Merry Christmas (even if it’s late)

I hope that those of us with our babies with us have enjoying spending time with them and our friends and families this time of the year!  As most of you know Zoe is no longer with us, but God has blessed us with the miracle that is Hank (Weimaraner with a VERY aggressive cancer who should be dead already, but is instead thriving…..Praise GOD!!!) Fortunately Zoe had the cheaper life insurance in the UK.

Hank only eats real food and I now make chicken stock for him.  I cooked a whole turkey for Christmas for him in the crockpot and MUCH to my surprise, I just pulled out the residual “broth” to add the bones to it to make “stock”…..WEEELL…it IS stock already!  I’ve just added the turkey bones to make even more concentrated stock overnight, but wanted to share my find!!  

   
   

25 thoughts on “Merry Christmas (even if it’s late)

  1. Mona

    Hey Jamie – I’m confused about the stock. I always make the chicken in the oven, remove the meat when it’s done. Put the bones and liquid in a slow cooker with water covering them for 12 hours. Break up the bones when they’re soft and cook for another hour after that. Am I doing this wrong? Doesn’t it take a long time to cook the chicken that way, and then you go another 12 hrs after that for the stock? How can it gel before you put the bones in? I must be missing something…….duh! Thanks! Continued success with Hank…my daughter moved back home and she has a Weimaraner too. I think she’s keeping Shelby eating – just so she can’t have any. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Jamiegoff Post author

      Hi Mona, I cook the chicken in the crockpot for 8 hours (usually about 5 lbs of chicken thighs). I put about 2 inches of water in the bottom of the crockpot. The meat just falls off the bones and makes it really easy to debone. I then put the bones back in liquid after its cooked and cook the bones for another 12 hours.

      The reason I was so excited about the turkey was that I have never thought about cooking turkey and it making stock while cooking the turkey! One stop cooking would be great!!!

      The difference is the calorie count and fat content will be less with turkey than with chicken thighs, but thighs are definitely much easier debone!

      I will say that I couldn’t break the turkey bones this morning, as they were too hard still. I kept cooking them, so they will have cooked for a total of 20-24 hours.

      Reply
      1. Michelle Powell

        Hi Jamie, I hope you don’t mind me contacting you via this blog. My 5 year old Sheltie was just diagnosed with Hepatocutaneous Syndrome. I have been scouring the internet trying to learn about this awful disease and came across your story about Zoe. I’m so sorry to hear about Zoe. It sounds like Zoe was loved so much and had so much love to give back.

        I felt like I had been hit by a Mac truck when we got the diagnosis for my sweet boy Ozzie. He literally just turned 5 years old the end of May 2016. He’s so young. What we found out is that he has some defect where he cannot transport copper out of his liver and has caused copper hepatopathy. Subsequently the HCS was diagnosed shortly thereafter. We are treating the copper issue hoping it will help resolve the HCS. Ozzie does have pads of his paws affected, some small lesions on the back of his front legs, and small lesions on his lips. We started amino acid infusions and has significantly help the lesions on his legs. Hoping to see improvement in his paws and lips. He is doing them weekly right now. We started a drug to chelate the copper and get it out of his liver. We are praying that will fix the underlying hepatopathy.

        When we got the diagnosis I felt like the walls were closing in around me. I have adjusted but is nice to know there is a community of people out there who have gone through or are going through this horrible disease. I’m interested about your chicken stock. Did you do the chicken stock instead of the amino acid infusions, or both???? Just trying to learn from others. Thanks so much for your story and any help you can provide.

        Reply
        1. Jamiegoff Post author

          I’m so very, very sorry about this diagnosis!! I would love to talk with you about what we did and how we did it: 205.296.2323

          We initially did the amino acid infusions, but eventually her veins were all blown and there was absolutely no hope! That’s when GOD gave me chicken stock. We started chicken stock and in 19 days, her lesions were gone around her mouth….I took longer for her feet. We also gave omega fatty acids and both were required for her to stay lesion-free. (I know this because I separately stopped each of them and her lesions came back).

          I hope you saw the link at the top of the page about what to do once you get the diagnosis, but would love the opportunity to talk with you, if you are interested!

          jamie

          Reply
  2. Betty

    Jamie, my heart still goes out to you about Zoe. It is always hard to lose one of our babies. But extra so with all the time you spent with her and taking care of her.

    However, I am so very happy that Hank is responding to your loving hands and brilliant mind.

    Again I want to thank you for having this blog. If I hadn’t found it I know my Mitzi would not be alive today. We have had many ups and downs but despite her hair loss and the crusting we fight she is so much better. The day I found your website Mitzi was given maybe 6 months to live. She was so bad she could barely walk. She would wobble, stagger and fall over. Almost 8 months later she is happy, alert, and gained almost 3 much needed pounds back. I still have hope of getting her feet and body better.
    Thanks again for all you have done for all of us with our sick fur babies.
    Good luck Hank. You are in good hands.

    Reply
    1. Jamiegoff Post author

      Thank you so much, Betty! God used Zoe to teach me so much about nutrition, which was the springboard to use for Hank. My mother in law was diagnosed with breast cancer and I use nutrition as a cornerstone to help her through chemo. She is living with us until she completes it and it’s been amazing to see how well she has done!
      I’m glad that you have seen benefit! We all learn from each other!! May God continue to bless you!

      Reply
  3. Betty

    Jamie, You are my crutch that I need occasionally.
    Any time you come up or across something that may be of benefit please post it like the turkey collagen.
    I wish your mother-in-law luck and prayers are coming her way.

    Thanks and again any tips you have will be appreciated by all of your blog members.

    Reply
  4. Christina Joyner

    Jamie,

    I hope you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and I hope Hank is doing well!!
    (I am going to apologize in advance for my novel of a post.) I wanted to ask your opinion on a peculiar situation I have here with my dog, Dixie… When we first talked it was probably last spring, and she was having IV-AA infusions, taking milk thistle, SAM-e, and zinc supplements, and was on antibiotics for pad lesions. After our conversation I had started making her your chicken stock recipe and feeding her a high protein diet. She had just been diagnosed with T2DM and was getting 32cc of Vetsulin every 12 hrs. Her internal medicine doctor told me that she would probably not make it to see 2016.
    Just before Thanksgiving, Dixie took a very bad turn. She was throwing up everything she consumed, her albumin levels were all over the place, her liver enzymes were sky-high, she was refusing ALL food (human and dog food)… it was looking like it was the end. After being at the critical care vet for 12 straight days, my family and I had made plans to stop treatment (aside from giving her 16cc of Vetsulin every 12 hrs) and bring her home to prepare to take her back to the vet in a few days when it was time to let her go. Our goal was to try to keep her alive until my fiancĂ© got home from working in Louisiana the Tuesday before Thanksgiving so he could see her one last time. Because she had refused food for so long, she had become so incredibly skinny that you could see every bone in her body. It was so heartbreaking to look at her. When she laid down her muscles would quiver and she looked miserable. I would question every day if I was forcing her to suffer by making her wait just a few more days.
    She ended up making until then, and seemed to be ok for a few more days after that. Thanksgiving came and we tried to come up with what a dog would consider to be the BEST MEAL EVER! We tried to give her a little of every single thing we had fixed for dinner but she turned her nose to all of it. Finally my mother thought of cat food! What dog turns away from cat food, right? Bingo. She ate it. Not all of it, but a little was just enough for us to feel pretty good about it. We tried the wet cat food again the following day and again we had success. We have always heard that cat food is not good for dogs, but at this point when we “knew” she wasn’t going to be here for much longer anyway, who cares as long as she’s happy? Day after day she would eat a little more cat food than the day before, and with that came more energy and a happier disposition. We just assumed that this was from actually consuming calories and providing her body with energy.
    Fast forward to today… not only is Dixie still with us, but she looks better than she has in OVER A YEAR! She plays again, she runs and sprints around the yard, she has ZERO lesions, and she has gained back most of the weight she has lost. She has eaten cat food almost every day since Thanksgiving, and until today, we have credited her improving condition to the fact that she is consuming more calories and protein than before because of the cat food. This morning, my fiancĂ© and I were discussing whether or not we should continue with this cat food diet because we know it isn’t good for dogs, and whether or not this will eventually start to make things worse for her. I decided to do some research since she has made it clear that she isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
    We have recently been feeding her Nature’s Variety Instinct Chicken Meal dry cat food formula (what we actually feed our cat…), which is just the cat food version of what she used to get. Same flavor and everything. The only significant difference between the dog and cat food of that brand and flavor was the added Taurine to the cat food. Even the kcal/kg were almost the exact same. So, I looked up exactly what Taurine is and how it affects the body. Taurine is a conditional amino acid for dogs and humans, but an essential amino acid for cats (since their bodies don’t produce it naturally). I have found SEVERAL articles about how Taurine has been tested to treat liver disease in humans and diabetes in rats. Both have produced positive results. Do you think it is possible that the Taurine in the cat food has actually been treating Dixie and helping her get better? Has anyone else experienced this with their dogs? Am I going crazy and trying to find something that isn’t there? I just think that this is too weird to just be a coincidence. My dog was barely functioning and now she is almost back to normal (externally) with NO treatment other than insulin. I’m planning on calling her internal medicine doctor to see what he thinks as well, but I just wanted to share my findings with you and everyone else.
    Again, I’m sorry for how long this post is. I wanted to make sure I included as much detail as possible so that I communicated the situation clearly. Any feedback or advice at all would be very much appreciated.
    I hope everyone and their babies are having a great New Year!
    Thanks,
    Christina

