Living and laughing with a disability - cerebral palsy; ordinary life, extraordinary circumstances.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Dry dog food a culprit?

Some of the test results on Clyde's kidney tests have come back. Nothing so far to explain what may have caused his illness.

Up until a couple days ago the rash of sickness and death's in cats and dogs across the nation has been traced to wheat gluten extracted from wheat from China. Wikipedia has a good definition of wheat gluten. It is a wheat substitute for a soy substitute for meat.

The vet said that Clyde's illness was similar symptom-wise to to the illnesses found in the cats and dogs who ate the canned or pouched food tainted with the bad wheat gluten.

We have not worried about the dog food scare because we have been feeding Bonnie and Clyde dry Iam's dog food. Well, yesterday the maker of Science Diet dog and cat food recalled their "Prescription Diet" kibble for cats because it might contain the tainted wheat gluten.

I did some google research and found that PETA has been getting many calls from pet owners who have been feeding their cats and dogs dry food and getting sick. Proctor & Gamble makes Iams, and they have been vehemently defending their product. They say they do not use wheat gluten in their dry pet food.

Iams has just been warned about using chromium tripicolinate, an unregulated chemical, in their weight control dog foods. We have been feeding our dogs Iams Minichunks.

It is curious that Clyde got so sick and Bonnie did not.

If it happens to turn out than the Iams dry dog food, one explanation for Clyde getting sick and not Bonnie might be that Clyde is bigger than Bonnie and I assume he eats a lot more.

It will be interesting to see how this all turns out.

Google news search - Iams
Google blog search - Iams
Google news search - Iams Minichunks
Google blog search - Iams Minichunks

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Clyde is home

We stopped by the animal hospital after church to visit Clyde. He looked much better. His kidney levels were normal. We were able to bring him home.

He has some special dog food to eat for a couple days. It is canned dog food, which is new to Clyde because we only give them dry food.

Bonnie was anxious to see him. Since being home Clyde has been resting a lot, and Bonnie seems confused as to why his energy level is not very high. Clyde took a long snooze on top of the back of one of our wing back chairs. He usually does not climb so high for his naps; Bonnie does but he does not.

It is still a mystery what Clyde got into that would affect his kidneys that way. I'm not sure at this point if any of the kidney damage is permanent.

It's just nice to have him home.

Eric was trying to teach Jodie and I how to play Risk tonight. I didn't read the rules. Eric has played before and has some understanding, but not a clear understanding of how to play. I was kind of confused, but Jodie was really confused. I threatened to go online and learn how to play.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Clyde is sick

Bonnie & Clyde. Sister and brother. Our beloved pets. Half Dauchsund, half Yorkie Terriors.

Bonnie is smaller with straight hair. She looks very dachsund. Clyde has the length of a dachsund and the curls of a yorkie.

Both are usually running arund the house, looking for the next mischief to get into.

In the morning I am the first one up. I let them out of their cage and try to ge them to go outside. An hour later, Jodie and Eric come out of the bedrooms. When Jodie opens our bedroom door, Bonnie & Clyde are always there to try to get in our room. Jodie is always hollering to get them to stay out of our room. Clyde is always the last one out.

Yesterday, Clyde did not move off the couch when Jodie came out of the room, not like himself at all. We called our vet. They had no available appointments, but they felt Clyde should be seen right away.

We took him to the SE Animal Hospital. We left him there so they could run tests. They said he needed to be rehydrated. A couple hours later they called to let me know that the count on his kidney test were abnormally high.

His symptoms are like the pets who have eaten the tainted dog food (canned and pouch) accross the country. It is thought to be a rat poison that was used with wheat in China. The details are still evolving. I am waiting to see if dry dog food becomes part of the recall.

Jodie and Eric went with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law to see Clyde today. He had not been eating, but with all the company he did.

The vet does not seem overly interested in finding out what Clyde got into that has caused his kidneys to fail. His kidney readings were better today.

Sounds like we will be able to bring him home tomorrow. I authorized a blood test when the vet called today that will test for a few things. She said we could have a ultrasound done later to test for more, but like I said, she didn't seem too interested in figuring out a cause. All I can figure is that the possible causes are too many to narrow down.

I feel like I'm rambling. I'm not positive that Clyde will make it through this, but I pray that he does. He is part of our family. Bonnie misses him and is so mellow without him, and we miss our two wild mutts - Bonnie & Clyde.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

For Parkrose princess, no challenge is too big

For Parkrose princess, no challenge is too big

Very nice story about a very brave young women.

For readers outside the sphere of Portland, Oregon, the Rose Festival is a celebration of Portland pride that is now 100 years old. High Schools around Portland each select a princess in March.

This tradition has taken some hits lately. People wonder if it discriminates against young men by not including them. So far as it has been decided that young women who make a difference are worthy of celebration.

Margaret Drew has a form or dwarfism that includes, as the article notes, cartilage that is like "swiss cheese". She has scoliosis.

Margaret has fought to survive, and she has pushed to succeed. Student council, dance team, choir.

I am moved that her classmates recognize her accomplishments. Margaret has a well deserved place on the 2007 Rose Festival Court.

She wants to go to Oregon State University. She wants to learn to drive.

20 years ago I graduated from there. Margaret's mom is concerned about whether she will be able to get her scooter around campus. When I was there I went from building to building researching the accessibility of all the buildings. Not many of the buildings were accessible. I think I calculated that 4% were accessible. I remember one building, I think Waldo Hall, that inaccessible -- I don't remember if there was a way for a wheelchair to get into the building, or if there was just no way to get upstairs. I just remember there was no plans to make the building accessible because the building was condemned. Yet, the building was still being used.

I also remember the discomfort of enforcing accessibility rules. If I had a class or lab that was held in a inaccessible location, the class or lab could be forced to move because of me. I don't think that ever had to happen, but I remember not wanting to be the cause of that having to happen.

I was part of the disabled group down there. I became pretty close to the adviser. He was from Virginia I believe. I remember there was a dwarf in the group. He has two brothers who were also dwarfs. One had a Mustang I think.

My mode of transportation during college was a three wheel bike. I use to ride everywhere I had to go in Corvallis on that bike.

It wasn't until after I graduated that I learned how to drive. I did not know if I could with my form of cerebral palsy, but Voc Rehab got my lessons, and mom bought me the old Volvo.

Margaret's dreams will come true.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


Dr. Molly left a message today that the MRI on my mid back was clear.

I was afraid of what they might find, yet I was hoping for an explanation of the pain that I have. The news was a comfort, yet a twinge of a let down. It would be nice to know a reason for my pain, yet it is a comfort to know that I am not in need of surgery.

Some days the pain in my chest is much greater than other days. Some days my low back hurts. The pain goes up and down.

I return to Dr. Molly on April 24. I will do more research. Sometimes I wonder if it is my lungs. I tend to swallow wrong. One day at lunch I was eating raw carrots and one went down the wrong pipe; I didn't cough it up until that night.

During my therapy sessions the past month they found a rib in front that was painful and traced the rib around to the center of my back, which did hurt when they pressed.

I still feel pain when I take a deep breath.

I'm not giving up on figuring this out. The muscle relaxant I take at night does help me sleep. I now take a half of pill at work. I have not figured out yet if that helps.

Work has been a bit stressful. The budget reduction act of last year ended our ability to us the Rosales rule in making our TITLE IV-E determinations. In Oregon, relatives do n0t get paid foster care unless the child in their care is Title IV-E eligible. The Rosales rule enabled us to make kids IV-E who otherwise would not be. Now we have to close them and stop payment...not the funnest job in the world.

As my wife says, this will pass.