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The Beginning of the 2013 Litter

Well Kassey went into season a month earlier than my earliest estimate.  That meant that Blindfaith's Bustin a Move was not available for stud.  He is off in South Carolina doing some training.  So we did a quick internet search to find a suitable replacement.  Unfortunately Sweet Retrieves Drake, the stud we used for Kassey's first litter, was not available.  However we followed some good leads through Bill and Marcia Butikas's website.  And touched bases with Mandy Cielinski, the owner of Gator Point Colorado Aces High, and she was ever so willing to assist us.  So up came Aces semen from Louisiana.  Now Fedex was supposed to get it here in two days, but I guess they detoured it to Alabama.  Mandy's vet was able to track it down and get it back on its way to Alberta.  And Kassey being the late bloomer that she is, was not ready for it until this past week. So it all worked out just fine.  We did progesterone testing on days 6, 9, 12 and 14 with LH testing on day 13.  We didn't catch the LH peak, so it must have been prior to 4 pm on day 13.  That meant Dr. Hubbard was sure it had occurred sometime between 11 am on day 12 and 4 pm on day 13.  And that meant the best time for insemination was on Monday or Tuesday (with frozen it is very important to get timing exact as it is usually only viable for 12 to 24 hours versus fresh semen that is viable from 3 to 4 days).  On April 2 we will go back to Cedarwood Vet Hospital for an ultrasound.  There will be heartbeats by then.  Dr. Hubbard will be able to get a rough idea of numbers, but they still recommend an x-ray closer to whelping day to confirm numbers.  With her first litter, we didn't do an x-ray as the machine had broken.  But it is a good idea to x-ray, as then there will be no surprises, like BIG GREEN!

Hard to believe though that a week ago today we were ready to put Koko down.  On Thursday evening past I was off to bed when Sarah called out that Koko was stumbling around.  I paid it no heed as she did make it downstairs.  But then there was a crash.  Koko had fallen trying to get back up the stairs.  She was not able to walk.  She was trembling and drooling.  We got her onto her bed. We got a Gravol pill into her. I sat with her and calmed her down. She settled so I went to bed.  Then she got up and went to Dave's side of the bed.  I thought she must be a bit better.  We all slept.

But in the morning she was not able to negotiate the stairs.  She would not eat.  She was stumbling.  I called the vet.  We took her in at 3 pm.  We were ready.  He took a look at her and said "She has old dog disease".  We looked at him in surprise.  We had looked at her eyes and they had not been flickering.  But sure enough, now they were.  He said "It may last a few days to two weeks, but she will get better all on her own, and the worst in already over."  So we took her home.  And yes for the first three or so days we had to carry her down the steps and help her up them.  And as long as we remembered she was circling right we could get her going the right way.  So I took some short videos of it so that others can see what this looks like.  It is scary.  The vet said it is the most common reason old farm dogs get shot.  But it is not fatal, so long as the dog does not seriously injure itself from a fall. And a week later she is much better.  Her tail is coming up and she can eat her food.  She is still circling right and has the occassional fall, but all in all she is well on the road to recovery. Thanks again to our wonderful vets at Lacombe Vet Centre.

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