Thursday, April 30, 2015

Salty Dog

Rigby and I are determined to win the battle with his skin infection and as I said in my last post, he's been eating just turkey and potato to see if he has any food intolerance to those. We are just a few days into the trial but I can say that he has no inflammation at this point and his skin around his groin and armpits finally has a normal, soft texture and doesn't have the warm, moist, clammy feel it used to have. Yay turkey! His doctor says she likes to see at least 2-3 weeks on the food just in case the intolerance has a slow build, but we are thinking positive as we continue his turkey/potato food trial. He thinks it tastes amazing and loves getting little turkey meatballs for his treats.

I've upped his baths to three times a week. I know that daily baths would probably be best but I know myself well enough to realize that I would last less than a week if I tried to do a daily bath. Better to try 3 baths a week, knowing I can stick with it.

On Tuesday I had a great conversation with his vet and one thing she thought would be a good idea to try was to do a nightly foot soak in warm epsom salt water. His feet are definitely the most affected part and have a brownish pink color to them with scrunge between the toes. Epsom salt is great for decreasing swelling, but it also helps fight bacteria.

I call this the "how could you?!" look

While he doesn't think the foot bath is wonderful, I think he's just relieved it's not a bath and so he stands there in the tub with a long suffering look on his face and we listen to 99 Percent Invisible or Radiolab podcasts to pass the time.

After the paw soak I dry his paws and then immediately soak them again - this time with a colloidal silver solution. Then he gets his freedom and I just watch to make sure he doesn't lick his paws for awhile until everything dries.

Sometimes I put a blanket over his feet to help him stop licking them. He finds this ridiculous and a bit rude but humors me. 

I'm not going to lie. It's a major pain in the butt - both for Rigby and I - but the good news is that this is not something he'll need all his life. We just have to do it until we get rid of the infection and after that I would guess a weekly bath would be fine. The food control will have to be all his life, however, as time passes and we try different foods slowly but surely the variety of foods he can eat will grow.

Our next step in this process will be for Rigby to stop in at the vet's on Monday to have his blood drawn for a full blood panel. Often skin problems can be related to thyroid imbalances which would be an easy fix. Adrenal problems can also be a cause. Whatever the case, it will be good information and will give his future adopters a good baseline blood work up to have to compare against future panels as he ages.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Rigby Update

Rigby went to the vet for a follow up after completing the 3 weeks of antibiotics for his skin infection. Unfortunately the infection is still there so the vet wanted me to try a special shampoo twice a week, a new antibiotic, and then a more rigorous elimination diet. Rigby did great as usual and got a catfish stick as a reward for a job well done when the visit was complete. Good boy Rigby!

Rigby enjoying his post vet visit catfish skin chew

While the skin does look better, my goal is to get it completely cleared up so we are starting a new food trial today. We are going to stop using the Honest Kitchen base mix, which is a super amazing, healthy food but has a lot of different ingredients so it is tough to know what exactly is causing Rigby's inflammation. We'll cut back to just the sardine and some potato at this point for the next several days to see if he tolerates those two ingredients. Then next I want to try switching to turkey to see if that works for him since it's a more affordable protein and also because sardine is overfished.

"Not another bath!" Rigby is not fond of the twice a week bath routine the vet has prescribed. He has to sit for 10 minutes in the tub with his skin lathered up and he thinks that is plenty boring.

I think that Rigby will love the turkey trial and the other dogs are going to be jealous of all the ground turkey that he is getting. Maybe that will make up for the onerous bath routine he is enduring.