Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Berry & Basil's Diet

It is past time for an update on "what can a dog with pancreatitis eat"...Last week I was ready to post about how Berry and Basil were going so well with the homemade dog food...but then Basil got sick! We fasted both dogs for 24 hours then took them into the Veterinary Clinic, they both got fluids under the skin and blood tests for pancreatitis. Berry's test came back negative, but Basil's test showed a big flare up of pancreatitis. Berry got to go back to eating his regular (homemade) food but Basil can have only plain chicken breast and rice until his tummy heals up.

I have been keeping track of any unusual things they eat, and watch out for them eating grass in the garden; often they will munch on grass first thing in the morning, but if they are eating it when they shouldn't be really hungry I worry!

I don't know what caused Basil's Pancreatic flare-up...the two things that stand out are a homemade dog biscuit he ate the night before he got sick, or stress. I decided the dogs were doing so well on their new food that I should try making a low fat biscuit treat. I modified a recipe by changing the whole eggs for egg whites and reducing the oil from 2 tablespoons down to one tablespoon...this recipe made 60 two inch treats...I gave Basil less than 1/2 of one, so I don't think they were the problem (but just to be safe they will be given away to dogs with healthier tummies!). Basil got sick on the Tuesday after the Memorial Day weekend; the neighbors behind us had their "grand dog" a black lab visiting...this really upset Basil, he was completely stressed out...so I wonder if that stress at least contributed to his tummy woes. I will now add stressful events to the list of things I track in the Min Pins tummy diary.

The recipe we got from UC Davis is working out very well. Both dogs lost a significant amount of weight from the time they first got Pancreatitis and the time we started them on their new recipe. Berry has been gaining weight slowly, he still needs to add another pound or so, but he doesn't look neglected anymore! Basil looks pretty good, he has always been a little on the chubby side, so if we can maintain his weight right where he is at now, he will be good.


Six Days of Food for Berry & Basil

I honestly can't imagine home cooking this type of a diet for a large dog! The food needs to be low fat and low protein, so to meet their calorie requirements they have to eat a lot of it! Before they got sick they would eat a 1/3 cup of kibble in the morning and 1/3 cup at night plus training snacks...now Basil eats one cup of food at each meal and Berry eats almost a cup and a half! Six days worth of food for the dogs requires 16 cups of cooked rick, two cups of carrots, one cup of peas, plus chicken breast, and supplements. At first making the food was a huge chore, but as I'm getting a system figured out its not too bad, I do need to buy a rice cooker though!

Healthy Ingredients

After the big pet food scare last year, I am glad to be cooking homemade food for the dogs. It is reassuring to me to have complete control of the ingredients in their food. I have been buying organic carrots and peas (for a moment I had the crazy idea of growing peas and carrots for them!), the rice I buy is grown in California, and the Chicken is grown in Oregon and Washington with no antibiotics and fed a vegetarian diet...I looked into buying pasture raised chicken from small local producers, but the cost was prohibitive. Before I started home cooking, the dogs were afraid of the mixer...now they love it! If I turn it on too high it will toss out bits of food for them to catch!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah, I enjoyed reading your blog. It is so well done and sounds just like you are talking about your gardening adventures. Keep up the good work!

saad said...

Really interesting post!!!
dog food to gardening products all at one place