What a Wonderful World

9/23/2014  Blog Post #5

Fast dates: September 14th through October 13th

I see trees of green, red roses too.

I see them bloom, for me and you.

And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue, And clouds of white.

The bright blessed day, The dark sacred night.

And I think to myself, What a wonderful world.

A life without yeasty paws…..what a wonderful world!  Yes, I think to myself what a wonderful world!

So life here has greatly improved. The paw licking ceased on day 4 and has not re-appeared. All the reddish brown yeastiness has disappeared from Levi’s paws and this is only day 10 of the fast. His face is almost 100% back to his beautiful pure white. Seeing is believing- and I am now and considering a second career of goat farming. Can you see it? Me in over-alls, boots and a straw hat surrounded by boxers, english bulldogs and goats? Who knew those cute little faces contained one of nature’s miracles?

I know that many of you reading this post were not able to participate in the presentation by Jacqueline Hill of Answers Pet Food at Carolina Pet Pantry. The presentation that got all this started. I have asked Jacqueline to construct a write-up of that presentation for me to post to this blog soon. I do not want to mince her words so I know information from her with her background as a microbiologist will help many of you understand why I jumped on the “goat’s milk” bandwagon.

A friend of mine foster failed with a boxer with mast cell tumors. He had surgery to remove some, but not all could be surgically removed. After, she began making a long drive out of state to a holistic veterinarian in Virginia to treat him. The remedies devised by this veterinarian did help shrink the remaining MCT’s. Recently she was starting to some growth coming back. In one of our random doggie conversations we discussed this diet. I mentioned one of the many things fermented raw goat’s milk can help with is reducing MCT’s. Today she took her “Orwell” in for a visit and the holistic veterinarian felt this would be a “awesome” supplement for his diet. So very soon, another smushy faced boy will learn the benefits this can have, whether in a complete fast or added as supplement. My friend also mentioned her holistic vet said he was treating a 2 month old foal in NC who had poked his eye on a nail. He told the owner to treat the eye directly with raw (not fermented) goat’s milk. Not only did the eye heal but the foal can now see shadows from the eye. I think that is pretty impressive.

I also had a conversation with my friend Victoria at 4 Paws Holistic in Charlotte, NC. She said they too recommend the milk for yeasty dogs and allergies. She mentioned she has one customer who gives it to her dog with seizures and that it is the only thing that prevents them. Without the milk the dog has to be on prescription medication. She also suggested that I look at the Steve’s brand raw food with Levi because they add goat’s milk to their raw and it does not contain a lot of synthetic vitamins which can be problematic for some dogs.

I am starting to feel like Answers Pet Food needs to issue me an employee badge as much as I have been talking about their products lately. I am just amazed at the difference I see in my Levi already. Let this serve as a reminder to you that if possible shopping at a “boutique” pet store instead of a big boxed store can truly be the difference between finding a solution to issues and not. If you go into a Pet Smart, Tractor Supply etc…. you are not going to find someone who can speak to articulately about products. Boutique pet stores have private owners who have made nutrition their passion. Courtney, the owner of Carolina Pet Pantry is also the President of Bullies 2 the Rescue which is our NC english bulldog rescue. She lives and breathes allergies everyday. It truly is her life’s mission to devise diet plans to help these dogs and the kind of person you want giving you advice. Victoria at 4 Paws Holistic is a raw food feeder herself and knows more information about raw feeding that anyone I know. Off the cuff she can recite the differences between all the raw food brands. If you have a problematic dog or not I encourage you to shop at one of these stores or a store like them.

So the one thing I am not excited about- the poop. Yes, the poop is still mushy. I guess nothing is perfect. And this is just a fast- not a forever goat’s milk diet. When the fast is over he will go back to his normal raw diet and his solid little raw poops with this milk being added as a daily supplement.

As a reminder, if you click the button at the bottom of the page that says “follow” you will receive an email each time I make a new post. Word press will send you a email with a link you will have to click on to confirm you want to follow.

