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Friday, May 24, 2013

Nina’s Surgery 05-03

Nina’s Surgery Update:

Wednesday 05-22-13

10:00 AM: I took Nina to the vet - she had a swelling next to her anus and was constantly licking it.

As I was leaving the vet, Nina got very anxious and refused to go w/ the vet. She threw herself on the ground crying. Vet said she would give her something to relax her as the surgery could not be scheduled for another 2 hours.

Vet instructions were to call at 2 pm for updates and take Nina home between 6– 7 pm when she will be fully awake from the anesthesia, pain killer etc.

2:00 pm I called the vet- she said all went well and Nina is resting – anal gland abscess was surgically opened and flushed.
Not 10 minutes later the vet called to say as soon as she hung up earlier Nina was awake (she was not supposed to come out of sleep so soon) and that Nina was having anxiety related diarrhea. Nina was cleaned a few times and the Vet wanted me to come & get Nina as she would not relax.

Got a thick comforter, large towels etc. and fortunately Mike the doorman was able to drive me to the vet to pick her up.

What a sight!!  
Poor Nina looked so scared, soiled and crying.  A tech was wiping her butt. legs with paper towels and roight where she just had surgery!  
I am sure that was causing  her even greater pain!

She had two tubes / drain sticking out to drain the abscess. She was to return 5 days later for follow up & removal of drain. Nina has to have an Elizabethan collar at all times. (Charged $23.00 for collar!!)

Took her home, cleaned her with some hydrogen peroxide and gave her some pain meds but she was crying non-stop and looked miserable.

Strangely she kept going to the door & wanted to go out so I got a towel and we sat on a bench by the park and incredibly enough that was the only thing that seemed to calm her down.  Although I could hear her softly whimpering she was more relaxed.

Each time I took her home to lie down and maybe nap she asked to return to the bench.

That went on until 9:30 pm which is the last time left the bench.

We went to bed and rubbing her belly diminished the whimpering.

I can't remember the last time I felt  so tired.... wiped out....

She is taking Metacam (anti-inflammatory pain reliever) and Clavamox antibiotic
Thursday 05-23.
We went out early (6:30am) for a walk in the park.  Contrary to her usual habit to immediately run around when off-leash, Nina hung very close to me, I was almost tripping over her.  It was as if her belly was glued to my leg. :-)
By 10 am I gave her a gentle but a good warm bath - she seemed to like the warm water running gently over her behind. Then we went out to sit on her favorite bench to dry off completely.  
She just loved sitting there for a few hours and was back to her usual self.  
She played a bit with passer-by who came to ask re her “cone”.   
But most of the time we were out there I took off the “cone” and made sure she would not lick herself.
Back home she began to eat some white rice with a little food mixed in. But not much of an appetite.

Friday 05-24
2:00  am - Nina is up and did not want to stay in bed but to be in the living room, so I finally got a chance to write this update at 2:30 am!!  :- )
She is doing fine so far…

And thanks to all of you for asking.

Link to some Info / Video 
I think EVERY Pet Parent SHOULD  Read / See.

Anal Gland Disease

Anal Gland Disease
A video I think EVERY Pet Parent SHOULD SEE !!!
Your Pet's Anal Glands
 by PETS Referral Center on August 11, 2011 
What are they?
Anal sacs are two small glands that are found just inside of your pets anus that contain a foul-smelling material. Prior to domestication, these glands served the purpose of marking an animals territory, and could be readily emptied voluntarily. Pets nowadays have largely lost their ability to empty their sacs on demand, and the process occurs naturally during normal defecation when firm feces are passed, lubricating the anal opening in the process. Glands can also “spontaneously empty” during times of stress or excitement; you can recognize this has happened if your dog or cat suddenly develops a very unpleasant odor.
What is the anatomy?
Normal anatomy: Hill's Atlas of Clinical Anatomy
The picture on the left shows the location of normal-appearing anal glands in the dog; cats’ anal glands are in the same area. The glands lie beneath the surface of this skin and are not something that you can visibly see. The picture on the right shows both an inflamed anal gland as well as a ruptured anal gland (more on this below).

