All posts for the month September, 2012

10 Italian Greyhound Facts

Published September 27, 2012 by lowercase v

Italian Greyhound, IG, iggy


  1. The IG belongs to the Sighthound/ Gazehound family and is the smallest member of the group. Other sighthounds are: Greyhound, Afghan, Saluki, Irish Wolfhound, Galgo, Whippet, Borzoi, etc. The Italian Greyhound is also classed as a Toy Dog.
  2. It’s an old breed. It likely got his name due to its popularity in Renaissance Italy, although the breed might have originated in Greece or Turkey a few thousand years ago. Allegedly mummified dogs have been found in Egypt that resemble Italian Greyhounds.
  3. Italian Greyhounds are not Whippets. They’re much smaller than Whippets and also an older breed.
  4. They’re companion dogs. They’re sensitive, affectionate and love to cuddle. They’re not outside dogs.
  5. Easy to groom. Iggies have short coats. They don’t shed as much as most other breeds (but they do shed).
  6. Sensitive to the cold. Because of their short coats, Iggies easily get cold, so keep a blanket ready.
  7. Prone to broken legs. Especially in the first 18 months of their live when the bones are still developing. Puppies should be kept from jumping off couches, beds and other high platforms.
  8. Italian Greyhounds come in many types of colours. Solid colour, colour with white markings and also pied (white with coloured markings). Although brindle is a common Greyhound colour, it is not found in Iggies.
  9. Drug Sensitivity. Iggies like other sighthounds should not be given barbiturates (anesthesia), but should rather be given gas anesthetization.
  10. Brush their teeth regularly. Iggies are not droolers. They have relatively dry mouths. This means less saliva (obviously) to help clean the teeth.

A Change in Diet

Published September 23, 2012 by lowercase v

Gabi’s tummy trouble had me rethinking her kibble. A while a go I stopped feeding Woolworth’s premium dog, because I thought it might be part of the problem, and switch to Purina One.   Gabi’s tummy trouble persisted and we ended up at the vet. He feared she might have pre-cancerous cells.

She got dewormed, was given shots and antibiotics and also two cans of special soft food.  When we so the vet five days later, things looked exponentially better… and luckily, it wasn’t Cancer. The vet advised me to keep watching her poop for any signs of trouble. I also had to feed something better than the Purina. It didn’t have to be one of the more expensive brands, he said. Something like Vet’s Choice or Wuma (a local brand) would be fine. If she continued to have trouble I’d have to switch to a more expensive specialty diet for a few months. I still think one or more of the samples we got at WODAC turned her sensitive tummy into a rolling snowball.

I decided to first  feed her a more sensitive diet for a month or three, in order for her to recover, and then switch to something like Wuma. I’ve now had Gabi on Earthborn Holistics – Coastal Catch (Grain Free) for a few days. So far, so good.  It is a bit expensive, because it’s imported from the USA, but for a few months it’s okay.  She’s pretty much her old self.

To be honest, I have been given her teeny bites of carrot but A LOT less than before. At the moment I have absolutely no treats or doggy biscuits for her. I also haven’t baked anything for her in ages.

I’ve also considered Vondi’s Frozen Dog Food, but it would also work out a bit expensive and I’m not sure how it would will work logistically.  As for cooking for Gabs myself, as I said before,  I cannot  cook  animals flesh, I will not touch raw meat.  I don’t have any problem with Gabi eating meat, but I won’t cook it. I also won’t try to make her a vegan/ vegetarian.

If  Gabi could decided what she wanted to be eating, it would be meat, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, chocolate (I’ve never fed it to her, relax!), junk food, bacon, cheese, cookies, gingerbread, cupcakes and everything else that humans around her are eating.Except for fruit, or salad. She doesn’t like that.

Not Cancer!

Published September 18, 2012 by lowercase v

We got the results back from Gabi’s fecal smear and the great news is: The cells are not precancerous. IT’S NOT CANCER!!!

The vet said that it was just gastro-intestinal infection and asked me to bring her in for a check-up and possibly more shots/ medicine. Gabi looks much better since our last visit, although she still has a slight fever. She also has irritation in her eyes for which she got eye drops. I just have to watch what she eats and watch her poop for signs of problems. I’ll also have to switch to a better food.

The vet told me I should not be feeding her carrots or peanut-butter, because she’d develop an allergy because it’s vegetable. He (like most) believes dogs are carnivores. Needless to say feeling somewhat confused. I don’t want to aggravate Gabi’s tummy in any way. Obviously. This is just sad, because SHE LOVES CARROTS.

I guess I shouldn’t be baking her cookies either. :(

Thanks you all for your support and good wishes!


