My princesses

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Sava Sara Brakada, AKA Xsara was born on 06-27-2004. She was raised in Kennel Brakada spending the first two months of her life on beautiful countryside Gorenjska (Slovenia) with her siblings and parents. As soon as she came to Ljubljana we started a puppy class, followed by an obedience class. She passed her B-bh exam with 96 points (instructor Agility EO winner Polona Bonač). We now continue with Rally-Obedience under Polona's supervision. Our biggest passion however is Agility. We started our first Agility class in October 2005 (club Agility Ilirija, instructor Silvia Trkman, two times agility world champion). When Silvia stopped teaching agility classes, we switched to Daša Zakotnik. We regularly participate in Agility trials in Slovenia and sometimes abroad. Xsara also loves to learn new dog tricks, you can see some of them in our videos. Her other passions include long walks, big meals and playing with dogs, specially her pyr shep sister Tani, her crazy agility pals and her sister Sena.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Never Boring!

I am happy to report that Xsara keeps getting better and better. We had a check up at our vet and he was very glad to see her doing so well. We now know that the meds are definitely working, so he prolonged this therapy until the beginning of December. We are taking it easy while she's on two strong antibiotics and acid inhibitors, but resting totally bores her :) So I am doing my best to occupy her with easy but very fun stuff while she is recovering from this illness. Thanks to Azu for a great toy idea you can see on the picture. It's a maze made out of PVC pipes. You put a ball in the maze and the dog's task is to get the toy out, using his paws, mouth and, naturally, brain. We are having a lot of fun with it.

This weekend we had a very nice weather and we spent most of the time outside. The vet said she can run as much as she likes to, as long as it's relaxing and she doesn't get overly excited. So we had two fun outings. Yesterday we were doggy sitting Xsara's niece Luna. We took the girls to the spring of river Krka where we went for a long walk and they could play in the meadows. We really liked having Luna around, she is a very cool dog.

And today the weather got even better, the sun was shining and the day was perfect for a hike. Of course, hiking would still be too much for Xsara, but we know that she absolutely adores the fresh air and long walks where she can be off leash, so we decided to take her to Velika Planina. It's a big Alpine meadow and you can get to it by rail car. We went for a very long walk up there and there was even some snow on the top, so Xsara had a great time. You can see how she learned to ice skate on a little frozen lake:

And here are some other pictures from this walk:

Monday, November 17, 2008

Finally Some Good News!

Seems like the medicines are starting to show their positive effect! Yesterday evening the feces were brown and more compact with no blood in them, and this morning half black half brown, which is very very good (the organism calms down at night and mornings are usually the worst part of the day for ulcer patients). I've never been so excited about poop before, but today I definitely am!
Also, we finished the box of anti-vomiting medications two days ago, and she hasn't thrown up since she's off pills. Hopefully she will continue to feel better and better, now that we definitely know that the meds are working properly.
Thanks to everyone sending us positive vibes, we are very grateful for all your messages of comfort. Currently I don't have much time for blogging, but will visit all of your blogs to thank you individually as soon as I can.
We also have a treat for all agility freaks: Xsara is on the official Slovenian agility calendar again, this year she is miss September. The calendar is made by the staff of Agility Portal Slovenije.

Update: We just got the test results for ehrlichiosis from the Faculty of Medicine. They test two blood samples using two different methods. Both results were negative, so Xsara does not have ehrichiosis!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

More Updates

Big thanks to everyone expressing concerns about Xsara's health. It's nice to know that there are so many people who care about her. I wish I could tell you we finally have some good news, but unfortunately she's still not well.
She was constipated for 3 days, didn't poop at all. We went back to the vet and he X-rayed her. There is no blockage in her digestive tract, which is good, so he told us to include some flax seeds and more rice in her diet. That helped and she can now poop again, but her feces are still black, which is bad. It means she is loosing a lot of blood and that there is still blood in her digestive tract. She is also a little hypothermic, but not pallid. I am very worried, but luckily the vet calmed me down a lot. Her body weight hasn't changed a bit, which is also good and she seems to feel fine. I'm trying to be calm, even though I am incredibly worried about her. I will keep you posted on her condition.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More Bad News

Xsara felt better for a couple of days. And then yesterday she started throwing up again - luckily she didn't vomit any blood this time, but there was blood in her excreta. So we went back to the vet. He performed an ultrasound exam on her and had plenty to see! Her entire intestines and stomack are inflamed, and she does also have ulcer. She was prescribed stronger antibiotics and a more powerful inhibitor of gastric acid, plus he gave her something to stop the vomiting. She is not feeling well at all, she sleeps all the time and really is low on energy.

