Run A Muck Ranch News Bulletin 10/6/13

Sarah Tipping Banned at Run A Muck Ranch

The primary symptom of Sarah’s neurological problems is her wobbly gait.   Sarah falling down is a common occurence, but she handles it in typical pit bull fashion:  She gets up and goes on with her life.

Sarah found a great bone out on a walk!
Sarah found a great bone out on a walk!

Somewhere along the line, Mortimer and Slugger realized that, unlike the other dogs of Run A Muck Ranch, Sarah isn’t very steady on her feet, and as a result, have come up with a new sport:  Sarah Tipping.

Of late, the boys have taken the sport to an extreme, leaving poor Sarah in a constant state of ‘splat’.  Though Sarah doesn’t seem to have a problem being a toy, The Crazy Dog Lady has banned this exploitative and evil sport under threat of the participants being traded for house plants.

Morty and Slugger are not pleased.

In a Life or Death Situation, Marcy Chose The Crazy Dog Lady

After being rained out from work early one day, Crazy took Mortimer, Slugger, Emmi, Hector and Marcy out on the desert to play in the mud and puddles.  Not long after beginning the walk, the sprinkles turned to a torrential rainfall.  We’re not talking a hard rain here, we’re talking sheets!

With the Waggin’ Wagon parked up hill from the play area, the entire brood had to walk against a mountain wide waterfall to get to get back to it.  There was no shelter anywhere else, and some of the kids, at least those who live with the belief that rain water would melt them, (though they will dive head first into a pond)  were not happy in the least, so waiting out the storm was not an option either.

The force of the water moving downhill was too strong for Hector and Marcy to move against, so Crazy had to carry them. Hector was placed on a boulder while Crazy carried Marcy up first, leaving her with Emmi, Slugger and Mortimer, already heading back to the Waggin’ Wagon.  Crazy then went back to get Hector.  Half way back down the hillside, Marcy flew by Crazy, half running, half sliding on her butt, Bush Baby eyes bulging.

Rather than stay with, and/or flee to the protection of the Waggin’ Wagon with The Idiots and her besty, Marcy chose to ‘risk her life’ to stay with her mom.

Wow! (And sniffle)

Marcy is always happiest when she is playing on the desert.
Marcy is always happiest when she is playing on the desert.

In a related story, the Waggin’ Wagon is in need of a serious internal odor recalibration after having sat for nearly 2 hours with 1 soaked human and 5 wet dogs, trapped on one side of a flooded wash.  Though everyone did eventually make it home safely, the Waggin’ Wagon, and Crabby who had to drive it the next day, were not in a good way.

Maude is Completely Deaf

Crabby never hears a word Crazy says, but that’s a man thing.  Maude, Queen of Run A Muck Ranch and #1 Daddy’s Girl is the same way.  Most of her life, Maude’s failure to hear was by choice and out of loyalty to her Dad.   Now, it’s an elder issue.

Run A Muck Ranch is quite familiar with dogs with selective hearing, but one who hears no sound at all is a new experience.  That being said, in short order, a system of hand signals has been choreographed and Maude responds quite well to them.  Aside from communication with these signals, there have been no changes at all in Maude’s life.  She still loves a car ride, still loves her Daddy and can still go on Desert Walks.

The only difference on walks that have resulted from Maude's deafness is that we, and she, maintain more eye contact.  Everything else is the same.
The only difference on walks that have resulted from Maude’s deafness is that we, and she, maintain more eye contact. 

Fortunately, hugs carry the same meaning without sound as they do with sound, so no modifications have had to be made in that department.

If you ask Crazy, she will say Maude’s last legacy to The Ranch is to train her and Crabby so they are prepared to take the auditorily challenged in the future.

Run A Muck Ranch Being Overrun With Ticks

Run A Muck Ranch has existed in a bugless state until last year, when the ticks started to show up.  This year the ticks came back, with a vengeance.

So far, just about every brand on the market; collars, drops, foggers, fumigators, sprays, shampoos, dusts and dips, have been put into service, but alas, the ticks are at this point, mocking the humans of Run A Muck Ranch, more particularly, The Crazy Dog Lady.

During the summer, walks are far and few in between, so bringing ticks in from that route is unlikely, at least to cause the infestation we are experiencing.  There are no plants, per se, in the yard where the dogs play.  Run A Muck Ranch exists in an area of no lawns, no new development, and therefore no vectors to suddenly and without warning bring ticks in – especially when there have been no life changes in the first 16 tickles years at The Ranch.  It is unknown where the ticks are coming from.  Believing the source might be somehow inside the house, said house was bombed, several times, with several different products.

It appears the ticks find the active ingredients in all bombs to be an aphrodisiac.

A completely unrelated pic of Franky and Angus thrown in, just because.
A completely unrelated pic of Franky and Angus thrown in, just because.

Garlic and Apple Cider Vinegar already proved their worthlessness last year, so they were not tried again this year.

In case there happens to be a tick expert reading this:  While the ticks are relatively constant, the number fluctuates one month low, the next month high, if that gives any additional information that might help rid The Ranch of the scourge.

It has gotten to the point the Run A Muck Ranch inhabitants resemble a group of monkeys with the humans checking for and picking ticks every night from the dogs.

