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Basset Hound — Age 7
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CH Candyland Poor Pitiful Pearl. 7 year old spayed basset hound. Sweetest girl!
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Pearl's acupuncture treatment yesterday. 10-03-13

Pearl has had three bouts of Pancreatitis. One three years ago and the other two very recently, one in June 2013 and one in Aug 2013 (while on prescribed Royal Canin Gastrointestinal low fat dog food). Also, Pearl had been drinking Huge amounts of water, had on and off anorexia and recurring UTI's. I also became concerned because after she would eat, her stomach would become distended. I brought up her big tummy to the regular vet on more than one occasion answered by a "Hmmmm". Once while at the vet for another bout of Pancreatitis and UTI I again expressed concern about her stomach....wondered about an enlarged felt her tummy and said, " Nope! That's all her!!"

She is also having mobility issues becoming increasingly worse. X Ray shows two calcified disks.

It was decided she should be tested for Cushings Disease. Pearl spent 8 hours at the regular vet being tested. Next day they confirmed she had Cushings. She was started on Trilostane. Immediately after first dose Pearl became extremely agitated...drooling and looking very desperate. Wouldn't settle. I blamed myself for not getting the pill far enough back in her throat. She is a Terrible pill taker! Used Pill Pockets to get the next three days pills down.

On day 4, right after taking the pill she bloated!! I rushed her to ER. She partially torsioned but didn't require surgery. Drs there told me she NEVER should have been tested for Cushings while recovering from Pancreatitis!! Probably was a False Positive because of it and said to discontinue Trilostane. She stayed there three days, the entire time stressed out of her mind...crying and miserable. She was again anorexic. ( The Trilostane had shut down her Adrenals so her body couldn't handle stress). They didn't want to release her until she ate. I took her home!! ER docs insisting Pearl come back in a week for exploratory surgery and Pexy. There is NO WAY this dog would be healthy enough for major surgery in a week. I was also told to get her to a Neurologist for her mobility issues (now to the point she has to be carried).

9-13-13 We did see a very well known Neurologist the day after getting her home from ER. (carried) He wanted to do an MRI but said she wouldn't survive the anesthesia required in her condition. He suspects cervical spine issue. Prescribed Gabapentin and an appetite stimulant as she STILL wasn't eating.

By now I'm fearing the worst but I wasn't giving up without a fight. Fed up with conventional veterinary medicine at the point....$$$$ spent and still no answers and still have a dying dog.

Appetite stimulant works but she will only eat small amounts of boiled chicken breast. I start researching Holistic Veterinarians and found Dr Matt, thank God. Still, couldn't get into see him for a week. Started praying she would live long enough to see him. That entire week she kept trying to bloat on me and I kept shoving Gas X down her throat, probably 12 to 15 a day!! She also came down with another Horrid UTI. Started Clavamox. This poor girl!! (and poor sleepless, stressed out me!).

A friend told me about Honest Kitchen so I researched it on the web. Looked perfect for Pearl's low fat diet and Dr Matt had suggested home made diet for her. I checked with him before buying it and he said he loved that product. "Takes the guess work out of home cooking for your dog".

I found a place to buy it and got a small box of Preference. I mixed cooked chicken breast in as instructed. Pearl turned up her nose the first time offered, but the next morning, after the food mixture had sat overnight in the fridge (and then warmed up in microwave a little) she Cleaned up her dish!! I wanted to do a cartwheel! Now I worry again about the tummy blowing up. I was caught between wanting her to eat and being extremely afraid for what would happen when she did! Guess what? No Big Tummy!! Not only that, but this dog, who just the week prior had to take appetite stimulants is DEMANDING her food!!

We started on Preference on Sept 27th 2013. This is October 4th, 2013. She hasn't missed a meal, Demands her food, gets excited about eating, has a nice flat tummy and perfect stools!! I mix the Preference with cooked chicken breast or ground turkey. She is also getting "Beams" the "fish stick" chewies from Honest Kitchen. Low fat and she LOVES them and has no trouble digesting them. SHE NO LONGER SUFFERS FROM DIGESTIVE ISSUES! She also quit drinking so much water!! We LOVE LOVE LOVE Honest Kitchen!! I have 2 other dogs who will be transitioning to Preference as well.

She is also on whole food supplements from Dr Matt. He is also doing Chiropractic, Laser and Acupuncture for her mobility issues. We are slowly, but I'm convinced Surely, getting our Pearl back.

Her coat and eyes are again bright and shiny. She is "talking" to us again and "singing" for her meals, demanding belly rubs and getting her life back. She is also starting to walk better. No longer has to be carried, gets in and out the doggie door to potty or enjoy a sun bath.

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