I’m excited to be able to bring you another guest blog about a dog who has been helped through illness by switching to a raw diet. I hope that other owners who’s dogs are suffering in the same way read these guest blogs and are helped.
I first became aware of Rocky when his mum sent his photo in for the 1,000 raw fed dogs campaign, along with Bailey and Maddie , you can see their post here.
“I had spent over a year researching raw feeding and seriously considering making the swap. Every time I ended up thinking about the storage issues and suppliers etc and never “got round” to making the switch – I can honestly say, now that I have bitten the bullet – I will NEVER go back to kibble and all my dogs look fab and are really healthy! So, what made me finally change to raw? …
My boxer Rocky suffers with hypothyroidism but it had been under control with medication for 3 years now and he has no problems at all. Then last December, (with Rocky aged 9 1/2), we took a walking holiday to Scotland and noticed Rocky was very lethargic on walks, drinking around 12 pints of water a day, and loosing hair on his flanks. My husband and I decided that if things hadn’t improved by the time we got home we’d get his thyroid checked – these are all symptoms that he may have needed more medication.
We got home and had his Thyroid tested and were really suprised to find that everything was fine, but we still didn’t know what was wrong with him. Whilst the vets ran every x-ray, blood test, scan etc in the book, my boy got more and more poorly. He had a horrible septic boil on his paw which made him severely lame, more hair loss, extreme lethargy, wasn’t remotely interested in any cuddles or attention, he was ravenously hungry (to the point he actually bit me once), he went really skinny but had the most ridiculously swollen/bloated belly etc etc the list went on!
We were getting seriously worried that we might loose him and the vets were no closer to finding a diagnosis. I started researching all these symptoms and one condition kept cropping up – CUSHING’S DISEASE. He was finally tested and does have cushings disease. During all my research into the disease, I kept reading about how grain was particularly bad for Cushing’s dogs and instantly changed to raw for all 3 of my dogs.
It took a few weeks to get a chest freezer, source good suppliers and get a good idea of the ideal quantities and variations of food, but in the meantime, I bought whatever I could from supermarkets and butchers and none of my dogs have touched kibble since that day.
The vets decided to medicate Rocky with “Vetoryl”. I researched this too, and spoke to a few people who had had experience of this illness and treatment, and the general conclusion was I really don’t want my boy on that horrible drug! I was stuck between a rock and a hard place as I didn’t want to put that poison into his system, but it also broke my heart to see him ageing by months every day and suffering so much, he was not enjoying life at all. I had to try the Vetoryl.
At first, he was doing well on the drug, with only very minor side effects (making us one of he lucky ones I’m led to believe) so everything seemed good. We continued with the drugs (and obviously raw feeding) for around 4 months and then Rocky deteriorated very quickly again, he had no energy at all and I felt we were back at square one. I called the vets and booked him in for a blood test for both Cushings and Thyroid to check the levels of medication were still ok, because both of these conditions can produce these symptoms.
I was really pleased to get the results back, they showed that his Thyroid was fine but his Cushings disease was being over-medicated. The vet asked me to stop the vetoryl IMMEDIATELY and go in the next day for a lower dose (half in fact). I was just happy because if he really had to have that drug then at least it was going to be a very small dose.
We started the lower dose drugs and were to re-test in 3 weeks. He showed no improvement within himself though and I was still having that mental debate with myself as to whether it would be kinder to him to let him go than have him suffering. 3 weeks passed and we tested him again, only to get exactly the same result, still massively over-medicated. I was then instructed to stop the Vetoryl immediately as it was the over-medication producing the symptoms.
I was obviously pleased with the results but still wondering where we go from here as he obviously needs some help with this disease and now he has none! I was again asked to re-test in 3 weeks and during that time, now off all Vetoryl, Rocky got better and better by the day. He literally rewound the ageing process, got loads of energy, started to re-grow hair on the patches that the vets had shaved in February in order to do a scan (this was now the end of July), his “figure” went back to normal and he was really alert again. It honestly would be impossible to put into words the change in him in that 3 weeks – he went from looking like a 14 year old who’d lost the will to live to looking 5 again and doing zoomies!
He is still off the medication (5 weeks now), doing brilliantly and loving his raw diet, the only help he has for his Cushings (which he will unfortuantely never be cured from) is a natural supplement I found called Cushex Drops and he is showing absolutely NO symptoms of the disease at all.
All 3 dogs love their raw diet and even the healthy 2 have visibly improved since the change over – they have fantastic coats, beautiful white teeth, fresh smelling breath (something I didn’t think was possible for dogs!!!), shiny white eyes and loads of energy. I can never prove that raw feeding has saved Rocky’s life, however, I am totally convinced that it has – I believe that the raw food helped his entire body to become more healthy, strengthened his immune system and allowed him to kick that disease into touch.
Anyone reading this (whether with a poorly dog or a healthy one) is presumably considering raw feeding, so please don’t put it off any longer, do your dogs the biggest favour you can and throw that kibble away and get down to the butchers for some raw meaty bones – you’ll never look back!!”
If you would like to read an update on how Rocky is going you can find it here.