Oh Erin, this is so great that he's feeling better this morning. Don't kid yourself, I'm sure he's already attached to you and will be following you around the house all day as soon as he is able
I think you would have had to keep Bentley and Arabella separated initially anyway to assess his temperment at home and allow him a bit of time to heal and get settled. I know this must be very hard worrying about passing the infection but maybe he won't be contagious after he is on the meds for a few days, your vet will know best. She may even take a chest xray to see exactly what's going on.
That's so great that he is housetrained and he very well may be able to aid you in getting Arabella on track, . See if you can teach him to ring the bells when he goes to the door, I really have had great success with bell training and it may make it "click" for Arabella.
I know the vet wants him to put weight on and get to a healthy weight quickly but free feeding may not be the right answer. I'm sure you will know in a day or so if you can gradually increase his feeding amount and decrease the amount of feedings. There is a recipe floating around for a treat you can make to add weight with good healthy ingredients, I will look for it.
I am so happy for you all.
Arabella may be the one that will find it the most difficult to adjust, so be sure to keep giving her the same attention as you always have (I'm sure you will).
It's actually probably a good thing that they are in the house together but separate for a while. Bentley will pick up the family smell, and won't seem so strange, or so much "the intruder" to the little princess. And no one will get too overwhelmed too quickly.
When I adopted Buddy - he was 8.5yrs old and very skinny also. Not quite as skinny as Bentley, but his back bone was like a ladder too - and his little nubbin was all skin and bone. I fed him four times a day for the first two weeks, then cut it to three times a day with more food per feeding. It didn't take very long at all for him to pick up weight. Doing what you are doing, lots of little feedings with high quality food, you will see a difference in as little as two weeks. And he should start looking almost normal in a month or so.
In two or three months, you may have to start cutting back on his food intake because he'll still be packing it on!!
If he's young, like they think he may actually grow as well as fill out. So you may have a larger boxer than you think!!
It will be interesting to see what your vet thinks his age is... and about the infection (why didn't that show up in the pre-op blood work??!!).
FYI: I fostered for a shelter once, that had ridiculous rules too. They refused to take the advice of their own vet several times when I was there. So I stopped volunteering with them. I just couldn't go on afraid that one day, their idiocy would kill a perfectly adoptable pet. They made several very sick from negligence and refusal to bend the "rules" on a case by case basis.
Bentley is a very lucky boy - whatever his life was before. You never know what happened to the previous owners. He may very well have been loved. But, I believe he is better off now. I'm amazed how many people still do not chip their pets.
Kisaq thank you for the encouragement. You have NO IDEA how much I needed that this evening. So reality has set in and I had a good cry. Not even sure why! It was just me here for the first time today and I felt so guilty no matter what I did. If I stayed with Bentley Arabella was whining and fussing wanting in, and when I was with Arabella, Bentley was whining. He is fine as long as somebody is in the room with him. So when my oldest daughter got home from school I put him in his crate and she just watched TV in the same room with him and he was fine. I just don't want the kids alone with him for awhile , he seems like so easy going about everything. But I just don't want to be too slack on carefulness. But then I felt so bad he is crated. After being in the shelter for so long I hate to do that. And he's so good. Dh slept in the same room with him last night and he slept on floor beside the couch , didn't get up all night. .. He really is a sweet heart. I washed him down today with a wet rag and puppy shampoo. He was perfect. He stood perfectly still. Didn't move. I have noticed when I'm messing with him he kinda hangs his head. I can't really explain it, he tucks his Nubby in and hangs his head. I cleaned inside his ears with cleaner, and checked his paws and nails, just various things and its like your abusing him! He acts so strange.he doesn't resisit one bit. Just very sulky... I think I'm forgetting he's been through so much. He was picked up as a stray so who knows how long he had been outside. We have had way more snow then usual this winter so I have no idea how he managed to survive.
I do agree it was a blessing in disguise having to keep them separate. On a lot of levels. I'm sure I'll start to find little things over the next several days with Bentley that makes me thankful there separate...
Today I noticed a couple things I was a little concerned about. On both of his ears they are very hard around the edges. More at the tips of his ears. Half way up the ear. On the edges only. On both ears. So I'm praying this isn't a type of mange (I don't want to deal with any kind of mange again!!!!) I read it could possibly be from the cold climate he has been exposed to or an allergy to something. I hoping somebody has some input on this... I coated the entire edges in bag balm. Don't know if that will make any difference or not. Arabella gets a dry crusty nose so i happened to have some. I hate to haul him back off to the vet, I will if need be, I was just hoping he wouldn't have to go back for a little while. The other thing is he has a tiny bit of dried blood , maybe the size of a dime, on his mouth. I tried when I cleaning him down to see if I could clean it up and see what it was , but that is the only area he is resistant to. So I didn't want to upset him after being so tolerant with my poking and cleaning and prodding, so tomorrow I'm gonna try and clean that area and see what that's a about.
So today has been a bit emotional. I called my dh and was like " what did we get ourselves into!!!" After a good cry I pulled it together and realized its best for everybody how were functioning and I think too much with my heart I guess. What I find absolutely hilarious is , I did this same thing when I had children ....it took me several good Cry's of "what was I thinking this is hard!!" Before I was able to adjust....funny how its that way with the furbabies too
Let me just say....so so so glad we didn't get a second puppy as that would have been next to impossible to manage!!!!
