Tuesday, December 16, 2008

NYC and the Eye Exam

We recently took a trip to NYC. My third time there and the most enjoyable. We went down on Sat morning and promptly headed to Katz' deli where we partook of some pastrami sandwiches and pickles. We then walked north to Union Square where we did some shopping and had warm apple cider. We then continued to walk and shop for the remainder of the afternoon. Dinner was at the Mesa Grill (Bobby Flay) where we had an amazing meal. Lots of southwestern flavors and spices. We had tamales with garlic and shrimp for an app. Lael had a honey glazed salmon and I had a spice encrusted pork tenderloin which was the best I have ever had. Nice and spicy. As sides we had another tamale with sage butter sauce, cilantro pesto mashed potatoes and a chile releno. The releno was very spicy and Lael couldn't handle it but I thought it was actually the highlight of the meal. You just don't get those at many restaurants. In the past I was never keen on visiting NYC as I found it overwhelming. We did the city at our pace and I am looking forward to our next trip. The hardest part will be to find another dining experience to match the Mesa Grill.

Makin's ojos (spanish for eyes)

Today I took Makin to the Animal eye specialists because her left eye has had a bit of cloudiness that I wanted looked at. I am still trying to digest all of the information and am thankful that Lael can understand the biology. It also doesn't hurt that Lael's dad is an optometrist!

Information from the visit is as follows:

Makin has intraocular inflammation (anterior uveitis) in both eyes which causes both pressures to be lower than the normal reference range and her internal health will be evaluated with blood and urine evaluations including evaluation for the three most common tick related diseases. With previous history of lyme is is possible that she has experienced the ultrastructural changes in the endothelial lining of the blood vessels in her eyes. Those changes can possibly cause leakage of proteins normally found in the blood stream to leak into her eyes even if the initial insult has been resolved. It is also possible that, based on epidemiology, that she has a current active infection that can cause of the bilateral anterior uveeitis.

The cloudiness in her left eye is the result of corneal endothelial degeneration. Essentially there has been a degeneration in the corneal endothelial cellualr anatomy which is causing a decreased surface area to volume ration of the endothelial cells causing increased corneal thickness which is causing increased refraction of light in the corneal tissues which appears blueish. There is no way to affect change of the damages cells as they are nerve related but we may be able to influence the physiology of the cells by altering the biochemistry of the fluid inside the eye with the combined use of Predisone Acetate and Flurbiprofen (apririn like med) as well as AK-NACL (ointment) to osmotically draw fluid from the surface cell layers of her cornea. If there is sufficient fluid accumulation it is possible for corneal ulcerations to occur.

Needless to say all of that information was tough to process. Makin is on four different meds, the three mentioned above and doxy. I am glad we made the visit although the check book isn't. Makin was great during the exam. When we had her on the table I thought she was squirming because she was uncomfortable but it turns out that all she wanted was to roll onto her side becasue there was an opportunity for three sets of hands to rub her belly! Silly, silly dog.

Makin will be on the meds for three weeks with a lot of attention spent on looking at her eyes to see if we are causing problems or discomfort. We then have a recheck scheduled to determine how she is dong. I feel a little bad for not being more on top of things but feel we are on the right track now. It is also a funny thing that both of the girls have more medical attention than Lael or I combined since we have gotten them. I think this is the normal case with our devotion to our pets. I wouldn't change a thing and only hope that we can do the best we can for them. They are definitely my buddies.

Again, a gratuitous picture. I think Tessa is smiling because she is snuggling Makin!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Busy, Busy

Well we have been busy, clearly. House renovations, classes and Lael's ability to keep the schedule full have contributed to a lack of posting.

We went hunting with Makin about a month ago. I thought she did great. She is not steady on the point and does not hold when the shot is made but for a dog that has not worked a retrieve for me she sure does it pretty darn well. She also has a one track mind when we get out where there is a scent. I am sure working on that even a little could improve. Two birds were planted for us. She found them and one other. We ended up with two birds one of which was a beautiful rooster. It was a great time made even better by the fact that we finally met the Regal Vizsla team which includes one of Makin's offspring, Momo. Andrew's take on the the adventure can be found here. The event was run by the VCCNE and as always it was a great event run by a great group of people who are fun to be around.

We also have just completed our fall classes with both of the girls and will have a bit of a break for December. We resume next session with Makin while Tessa takes a break from class and then Tessa will have her weave pole class.

Tessa has been doing great. She is a very literal dog though and reads you like a book. Give her body language and she will use it, even if its wrong. Different dog, different challenges. Keeps you on your toes.

Makin has also been doing great and I think that I am finally starting to get the switch thing. FINALLY. Now we can practice that without me worrying about totally screwing her up. Lets just hope the snow stays away so we can work in the back yard.

The only bummer recently has been that our new morning romping grounds have been off limits for a while. There was a coyote sighting. Not just a wandering but this little devil was hanging out in a field eating a neighborhood pet. Just not worth the risk. I understand that they are probably in many of the places we go but when they are out mid-day and not worried about the people around them it makes me nervous that there is something other than them just being hungry. So I will have to scout the place out before we go back.

On a completely different note, Lael and I are heading to NYC this weekend. We have a food crazy tour where we plan on visiting a famous delli for lunch followed by the highlight of eating at Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill. So excited! I love to cook and must admit the Food network gets a fair amount of viewing in our house. In particular I enjoy Bobby Flay's shows and am a big fan of the spices he uses even though they are quite difficult to obtain. I will be sure to post about our weekend adventure even though it will have nothing to do with the girls as they are spending the weekend with my folks.

And just because I can, a gratuitous puppy shot. They sure are silly.