This was Boomer on the way home from the vet today. It was a really long visit, & he was pooped.Boomer’s been losing weight for, I would guess, a year. I didn’t really become aware of it as a problem until a few months ago. I guess seeing him every day kind of blinded me to how different he looks from a few years ago. But I can see his hip bones. I know I’m not supposed to be able to see them.
Back when we were using Nature’s Variety Instinct, Boomer was big & beefy. But then I had drama at work, & my income suffered, & I switched to Kirkland’s grain free kibble, Nature’s Domain. We were on this for the last couple of years, during which time Boomer lost weight & got really itchy. Both Boomer & Madeline are prone to itchiness from multiple causes, but it did get consistently worse in the last couple of years. But Nature’s Domain cost half of what Instinct did. And in fact now costs a third of what Instinct is priced at.
Recently I heard about a lot of bad reviews for Nature’s Domain, & frankly I’d begun to suspect it wasn’t as great a dog food as the Advisor would have led me to believe, so I went back to our neighborhood pet store & bought their Nature’s Option, which cost $65 for 24 lbs but made the short list of recommended products in the latest dog food review. Boomer & Madeline’s skin began showing improvement after a week or so, although it’s hard to tell because the mango trees are still going to town.
Then my dumb ass saw Blue Buffalo’s Blue Wilderness on sale for slightly cheaper than Nature’s Option, so I tried a bag. Immediately Boomer & Madeline turned pink, itchy, & scabby. We went back to Nature’s Option but 2 bags later they are both still pretty itchy.
On the Nature’s Option, Madeline & Chie’s poop shrank to a quarter of its original size, but Boomer’s remained just as big as when on the Kirkland food. I thought maybe he wasn’t digesting his food well, so I tried powdered probiotics & live culture yogurt, which only gave him diarrhea. So I doubled his servings, feeding him twice what was recommended on the bag. And now I’m replacing the first of his 3 daily meals with 2-3 raw chicken thighs, bone included (raw bones are ok; it’s the cooked ones that are dangerous) with a poached egg in the hope that he can digest it more easily. It might be my imagination but 2 weeks in I think I see slight improvement. But I don’t know if I can afford to feed him like this forever, although if I have to, I will.
At the vet, we found he’d lost 12 lbs since his last visit. His blood & stool tests all came back normal – no organ problems, no worms. Our vet gave me a couple of dog food brand names (ACANA & Orijen) to try out, & if Boomer hasn’t put on some weight in a month, to bring him back for an ultrasound.
Maybe I have to start researching a raw diet. I don’t know if I can afford these kibbles.
On the bright side, Boomer was really well behaved today. He stood calmly in a waiting room full of other medium to large sized dogs, one of them barking, & only fixated a couple of times, stopping immediately when I corrected him. He was docile & cooperative in the exam room, even when they drew blood. He let the macho-looking guy with the Pomeranian ask me for directions. He’s definitely becoming a more mature, relaxed boy.