Y’all, Evelyn is up from her starting weight of 11.8 lbs to 13.3 lbs!!
Yay! Get excited!
This weight is coming on her very slowly, but I think that’s a good thing. It’s real weight. I can see muscle tone in her belly, whereas before, there was just loose skin over bone. I can no longer count all of her ribs by just looking at her.
She eats with passion. Her poops are healthy, solid, black. And she sleeps soundly.
She’s coming along beautifully, IMHO.
We have one small issue — I think it’s one issue — it has 2 symptoms.
Her coat is not improving, and she has been scratching excessively. So, I’ve put on my Sherlock Holmes hat and went on a mission to sleuth it out.
The ridiculously insane scratching began in earnest early in the week. She got her second dose of Sentinel on Monday, and finished her 30-day round of Doxycycline (part of the slow-kill method for heartworms) on Tuesday. By Wednesday, she was out of her mind biting and scratching herself by any means available.
I’ve never before seen a dog throw herself on the ground to scratch from nose to tail.
I rubbed her with coconut oil mixed with a few drops of chamomile essential oil; I bathed her in lavender shampoo & conditioner; I sprayed her with itch-relief spray– all of which gave only a short reprieve.
When topical treatment fails, it has to be coming from the inside.
By Saturday afternoon, and by process of elimination, I’d narrowed it down to three things: oats, Sentinel, or a skin infection that the Doxy was keeping in check.
I can’t do anything about the Sentinel at this point. It’s part of the very essential heartworm elimination process. And if there is a skin infection, continuing with the raw diet should go a long way toward solving that problem.
But the past couple of weeks, because it’s fall when grains are harvested and because I like to feed according to the seasons, I’ve been soaking whole, uncooked oats overnight in goat’s milk to soften them, and then pureeing them with apples or berries for her breakfast.
OUT WITH THE OATS!
Simplifying her meals will make it easier to identify any other culprits.
Because she may still be anemic due to the heartworms, she’ll be eating beef to build iron in her blood. Because pumpkin is plentiful right now and is a great source of fiber, I’ll add freshly cooked, local, pureed pumpkin to her beef. I’ll hit it with turmeric for inflammation, and milk thistle seed to support her liver after a month of antibiotics.
For breakfast, she will have green veggie smoothies made with goat’s milk. Find recipes here.
All her treats will be grain-free (thanks to Cahabones!) smeared with coconut oil.
We’ll see how it goes. I’ll keep you posted!
pugs & kisses,