How does it happen?
Anal sacs become impacted when a blockage develops in the duct that leads from the gland to the anus. At this stage, the gland is generally swollen and non painful. However, if an infection develops, the area can then become painful, swollen, and sometimes result in the formation of an abscess. Main causes for the development of a blockage in the duct include having a softer stool or diarrhea, allergies that result in inflammation of the sac and duct, or just plain luck of the genetic draw.
How can I tell if my pets anal sacs are causing a problem?
One of the first things owners often report is a “scooting” behavior, and they observe their pet dragging its bottom along the floor or carpeting in an attempt to empty the glands. Some dogs will also lick the anal area while others will nip and bite at their bottom or chase their tails. Cats like to present with their own set of signs and usually just lick the fur off from underneath their tails.
How is it treated?
The following video is a good demonstration on how to express your pets anal sacs.  
This may be considered graphic by some, so please don’t click “play” if you are easily queasy...
some things are best left to the professionals :) .

In this video we are showing you how to express the anal glands of your dog or your cat. 
This is often all that is required to relieve the pet who has blocked glands and a build up of secretions.
Can I express my pets anal glands at home? What if the scooting continues?
Obviously this is not for everyone, but if you feel comfortable in doing so, this is a procedure that can be done at home. It is strongly recommended that you have your veterinarian or groomer demonstrate how to do this for you, for your first time. A second pair of hands up at the front of your dog or cat is helpful to give distracting rubs on the head and praises. A word of caution: expressing incorrectly can cause irritation and lead to further problems so make sure you are able to perform the task correctly.
If the scooting behavior continues more than a couple of days following sac emptying, the glands should be rechecked by your veterinarian. If left unattended, an abscess can develop in the gland and rupture through the skin of the rectal region. Oftentimes, a ruptured anal sac abscess if often mistaken for rectal bleeding. If treated early, anal sac abscesses are generally treated with antibiotics, pain medications and warm compressing the area at home.
Another important reason to have your pet examined by your veterinarian if scooting continues is that there could also be other causes of this behavior such as allergies, parasites, or even referred back pain.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Sleep Paralysis & Night Visitors

Sleep Paralysis
Night Visitors

Sleep Paralysis:
A temporal paralysis of the body right before or after sleep. Often associated with auditory, visual, or tactile hallucinations. Sometimes classified as a part of narcolepsy
In folklore around the world, cases of people waking up but being unable to move have been thought to be the work of ghosts, demons or other things that go bump in the night. 
Recent research has indicated that this is not the case, though sleep paralysis does exist. 
During REM sleep, the mind is working rapidly, but the body shuts down its physical functions so it does not move. Sleep paralysis occurs when the body reacts as it would in REM sleep, though the person is wide awake and aware. Sometimes, this is accompanied by hallucinations that are often traumatic in nature. 
There are ways to treat sleep paralysis and the first steps begin at home.
Believe it or not, your body is virtually paralyzed during your sleep – most likely to prevent your body from acting out aspects of your dreams. Glands begin to secrete a hormone that helps induce sleep and neurons send signals to the spinal cord which cause the body to relax and later become essentially paralyzed.
Sleep Paralysis is thought to be demons or ghosts sitting on ones chest, while the sleeper is aware of what is happening. 

Here are some of the symptoms of Sleep Paralysis:
  1. Buzzing in ears
  2. Unable to move or call out
  3. Hallucinations
  4. Sense of danger
  5. Pressure on chest or face
During an episode, the sleeper can see everything in the room but some things my look distorted. Sometimes the victim will feel a presence or even see a figure in your room and begin to panic. These are very frightening.
Sometimes it is associated with a few sleep disorders. 
Here is a list of factors that can cause such an episode:
  1. Sleeping on your back
  2. Irregular sleeping patterns
  3. Stress
  4. Depression
  5. Anxiety
  6. Lucid dreaming
How to Treat 
Sleep Paralysis
By Mark Orwell, eHow Contributor
Prepare your body for a proper sleep. This means you need to eat well during the day, because sleep is affected by the minerals and nutrients that you put into your body on a regular basis. You also need to set enough time aside for proper sleep, which would be 6- to 8-hour periods. Take less naps and sleep paralysis will be less likely to happen.
If episodes of sleep paralysis continue to persist, you should go to your doctor. He will look you over and tell you if they may be caused by another medical problem, or if he can write a prescription for something that could help.
If a prescription is in order, there are two main ones that will be given. The first is Ritalin, which is taken every morning in order to work during the day. It helps regulate sleep cycles, but it has been documented to treat sleep paralysis in some adults. More success has been seen with the use of Clonazepam. This is taken before sleep and regulates sleep patterns differently and better in relation to sleep paralysis than Ritalin.
When taking any medicine, make sure to follow up with a checkup with your doctor and monitor your sleep paralysis episodes to make sure they are diminishing.
Tips & Warnings
Try sleeping on your side at night. It has been shown that sleeping on your back is a position that may induce periods of sleep paralysis.
When experiencing sleep paralysis, do not concentrate on waking up. Those who suffer from these episodes say it's best to put them out of your mind if possible, which will lessen the extent of the episode.
How to Stop an Attack
of Sleep Paralysis
Nearly everyone suffers from an occasional attack of sleep paralysis. A sleeping person suddenly awakens from a dream to find he or she can't move. Often there seems to be someone else in the room, a malevolent presence who can't be seen or who seems intent on suffocating the sleeper. As frightening as an attack of sleep paralysis may be, a few techniques can stop it and prevent future attacks. Follow these steps to find out how.

