Evelyn’s First Week

Because Evelyn is so very small and so very malnourished, I have been concerned with how much to feed.

I know to feed for the desired weight, not the actual weight. But I also don’t want to make her sick in the process by overfeeding. Pugs are pretty notorious for over-indulging, if permitted.

Slow & steady wins the race, right?

The first day, all she had was Answers‘ raw fermented goats milk. 2-3 oz every 2-3 hours until she had consumed about 10 oz. I preach and preach on this stuff. It is awesome. Such a gentle protein, it’s easy on the digestive tract because it’s fermented, which means it’s LOADED with probiotics.

She slept like a baby all night.

See how tiny she is by comparison? (She's the apricot in the middle)
See how tiny she is by comparison? (She’s the apricot in the middle)

The next day, I added a farm fresh, free-range raw chicken egg to her milk. I thought the extra protein would hold her while I was at work and unable to come feed her every 3 hours.

But, when I weighed her on day 3, she had dropped to below 11 lbs.

I freaked out.

Pearl & Truman both weigh about 25 lbs. Recently, I learned that to determine the amount of raw meat & bone to feed your dog, multiply the dog’s body weight by 10, which will give the number of grams to feed.

25 lbs x 10 = 250 grams. Converts to about 8 oz per day.

And that is what they get. (plus treats)

I don’t want to tax Evelyn’s system, so I only increased her intake by 2 oz. Also, she is crated during the day, so the decrease in activity should help as well.

Because she’s anemic, I wanted to add a blood-builder. So I fed fresh, raw organic chicken livers pureed with her goats milk for 2 meals. Unfortunately, it was too rich, and gave her the runs.

Crap!

So, back to the egg & milk routine, with a little baked sweet potato added to the mix. After one meal, no more runny poop, and by Friday, she added a few more ounces.

We are now holding steady at 12 lbs. Woop woop!!

She had her first bath on Thursday night to finally wash off the significant stink from the streets of Birmingham, the kennel, the vet. Plus, her coat is a total nightmare right now. It’s rough as a boar bristle, and the conditioner I used really didn’t help.

This coat is a complete wreck. The base of her tail is totally hairless. The dark bald spots have to be from previous flea infestation.
This coat is a complete wreck. The base of her tail is totally hairless. The dark bald spots are from previous flea infestation.

So I’ve added coconut oil to her diet. 1 full teaspoon everyday, whether by itself or on a treat. She devours it!

She is great in the tub. She holds very still and seemed to enjoy the warm water and the gentle massage across her frail frame, and loved being wrapped in a warm towel at the end. She is finding her place in the family, and the other 2 are adjusting to her encroachment.

Room enough for 3 in mama's lap.
Room enough for 3 in mama’s lap.

She has a LOT of energy for such a tiny, skinny pug. She LOVES to play. She’s a good little retriever, and enjoys a good game of tug. Despite her previous pregnancy/ies and the gray in her face, I am more convinced each day that she is much younger than anyone thought.

She’s a big help with the blog to boot.

Evie takes over The HOL Dog.
Evie takes over The HOL Dog.

She got a new JazzyJ collar this week, and is making herself at home.

We’re on an upward trajectory, folks!

pugs & kisses,

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This Wart is Bananas!

Hey, guess what.

The inside of a banana peel will make your dog’s paw wart go away.

Not kidding.

I did some research the other week to see what might enable us to (once again) avoid surgery.

Recall that post splinter-ectomy, a wart decided to take up residence in the space between Pearl’s paw pads. The vet put us on yet another round of antibiotics and steroids. I didn’t object because if there was some infection still up in there from the splinter (and there had been), then I wanted it to go away. And there was a bit of pain and swelling, which was making her limp. (Tenderfoot & what not).

But if those didn’t work, the vet suggested cutting off Mr. Wart. (His spending was getting out of control). Anytime you cut on the paw, it’s a difficult healing process for obvious reasons.

So I set out to find another way.

Cinnamon leaf oil can be used for wart removal. It’s highly irritating to the skin, so you have to dilute it. I know it will surprise you to learn that I could not find cinnamon leaf oil in the places I searched in Birmingham. (I’ve got to find better sources. This is getting ridic).

Thuja is an herb that supposedly works on warts. (You guessed it. Couldn’t find any).

Next up: Banana peel.

Yep. Banana peel. The fleshy inside part.

Cheap and readily available.

I scraped a bit off the inside of the peel, and stuffed it in between her paw pads. No bandage needed.

Once a day for 7 days.

….Drum roll……

Mr. Wart slipped on the peel and busted his arse.

I’ll take a pun all the way. Oh, yes I will.

It’s really almost completely gone.

Now, certainly, the antibiotics and steroid might still share some of the credit. But, we had given them their due for about a week before climbing into the banana hammock (see, I did it again), and there had been no noticeable change. Also, warts are viruses, and we all know antibiotics are ineffective against viruses.

After a day or so of banana peel application, the wart had shrunk in size. What remained was very soft, whereas before it was a raised knot with a black dot on top. But now, seven days later, it’s totally flat and the discoloration is dissipating.