Lap up that Goat’s Milk and cheer up – Put on a happy face

9/20/2014 Blog Post #4

Fast dates: September 14th through October 13th

Bulldog allergies are going to clear up

Put on a happy face

Lap up the goat’s milk and cheer up

Put on a happy face

Take off the gloomy mask of red yeast

It’s not your style

You’ll look so good that you’ll be glad You decided to smile

Pick out a pleasant outlook

Stick out that noble milk chin

Wipe off that full of doubt look

Slap on a happy milk  grin

And spread sunshine all over the place

And put on a happy face

Bulldog allergies are going to clear up

Put on a happy face

Lap up the goat’s milk and cheer up

Put on a happy face

Day 6 progress report: I have been home sick with Bronchitis and my little Levi has been by my side constantly watching over me. Some people wonder why I adore my fat little high maintenance man so much but they do not see all the love he gives me in return. Like the last two days when all the other 5 dogs here couldn’t get away from me hacking and coughing fast enough. Levi crawled up next to me and snuggled right up under my blanket. He is a momma’s boy devoted to me as much as I am to him.

Day 6 is the third day of the fast he has not been licking his paws at all. Again, the only meds he is remaining on are his anxiety pills. No allergy shots, no antihistamines and no steroids. I am in awe, as we have yet to see results like this from any other of the other myriad of products we have tried over the last few years. I am also noticing that the red dinginess on his paws is starting to fade away. His face still has the brown tinge but for only 6 days in I love what I see.

Now the poop situation has not improved. It is still a pudding consistency. In fact this morning, he seemed to have gone from a yellowish color to orange. Part of me wonders if that has something to do with the way his anxiety meds are reacting to his milk only fast. Either way, I was glad I have a new container of Earthbath wipes and that orange bum was quickly taken care of. Maybe this is why human infants have such awful poop. Hey folks, I am not going to sugar coat anything. The lack of paw licking is awesome but his poop is mushy. The good thing is that he is only pooping once a day so it is not problematic and he has had no accidents in the house. It just looks odd when you see it.

He still seems full with his (3) cartons of milk each day. He also is still not fussing over the lack of treats. Once thing I failed to mention in my original post giving his background is that Levi also suffers from Bulldog Head Tremors. Normally when they occur I give him some Greek yogurt and they stop immediately. Today after one of our naps we woke up and he had them. Instead of giving him yogurt I gave him half a container of the goat’s milk and they stopped immediately just as they do when I give him yogurt. So today he will have (3.5) cartons total for the day instead of the (3) per day he has been getting. If he gets them again I will probably just up his daily allowance to (3.5) cartons a day given in 4 separate meals.

I am happy with the progress and will continue to posts updates. As a reminder, if you click the button at the bottom of the page that says “follow” you will receive an email each time I make a new post. Word press will send you a email with a link you will have to click on to confirm you want to follow.

Here is a link from Georgia English Bulldog Rescue explaining head tremors:

https://www.facebook.com/notes/georgia-english-bulldog-rescue/head-tremorhead-bobhead-shake/822804087745605

Allergies: It is a Bulldog’s World

9/17/2014 Blog Post #3

Fast dates: September 14th through October 13th

Me: You’re your so vain, I bet you think this blog is about you, you’re so vain, I bet you think this blog is about you, don’t you, don’t you? (Don’t lie, you sang it, not read it.)

Levi: Duh mom, my name is in the title. Like Dozer Batts says “It’s a Bulldog’s World”

Jacqueline Hill the microbiologist from Answers Pet Food sent me the official guidelines to this fast. I have pasted them on a page in this blog for anyone who wants to read them. If you are viewing this from your phone you will not see the page, at least I do not see it on my iphone, but if you view it from a computer you will see it.

I have had several people to ask me the cost of doing this fast. One thing is for sure it does cost some dollars. Each carton sells for $5.99 and a case of (12) 16 oz cartons is $71.88. Today I purchased (4) cases for $306.93 after the $19.41 added for NC state tax which makes the case cost plus tax $76.74 per case. I refuse to put in writing the cost of the 7.5 cases required to give Levi 3 cartons a day for this fast. Let me just say that it will be 2015 before I will be meeting my friends for dinner and a drink again. It is a Bulldog’s World for sure at my house!

Let me do some more math for you in case you think you will just stick with the Atopica. Now the markups up of this drug will most certainly vary by the vet you purchase it from. I do not off the top of my head remember the specific cost of it when I had purchased it for Levi several years back at my vet’s office. However, I do have other dogs in my household on the generic: cyclosporine modified from Costco. The highest dosage pill is 100 mg and a 30 count box of it is $89 from Costco, which is the most affordable place I could find to purchase it from. I have a 95 lb American Bulldog I am fostering who has to take it daily. Due to his size, he takes 200mg daily which is 2 boxes every 30 days. (Thank goodness the rescue pays for his meds.)

