Wednesday, October 17, 2007

GORDY UPDATE: a medicinal journey



I haven't really had time to give up to the minute the nitty gritty on this, but ol' Gordo has been going through some mild health issues as of late, resulting in numerous trips to the vet, a few meds, a smattering of herbs, and the what not. But I am happy to report that as of this afternoon he is at least 90% back to his old self (the other 10% lending to the fact he has since recently into a completely high energy spastic psychopath). Hooray!

It started as some varied and sporadic redness then eventually turned into the two of us pathetically scraping off mushy doggy doo from the sidewalk on a daily basis, tears of shame a-flowing. The first recommendation from our vet was to switch up the food (a sad so long, beloved Artemis!) but in spite of the wonderous colorful and textural journey that ensued, we remained shrouded in mystery - no firmness of stool to speak of. Our dinner and telephone conversations turned very graphic during this time.

Tests will be done, they will come back negative. Worms will be sought out, none will appear (for which I am incredibly thankful for, by the way). The food experimentation and itchy redness goes on and on until we had given up and handed Gordy over to our vet once more, in total desperation, to do with what she will. Her professional diagnosis? The ultra scientific and technical sounding Leaky Gut Syndrome, "a diagnostic entity popular in various branches of alternative medicine", according to Wikipedia. What it means, if you believe in this sort of thing, is that the cells lining Gordy's intestinal walls may have holes in them which both disrupt proper digestion (hence our current poo probs) and allow toxins to seep through (hence the ongoing redness). She believe his former bouts with Giardia might be the culprit. Above, a photo of him as he pathetically submitted to all manner of poke, prod, and ear goop on the way to determining this.

The first round of 'biotics and herbs SORT of worked, but not really. Mainly, he stopped scratching his ears to the point of bleeding and we finally put the name "Ol' Red Balls" to rest - ahem! - but still... STILL! Pudding for breakfast. And to add to it, by the following Saturday he'd developed a cold and his energy levels had dropped considerably. Naturally we're a little worried at this point so I take him to the vet once more. Together with my favorite vet (who only works on Mondays, weep!), we decided to switch up the herbs, knock out one of the Western meds, add a mild antibiotic for the cold, add a GI Tract boost, keep on with one of the immune system boosts we already had, AND try to use a more basic food. Sounds like a swell trip to Jamba Juice, no? Actually it was sort of tedious as everything needed to be timed and measured out and given at different intervals and basically blew our minds daily. But we did it.....and Sweet Weeping Jesus, it WORKED!

So there you have it. We are so happy to have a healthy dog back in our lives. And so happy to not have to walk the streets in a state of paranoia, cowering from his messy business and hoping he keeps it curbside. Meanwhile, whatever magic these herbs posess has cranked Gordy up to eleven. He is ON at every waking moment and not just a little regression in training has occurred. But nevertheless, itchiness and gnarly number twos are all but gone so we will bask in the merriment, forever thankful to this strange brew of Eastern meets Western remedies. Amen.

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