Recognize that you're suffering from nothing more than a miscue. Your brain, which prevents you from acting out your dreams by paralyzing your body, simply hasn't realized that you've awakened. It continues to dream, which is why you see things that aren't really there and why you can't move.
Try to break the paralysis by concentrating on moving only one finger or toe. If you can't do this, try moving your eyes, looking side to side as rapidly as you can manage. If you can get a single body part moving, this is often enough to break the paralysis, dispelling the dream images and allowing you to sit up.
Get out of bed. Go to the bathroom or get a drink from the kitchen.
When you return to bed, sleep on your side. Most attacks of sleep paralysis occur to people who sleep on their backs.
To avoid future attacks of sleep paralysis, adopt a regular sleeping schedule. Make sure you're getting adequate rest. Take steps to manage the stress in your daily life. Stop taking sleep aids if you can.

Tips & Warnings
Sleep paralysis is sometimes associated with narcolepsy. If you suffer from sudden attacks of sleepiness during the day, see a doctor.
How to Stop 
Sleep Paralysis
Sleep paralysis is a harmless sleep issue when it is not associated with symptoms of narcolepsy or sleep apnea. Also called isolated sleep paralysis, the condition is marked by awareness of the body's muscle paralysis, or muscle atonia, during REM sleep
Sometimes this disturbing paralysis is accompanied by dreamlike imagery projected into the sleeping space. This hallucinogenic imagery may include the feeling of an intruder in the bedroom
According to researcher J. Allan Cheyne, 25-30% of the population is thought to experience sleep paralysis at least once in their lives. Many guides exist for preventing sleep paralysis, but few discuss what to do during the encounter. 
Although terrifying, sleep paralysis can be stopped with a combination of mental and physical tactics. Controlling fear is the key.

Memorizing an affirmation can reduce fear before and during an attack of sleep paralysis.         
Before going to bed, write a statement such as "I am in sleep paralysis, a natural condition caused by muscle atonia, and I am in no danger." Use your own words, and memorize the statement.
Repeat your affirmation if sleep paralysis occurs while falling asleep or when waking up.
Do not fight against the paralysis. Feelings of pressure will only intensify through resistance. Instead, the key is to relax.
Taking full, deep breaths is an ancient centering technique.  
Notice your breathing. Breathe at a normal pace, but with a full inhale and exhale. Controlling your breathing will help control fear.
Wiggle your toe or your finger. Clenching the fist is also effective. REM muscle atonia is not perfect, and often the extremities can be moved, which can break the paralysis completely.
Cry out for help. Some people can make short sounds, coughs, or moans in sleep paralysis. Train your sleeping partner to wake you if you make a particular sound.
If none of these tactics work, try going with the flow. If you feel you are being "pushed" into the bed, use your will power to pull. This may result in moving into a lucid dream.