My hope for Levi is that once this fast is over is I will be able to just supplement Levi’s diet with this product to maintain him if this fast works. The recommended dosages of this product are as follows for supplemental feeding: 2oz for up to 20lbs, 4oz for 20-50lbs, and 6oz for over 50lbs. If I continue to supplement him daily after the fast, a case which totals 192 ounces, will leave him enough for 6.2 ounces per day, for 30 days, added to his daily raw and still be $13.26 less expensive than the generic Atopica each month. Instead of suppressing his immune system with a drug I will instead be building up his immune system with a tasty supplement. To me it is obvious which one is the better choice if this fast works for him. I just felt it was important to point that out. And if I no longer have to pay for allergy serum and syringes then I am really saving money. So it depends on your situation on whether you think the cost associated with this fast  is just too expensive.

So how have the last two days been since my last post? Levi still seems content with the (3) cartons per day. He does not seem hungry and has not been bothering my other dogs when they eat. If he was hungry that for sure would happen. He gets each carton in a separate meal. I do not think you could do this fast with any less than 3 meals a day. I am certain some dogs may require more than 3 separate meals. He is still being compliant with the no treats rule. Will this compliancy last? Who knows?

The Answers guidelines suggest you take your pet off of all medications if you can. Levi is only remaining on Clomipramine which I affectionately call his “crazy bullie pills.” He is almost intolerable to himself and others without them. Once thing is for sure, if someone ever tried to steal him he would be returned as soon as those meds wore off. I have discontinued the Hydroxyzine and his allergy shots. He is pretty happy about not being stuck with a needle every 3 days.

The poop situation remains the same. In the Answers guidelines for this fast they describe it as a yellowish pudding consistency and for the first 4 days that has been right on the money. So may be a good idea to stock up on some Earthbath wipes if you plan to try this. I have found the green tea wipes to be the best soothing wipes on the market for a Bulldog. I just love Earthbath products.

Drum roll please………you hear it? Pretend you do ok……

Today I have been sick and worked from home. Levi slept at my feet for most of the day. AND….yes AND not once did he lick his paws. Did you hear me?? Not once did he lick his paws and today is only day 4 on this fast. Are his face and feet still dingy brown? You bet they are! It took a lot of bullie licking to get them that way. The first step in clearing that up though is for his incessant licking to stop. I am well aware it will take time for that dinginess to go away. So today I am feeling pretty confident about where this is going.

Some more things I want to point out. The Answers guidelines discuss a detox that will happen if you do this fast. I know all about detox as does any raw food feeder. I went through it with Levi and Esther when they made the transition from kibble to raw. Luckily, Dr Becker the holistic veterinarian I mentioned in my first blog post covered this in her videos she has on YouTube about raw feeding or I would have been rushing them to the vet asking what was wrong. Answers Pet Food calls it a bio-film. It is a slimy covering you will see over the dog’s poop for the first 1 to 2 weeks when you switch to raw. The body is ridding itself of all the yucky stuff in kibble. And trust that no matter what kibble you are feeding- it will happen. It really brings to light the fact that there is stuff in kibble that dogs really should not be getting. So since Levi has been on a raw diet for a couple of years now this is not happening with him. He has already detoxed. So in this regard, he is ahead of the game. Finally, at least one thing in life I can say he excels at other than being a lazy bum and a crazy fat man. He could gold metal in crazy fat man!

Thank you to everyone following my journey with Levi. As a reminder, if you choose to “follow” this blog you will receive an email each time I make a post. Just click on the “Follow Blog via email” button at the bottom of the page. If you are viewing this from your phone you have to scroll through prior posts to see the button at the bottom. Word press will send you a email with a link you will have to click on to confirm you want to follow.

The Answers Raw Fermented Goat’s Milk Fast is underway!

9/15/2014  Blog Post #2

Fast dates: September 14th through October 13th

Sunday Sept 14th:

Each ounce of Answer’s Raw Fermented Goat’s milk has 21 calories and each 16 oz container has 336 calories. I had to determine how many calories each day Levi normally consumed with his Darwin’s raw diet so I could ensure the same calories were consumed with this fast. Levi normally eats around 1,000 calories per day as 5 yo English bulldog who weighs 58lbs. On this fast Levi will need to consume (3) 16oz cartons of the goat’s milk each day.

