|Some of the supplements for Ginny|
Ginny had begun vomiting on a daily basis and it got to the point that she vomited several times a night and was unable to keep anything down. The vet gave her anti-nausea pills; she couldn't keep those down. She certainly couldn't keep down the antibiotic for a potential ulcer or the medication for acid reflux. After a couple of unproductive weeks of treatment, Ginny spent three days at the animal hospital where they did as much testing as possible without surgery. The afternoon I brought her home, she went to her water bowl, drank, and immediately threw up. That was when I knew I had to do something radical.
So I researched natural remedies for acid reflux in humans, as well as dogs. First of all, I read that it was important to have the dog fast for a day or so to help her esophagus heal. So I didn't feed her for a couple of days. Then she actually chose to not eat for a day beyond that. Then, DGL licorice and papaya enzymes kept popping up in my research so I started giving those to Ginny. I knew that the antibiotics plus vomiting had taken it's toll on her gut flora so I added some probiotics. I also added the homeopathic remedy rhus tox. for nausea. I had started giving her canned dog food right before she went into the hospital, thinking it would be easier for her to digest. However, I discovered that even the "natural" foods had cargeenan, a known stomach irritant! Even though the vet told me I didn't need to change Ginny's diet, I realized she wouldn't heal if I didn't.
I came up with a plan to give Ginny whole foods. I know some experts say dogs shouldn't eat grains but I decided to give her some anyway. I thought brown rice would be easy to digest. We had some extra butternut squash and green beans so I cooked and pureed them, thinking that would make it easy on her stomach. We also had a bumper crop of black-eyed peas and I thought they would be a good source of protein. I started feeding this mix to her and added Udo's Choice Pet Essentials, along with the herbal and homeopathic remedies. She started getting better. Last winter, when Bill killed two deer for his red meat for the year, I asked him to save the livers, with a plan to make my own dog food. I got nervous about it, thinking I didn't know enough about it and that Ginny wouldn't get appropriate nutrition, so I left them in the freezer. Once she got so sick, I realized there was no down side to feeding her the liver, along with the vegetables and rice, so I started cooking those up, cutting them into small pieces, again for easy digestion.
Once I started this program, Ginny got better. She would vomit occasionally, but this occurred less and less frequently. I decided to continue feeding her deer liver. Every year, we allow a group to hunt on our farm across from our main property. I had Bill ask them to save the deer livers for us as they would be discarded otherwise.
Now I've stopped giving Ginny the herbal supplements, except for the Udo's and occasionally giving her probiotics. Her current diet now consists of either brown rice or oatmeal, some type of vegetable (usually sweet potatoes), and a protein. For the protein, I rotate (and sometimes mix up) black-eyed peas, venison liver, eggs, and leftover chicken pieces and broth. (I pour the broth over the peas to make them more appetizing.) This feeding program seems to be working as Ginny hasn't thrown up in weeks - nor have I seen any of the signs of acid reflux that I noticed in the past.
I firmly believe that making this big change in diet saved Ginny's life. She's a senior girl (11 1/2 years) with a few other health problems, but the stomach issue would have ended her life if I hadn't intervened. While some vets might not approve of this diet, it's working for us.