Sunday, August 30, 2009

Still doing well!

Louie is still doing really well on the combination of Honest Kitchen, tofu and the stockpiled canned food. I am relieved that we have found something else that he is able to eat, as is he. The Honest Kitchen is rather high fiber, which I expected would irritate his intestines, but he does okay with it. He does need to go outside more frequently.

Blessedly, there's not much news other than this. It feels nice to relax a bit.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

9.6 Pounds!

Slow and steady wins this race. I just weighed Louie and discovered that he's up to 9.6 lbs. That's about a full pound heavier than he was the last time I weighed him! It's very slow, but he's gaining steadily. This is just wonderful news for him!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Another 112 cans on the way

Thought I'd update here on the canned food; though we ended the Save Louie food drive, I still have more food on the way. One of our friends from Chinese Crested Crush managed to find 88 cans and they are on their way here. Another friend here in Sacramento was able to get one more case from her vet, and I'm just waiting for a time when we can get together and I can pick up the food. That's another 24 cans. Thank you, Sarah and Cynthia.

So, it looks like we've got another 112 cans coming. I'm not doing the food drive anymore, but if anyone finds the Royal Canin Digestive Low Fat with FISH as the first ingredient and does not mind shipping it to me (at my expense) I will still buy it. Can't hurt to have as much as possible.

Trying something new

I'm recently a bit concerned about Louie's health, as I've been stretching his food by adding fairly large amounts of the tofu since we discovered he could eat it, and it is starting to show in his skin that his nutrition is not optimal. I suppose it could be the lymphangiectasia flaring up, but he seems to feel pretty well, and other signs aren't present so I believe it is more likely being caused by the fact that he's not getting a completely balanced diet with the added tofu.

I'd wanted to consult a nutritionist to get a better handle on his food needs, but I remembered someone had suggested products from The Honest Kitchen, and I read more about them. They have a base called "Preference" to which you can add a protein source (like tofu) which mixes up to provide a balanced diet, and this base is very low in fat. I thought I could combine that base with the tofu and then combine the mix with his Royal Canin canned food to achieve a better balance in his diet.

We started this on Saturday and, so far, he's handling it pretty well. Most of his poop has looked pretty good, though we had one poop yesterday that looked like it was coated in mucus. This is often a SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) symptom and I discontinued his probiotic when I started feeding this, so it makes sense. I started the probiotic again today, and we'll see how he does.

His skin already seems a bit less dried out and his energy level and mood remain good. I'll be quite happy if this works out for him because it will be something to help our stores of old-formula food last a bit longer.

Here's a link to information about Preference, the Honest Kitchen product we've started using.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009


I get occasional e-mails from people who have stumbled across this forum through a search, and i hope that whatever I offer here has helped someone. I don't know if it does; I can see that people come and go, but it's like ships passing in the night. I can only hope and pray that someone who reads here is inspired to go the extra mile and able to find what helps their dog because they were encouraged by something they read here at this site.

When I do get e-mails, they are often from people who are in a desperate place with their beloved pets. I can only encourage these people to do what I have done, to do as many low-fat diet trials as they possibly can and, hopefully, find some protein source that works for their dog. And if you are lucky enough to identify a protein, find a nutritionist and have a balanced diet created for your dog that includes that protein in an ultra low-fat recipe.

I also do see a few folks who keep coming back, and I hope for them that they are finding something that brings value into their lives. Louie has been a big part of my life, and he's also loved by others. I just hope that others understand that what I do for him I do for those I could not save, as well.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

"Your family dog may be smarter than your toddler"

"Using adapted tests designed for human children, psychologists have learned that average dogs can count, reason and recognize words and gestures on par with a human 2 -year-old.

"They may not be Einsteins, but are sure closer to humans than we thought," said Stanley Coren, a professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia and leading researcher on dog behavior."

LINK: Your family dog may be smarter than your toddler

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Louie's Story, Part 8: Save Louie

I thought long and hard about what I was going to do to feed Louie, once those two cases of his prescription food were gone. As far as something else to feed him, I had no answers. I could walk up to the edge of a likely disaster and just wait until I was forced to try the new formula, but that just didn't seem like a reasonable thing to do. My biggest fear was that I was not going to be able to find anything else he could eat, and that I'd be forced to watch him slowly waste away again, this time with nothing else I could do. I couldn't see letting that happen.