If ANYONE has ANY idea on how to get rid of  ticks that can apparently survive a nuclear disaster, PLEASE SHARE!!!

Slugger Continues to do Well Sans Valley Fever Treatment

With the 1800% increase in the price of Fluconazole, Run A Muck Ranch had to make the painful decision to remove Slugger, who never  showed symptoms, from treatment.  He has been off Fluconazole for 4 months as of now, with no adverse effects.

It is possible for a creature (human or furry) to have Valley Fever, but never have a symptom.  So far, Slugger is proving to be one such creature.

His treatment plan moving forward will be annual titer checks.  If he starts to show symptoms, he will be put back on Fluconazole.

Not the way a sick dog usually acts!
Not the way a sick dog usually acts!


Sarah’s Response to Amantadine Sways Jury Away From Valley Fever Caused Symptoms

Sarah stopped treating for Valley Fever at the same time Slugger did, but for different reasons.  Sarah has many problems which may or may not have been related to Valley Fever, depending on which vet we spoke to.  Problem was, full dose Fluconazole made Sarah sick, so she only got half dose with the hope that it would simply slow the disease.

Around the time Sarah was removed from Valley Treatment, Amantadine was added to her pain management regimen.  Since starting Amantadine, there has been such a dramatic improvement that Sarah has not needed her Prednisone nor Tramadol.  Sarah is more active, vocal and playful.  Actually, more than she has ever been since becoming a resident of The Ranch.

The marked improvement in Sarah now has the jury swinging in the direction that Valley Fever was never a cause for Sarah’s problems, and that she has improved despite ceasing treatment for Valley Fever means our decision to remove her from treatment was forgivable since it apparently was never necessary to begin with.


Sarah will always be wobbly and things will always be closer to her than they appear (at least to her), but she feels good, and that’s what’s important.

In a related story:  If readers will remember, early on, the veterinarians all gave Sarah maybe 2 years before euthanasia was the only kind option.  She will have been a treasured resident of Run A Muck Ranch for 3 years come January, and she is healthier and happier now than she was when the original diagnoses were made.  NEVER accept as gospel that there is an expiration date!

Emmi’s Most Recent Valley Fever Titer Check Comes Back Negative!

Before anyone gets excited, a fluctuation in titers is normal for Valley Fever.  Still, we will be trying Emmi at 1/2 dose Fluconazole for 6 months, and if her titers remain negative, or at least low, she will at most require maintenance and not treatment doses.

Since Emmi has remained consistently low the last few titer checks, not only will her Floconazole be reduced, so will her maintenance checks.  Rather than blood draws every 3 months, we can now go to every 6 months.  Our bank account is very happy right now.

Even if we can beat the Valley Fever, the damage to Emmi's bones is irreversible.  A body in motion stays in motion, so we will just continue to make sure Emmi's body is always in motion, with lots of fun hikes!
Even if we can beat the Valley Fever, the damage to Emmi’s bones is irreversible. A body in motion stays in motion, so we will just continue to make sure Emmi’s body is always in motion, with lots of fun hikes!

12 thoughts on “Run A Muck Ranch News Bulletin 10/6/13

  1. Poor Sarah. Yes, storm season has just started for us. We don’t get much in this corner of the place, but we do get “sideswiped” from time to time and last week was one such time. We don’t really have a tick problem here only flies by million – clouds of them. I have noticed more and more people are starting to wear the “Net Hats” sort of like the kind of thing a beekeeper would wear – all to keep the flies off the face and reduce the risk of eye infections. I will have the Man at the vet sometime this week – at the moment vets here are busy treating for Parvovirus, which has raised its ugly head this year. My two are vaccinated already.

    1. Somehow I’m thinking we’re better off living with the ticks than having the fly problem you do! Ticks carry disease, but since there are no people with lime disease living close, and there are no deer the kids come in contact with, I think we are just stuck with the bug problem.

    2. PS: Vaccination is so easy, it’s a shame others in your area can’t be bothered. Look out though, even with vaccination, your dogs could still get symptoms. It won’t develop into full blown Parvo, but they can still get sick.

  2. With far less dogs than you, we have run the gambit of sick dogs. Our highest ever residency was five and as I’ve mentioned before, we are down to one little wild Chihuahua, Ms. Skeeter, named after a mosquito cause she is all over us. I so admire your (and Crabby’s) dedication and devotion to your babies. Just wanted to tell you that…Jeanne Marie

  3. Oh no… ticks???? We haven’t had any here in New River ever and we don’t take any preventative measures (except for August on our trip to Montana).

    1. Back in 2001, when the Love we knew as Stella came to live with us, she was infested with ticks. We cleaned her up and never saw another one, not even a single, odd tick, even after Crabby and Morty’s trips up north. Then last year we started seeing them. This year, it’s just insane and we don’t know where they’re coming from! At this point we have decided no more chemical. We have tried everything with no result, and at this point, if given the choice between getting ticks or poisoning the kids – we’re going with the ticks!.

    1. You can’t cuddle a plant though… and I’ve never had a plant make me laugh. Thinking I should just keep The Idiots and prevent them from Tipping Sarah 🙂

    1. I post little blurbs to the FB page so I don’t forget, especially when so much time has gone by between news bulletins. Bummer for the FB followers getting the news twice 🙂

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