    Reply
    1. Jamiegoff Post author

      Christina!!! WOW!!! That’s wonderful!! Praise GOD!! I will write more later, but YES…..continue what is working!!! Thank you for sharing!!! That is exactly why I started the blog!! God gave me a gift with Zoe and it sounds like this may be another gift! If it’s working, then continue! I’ll write more when I can, but thank you for sharing your story!

      Reply
    2. Jamiegoff Post author

      Christina, I was unable to post a photo from the page of the study that measured amino acid levels…..taurine is quite low in hepatocutaneous patients! (I posted it on the Facebook page Hepatocutaneous, so you can see the numbers)

      Reply
  5. Josh Brunker

    Hello Jaime, you and I spoke on the phone almost 2 years ago about my dog Roger, unfortunately it was too late when we found out what was wrong with him. Roger has a brother, Riggs, who is still with us. Turns out, he has the same disease. After Roger passed away I’ve kept the possibility of Riggs having this condition in the back of my mind even though the Drs. said it was highly unlikely that both could end up with the same condition. I started sharing my morning eggs with him even though I should not have because of bladder stones(which they both had surgery for). So I continued to feed him eggs for the last year and a half….until we went on vacation for about a week. When we returned I noticed he was not feeling well. Then he stopped being interested in eggs when we got back, I had seen that same look in Roger before….I knew. All of a sudden it all made sense, I put him on the bed and was able to examine the bottom of his feet, sure enough, between his pads were red and inflamed, but only on one side of each foot. That’s all I needed to see. I am very fortunate that I found this blog and have already been through this once before and Riggs is no where close to where Roger was, so I was able to catch it before it got too late. What I’m looking for is a list of foods that you’ve had success with. Right now Im focusing on giving him the stock and high protein meats, like chicken and salmon. Unfortunately, he no longer has any interest in eggs or Ezekiel bread and Im trying to keep him eating everyday. Please let me know if you have a link or if you have a file or list you could email me. I cant thank you enough for all the information you have posted over the years to give people hope when this ugly disease shows up and pet owners have no where else to turn. Thank you x a million.
    jbrunk84@gmail.com

    Reply
    1. Jamiegoff Post author

      Hi Josh, I’m so very sorry to hear about Roger! That is just awful that his brother also has the same disease!! What kind of dog is he? Just curious if the breeder is accidentally breeding dogs with the trait?

