Taking Care of My Own Rescues

  A worm found in Buster’s blood (an 11 yo street dog with heart failure who hangs out at the grocery store).

Blood smear


enlarged RBCs from above



possiblewhipworm?  I don’t think so, anymore.  I think it was a scratch in the coverslip.

possible tapeworm?


some blood abnormalities were seen.  I think that a pro should look at it under better conditions.

I noticed 2 enlarged RBCs in Petey’s smear and possibly a cell shaped as above in Chandler’s blood.

I originally didn’t include this pic, because the white spot appears so artifactual, but it moves with the slide, and maybe it is babesiosa

Dilute 1000-fold



I forgot to set the macro lens option on the camera when I took this picture, but it is good enough for comparative counting and not really worth sticking Petey again.  But that is why it is unfocused.





conditions were improved.  blood has some tendency to coagulate influencing the results if the collection and observation is not done quickly.


I used this occasion to analyze the health of my own rescues, making a table that I am slowly filling in with pictures and data.  For the blood collection, I have found that the easiest way to do this, is to use a very short 31 gauge insulin syringe, and hold the dog’s leg with your hand at the elbow until the vein pops up.  I set up the dilutions ahead of time with a 4 part water: 5 part MgCitrate solution (an anticoagulant) using this same syringe so that the blood won’t clot in the syringe.  After setting up three 27 unit puddles, I withdraw a little air (7 units) in the syringe to create a volume for the blood to flow into, then poke the vein and move the needle (usually withdrawing it a little) until the blood starts to flow.  I collect about 4 units.  Use 1 unit for a smear, and put 3 units in the first puddle, flushing the syringe with the first puddle, then 3 units from the first puddle into the 2nd puddle, flushing the syringe with the 2nd puddle, and then 3 units from the 2nd puddle into the 3rd puddle, flushing the syringe with the 3rd puddle, and putting 1 unit of this onto the right side of the slide that has the blood smear on the left.  I cover it with a cover slip.  This is a 1000-fold dilution.
I took pictures of the groove in the premolar right before the molar on the upper jaw.  It is a difficult place to get with brushing, and plaque tends to build up there.
I’m still planning to build the EKG (I have the parts for 20 bucks), but my sound card isn’t working on the computer.
I also intend to use a stethoscope to record heart and breathing sounds.
I devised a fitness test for the dogs that involves a 4/10 mile run at full speed.  Chandler does it in 1’20".  Petey failed it completely, and I will need to devise an easier test for him to benchmark his health.  He has put on 5 pounds, and really needs a health tune-up now that the weather is cooler.
I also used this week as an opportunity to train each of my dogs with a new trick, trim their nails, and give them a bath/brushing.
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