This is what came off of him. When we(I) decided to add a second dog to our family, I was under the impression that a fluffier malamute would have similar shedding patterns to Boris. I was entirely incorrect. Since mid-February, we have been experience what I have begun referring to as The Furpocalypse, wherein Helo loses every last bit of his undercoat, looks extra creepy and scraggly, and blankets our house, sofa, tables, clothing, and food with his fur. Nothing is exempt from this. Entire outfits are stored in dog free rooms and still somehow get a thin coating of fur on them. There is no single-sheet lint rolling job. We’re talking minimum of 3, usually closer to 7.
Helo hates getting brushed, so I pick my battles. I wait until there’s enough truly loose fur to make an appreciable difference in the amount of fur that’s coming off of him on an hourly basis. This was that time. I’ll go back in maybe 3-4 days from now and see if I can expand upon the dent that I made last night, but this was all he’d put up with. And before you suggest the furminator, we have one, and it works great on Boris. It gets hung up in Helo’s fine guard hairs and breaks/rips them out and clogs immediately. I have a ridiculous fur rake that is the hotness in malamute fur removal.
Bonus footage, here’s a video that I took of myself pulling loose tufts of fur out of Helo’s shoulder. He hates it when I take them and tries to eat my hand. I assure you that it is not malicious or painful, it’s more of his way of grabbing me and trying to get me to “quit it.”
That’s a true story. The only other time we’ve had a veterinary emergency was when Boris ate the ibuprofen and nearly died. And that was over a Memorial Day weekend. This time, it was Helo’s turn, and it was on Thanksgiving. We spent all day at my in-laws’ place prepping food, eating, merrymaking, etc. When we got home around 6:30, I fed the dogs the front legs of the deer that Craig shot, and noticed that Helo’s seemed particularly bloody. His bed(he takes his food over to his bed to eat it) had gotten splotches of blood on it, but that’s not too out of the ordinary, some pieces of the deer that ended up earmarked for the dogs tended to contain a bit more blood than others, so I didn’t think twice. But when I went into the bedroom to change the sheets, I noticed that there were some new bits of blood on the dog bed that Helo had just laid down on (sans deer leg), and investigated further.
His dew claw was bleeding, quite a bit. He wouldn’t let Craig and I touch it, but otherwise it didn’t seem to be bothering him too much. But the bleeding also wasn’t slowing down, and since we couldn’t get in there to do any first aid, it became clear that we probably needed to pay someone to manage his toe. So after 20 minutes on hold with the 24 hour vet clinic, they finally gave us the “yeah, you should probably just bring him in.” So we did. And poor Boris. We had been gone for 8+ hours, came home for 45 minutes, and then promptly left, with his only buddy in tow. He melted the heck down. But unfortunately, Helo needed to get handled. So we loaded him into the car and went on our merry way to the clinic. And then we waited. And waited. And waited some more. After Helo had bled all over the floor of their lobby, they showed us into a private exam room to wait some more.
And I got bored and took photos to post on facebook. If you look in the photo above, you can see Helo’s dew claw bent out at a 90 degree angle to the rest of his leg. Not a great look. We eventually were able to get a close up photo of the dew claw and zoom in to determine that he’d torn the nail off of the quick (that’s the nerve bundle that bleeds if you cut too far on your dogs’ toenails), but that it was still kind of hanging on. They eventually came in and brought Helo to the back to get him some painkiller, and hopefully sedate him enough to get him to let them manage the toe. And they eventually got him drugged up enough that they could hold him down and deal with it. Helo is surprisingly strong and capable of escaping your arms when he puts his mind to it. They got the toenail removed, and then had a heck of a time stopping the bleeding, but with the aid of some clotting agent, a compression bandage, and some time, it eventually slowed to the point that they let us take him home. At 1am. The added bonus was that our bill was surprisingly inexpensive, just $250. Beats the pants off the $1800 that Boris cost us a few years ago!
The next morning, Helo was pretty high. Based on the paperwork from the vet, they gave him a pretty high dosage of the doggy version of dilaudid, which I can attest to being a pretty awesome painkiller. So the entire next day, Helo laid on his bed, making this exact face. I deep cleaned the floor that day, so I eventually had to make him get up on the sofa or into the bedroom, but if he didn’t have to move, he didn’t. He just sat there, not blinking, with his tongue partway out of his mouth. It was ridiculous.
And a couple days later, I took off the bandage, and his toe looks… OK!
