Meet Willow: A Lovable Pooch Who Won’t Let HGE Keep Her Down

This health-minded owner changed her pet’s diet to improve her quality of life.

After establishing a relationship and building trust with her dog Willow, Cayelan Morris nearly lost her best friend to a gastrointestinal disorder.

A Rocky Start

Cayelan Morris rescued her Border Collie/Australian Shepherd mix Willow from an upstate New York shelter at the age of eight weeks. However, Willow’s breed and personality led to problems soon thereafter.

Cayelan said, “Willow had some behavioral issues from the get-go. She was fearful and she wasn’t afraid to use her mouth to get what she wanted.” After undergoing a board-and-train program together, Cayelan and Willow were able to deal with Willow’s behavioral issues and gain a better understanding of what each of them expected of the other.

Health Problems Arise

About a year-and-a-half into her happy new life, health problems threatened to end Willow and Cayelan’s time together. Out of nowhere, Willow started throwing up blood, having bloody bowel movements, and becoming very lethargic. Cayelan said, “I rushed her to the vet and she was in the hospital for about a week on IVs and antibiotics. I was faced with losing her within 24 hours.” Needless to say, Willow’s treatment and recovery period didn’t come cheap.

Willow was diagnosed with hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE). If left untreated, HGE can be fatal. After Willow made it through the worst of the symptoms Cayelan asked herself, “What can I do to make sure this never happens again?” She discovered that, along with anxiety and stress, diet is the number one cause of HGE and started looking for a pet food that would keep Willow’s symptoms at bay.

Diet Changes Everything

Being a long-time vegetarian, Cayelan understands the importance of diet on well-being, human or canine. This understanding, along with Willow’s HGE, caused Cayelan to seek out a nutritious and healthy pet food that would help Willow overcome her nagging symptoms and lead a healthy, happy life.

After eating The Honest Kitchen diet for a year-and-a-half Willow has yet to have a health problem. Cayelan said, “Their mission is to provide good food that’s GMO free, that’s organic, and that really aligns with what I believe in. I made the switch to The Honest Kitchen and I never looked back. Prior to that I was feeding Willow what I thought was good food. After doing more research I was like ‘I can’t believe I was subjecting Willow to this’.”

Good Times to Come

The future’s looking bright for Cayelan and Willow. With her behavioral issues and HGE taken care of, Willow has become a trusted and loved member of Cayelan’s family, free to pursue her passions of chasing squirrels and hanging out with her family. Cayelan said, “She’s just changed. I feel like now, with the nutrition and diet that I’m feeding her, and the structure in her training, she’s a completely different dog. She’s confident and she’s happy and she’s my complete world.” With a loving owner like Cayelan and a diet of The Honest Kitchen, I’m sure Willow will be chasing squirrels for many years to come.

Want to discover more True Stories and how diet has played a positive role in the health of over 1,400 pets? Click here

Meet the Author: Micah Sargent

Micah Sargent is a freelance writer and photographer living in northern Pennsylvania. He enjoys a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, biking, hunting, and fishing. When he's not tapping away at a keyboard or behind a camera, you can find him hanging outdoors with his wife and two sons.

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