We have a senior pup that we absolutely adore. You may have already known that from my previous posts or the multitude of pictures (& videos) but what you may not know is what we do to combat the diseases trying to take over her body.
You may find yourself in this place too – your sweet fur-baby needs more than a couple scoops of food tossed in a bowl a couple times a day or maybe you’re already cooking or providing an alternative feeding (instead of kibble/pellets) and you may not want to just pop her a pill – as common as it may be for society and even for our pets. There are other options. Yes, even if you do need to feed commercial food, you can still work with it by supplementing.
No judgement here. No dog-food-shaming either.
Earlier this year, our 11 (almost 12) year old Golden was diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease and arthritis. At almost twelve (in two weeks as of this writing), we’ve dealt with many illnesses, lumps/growths, and much more. We are very blessed to have thus far dodged the horrific malady that usually takes a Golden out (cancer). We did not dodge it with Ginnie (see my post/video “Senior Dogs RAWK“) so we are very much involved in the research process on how to treat Libby’s current challenges.
But sometimes the “cure” can be worse than the sickness – as many believe the traditional treatment for Cushing’s dogs, can be. Now, I know not everyone feels that way but you do have to be very vigilant with the medication as it can shift the dog’s adrenals in the opposite direction quickly; from too high cortisol to dangerously low (Addison’s crisis).
With no tumor on her abdominal ultrasound (therefore we are probably looking at pituitary), no ravenous hunger, thirst or panting (all key CD symptoms), and wanting both quality and quantity for Libby, we chose to go the alternative & holistic route for now while still keeping the traditional as we balance it all (or try) out. Quality of life most importantly. I like to say, my girl is truly my girl; like her pet-momma, she’s got a team of medical (veterinary) pro’s to help navigate the spaghetti plate of issues. They’re connected – they touch each other – but unlike the pasta, the individual strands all need to be addressed, not just lumped onto the plate. Having a wonderful traditional/holistic/rehabilitation vet team, Libby gets all of her pieces addressed and all options explored – from surgical to Chinese medicine to alternate modalities and anywhere in between. We began with nutrition.
In my video (see below) you’ll get a taste (😎) of Libby’s breakfast. I’m truly hoping that by us sharing our experience with you, perhaps it can be a blessing as you search for answers with your best furry friend too. Most holistic veterinarians and a growing number of traditional doctors as well, believe in supplementing; especially if your pet eats mainly kibble.
I do want to share that we actually did try to transition Libby over to the CrockPet (search engine Dr. Ruth Roberts DVM) diet – ground turkey with all kinds of veggies & legumes slow cooked and blended to perfection by yours truly every 7 days – even made enough for that ill-fated trip to IA that ended in Gatlinburg, but after 4 weeks, she just stopped eating it – right as we hit the 50/50 dry kibble/home cooked ratio.
We were left with returning completely to the kibble (which, by the way, is a high quality brand by a 5-generation Wisconsin pet-food company called Fromm Family Foods) so the next best thing we can do at this stage, is I said earlier; supplement for Libby’s specific needs, so we do.
Libby’s breakfast menu items are listed below (and in the video). In the future, I will also bring you some dinner/evening snack anxiety treatment remedies & clips from her alternative treatment as well. Please feel free to ask questions or comment and if I don’t have the response you need, I’ll certainly do my best to point you in the right direction. I’m not a vet tech or trained in animal health – just a concerned dog-mom who is learning as she goes.
> Fromm Large Breed Weight Management Gold, Wisconsin (balanced for older or overweight dogs; Libby has lost 4 pounds (great in dog terms) on this food and is not hungry which CD dogs typically are the opposite)
> Select homeopathic remedies from holistic veterinarian (specially derived in accordance with Chinese traditional medicine)
> FortiFlora probiotics (or Dr. Mercola’s “Complete Probiotics” for pets is another brand we’ll use.
> Dasuquin Advanced joint supplements – because our girl is a senior…with arthritis.
> Dr. Mercola pets supplements:
Ubiquinol spray (for cellular energy/heart/organ health)
Eye Health (for treatment of cataracts & Horner’s syndrome = third eyelid lifting)
One final word (for now) on supplements, there is a turmeric recipe (called Golden Paste) that we did try for Libby – in fact Jay and I eat the recipe as well since it is for fighting inflammation – but with Libby having Cushing’s, and the recipe calling for Coconut oil, and some veterinarians are not comfortable with the possible pancreatic reaction (still researching) we have chosen to forgo the paste but her holistic remedy powder does have turmeric in it. The preferred way (according to the creator of the “GP”) seems to be to actually cook the turmeric, but it is still possible to gain some benefit from just the powder. There is much to read on this incredible food so I’ll just say, do some research 🙂
Until next time!