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ddjackso
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Hi everyone,

I just joined and thought I would introduce myself. I am with a little guy named Tag. When he was 6 weeks old he found me in the middle of no where when he was waiting under my car on my friend's property in the middle of no where. He attached himself to me and I was a goner ;) Since then I have been struggling with the health issues that are caused by a six week old puppy being abondoned (immunity issues, he was covered in tics by the hundreds, fleas, and worms). I had done some research on behavior in dogs and had thought that some of his behavior quircks were caused by the lack of parental discipline by his mother and peers as a puppy when he was removed from them too young but now from reading these boards I can see they are all just Cairn traits. He is now 2 years old and amazing. I was told by the vet that he is a Cairn mix and after visiting this forum I have to agree. Here is a pic of him that I took a few days ago (the foot was wrapped to keep him from irritating a broken dew claw until the vet could come over)

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What a little bobby dazzler! :wub: You were obviously meant to be :hug:

Cheers,

Welly

Veni, vidi, velcro - I came, I saw, I stuck around
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he IS really adorable, and he is definitely cairn. can't figure what the rest of him is, but there is something about the set of his eyes that is not entirely cairn. how big is he?

congratulations on figuring out that his apparent delinquencies are really just cairnisms --the bad can be improved, and the good is very good indeed!

congratulations to you both.

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Thanks everyone for the kind words! He would definitely love a playdate with Izabella ;). I was the lucky one when he found me, he is my heart dog. He does have alot of health issues though so I am really interested in trying to figure out his heritage to see if it is something common to the breed because a diagnosis has been illusive despite the 4 vet visits a month and some point of reference would be great.

Tag is about 25 lbs. but long and lean so he is mixed with something else that has a longer curved up tail and muscular lean legs as they are about double the length of the other Cairns I have seen. I am thinking something like a Shiba Inu or a Border Terrier (although from what I understand those are rare breeds so it is unlikely). He also has white paws, and it was my understanding that Cairn's do not have any white spots. However, in personality he is stubborn and so intelligent it is scary. You can actually see him thinking so that is all Cairn. I never had to train him to do anything I have just always told him and he has just done what I wanted. When I found him I had no clue how to raise a dog so thank goodness he made it easy for me. For instance, when he was 6 weeks he started sniffing and I took him outside and said good boy and from then on he just always went to the door and has never had an accident. But he is a handful, yesterday I had a playdate pool party at my house with his friends a lab and a Sheltie both of them are also 2 and by the end of the day the other two dogs were passed out on the grass semi pawing at him as he ran by putting his squeaker toy in their faces and running off trying to get them to chase him some more. In order to tire him out every day we rollerbalde for 2 miles in the morning then spend an hour in the pool then 1/2 hour training and 1/2 playing fetch. We then repeat the routine 2 more times not to mention that he has someone home with him full time and full access to a doggie door and a large fenced in yard and he still whines for more attention ;)

He and I are both ready for another dog and I am considering getting another Cairn from a rescue (I am thinking a Cairn between the ages of 2 and 5 would be a good match for Tag) as I think that he needs another high energy dog and now I have been broken in enough and gone to enough training and read enough books (Tag had some aggression issues with anyone who came near me and we had to address immediately) to take on a dog who may not be as "easy" as Tag was ;)

Edited by ddjackso
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fascinating. what you describe is basically a cairn, eerily so, but he seems to have a sweetness and cooperativeness that is something extra. it almost sounds shepherdlike. his coloring, even with the white points, doesn't look to me outside the cairn spectrum; he is clearly missing the wheaten dark "points" but some cairns who are real blonds don't have them. before you specified his size i thought he might be a westie cross (which genetically wouldn't really be a cross), but he is clearly mixed with something that is probably not a terrier --he has some (pleasing) personality traits that are not very terrier, and the terriers who are bigger than cairns are mostly wire-haired, so he wouldn't have his lovely smooth fur if that were the case. i'm thinking something like collie (or a collie mix), perhaps even a sheltie. his face has that sort of look to me. it may not be a fifty-fifty split. he could certainly be 3/4 terrier or even cairn, and then this very appealing other element thrown in.

what are his health problems, specifically?

