Category Archives: Pets

Amber the Poodle Has Surgery for Chronic UTIs

Amber the Poodle has spent the last week sulking under our bed. The reason? She’s stuck in a big plastic Cone of Shame and isn’t allowed to lick or groom her back end, after surgery to fix her chronic UTI issue.

We have yet to figure out how she manages to get under the bed with the Cone of Shame on, but she does. Standard Poodles are smart and wily creatures.

Amber Poodle E-Collar Surgery

If you’re new here, Amber is our Standard Poodle who has had a UTI every month since we adopted her last fall. We’d treat her for the UTI, and then about 10 days after the antibiotic had ended, she’d start having accidents in the house again. The vet would run new tests, and each time the UTI had returned.

We initially had a lot of frustration when Amber had accidents in the house, but we slowly learned that they coincided with the onset of each UTI. Fortunately, Amber has now learned to run up and nudge us when she needs to go out, and we’ve been accident free for at least 2 months.

Amber is less than 2 years old, so we wanted to identify and fix the root of the problem rather than constantly treating the symptoms with antibiotics. Chronic antibiotic use leads to resistance, which is both more expensive and harder on Amber in the long run.

A veterinary surgeon and an internal medicine specialist determined that Amber’s vulva was not shaped quite right, and bacteria could be getting trapped inside because of it.   They also did an abdominal ultrasound and a scope in the urethra but found no internal issues.

Following this, Amber had episioplasty surgery, which is basically plastic surgery to fix the external shape of things. She’s got an ugly incision curving up one leg and down the other, but things seem to be in a better place now.

When pets recover from surgery it’s hard on the whole household. Amber is confused upset about the Cone of Shame, and she doesn’t understand why she isn’t allowed to run and play.  We had to put her on an anti-anxiety / sedative drug to keep her calm.

When I worked for the veterinary surgeon, I saw so many pets come back for expensive fixes because they had torn their initial stitches out from licking and biting at them. That experience helps me stay strong when Amber is desperate to get the cone off her head and run around. Fortunately we only have 6 more days to go.

Amber may still have leaking from incontinence, but apparently injections of collagen can help with that. At least we’ve gotten the major surgery out of the way.

After the thousands we have spent on Amber in just 6 months, I’m really wishing we’d gotten pet insurance for her as soon as we adopted her. Lesson learned for next time!

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Ethical Pet Accessories for Dogs and Cats

Hey guys! I’m excited to kick off this week with a guest post on ethical pet accessories from Jamillah at Made-to-Travel! She’s been a blog friend for several years, and I love that she blogs about ethical shopping. The fact that most of the products we buy are made overseas and in sweatshops of both underpaid adults and children is something that’s bothered me for a long time, and now that I’m making an effort to support more ethical manufacturers, I’m so glad there are blogs like Jamillah’s to help point the way!

Ethical Pet Accessories

houndstooth sweater, made in the USA- $29.99 // fair trade catnip mouse (set of 2) – $11

Hi there Borrowed Abode readers! Jamillah from Made-to-Travel here, and I’m so happy Jane is having me back to share some ethical accessories for pets. When Jane and I were emailing about another guest post she challenged me to find ethical treats for those furry friends and I was totally excited to take on the task!

This is the very first ethical roundup I’ve done for pets and I have to say I’m really really pleased on what’s out there!

ethical accessories for dogs

doggie raincoats, made in Canada- $47.99-$49.99 // rope bones, made of recycled yarn- $10 // fair trade leash- $30 // fair trade collar- $18 // non- toxic doggie frisbies, made in the USA- $9 // pooch pouch with 20 biodegradable bags – $17.49 // fair trade doggie bandanas – $3.50-$7.20 // big sky puppy toys, made in the USA of recycled fabric- $7.50 ethical accessories cats-1cat scratch sofa, made in the USA from recycled paper-$26.99 // handmade cat toys, from sustainable materials- all available here $5.91-$13.86 // happy kitten kit – $37.49 // fair trade cat collar- $8.50 // slurp and meow bowls – $40 // cat track made in the USA – $24.95 // kitty lure made in the USA- $12.95 // catty stacks, made in the USA $14.99 per box

I hope if you have a furry friend at home you’ve found a little ethical treat for him or her in this ethical pet accessories roundup!

And don’t forget Jane does some adorable pet accessories of her own at her shop, Janery.

Shop Janery

Jamillah lives in NYC and writes about ethical shopping and happy things at Made-to-Travel. If you want to start being a conscious consumer check out Ethical Shopping 101. If you’re looking to buy something ethical give her a shout! Jamillah is happy to help you becamoe a more conscious shopper.

Find Jamillah on Bloglovin / Pinterest / Twitter / Email: made-to-travel(at)

How to Create a Decorative & Functional Pet Feeding Station

If you’ve ever lived with pets in a small space, you know that they require some space for feeding and storage of all the supplies they require. Fortunately, your pet gear can blend into your home with a pet feeding station.Pet Feeding Station Dog Food Container

Different home décor websites sell pet feeding cabinets that have integrated storage for pet food, bowls, and leashes, but you can also modify an existing cabinet if you’re on a budget. I found this cabinet on the side of the road, and was able to bring it back to life with a new coat of stain and paint, new drawer pulls, and a custom-cut dog bowl insert.

Tips for creating an attractive pet feeding station:

Read the rest of my post at . . .

Amber Update: Time for plastic surgery?

Remember how we thought we were having trouble potty training our standard poodle, only to find out she had chronic UTIs that were causing the accidents? I’ve got some great news about Amber’s condition!

Amber The Poodle Snow ChinRight before our baby was born, Ryan and I took Amber the Poodle to the HOPE Center (veterinary specialist center) for an Internal Medicine appointment. After some diagnostics, including an abdominal ultrasound, she was diagnosed with a case of “Juvenile Vulva.” Apparently her lady parts (so to speak) didn’t develop fully when she was a puppy, perhaps due to being spayed earlier than she should have been. Long story short, those parts were malformed, allowing bacteria to easily build up and cause chronic infections.

The treatment plan includes a Vulvoplasty, which is essentially plastic surgery to re-form it, as well as possible probiotics to encourage a healthier digestive environment.

After obtaining the diagnosis and suggested course of treatment, we scheduled a surgery consult with Dr. Langenbach, the owner and chief surgeon at the Veterinary Surgical Center. When it comes to complex surgeries for your pets, it’s better to spend more money and see a board-certified veterinary surgeon. Yes, your regular vet may be able to save you money by doing the procedure, but because they don’t do it often you may have lower quality results. It’s not due to any fault of the regular vet; it’s simply that veterinary surgeons do all surgery, all the time, and have completed extra years of schooling and residency to specialize in the art of surgery.

Dr. Langenbach is the one who performed Charlie’s surgeries, and I used to work for her when I first moved to the area. I’m glad I did, because after doing “working interviews” at other surgery and emergency centers in the area, I wouldn’t trust any other group with my pets’ surgeries. (And no, I don’t get a discount and they aren’t paying me to say this!)

Our consult is coming up soon, and we expect Amber will have surgery the same week. Fingers crossed that things go well!

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