Saturday, March 5, 2011

Tricks For Feeding A Sick Border Collie

I am very fortunate.   I moved to Wilton Manors, Florida in 2006.  In settling in I have managed to meet some wonderful women, strong women each.  Every time you get to meet a person like that, someone who has wisdom to share, caring to give, and love for all, you would be a fool if you don't at least pay attention.

My Border Collie, Lettie has recently had an "Episode" that is almost certainly a Stroke.  I've been writing about her episode from day one. 

If you would like the back story:
The Original Episode is here,
The Diagnosis is here,
And the way I began to cope with her is on this link.

Today I have put together some very good advise from three women and one man here in town. Cindy, Constance and my neighbor Lisa have all been giving me suggestions on how to handle a difficult situation.  There is a combination of things going on, but the end result is that Lettie wants nothing to do with her own food. 

I was told by Constance and Cindy both that I should pamper her.  Lisa chimed in with a comment last night that echos what Cindy said in Facebook about getting your sick dog to get her medications. 
My friend Krishan had unfortunately been taken ill, and he was put on the same meds as she was - Cipro.  After telling me all the side effects I realized that I had been doing it all wrong.  Ok, Krishan is The Guy, so I know this one strong man here too.

Yes, even I, the Project Manager get things wrong once in a while.

First of all, the most important thing.  If you get the Cipro in your body, do not eat any dairy.  It is contraindicated.  Dairy and Cipro counteract each other and you end up spending money and having no benefits from the drug.  Cipro also changes the way you taste things and "ruins your appetite so you have to remind yourself to eat more".

All of that is what Lettie was experiencing since the stroke - lack of appetite, and dairy.  I was feeding her yogurt since, hey dogs like yogurt, what can go wrong?

So now no more yogurt until all better time.

Next the technique was all wrong.  The pills tasted foul and Dogs have a stronger sense of taste and smell than humans do.  I had to hide them.  I was able to take two measured tablespoons and spread them on three crackers, as well as give her the first tablespoon directly.  She loves peanut butter.   But hidden inside of the cracker and peanutty goodness were a half of a Cipro tablet and a Prednisone tablet. 

Lettie got her meds and around 250 calories.

Finally, feeding her was a chore.  I couldn't be giving her all this peanut butter.  There is a lot of sugar in peanut butter, it isn't a good idea to give dogs sweets as they may get hooked on them.  Also they could end up diabetic since the sugar load in prepared foods like peanut butter can be punishing to a human let alone for a 47 pound dog.

I have been having omelettes each night and giving her one egg's worth.  Around another 80 calories as cooked.  When the omelette was done, I looked at her ignored dog food and thought She Needs To Get Back On Real Food.  

I mixed the two together.  One cup of Purina Lamb And Rice and One Egg.

Lettie DEVOURED the combination!  Finally a way to get my newly fussy eater to finish a proper meal.  Not only was it a proper meal, it was a larger than normal meal to make up for all the skipped food that she couldn't bring herself to eat over the week.   She got an extra 350 or more calories in that meal.  The estimates vary from 750 to 1600 for a Border Collie per day.  Since she's been pretending she is a floor mat all week, I'll assume 750 is appropriate and say we're making up for some lost time.  It turns out that from the Purina website, two cups of Lamb and Rice are 768 Calories.

I just want to thank my good friends here in town for the good advise.

Thank you Cindy
Thank you Constance
Thank you Lisa
and Thank you Krishan.

We're in your debt.

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