This summer Bell decided she was bored so she started growing tumors on her ear. One large one on the under side and two smaller ones on the outside....all on the same ear.
Of course I had to have them tested....terrified it was cancer. I started imagining what she'd look like with half her ear taken off.
The tests came back negative for cancer! The tumors are called Histiocytoma and turns out they are very common in Labs. Bell and Nick are Lab crossed with some kind of unidentified Hound. As you can see in the last picture here, they are itchy and Bell has been digging at them quite a bit. I've spent a great deal of time cleaning them with hydrogen peroxide and removing dead tissue; then coating them in an antibiotic ointment and having her sit in her pen for a half hour. (Bell thinks she can't shake her head in her pen....don't know why but it works for me!)
And the result is that they are going away just as the Vet told me they would. She said they usually stick around for about 3 months and then start going away. In addition to having to prevent them from getting infected I also added Parsley to my dogs daily food. It's supposed to inhibit tumors in dogs....I figured it couldn't hurt.
My dogs have developed an extraordinary talent for going pee and potty on a side hill of snow. I didn't think a picture of that would really be appreciated so I gave a car's impression of it. The dogs really don't have a choice about where they are going potty these days. We have so much snow, the options are just no longer there. I am doing so much shoveling to clear the sidewalk; walkways and driveway that I have no energy left to shovel out an area for the dogs to use as a potty. As it turns out they seem to really enjoy the challenge of peeing on mountains of snow. In fact when I take them for walks, Bell will climb over her head to pee on the top of the snow banks! Nicki will peen on the ground level like a normal dog but Bell is taking advantage of the packed snow to play her own version of King of the Hill.
Mom has been mentioning that she thinks one of the crappy neighbors that moved out of the neighborhood, left behind a cat. The poor cat has been fending for itself for months. Well, the vicious cold and blasting winds we've been having are a real threat to any animal left outside...especially one that is not meant to live outside.
I remembered that I had seen a video about making feral cat housing and I'd spoken to a friend of mine that has started a feral cat non-profit recently. I felt I had to do something to help this cat and I thought I could make some housing....so that's what I did.
When I went back to Mom's house the next day it was with two cat houses in tow. (There had been some discussion about 2 cats but Mom thinks one has a home and just shows to up mooch). I also brought cat food and a couple of bricks. We were expecting another blasting cold spell and I couldn't sleep the night before because I couldn't get these cats out of my head.
I set them up and supplied a couple of dishes of cat food and hoped for the best. The thing that bothered me the most was the foot prints I was seeing in the snow all around the side yard looked like raccoon prints. If this is the case they will eat anything they find and the cats would get nothing and probably be scared off as well.
The next day I went back and all the cat food was gone.....no surprise there. But more importantly the houses had not been disturbed and had not been blown away by the wind. That was a relief at least. Ok, so I think the raccoon's are taking advantage here....we had a steady supply of raccoon's (and all the problems they can bring) the whole time I was growing up there. I see no reason why that should have changed. I need a new strategy.
The best I could come up with is that I will move the cat houses to the other side of Mom's house.....much closer to where the cat has been seen trying to get her birds. She has decided to start feeding him and she can do that in the morning which will effectively cut the raccoon's out of the picture. This way the cat will hopefully grow to trust her and the housing. If the cat can become tame enough, my friend may be able to take him in and eventually get him a home. Fingers crossed!