November 3, 2008

Dr. Gundersen called earlier to give me the results of Yara’s GI test and the good news is that we do have a concrete answer as to her weight loss.

The bad news is that she has exocrine pancreatic insufficiency and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Which means she’ll need to be on an enzyme supplement. For the next month, she’ll be on antibiotics to kill the bacterial overgrowth and probiotics to rebuild the proper bacteria in her intestines, as well as weekly B12 shots for the next two months. The vet also suggested a prescription diet of Purina EN as it’s lowfat and low in fiber, but frankly so is the food she’s on and I think it’s better quality. Not to mention since I switched her to the reduced fat EVO, her stools went from kind of tan and mushy to completely normal. We’ll see on that.

Anyway, the enzyme supplement will probably be required for her entire life and is roughly $150 a month. The antibiotics, shots, and probiotics will hopefully only be necessary for the next month or two. But at this point nothing is certain. Will continue to keep everyone updated as I find out more.

EDIT: Spent over $350 at the vet’s yesterday getting all of Yara’s supplies and her B12 shot. We’ll be going back next week for a quick follow-up and to receive another shot; I’m planning to purchase the other six doses then and administer them myself. Two meals down and Yara seems completely unaffected by all this stuff added to her food, she very happily cleaned her bowl both times. She does seem very interested in all the fuss made over its preparation, she sits in the kitchen watching me aptly.

Things Up to Which We Are

I have a bunch of things to post, but not really the time nor energy to do so. Instead, I give you the all encompassing bullet-style catch up post:

  • From the small bit of information I’ve managed to gather here and there, we believe Yara is suffering from pancreatitis. Test results to confirm this are still pending, but I’m thinking of switching Yara to the reduced fat EVO and see if that helps any.
  • School continues to keep me busy. Midterms are next week and I’m doing my best to not stress myself out completely.
  • Seems there’s an issue with my new laptop and HP has delayed its shipment indefinitely. From what I’ve been reading on different forums, said issue may be more complex than the “lack of availability” line HP gave me. I’m on the fence if I’ll just give up and find something else.
  • Speaking of computers, my PC at work went all BSOD,1 leaving me with absolutely nothing to do most of Friday. IT never came to fix it so I’m expecting an equally dull Monday.
  • I think I’ve come down with a cold or something. I feel pretty much fine aside from a massive headache that may be unrelated, but I’m very stuffed up and everything tastes kind of off. . . .
  • Got my absentee ballot in the mail yesterday. I’m happy to say that Albany County will not be voting for Osama.
  • Oh, and it dawned on me that Tuesday marked eight months at VESID. My, does the time fly. :-)
  1. Blue screen of death.

Walk for Fidelco

Yara and I had so much fun this past weekend! [Note: Very lengthy and image-intensive post to follow. Big thanks to Patty, Tom, Raechel, and James for sharing all their photos!]

[Read more…]

Six Stars for EVO

I’ve been doing a lot of research on dog food and treats lately because of Yara. I would like to say the discovery of this review makes me abundantly happy. Sadly, though, this section of said website is nothing short of appalling and yet certain guide dog schools who shall remain nameless might do well to take a look.

Treats and Biscuits

I’ve so many things to post on, including some rather adorable photos of the gray pooch, but lest I forget to ever mention all this I wanted to make sure there was a post on it.

Since the beginning of our partnership, I’ve posted quite extensively about Yara’s food issues. I mentioned awhile back that I’d changed her food to EVO and until recently I was on the fence as to whether it was a sound decision. Granted she enjoys this food so much more, but I was growing increasingly concerned at her poop. Of course, my first thought was that she was having a reaction to the new food, but I was rather sure that was unlikely. The other thought was that she was stressed given that the timing of this transition occurred along with the new job and the move.

Anyway, to make a long story much less lengthy, while I was dog-sitting Dolly I noticed that Yara was seeming to be doing much better. Turns out Yara is allergic to wheat which is far more common in dogs1 than you might think. This discovery came about due to the fact I had cut out all her treats over the course of Dolly’s stay. It was enough of a chore just giving them their meals, let alone trying to hand a single girl a treat, so it just sort of worked out that way.

Thanks to the very awesome Raechel I’ve now restocked my supply of dog biscuits and treats with completely wheat-free alternatives and Yara has been doing quite phenomenally. We haven’t tried all of the different varieties that these two incredible companies make, but I’m quite impressed by the fact that Yara has yet to turn her nose up at anything I’ve given her.

  1. And people for that matter.