A Note about Sugarbush Draft Horses

I see it over and over again, and no matter how many times it's said, it's still wrong. "Sugarbush Drafts are just an Appaloosa Draft Cross". Uh.... no. The Sugarbush Draft Horse was a breed created many years ago in Ohio. While the initial cross was made using Percherons to Appaloosas, in the many generations following, the breed has been solidified into a consistent type. Saying these horses are "just" a draft cross makes as much sense as saying that AQHA horses are "just" a Thoroughbred cross, American Cream Drafts are "just" a dilute Belgian, or that Morgans are "just" a grade.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I need a day or 2 (because onions + dogs = VERY bad)

My darling Anvil is a very sick dog right now.  Friday he got into the garbage.  I got angry, but didn't think much of it.  Friday night, he didn't eat well.  I thought "serves you right!"

Saturday, he was lethargic, but he's called "meat lump" for a reason.  Saturday night, he didn't eat well.  I realized we had a problem.

Sunday morning he got up to go out, and stumbled on the stairs.  I thought he's a kluts with hip dysplasia.  Sunday night, he wouldn't even get up, and urinated on the floor.

Monday morning we started testing.  Diagnosis hemolytic anemia.  His red blood cells are blowing up like baloons.  My baby boy is bleeding to death with no wounds.  We began treatment.  Prognosis: Poor.

Anvil began to improve.  He was very pale (gums, inside his eyelids, etc) on Monday.  Over the next few days, he seemed to gain color (in my very biased opinion) and become more active, but he was still a very sick dog.  He would only get up with help, and slept more then anything else.

Last night, he puked all over the carpet.  While cleaning it up, I recognized bits (yeah, gross I know).  Onions.  And rather a LOT of onions.  Jae and I started talking, putting things together.  He had thrown out some left overs, which had  alot of onions.  He had thrown out some onion tops, and he had thrown out food that was pretty much smothered in onion salt, and garlic salt.  We really like to eat onions and garlic here.  Sadly both are very toxic to dogs.

Now with a dog his size, a few bits of onion isn't exactly going to make me panic, right?  Well, it should have.  Seems that it only takes half a pound of onion, or one moderately sized onion, to cause this problem.

In helping to treat his nausea, we gave Anvil some Ace.  Yes, like the horse sedative.  It has some nausea reducing properties, and I happen to have some on hand.  Seemed like a good idea at the time. 

Anvil had a VERY small dose.  He shouldn't even have been drowsy from it.  Instead, it knocked him out cold.  I checked the meds, I double checked the meds, and it was a bit less then what was perscribed!  The anemia mixed with low blood pressure, lack of eating for so many days (well, eating anything that counts) and a limited ability to transport oxygen through his body resulted in Anvil passing out on me.

Naturally, I called the vet.  Of COURSE it's one of the rare nights he's not on call.  So, off to the Emergency clinic we go.  Downside, it's an hour drive, and I have a dog that is completely comatose.  Some how we made it though.

Blood work shows that he's not done trying to kill himself slowly yet.  He's even more anemic then the first time we checked.  Vet highly recommends a transfusion.  I agree.

Anvil needs about 4 units of blood.  He got one at the emergency clinic before they closed for the day.  My wonderful vet called me at "why are people up at this hour'oclock" and we made plans for treating him through out the day.

My vet doesn't often get dogs whose owners will pay for a transfusion, so he doesn't really keep blood on hand (because it expires).  So, enter the hero of the day:

Moose, my adorable Great Dane.  He's about the same size as Anvil, and was more then willing to donate some blood to Anvil.  Ok, maybe he just wanted a car ride, but still.

Right now, Moose and Anvil are becoming blood brothers, and I'm sitting at home waiting for a phone call.  I'm pretty much a mess.  Besides the fact that I love my babies, I also haven't slept in over 24 hours.

If this works, Anvil will recover.  If it doesn't, you will be reading a memorial to him in the next few days.  And in all honesty, I'm not sure I can take that.

You see, Anvil was part of a contract on Suzie (his mother).   When I was given her, I agreed to have ONE litter by her.  We thought all the pups were spoken for before they were born, but my 10 pups turned into 15.

Puppy number 4 was still born, and in a birth sac so thick I literally had to grab a knife to cut it.  He wasn't breathing, so I began puppy CPR.  It didn't take long. Of course, Suzie also proved me right (I didn't really want to have a litter, but had agreed.  And there aren't many well built herding rotts in the world).  She was a terrible mother, physically.  She didn't produce enough milk.  So there's me, bottle feeding a litter of monster puppies!

And, naturally, the wonky pup was wonky.  He had bad hips, bad ribs, and just about bad everything.  I couldn't sell him in good conscience, so I kept him.  He learned to be a truck dog (put on your seat belt) he learned to be good in the barn (no don't lay in the alley) and he learned that he REALLY likes the sofa.

Anvil is now 9.  That's old for a Rottie, but young for MY rotties.  His mother is still herding ponies at 11.  He's pretty much a medical nightmare, but I love him with all my heart.

So if you have time, pray, hope, cross your fingers, or do what ever.  Positive thinking is about all I have left to try.  I'm a bit of a mess right now, and just hoping against all hope that something will work for him.  My baby boy is a very sick dog.


  1. He sounds like a miracle boy already, I pray he has one more for you .

  2. I'm so sorry. I hope Anvil makes a full recovery soon. Sounds like he is in the best of care at this time. And good boy Moose for being the blood donor. Hope you can rest and that everything turns out well.

  3. Oh no! Let's hope his job isn't done yet and he's got another fight left. Lots of prayers and good thoughts sent your way.

  4. I'm so sorry! I had heard that onions were bad for dogs, but I had never heard HOW VERY bad.
    Hoping/praying/wishing for the best.


  5. I'm so sorry to read of Anvil's illness. I'll keep him and you in my prayers and thoughts.



  6. awwwwwwwww poor baby, I love him just from the pictures, what breed is he?
    Moose is so pretty!

  7. I am so sorry and hope all turns out well in the end . . .

  8. Hugs and prayers and get well wishes streaming your way. Hooray for Moose - I am so hoping this all works out.

  9. Anvil is a Rottweiler (with scars on his nose from trying to dig out of his kennel as a pup) and Moose is a great dane.

  10. Laughing Orca RanchNovember 4, 2011 at 12:32 AM

    Sending positive thoughts and prayers for your big, handsome lug of a dog. Let's hope that Anvil is a strong, sturdy, and tough as his namesake. And big hugs and love being sent for Moose, too.