of his front left limb. On Tuesday he was still limping so I decided to take him to work with me to get checked out and get the lump removed.

We anaethetised him and had a feel of his legs and took some radiographs of his legs and hips. The news wasn't good. It was diagnosed he had a partial cruciate tear and hip displaysia. Chubbs is only 3.5 years old. Whilst he was anaethetised Dr. Brown removed the lump and did a fine need aspirate to try and determine what the lump was. Dr. Brown didn't think it looked good, the differential diagnosis was a mast cell tumor which is a very aggressive form of cancer. We sent the lump away so we knew exactly what we were dealing with. I had to go home and break the news to my husband that our crazy, larakin of a dog has a cruciate rupture, hip displaysia and possibly cancer. It wasn't a good day.

Chubbs recovering after his big day at the vet.

The next couple of days were even worse, waiting on the test results, trying to decide what to do with our beloved pooch. If it's cancer do we euthanise? (I was convinced it was cancer) Do we proceed with surgery on the cruciate? Do we rest him and keep him on anti flammatories? My mind was jumbled and I was mixed with emotions.

Friday, the test results came back for Chubbs histopathology. The lump was a histiocytoma - a small bening lump that usually occurs in puppies less than 12 months old. I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Dr. Brown had also taken sufficient margins when removing the tumor so it will never be back!

Now we only had to deal with the cruciate issues. I went home and researched every vet, every procedure that could be done. I discovered that it seemed a TPLO procedure was best for dogs as large as Chubbs. There was another procedure I read up on, a de-angelis, which was more successful in smaller dogs. I came accross a very good source, a book The Dog Cruciate System by Dr. Chris Boulton

The only option in my mind was TPLO surgery. I had been given a reference to an orthopaedic specialist who could do surgery, but it was at a great price. Honestly I didn't care, I just wanted my boy to be better, I wanted the best for him. It wasn't only my decision so I had to speak to my husband and see what he thought was a good idea. He wanted a second off to another vet he went with Chubbs.

The outcome from the second vet was to give Chubbs some cartrophen injections once a week for four weeks and see how he is at the end of it.

Today we went to the vet for his second cartrophen injection. It was a different vet at the same practice who gave us a different opinion again............that Chubbs will 90% need surgery and he can do a more simple, much cheaper procedure, a modified de-angelis technique.

At the moment I'm still confused and not confident with going ahead with a modified de-angelis technique as i've heard it doesn't work as well with larger dogs.....

It's all very confusing and stressful. As I've mentioned before, All I want is the best for my boy.

Monday, 21 May 2012

A few friends....

Working in a Veterinary Clinic always has its ups and downs, especially working in a veterinary clinic that is combined with a welfare organisation. Below is a few stories about a couple of special patients who have been with us for a while and have left a big imprint in my heart.

Zorro - Rotti x G. Shep? I'm not 100% sure what breed Zorro is but he's been with us at the clinic for a while. He's a know escape artist and the last time he got out he unfortunately got hit by a car. He came to us in desperate need of surgery on his femoral head (ball at the end of his femur which sits in his hip socket). The surgery was done probably around 6 weeks ago now and he is still struggling putting weight on his leg. Zorro is an extremely exhuberant, outgoing dog and even though at times he jumps up and gets a little crazy he has such a great personality. I spent some quiet one on one time with him this afternoon, giving him a massage and doing some rehabilitation exercises with him. He absolutely loved the attention and is such a big sook. I hope I get some time on my next day at work to spend some more time with him. He truly is a gentle boy.

Baby. Staffy x (One of the vets and I have made up a new breed for Baby, we think she is a PUFFY - pug x staffy) What do you think?
Baby is one of a kind. Obviously she is SUPER cute and has just outrageous amounts of energy. She is supposed to be on cage rest but it's really hard to keep her calm when you take her outside and all she wants to do is play! I know Baby is making a speedy recovery and I know she will get adopted once she's ready!

A few photos......

Day 21 - Where you stand. At the end of a lead.

Day 20 - Something you can't live without. My hands!! Being a Canine Myofunctional Therapist and a Veterinary Nurse I would be totally lost without my hands.

Day 19 - A favourite place. Yorkes!!! (My true home!)

