The Complicated Traveler

Travel for me means planning for all of life’s unknown

Tag: dog

A Day In The Life: Chaz’s Tummy Problems Continue

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Chaz has been having a lot of tummy trouble for the last few weeks.  At first we thought it was the stress of selling our house, all the people coming in and out, and the general level of our stress that was throwing his tummy off.  But after having to put him on a boiled chicken and rice diet, I had to start paying more attention.

The Problem

Chaz is a picky eater.  He’ll more often than not walk away from food than eat. I’ve never owned a dog that didn’t inhale anything even remotely resembling food as soon as their nose caught a sniff of it.  So when the vet suggested a boiled chicken and rice diet until his tummy settled down, I doubted he’d eat it.

As is normal when I think I’ve finally figured this dog out, he proved me wrong and ate with gusto.

Yet, when everything seemed to be settling down and I started adding in his canned food again it all went sideways, again.

After several sleepless nights of cleaning up sick puppy poo, I called the vet and set up a consultation.  I know the signs of food allergy and it would appear that my dog is allergic to something in his dog food.

Through the sleepless nights, I decided to put Chaz on probiotics. He had been on them before, after an incident where he had eaten some detergent, and I really liked how his tummy reacted while on them. So when I found some at the health food store, I decided to give it a try.

The Vets Conclusion

Chaz is allergic to something, but it didn’t appear to be food. He had signs of allergy but not the typical food allergy. Go figure, he is my dog after all.

I had wondered if he was allergic to an additive. I know I am, and when I react to his food it does cause one to wonder what is going on with him. However, dogs apparently aren’t as susceptible to the same food allergies as humans are.  Apparently they typically are allergic to pork. Who knew?  So while I was reacting to the additives and soy in his food, apparently he was just reacting to the additives.

The Vet thought it was an additive allergy, not a food allergy, that the dog was reactive to. She said that while we had done well keeping him hydrated, we needed to find him a different food. Since there is no test for additive allergies, the Vet suggested I put him on probiotics (check) and the Vet had another suggestion.

The Suggestion

Our Vet suggested I take the dog through the store, armed with a list of brands she recommended, and let Chaz choose his own food and treats.

Basically I was to let him smell the bags of kibble and the one he showed the most interest in was the one I was to get.

While we had talked about a local brand of dog food I had found for our previous dog when he developed health issues, and she didn’t have a problem with Chaz eating it, she still recommended I try one of her suggested brands first. Chaz, however, had other plans.

Actions

I walked through the pet store with Chaz comfortably tucked into my jacket, and we found every brand the Vet listed. At each brand I found the appropriate bag for his size and set it in the basket in front of him and watched to see what he would do. At each brand he gave the cursory sniff, then turned his head in disinterest.

How do I know it was disinterest? Because I left the bag in his sniffing zone while I read the ingredients. All of them contained things I react to, and each one was passed over by himself (aka Chaz).

What To Do Next

Chaz is not a service animal. While I do consider him to be a member of the family, to be taken care of to the best of my abilities, I know that he can’t simply be taken everywhere with me. It isn’t right to the people who rely on their service dogs for me to take my pet to a store that isn’t advertised as being a pet friendly store.

However, I was desperate to find something my dog would gladly eat.

So I walked into a local health food store with Chaz securely zipped into my jacket, and headed straight for the pet food isle. Not stopping near any other isle that contained food or products.

I pulled several of the more expensive bags into the cart for him to sniff, all received the same reaction…a sniff or two and he lost interest.

Finally, after several bags were dismissed I found the bag. The same brand as the canned food I had found that he liked is the brand of dry food he went nuts over.

I placed the bag of kibble in front of him and he went nuts trying to get into the bag.

Here we were feeding him a plant protein diet, low in fat, and he chooses a high (meat) protein and fat diet, and not only that, he’s keeping it down and wanting to eat.
Now he’s still not a voracious eater, I put his food out in the morning and sometimes it sits there till evening, but he is eating most of it every day and we aren’t having any of the nasty side effects we were having.

Conclusion

While I am not the hover pet mom I often feel like (the Vet told me so). I am very thankful for Veterinarians who are willing to think outside the box when it comes to taking care of my dog.

While I very much consider my pet a member of the family, I also do not loose sight that it is still just a pet.

With that in mind, finding a dog food that he would eat was a priority, and I’m very thankful for stores who understand where I was in my attempt to care for my pet.

What I took away from this is that much as a mother would with her children, I have to trust my instincts where Chaz is concerned. I had a feeling it was his food that was making him sick, but at the same time I felt hopeless to do something about it. When in reality I could have saved him a lot of agony if I had of acted on my instincts to change his food sooner.

It amazes me how similar a dog and human are in medical terms. From food allergies, to seasonal allergies they often need the same types of medications and care that we humans do.

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A Day In The Life: Chaz’s big adventure

Life of late: 

Poor Chaz has had a rather rough time of it, of late.  We’ve sold our house, we lived in our house on an air mattress with a folding table and camp chairs while waiting for our closing date (after it has been changed…I did have it all planned out until…), and now we have moved into a hotel while we wait for the dust to settle and for us to figure out our next move.  More to come about that in a later post.

