Posts tagged ‘Holly’

April 30, 2019

“Paw-blem” Solving

HollysBoots

Holly is still with us, despite her diagnosis in December 2017.

Unlike the boys, Harley and Murphy, Holly is more high maintenance, which is understandable, given her rough beginning. “Just like her ‘mamma’,” says my husband! (RA tends to make one high maintenance, but that’s a post for another day.)

She has an inexplicable skin condition, which is extremely itchy. Her nerves are impacted because of the location of the tumour. As a result, she doesn’t feel when she has the urge to poop. The solution is to put a diaper on her when she is in the house.

She drags her feet when we go on walks, which has worn down her nails so much, that several of them bleed. Whenever we go out, we now have to put boots on her. It’s like getting a toddler ready to go out to play in below zero weather. It takes us about 10 minutes just to get out the door. It is what it is, though.

It’s a challenge to find something that is suitable for both of us. With my loss of hand strength and dexterity, it is difficult to tighten the straps enough so that the boots stay on during our walks. It helps if the straps are long enough so that I can get a good grip on them.

Here are some of boots we’ve bought (and returned):

  • Jawz for Paws Dog Boots  – Impossible for me to stretch the boot enough to get it onto the  “Jawz” – the device that is supposed to make it easy to put on.
  • Puppy Socks – I liked these, but they wore out in 1 week. It says that the toe is covered in rubber. If that were the case, I’m sure that they would have lasted longer.
  • North Fetch Silicone Dog Boots  – I brought XXXL home from the pet store. Couldn’t even get it on her foot. Even if they were a proper size, they’re not tall enough, so you couldn’t tie the boots on tight enough.
  • Waterproof Mesh Dog Boots – My husband uses these. I find that the velcro is not long enough for me to pinch and give a good tightening tug.

Since I couldn’t find any boots that worked, I decided to get some made for Holly. (I’d do it myself, but I don’t have a heavy-duty sewing machine.) We had an old boot that belonged to Harley, which worked pretty well, until she wore a hole in it.

I stopped at the shoemaker to ask him to sew a pair for Holly from a pattern I had traced from Harley’s boot. He told me that he didn’t have any appropriate material from which to make it.

Undaunted, I stopped a thrift store, where I found a pair of men’s heavy duty work gloves that would work. I brought them and my pattern back to the shoemaker. To prolong the life of the boots, I asked him to sew leather over the toes. They were ready in a couple of hours.

DogBoots

To keep them on, I wrap a strip of velcro around the boot and off we go. If they do fall off, which isn’t often, when I can get the velcro pulled tight enough, the bright orange boots are easy to spot.

“Pawblem”solved!

May 10, 2018

Boo-Boos, Helichrysum Essential Oil and Epsom Salts

Boo-boos – we all get them. Big ones and small ones. Nor are our four-legged friends immune from them! I first witnessed the miracle of Helichrysum essential oil when I used it on the hematoma in Holly’s ear. Imagine half a ping pong ball in your ear. No wonder poor Holly was constantly shaking her head.

HollyEar

The vet told us that it would take a couple of months before the blood in the hematoma would be reabsorbed and her ear would return to normal.

I didn’t want her to suffer that long, though. I had learned about the wonders of Helichrysum essential oil from an aromatherapist. I wanted a superior product, so I ordered some Helichrysum from Purify Skin Therapy. It worked like magic! Within a week of daily applications of a few diluted drops, Holly’s ear had almost returned to normal. I was sold!

Last week, I stumbled on a step. Fortunately, I didn’t break anything, but I did hurt myself in several places. I had bad bruising and swelling in my left ring finger, as well my left ankle and toes.

finger

When I awoke the next morning, I was concerned that I would have to get my rings cut off as my finger looked like a sausage. Not a breakfast one, neither, but more like a Bratwurst. (Yes, a wee bit of exaggeration!) Then, I remembered that I had some Helichrysum essential oil. I prepared a dilution and applied it to my finger and foot. By the evening, my finger had returned to an almost normal size, even though it was still bruised. My toes and ankle are taking longer, especially since they weren’t in great shape to begin with. In addition to using Helichrysum essential oil, I’ve been soaking in Epsom salts, which has helped to reduce the pain. Oh, that magnesium! By the way, it is not uncommon for RA patients to be deficient in magnesium.

Note to self: If I ever injure my ring finger again, remember to remove my rings while the removin’ is still good!

 

About essential oils:

You want a trusted source. You pay more for this precious oil. A good quality (and effective) Helichrysum oil is very expensive, but when you learn about the harvest, you’ll understand why.

Helichrysum

Holly Draper, who owns Purify Skin Therapy, is a certified clinical aromatherapist. She cares about her products and she cares about you! If you have questions, she’ll take the time to answer them. (Like whether it is safe to use her Peppermint oil in baking? “Yes, experiment with it, ours is ingestible, being USDA certified organic. But use only very small amounts. It’s really strong.”)

Besides Helichrysum essential oil and epsom salts, what else do you have in your first aid kit?

In my next post, learn about the one trick I taught Holly that every dog should know in case of a medical emergency.

 

Related posts:

January 10, 2018

#545 – How to Massage Away Scar Tissue for Hand Mobility

HandScar

“You have to continually massage the scar tissue.” I heard it over and over again, from the surgeon, the occupational therapist (OT), and the physiotherapist (PT).

The body produces extra collagen and deposits it to promote healing and strengthen the tissue after surgery or injury. It’s important to regularly massage it in order to soften the scar tissue tissue. When scar tissue builds up, it can restrict movement and reduce function.

Now I know why my mom’s cesarean scar looked the way it did. I remember being perplexed and somewhat fascinated by how it looked like a rough, tightly knotted cord. In those days, they were quite liberal with the knife, so her scar ran from her pubic bone to just below her solar plexus. (All 3 of us were not easy deliveries!) She never mentioned it, but it must have been uncomfortable whenever she stretched.

If I don’t regularly massage the raised ribbon of tissue that runs along the incision site, I can feel tightness whenever I open my hand. However, massaging it can be a challenge, especially if you have weak and/or sore hands. I have trouble applying enough pressure to soften the scar tissue, so I’ve found ways to work around that.

I regularly use a roller ball, along with some of my other massage tools, but when these gadgets aren’t at hand, there are other sneaky ways to massage my scar.

I rub my palm:

  • Over a doorknob.
  • Along the edge of a mug.
  • On the steering wheel when I’m stopped at a red light.
  • Along the edge of a table or desk.
  • Over Holly’s hard head! She especially likes the pressure on her ears!

HollyEarScratch

March 23, 2017

#521- Scissors – Making Them Work

A while back, my thumb was “misbehaving”. I wanted to sew a new jacket for Holly, as she had manged to chew through her old one. The poor girl had an itch she just had to scratch, and the only way to do so was to get rid of her jacket.

I had trouble cutting the fabric because of my sore thumb. It occurred to me to apply one of the same principles I use when trying to solve other problems, which is to look at it from another vantage point. In this case, it was simple. Turn the scissors upside down and put my other fingers in the hole normally reserved for the thumb. This allowed the force required to cut through the fabric to come from my other fingers, rather than from my sore thumb.

Fabric – cut. Jacket – sewn. Holly – warm!

 

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