Craig had this cold/cough combination that was pretty rough on him for a while. Just as he began recovering, it knocked me on my ass. Fever, chills, exhaustion, phlegm, coughing, decreased appetite (this part was a net positive), aches, etc put me down. I made a nest on the sofa and only got up to make more tea or get more tissues/cough syrup/sudafed. Boris and Perry took advantage of my incapacitated nature and enjoyed my nest as well. They did an excellent job of keeping me cozy and preventing me from getting up and doing too much. I burned through a season of Top Chef and got a healthy start on The Amazing Race as well. I also passed the time by taking photos, and I would be derelict in my blogger duties if I didn’t at least share the photos.
The post that a facebook friend of mine made this morning about her husky escaping reminded me of some of the fun times we’ve had with Helo escaping.
When we bought the 1/4 cow, the butcher gave us a bunch of extra livers. He had them sitting around, and people don’t generally love eating cow liver, so when I was willing to take everything he had, he seemed elated. The friends that we split the meat with also have dogs that love tasty snacks, so they took their half of the liver that was given to us, and all was well.
Now that the weather has cooled down, I am in gear to start dehydrating things. We haven’t run the heat this season so far, so running a device that blows warm air all over the house is kind of pleasant too. I love dehydrating apples. When I decided to dehydrate liver, I didn’t count on just how intensely the house would smell of liver. Luckily Craig was out hunting, so his super-smeller self wasn’t put through the kind of hell that I went through. I started the liver in the evening when I got home from work, and ran the dehydrator through the night. I actually woke up partway through the night and was certain that one of the dogs had pooped, eaten it, and thrown it back up. It was just the liver. My dehydrator is an orange and ivory colored beast from the 70’s that I got as a hand-me-down from my parents. The brand is Marvelizer. Because why not. It comes with 2 types of tray liners. The “nonstick” grate type, and then a nonstick plastic sheet that is designed for fruit leather type applications. I used the grate type and it was a mistake. Liver goo went down through the grates and got into all the tiny cracks in the racks. I had to soak the racks all day, and scraped the crap out of my fingers trying to scrub it all out.
Here is my advice if you decide to dehydrate liver as dog treats – my dogs, and the dogs at work lose their minds for these treats, they’re probably worth it.
*Set the dehydrator up in a room that has airflow that doesn’t reach the rest of the house. Think laundry room, bathroom with the fan running constantly, garage, what-have-you.
*Use the fruit leather liners. The liver will likely take longer to dry, but believe me, the time payoff is worth it when it comes to cleanup.
*Make sure the liver is very dry if you want to store it at room temp. If not, keep it in the fridge.
Our dogs are ridiculously spoiled. Craig lets Helo up on the sofa to sleep, and he loves the pillows. It is totally ridiculous.
And Boris has once again decided that he hates it when I give him chicken quarters. He will no longer take it willingly from me, I have to put it in his bowl, then he will guard it, and after 5 minutes or so, finally break down and decide to eat it. But then he won’t finish it, he’ll lay there, guarding part of his chicken quarter, looking incredibly dejected. It’s pathetic.
I admittedly know little about this subject. This both makes me a very good source for trying to decipher information, and also a wildly unreliable source. Take everything I have to say with a grain of salt.
Parasites and Tapeworms
- Parasites and tapeworms are common in all wild game.
- Eating fresh venison is not recommended.
- Freeze wild game down to -4 degrees for a minimum of 4 days before eating or processing it into jerky or sausage to help kill parasites or tapeworms.
- Cooking venison to 160 degrees will also help to kill parasites and tapeworms.
E.coli O157:H7 – A Concern in Wild Game Venison Jerky and Sausage
- E.coli O157:H7 has been found in the intestinal tract of wild game.
- Research shows E.coli O157:H7 can survive in homemade wild game jerky and fermented sausages like pepperoni.
- Researchers found that E.coli 0157:H7 survived more than 10 hours of drying at 145 degrees.
- The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that jerky made from beef or venison be steamed, roasted or boiled to 160ºF before drying.
So this leaves me with questions. I have to check the temp range of our chest freezer and see where that stands. I assume it will hold negative 4 if I turn it down far enough. The refrigerator freezer ranges from 11 to 1 degree above zero, so we will see.
I am wanting to make jerky and am now mildly concerned about e.coli. Perhaps after marinating the meat, I could vacuum seal it and pasteurize it in a water bath before drying in the dehydrator.
Regarding cuts that we expect to be eating medium rare – I’ll get those in the coldest part of the freezer and count on leaving them there for a few weeks, and leave them in the sous vide water bath for a little longer than would normally be necessary to cook them to the desired temp.
What it really comes down to is if I am going to be not only eating this myself, but feeding it to friends and family, I want to be sure that the meat has been handled safely and isn’t going to give my loved ones food poisoning or parasites!
It feels silly that this is so difficult to get really effective information. I am a skilled researcher, I have a firm grasp of food science, and I have the equipment to hold sustained temperatures, yet I can’t find ANY charts that will tell me what I need to be doing!