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Welcome! I am new here too and I am just figuring out what I should be doing...It is a great place for information and networking. Everyone is super friendly and more than happy to help you with any questions concerning your doggy...I am glad that you and Tag ran into each other...I have had my puppy for almost a week. We are having a good time with the exception that sometimes he does not want to sleep at night. It is just like having a baby! I have lots of time to spend with Peyton but I can imagine if I were working still. :D

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Danielle, Tag is just darling....look at that smile of his!!!! What a great find you both made that day. Did he walk up to you and nose you and say "tag" you're it for me!!! Very cute name, i love it. Some of the names people come up with are so darn cute and tag is one of them. Welcome to the forum.

Terry

Terry, mom of Dori and Ellie Mae

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Welcome to Cairn Talk. If you should decide to add another dog, which does go a long way in keeping number one occupied from my experience, the cairn rescue organizations can help determine a good match for Tag.

Jetersmom(and Bernie's)

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Tag has had issues with vomiting and diarrhea since day 1. At first they thought it was due to the worm infestation and did the de-worming thing, when it continued they diagnosed allergies, we did the elimination diet for months and he never cleared up and after many trips to the ER the vet finally referred me to an Internist for an ultra sound and PLI test to r/out Pancreatitis. The results were normal and they gave him another dewormer, which helped for a little while but then it started again. He has now been tentatively diagnosed with IBD, as we have done tests to rule out EPI, Pancreatitis, Cushing's, and Addison's. His BUN and Creatinine levels are always higher than normal but I have had three tests done to check his kidney function and it is always normal. He was found in Atlanta and had a gazillion tics on him at that time so I am going to look into getting him checked for the tick borne illnesses next. He also seems to be hot all the time, his skin is just always hot to the touch and he is always panting. It is just so frequent and varied that there is no rhyme or reason what brings it on no matter how many journals I keep to review. Also, he has alot of environmental and skin allergies. As it stands I cannot vaccinate him anymore and am relying on titres, which is sad because he would be so good at something like agility or flyball but because he cannot be vaccinated we cannot take him to any formal facilities.

His fur looks smooth in the pic but it is extremely wiry to the touch, which always surprises people when they pet him ;)

I am so glad everyone likes his name! He named himself. I just called out names from a doggy name website until he looked at me and when I said "Tag" he stopped, looked at me, and ran over and was jumping all over me and licking me and from then on he always just responded to Tag. Plus he is a velcro dog who follows me everywhere, even at the off leash dog park so "Tag" is appropriate.

That is exactly why I want to go to through a rescue. I would like to adopt a dog that will be a good fit for Tag and I think an experienced rescue organization would be able to help me find a good match. Plus after finding Tag I will always have a terrier, they don't give anything away easily and I love that about them as frustrating as it can be ;)

By the way does anyone elses dog do the lip curl thing when they are frustrated? When I am doing something and he wants my attention he does the half whine noise and sits with a big flair then curls his lip on one side and stares at me until I look at him. I am attaching a pic of what it looks like.

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interesting look! it is followed by a snarl? or is the look all there is to it?

if there is no snarl, he could be trying to grin. dog behaviorists have studied it and found that it is something that wolves or wild dogs never do. the dogs who do it, do it in imitation of people. they think it makes them look appealing or friendly. if you are a grinning sort of person he may be trying to imitate you particularly. or, he may have known grinners from somewhere and decided to try it out on you.

i'm not a vet, but if my dog had tag's symptoms i would be surprised if the vet didn't suspect a yet-undiscovered infection or parasite. pursuing each and every tick disease is a good idea. his symptoms don't sound like the most common symptoms of lyme disease, but if you have any lyme disease around there it is probably worth ruling that out too. he clearly doesn't have an organic disease or any kind of cancer. you don't mention that any vet has recommended a broad spectrum antibiotic. are they suggesting that IBD is really the most satisfying diagnosis?

