Thursday, 19 March 2009

Pippin 2

Thought I'd post an update on Pippin's progress, as I have been eagerly reading everyone else's posts - especially Heidi's, and am finding I'm coming up against the same unknowns.
The CV247 arrived, and the first dose was given this morning. She really doesn't like the taste, couldn't interest her in it at all, even when mixed with things she normally loved, so I'm afraid I had to pin her down and squirt using the syringe. I have just ordered some of the Dr Linus Vitamin C powder that Beverley just said John Carter favoured - maybe that will be more to her liking. The diet we have embraced fully - with the proportions featured in the Dogs Today article : everything organic, only low-sodium bottled water, and she LOVES it. I hadn't even thought of using a blender (thanks to Heidi's mum for that one), which I guess might be a better idea - am sure I read somewhere that dogs have a limited ability to digest cellulose.
Now Pippin is a dog that lives for food, and each day revolves around the next morsel. I read on one of the posts about the baked oat treats, and promptly made some - rapturously received! To all of John's old patients - are they the only treat he recommended? Or can I use morsels taken out of her dinner throughout the day. I'm just so worried about getting the proportions wrong. And the other thing I really wanted to ask was about carrot juice. Someone mentions that John recommended that doggie patients drink carrot juice - as much of it as possible. It makes no mention of this on the bumph that comes with the CV247 - shall we go for it?
Beverley mentions that John used to alter the diet for different cancers... Does anyone out there remember anything being said about tailoring it around lung cancer? A lady called Sheila posted some John Carter memories, and mentions a lady she used to travel with whose dog had lung cancer. It had been diagnosed as having 3 months to live, and with John's help ended up living for another 3 years! Maybe she could contact her and ask if she remembers any of John's specifications for lung cancer...??
So how is Pippin doing? Well, we knew the lung tumours (2 found on x-ray just before Christmas) were about egg-size, and I can only assume they are now even more advanced, as her coughing has worsened since then - she tends to have a few coughs during the night, but now her brief walks will make her cough too. She is much quieter than she used to be, and sleeps more, and more heavily, although will be extremely perky when she knows food is imminent! Her gums are still a nice pink, and her coat still glossy, although she now has the cachectic look that all cancer dogs eventually get - bit on the ribby side, and her vertebrae are prominent, although she hasn't actually lost any weight - she's around 25kg. This change has been so fast really. As I said in my first post, she was ridiculously fit for her age up until Christmas, and SO many people would say - 'is she a puppy?' because of her youthful looks!
We as a family are so tuned into her, that we are watching with baited breath for any improvement - very early days I know (!), but if we only see an improvement in well-being, that will be welcome indeed. I have included a photo of her - my favourite of her actually, taken before she got poorly - just look at that dear little face! I'm loathe to send you one of the recent ones, although I will dig one out for a future post.
So that's where we are at the moment. I'm keeping everything crossed, not only for Pippin but for all of our fellow CV247-ers!
With kindest regards,

John always used a syringe without a needle to squirt the CV247 mixture down the back of the throat, so do continue! No pets ever got to taste it - for humans he mixed it with orange juice and it didn't taste much different than juice.
I wonder if we can find any more recent John Carter CV247 patients who can see if this diet that is being sent out with the drugs is the same as he was using before he died?
It seems to have moved quite a bit since my era.
And I think anything from the diet sheet can be used as a treat. My old Sally loved veg and would steal things from the veg rack.
Good luck to Pippin and all the lovely dogs and cats trying CV247.

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.

Jake's treatment diary

16 Feb 09
Jake started his home prepared diet today, loves it. He weighs 28.5kg so we began by feeding him 2.5lbs per meal twice daily. The CV247 is due to arrive any day.
21 Feb 09
Appointment at vets to collect CV247 which arrived yesterday, and also for our vet Roger to look at a wound in front of his back right leg. Must have happened yesterday but haven’t a clue how it happened. This 1.5” tear was stapled and a lampshade was put on him. (As if he hasn’t enough to put up with). Appointment made for 6 March for removal of staples and health check.
Weight 29.2kg. Reduced food to 2lbs per meal twice daily.
1 Mar 09
Jake had been vomiting on occasions which gave us cause for concern. We soon realised it was when we fed him chicken. The chicken was substituted for rabbit.
We never gave it a thought but a good few years ago we had a York Test done on him because he was vomiting and also had diarrhoea. The results showed food intolerance to chicken and fish. We changed his diet to James Wellbeloved food.
6 Mar 09
Visit to vets for removal of staples and a check of his gums. There are two very small lumps in the area where the first lump was removed. He will see Jake in a couple of weeks to review.
Weight 28.8kg.
15 Mar 09
To date Jake is eating well and looks great. Friends have remarked on how soft and silky his coat is now.
17 Mar 09
Health check with vet today. Roger is happy with his progress. The two lumps on his lower gum don’t appear to be getting much bigger at all. He suggested Jake has another chest x-ray around end April beginning May to compare with last x-ray.
Weight 28.4kg

