Monday, 30 July 2012

Penny's poor sore paw

On Sunday, Penny cut her front paw while we were walking in the bush.

I guess we've been lucky this has never happened before. However, it did mean that I was unsure how to deal with it. First I washed the cut with salty water, a couple of times, then I bandaged it loosely. Which left the problem of how to go outside for toileting without getting the bandage wet. (We've had lots of rain lately, which you won't find me complaining about after the fifteen or more years of drought we endured.)

Well, that didn't work all that well. There are a couple of plastic bags lying somewhere in the yard, lost within minutes of our going out in the dark.

Today, when we came back to Melbourne, I decided to scout the Net for more information, and found some sites that were quite helpful. I was pleased that Betadine was recommended on some of them, as I've got Betadine spray. So I've sprayed it and put a fresh bandage on, and we'll see how things look tomorrow.

One recommendation that seemed sensible was to wrap only a couple of layers around the paw, because if the bandaging is too thick, the dog will notice it more, and therefore be more likely to lick at it. (I recall from Penny's previous biopsy bandaging how important it is to keep the bandage dry.)

This squidoo says we should rebandage the paw twice a day, so I guess I'll do that.

The Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook says a fresh wound longer than half an inch should be sutured, but says if the wound is older than twelve hours, suturing is questionable. If I'd been in Melbourne I would have taken her straight to the vet to see if stitches would help. But we were too far away.

At the moment she seems to be comfortable, and in fact isn't even limping much. She's taking her weight fully on both front legs.

I'll call the vet tomorrow, to check whether I'm doing the right thing, and I'm going to ask about a recommendation by Julia Szabo on a dogster site, that the wound will heal faster if it is kept soft:
Then, to help speed healing, I applied some Buck Mountain Wound Balm, the same excellent ointment I used on my dog Tiki when he was fighting cancer. This stuff packs the triple healing punch of burdock, yarrow, and echinacea, and is a first-rate item to keep in the K9 first aid kit. Without some kind of ointment to keep the tissue soft, a wound takes longer to heal - and with the location of this wound, recovery speed really counts.

On looking at the Buck Mountain Herbal Gold site, I see that it is recommended for minor cuts and closed wounds, and that using salve on an infection that is not clean and dry might accelerate the infection, so I think I'll definitely ask for advice from the vet before doing anything other than keeping the wound clean and infection-free.

I might try using aloe vera, if the vet says it is important to keep the paw pad soft.

a fun walk in the bush and a cut paw

Penny and I walked near Narbethong on Sunday and had a great time, as usual. But I noticed towards the end of the walk that Penny was limping.

We headed home a new way, on a picturesque but bumpy road that crossed the Great Dividing Range.

The weather had held off while we walked, thank goodness, but on the drive it rained, so I took it carefully, as the road surface was unsealed.

You might have guessed that when I stopped to take the photo of the sign, Penny and I stayed snug in the car.

When we got home it was time to look at her sore paw, and I discovered she had a cut in the pad. Next time I go walking I'll take a bandage with me, because it was such a pity that she had to walk the last twenty minutes with a cut paw. I'll take some Glad Wrap, too, so I can keep a bandage dry.

Friday, 27 July 2012

dogs walking close to traffic

One of our favorite walking places is Yarra Bend Park. We cross the Darebin Creek and continue onto the Clifton Hill side, a circular walk which leaves us with a short hike alongside traffic in Heidelberg Road, before we enter the Yarra Bend Park once more.

Once upon a time we used to come out to Heidelberg Road on this little path.

The good thing about coming out at this spot was that there was a protective barrier along the edge of Heidelberg Road to keep us safe from the cars.

But, as you can see from the first photo, our preferred path has been blocked off with a fence. So now we have to emerge on to the road further along, and take our chance walking alongside lanes of busy traffic.

It's aggravating that someone in a planning department has made a decision that impacts on our safety, without any consultation about what we prefer. I wrote to the council to explain my concerns, but received the usual noncommittal response. 

However, once we navigate the short scary stretch of street, it's back into the lovely, lovely Yarra Bend park, one of the most dog-friendly places in Melbourne. (You have to be on lead on the hard-surfaced bike paths, but everywhere else is off-lead.)

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

dogs can extrapolate

Recently, my sister worked on a new quilt. As I walked through the room where she had thrown the work-in-progress across a lounge chair, it passed through my mind to wonder whether she should move it before Penny jumped up on it. (It was full of pins, so don't think I was worrying about the quilt, lol. I was thinking of Penny getting hurt.)

Penny does not get on our furniture. (Well, beds are another story...) She will jump up onto a couch of comfy chair only if her special quilt is lying there, ready for her.

I've heard it said that dogs don't extrapolate, that is, they don't use given information to judge an unknown situation. But in this instance, Penny decided that one quilt is like another. Sure enough, she decided to nap on the unfinished quilt

dogs are allowed at Burnley Gardens

Usually I'd be disappointed to see a sign restricting access by off-lead dogs, because I think it's much more fun for Penny and for us if she walks free .

However, in this case I was excited to see the sign, because it hadn't occurred to me that dogs would be allowed at all on one of  the campuses of Melbourne University. I was visiting Burnley Horticultural Gardens, part of that university, with a group of friends. I came home determined to take Penny there, because even if on-lead, I think she will love the twisting paths of the gardens.

In summer it's best to be on clear paths, for fear of snakes, so I think we'll probably go there in summer. There'll be lots of shade, and, best of all, there's a cafe with brilliant food. 

Saturday, 7 July 2012

at Tyntynder Lodge in Bright

Penny had a lovely holiday recently. We decided spontaneously to head off for Bright. I'd been there a couple of years ago and realised it would be a wonderful place for a doggy holiday, because there are no rules about having your dog on lead.

So we looked up accommodation on the Net and came across a place called Tyntynder Lodge that had been voted best dog accommodation in Australia. That sure sounded nice.To my surprise, when I got there I realised I had scouted it out when I was there last time without Penny. I had forgotten.

It was a great place to stay. There was a fenced garden out the back, which could be accessed  from a side gate near the quiet street...

or from the back porch.

Inside, the floors were polished...

dogs were permitted everywhere...

and there was a cozy log fire as well as reverse cycle heating/cooling.

We did find the polished floors a bit of a concern, seeing Penny has had an injury to her cruciate ligament. We would have preferred a carpeted area, but I can see that would be a problem for hygiene, with many different dogs staying there. 

The lovely little fenced yards were next to each other, which could lead to a bit of fence-running, if owners were not alert, but there was no-one staying in the unit next to ours, so we didn't have to look out for that. (Given that the temperature was very low, not much above freezing, neither Penny nor we were keen to be out in the yard.)

It was a fabulous place to stay, not just tolerant of dogs, but inviting and welcoming to canine visitors.