Thursday, 19 March 2009

Heidi 3

19th March - Day 7

Is it really a whole week since her thyroid operation? It seems like a very, very long time ago.

Something we have noticed is that at 11am each day she appears to have a dip when her tongue has a slight bluish tinge, her gums are very pale, either her legs or ears go very cold & she seems a little lack-lustre. Barbara gave us a homeopathic remedy (Carbo Veg) which she had today & within minutes she’d perked up again. Has anyone else experienced this following a thyroidectomy? The only connection we can make (a somewhat tenuous one) is that her operation was around this time of day. I understand the body has its own rhythm & cycle, but could the removal of the thyroid create such a seemingly hormonal response at approximately the same time each day? I would be very interested to hear from anyone with suggestions.

I cooked up a batch of her food last night & I have no idea whether I’m doing it “right” - is there such a thing as getting the diet “wrong”? I have the proportions for each food type, I see that the oats are to be baked - but baked how? I had made up some little biscuits from oats soaked in fresh carrot & apple juice. They taste lovely (I know, it just looked too good!) but are a little too abrasive for Heidi’s still tender throat so Meg & I are eating them. Are there any existing CV247-ers who can advise? I have been cooking up the veg by boiling the root, steaming the greens & putting the chicken, fish & liver into the root saucepan for a few moments before removing them & then whizzing the veg through the hand blender. The meat gets mixed in afterwards. What does anyone else do? Heidi wolfs it down with her added dandelion leaves for her anaemia - never thought I’d be happy to see “weed” coming up early…

Heidi must think I’ve gone completely soft in the head as I just keep beaming when I see her doing simple things like trotting through the dining room (she always used to amble), wagging her tail furiously (it used to wave), or just sleeping peacefully stuffed down behind the cushions on the sofa (a trick learned by watching Meg - our sofa is usually trashed before we get a chance to sit on it).

Just for today, look at your companion & appreciate them just for being there.

18th March - Day 6

Another landmark - last of the post-op medication given this morning (anti-inflammatory) & she had the last antibiotic last night. Why do veterinary pharmaceutical companies make horse tablets for dogs? They claim to be “palatable” but if you have an animal who is off their food, fillet steak ain’t palatable because it doesn’t get to the bit of the mouth which tells the brain “Mmmmm! This is yummy!”. Come on Vet Pharma’s - smaller or liquid please.

We’re still waiting for the thyroid results, but still grinning that her lump has reduced (the bloods have been sent to Jean Dodds in America so will be about 2 weeks). I hope to put a photo on later, but here is one of Heidi where you can see the lump on her tummy. It has little effect on her day to day life beyond me being paranoid when we walk somewhere new in case she decides to go into the undergrowth & catches it on something. Heidi is such an attentive dog that she’s more than happy to mooch alongside you or trot after Meg if she’s sticking to the path.

(The dog suit was being modelled for the website as a protective barrier for allergic dogs.)
The lump makes her look like a boy dog, but she's all girl!
The lump makes her look like a boy dog, but she’s all girl!
We’ve had a glorious time in the sunshine this afternoon & you really wouldn’t know that this little dog had major surgery only 6 days ago. I was potting up strawberries while Meg was finding different ways to plant her Cuz (a squeaky toy whose squeak has lasted over a year & survived my running over it in the van three times). Heidi? She was back in her old position behind Meg waiting for & willing her to run so she could chase after her. I was the party pooper - it was so hard to stop her having the first bit of fun she’s had in nearly a week but we have time for fun on another day now.
Fun is something that she’s been a little short-changed on since coming here. Being aware of her heart rate, I have tended to keep as much of her life low-key, but she would go nuts if you played ball with her. Having rubbish eyesight from the cataracts her ability to catch the ball in her mouth was dramatically reduced, but she never stopped trying & celebrated with us when she did manage it. We would have a very sparkly Heidi after a short game of ball!

Link to Heidi's blog

Editor's note: In my day the feeding was totally different. Sally had raw NZ Lamb's liver and organic carrot juice - plus some supplements. But she had liver cancer. John used to alter the diet for different cancers and different dogs. Are there any of the old school out there able to help? I think less may be more. I remember John wanting the dog to have as few chemicals and non-food elements as possible - no salt. Bottled water (had to be glass bottles, too). So as simple a diet as possible and as natural as possible. It was only after we cracked the cancer that we brought carbs back into the diet and put the weight back on. She was already very thin when we started as she had trouble digesting for some time until we started the treatment.

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