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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Good news and a coyote brigade

Good news - R's ultrasound showed that he has "gorgeous" internal organs with no signs of disease. Personally, it would never occur to me to call a kidney "gorgeous" but I was happy to hear the word! That finding rules out several possible causes of his crazy drinking. Two possibilities remain: diabetes insipidis and an obsessive-compulsive drive to drink. We all think that the latter will be the final diagnosis but we need to rule out diabetes insipidis since that requires treatment. So, he'll probably have one more round of tests to make sure that his kidneys are capable of doing their job.

Amazingly, R needed no sedation for his ultrasound. The ultrasound vet said that R reminded her of Marley from "Marley and Me". I beg to differ! Although both R and Marley have/had a voracious appetite for crazy behavior, R is reasonably well trained!

This morning, the day broke cold (a few degrees over freezing) and crystal clear. K and I mountain biked together, and I gave her some extensive, but closely supervised, muzzle breaks. She galloped enthusiastically through an aspen grove.
As we'd ridden through the forest, the air had warmed by at least 20°F, and I savored the kiss of the autumn sun on my face, knowing that the snow could fly soon. K seemed to love it too!
Some flowers still bloomed, including a favorite bright aster with a skipper drinking nectar from it. His long proboscis reached into the heart of the flower. Pollen dusted his legs like gold powder.
Just as we arrived home, I stopped in my tracks simply astounded by the golden beauty that we were immersed in.
In the middle of the golden world shown above, my narrow trail coursed through the shoulder-high grass and aspen trees. To answer the questions posed by several of you, when I mountain bike, I follow established trails that are used by hikers, bikers, runners, horse-back riders, and wild animals. The more worn paths are ones that are older and/or used more frequently. In contrast, when I hike, I tend to wander away from these human trails and explore faint animal trails. Sometimes, it's even hard to discern where these trails are - I'm following vague signs of a trodden path. If I took a photo, an animal path would certainly not look obvious.

Today, I checked a wildlife camera, and I discovered that a brigade of coyotes had visited it. This site is very close (within 50 yards) to the bear marking tree and the bobcat scent post that I've shown you footage from recently. I think that I've stumbled upon an extremely active communication center for our wild animals.

One after another, the coyotes each marked a scraped up animal bed. Three of the four slightly raised one hind leg as they urinated. I'm guessing that more dominant coyotes, male or female, raise a leg when marking but I am not certain. I'm going to research coyote marking behavior more when I have time.

And, finally, sunset. It's such a tranquil and gorgeous time at the end of a day.


  1. I haven't been keeping up with every one's blogs this week, but I am glad R is okay and hope that it will prove to just be a desire to drink!

    I am envious thinking of you guys rolling through the crisp, cool forest, with all of those beautiful colors around you!

  2. This post gets a THREE G Rating!

    For R!
    For the coyotes!!
    For the sunset!!!

  3. Such wonderful news on R - we bet that put a big smile on your face. As did that glorious sunset.

  4. Glad to hear the ultrasound produced good news. Seems you had a great day!

  5. I hope they didn't shave too much to do the ultrasound. If so, I'll bet R is a bit chilly in the mornings.

    Hope the diagnosis comes soon. I'm not sure which might be the better one. The DI while expensive to treat is treatable and sometimes goes away. I can't imagine how you would treat obsessive drinking, especially with another dog in the home. But I'm sure there is a program for that.

    The photographs are as gorgeous as R's kidney.

  6. The clouds in that sunset look like tattered clouds. K looks very pleased with herself to have eluded the dreaded muzzle for awhile. I'm so glad R seems OK - I was wondering about diabetes, but hopefully, that will also be ruled out. Finally, I had no idea ALL the coyotes passing a spot would need to mark. PS Found some interesting scat today - be ready for an E-mail!

  7. The first thing I thought of with R was Cushings Disease, since excessive drinking is part of that, but I am glad that wasn't mentioned. It will be good to hear just what it is when it gets diagnosed.

    Love the sunset!

    Jo and Stella

  8. I'm glad R was so well-behaved this morning! I'll bet he was happy to get out of there and come home.

    That sunset is just gorgeous! I'm not sure I'm ready to think about twenty degree mornings, though! Brrr!

    P.S. I sent you the info, hopefully it went through!

  9. We went through something similar with Sir Bear. He was drinking like he could never get enough, and that in turn increased his need to relieve himself. After lot's of tests and $$$$$$$$, we put him on a round of antibiotics and it seems to have fixed it. He still drinks more than anyone else, but he isn't having anymore "accidents". Hopefully yours will be as simple!

    Emma Rose

  10. so glad the U/S was first thought was diabetes...hopefully not, and just i love my water crazy!
    great video of the coyotes!! i say 2 males and 2 females..
    just love the aspen tree serene...
    have a great weekend!

  11. Glad to hear about R and loved the picture of K galloping through the aspens!

    Thanks for the explanation of your trails .. it just seemed you were always in the middle of nowhere, rarely seeing anyone yet there were those worn paths.

    The coyote brigade was too funny and quite interesting.

  12. oh man, i'm behind in reading AGAIN. so sorry about R.... but he's soooo like Juno. she took a nail through her paw and walked into the vet office w/o any crying, nothing. then she had all sorts of spinal and joint taps w/o sedation. that dog is STOIC. but pour a little water on her for a bath, and I'm killing her. ;) LOL.

    anyway, so glad R got the "beautiful" comment. I also like it when they say "boring" ... cuz that means nothing is wrong!

    wags, wiggles and woos from CH!

  13. I'm not up-to-date in reading your blog so I missed about R part but glad to hear that ultrasound looks gorgeous!
    K looks good in those pictures.

  14. Glad the tests for R ruled some things out!!!
    Love the aspen grove and K enjoying the sunshine!
    That is a great cayote capture! The location of the camera is a perfect height.

    Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
    Sierra Rose

  15. Healthy looking coyotes. Guess the feeding has been good for them.

    For R - Qannik has a psychosis around water, too, which we got to after ruling out all of the physical issues (he did have a series of bladder infections when we got him that took months of treatments to solve). We know he spent much of his first year in a suspended cage because of the damage done to his paws - and, when not in a cage, he was tied up (rope burns around his neck). Some theory that perhaps he was denied water and thus feels the need to consume as much as possible (and, to compound things, he does not seem to feel any warnings that he needs to urinate until he NEEDS to)

    Thus, we are always reminding him that he has had enough water (and that he needs to go outside). We have worked a lot with him, but not sure we will ever have to stop reminding him.

  16. I know so many dogs who've had a recent thirst issue. I hope it resolves soon and that all the tests come back negative.


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