I would change his age back to 1 yr. old again (when I got him)
This so I could have a "do over", to correct the defiencies and illness and imbalances before they could happen...this to undo all the discomfort that he has lived with that he couldn't tell me. To give back the time to him lost fretting over his health and researching and researching and researching. To give him laughter with belly rubs, not tears begging him not to be sick. To give him better emotional balance so he didn't feel the need to be strong for me.
If I had taken what I my gut instinct was at the time (almost 7yrs. ago) and listened to it and did what I do and know now...I could have prevented a lot of heartache, unnecessary expence and maybe disease/illness. At least I could have prevented the time I have lost looking for answers.
1 yr. old - soft stool, mild winter itch - Fed Kirkland (Costco) lamb or chicken (never liked either - would barely eat.
1.5 yr. old - convinced to vaccinate (incl lepto) when brought in for soft volumous stool, Heartworm prevention started (end of July) - vet claims chicken allergy
2 yr. old - soft stool - winter itch worse- fed Nutro - didn't like - barely eat
approx. time occasional vomit yellow bile - vet claims chicken allergy, Hills script diet for hydrolized protein
2.5 yrs. - switched food to Royal Canin German Shepherd (for hydrolized protein), likes it - stool firm - winter itch starting sooner - Heartworm prevention
3 yrs. - toe infection from cut under nail - winter itch worse, minor trauma/fur loss to backs of ears - poop good, 3 rounds of amoxicillion at 3 weeks each (stopped third round when vomited), 1st round for toe infection, 2 and 3 for supposed "prevention of secondary bacterial infection from scratching ~ SOFT stool starts again, $75 for "special cream" for ears re: secondary bacterial infection" and a steroid shot to the butt...vet claims time for vaccination and is perfectly fine to administer at same time as Steroid shot, 3 rounds of antiB's, just came off Heartworm, has diarreah, winter itch and yellow bile vomit (occasionaly) - appetite so/so...Vet claims allergy to "Chicken" and to switch to Hill's script. diet (which is chicken)...or try Limited Ingredieant Diet (L.I.D.)
3.25 yrs. - search is on for an LID...landed on NAtural Balance - Potato & Duck - fed for 1 year. Diarreah returns large, vomiting yellow bile, still winter itch, skin of inner thighs and groin turn black - hates food but gains 20 lbs., Super edgey and mistrusting of most people and all dogs - Angry dog. Sick dog. Given Heartworm protection in the spring...Basic blood work _ HURRAY! (says vet) blood values are good! but still a Sick dog.
3.75 yrs - (fall 2008) stool check x 2 tests, no worms, Diarrhea medicine (Tylosan) 1 month - no improvement - vet suggets another drug. I suggest deworming anyhow re: goose poop. Still on Heartworm meds. Vet says vaccinate - I DECLINE! - Investigation of symptoms w/o vets help, start Digetive Enzyme, MSM, Kelp, and multi vitamin and mineral suppliment - Black Groin starts to recess (black is symptom of Thyroid issue), Almost back to flesh tone within 3 months (KELP!)
Jan. 2009 - 4.25 yrs old, Had decided screw the food roller coaster ride. Went to Holistic (integrative) Vet...30 yr. Veteren and DVM.
Advises...switch to Raw - super low fat, no grains, no potato, NEVER vaccinate again, DO NOT use Heartworm treatment, keep up the kelp and add astragalus root to boost the immune system and change d-zyme from plant based to a pancreatin blend.
POOP, 75% improvement immediately. Looses 20 lbs slowly over next year, attitude better, no black groin, likes to eat, no more vomiting...on the path to wellness.
2012 - Well it still isn't perfect, still gets winter itch not as bad though (scabby ears treated with $5.00 bottle of witch hazel, still has trouble with digestive tract, but different (other causes - likely giardia damage to small intestine - working on repair, a friends stupid move).
Cause of winter itch (?), likely the inability to uptake and utilize fats (including fish body oils), Suggestion from another Holistic Vet - use coconut oil, digests differently than animal fats (incorporating). Possible EPI or Pancreatis and/or hypothyroidism(? not sure - ran out of money to test)...Managed with diet and suppliments.
Note: had been on fish oil all along. The only natural suggestion from the conventional vet.
Turns out fish oil is not right for him.
Lesson: trust your gut, never vaccinate a sick pet (soft stool, itchy skin or any other signs of illness), never vaccinate multi's, never vaccinate when on any other type of medication including Heartworm, never vaccinate if you are bringing your dog in because "something just doesn't seem right"
Drug companies put inserts in the box - that insert for VETS, says do NOT use at signs of illness...if your VET insists it's fine - Walk (run) out of there!!!
I wish I knew then what I know now
He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion. - Unknown