You Gotta Wonder

6:14 PM

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.

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4 Creative Thought(s)

  1. So glad to hear Andi's doing better... and hope you have similar good results with Specky.

    It really does make you wonder what they put in food... both pet food and our food!

  2. Thank goodness you found out in time! Hoping both of your dogs do well!

  3. It does make you wonder about the food and the processes used when so many animals, and now people (peanut butter), are getting sick!

    Thanks for your concern, judging by their activity/energy levels, both dogs seem to be doing well. We're still concerned about damage to Andi's liver, but there's not much that can be done about it.

  4. How very frightening! Maybe you should go back to basics, and cook her food yourself. Our Misty (cocker spaniel) liked a little breakfast...she'd gracefully accept dry biscuit, but preferred toast with butter and marmalade (not jam) and cream crackers with butter and Edam or Cheshire cheese (no Danish Blue, no margarine). My mother used to buy hearts or liver or neck of lamb or oxtail (all cheap cuts) and boil them up, let them cool then chop them up roughly and mix with dry biscuit with a little gravy.

    Once boiled, the meat would fall off the neck of lamb or oxtail (don't give the bones) or she could pick it off with her fingers. Misty would not eat tinned dog food - we tried her with every variety going - in fact, we tried to get tough with her by refusing to feed anything else. She won - 3 days of not eating! She did love chicken - Mum would also buy cheap chicken legs and boil or roast them at the same time as doing our own dinner. (Never the bones, pick the meat off. Skin is OK).

    This is before the days of the microwave of course. So it would be much easier now!

    Money-wise, it worked out the same or cheaper, and if you have a regular butcher that you use they will often save large bones for you (I used to dig the marrow out of the bones with a nailfile because Misty couldn't bite through them).

    She liked Bonios and the doggy choc drops, and didn't mind a bit of dry mix...but woe betide if that was all she got! And of course, whatever is left over at dinner - very partial to roast potato (not too much) but not chips (French fries?) and would tolerate any veg with gravy on it like peas or green beans. No fast food whatsoever, and she thrived... she lived till 15 which is a great age for a spaniel.

    One thing you might want to check with tinned food - the salt content. Too much salt is very dangerous, and they seem to put it in everything these days, also flavour enhancers like monosodium glutamate, plus preservatives. I'm sure these are the source of the problem.

    Hope this helps.


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