Thursday, July 9, 2009
Update on Lady
Lady is doing much better! If she could just get away from ALL THESE DARN CATS! :) Everytime she turns around, one is checking her out, sitting beside her. And she wants NOTHING to do with them. Nothing. Nada.
Anyway...Lady has improved a lot. I mean to the point where her previous condition (yeast infection all throughout her body) has totally begun to dissipate. The knot on her leg has gotten smaller, and the itching has been less. Her energy is returning - she even initiated play with a toy tonight!
So I'm thinking, two things have changed. She's had the antibiotic for pancreatitis, and her diet is also different - she's had homecooked chicken and rice this week. Obviously the pancreatitis is a stomach related flare-up...usually caused by too much fat/greasy foods. The swelling, itching, feet licking and other stuff were related to the yeast problem (which she was previously on Ketaconzale for).
I know the antibiotic probably straightened her stomach issues out. But would it have helped these symptoms which then caused the yeast problem? I'm not sure. I've already been through stomach issues with Max, and after hundreds in vet bills and analyzing everything the dog was eating, I determined corn was the issue...pulled him off of corn, and viola! No more problems.
So now I'm thinking with Lady...there's something she's allergic to in the food. Being that I feed Royal Canin German Shepherd food to both of them, and it's very bland, it should be pretty easy to figure out. Funny thing is, the food is mostly made up of chicken and rice - same thing she's eating this week. BUT...it does have barley...it does have oats...it does have soy. One of those things could be causing the problem.
I also had a discussion with my mother - who has celiac disease (gluten intolerance) - about this. I stated to her that I wondered if DOGS could get this same thing. This morning, I did a search and found this website ~> http://www.dogtorj.net/index.html
VERY INTERESTING. I spent hours there reading. It appears this can DEFINITELY be an issue with dogs that causes a TON of health issues, and I really appreciate this vet putting this valuable information out there!
I've read a lot of websites with posts with a lot of dog health issues. One thing I keep seeing over and over are successes from pet owners changing their pets FOOD and paying more attention to DIET. I mean I've seen long-term successes being discussed. "My dog had this health problem and I changed to such-n-such food and he hasn't had a problem in 5 years..." - that kind of success is what I mean. Not the "I got my dog some meds and now he's fine" posts. I'm talking long-term...and most of the time, many other problems also dissipate with the changes made relating to food and diet.
I decided to also change a couple other things, just in case her condition is not related to food/diet (though I'm 95% sure it is). I've washed her bedding in plain hot water (no detergent) - just in case there is some sensitivity to the detergent. Never thought of that until I read something about it on the Great Dane Lady's site. I'm sensitive to chemicals myself, so I really watch the use of them here in the house. The detergent doesn't bother me, but that doesn't mean the dogs can't be sensitive to it!
And...I got lucky and acquired a new (slightly used) vacuum cleaner from someone on my Freecycle list. It works wonderful! Much better than the old one which has been on its last leg (wheels?) for quite some time. I've been working on getting this house majorly cleaned this week as a result, and maybe getting rid of more of the dust-n-dander is helping things too.
Lady's antibiotics will run out this weekend. I'm going to keep her on the chicken and rice for at least a week beyond that and she if she keeps responding well. If so, I'm either going to keep cooking for her (which is amazing...as I do NOT cook...LOL), or I'm going to find her a dog food she can have which is gluten-free. I've already found one...and I may do a mix of the two and see how it works.
And after reading the website, it almost makes me want to change my diet as well...so that may happen too! Maybe. :)