I purchased my first case of this product from Carolina Pet Pantry in Indian Trail on Saturday after leaving an event in Charlotte for Blue Ridge Boxer Rescue. I thought I was in the general area and I wanted to spend my dollars at a pet store that supports rescue. The owner is the President of Bullies 2 the Rescue the only EBD rescue in NC. It was an hour and a half drive home and for some reason when I arrived home I just put the whole case in my freezer despite knowing I was starting this fast the next day. Later that night before bed I put a few cartons in the fridge to thaw overnight. Unfortunately, at breakfast the next morning the cartons were only partially thawed and Levi’s first meal was only about 4 ounces of the 16 oz carton I reached for. The rest was still frozen.

At first I felt pretty stupid for not putting more thought into ensuring at least his first carton was thawed. Soon after I remembered the Friday before he threw up half a pound of Darwin’s raw beef on my feet and I decided it was probably a blessing in disguise. Why did he throw up? He had not had beef for a few months and had only been eating duck and turkey. I can only assume that the sudden change was too much for him or maybe it was the ten laps he ran around my backyard after eating. Either way, starting him off slow on the milk was probably a good idea. I did not want to start off my Sunday morning with his breakfast on my feet like I did the Friday morning before.

I poured those four ounces in his stainless steel bowl and set it down on his raised feeder. I was nervous. Would he like it? He loves yogurt so surely he will like this. What will I do if he does not? If he doesn’t, lord I hope the boxers do. After all, they are like Mikey on the Chex commercial and will eat anything. To my delight, he slurped those 4 ounces down and when he looked up with milk on his chin my heart went pitter patter. It was official- the goat’s milk was a hit. So at least I now knew that for sure. Do not be concerned that that little fat man was starving all day. I left the carton on the counter- along with several others- and allowed it to finish thawing. An hour or two later he had the rest. In fact that day he had those three cartons in about 6 small meals. Every time I would pour a little more in his bowl his little adorable self would bounce right on over. I think he must have thought it was his birthday getting so many small meals in one day. The best part of it is that all milk stayed down. So the small meals were a good thing.

My other concern with doing this was the no treats rule. Levi is quite the spoiled short fat man. He gets a treat for doing almost everything. If he goes into my bedroom to be baby gated he gets a treat, if he goes in his crate he gets a treat, if he goes into the bathroom to get a bath he gets a treat and sometimes he gets a treat to get his lazy bum up and go outside to potty before bed. All of his treats are either dehydrated/freeze dried organ meat or Phycox chews. I knew that if there was going to be a hang up – getting no treats would be it. To my surprise, he looked for me to give him treats but he still complied. So the first day was a success.

Monday Sept 15th:

On the second day I was more prepared and all of his 3 allotted cartons were thawed completely this morning. I poured the entire first carton in his bowl and he slurped it up with enthusiasm. A few little spots of milk landed on my hardwood floors so I had to clean them up with some 409 and a paper towel. Luckily, a bulldog with milk on his chin this morning had the same appeal as it did yesterday. Today Levi had each of his 3 cartons in one meal each. So we went from 6 meals yesterday to three meals today.

Yo, I don’t think we should talk about this Come on, why not?

People might misunderstand what we’re tryin’ to say, you know?

No, but that’s a part of life

Come on [CHORUS]

Let’s talk about POOP baby

Let’s talk about you and me

Let’s talk about all the good things

And the bad things that may be

Let’s talk about poop

Let’s talk about poop

Let’s talk about poop

Let’s talk about poop

One of my favorite things about feeding a raw diet is the poop that comes along it. They have these small, odorless little balls that will turn white and ashy a few days later. It is one my favorite benefits of a raw diet. Not many things are worse than sitting on your patio on a hot summer evening and getting the waft of poop from a kibble fed dog; especially, if it is some cheap kibble. When you switch to a raw diet you become really spoiled with this. I was concerned how this diet would affect Levi’s poop. I had such a busy day yesterday that I did not take note of it but today I did. It was a light brown soft texture with a not so pleasant smell. And after I had to get a Earthbath wipe to clean the residue off his bum. So it looks like I am back to wiping bullie butts. (Good thing I like bullie butts and I can not lie!) Something I have not had to do in a good while with two raw fed bullies with tail amputations. I am not sure if this will continue but it is the state of affairs on day two.

