There are some crucial health tests that must be done at times. Read this true story of how I saved my beloved dog even though the vets couldn't!!
When I raised one of my most beloved dogs, she was raised on 100% home-cooked meals - my food that I cook for my dogs which is made fresh, with purest of ingredients and then immediately served. Now imagine the power of this food versus kibble.
I had rescued this precious mother-daughter duo from Craigslist to save them from ending up in bad hands and possibly being a target for breeders. I had dreams for them I wanted to give them a home and a happy life where doggie walks, play time, delicious home cooked meals and lots of love and care are the norm - not filthy living and breeding!!
The most cutest of all puppies in the Universe, the daughter was just 6 weeks old when I had rescued her and she became the apple of my eyes. As I had raised her, she had NO and I mean, NO health issues - she had an energetic body, was sharp and fast in action and decision making, she loved her life and her pack. She loved to eat and once again - she had NO health issues. None. She was also a very fast runner - she ran outside everyday and played with her pack withOUT ever getting tired or panting!
She had no ear infections, runny nose, itchy skin, smelly skin, bad poop or vomiting or runny eyes, no tiredness or fatigue, no panting...nothing - NOTHING! despite the facts that these symptoms are considered pretty 'normal' in American dogs.
Ditto for her mother - one of my most beloved, dearest of the dearest dogs, a purebred Dachshund who thrived in my care though I must say that her mom came with heart abnormality - how did I know?
I could tell from first day that she pants little excessively so I had started her on heart supplements like I do pretty much with all my new rescues; heart disease in dogs is rampant in the Western world just like many other diseases despite 'kibble' being 'so good for the dogs'.
We all know that the most smallest of smallest viruses or bacteria can kill the biggest of the humans - we all know this even from the recent C-19 so after the first very vibrant, happy 3 years of these two with me, I knew something had suddenly changed.
Though the dogs and I are not rich..:). we live in an area where the dogs are VERY well kept - the homes on my street are million dollar homes so you can imagine and this to say a point - when I would walk my dogs including these two amazing mother-daughter duo, there have been numerous times when people have stopped to give compliments or have literally asked me if they can take pictures of my dogs because as one lady said, "I have never seen such beautiful dogs!'
These two mother-daughter duo who lived a very fun, happy life in my care would go for walks, cafes, restaurants, etc. We often walked to pick up our favorite Thai food on weekends - my area is very walkable and this is why I love my area. (In general, I would NEVER keep dogs if I am not willing to take them for a walk - this is barbaric! I HATE owners who never take their dogs for walks or to different experiences like cafes, parks, beach, etc. Dogs are social animals and they need to interact with the world - if one is not willing to take them out for walks, etc. don't get them - simple).
Anyways, out of my very healthy, very beautiful pack, three of my dogs looked off - the mother-daughter duo and then my Poodle. Both the mother-daughter had the same symptoms - water in the abdomen and as for my boy, he just looked weak and had protein loss too but was still active and eating but no other symptom for him.
This was scary and baffling - if two have the exact same symptoms and they are both genetically linked yet different bodies, then why is my Poodle not having fluid retention and if these three are not OK, then how come the other dogs in the pack are perfectly healthy, happy dogs?!
Moreover, how can two dogs have the exact same symptoms at pretty much exactly the same time in their lives when both of these have been super healthy, happy dogs for the past 3 years? It was scary, mind boggling and confusing...
It was sudden - though I will write this separately, long story short as I rushed to save the mother dog, I had almost got to the cure but it was too late.
Right then, to my absolute horror, the daughter's stomach was showing fluid retention - my heart froze because I have never ever had any of my dogs with this condition - like never!
As I booked two different vets and that too, one highly 'specialized' vet in my area and even after consulting these different vets, I had NO answers - none. I was given about 20 different diagnosis by this highly 'specialized' vet in my area near Rice Village in Houston. This senior guy is a vet who has been practicing veterinary medicine since 25 years - imagine! Even after all these years, this ignorant doctor could not give me any answers.
I don't need 20 different diagnosis - I need clear answers when my dog is running against time and I am paying you for answers but nope, this vet was completely useless.
Oh well, what's new?!
It was me who insisted on doing all of her tests - blood tests, urinalysis, heart test, ultrasound and full thyroid panel.
Let me explain this (as my blood boils thinking of these 2 vets) - In my area, spay and neuter for example is about 500-800 bucks...yup whereas other areas you can get it done for under 100 or even free!
So, this vet is in my area - he is an elderly vet who has been practicing for 25 yrs - how many dogs would he have seen in 25 yrs? 1000s...