Today as the day went on , Bentley didn't inhale his food as fast as he had been. This evening he didn't even finish his last feeding. I think between the antibiotic and the changes and the food changes its messing with him tummy. We can hear His tummy making no so pleasent sounds and he's had a little bit of diarrhea. So we are staying with the probiotics, and I've been giving him some pumpkin. Today I did add fish oil to the mix. He is shedding so terrible. And his coat is terribly dry and brittle. So he likes the zoom groom brush and that got some loose hair off, but he enjoyed that. Lol
We (very inexperienced breed decerners ) think Bentley has some euro boxer in him. He just has the thickest nose and face. And looking at his face from a side profile , he just looks like he's got more bulk to him them most boxers we have been around....but we could just be used to seeing Arabella who has a smaller then average boxer head anyway plus being a puppy going from that to a bigger dog just seems bigger to us...I'll have to try and post some pics ...see what you guys think
Thanks Pam about the Kong idea!!! I'm not sure if Arabella's will be too small for him or not tomorrow I'll try that
I think your reaction is normal for a "panicky" momma (which it seems most boxer moms are). I also find that as a stress relief or something, I cry after the storm. I'm sure you did great with both of them. Don't forget they both need to learn to wait patiently for your attention. Your natural instinct will be to over-indulge both and spoil them rotten. Try not to do this. Don't set them up for failure. If you don't want to allow certain behaviors on a regular basis forever, don't allow it from the get go. It's not fair to send "mixed" messages. Of course you will love on both, but try not to give in when whining is occurring.
There is an adjustment when adding an additional dog and each circumstance is different whether it be puppy or dog. Right now you probably have it just as hard as if he was a puppy because of the immediate neuter and health issues, usually puppies don't have that. I bet in a very short period of time you will look back and think it wasn't so bad at all.
It's so wonderful that he is so calm, just remember he is still recuperating and adjusting to his new home. There will be another adjustment when he finally gets to frolic around with his new little sis. They will become best buds and you will get a lot of laughs from them
As for the eating, it may be some tummy troubles from the meds but also he may feel food is coming regularly and doesn't have to gobble it all down. It is good if he is getting satisfied at each meal and doesn't feel the need to gobble so that when he is around Arabella food aggression will not be an issue. Also, the healthy treats to put weight are called "satin balls". You can google it and get a few different recipes(some more healthy than others) and see the experiences of others that used them. My friend had her rescue boxer mix at a healthy weight in no time without trying to force additional feedings. They were able to keep him on a regular feeding schedule and just supplement with the balls in between and then eventually decrease the amount of them as time passed and he gained the weight he needed. The vet had never heard of them but was pleased with his progress and the fact that he wasn't being overfed, reducing the possibility of bloat.
Hope everything continues to go well and you get to relax a bit
Thank you so much packbit!!!!! I accidentally came across the satin balls while googling last night! I was going to ask about those!!!! that's great I'll make some yeah actually last night I gave him his last meal of the evening, and the little stinker....he walked over to it and and pushed the bowl over to the Other side of the room and Tried to tip it over with his nose so I scooted it back and when I walked away he scooted it back over across the room and successfully tipped it over...dog food everywhere, then walked away. My dh goes "well...guess he told you" I have no clue what that was all about. But I got it back into the bowl and dh said he never went to eat it at all for the rest of the night.
He sure does love his pumpkin though!!! I do a little dollop of pumpkin and I mix in the probiotics and fish oil and he loves that . this morning he had normal stools , so I'm happy to see that
I do have a problem with the impatient puppies. I stretched myself too thin yesterday trying to keep everybody happy. And having Bentley has made me realize miss "Bella baby" has some manners to learn. She's definitely princess of her castle and I think having to share is going to be very good for her.today I'm going to work on getting MYSELF to tolerate the whines a little better. Bentley will do his whining then find a place to lay down...Arabella is relentless. Maybe still the puppy in her....or the spoiled in her ....
It will help you set up a system for Miss princess before SA becomes a real problem (very hard to fix once it's set in).
As for the crusties on Bentley's ear edges... (if it is what I think it is) this is very common with Boxers. It's not mange. Some boxers are more prone to it than others, and it's more common when their coat and skin is not very healthy (ie: rescues). It's kind of like dead skin sticking the hairs together. It's not comfortable for them. So regular grooming is a good thing to keep the edges of their ears smooth. I'm not sure bagbalm is the best though. That will just make it more sticky. Warm water or a damp wash cloth works for me when Kisaq gets it. He tends to get it more when he's shedding. Sometimes it gets so bad it makes their ears look like they are actually splitting along the edges. It's just the hair though.
And as for the crying... (((hugs))).
It's all so emotionally charged, somethings got to give somewhere!
Oh Erin, I can't believe I missed this whole thread while all the excitement was going on! I'm so, SO glad you got Bentley and that he is improving already. I can't wait for the stories and photos when he and Arabella get together and become friends!
I've been thinking of getting Gus a sister, so your experience is very interesting and informative for me!
OMG! I was away for a few days but how did I miss all of this excitement?. I have just read through your story and it has brought happy tears to my eyes! I am soooooo happy you found Bently. I look forward to following his progress and hearing about him settle and grow with his new family. You are an awesome person for providing him with a warm, safe and happy home.