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Way behind on posting!

I’m way behind on posting to the blog, but I promise to keep posting as often as I can.  However, we do have some big news here, as the past two months have been a really long pug-related drama.

First, Gadget started having chronic diarrhea.  When it didn’t go away, we took him to the vet, who gave him a shot and some medicine to take.  That worked for a little while, but after his diarrhea came back for another week, we took him back into the vet.  This time, the vet took some blood and noticed that he had really low “albumen” in his blood, basically, because he had not been absorbing enough nutrients from his food.  At this point, Gadget had gone from about 31 pounds to 24.5 pounds, but the low albumen was causing him to have edema (swelling), making him look as though he was bigger than usual.    So, he had to stay in the hospital.  During his stay, they determined that he had to have a biopsy of his lower intestine in order to figure out what was wrong.  So, they checked out all his organs and took a little piece of his small intestine to deliver to a lab for testing.

Finally, Gadget got to come home, but the end of the story (so far) is that he has some serious food allergies, and he has to eat special food (Hill’s Prescription Diet d/d duck formula) to manage the allergies.  He also has to take some steroids every day in order to manage his allergic symptoms (for now, at least).

Now, he’s home and doing fine.  However, his diet is very limited (he can only eat small quantities at a time), so he’s always hungry!  Moreover, because of his restricted diet (which will increase a little bit over time), he’s lost even more weight… he’s now 21 pounds!  He hasn’t been 21 pounds since he was 8 months old (when he became a champion!!!)

Here are some pictures of him… Notice that he’s much skinnier, and you can see his big stitches!


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Dog Food They Really Like

We’ve had problems with finding food that satisfies two requirements:

  1. Gizmo and Gadget must LIKE the food.
  2. The food must not cause either Gizmo or Gadget any type of gastrointestinal problem. (No vomiting or diarrhea)

For a long time, we fed them Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul brand dog food. They liked it as much as any dog likes dry dog food. However, occasionally, Gizmo would vomit — maybe as often as once per week. So, we started trying different foods. Changing foods in itself can cause problems, most notably, diarrhea.  To combat this problem, we would mix something like Science Diet Sensitive Stomach or canned pumpkin into their food.  Ultimately, even if we got them adjusted to the food, by the time this happened, they’d get tired of the food, not eat it, and beg for food (more than usual).

This became an even bigger problem when we started giving them less food,  twice per day (for Gadget to lose weight) because when they don’t like food, they pick at it during the day.  If there’s only a limited amount of food and they know it, they’ll still pick at it, but they also get a little bit territorial — well, Gizmo gets territorial and doesn’t let Gadget eat his share.  Because of this, the ideal situation is one where we can put food down twice per day and have them gobble it up right away.

Here’s our solution.  We’re now giving them limited portions of canned food only, twice per day.  Also, we rotate which canned food we give them.  We’re using Innova EVO and Wellness brand canned food.  Both of them come in several flavors with similar ingredients.  Wellness comes in flavors like Chicken+Sweet Potato, Lamb + Sweet Potato, and Whitefish + Sweet Potato.  Innova has no grain options, duck, venison, etc.  My point is that both come in several flavors and that they’re similar enough so as to not cause digestion problems.  The rotation of flavors keeps them interested in the food — they never get “bored of eating the same thing over and over.”  They both gobble up their food right away because they like it!

The cans say to give a certain amount of food per dog weight, but we’re giving less than that, for several reasons.  First, they aren’t very active.  Their day consists of following us from room to room, barking a bit, and one approximately 20 minute walk.  Oh, plus some sleeping, snuggling, and begging for whatever bits of our food they can get.   Second, we’re trying to get Gadget’s weight down.  Having a few less calories than necessary is good when we want him to lose weight.

Gadget’s weight is down, though I’m not sure how much.  He’s looking slimmer, and he doesn’t get as hot as he used to.  Because of this, he is now sleeping in bed all night, as opposed to his previous “hop out of bed and go sleep on the tile floor in the bathroom to cool off.”  He still doesn’t jump up on the bed by himself (he can do it, he just doesnt) — though I think this is more because he’s scared to jump than because he thinks he can’t do it.

What do you do for feeding?