Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My New Diet Partner

If you don't know, we have two dogs, Lindey and Lucky. Both are Havanese.

Lindey has always been our "sickly" dog. When I say sickly, I don't mean rabies or kennel cough or anything like that. I merely mean that there always seems to be something wrong with her. She has visited the emergency vet every year of her life for a variety of reasons. Once, she got a hold of a bottle of Tylenol PM, chewed off the lid and ate, or so we thought, some of the pills. She ended up having her stomach pumped and the vet concluded that she hadn't eaten any of the pills. (Money well spent!) On another occasion, she and I were playing in the park on a VERY hot day (105 degrees) and she started violently vomiting. After a trip to the emergency vet, it was determined that she had suffered from heat stroke. (Again, money well spent.) Her third trip to the emergency vet was for a bit of broken tooth literally growing through her cheek. Disgusting, I know. Her fourth trip to the emergency vet happened this past summer when her hind leg basically stopped working. It seemed like it was just hanging from her hip socket. Ended up being a slipped knee cap. Now in her fifth year of life, my goal is to keep her out of the emergency vet and to try to keep Lindey as happy and healthy as possible. To be proactive if you will.

Just before Grace was born, Lindey came down with an ear infection. We'd been to the vet A LOT this past year for an ear infection in the same ear. The vet told me that the hair growing in her ear canal that was trapping "organisms" which would turn into an ear infection. I was to apply some drops for a week and continually keep the hair removed from the ear. Well, after several unsuccessful treatments, I decided to try a new vet in the Tri-Cities. Problem was, I was due to have Grace any day and didn't want to be two hours away from the hospital - with my dog in the car - if I happened to go into labor. What I am getting at is, Lindey has had a really sore ear for well over a month and I finally took her to the vet this past Monday. So much for being proactive!

So we go to the vet, expecting to receive some form of ear drop and be sent on our way. Yes, we did receive ear drops but after the most thorough and shocking examination Lindey has ever received.

My poor dog is in bad shape and it is all my fault. For starters, her teeth are a bit "dirty." Apparently, I am failing as a dog owner because I don't brush her teeth. (If you brush your dog's teeth, I'd like to hear from you because I am convinced NO ONE does this.) If I can't brush her teeth, I am supposed to be giving her special bones to help keep her teeth clean. BUT I can't give her any bones at the moment because the ear infection (and the neurotic chewing of her paws) is being caused by a food allergy. According to the vet, the food I have been giving my dogs is the WORST on the market and is basically killing my dogs from the inside out! I was TOTALLY shocked and horrified! Not to mention riddled with guilt. In order to discover exactly what she is allergic to, I could either have her undergo a pricey allergy test or try introducing foods, one at a time, and watching the effects. I chose the cheaper option. So Lindey (and Lucky by default) are on a new eating regimen so as to uncover Lindey's food allergy. Part of diagnosing Lindey's allergy also requires a stool and URINE sample. I repeat - urine sample. Think about that for a moment. I am supposed to collect a uuuurine sample from a doooogggg. Unable to fathom how on earth I was supposed to do this, the vet tech told me to follow Lindey out in the yard first thing in the morning armed with an old Tupperware. When it looked like Lindey was ready to go, I was to slip the Tupperware under her urine stream and VOILA! uhhhhhhhhh YEAH RIGHT! I have yet to attempt the "collection." I am in denial I even have to do this. (See this is why people get dogs BEFORE kids. It prepares you for things you can't even imagine!)

The vet had more good news for me. Lindey is considered obese. Weighing in at 17.6 pounds, the vet believes she should be in the ball park of 12 pounds. For a dog to lose 5 pounds is the equivalent of a human losing a 100 lbs. Needless to say, Lindey and I are tackling weight loss together. I still have a pregnant looking belly and every time I reach for a "treat" I think of Lindey being cut off cold turkey from all her favorites - Pepperoni Pups, Dingo Bones, scraps after dinner - and think, if she can do it, so can I! (It is only day 1, so we'll see how long her sad, puppy dog eyes keep me out of the candy cabinet!)


Well, not long I am afraid to report. I am doing better at steering clear of the sweet stuff but I just got back from the store where I bought Valentine's Day message hearts and all the fixins for brownies. Not to mention I am hooked on Sun Chips. HOOKED I tell you! It is like the chips are crack and I am Whitney Houston. I can't stop.

Also, (I know you are on the edge of your seats) I successfully collected Lindey's samples and took them to the vet. It was quite embarrassing following Lindey around the yard with a Tupperware - especially when the garbage collector came driving up to find me squatting alongside my dog shoving a plastic dish under her butt. I think I made his week, if not his month! Hey, I do what I can!

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