      Regarding food…..I followed Dr. Dodds liver cleansing diet for the most part. You can just google it….there are a couple of versions of it. She feels very strongly that you give only real food and nothing processed. You might want to try giving the eggs cooked in a different way to get the amino acids that they offer in him. (It’s worth a shot)

      One important question: is he getting omega fatty acid supplements? I accidentally discovered that those are the cornerstone of treatment of hepatocutaneous syndrome with Zoe.

      I could usually get Zoe to eat just about anything by giving her sour cream or yogurt around it or mixed with it.

      Reply
  6. Josh Brunker

    Hi Jaime, he is a shih Tzu, but I believe he is part lhasa apso too. I wouldn’t even be able to find the breeder these days, that was 14 years ago. I checked out Dr. Dodds diet. Were you feeding Zoe white and sweet potatoes? I have been focusing on foods that are high in protein, stock, chicken, salmon, cottage cheese, tuna, etc. As far as the omega supplements go, no, I have not been giving him any of those. Can you recommend a brand?

    Reply
    1. Jamiegoff Post author

      Hi Josh, I gave Zoe both white and sweet potatoes until she developed diabetes and she actually refused the white potatoes (after evaluating, realized she knew best…..sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index than white potatoes ;))

      I use Snip-Tips for the omega fatty acids….she was 47 lbs and got 1 large breed twice a day. Once I stopped giving them, her lesions came back and I realized that it was very important in controlling the symptoms in hepatocutaneous

      Reply
  7. Lee and Marcia Gilbert

    Hi, Jamie:
    It’s been quite a while since my wife and I spoke with you about our Shih Tzu Murphy. He was holding his own for a while with the chicken stock and dietary guide you provided, but then he stopped eating. We went to our local animal hospital, and they provided support and recommendations. What has been working is infusions of ProCalamine, started off with 2 weekly infusions of 250 ml, and now one weekly infusion of 400 ml. The advantage of this is unlike the traditional treatment limited to 4 because of vein collapse, this can be given continually. All the lesions cleared up, his fur is looking normal, and he has a good appetite, but very picky, with no set times for eating. But, Murphy now has diabetes. We started treatment this week with Vetsulin, 2 units twice a day. His fasting glucose is about 250, and we just took his glucose about 6 hours after he ate and it was 365. Our vet told us this diabetes is different than the regular diabetes mellitus. We noted in the blog above that Taurine is essential, and we were giving him 2 capsules per day, we’ll resume that right away, and add snip tips to the vitamin E the vet recommended. Given Murphy’s lack of consistency in eating, which our vet said is critical for treating diabetes, do you have any suggestions? We hope we’re not bothering you, especially with all you’ve been through and are going through, but we’re at wits end, since it appeared he was coming along fine, but now we have the diabetes problem to deal with. Thanks for all your help in the past.

    Reply
    1. Jamiegoff Post author

      Oh Lee, I’m so sorry that Murphy now has diabetes to accompany hepatocutaneous!! As you know, Zoe became diabetic, as well. Most dogs actually do develop it, (if they live long enough)….it just goes with the hepatocutaneous territory.

      Our saving grace (thanks to Kristin here on the blog) was ProMod that we ordered from Amazon. It is totally amino acids and it helps also improve their appetite! It was like flipping s switch for Zoe! She was NOT eating much at all and only from my hand to I just prepared her plate, sat it down and she went after it!

      On a homeopathic diabetes front, we also used alpha lipoic acid (50 mg three times a day….Zoe weighed 47 lbs). It has a short half life, so you have to give it at least 3 times a day. It encourages glucose uptake, thus decreasing need for insulin. It CANNOT replace insulin, but we were able to decrease the amount we gave after starting her on it.