A visit to the vet.

Published September 13, 2012 by lowercase v


Today Gabi  had diarrhea again and it was a bit bloody. So I did what I had been postponing it for a long time, I took her to the vet. I expected him to give her some antibiotics and send her more, but things were a bit more complicated.

Gabi weighed in at 5.6kg and presented with a fever. The vet did a check-up and did a rectal smear test and looked at it under his microscope.

The vet was unsure about her smear, since there were abnormal cells,  so he’s sending it to the lab. He thought it might be either just compounded infection (due to not getting antibiotics earlier) or precancerous. We will hear back from the lab next week and go from there. If the lab results doesn’t say anything and there isn’t much improvement she’ll probably need to get a colon biopsy.  I hope it doesn’t come to that.

She got two shots, a  broad spectrum dewormer and some medicine (Valbenzen – antibiotic?)  to take home, along with two cans of Royal Canin Gastro Intestinal food. I was also told to continue with the probiotics.

She threw up early this evening so I waited a while before feeding her or giving her her meds. Gabi love the food and scarfed the bit I gave her down in one gulp. When I tried to give her her medicine with the syringe she first wanted to run away, probably though it was another shot. I squirted a bit of the liquid into my palm and let  her sniff it. She was having none of that… So I had to open her jaw and shoot the medicine into her mouth. At least I know I can mix the probiotic powder with some soft food and I a can be sure that she’ll eat it.

I wish I had taken her to the  vet a lot sooner, but other than her tummy seems so healthy and full of life. I’ve been feeling slightly nauseous since returning from the vet, but it is probably just from worrying.

Review: Protexin Soluble

Published September 13, 2012 by lowercase v

Protexin is a multi-strain Probiotic for animals. It comes in the form of a white soluble powder. For Gabi I use 2 grams  (half a medicine measure) daily.

Reason for use:
Gabi seemed to be having digestive issues.  She had very loose stools. She gagged a lot and was very gassy. Her tummy also made a lot of noises.

Recommended use:
“Add and mix into milk, milk replacer or water, or simply sprinkle over the animals food.” (Instructions on box)

Dog likes?:
At times I’ve had trouble getting her to ingest the powder dissolved in water. She ate it in peanut butter, but I thought it would be to fatty to use on a daily basis, especially when she has stomach troubles. I also didn’t want to use milk, because many dogs are lactose intolerant. I have found she will usually lick the powder off my hand. When she doesn’t  want to lick it, I just sprinkle the powder over her kibble and it eventually gets eaten.

After two weeks, I am very satisfied in the results so far. There is already an improvement in her stool. She also seems to be gagging a lot less and is far less gassy. Her tummy is also less noisy. I will continue using this as a daily probiotic supplement long after her tummy troubles is a thing of the pas. I would definitely recommend this product to my friends.

Protexin is readily available is South African pet stores as well as several online pet stores.

Rainy Day and Grattitude

Published September 7, 2012 by lowercase v

Even though it is supposed to be spring, it has been quite chilly since yesterday.

Last night Gabi was outside, barking at what ever was behind the wall, along with the neighbours’ dogs.  However, Gabi continued barking long after the others, even though she’s usually quieter than them. I suspected that something was happening and thought that it was probably one of our neighbour’s cats.  I had called for Gabs to come inside, but she ignored me. I decided to go outside and investigate. As I was buys unlocking the security door, Gabi ran up to the porch and stepped into the light. I shrieked. She had a bird in her mouth. Before I could do anything, she was through the bars of the security door and on the living room couch. My mom chased her off and Gabi bolted for my room. I found her in her bed, looking guilty, with the bird in her mouth. I picked her up and carried her outside. I tried to get her to let go of the bird, but she wouldn’t. Eventually I had to pry it from her mouth. Needless to say I cleaned her face and brushed her teeth.


Today was more of an indoorsy day. When there was a spot of sunshine, I took Gabi for a walk around the blog. For the rest of the day she was either sleeping in her bed or cuddled op too me. At one stage there wasn’t a blanket with us so she crawled in under my jacket and cuddled up behind my back. Today Gabi also suddenly got interested in a rawhide bone which she’s had for more than a week. It must have been the weather, because she was chewing compulsively and chew the one end of the bone right off.  There was a big thunder storm this afternoon. It also hailed.  So much hail was on the grass, it almost looked like snow.

I’m just thankful my car was in the garage. For that matter, I’m also glad that I have a car! (Even if it is old, secondhand and regularly needs fixing).

On days like these I mostly grateful that Gabi is with me… and not lonely in some kennel.