All and all I would say things are going well so far. Levi seems content and is not putting up a fuss about the no treats rule. Hopefully this continues.

Just a note, if you choose to “follow” this blog you will receive an email each time I make a post. Just click on the “Follow Blog via email” button at the bottom of the page. Word press will send you a email with a link you will have to click on to confirm you want to follow.

Thank you to those of you who are interested in Levi’s journey.

More to come.

Levi’s struggle with allergies…..

9/13/2014  Blog Post #1

I decided to start this blog in the hopes of helping other dogs suffering from allergies or at least provide some comfort to pet parents going through the same struggles. Let me first make clear that I am not a writer so please do not be too judgmental with the construction of my posts. My goal is to share Levi’s individual story, not to win a Pulitzer Prize for eloquent writing. Please take note of this my dear friends who are a part of the “Grammar Police.”

I have been fostering boxers and boxer mixes for almost 13 years. I had on occasion fostered the occasional English Bulldog or Old English Bulldog for the two boxer rescues I volunteer with since at the time there was not an EBD rescue in NC. Each one though, after evaluation, preferred to be an only dog so I never “foster failed” (the term lovingly assigned when a foster home adopts their foster dog) despite the fact I had dreamed of having an EBD of my own for years. Finally in November of 2009 I decided it was time to take the plunge and seek out an EBD of my own to add to my boxer pack. Again there were no EBD rescues here in NC at the time. Yes, I wish to highlight this, because at heart I am a rescue lady, so contacting breeders is just not what we do. It is amazing how many pure-breed dogs- of any breed- end up in shelters across the county every day. I looked online and reached out to my vet to find bullie breeders. I was not satisfied when I learned that all the breeders I contacted locally kept their breeder dogs in kennels out back. I thought “wow, these dogs are earning you some big bucks the least you could do is bring them inside and treat them like family.” After some time though, I found a breeder in Oklahoma who did do that. If someone was going to perform that ugly/dirty task of breeding at least they did it in a way I could feel good about. I checked references both of their veterinarian and of others who had purchased puppies from them in the past. And before I knew it Levi was hopping a plane to NC. Levi was born August 16, 2009 and became my forever child on a snowy Friday in December shortly after. The first time I held him in my arms was pure bliss. I made a promise to him that night that no matter what I was his mom forever. I just never imagined what a struggle that commitment would be.

I just want to make clear that now we have an amazing English Bulldog rescue in NC called Bullies 2 the Rescue. I will never again go to a breeder for an EBD companion. You can visit their website at www.bullies2therescue.com

As a puppy we experienced the normal medical things like cherry eyes in both eyes and had surgery to remove the third eyelid in both eyes. At age 1 he had a tumor to present itself on his left ear. My vet did an amazing job removing it and to my surprise he has no scar to show for it which to me was nothing short of miraculous considering its size and location. After that things were pretty easy until age two when the tail pocket infections started which later led to a tail amputation after we discovered it had inverted and was growing back inside him. A surgery like this is no joke and it was a rough few weeks of recovery but after he healed he was like a new dog, at least for a time.

Around age two and a half my life was changed forever because Levi started experiencing symptoms of allergies. Up to this point, I had just been the kind of person to shoot out to Pet Smart, Tractor Supply or Costco and grab a bag of food to feed. My boxers had never been allergy sufferers and while I had dealt with many health issues fostering boxers they never were allergies of any serious consequence. It was always medical issues that a surgery, procedure or a pill could correct. People who knew me then would have never predicted I would turn into this “dog food nut” that I am today. In life, sometimes situations become so severe you are forced to try and do things you would have never done in the past.