      My final suggestion, which may be difficult with a dog who doesn’t want to eat is turmeric (the spice). When Zoe was eating well, we would sprinkle it over her food….its fat soluble, so it must be given with some type of fat to be absorbed. (We usually cooked our chicken with it sprinkle over it and then sprinkled about 1/4-1/2 tsp over her meals. It is a powerful anti-oxidant!

      Please let me know how he does!!!

      Reply
  8. Lee and Marcia Gilbert

    Hi, Jamie:
    Thanks so much for your advice. I ordered both products you suggested, which will hopefully help with the diabetes and his appetite. We hoe Hank is doing well, and the rest of your family.

    Reply
    1. Jamiegoff Post author

      Thanks so much! Hank continues to thrive!!! Based on everything I learned with Zoe, plus copious research and lots of prayers, he continues to beat the odds! His cancer should have killed him within 3 months and that was 7 months ago!!!
      I continue to pray for all of us and we try to be the best “parents” of our babies! Please do keep us updated……praying for the best for ya’ll!!

      Reply
  9. Betty

    Jamie, I want to thank you again for being here for us. You have helped us so much. I am so happy to hear that Hank is doing so well and still beating the odds.

    Reply
  10. Barbara

    Just found your blog. My furbaby, Bullet (9 year/10 month old Golden Retriever) was just diagnosed with hepatocutaneous syndrome. In fact, we are waiting on lab and C&S results. We had been taking him to our regular vet for these skins issues and were constantly told that he just had seasonal allergies and was hypothyroid (prior lab results were “normal” except for thyroid). Last Friday, we took him to a specialist. He went from 89 lbs (he was overweight) to 63 in a very short period of time. He has settled at 63 despite increased amounts of high protein kibble. He has all the classic symptoms. He looks awful. Hardest part was when he was lethargic and would not eat and vomiting. I started him on omega 3 & 6 supplements on my own and he is getting fuzz back on his toes. He still takes his daily walks but we have to put socks on him because his pads are so sore. I will update after we get results and a more detailed treatment plan. I have taken notes regarding things you all have done to ask them about. Thank you for this blog.

    Reply
    1. Jamiegoff Post author

      Barbara, I’m so sorry you are having to go through this with Bullet!! Have you started chicken stock yet? I’m happy to help any way I can….feel free to call me at 205.296.2323!

      Reply
      1. Barbara

        I finally am getting back to you. This has been one big roller coaster ride and a very expensive one as we all know. Bullet was put on clindamycin for the bacterial infection. His regular vet kept putting him on cephaloxin which was totally ineffective. I bathed him every other day with hibaclens but his paws were still a mess. Blood work by the specialist…basically normal. Mild anemia and a couple of other high normals. Nothing outstanding with the liver. Biopsy (in multiple locations) was done. Biopsy results in and I was greeted with a solemn call that the biopsy was “red, white and blue” and distinct markers of hepatocutaneous syndrome and don’t know how long he will have. Tears did not come because I just could not accept it. The antibiotic had kicked in. Bullet was looking the best he had looked in months. He had been getting fur back but now most (not all) the sores were healing and all those thick scabs were falling off. He still is walking around gingerly but he was carrying toys around again, even playing a bit with the other dogs, going to the window to bark at things again and eating well (especially with the eggs added to his kibble). How is it that my dog has hepatocutaneous and his lab work is basically normal? I want an ultrasound. I need to see that liver for myself or if there are any tumors on the pancreas. Ultrasound today. Liver has some mild “honeycombing” but not the amount that warrant a death notice on my pup! Basically, a liver of a dog his age! I don’t know what to think. Now I am questioning if the thyroid meds are the reason for his weight loss. They (regular vet) lowered them once and because they over prescribed and now I wonder if it still too much. Reluctant to go there and run up another bill. I am lowering his dose by half and will see how he does. I am questioning this whole thing. I don’t know what to think. I know that we will be starting him on liver support supplements. Watch his diet. Make sure he is bathed frequently and keep socks/booties on him outside. What do you think?

        Reply

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