Sunday, August 14, 2011


Maxie staring at ?????
Maxie spent 5 hours last night lying on his belly staring at either one front paw or the other, or the space in between them.  He's been doing this for a few days -- on the floor, on the couch, on my pillow, and in our bed (both under the covers and on top), even after the lights are out.  What is he looking at?  Occasionally he will dart his tongue out like a frog catching a fly, and occasionally he will bob his head up and down and chew air like he's mauling a flea in his mouth.  But I don't find any fleas on him.  I'm wondering if his eyesight is going bad.  Or if his brain is sending him strange signals.

Watching his own movie?????
We've long called him "the abberant one" because of the way he stares down without moving, as if watching a movie.  But it's never lasted more than 15 minutes at a time. And it's so cute, I've taken lots of pictures.  But as of 3 days ago, on top of staring, he won't stay up in our bed for anything.  As soon as I put him up there, he is pressing against me to get off.  And instead of curling up with me on the red couch at night to watch TV, he runs off to a corner under the table and won't come out.  I sorely miss my snuggling.  Otherwise he acts normal.  Do I have bedbugs?  Chiggers? Our sheets are clean and the mattress is fairly new.  Willow, Lucky and Fooh don't seem bothered by anything.  We vacuum the upholstery and carpets once a month or so. What can be wrong?

Today I am fogging the whole back half of the house with Bengal.  I'm giving all the dogs their monthly drops of Advantage.  I bought a bag of Ortho Bug-B-Gone to spread on both dog yards just before the next rain, supposed to kill all sorts of bugs. The hardware store recommended this product and said this year with all the rain the fleas are horrible.  I notice the dogs tend to hop-skip across the yard on certain days, and I have felt something "pinging" my ankles as I walk through the grass, but I don't get bitten. It must be "invisible" fleas.

8/16/11 Followup:  None of the above seems to have made any difference.  I paid a visit to Pet Stop on O'Neal and purchased some Petcor which you spray on the dog's fur and work into their skin. Comes 16 oz in a pump spray bottle.   It can be used on newborn kittens, it says, as often as desired, and is supposed to kill larvae as well as fleas on contact.  I'm doing this treatment tonight and will bring it to the Hattiesburg trial this weekend.  I can't have Maxie and Lucky stopping to scratch during their runs!  Tom, the manager, also sold me some Flea Stoppers Carpet Powder (active ingredient Orthoboric Acid) which I am to spread on carpets, sweep around and vacuum up, and Precor 2000 Plus which I am to spray on upholstery, baseboards and bare floors, let dry, sweep, vacuum.  He says Frontline, Advantage and foggers are a joke.  They've been working for me all these years, but not now.

8/17/11 Update:  Yesterday I sprayed all my dogs with the Petcor, starting with the inner ear, then wetting my hands with it and working into the face and neck, then spraying the rest of the body and working the spray through the hair down to the skin.  Not soaking wet, just a mist spray.  They each went crazy trying to get it off, like they do with anything else, even after a bath, but I thought it smelled agreeable enough and didn't sting my hands.  Maxie hasn't stared since then!  So now my assessment of the staring thing is that he was looking at little larvae wiggling around.  That is so disgusting to think of larvae on my dogs, on my couch, in my bed, but the pest control guy affirmed that that's what happens.  Eggs, larvae, fleas, eggs, larvae, fleas.  Foggers kill the larvae and fleas on the surfaces they touch but don't get deep into the upholstery, under things, behind the baseboards.  Nothing kills the hard-shelled eggs.  They hatch and you're back where you started.  And I learned that for Advantage or Front Line to kill the flea, it has to bite the dog!  That is totally unacceptable.  I've been under the impression that these topical products put out a bubble of protection around the dog so fleas wouldn't jump on.  Not so.  The Petcor does that, and they say it survives one washing.

If anyone has any other suggestions, please let me know.
Sometimes Upwards and Onward can be a bit of a struggle -- not really moving forward but trying not to fall back too far.


Papowner said...

I am a fan of your blog and also read Team Small Dog. This owner discovered her dog staring at spots was symptoms of a congenital form of a liver shunt called hepatatic microvascular dysplasia:

team small dog said...

Hi Michele-
This is Laura from Team Small Dog. What a kind reader to send you those links! I thought my dog with the microvascular dysplasia was just quirky and obsessive, until the behavior became much stronger and more frequent. I am really lucky that one of the vets I use has had other patients with this liver disorder. It is somewhat unusual, but it would probably be worth asking your vet about-my dog's obsessive staring turned out to be frequent small focal seizures when the disfunction of the liver caused ammonia to build up in his brain. I very much wish that I had figured this out when he was younger-we found it at age 4 but he is being treated and it is a manageable disease through diet and drugs. Best of luck to you, and your dogs!