Saturday, April 3, 2010

An age thing.

The morning was spent at the shopping mall in Toulouse laying in provisions for Easter. The Easter egg counter was particularly intriguing. France , despite the vehement protestations of the French to the contrary, is the European country whose infrastructure is most like Americas. The shopping malls could be straight out of California, the road system is modelled on the interstates, and the size of the parking lots is simply enorme. It has to be said that the simple act of getting around and doing things is so easy here in comparison with the UK. There is of course nothing on earth quite like the variety and quality of food and wine to be found in a French supermarket. Yesterday the shelves were groaning under the weight of the first of the new seasons strawberries - unchilled and picked that morning. We've learnt that you have to eat them the same day if the slightly savoury taste is to be enjoyed to the full - putting them in the fridge destroys the flavour and changes the texture. Sitting in the sun with a glass of rose, a bowl of strawberries and some cheese from a mountain farm - simple but unbeatable

Wilf seems to be sleeping a lot. Is that marked change in routine normal for older dogs? His appetite is fine, he enjoys his walks,enters into his swing 'biffing' game wholeheartedly but for much of the day he just seems content to sit and doze. I'm worried he might have been bitten by a tick and caught something but 'the font' is of the view that as he's eating well it's probably just an age thing. Living in the depth of the countryside we have them dosed with Frontline and have a tick collar on them all the time - they get finger tip checks every day. Is there anything else you do to stop ticks?


  1. so lots of ticks there? what kind are they? the only ticks i'm familiar with are the ticks that cause lyme and rocky mountain spotted fever....insidious little suckers...a blood test would diagnose a tick borne disease....lyme disease causes lameness, sometimes in one leg, then the another...having said that, sleeping is definitely a priority for older dogs...
    did i mention i HATE ticks? yuck! where we are, we have very few of the little suckers, thankfully!

  2. If you get any good suggestions, I'd like to hear them. My Tootie is a tiny Yorkie, and I've been hearing lately about these flea and tick meds that cause seizures, etc. (I think they are mostly store bought brands.) But, as we're approaching the season for ticks and fleas here in the states, I must find something. Looks like Easter has arrived in France! I love the shelves stocked with chocolate bunnies. Here we have bags, upon bags, of commercial brand candies in lame Easter wrappings, the kind one can buy any time of the year. Where's the fun in that? Happy Easter to you...
    Liz (aka Ninny)

  3. My dog, K, gets severe life-threatening allergic reactions to tick bites so we have to make sure that they don't live for long after they bite her. Our vet has us use a Preventic collar because it kills the ticks faster than Frontline. However, she said that we could use BOTH at the same time if we wanted to be extra-sure.

    In my experience, the increased sleeping with age comes on slowly, not all of a sudden. That being said, our young dogs occasionally have a day here or there when they sleep a lot more than usual. But, it's usually just one day. If it went on for more than 2 or so days, I'd probably take them to the vet. Your dogs aren't *that* old, just aging.

    You mentioned that Wilf had a growth that they biopsied a while ago but I don't think that you posted the results so I assumed that it was benign. Was that true?

    I love Easter candy more than any other holiday candy. I have these certain Cadbury eggs that I hoard every year!!! Uh oh, I just gave away one of my idiosyncracies!!

  4. The thing with tick preventatives is that the tick has to bite the dog to get the poison, I believe. It is possible, but pretty unlikely from what I know for him to get a tick bourne disease. I'm not familiar with whether you have the same TBDs in Europe that we do in the States. I think if there were a TBD, there would be other signs besides just fatigue. Fever, swelling or redness and lameness are signs of TBDs that I know of.

    It is possible that he's just feeling old age. There does seem to be an age with our greyhounds when they seem to do a lot more sleeping. I don't recall it being a sudden thing, however; it was more of a gradual creep up, although we usually do notice it in the Spring, since we're not very active with the dogs in the winter. Are Polish Lowlands known for being really active and then suddenly old dogs like labrador retrievers? I hope it is just old age, or perhaps the fact that it's suddenly gotten warmer there for you. The warm weather has definitely had its affect on our older dogs.

  5. It sounds to me like you are doing the best things. We did switch over from Frontline to Advantage last year. I can't remember why, but both seem to work very well. I would bet it's the arrival of warm weather. Edward and Apple tend to sleep more when the weather warms up. I'm with the font - always watch the appetite.

    I am agog over the magnificent array of French chocolate bunnies!!

    Wishing you a lovely Easter... complete with fresh, fresh strawberries... my favourite food in the world.

  6. Thanks everyone for your comments they are really reassuring and helpful: - Leishmaniasis and new variants of it are a problem here.We have both boyz collared and Frontlined - we tried Advantage but it has a compound in it that seemed to upset Wilfs nervous system. The symptoms of French TBD's are lethargy, manic drinking, and loss of appetite. The problem with dogs is that one owners lethargy may be seen by another owner as old age sleepiness. If Wilf doesn't perk up we'll take him back to the vets for yet more bloodtests after Easter- he's had a skinful of tests already over the benign growth on his head.

  7. I use Bug Off Garlic from to combat ticks here in southeast MO. Even on Frontline, I had beagles coming home w/50 ticks on them; yes, Frontline would kill them eventually but I did not want the things in my home. I started the garlic - after 1.5 months, only 2, yes, 2, ticks! Been a believer ever since. Good luck.

  8. So glad you're now at the stage of going to market everyday. Vive la vie francaise!