Sunday, September 10, 2017

Willa Has Made Great Strides Towards Transitioning To Homemade Meals And Treats

Our family got a little bigger on March 2nd when we rescued and adopted Willa. We were overjoyed and she instantly bonded with Coco, Sophie, and Lobo. However, we had quite a few challenges to deal with. Willa was in full blow heat. Her ears smelled yeasty and she was constantly digging at them. Willa's stools were slightly soft. And, it appeared she was not responding well to being transitioned from a special store bought food to our homemade meals.

After Willa's initial check up, which went remarkably well, her stools became runny. We immediately thought that it was due to being introduced to the homemade meals we make our kids. Her fecal tests came back negative for the basics, but her doctor put her on a 5-day course of Metronidazole. After the first dose, her stools were almost back to normal.

Lisa talked to Willa's doctor about the reasons behind the runny stools. The tests all came back negative. The doctor said it could have been anything from food allergies to maybe ingesting bunny poop in the yard. Her doctor suggested we try the elimination diet. This would give us a better insight to possible food allergies.

We put the elimination diet on hold. What Willa went through with her gastrointestinal distress and constant diarrhea was miserable for her. We didn't want to put her through that again. If she did have food allergies, the elimination diet would upset her tummy all over again.

Since then, we've kept her on the same grain free, store bought food and treats. I'll be honest, I hate that. I cringe every time I put store bought food in her bowl or give her a store bought treat while our other 3 kids are fed homemade gourmet meals and treats.

In July, a little over 3 months after Willa was fully out of heat, she had her spay surgery. That was a long 2 weeks. She's a Jack Russel. Enough said.

After her recovery time, something happened. I was at the table making a salad. While slicing raw carrots, a carrot coin fell on the floor. Willa grabbed it. I stood up in a panic. By the time I made my way to where Willa was, she had eaten the carrot. I thought for sure her next bowel movement would be an explosion.

But, it wasn't.

A couple of days later, while baking biscuit love, I accidentally dropped a cooled biscuit on the floor. Willa grabbed it and ran off. Again, by the time I found her, she had eaten the biscuit. I was convinced that I would have to camp out in the backyard with Willa for a couple of days while the effects of the biscuit ran through her system.

But, I didn't. 

The next day, I had cooked chicken breasts for our kid's meals. After the chicken was cooked and cooled, I sliced and diced the breasts. A finger sized piece of chicken fell to the floor. Willa grabbed it and ran off. Once again, I was convinced that nose-hair-curdling poopy explosions would follow.

But, that didn't happen.

All of this happened within a week's time. By the end of the week, my proverbial light bulb clicked on. Maybe she didn't have food allergies. I shared this information with Lisa. We both agreed that we should start introducing her to the food and snacks we feed Coco, Sophie, and Lobo.

And, we have.

So far, it's going incredibly well. Willa is eating the same homemade treats our other 3 kids are. She has enjoyed raw veggies and fruit for a snack. Best of all, she's up to 50/50 on her meals. That means her bowl contains 50% the same homemade meals we feed Coco, Sophie, and Lobo and 50% of her original food.

There are a few foods that she's a bit sensitive to. Her stools got a little soft when she had cucumber and pumpkin for the first time. And, if we give her more than 2 carrot sticks, her stools get a tad bit soft.

I'm sure we'll discover more food details in the weeks and months ahead.

This is a big deal for us and we're beyond happy that Willa will eventually be eating the same meals as our other kids. Our goal is to have her completely transitioned by the end of the year.

As it stands, it's looking good!

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