We have absolutely no idea why this happened! But she is very pain tolerant and it's most likely that her tummy has been bothering her for quite a while and she didn't show it to us (apart from occasionally throwing up saliva after eating notable amounts of corn in the field, but I'm quite sure that's a normal reaction). The whole thing is weird because she is not stressed out and she NEVER got any medications that are known to cause ulcer (Rymadyl, Medrol, Aspirin ...). Some vets think it's possible that my absence set it off, specially if she had a pre-existing condition (if that was more of a stress than we thought) - or it could simply be bacterial. We honestly don't know at this point. But the main thing right now is for her to recover fast and be her happy, carefree self again.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Little Update

We've seen 4 different vets in the past few days and consulted some other people who could help us out. Luckily, most of them agree with the first diagnosis (ulcer), which is not the nicest diagnosis to have, but it's better than the alternative. However we're testing her for ehrlichiosis as well, just in case (although it's far less likely). We're expecting the results to come in in a couple of days.

The main problem is that although the vets agree with the diagnosis, they have different opinions on the best way to treat ulcer. So I have to decide between 3 different medications. Big thanks to our famous agility friend who has riecently been through a smiliar situation and has done many many research on the subject, for sharing what she's learned with us. Having all this information made my decision a lot easier.

Xsara is currently feeling a lot better, she hasn't thrown up since we started her treatment, she is playful and has appetite. But she does sleep more than usually and likes to press next to me all the time. We're very grateful to everyone sending her positive vibes! To lighten things up a bit, I'm finally posting a couple of photos from EO:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Bad News!

Our little girl is sick again :( She threw up brown saliva this morning and this usually means blood in the digestive tract, so I rushed her to the vet. Since this wasn't the first time she's vomited in the past months (although blood was involved for the first time), the vets suspect it's ulcer (although it could still be just gastritis). They started her on antibiotics and two other medications, strict diet (no food for 24 hours!) and no stress. We have another appointment tomorrow and we'll see if she will feel better and if they will have to do any more tests, however she will most likely be on medications for at least one whole month. Side effects are mild, but she could feel tired a lot and be low on energy. I really hope she'll feel better soon, all I want is for her to be a healthy and happy little dog!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Together Again!

I've been back at home for 3 days now but haven't been able to post much because I've been busy bonding with Xsara. Many people asked me how she deals with my absence and I haven't really been able to answer because I've never been away for an entire week without her. But now I can tell you that she actually took it very well. She would mostly sleep while Gas was at work and they spent the rest of the time taking looooong walks, even though it was raining all the time. They went to a beagle convention organised by our breeder and Xsara had fun seeing many of her siblings and other relatives. But by the end of the week she was getting a little nervous and would watch the door more than usually.

I missed her like crazy, but the trip I took with my grandfather was amazing. I've always wanted to go to Africa and now I was able to see a little piece of it. I really hope to experience more of this oncredible land some day, and it will be easier now that I know that Xsara would be OK with me gone for a week or two. Anyway, I took many pictures and here are some of the most interesting ones:

As I said, I missed Xsara like crazy and was really anxious to see her when we landed. When we got home she jumped in my arms, gave me a big wet kiss and then went sniffing around our room to see if everything was the same. She really didn't make a big hello out of it, but I think it's because she knows that we belong together and that I would never leave her. However for the next 3 nights she would sleep so close to me that she almost pushed me off the bed.

To reassure her that we will now continue to do all the fun things together, I immediately took her out for a long frisbee session and yesterday we went for a nice trip. Gas wanted to go to the sea and I wanted to visit my beloved Isonzo river, so we went for a hike to waterfall Boka and then to watch the sunset and have a dinner by the beach in Lucija. Luckily, Slovenia is small enough so that you can do all of it in one day :)