Thursday, April 26, 2012

Gypsy's play day

It's pretty obvious that I'm smitten with Gigi, and she's doing fine, but I'm giving her a break today because today was Gypsy Jr.'s day. 

I guess that since my Gypsy is gone I can drop the "Jr." from the dog I've always called Gypsy Jr.  Her name was just Gypsy when I pulled her from a shelter where she had miserably failed a food test.  I added the "Jr." because my most senior girl was named Gypsy and I didn't think she'd take kindly to sharing her name.  (My Gypsy didn't really share anything with anyone, other than me and Cabell.)

Gypsy Jr. was food aggressive and rather aggressive with other dogs.  She was less than a year old but would take on bigger and older dogs and kick their butts more often than not.  She would gulp down her own food and then rush another dog's food dish and a fight would ensue.  She put a hurting on several more adoptable dogs so I finally moved her in with Sparky where she could grow up a bit with a dog who wouldn't put up with any of her bullshit.  Sparky straightened her out right away on the food issue, but I expect she'd still try it with another dog if she thought she could get away with it.  She can't with Sparky, however, and she doesn't try.  Unfortunately, she sort of got stuck in a holding pattern once I had her in a place where she was manageable.  She is good company for Sparky, so I pretty much left them alone throught the winter months and concentrated on other fosters. 

Gypsy has a eating disorder too.  She swallows her food without chewing and she has always looked like she's 10 pounds underweight and starving, which may have contributed to the food aggression problem.  I've wormed her repeatedly and have done a couple fecal tests, which sometimes showed some parasites but treatment has never resolved the problem of her failure to gain weight or the soft stools that she produces.  Her vaccines were due, so we went to the vet today for vaccines, another fecal test (negative), and a consultation.  We are doing five days of Panacure and switching her to a limited ingredient diet for a month or more.  If she doesn't improve on the new diet we'll then do tests for panacreatic enzyme insufficiency and/or inflammatory bowel syndrome.  I should have done this six months ago, but like I said, she sort of got pushed to the back of the pack. 

After the vet we went for a reunion of sorts at the shelter she had come from, and met another dog, Blue, for a play date.  She did very well with him and I was glad to see it.  I need to get her integrated back into the foster pack, or some subset of it anyway.  She has matured some and I hope her social skills have improved.  She's a sweet and friendly girl, but will need a very active owner who will commit to serious exercise and training with her.  No cats, no kids, no small dogs, that goes without saying.

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