Thursday, January 29, 2009
You Gotta Wonder
Specky (Short for Speckles)
The two above are our rescue dogs. They both had rough beginnings, but are doing all right now. We've had them both for several years and they're best buds. In the last six months both of the girls have started having some health issues. This is not uncommon in dogs in their later years as well as dogs that may not have had the best of beginnings.
Things got so bad back in the fall that we wondered if Andi would see the new year. Her liver enzymes were so high the machine that reads the blood work could not even tell us how high they were! The vet's diagnosis: liver cancer. (We had already decided not to go for further test if it were cancer because we didn't want to put a dog of Andi's age through that.) Andi was lethargic, wouldn't eat, wouldn't play with her bud or us and just felt BAD. She's normally our wild child, bouncing off walls and the like. We knew something was seriously wrong. The doc gave her a cortisone shot in the hopes it would help slow down the process. We also changed her food (several times) to tempt her into eating. Fast forward to today - Andi's doing great. Her energy is back, she's a play machine, and she woofs her food down.
We took Spec to the vet yesterday. It was time for her yearly and she has been developing hot spots on her skin. She's just about licked/chewed the fur off from both hips. We thought it was from fleas. This is Florida and fleas don't take a break down here, but we were wrong. The vet seems to think it's an allergy, most likely a food allergy. She also received a cortisone shot to help with the itching. Other than the hot spots she checked out fine.
On a whim yesterday, my husband googled the dog food we've been feeding our dogs for years. He got back page after page of complaints about the brand, Nutro Max. It would seem there are lots of consistent symptoms in these complaints: high liver enzymes, eating grass, lethargy, refusing to eat, hot spots - hmmmmm, are we seeing a trend here? Apparently there have been a number of deaths attributed to this particular dog food brand, but there hasn't been anything proven. No toxins or anything bad has been found in the foods that have been tested.
When there is smoke, consistent smoke, over a long period of time, from people all over the nation, well, I think you've got to wonder about common denominators - like dog food. Andi wasn't expected to see the new year. We took her off the Nutro to tempt her to eat. Would she be gone now if we had not? Gotta wonder. The doc seemed pretty sure Spec's hot spots were allergy related. If they clear up once we take her off Nutro I'll wonder if it was the food or the cortisone shot. Either way, I'm taking them off Nutro.
If you are feeding your dog, or cat, any Nutro products, I urge you to google for info about the Nutro complaints and to make your own decision. It may save your dog or cat's life, you untold grief, not to mention extremely costly vet bills.