In the beginning, giving Levi daily Zyrtec was enough to calm his itchiness. At this point, he and my boxers were on the grain-free kibble from Costco. Dog Food Advisor had rated it a 4 star food and you could not beat the price. All my dogs had been doing fine on it and I just never had any reason to feed anything different. As the saying goes ‘if it isn’t broke don’t fix it.” After a few months, the Zyrtec was not doing the trick and Levi began to get staph infections on his skin where he was constantly scratching. It is a miserable feeling to see this little fat furry thing you adore so much suffering. I do not have human children so my dogs are my world.  It seemed like we were at my vet’s office every one or two weeks for antibiotics and prednisone. I kept telling myself “if only we can make it through the summer things will get better in the winter.” After almost 6 months of constant antibiotics and steroids things were not getting better. I became increasingly concerned about the long term side effects of prednisone on his system. If you spend some time researching this it sounds pretty scary. I knew there had to be another option. My vet suggested another product called Atopica and that day I came home with two boxes of that very expensive product. And again, after reading about the scary side effects this medicine can also have I thought “well this is not my answer either.”

During one of my internet searches I found some videos on You Tube by a holistic veterinarian Dr Karen Becker discussing the benefits of a raw food diet. These videos were quite compelling and for the first time I realized that the diet I fed impacted Levi’s health and ability to deal with allergies. Looking back I feel silly I had never considered that before. I mean if we go to the doctor and have high cholesterol the first thing suggested will be diet changes. Why is the same line of thought not also used with our canine companions? If diet has such a huge impact on our human health why would it not also have the same impact on our canine companion’s health? It was a light bulb moment to say the least.

So I spent more time researching online and found Darwin’s Pet Food. Darwin’s is a family owned company based out of Seattle Washington that ships frozen raw pet food to your door in Styrofoam coolers on dry ice. Let me tell you that stuff is so cold when you open it up I have to put gloves on to store it in my freezer. I did see Levi’s allergy symptoms subside some with a raw diet but it did not completely solve his problems. My vet and I started to have conversations about allergy testing. He was quick to point out that only 60% to 70% of dogs respond to immunotherapy. I was already feeding raw and Atopica and steroids were not the solution so I said “ok it is time to try this.” My vet recommended a specialist from Washington state that travels to NC once a month for a few days to see patients. She is supposed to be one of the top veterinarians in her field for allergy treatment. An appointment was made for both Levi and my other English Bulldog Esther. Yes, somewhere in the timeline above I rescued a female EBD with severe allergy symptoms and a whole host of other medical issues. I may discuss Esther more in the future. If this process is successful with Levi you can expect that my Esther will be my next furry child to go through this fast.

Allergy testing done right is not an inexpensive option. I spent $1500 each for my two bulldogs to have inter-dermal skin testing and blood allergy testing done along with a very thorough consult. It was comforting to know that the specialist who performed this testing also had a dog with allergies that was on a raw food diet. After the testing I discovered that Levi was allergic to 47 of the 67 environmental allergens tested in my local geographic area. And 38 of those he showed a significant/severe allergy to. She said she had only seen a few other dogs in her many years of practice with results this severe. She said that what they know about dogs like my Levi is that they actually have skin that is thinner than that of a normal dog and believe they have a defect in their DNA. One of their goals in research now is isolating that defect so that 10 to 15 years from now breeder dogs can be tested to see if they carry this defect in their DNA before they are bred. I thought that is all well and fine but Levi is born, he is here now and something has to be done now. Allergy serum was ordered and a strict schedule of allergy shots began.

Levi had to remain on the prednisone when he started the shots. He was also getting daily medicated baths in a prescription shampoo. His shedding was frightful and when he would shake you could see a million hairs blowing off. In addition, he had yet another staph infection that he was given another 45 days of antibiotics to kill. His allergies were turning into a literal nightmare for both he and I. Not too long after this someone with Georgia English Bulldog rescue told me about Bullies 2 the Rescue. I reached out and offered to volunteer. I came to know the Courtney the President of the rescue who also owns Carolina Pet Panty. After following her Facebook posts I began to introduce some other items into Levi’s diet and stopped the prednisone against the advice of his specialists. He started probiotics and digestive enzymes. Some more time after he started getting daily coconut oil. And months later thanks to Courtney’s posts we added in Ultra Oil. After a year on the shots and all these supplements Levi started to turn around. He no longer had recurring staph infections and his shedding had decreased but always remained at a higher than normal rate. I started to feel like I was making progress. I thought to myself “finally, I do not know how many more supplements I can give him.”

