26 April 2016

Painting The Big Barn

Painting The Big Barn

Painting The Big Barn

I painted the lower half of the barn Sunday, we got some red stain at the hardware store and it only took me a couple of hours. I loved this chore, I stood out in the pasture with Red and Fate nearby and the donkeys closely watching and covered over the new plans we put in after the donkeys ate some of the others.

I went as high as I could go. Soon, Maria will get on a ladder and take care of the fading boards higher up. The barn looks good, it is great fun to paint an old barn.

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Waiting Room

Waiting Room

Waiting Room

This scene seemed kind of Norman Rockwell'ish to me, we were in the waiting room of the Cambridge Valley Veterinary Service, Red is being treated there for arthritis, Fate for torn paw pads. They both waited calmly in the waiting room with Maria.

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Fate’s Turn: Torn Paw Pads

Fate's Turn

Fate's Turn

Today it was  Fate's turn to go to the vet. She started limping last night, and we found that her two front paw pads had been torn up during a period of intense turning and running around the sheep. Border collies are notorious stoics, they often work through pain and injury. The pads were pretty badly chewed up, so we went to the Cambridge Veterinary Service once more – we have been there a lot this week – and Cassandra and Dr. Roosevelt took a look.

Fate was overjoyed to see both of them, full of wiggles and licks, she happily rolled over onto her back so her feet could be examined. No treatment for other, other than to keep her quiet (right) and keep the paws clean. No bleeding, just some tears on both pads.

Our feeling is if we keep the running down, the pads will heal by themselves, a bandage would not last long on Fate.

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Wind Chime – Back Porch

Wind Chime, Back Porch

Wind Chime, Back Porch

In black and white, this wind chime seemed different to me, it drew my attention I never thought to take a photo of it before. My idea of what a photograph is, is broadening The photo works in black and white, in color it would not have called to me. I'm not sure why.

Thinking hard about the lens I am going to trade for in New York this weekend, either a Canon 35 mm or a Zeiss 35 mm, recommended to me by many photographers. I'll see how much money I have left over when I trade in several of my lenses and an old camera body. Paring down, less is more.

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Understanding Laser Treatment For Animals

Understanding Laser Treatment

Understanding Laser Treatment

Red completed the second of four laser treatments for his arthritis, and to date, his pain and stiffness have almost entirely disappeared. I realized this week – and in response to many questions – that I didn't fully understand the biological effects of laser treatment for animals, it is a fairly new development in the veterinary world.

First off, laser equipment is expensive, my vet – the Cambridge Veterinary Service – offers special rates for people who buy the treatment in bundles, in this case, four treatments. That cost $150, paid up front. I went online and also asked our vet, Dr. Suzanne Fariello, how laser surgery worked. Red has two more treatments to go.

Laser treatment is not simple to understand or explain, but I'll give it a shot here.

Simply, laser surgery decreases inflammation by reducing (killing) chemicals that cause inflammation. It also heals by increasing circulation around damaged or swollen or inflamed areas. It  manages pain by increasing endorphins, hormones that activate the animals opiate receptors – pain killers – thus managing or decreasing pain.

The lasers also speed up cell growth, and help produce healthy new cells to replace the older and sometimes damaged ones. They increase the energy available to the cells so that they can take on nutrients and discharge waste products more quickly.

Lasers reduce the formation of excessive scar tissue caused by arthritis or join wear and damage and  join function. This make sit easier for the animal to move comfortably. I saw instantly that Red was running more smoothy after the treatment, his limp was gone.

Dr. Fariello also sent me a link to a site that details the biological effect of lasers on animal injuries, it was helpful.

The transformation in Red's case was quite striking, and almost instantaneous.

He was struggling to stand up, and limping badly. He was sluggish and uncomfortable, he seemed to be in constant pain. All of those symptoms disappeared within 24 hours. I am also giving him anti-inflammatory medication twice a day, advanced joint medication tablets and considered some massage by the trained vet techs in the veterinary practice.

Dr. Fariello was impressive, she diagnosed Red quickly and without the need for X-rays or anesthesia. The cost was just about $300, that included four visits for laser treatment, medication and diagnosis.

I would recommend this treat for arthritis, older dogs, joint or muscle pain or injury. It is not intrusive or invasive, the dog has to get used to the goggles, that was the trickiest part. There is no pain or injecting.

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