We have a concern with the vitamin c powder that we are mixing with the CV247. It does not seem to be dissolving at all. It is a Holland & Barrett brand, fast dissolving. Has anyone else come across this problem? I am unable to source a pure vitamin c liquid.

Editor's note: I used to use Dr Linus vitamin C powder that came in an orange pot all those years ago when I was treating my Sally. In those days this was the brand Mr Carter preferred and he used to swear by it. Here's a link I've found to buy it over the net. Don't want to stick my nose in, but you might want to look at trying to change to an organic complete food if you're not going to be able to follow John's diet. Is it not possible to try lamb's liver and carrot before you do give up - worked for Sally. Diet was very important to John in the old days. But it is true that some of the later trialsseemed to still have had success on prepared diets - but I suspect the odds decrease the further you stray from the chemical and salt free diet that John was aiming for. Take a look at Lily's kitchen they do some great organic foods that may fit the bill.

Just had an email from Paul, I've misread his diary! It was years ago he changed the diet to James Wellbeloved - he's not feeding it now. Jake is still sticking to John's diet - just minus the ingredients he's allergic to!

Cinnamon's owner Maralyn just sent this email: "When I ordered the CV247 from Paul Grant, he also sent me a box of "Ascorbic Acid" 200mg x 28 tablets. I cut them into quarters. It doesn't have the orange flavour that some people seem to say, but then again cats hate citrus flavours and smells. The box made by Norbrook looks like something that would be prescribed rather than bought over a counter. It dissolves pretty well too when mixed with back of spoon. Just thought I would mention it as maybe Owners could buy it through their vets rather than having problems trying to obtain it. "

Latest vet list!

Vets who have indicated a willingness to prescribe CV247

Mr Richard Allport B.Vet. Med.,Vet.M.F.Hom., M.R.C.V.S.
Natural Medicine Centre
11 Southgate Road
Potters Bar

Telephone: 01707 662058

Barbara Jones BVMS MRCVS VetMFHom
Oakwood Veterinary Centre
Babbinswood Farm
Shropshire SY11 4PF

Telephone: 01691 679 699

John Hope-Ryan
Masefield House Veterinary Surgery
Wells Road
Malvern Wells
WR14 4PA

Telephone: 01684 576464

Paul Grant
35 Addington Road
West Wickham

Telephone: 020 84623455

Alan Marshall BVMS MRCVS
The Bard Veterinary Group
15 Catherine Street

Tel: 01387 255295

Jane Murphy
Lordship Lane Vet Surgery
509-511 Lordship Lane
London SE22 8JY

Telephone: 020 86934677

Andrew Prentis MRCVS
Hyde Park Veterinary Centre
61 Connaught Street
London W2 2AE

Telephone: 020 7723 0453

Peter A Culpin BSc MA VetMB MRCVS
Clinical Director
Pets Naturally
26 Chepstow Corner
Chepstow Place
W2 4XE

Telephone: 020 7221 9200

Octavian Galla DVM,MVSc, MRCVS
Companion Care Vets
Inside Pets At Home
Great Northern retail Park
Leeds Road

Telephone: 01484 411804

David Batchelor BVM&S MRCVS
Batchelor, Davidson and Watson
19 Hillhouse Road

Telephone: 0131 332 0458

Nick Thompson BSc.(Hons) Path. Sci., BVM&S, VetMFHom, MRCVS
Holisticvet Ltd.
Apthorp Centre,
Weston Chiropractic and Holistic Centre,
Weston Road,

Telephone: 01225 48 7778