Tips & Warnings

Sleep paralysis often occurs several times in a night. To prevent these recurrent episodes, do 10-15 minutes of moderate exercise in your home after awakening. The key is to elevate the heart rate for a sustained and measured time. Use whatever home exercise equipment you have in the house, or walk the stairs. Calisthenics or yoga are more good options. 
While isolated sleep paralysis is harmless, it can be terrifying, provoking anxiety and further sleep fragmentation. Feeling safe is the only "cure" for the emotional components of sleep paralysis, so have a close friend's phone number on hand to call. Therapists, ministers, and dream workers are also trained in natural sleep paralysis treatment.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Sleep Myths

Sleep Myths
Sleep is an important part of being healthy. However, there are many misconceptions and misunderstandings about sleep. Understanding these 10 sleep myths may help you to get better sleep each night.
Myth 1: Sleep is a time when your body and brain shut down for rest and relaxation.
Contrary to popular belief, no major organs or regulatory systems in the body shut down during sleep. Some physiological processes actually become more active while you sleep including the secretion of certain hormones and the activity of the pathways in the brain linked to learning and memory.

Myth 2: Getting just 1 hour less sleep per night than needed will not have any effect on your daytime functioning.  
This lack of sleep may not make you noticeably sleepy during the day. However, even slightly less sleep can affect your ability to think properly and respond quickly. It also negatively impacts your cardiovascular health and energy balance as well as your body’s ability to fight infections, particularly if lack of sleep continues.

Myth 3: Your body adjusts quickly to different sleep schedules.
Your biological clock naturally makes you most alert during the daytime and least alert at night. It can take more than a week to adjust to a substantial change in your sleep-wake cycle. For instance, when you travel across several time zones or switch from working the day shift to the night shift, your biological clock can take several days to catch up.

Myth 4: People need less sleep as they get older.
Older people don’t need less sleep. However, older people may get less sleep or find their sleep less refreshing because the quality of our sleep changes as we age. In addition, older people are more likely to have insomnia or other medical conditions that disrupt their sleep.

Myth 5: Extra sleep for one night can cure you of problems with excessive daytime fatigue.
Not only is the quantity of sleep important, but also the quality of sleep. Some people sleep 8 or 9 hours a night but don’t feel well rested when they wake up because the quality of their sleep is poor. The quality of sleep can be affected by a number of sleep disorders and other medical conditions and simply by sleeping more, it won’t lessen the daytime sleepiness that these disorders or conditions cause. It is also important to remember that one night of increased sleep may not correct multiple nights of inadequate sleep.

Myth 6: You can make up for lost sleep during the week by sleeping more on the weekends.
Although sleeping in on the weekends can help you feel more rested, it will not completely make up for the lack of sleep during the week. Also, you cannot make up for the physical problems that result from lack of sleep by sleeping in on the weekends. Furthermore, sleeping later on the weekends can affect your biological clock, making it much harder to go to sleep at the right time on Sunday nights and get up early on Monday mornings.

Myth 7: Naps are a waste of time.
Although naps are no substitute for a good night’s sleep, they can be restorative and help counter some of the effects of not getting enough sleep at night. One tip…avoid taking naps later than 3pm, particularly if you have trouble falling asleep at night. Late afternoon naps can make it harder for you to fall asleep when you go to bed. Also, it is recommended to limit your naps to no longer than 20 minutes so that you can wake up and get back in the swing of things.

Myth 8: Snoring is a normal part of sleep.
Snoring during sleep is common, particularly as a person gets older; however, evidence is growing that snoring on a regular basis can make you sleepy during the day and increase your risk for diabetes and heart disease. Loud, frequent snoring also can be a sign of sleep apnea, a serious sleep disorder that should be evaluated and treated.

Myth 9: Children who don’t get enough sleep at night will show signs of sleepiness during the day.
Unlike adults, children who don’t get enough sleep at night typically become hyperactive, irritable, and inattentive during the day. Other side effects include increased risk of injury, more behavior problems, and their growth rate may be impaired. It is quite common for children to be misdiagnosed with ADHD when the real culprit is lack of sleep.

Myth 10: The main cause of insomnia is worry.
Although worry or stress can cause a short bout of insomnia, a persistent inability to fall asleep or stay asleep at night can be caused by a number of other factors. Some of these other factors may include: medications, sleep disorders, depression, anxiety disorders, asthma, arthritis, or other medical conditions. Certain medications and sleep disorders can keep you up at night.

Source: Your Guide to Healthy Sleep, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, August 2011.
Sleep Myths

Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday, May 3, 2013