Monday, May 14, 2012

The care and feeding of a Waldo

Waldo had a good appetite this morning - I made him up a plate of Evanger Whole Chicken Thighs, Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul canned food, and chicken noodle baby food.  He ate all except the last bite or two - Luke was happy to take care of those for him.

When I came home from work yesterday, Waldo had peed on one of the new runners, so it went in the washer, then over the shower bar to dry overnight.  He is quite happy these days (it must be the anti-depressant that he is taking for his appetite), although he does seem to have increased difficulty standing up at times.  Sometimes he gets up all by himself, other times he will lie there and bark for me to come and stand him up.

Waldo's story continues:

Waldo came home wearing one of those e-collars, also known as "the cone of shame" since the movie "Up" came out in 2009.  He was neutered just a few days before he came home, so he needed to wear the cone for about a week so that he wouldn't pick at his stitches.  His mouth had been in terrible shape and the vet had to extract five teeth, so the cone also kept him from scratching at his mouth.  But he is such a good boy that he left his stitches alone most of the time, and he only wore the cone when no one was home and at night.  When I picked Waldo up to come home, there was a Yorkie in the waiting room that was also wearing an e-collar, except that his e-collar was about the size of a Dixie cup!

Once he was settled in at home, Waldo's biggest issue was eating.  Kidney disease in dogs is managed through diet and additional fluids, and Waldo came home with a partial bag of K/D dry food and several cans of K/D canned food.  He turned up his cute little nose at both foods.  Even if it was mixed with other food such as chicken or rice and broth, he wouldn't touch it.  Waldo was and is very thin (kidney failure is a wasting disease, and the entire body deteriorates), so he needed to eat!  So I did some research on the internet and came up with a diet of regular kibble (I use Nature's Select) mixed with rice, cooked vegetables, and a little protein.  In Waldo's case, fatty proteins such as dark meat poultry and beef were better than light meat poultry, and white rice was better than brown rice.  It seems counter-intuitive, but apparently these foods produce less waste for the kidneys to manage. 

Waldo was very happy with the change in diet.  At first when his mouth was still sore from the extractions, I soaked the kibble in broth until it was soft enough for him to eat, but later, he seemed to enjoy the texture of the dry kibble with the softer vegetables and protein.  The sore spots on his back healed and the fur began to grow back.  He loves treats of all kinds.  His favorite treats are some crunchy organic chicken treats from his friend Barb, one of the wonderful women who had stopped in frequently to visit with him at Glencoe AH.  He would beg for one of the chicken treats even when his mouth was still sore from the extractions and I would break one up for him.  He would suck on it until it was soft enough for him to chew.

More about Waldo adjusting to a new life tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment