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!!  

   
   

 She’s gone…

This is the post I never wanted to write, but knew I would have to write one day 
she is gone….just like that…..after 3 years of diagnosis, she is gone….no lesions, no hepatocutaneous syndrome, just almost 16 years of life, this would be ancient for a human. As a lab mix, she should have NEVER lived this long….epileptic, hypothyroid, hepatocutaneous syndrome, diabetes. Her vision was failing, minimal hearing and most recently, her legs were weakened.
Zoe was the middle child….she would tell you that the best thing that ever happened to her was hepatocutaneous syndrome. It got her special food, LOTS of pets, TONS of love…..she would have been mostly forgotten (other than in our little family) except for this disease. It is my prayer that her life will have made a difference in your life and in the life of your babies.
GOD…dog spelled backwards….to show us HIS unconditional love, HIS grace through our 4 legged babies.
I am still here….Zoe’s life is no longer here on earth, but it is because of her life and God’s miracle that he gave us that I want to continue to help others. Thank you for hoping, because there IS hope!! I will continue to try to look for ways to help, please continue to reach out, because together we can make a difference for other dogs who will come after ours!
May Zoe’s life continue to bless your life and the life of your baby! 

 

This post is about Zoe…..many, many tears

so, you probably saw my post about our Weimaraner, Hank.  He is doing well and we are just awaiting the pathology results.  Unfortunately, Zoe started having profuse, watery diarrhea Thursday and then, last night started also vomiting.  She has had diarrhea intermittently for years and I am the queen of tricks to firm stools….this is very different and doesn’t respond to anything!  I took her to the vet on Friday and at that time, her labs were good and she was still well hydrated.  Last night, I got maybe 3 hours of sleep with all the trips outside.  She had both vomiting and diarrhea and with all of her medical issues, she wouldn’t do well to be hospitalized to get IV fluids.  If she doesn’t turn the corner by tomorrow, we will have to make the heart breaking decision to euthanize.  I just don’t want her to suffer!!!   

 

Happy Mother’s Day!  

Sooooo, the good part about writing a blog about what treatments have worked to treat this rare disease, is when things go wrong and the lesions come back, you can reread what worked two and a half years ago! 

 About 10 days ago, after her lesions wouldn’t respond to the normal chicken stock routine, I revisited what I had written about omega fatty acids being part of her treatment …  (since her diagnosis in October of 2012, she has gotten then twice a day until about 2-3 months ago when she went through an episode of not eating well and didn’t want to take the huge gel capsules…..I discontinued them and forgot to start them back!). 

Ten days later…after receiving omega fatty acids plus her normal chicken stock and collagen supplements, her lesions are almost gone from her face, hopefully in another week, they will be resolved!  Praise GOD!!!! (and happy Mothers Day to me!)

After two and a half years…..

 Zoe has declined and it looks like we are approaching the end….yes I know she is over 15 years old and for a lab mix, she shouldn’t still be alive, but after all this time I guess I thought that maybe one day she just wouldn’t wake up and she would just “go” in her sleep.  Not looking like that will be the case!  

She still eats well and is able to get up and go for small walks, but the lesions are back around her face and lips and for the first time chicken stock isn’t making the difference.  I know it’s only a matter of time before her feet are involved and at that time, we will make that so incredibly painful decision to allow her to go.  

I think Zoe would tell you that she has loved the last 2 and a half years….she has gotten great food, lots of attention and it’s been the best of her very long life.  As the middle “child” she was often ignored before hepatocutaneous.  Not that she wasn’t loved, fed and cared for…..she just wasn’t the center of the household.  All that changed in September and October of 2012!  She became the center of our world and she has LOVED it!

I wouldn’t have chosen this path, but I am thankful that because of this awful disease, God chose to hear my prayer to save her (even though I only asked for a year with her, He ALSO chose to give me SO much longer!)  In the process of saving her, God allowed me to understand that some dogs do benefit from receiving amino acids in the form of chicken stock, which is also mentioned in Blue Buffalo reviews, so that others can have more time with their “children” as well!  For that, I am so very thankful! 

   

Spring is here…..almost!

Zoe continues to do well with hepatocutaneous, but she is definitely aging and her gait and her vision are both worsening. It has always been my prayer that she would live her last days just as an old dog!

The weirdest thing is she has started barking at me when it’s time to eat and I preparing everything, but I haven’t yet put it down for her…..how different from the days of she wouldn’t eat, unless I fed her by hand and then maybe just some chicken and Ezekiel bread!

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Normal labs!!!!

What a difference a year (and more!) makes!,

What a difference a year (and more!) makes!,

Can hardly believe what I’m seeing, but MOST importantly, Zoe herself looks normal….no lesions and her diabetes seems well controlled. I know her time will come, but at least it’s not now!

2013…..what a year!!!

Lessons learned from trial and error with Zoe

1. Perhaps using less chicken stock and giving it more often is the ticket! Currently she is getting about 1/3 cup 4 times a day plus her late night snack is another tablespoon or 2 of the gelled version of the stock (usually about 11pm or midnight)

2. Antibiotics (broad spectrum cephalosporin is what we’ve used) as needed when she gets lesions on her feet

3. To treat diarrhea, she is getting Proviable KP from Drs. Fosters and Smith….usually a couple of doses and she is good to go! She also gets unpasteurized goats milk from Answers which has probiotics with every meal

4. The disease waxes and wanes and sometimes there are outbreaks and nothing changed!! (Note to self…..it’s not always my fault!)

5. GOD is good! Even when things aren’t going well, HE is sufficient. I know one day Zoe will leave us, I’m just happy to have been able to have shared what has worked for us during the past year of answered prayers. Not all dogs benefit from the diet changes, but since there is minimal research on hepatocutaneous syndrome, at least there is hope that some dogs have benefited from it!

6. Blessings for 2014!!!

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