Natural remedy does it again! And we are saving time, money, and physical pain by not having to endure a cutting to remove the growth.

And we are loving some yummy bananas in the meantime.

Happy Friday!

pugs & kisses,

Pugs & their Paws: A splinter’s tale. #SMH

#pugs, #puglife, #puglove, #pugsofinstagram, #flatnosedsociety.

Since starting down our HOListic road, I’ve realized how quickly I run to my vet for every little thing. If I took the time to gain a little bit of knowledge of my own, perhaps I could address some problems at home.

Exhibit A: The abscess on Truman’s paw that healed with topical application of raw honey.

But we haven’t quit our vet habit yet.

Pearl picked up a splinter.

I didn’t know she had a splinter. She wouldn’t let me touch her hand to get a closer look.

Pugs & their paws. #smh

Of course, my over-active imagination immediately went bananas:

SHE BROKE HER WRIST JUMPING OFF THE BED!! SHE’S ONLY 3! HER BONES ARE SO FRAIL, SHE MUST HAVE BONE CANCER! THIS RAW DIET ISN’T WORKING! WE’LL HAVE TO CUT OFF HER LEG!! OHMYGOD!!!

No, freak show. It’s just a splinter. Calm your crazy ass down.

I tried to treat it with honey, but after a couple of days, her limp was more pronounced (which convinced me she had a torn ligament. Hypochondriac much?).

So, off to the vet we went. I heard her scream from the back of the clinic when the doc removed it. A quarter-inch long, it took 3 people to hold her down to get it out.

Feeling a tad better about my own limitations when it comes to Pug paws, thank you.

I have never had a Pug who would let me touch the feet. Even the most laid back of them all (Truman) has a big fat fit when I try to do something as gentle as rub a little bit of honey on his boo-boo.

People give me a sideways glance when they see the excessive length in the toenail area. They gently scold me with a note of condescension when I try to explain that it’s not for lack of trying. They say with their eyes, ‘Yeah, whatevs. You just don’t want to do it, lazy human.”

SCREW ALL OF YOU!! IT TOOK 3 PEOPLE TO HOLD HER SCREAMING, 25-lb ASS DOWN TO GET THAT SPLINTER!

Post-splinter extraction, something decided to grow in its place. Great. We’re not living a real-life story of the lion with the thorn that loves the little mouse forever. That lion didn’t get a wart chaser in its paw. Or if it did, that nugget didn’t make the story.  Unlike the lion & the mouse, we get to go back to the vet because this shit just will not quit.

The quickest fix is the traditional medicine route. To my knowledge, there is no holistic vet in Birmingham, and I simply don’t have the knowledge right now to adequately treat whatever this growth is at home.

I’m still using honey on it, but in truth, I think the steroid is doing most of the work because in the days before we went back for the follow-up, the honey didn’t seem to make much difference.

So, it’s not time to say farewell to western medicine just yet. My hope at this point is that if it IS a wart, and thus a virus, her immune system is robust enough to fight it because she has such a healthy diet.

pugs & kisses,

What’s for Supper (part II): Redefining Dog Food

natural whole food holistic raw diet for dogs

I am on a mission to redefine what “dog food” means.

Why should our dogs be relegated to eating things that would make us vomit? People across the socio-economic spectrum now consider their pets as family members. If that’s true, why is their nutrition so dramatically less important than ours?

It may be because our own nutrition is no longer as important to us as perhaps it once was.

I mean, what did you eat for lunch? Did it come in a bag? Or a plastic container? Did you nuke it in the microwave? Did the restaurant get the ingredients from the back of an 18-wheeler?

You get my point. We do the same thing to our trusty companions, and they have no rights of protest.

Some of the people I’ve spoken with simply don’t know what to put in their dog’s bowl. Here are some thoughts of what to put together.

Breakfast combos (along with the yogurt-oat-honey staple):

Watermelon & cucumber

Cantaloupe & honeydew

Apples & bananas

Apples & pears

Pears & plums

Plums & peaches

Peaches & blueberries

Blueberries & kiwi

Strawberries & bananas

Dinner combos:

Beef, tomatoes & peppers

Chicken, broccoli & sweet potato

Quail, broccolini & pumpkin

Fish, peppers & carrots

Fish, tomatoes & zucchini

Chicken, peas & carrots

Beef, butternut squash & pumpkin

Fish, green beans & butternut squash

The combinations are endless, and are entirely dependent on what I find at the farmer’s market on the weekends.

I rotate the protein regularly so that they’re not getting too much of the same thing too often.

Unlike what can happen when feeding dry or canned dog food, changing up their raw meat/veggie combos has not caused digestive distress or made them picky eaters.

I feed them a balanced diet.

Why does any of this matter so much to me?

Their coats are softer, and they don’t shed as much. Their noses are less snotty. Their poops are regular. They’re both holding a healthy weight. The theory is that they’ll be healthier over the course of their lives.

Most importantly for us, however, is that after just over 2 months of the raw diet, Pearl’s bladder infection has not returned.

This is a way of life for us now. And it’s affecting my own diet…

pugs & kisses,