By now, he should be smart enough to just look at a dog, see her symptoms and tell the exact cause - nope, far from the reality. When I coach my doggie clients, I never ever get to meet them - everything is done online and I do not have machines to do the tests nor do I get to have the experience of having seen 1000s of dogs but still, each dog that has come to me, I have been able to heal to whatever extent the dog's body and his or her age allowed so it is perplexing to me why this vet was so ignorant but wanted me to run more tests? Hmmm..
On top of that, it was me who insisted that I want full thyroid panel done for her - if I am paying you and you are making money, you tell me why would a vet have a problem with me asking for full thyroid panel?????
He didn't want it - he wanted to just look at thyroid values from the regular blood test even though I told him that abdominal fluid retention is linked to low thyroid - he said, 'no no it is not..'
Ummmmm....YES IT IS! What a fool!
For somebody practicing 25 yrs of veterinary medicine, you should know this!!
After I made it clear that I want full thyroid test done no-matter-what, he agreed and I got the results...
Guess what? - From her blood test, my dog was fine within the thyroid range but it was the full thyroid panel that showed that she was becoming hypothyroid.
I insisted on urinalysis as well - it showed 'rods and cocci' in the urine...
Her blood test showed her protein and fat levels to be very low which I had already guessed even before going to the vet and also her iron levels declining...
All of her other values like electrolytes, vitamins, minerals were perfect - the vet even said that, "I am shocked that all her values are perfect including her electrolytes..!"
Umm...yes! She eats homemade food...about that...
The vet wanted me to stop my food and buy kibble because he thought nothing is more superior to kibble.
I asked him, "Really? Do you think a 13 pound dog with 5 lbs. of fluid retention would be so active and running around with NO other symptom if she was eating kibble?????"
Of course, I knew it was no use talking to dead minds...
I was given no answers - he told me to now take her to see some other specialists but there is "no conclusion"...
Before this vet, we had again been to another vet, run all the tests and still no answers - like none except that she had low protein (albumin) which too, I had already figured out...without any tests or before any vet visits.
Remember I said I had almost reached the answers with the mother dog - I had already figured out that her albumin is declining so I was already supplementing her with albumin but why such a sudden and sharp decline in protein, iron and fats..?? nobody had answers.
We rushed from vet to vet and despite doing all the tests and spending close to $800 and more, there were no answers. I will spend any amount of money on my dogs IF I am assured that I am going to get some answers - nope, here nothing was given....totally useless vets.
I remember I use to wake up at 4 am or 5 am and just sit in the dark looking at all my dogs sleeping and use to think what is it that I am not able to solve - what is this mystery? Time was running out fast - my beloved dog was filling up with abdominal fluids and my Poodle boy was losing protein and fat and possibly iron...I could tell by looking at him.
Any given day, any given second, her water could have burst and she would have died a horrible and I mean, horrible death. I use to think if my mind has solved single handedly so many complex issues in my previous dogs, why is my mind not working and not able to figure this out?
I knew deep down what was the problem - I was too attached to her so my mind could not figure it out. Attachment gives rise to fear and fear always blocks the answers from coming.
In between all this, I was taking excellent measures to make sure she is OK and that until I can solve the mystery, I was supplementing her with medicinal herbs, supplements and an excellent home cooked vegan diet. All this plus excellent care at home and when she would be outside were the reasons why she made it - until I figured out the root cause and finally healed her.
Long story short, I researched and researched continuously and somehow arrived at an answer that this was an external infection - some bacteria that eats at the dog's protein, iron and fat levels and can also cause bladder blockage along with water retention in the abdomen.
Whew! I put my protocol of herbs, diet, supplements, etc. for both of my dogs and whew! thanks to God, it worked!! Within ONE month, my beloved dog's extremely enlarged abdomen returned back to normal and her and my boy's thin skin from fat and protein loss started returning back to its glory...!
I had proved the impossible - I had saved both of my dogs in time and I had out done the vets..! No doubt about it.
Both of my dogs healed completely - within a month of my new protocol after I had figured out, they were both pretty much healed and on their way to full and complete recovery. Whew! Thank God.
Moral of the story -
Always, always get the following tests done (no matter what the vet says!) even if you are not given any conclusion by the vet. You can then consult with me to understand the test results and go from there but these tests are crucial in times when one cannot figure out what is going on with the dog's health.
The tests that you MUST get done when your dog is sick and the cause is not obvious are -
-full thyroid panel
-heart/heartworm test (Nibi had NO heartworms!)
-if needed, ultrasound
I hope this article helps you and all other TGP dog owners understand what infection can do to our dogs and if your dog suddenly looks like he or she is having muscle and fat loss, then it is likely a sign that some infection has come in the body (it can be from the bayou, snow, beach, woods, etc.) and that infection is what's eating at the dog's protein, fat and iron levels.