That is when this blog and the companion site at came into being. We started out with a letter writing campaign in the hope that Royal Canin would consider making the old formula again as a separate product in their line. When it became clear that this was not going to happen, I realized that I had to shift my focus quickly. There was still old product out there on shelves all over the continent, but it would not be there forever. At the urging of a friend, the Save Louie Food Drive was born, and I was able to purchase over 500 cans of the old formula food for Louie, all thanks to the kindness of those who spread the word, made calls, purchased food and shipped it to me.

Louie will soon be twelve years old. If we're lucky, he will have three more years or so. He eats a can a day, so 500 cans is not quite enough, but it's a good start. And just recently, we discovered a new protein source that he can eat: Tofu.

I'm stretching those cans of food for as long as I possibly can by mixing them with tofu and, sometimes, rice. In the next few months, once I dig out from under the expense of shipping 500 cans of dog food to California from all over, I will speak to a veterinary nutritionist about how to best balance Louie's diet. For now, I believe that Louie is finally saved.

This is an insidious disease. It can rear its ugly head at any time, but now that he is stable, remissions are relatively long and relapses are infrequent. Louie today is as happy as he can be. He feels good, his skin has healed, his muscle tone has improved and his energy is good.

He owns my heart, and I am so very grateful that he's doing well.

Yes, there is hope.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Be careful out there!

My heart is broken today. One of my friends from the Chinese Crested forum went outside to walk his two dogs yesterday, and one of the dogs, a little, white Pomeranian, was attacked by a larger dog that was off-leash. The little pom passed away last night in the emergency veterinarian hospital.

This kind of story hurts on so many levels. Here was a guy who was doing everything right. A doting dad who takes superb care of his pets, he always comes across as someone for whom these dogs are one of the great joys in life. And yet, in an instant, without any warning, it all turned so horribly, horribly tragic.

I admit that I am not a very good mother sometimes. I have little dogs, and I have a nice, fenced-in yard, and my dogs don’t get exercised around the neighborhood as much as they probably should. But when I hear stories like this, I am glad that they have a place to run around together that is relatively safe. The worst likely encounter they might have in our yard would be with a skunk. I’d love to say that it’s because I’m so very careful with them, but it’s really more about me being lazy, truth be told. However, when I hear stories like this one, I don’t feel so bad about being lazy.

The rumor is that the dog who attacked was not a stray, but a neighbor’s “security” pet who was allowed to walk around off-leash. The fault, if this is true, lies with this dog’s owner, but my friend does not even know who he is-- and no amount of blaming is going to bring back this sweet little life.

It can all happen so fast. Please, please…be careful out there!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Louie's Story, Part 7: Can we relax yet?

Louie did pretty well from then on; he began to put some weight on again, and he began to regain the strength he had lost. I was pretty sure we were finally at a point at which we could relax a bit. His eyes were still a problem, and he was continuing to lose sight in both eyes but if that was the price to be paid for keeping him alive, so be it. He was happy, he could still get around, and he didn't seem to be in any pain.

We cruised along like this for several months. I'd order his prescription food a case at a time, drive up to Davis about once a month to pick it up, and we watched him come back to life again. Where before I'd been able to see blackheads all over his skin, now it was much more clear.

Then, one day I was online reading the forum that I visit about canine pancreatitis, when someone mentioned that the prescription food he was eating had been changed. The recipe was different; whereas before it had been made with fish, it was now being made with pork and chicken.

I was not sure about the pork, but I knew that our homemade diet with chicken had never agreed with him.

I had just picked up two cases of food. It was the first time I'd felt confident enough in his improving health to purchase two cases at a time. I ran to the garage and looked at the labels and was relieved to find that they were the old formula.

So, I had two cases left. 48 cans. After that, I did not know what I was going to feed him.


Intestinal lymphangiectasia: Yes, there is hope.

I want you to know, if you have landed here in search of information about this terrible disease, that there is hope for your dog.

When I first began searching, like you, for information after this diagnosis, I was horrified by what I read. But I also learned, from friends who had experienced the disease in their own dogs, that some dogs do very well with this diagnosis. The key is often as simple as figuring out some feeding regimen that works for your dog, and then strictly staying with it.

Our case was complicated by several other things, particularly some apparent protein sensitivities which meant that, in addition to fat, there were also many meats and protein sources that he could not eat. But we kept trying, and we have found things that work.

I want you to know that, a year past the point where I thought we were going to lose him, Louie is happy and feeling well. He is energetic and feisty and sweet. He feels good.

There were many days when I thought we would never get to this point, but here we are. Please, if you are here because you are wondering... know that there is hope.

What do 426 cans of dog food look like?

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