Thursday, July 2, 2009

Update on Charley

Charley is still resting comfortably, and has not passed anything at either end for 36 hours. I introduced her to a little rice and chicken last night and again this morning - she is not impressed. In fact, this morning she refused it until I dropped a few kibble and a teaspoon of canned food into it and then she picked out the "goodies" and shunned the rice. She is hungry though - keeps wandering into the kitchen and checking the floor and all the dog dishes!

However, she is clearly not out of the woods yet - on a very short walk last night she almost collapsed and could go no further. I had visions of tying her to a post while I ran home for the car, but at a slower-than-Oliver pace we made it back home.

I will be making an appointment to have more bloodwork done, even though it was done just a few short months ago and was fine then.


EvenSong said...

Thanks for keeping us posted. Good thoughts continuing on my end.

Black Jack's Carol said...

Yes, good thoughts coming from here too. Much appreciate the update. Charley was on my mind today. Too bad chicken and rice wasn't a success. Scott loved it, although now that I think of it, when his pancreatitis flared up, he wouldn't eat it. I finally put him on GD Hills canned (kibble equivalent did not work) diet. I had to order it from the vet who didn't approve, but I tried the Canadian equivalent (Medical, or some similar name) and it caused problems too. He lived for his last three years (age 13 to 16) on GD, plus only very low fat treats, and never ever had a problem with his pancreas after that. My dog before Scott lived on the same food from age 12 to 18, and with her, the bladder problems and hot spots stopped. I know you will probably have all kinds of people giving you diagnoses and cures, but I also know you are very knowledgeable, so I'm just throwing this out in case all else fails

Jean said...

Carol, I'm glad you were happy with the Hills product and that it worked for your dog. I won't use any Hills products as they are overprocessed, with many fillers, additives and questionable preservatives. For readers interested in knowing more about prescription diets and/or dog food in general, I can recommend three sources:

Read the book "Not Fit For A Dog". It's co-authored by three veterinarians (including one who used to work for Hills) and does a good job explaining why many commercial diets, especially prescription diets, are poor choices for canine nutrition.

Check out - this is the well-researched work of Sabine Contreras, an online friend of mine who has studied animal nutrition extensively and has certification in Animal Care from the University of Guelph. Few vets get more than a couple of hours training in nutrition (and that is provided through a guest lecture by - you guessed it - Hills and other manufacturers of the products they push).

And for specifics on Science Diet (the brand name used by Hills), have a look at this article, also written by Sabine:

There are other websites that compare dog food ingredients, but Sabine's also teaches the viewer how to read dog food labels, what the various terms mean (like meal, byproduct), etc.

Bottom line, however, is to use what works for YOUR dog - as Black Jack's Carol discovered, you find something that works and stick with it.

Good physical and mental health, shiny coat, strong immune system, tell us if our dogs are doing well. Regular checkups, and bloodwork as needed (every senior should get a geri-panel done once a year or so, and always before any surgery) are also part of the equation, as are checking your own dogs lymph nodes, teeth, ears, paws, etc. on a regular basis and noticing any significant changes in bowel or bladder habits or changes in consistency or colour of stool.

Thanks for the heads up, Carol - it is quite possible that whatever Charley got into was a high fat item (like a large amount of discarded fish skins) that triggered a pancreatitis attack.