|Barked: Mon Apr 16, '07 7:00am PST |
|Vinnie was diagnosed with a Liver Shunt last year. After many tests we were told that he had a huge shunt which was inoperable as it was intra-hepatic.
The good news is that we have been able to medically manage his condition, and he is in great health. We were lucky to have an Animal Hospital nearby, who have been really helpful and say the prognosis is good, as he is responding well.
I thought I would share some of my tips, I would like to think some other dog may benefit. Here are my top 10 tips:
1. Find a good low protein dog food. Hills is ok, but Royal Cannin hepatic food seems to be much more tasty, and comes in wet and dry forms.
2. Add Cottage Cheese, as the primary source of protein. In conjunction with your vet you need to establish how much to add. What you have to do is feed your dog and arrange to have a blood test an hour afterwards. You can then adjust the quantity of cottage cheese so that there are normal levels of protein in the blood. It took three tests to get this right for us, and was quite obvious in the behaviour of Vinnie...to much and he became lethargic. When you have the right ratio you can split food into several small meals to spread out intake and allow the dog to process toxins etc. We do 4-5 per day.
3. In conjunction with your vet get an antibiotic to add to the food. Start with the mildest one you can and a low dose. This can be increased over the dogs life if required. Vinnie is 19kg, and he has 1x 250 mg capsule of Ampicillin per day (half am, half pm)
4. Add Lactulose to food so that stools are soft, but not too soft! (About a tea spoon for Vinnie)
5. Never let your dog run out of water. We have a 2litre despenser and have to fill it two or three times a day.
6. Fit a dog flap if possible! To encourage the dog to drink lots and be able to go to the loo outside 24 hours a day. A great way of flushing toxins.
7. Be strict with yourself. That bone or meat is poison to your dog. Think of the toxins that go directly to the heart and brain. You are killing with kindness. It need not be boring for your dog, a treat is a treat and they love you for it. As a rule we don't give anything to vinnie that has over 10%-15% Protein. You can give the dog carbohydrates, so vegatables pasta, rice, bread etc can be given at will. Vinnie has either pasta, rice and potato with every meal and loves it. Pesto or tomato sauce with pasta drives him wild. Be strong but make sure you and your dog have fun with food. Accept you have a special dog and find flavours your dog loves. chocolate is toxic so don't do it. Some shunt info sites say its ok to give some chicken, egg, mince beef etc. I am sceptical, providing you are on a pescription diet that has ballance and nutrients there is no need for meat.
8. Some of the best treats: Toast; dried apricots/fruit; apple; Cheerios are perfect to use for dog training (avoid cheese); Bread roll; leftover potato and veg with gravy; many of the off the shelf treats such as Bonio (10% protein) denta sticks etc....the key is moderation and keep protein as low as you can
9. Don't worry if your dog steals a saussage, finds a bone or has a titbit of meat. Dogs will be dogs, there is no need to take the treat away or fret. Just add a little more lactulose to the next feed. For your sanity and the dogs, expect this to happen from time to time.
Edited by author Mon Apr 16, '07 7:18am PST
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