So we were living with the bare basics, really it was a glorified dorm room.  All we were missing were the cinder block and bare wood ‘book cases’ and posters on the wall.  Honestly a dorm room probably was a step up as we were on an air mattress instead of a futon.

In an effort to keep to a routine, we did our best to have dinner around the same time each night and I even did my best to cook every now and again.  This leads to our latest vet visits with Chaz.

Remember the folding table?

When you combine a folding table and camp chairs with short people and food, you get a great comedy sketch set up.  Add into that mix trying to eat tacos and you get a recipe for disaster when you have small dog with a sensitive stomach.

Yep, meat was spilled.  It bounced off the dog, and never had the chance to hit the floor.  Chaz’s reflexes are just too strong.

While we expected the after effects, we didn’t expect them to last for almost two weeks.

The day we vacated the house we took him to the vet for his tummy issues.  They did some tests said he was OK and sent us home with instructions to keep him on a rice and boiled chicken diet, and to keep him as calm as possible.  So we had a friend over for dinner on Friday and then the Kids as usual on Sunday.  We dealt with the one accident at 2 am, and carried on as normal.  And then…

Today the vomiting started.  Now I’m ok with humans when they have physical ailments.  Blood, vomit, doesn’t matter I’m good, but when it’s an animal…all bets are off.  So there is our poor five pound multepoo being sick on the kitchen floor of the hotel, and I’m sitting across the room gagging.  Hubby couldn’t help but laugh.  And I really couldn’t blame him. I’m sure I was a sight to behold holding my breath, and nose and gaging all at the same time.

Several times today we have been faced with this dilemma, and I finally had to call the vet (again) to see what we should do.  Aside from hoping he’d eat and drink some water, giving him another tummy pill and waiting until they could see us tomorrow.  There really wasn’t much we could do.

Just when you think you’re going to have to go to the ER…

Then suddenly at around 6pm, the dog started eating and drinking his diluted chicken broth. By 9pm he’d eaten all of his food, and was ready to play.  And now I’m faced with the dilemma of going to be on time, or staying up incase we need to get him outside in a hurry.

I got him some probiotics, for dogs, from the health food store and he got his first dose in when he finished his bowl of food tonight.  So I have that to factor into the equation.

I always thought having pets were easy, until Chaz.  When a dog, and I assume a cat, has tummy issues all bets are off.  But you can’t help but love them even more.

Chaz has decided that we are going to bed.  Otherwise his whining will keep hubby awake.  Sigh!  Here’s hoping for the best, and a good nights sleep.

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A Day In The Life: Another Opening, Another Show

What’s a dog to do when momma is leaving and taking him with her?…Why he hangs on tight and enjoys the ride of course.

Chaz has had quite a few interesting days in the last few weeks, and this week is proving to be more challenging than either of us thought.   I have not only moved things around on him, again, but we are going it alone this week while my husband is on travel.

So not only am I stressed all ready, but now I’m in hyper drive trying to get my To Do list done everyday, I also have to get us out of here on time when I need to for a showing, which doesn’t help his tummy troubles.

At this point even cottage cheese isn’t a guarantee for him to eat.  You know he’s stressed when even cottage cheese can’t tempt him.

Chaz and I as we headed out to Garden of the Gods. Doesn't he look enthused?

Chaz and I as we headed out to the Garden of the Gods. Doesn’t he look enthused?

So when we left for one of our showings we headed out, not to a store with lots of people and carts (stress for both of us), but to the great outdoors.  We drove to Garden of the Gods.  A wonderful tourist attraction here in Colorado Springs.

Thankfully it was partly cloudy so I got a little bit of a break from the sun. Sadly the place was packed for a Monday, no parking to be found near the famous rocks.  So I settled for a spot in lot 12, and we headed out into the great unknown…for him, I’ve been there many times.

Garden of the Gods is a huge tourist attraction here in the Springs.  Large looming rocks, red in color, that seem to come from no where. If you look closely you can see distinct shapes with in the rocks, like kissing camels. While there are many legends attached to them, they are a great place to get out and walk around, rock climb, or just take a slow drive through.  I had intended to park in the first lot, but it was at capacity, so we did the slow drive for a bit.

Once I found a spot to park, Chaz got antsy to get out and walk.

Chaz ready to get going on our walk.

Chaz ready to get going on our walk.

So I sprayed him to protect against ticks, and off we went.  It was a nice walk to a little path, that we took for a little bit.  Chaz took the walk like a champ, he got a little nervous when other people would join our path, but otherwise he just trotted along happily sniffing all the different smells we came across.

On to the red path, sniffing his way along

On to the red path, sniffing his way up the incline.

I was very thankful that the people looking at the house didn’t linger, because the sun came out and even more people began appearing on the trail.  We turned around quickly and headed home. It was a nice time out of the house, but it reminded me of just how stressful being outdoors can be. Especially at popular touristy places.

