Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Katie's World

My husband and I spent an hour yesterday morning putting temporary fencing up in our yard. We ran one fence from the north side of the porch steps to the main fence and another one from the southeast corner of the house to the alley wall.

My dog Kate is a hunting dog and as one she used to roam across acres of land in search of pheasants, chucker, quail, partridge, and dove but now the 44' by 15' rectangle we created when we put up the fences is her world. We had to build the fences to keep her way from the ornamental pear tree and a section of the backyard. These were her favorite areas to graze on what she considered tasty things to eat. She may have thought they were tasty but her stomach did not. Usually she threw up after she had eaten a meal and we would find bits of grass, twigs, and the stems and tiny fruit from the pear tree mixed in with the dog food. This would upset her stomach enough to keep her from eating the rest of the day. Slowly she started losing weight. I tried to tempt her into eating more by first heating up her dog food, then by heating up her food and adding a little water, then by heating up her food and adding enough water to turn it into soup. Each culinary tweak worked for a short time but then Kate would stop eating again. She dropped down to 23 pounds and we wondered if she was trying to tell us it was her time but then we caught her eating Duke's dog food and realized she wasn't done with eating, she was just done with eating her own dog food. I realized we had to come up with a new plan.

Last week I got a homemade rice/chicken/cod liver oil/vitamin and mineral supplement recipe from Kate's vet and started feeding her that. She loved it and started eating regularly again. I also found a different brand of Kate's kidney disease formula dog food and ordered several cans. Then it happened, yesterday morning Kate threw up her new rice/chicken mixture and we found grass along with pear berries and stems mixed in with the rice. We had been vigilante about not letting her eat anything off the ground during the day but did not realize she was also doing it at night when we let her out for a potty break.

So now the fences are up and we have had one night where Kate could not get to her yard treats. This morning she started eating her rice and chicken again. She is doing it a few bites at a time but she is eating it. Tomorrow the new canned food should arrive at the vet clinic and my husband will go pick it up. If things work out Kate will not have a chance to throw it up and will keep eating it. From my computer to God's ear.

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