Hi march, thanks for the sympathy, it has been a challenge. Just when we thought we had him stable, something goes wacko. I'm not planning to keep feeding him that fresh meat product, now that we are spending a lot of money for the enzymes. We shall see if it helps.
We were sold a box of 30 Fortiflora yesterday; it has helped him with "garbage gut" in the past, and he loves it. Isn't it kind of overwhelming how many "probiotic" products one can find on pet store shelves, not to mention the myriad online stores? The stuff we can't find anymore contained 4 strains of probiotics, however, the reason we think it really helped with his pancreatitis was the 3 digestive enzymes it also contained (lipase, pancreatase and amylase). I showed the empty jar to the vet and she didn't dis it, just said the prescription stuff will be way more concentrated. I sure hope the Rx stuff will halt the old dog's deterioration. He is an outdoor farm dog that wants to do, see, taste and experience every little bit of life, and his love of life has been a big inspiration to me in my darkest times...I am reminded I should savor life as much as he does! (Not that he's easy to please, no sir. He'll let you know in a heartbeat if he's bored, hot, annoyed, or wants the back window down...so he can see MORE!)
I'm not sure if it's part of his current problem but last year, the vets started him on thyroid medication after his first "sub-normal" reading, but we quickly noticed 2 daily tablets of synthetic thyroid were jacking with his metabolism. He was drinking all the time and seemed to pant a lot more. He's part Husky/Shepherd/Lab and who knows what else... So right away, we decided to try cutting his dose down to one a day plus a natural thyroid supplement. (I found it online, it had rave reviews for reducing the need for synthetic thyroid.) Yesterday, his thyroid test came back ideal, so at last we confessed what we'd been doing for the last year, and the vet concurred that was the right amount.
I'm wondering, with the delicate balance one has to keep these guys in, whether we need to muzzle the poor dog when he's out and about. Because, even getting him out of the car to the house, he is always nose DOWN scouting for who-knows-what tasty morsel. He likes certain roots and grasses and of course any and all critter droppings; farm life! We already know we have nocturnal critters we don't see: coyotes, fox, skunk, possum, feral cats, rabbits, and deer; so policing his curiosity about this has been a struggle. He seems driven to "clean up the yard" for the girl dog.
But to top it all, on Day 1 of the heavy duty antibiotic metronidazole, what should show up but a 15 ton hopper truck driving right down our fence line, filled with turkey manure for the neighbor's big corn field. flinging chunks of turkey litter 40 feet into our property, scattering them all over the lawn almost up to our driveway!? Naturally, both dogs were very interested in checking out the smelly stuff. (Yes, they really do this kind of organic farming every spring out here in the Poultry Capital of America!) We will be forced to keep the dogs on tight leashes for the next few weeks...or maybe for the rest of their lives.