Monday, April 3, 2017

Welcome To The World Of Store Bought Food And Treats

One month ago yesterday, Willa joined our family. The easiest part of Willa joining our family was Coco, Lobo, and Sophie welcoming her. The bond was almost instant. The not-so easy part has been almost everything else...

She was in full blown heat when she arrived. For a little over a week, she had to wear diapers and cloth garments because of the bleeding. Then, we discovered her vaccinations expired the 2nd week of March. Willa also has a very sensitive tummy and we suspect she's got a world of food allergies. She also likes eat rabbit poop and Guinea Pig bedding and hay. She has separation anxiety issues. And, she just finished a 5 day regimen of Metronidazole because of a possible intestinal infection or "something that didn't show up during the fecal tests."

Despite the challenges and discoveries, we love and adore her. She's an absolute love and the perfect addition to our family.

Throughout the entire month of March, at certain intervals, for one reason or another, I've almost felt like a complete Dog Mom failure.

The operative word is almost.

Last week, I came very close to removing the word almost from that sentence.

Lisa and I made a difficult decision involving Willa's diet. We're not sure if it's a temporary decision or permanent, but for now, she's going to remain on store bought food and treats.

We had previously discussed putting her on the elimination diet after the 5 day Metronidazole treatment. What that entails is adding a single ingredient (chicken, beef, dairy, egg, etc) to her food for about a week. If she has a reaction such as diarrhea, itching, hot spots, ear infections, or any other food allergy symptom, we would then know she's allergic or has a sensitivity to that particular food.

Of course, with the elimination diet, we'd start with the most common canine food allergens. Then, we'd shift over to various fruits and vegetables.

As of now, we don't know if her occasional soft and runny stools was caused by an infection, something the fecal test missed, or food related.

What we do know is that Willa was miserable. Her little tummy was doing roller coasters. One day she'd be okay. The next, not so much.

We don't want to put her through that again. 

Right now, she's doing awesome on the food and treats she's eating. Her stools are normal. She's regular. The doctor approves of both.

We're just not thrilled about having to purchase store bought food. There's a part of me that feels like a gigantic Dog Mom failure. However, it's not about us. It's about Willa and making sure her tummy stays happy.

Up until now, we've been fortunate. Coco, Sophie, and Lobo have no food allergies or sensitivities. Once in a great while, if they snack on to much raw produce, their stools get a bit soft, but that's about it.

Willa, on the other hand, has a very sensitive tummy. Her breed is known to have food allergies.

It is what it is.

We love her unconditionally and want to do what's best for her.

That's the road we're taking.

For now...

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