Friday, 23 March 2012

Raw & Natural Nutrition for Dogs

 Still on the dog food trail!

This one is Raw & Natural Nutrition for Dogs by Lew Olson
(isbn 978-1-55643-903-2, published in 2010 by North Atlantic Books)

This gives clearly set out information on raw feeding, but also home-cooked food. It starts out with a very interesting history of dog food - how easy it is for us to be taken in by the big food giants, both for human and for dog food! There is no condemnation here, just the facts, which speak for themselves.

The latter half of the book deals with nutrition for specific illnesses and diseases. Very helpful.

If you've tried everything the vet has to offer and nothing seems to be happening, it makes a lot of sense to look at your dog's diet. There has been a lot of debate recently on how much protein older dogs need. Perceived wisdom has it that they don't need as much, and that too much can cause renal failure. Olson states that research shows no relationship between high protein diets and renal failure (p145).

I found this book very helpful and enlightening.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

The story of Jess :

We received this story from a friend.....

Jess is a 5 year old dally. She picked us when she was 12 weeks old and came to live with us. Being a typical dally, she is a loving dog who loves nothing more than snuggling in to you. She adores swimming, which is a bit unusual for the breed I've heard, but you can't keep her out of water.
 She is also an accomplished thief! She is very clever at distracting you enough to steal whatever food is on the go! Nothing apart from mushrooms is safe! We rescued Isa who is a liver spotted dally when she was 9 months, and the 2 are devoted to each other.

Sadly when Jess was 3 she began having seizures. They appeared from nowhere and have continued for the last 2 years. After bloods and X-rays and scans the vet decided that she has idiopathic epilepsy. We started on phenobarbital medication twice a day. This resulted in a massive change in Jess. She became very sleepy, eating anything she could get her paws on. This has resulted in weight gain. The most upsetting change was in her personality - she became very irritable and was easily annoyed. After a year the seizures became more frequent and longer. The medication had been increased and we commenced on another drug, which meant Jess was on 7 tablets a day. Jess was so drugged she was no longer the same dog. She had no energy, she was blown up and her features changed, our happy crazy Jess had gone. The seizures continued and Jess had a poor quality of life. We were at a loss as to what to do, we didn't want her suffering but didn't want to lose our precious dog.

We decided to take her off some of the medication. If she had a better quality of life and she had a few seizures a week we could deal with that if she could. She has slowly returned to her old self and when she is not having seizures she is a delight. We are undecided about stopping her other medication as she has at least 3 seizures a week, would she have more? The family are well used to seizures now. My daughter deals with them like a pro! Needless to say we don't know how long we will be blessed to have our mad dog, but we are thankful for our time with her.

Any comments or help would be greatly appreciated, thanks

Friday, 9 March 2012

Abby Update............

Following this week’s blood test, we now know that Abby’s liver is fine.  The vet didn’t test for diabetes so we don’t know about that yet.  The vet would like us to try feeding Purina HA because the proteins molecules in it are so small that Abby’s digestive system wouldn’t put up a fight against them, and allow their absorption.  We checked out the ingredients.  The protein used is tofu.  The listed percentages of protein and fat add up to 40%.  We don’t know what the other 60% is.  Does anyone have any experience of this food?

Meanwhile, we think she must have eaten something unscheduled yesterday.  Sickness and a good doze of the skits …. Had to hose down the garden afterwards.  Poor wee soul.  (Me, that is!) .........................................

Sunday, 4 March 2012


This is a portrait of Fergus, done recently by artist Amanda Walker. Amanda has also undertaken a companion animal bereavement counselling course. On her website there is a good, concise yet sensitive description of the process of grieving, and just to be in contact with her is a comfort. Check out her website, the link is in the 'Sites that Might Be Of Interest' in this blog and have a look at some of the fantastic portraits she has done.
Can't recommend her highly enough.