With worked ramped up to beyond what a middle-aged Crazy Dog Lady can do, I find the brain too tired to write anything of value of late. So let’s play THEN and NOW. It doesn’t take much brain power.
This video was posted in July of 2013.
That was THEN.
This is NOW:
Angus and Emmi are negative for Valley Fever titers. An accident with Angus’ Fluconazole dosage, coupled with the conversion to 1/2 homemade, 1/2 commercial lead to the first decrease in his titers – ever. He was removed from Fluconazole and given 100% homemade when the decrease was reported. Angus was negative for Valley Fever titers 3 months later.
When the decrease in Angus’ titers was discovered, Emmi was titer tested, then converted to 100% homemade. Emmi’s titers bounced back and forth between 1:8 and 1:16 since she was diagnosed in 2011. 5 months after converting to homemade, she tested negative for Valley Fever. Oh, and I forgot to mention; when I converted Emmi, I took her completely off Fluconazole.
Both Angus and Emmi were symptomatic for Valley Fever, more particularly, they both hurt a lot. Angus has not needed pain killers since before November 2013 (when titer reduction was first reported). Emmi has not needed pain killers since December 2013, about a month after her conversion to homemade.
At the time of Sarah’s conversion, she was on prednisone, amantadine, and tramadol. When Sarah was converted to homemade, she was immediately taken off of her amantadine. She had to be weaned from the prednisone. Tramadol was still given if she had pain. Though Sarah has not improved, as far as her choppy gate and clumsiness, she has not gotten worse without her medications. Twice since her conversion, I’ve had to give her tramadol, exponentially less than usual, and the last time was over a month ago.
In full disclosure, Sarah had a near four-month period of time in 2013 where she did not express her symptoms as badly as she usually does. During that time, though Sarah did not need prednisone, she did need Tramadol regularly. We are only 2 months into her conversion to homemade. It would be unwise for me to claim ‘cure’ this early in the game.
Something we have noticed is that the constant regurgitation/dehydration episodes appear to have stopped. I don’t think we’ve ever gone two months without having to sop up the floors and re-hydrate Sarah since she came to live with us. With respect to Sarah’s regurgitation issues, I’m confident in making the claim that homemade dog food has helped, much to the disappointment of paper towel manufacturers everywhere.
Our hearts are still broken over the loss of our Maude, one of the glucosamine kids. Unfortunately all the wishing in the world can’t make someone we love live longer when they’re very old.
Mortimer and Sarah have been removed from glucosamine. I have already discussed Sarah’s non-regression when taken off of her medications, glucosamine technically being one of them.
In Morty’s case, he was also removed from glucosamine when he was converted to homemade. He came back from a particularly hard camping trip last weekend, and rather than curling into a painful little ball (pre-glucosamine state), he stretched out comfortably. Additionally his gimpy swagger which showed itself if he played too hard is gone. Both the soreness after hiking and the gimpy swagger are the reasons he was put on glucosamine to begin with, and he did improve on the supplement. Conversion to homemade didn’t make Morty ‘better’, but it appears to negate the need for glucosamine.
To be fair and balanced here:
Slugger and Sarah were taken off Valley Fever treatment when the Fluconazole price increased 1800%. Neither has suffered negative effects as a result. Fact is, some dogs can have titers, and never show a symptom. Slugger and Sarah, from their lack of negative effects from being removed from the Fluconazole, are apparently two such dogs.
Work, not nutrition, was the reason Willy was weaned off his fluoxedine in January 2014. Actually, he reacted badly (behavioral) when first converted to homemade. That negative effect was fixed by adjusting the protein in his diet.
And to disclaim further:
I’m not so full of myself that I would put the health and happiness of my kids in front of my desire to be right. All meds are still in the freezer. Angus and Emmi will still get titer checks for Valley Fever from time to time. All kids are watched like a hawk for any negative effect or reaction, be they real or imagined, and immediate action will be taken if such an effect or reaction is noted, vet/meds being the first course of action. And finally, a soft shiny coat is not the measuring stick for whether a homemade diet works. For that reason, I do regular blood work on The Hoard to make sure the diet plan works.
All in all, homemade food has been a success here at The Ranch. Bummer is, the time spent giving all those pills of the past was so much shorter than the time I spend washing dishes now…