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Veterinary Nursing

I have always loved animals.
When I was growing up we always had at least one dog and one cat. Sometimes it was 2 cats, or even 3. I had numerous pet lambs which I bottle fed and kept until they died of old age, we never sold or used our pets for meat.
I had been trying to get into Veterinary Nursing for EIGHT years. To study Cert 4 in Veterinary Nursing you have to be employed or volunteering in a veterinary clinic. I was unable to volunteer my time as I needed to work to pay bills etc. and no-one wanted to hire a non-qualified nurse. I never gave up. I've worked with lab animals, I've worked as a dog groomer, I've worked in animal shelters now finally i'm working in a veterinary clinic and studying nursing!
In the middle of last year I was given my chance to volunteer one day a week which allowed me to get into the nursing course. At last, with persistence, I made it. I will be forever grateful to the vet who has taken me on and given me the opportunity to follow my dreams! At the start of this year I was offered a job as a veterinary nurse on a casual basis and have just been made permanent part-time.
Study and work can be challenging at times but I am loving every minute of it!!

Photo A Day Challenge

My sister has become very talented and creative when taking photos. She has some of the most amazing photos i've seen.
Recently she has introduced me to an app called Instagram which I have become slightly addicted to. You take photos using your phone and add all these awesome filters giving the photo a 'special touch'. Not only has she introduced me to instagram but also other creative camera and photo apps and the much loved 'photo a day challege' which is organised by Chantelle at her blog, Fat Mum Slim.
Below is the list for May's photo a day challenge. If you check out Fat Mum Slim's blog she has clear instructions which will help you on your way to creating some amazing photos and having a bit of fun on the way!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Leaving Home (again)

A few tears well in my eyes as the plane takes off. Little TC didn't want to hug me goodbye. Mischievious SS started crying as we reversed out the driveway (although I do think it was more for Nanny as it was for me.) TC popped her head up and peered through the window giving a little wave.

I swear no matter how many times I go home it will never get easier leaving. Especially now that I have 2 gorgeous nieces who are growing ever so quickly!

I have spent five days with my family in Adelaide. A weekend is never long enough! I spent much needed time chatting, drinking tea, watching cartoons with my nieces, catching up for lunch and playing in the park. I didn't do anything super exciting but spending quality time with my girls is all I wanted to do.

I wish that I was closer. I wish I was there to help all the time.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Mothers Day

As an army wife you never know where you're going to be living. Every 2 years moving house, or moving state. You could move closer to family or further away. I always hope to get back to Adelaide.

Being away from family can be difficult at the best of times. It's a lot more difficult on special occasions such as birthdays, christmas and mothers day! This year I have made the trip back to Adelaide to spend some much needed time with my mother, sisters and nieces.

It's amazing to see how much my nieces have grown in 5 months. From taking a few steps to walking all around the house, from saying a few words and now stringing them into sentences. I can not believe how quickly they are growing from babies into little girls.

My sisters are my best friends and I miss spending time with them. We don't have to be doing anything in particular I simply enjoy their company.

Most would say their mothers are fantastic. My mother is absolutely amazing and as I  have grown I have learnt how much she has done for us girls and I respect her greatly. When I was a teenager I was a total punk and I thought my mum was trying to ruin my life. Now I realise she was clearly trying to teach me the best of life and look out for me, which she has done a fantastic job doing!! Sorry mum....

I love my family dearly and wouldn't change it for anything. I just wish I could be closer to them.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012


So, it's been a while since my last blog. ANZAC day has come and gone.

When I was young I remember my father waking me up at some ghastly hour in the morning and taking me along to an ANZAC day dawn service (which I thought was super boring).  After the service we would hang around with a group of my fathers friends drinking beers and telling stories about their time in the defence force. I really had no idea what ANZAC day was all about, all I knew is that my father celebrated it every year and it meant a lot to him.

Over the years I have learnt more about the history of ANZAC day and my ancestors involvement in the military. I have discovered I have a really strong military history in my family. ANZAC Day is now one of my favourite days of the year to comemmorate with friends.

This year I had the opportunity to go to the local army base dawn service with my husband. I'd have to say it was one of the best services I've been to. It was a beautiful, calm, CRISP morning. I was thinking about how freezing I was and how I wished I was inside....but then it hit me that the guys who have fought in wars would have been through a lot worse than being cold!

 After the service we headed into the city where my husband  participated in the march then we headed off to the pub for some drinks and to play two-up. This year was my first year watching the march and I must say it was very moving. It was amazing seeing the number of people and different sections that are involved in the military.

My husband had always been very enthusiastic about playing two-up on ANZAC day and I never really knew the after a little bit of research I discovered that two-up was played extensively by Australia's soldiers during WWI. Such games became a regular part of ANZAC day celebrations for returned soldiers and to mark a shared experience with diggers thoughout time.

If you have never been to a dawn service or commemorated ANZAC day I suggest do it once in your life to see what it's like. It truly is a memorable day.