Sunday, May 31, 2009

Another Dog Suffers

I just received an e-mail from Denise, in New Zealand, who writes:

"I truly sympathise with your difficulties. I have a German Shepherd with EPI (exocrine pancreatic insufficiency) who only does well on the {Royal Canin} Digestive low fat.  The formula has also changed here in New Zealand. I have phoned RC but they have not phoned back.

I have just had to give my girl treatment for bacterial overgrowth brought on by the change of formula." 

I wrote back to ask Denise if I could share this e-mail here, and she wrote back to say: 

"Hi Laura, you certainly can. This is a double whammy for me as in 2001 my previous EPI dog (lucky me I have had two special care dogs) was on a formula which also had it's ingredients changed without warning which made her incredibly ill and I am sure was instrumental in her early death (not quite 3 years) that it feels like I am reliving a nightmare."

Thank you, Denise, for sharing your story with us.  I am sorry that your dog is so ill, and I hope you will find a solution for her quickly.  

Food Trial: Cod

I cooked up some of the cod that I bought yesterday and have added small portions of that to Louie's meals.  So far he's handling it well but it's too early to see whether or not he'll react to it.  

Over the next few days I'll work to increase the amount I give him, as long as he seems to be doing okay.  

According to the chart of fish fat content that I'm using (thanks, Les), cod should be very low in fat, at just 0.7 percent.  It would be nice if this fish works for him, because I'll then not be depending on other things so much to cut back the fat content, and that in turn will allow us to keep the protein levels up in the food.

So keep your fingers crossed!  And keep sending out those letters, and spreading the word.  


Meet Noid

A friend's Chinese Crested, Noid, has also been impacted by recent changes made by the Royal Canin Company.  Noid's mom has given me permission to post his story here.  In her words:

“Back in 2007 Noid was diagnosed with a rare genetic kidney disease called Canine Cystinuria which basically is his inability to reabsorb cystine and some other amino acids which then forms crystals and those block his urethra.

He had gone in several times to have a hydropulsion to flush his system when he blocked, most times it was in and out and a few antibiotics due to a foreign object inside but not too bad. Once he did have to stay over night because he couldn't relax and they had to put him under to do it.

There aren't many treatment options.  There are 2 different drugs, one, penicillamine, the vet did not want Noid on due to the side effects, and the other, thiola, which we could not get in Canada even though it is tolerated well by dogs and apparently works to control it.

 The last option was to have a scrotal urethrostomy In a nutshell, this is a surgery that redirects the dog's urethra away from the penis and out a new, surgically-created opening in front of the scrotum. This enables male dogs to more easily pass small stones, and can help prevent urinary blockage, the main risk from this condition. While it's not impossible they will still obstruct, it reduces the chances substantially.

Noid had this operation a year ago now.   He had to live in diapers for a while and was caged and not allowed to play or do anything for several weeks.   But now it's a year later and he hasn't clogged other than a couple times back when his insides were still all swollen . 

He still forms stones and always will.  This is an incurable disease and will never go away, but the operation was to be able to pass the stones which so far is working.

When he does pass the stones he tends to get a little cranky and he bleeds a little bit just a few drops though and not like it was that's for sure!

And through it all he's been a little trooper and has kept his Noidatude intact and is doing so very well.”

One of the things that has kept Noid going (quite literally, I suppose!) is a supplement made by Royal Canin.  And, as with the Royal Canin Digestive Low Fat food, Noid’s mom reports that Royal Canin has recently stopped manufacturing this supplement. 

Due to the problems he has had, she is fearful of using anything else.  Like me, she has a small supply of the product yet.  She does not know what she will do for Noid when that is gone. 


Thank you!

The site has only been up for a few hours, and already I have received several e-mails and other correspondence from people who have sent letters and e-mails to Royal Canin.  

With the outpouring of support, I wanted to start this blog as a way to keep everyone who cares for him updated about what is happening with Louie, as well as any progress we see in our effort to obtain or discover a food that he can eat.

I am also planning additional food trials using different kinds of fish to see if we can hit upon something that works without the company's help.  We started on this yesterday after I found a chart online showing fat content for various types of fish.  I have this list now posted on our refrigerator, and will be crossing things off the list as we try them. 

When we were homecooking regularly last year, I received a recipe from a veterinary nutritionist and used that recipe as a base to try some foods.  The recipe called for chicken, but I also tried whitefish and tilapia.  So we won't be trying those again, at least not at first.  

Today I picked up some cod from the grocery store.  We did a salmon trial yesterday, and it did not go well, so I'm giving poor Louie a little time to recover.  Today I picked up some cod from the grocery store.  He had a bad night last night but was doing much better today, so I'll probably cook up some of the cod tomorrow, mix it with a little rice, and do a blend in with the canned food.  We'll see how that goes.    

These food trials are a bit precarious for him, with his history of pancreatitis as well as lymphangiectasia, so we have to be quite cautious.  My hope is that we hit upon a winning combination soon.  In the meantime, we are grateful for the support of those who have come to this site to offer their letters encouraging Royal Canin to help us.   Louie thanks you from the bottom of his heart, and I do, too.