Recovery and Stir Fry

Caution: not for the faint of heart or easily grossed out. 

I’m not doing very much today. I need some down time, as does Oakley.

It started last weekend with some restlessness and withdrawal. Then the loose, unformed poops started.

Again. For the third time this year.

I gave Oaks some bentonite clay in his pumpkin or sweet potato. Seemed to put the brakes on, and it worked.

Until Wednesday. Went to acupuncture, went to run errands, came home to find him standing in his crate. Usually, he just lies there and gives me the big hound-y eyes until he gets a token of apology from me. But he was standing.

I opened the door of the crate and found out that he’d had an explosive accident.  Emphasis on explosive. Cleaned him up, threw the bed out, mopped the floor. Ran him out in the yard where he barfed up bile. Called the vet.

We were able to get in with Dr. P. She does traditional Chinese medicine. That was good. The bad: we couldn’t get in until her last appointment on Thursday.

Took it. One of the other vets took pity on us and refilled the chicken-flavored Kaopectate gel so we could both get some peace.

Bloodwork and poop samples came back normal the last couple of times, so I didn’t bother with that. Dr. P asked a ton of questions. Out of that came the game plan:

  • Wean him off the acid blockers. They had crossed the line between providing relief and interfering with the digestive process.
  • Feed “cool” foods. In TCM, references to a food being hot, warm, cool, or cold are not about the level of spiciness or temperature.  It speaks to how likely a food is to cause inflammation. Currently, his proteins are restricted to turkey and bison. His carbs are coming from pumpkin or barley. We’ll try millet. The sweet potatoes and hard squash contain more sugar than his system can handle, and contributed to the bacterial overgrowth in his intestines that triggered off the whole cycle. Veggies allowed include spinach, mushrooms, and celery. He’s had a bit of zucchini, too, which seems to sit well.
  • Adjust portion sizes and balance. Even with all the digestive distress, he had still managed to gain weight since his last appointment. My bad. I had misread a feeding chart and was giving him a lot more meat than he needed. Dr. P suggested a book that I will review here after I read it.
  • Change up the herbs–get him back on the Liver Happy whether he wants to or not after a cycle of one to stop the diarrhea.

It’s all working beautifully. He slept well Thursday night, and on Friday he passed a poop so well formed that I almost posted a picture of it on Facebook. I thought the better of it, though. (You’re welcome.) He’s not happy about the forced abstinence from chicken and beef, or the smaller portions. But he does like the barley, the spinach, and not having cramps and an achy tummy.

And I like that we found an alternative to another round of antibiotics.  As if both of us sleeping through the night wasn’t awesome enough.

So today, we will recover. We had a lovely walk with friends this morning. Another one is in the offing for this afternoon. I will make a pot of stir-fried veggies later today. We will watch the episodes of “The Tudors” leading up to Anne Boleyn’s demise. And we will enjoy the peace.