I apologize, this post is kind of long.
As you all know, my senior dog, Peanut has been struggling with some health issues.
I had contacted my regular vet back in December and they came out to the house and took some blood to try to figure out why he was having seizures. They suggested anti-seizure medication if the results came back normal. The test results came back with normal levels, except for his glucose levels which were really, really low. They wanted to do more tests, but I was out of money and had to put it off. They also never wrote me any prescriptions for the meds or gave me any suggestions on what to do next.
In the meantime, I looked up ways to help Peanut on the internet. I found some helpful ways to slow down the seizures while they were happening, but not much information about how to prevent them entirely. I decided to change up his feeding schedule to see if that would help. Instead of being fed once in the morning and once in the evening, I put him on an every 6 hours schedule. That seemed to help most of the time, but any variation in the schedule would cause him to seize. Any excitement would cause him to seize. Any physical exertion (like walking) would cause him to seize.
I finally decided that Peanut was not experiencing any joy in his life. All he did was sleep, eat and seize. He couldn’t have any fun anymore. That, to me, is no way to live. I contacted a new vet because my regular vet suggested I find someone else after I gave her some feedback about her vet not being very helpful. That is a whole different story that I don’t care to get into. The new vet at Glenwood Veterinary Clinic was incredible! She was kind and compassionate. She listened to what had been going on with Peanut and suggested that he probably had a tumor on his pancreas. That was causing his pancreas to produce all kinds of insulin which was causing his glucose levels to fall which is what was causing the seizures. Side note: my first vet never even mentioned that this is what could possibly be going on!!!! It is called Insulinoma or Pancreatic Cancer. You can read more about it here. Knowing that and knowing that I did not want Peanut to suffer anymore, I made the decision to have Peanut put to sleep. So Megan and I said goodbye to Peanut on Monday afternoon after we took him for a Puppacino at Starbucks.
I can not say enough good things about the veterinarian and the staff at Glenwood Veterinary Clinic!! They were all wonderful about the whole process. And now Old Man Peanut is no longer sick and hurting.
I lost another dog in 2016 that was also 11 years old. She had a growth on her foot that she had for years. I had it tested several times over the years but it always came back as benign. Then one day, I noticed that she had lumps all the way up her leg. The vet tested it and the benign growth had turned into an aggressive malignant melanoma. It had moved past her lymph nodes and invaded her lungs. From the day that I found the lumps on her leg to the day she passed was only 3 weeks. Had I known that black dogs that get these black growths on their feet 99% of the time turn cancerous, I would have had that lump removed when we found it. The vets kept telling me not to worry about it. To leave it be because it was in a difficult place to remove.
I do a lot of research on the internet when a health issue presents itself in my dogs. What I found is that dogs are not living as long as they used to and it has a lot to do with the kibble we are feeding them. Once they hit their senior years their immune systems are no longer able to fight off all the illnesses. That leads me back to that 2005 study at Purdue University saying that adding leafy green vegetables and fruits to your dog’s kibble reduces their odds of getting cancer by 90%. You can read the article here.
If you are interested in changing how you feed your dog, I encourage you to follow the series that I did at the first of the year about adding different foods to your dog’s kibble. Better yet, if you have the time and money to make or buy raw or homemade food for your dogs, do that!! I feel I am heading that way. I don’t want to lose another dog to cancer. I went to the grocery store today and bought carrots, parsley, peas, and celery. I already have bananas, butternut squash, apples, and spinach. I am going to experiment with making a mix of all this to add to the dogs’ food every day. I may try running it through the food processor and serving fresh or I may try using my food dehydrator to create a mix I can rehydrate and put in their food. I will definitely share with you as I work through what to do.
Have you lost any of your fur babies to cancer? Have you made changes to the way you feed your other fur babies because of that? Please, share your stories with us so we can all benefit from the information.