also, i suggested this to other people on the forum, but giardiasis is a really frustrating infection that is common in many areas. since you don't know how much bad water tag was exposed to before he found you, it might be worth asking that he be tested for giardiasis, or maybe just treated for it prophylactically.

since it all seems to indicate an infection (or a particularly vicious allergy?), it probably isn't a disease that his cairn-ness disposes him to. many cairns and other terriers can have sensitive skin, which i think is often traceable to allergies (food or flea). other than that they are not terribly vulnerable dogs as systemic diseases go.

very interesting what you say about the texture of his fur. maybe his other ancestors were indeed some kind of bigger terrier, and you could be right about the border terrier idea. his face has a very intriguing trace of something. i could see a border terrier in there, sure.

from what you have mentioned so far, he isn't losing weight and he doesn't seem to have any energy problems, so you have time to discover what the problem/s is/are. feed him the best food you can get that is compatible with sensitive digestive systems (no industrial mishmash, get him the stuff with real meat, no grains other than rice, and the lowest ash content), and perhaps he should have some supplements (check the vet about what combination would help his immune system).

and enjoy! what a special little guy he is.

Edited by pkcrossley
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It is not followed by a snarl as the snarls come from no where ;) It is used more often when he is frustrated but it is funny that you mentioned that he may be trying to make a face that I make because I bite my lip like that when I am frustrated ;). The things animals do are so interesting. I just finished Patricia McConnell's new book about dogs emotions and I am amazed.

Thanks for the advice! Yes, he has been on every antibiotic imaginable after most episodes and the last dose was for 3 weeks as well as taking a natural anti inflamatory. He has also had repeated doses of Panacur so if it is a bug the little thing is really hanging on ;) I also hired a nutrtionist and consulted a holistic vet and they have him supplementing his diet with probiotics and Seapet fish oil. He also takes NADH and Colostrum to build his immune system. I was home cooking for him but even he will not eat my cooking so I now have him on Ziwi Peak, which has limited novel ingredients and no grains (he is allergic to rice). It is expensive but very worth it.

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he couldn't be in better hands. i'm sure that with time his system will settle down. i sometimes think my dog is hot to the touch but the vet never seems to consider his temperature elevated. i particularly notice the hotness when he is excited or angry. i think they probably have a temperature reaction to irritation.

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He is adorable even with the lip snarl thing! Thank goodness you found each other because you love him so much and have tried to get him healthy.(Seems like he was meant to find you!) Dogs are great but since they can't talk it does make it that much harder doesn't it? Sort of like a baby before they can say "my tummy hurts" and then we can fix it. This is a wonderful forum and I have learned alot here about cairns-our first time having one live with us. They are wonderful dogs but stubborn seems to be Cookie's middle name! I hope you will find out what Tag may have so you can deal with it. He is a lucky little guy to have a mom like you. Good luck and happy reading!( there is a ton of info here)

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We had a Dalmatian that would pull her upper lips back revealing all her teeth. She would do this when greeting someone she REALLY liked. She would run up to you with her head down and her tail wagging so hard that it was actually her full hind quaters that were going. :D

To the un-initated it looked like she was charging you with a full blown snarl on her face.....However, we all knew it just Jenny smiling at you....by the way I have met other Dal's who do this as well....

Raise your expectations for what your Cairn can do....and try very hard to meet your Cairn's expectations of you.
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By the way does anyone elses dog do the lip curl thing when they are frustrated? When I am doing something and he wants my attention he does the half whine noise and sits with a big flair then curls his lip on one side and stares at me until I look at him. I am attaching a pic of what it looks like.

Yes! Mine does it all the time! We call it his Elvis face!!!! :D

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