About two months ago Levi started to lick his paws more. He does have what is called a general anxiety disorder or GAD. Honestly, I could write a whole separate blog about my adventures with this. So I was not sure if this was the cause of this sudden onset of paw licking after months of doing so well. He takes Clomipramine daily to help curb his very negative reactions to such sounds as the doorbell, the can opener, the vacuum cleaner, dogs barking on the TV, the squeaking sounds when you clean your windows and trust me list goes on. Let me pause here and say isn’t he just the poster child to encourage you to buy from a breeder? As my mother often comments “Levi is a child that only his mother could love.” After a few more weeks his paws became brown and his face started getting brown and I knew this was his allergies rearing their ugly head again. I tried giving him Hydroxyzine which is a prescription antihistamine but it had no affect. So after all we had been through we seemed to be circling back to where we started. I asked myself “when is this nightmare going to end?”  I was throwing every dime I had and many more I did not have at supplements and a raw diet. I honestly was beginning to think my only option left was Atopica. Yes, the dreaded drug I wanted to avoid in the first place.

Soon after, I saw Courtney post on her page about Answers Fermented Fish and how it was helping some of the bullies in her rescue. This product comes frozen so living in Winston Salem, NC I could not call her store and have her to ship it to me. I checked the Answers website and saw that a store here locally, Prohund Pet Supply, sold it. I called but they did not carry it in stock and had to order it for me which Michelle was happy to do. I cannot explain fully what a hit that stinky smelly stuff was with my pack. I started pouring some over everyone’s food daily and I did start to see a slight improvement in Levi’s paw licking but they remained a dingy brown.

Last week Courtney hosted the VP of Answers Pet food in her store. She had such a big interest that they also had the presentation available via a webinar for those who were not local. Jacqueline Hill is a microbiologist and gave a very insightful presentation. She discussed another product, Fermented Goat’s milk that comes from grass fed goats. Not only was this a great supplement but if given to your pet on a 30 fast it could also help to re-set or re-start their immune system. Now in no way am I qualified to detail here for you all the information she imparted during this hour and a half presentation but I was sold 45 minutes in. The rules for this fast are your pet only eats the fermented goat’s milk for 30 days. No treats at all.

Tomorrow Levi starts his 30 fast of only Answers Raw Fermented Goat’s milk. Dogs are supposed to still feel full with this fast provided you still offer the same calories per day they are accustomed to eating normally. Each 16oz carton contains approximately 336 calories. If you try this you will have to do the math to determine the appropriate amount for you to feed your dog each day. I am looking forward to this adventure and have high hopes because if this does not work I do not have anything left in my “tool kit” other than prescription medication.

When you put this much personal information out for others to read you run the risk of receiving negative feedback. If you feel the urge to make a negative comment about this blog please do me a favor and do as we used to say in middle school: “save the drama for your mamma!” My goal with this is not to preach or make myself sound like anything other than a crazy bullie mamma desperate to find a solution for my baby’s allergies. I took the time to you give Levi’s background because I wanted you to know ahead of time that Levi is an abnormal case. I can tell you countless dogs who have suffered allergies whose symptoms were completely resolved by simply changing from a cheap food to a higher quality food; simple as that, but with Levi, nothing has been simple. So if this produces some real results in a dog like him, think of what if could do for a dog whose issues are not so severe. I am not sure how many people will read this but I wanted to put Levi’s story out there. Somewhere there is another puppy mom who has been going through the same struggles and if this even helps one person then putting my personal business out there was worth it.

Links you may find worthwhile:

http://rawmilkforsasha.wordpress.com

http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/goat-milk-for-dogs/

http://www.realmilk.com/health/milk-cure/

http://answerspetfood.com/nutrition.html

**A special thank you to Courtney of Carolina Pet Pantry for introducing me to this product.

I am the proud mom of:

  1. Moses a 9 yo brindle boxer I foster failed with through Carolina Boxer Rescue 7 years ago
  2. Eden a 6yo brindle boxer I adopted at 8 weeks of age from Blue Ridge Boxer Rescue
  3. Levi my 5yo brindle English Bulldog who is the subject of this blog
  4. And, Esther an 8yo brindle English Bulldog who I fostered failed with two and half years ago after less than 24 hours of bringing her home.

I am the foster mom to the following with Blue Ridge Boxer Rescue:

  1. Bosworth a 2yo American Bulldog with lumbosacral disease
  2. Harvey Henderson a 2yo Valley Bulldog (boxer/ebd) cross

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