I can, thankfully, keep track of when the doors in the house are open and closed thanks to an app that works with our home alarm system.  So when I saw the people looking had arrived at the house we didn’t hang around for too long, which turned out to be a good thing as several smokers drove past immediately after we had gotten in the car to return home.

a collage of the photos I took on our walk. It is surprisingly hard to get 'good' photos when a dog is pulling on the leash.

a collage of the photos I took on our walk. It is surprisingly hard to get ‘good’ photos when a dog is pulling on the leash, even if its only a five pound dog.

I honestly don’t know which are worse the early morning showings or the early evening showings – but there is one good thing about the early morning showings…I have a good excuse to go get coffee.  You are shocked to read that, I know.

For one particularly early showing I found the grit to get out of bed, and out the door…Nemo’s!

I’m not a huge fan of Starbucks coffee, it will work in a pinch but if I have another option I will gladly go out of my way to get my morning coffee.  Nemo’s is my favorite go to spot for coffee outside of my kitchen.  They have organic coffee, coconut milk (they have other milk alternative if you require them), caramel (a must for me on hectic days, don’t judge), and on a day like this when I have the dog… a drive through and one of Chaz’s favorite dog biscuits.  Everything we need to have a successful start to our day.

Though I’m not sure how much of Chaz’s love for their dog biscuits is the biscuit and how much of it is all the attention he gets when he gets the biscuit.  Sometimes I really wish I could read his mind to figure these questions out.

Chaz is content after consuming his dog biscuit, and I have my coffee (with caramel a real treat for me).

Chaz is content after consuming his dog biscuit, and I have my coffee (with caramel a real treat for me). Check them out 2114 East Pikes Peak Ave, tell them I sent you.

Inside their mismatched tables and chairs make for a relaxed atmosphere where anyone, no matter your height, can find a comfortable place to sit and enjoy their coffee. They also boast bookshelves filled with books of every genre. Something that is very important to book worms like me.  If you aren’t like me…someone who takes books with her every where she goes – and is very thankful that someone invented the e-reader because her back is much happier when she isn’t carrying real books with her everywhere she goes… then Nemo’s is the place to be, a good book a great cup of coffee…what more could a person ask for?  Plus they have lots of goodies and most of them are made in house.

Hubby would recommend the sausage breakfast burrito, it’s his favorite regardless of the time of day. As for me I would recommend their caramel swirl coffee, I like it iced or hot with coconut milk.  It’s so incredibly wonderful!

Their motto, and it is so true their coffee with power you through anything.

Their motto, and it is so true, turtle power will get you through anything!

So with my turtle power in my system I feel just about ready for anything…provided it isn’t too out there. Ha!  Our life is so hectic right now, it’s hard to think about adding too much more to our plates.   However, our getting out there and seeing the area means I’ll have more adorable stories about Chaz’s adventures for you.

So I was talking with the groomers the other day about what a challenge it is to get Chaz to eat his food.

But Mom...

But Mom…

Picture an adorable two year old, batting their baby blues at you as they shake their head ‘no’ at the food put before them. You know they need to eat, and yet you just can’t make them do it.

Now add into that picture a dog who refuses to eat to the point that it makes him sick. I’m not one for feeding my dog human food so something had to be done. That has been my life with Chaz since the detergent incident of 2016.

Back story: After a long field and track trip, we got home and our pet sitter  dropped the dog off. Hubby started on laundry while I sat on the couch with my feet elevated trying to relax a bit when I heard hubby say, “Chaz just licked up some detergent” but it didn’t register just how bad of a situation it was.

Come 3am and the realization of the situation hit, the disgusting smelly reality, hit.

A vet visit, and 10 days of enticing a dog at high risk of ulcers to take his meds and eat, and our lives have never been the same.

The here and now: Chaz is on a low fat GI diet (known as a prescription diet), something easy for him to digest. He refused to eat the generic vet brand so I sprung for the good, Royal Canine, stuff.

And still he wasn’t eating even half of his daily caloric quota. I was at a loss. Bribing won’t work, tuna only works sometimes, even coconut oil (his favorite at tooth brushing time) wasn’t enticing him enough to get the food down his throat.

So when the groomer suggested cottage cheese, my jaw hit the floor. I don’t eat a lot of dairy because of my anaphylaxis, it just exasperates an all ready intense reaction, so I never even considered dairy as a viable option.

She said that she had a boarder who wouldn’t eat if the parent was gone, just wouldn’t do it. So a vet she works closely with suggested a dollop of cottage cheese on the food. It helps calm the digestive tract down so the food is more palatable.

I went out and bought a small thing of low fat cottage cheese as soon as I got the dog home. And do you know what? It worked! While his evening feedings can still be a bit testy, his morning meals go much smoother. At least I know he is getting some nourishment every day. It’s no longer a hit or miss situation.

The one downside is that his breed is known to be hyper. And while I thought he was hyper when he was barely eating… He is definitely more hyper now that he’s eating more regularly. There is an up side to everything right?