Nutritional Supplements for ME Dogs

We constantly research on the internet looking for anything helpful to help Chock-dee’s condition. Recently we came across Trophy’s Dyne which is a high calorie liquid supplement given to dogs and horses when recovering from illnesses or suffering from malnutrition. Chock-dee falls into both those categories. Some months ago she had some emergency surgery which the vet had given her a 50/50 chance of survival. She had Pyometra, an infection of the uterus. As a result she lost her appetite and lost weight so she stayed in the veterinarian hospital for a week on numerous drips recovering from her surgery and a severe blood infection caused by ticks. Our poor girl was very sick.

The vet kept her uterus in the freezer overnight to show us the effects of Pyometra on a uterus, well it was possibly the most fascinating and disgusting thing we had ever seen come out of an animal! It was 3 x size that it should of been and was heavy with all the pus that had spread inside it. Yet another illness we had never come across before. But I digress….

Dyne is available online or in store in the U.S and unfortunately Amazon don’t deliver to our corner of the world. So we called upon some friends and colleagues who have family or friends coming to visit from the States to bring some to us. We’re very keen to try this out with Chock-dee! Each dose contains 150 calories which is great for boosting a dog with malnutrition. After putting our SOS out to our colleagues we had 3 opportunities arise to bring it to Thailand, and one of which is a friend who works in a dog shelter in the U.S. This was perfect and she recommended peanut butter to give to Chock-dee as it is full of protein. Back to the research!

According to various sites online peanut butter can be given as a treat to dogs as long as it does not contain the potentially deadly ingredient Xylitol which is a sweetener added to some brands of peanut butter. It can be found in other products such as chewing gum, toothpaste and yogurt. So the best advice would be to go as natural as possible. Our personal favourite is Skippy Creamy Peanut Butter because it does not contain palm oil which is banned in our household. It does not contain Xylitol either. There are currently only 5 brands that use Xylitol and you can find this information online very easily.

Today we will try the peanut butter and if it proves popular with Chock-dee maybe this afternoon we will concoct some frozen treats with a little help from Pintrest.

Chock-Dee’s Recipes

We have found that you can pretty much give a dog suffering with ME any food as long as it it blended. And the biggest factor with Chock-dee is the texture and consistency of what she is eating.

She is currently still at a weight we are not entirely happy with but she isn’t bringing up the food which is a blessing in itself. Recently her recipes have been mainly made up of the following:

  • Hill’s Science Prescription Diet Critical Care
  • Store branded canned dog food
  • Pedigree dry food
  • High end dog or cat food like Caesar and Sheba

First of all we put a good handful of the Pedigree dry food in a bowl and pour over boiling hot water and leave to stand until the biscuit have soaked up the water. Put those into the blender and add the can of dog meat. Blend these two things together until smooth, adding extra water if necessary. We have found that the dry food requires more water adding, usually when we have stored the food in the fridge overnight it will need some hot water adding to alter the consistency and take the chill off the food. This mix we will feed her if we don’t have the critical care food in the cupboard.

The combinations she loves the most is 1/2 can of critical care food and 1 can of the store brand dog food blended together. We don’t put a lot of water with this one if we are storing it overnight for the same reasons mentioned above. Next week we will stock up on the critical care food after pay day, this stuff isn’t cheap unfortunately so we do the best we can do on our budget. That is where the high end dog or cat food comes into the equation, it is easier on the wallet than the Hill’s Science but usually contains more calories than standard dog food because the food has better cuts of meat and generally a better overall quality.

Don’t be afraid to experiment!¬†We bought some BBQ pork from a street vendor and blended that with some standard dog food to make it tastier for her. Remember consistency is the key!

My Megaesophagus Dog

First of all, I am no medical expert and nor do I profess to be. In fact I’m just a kindergarten teacher with my fair share of ‘special’ pets. This blog is just to help someone out who might experience the same with their own pet by sharing what I have learned with Chock-dee and somewhere for me to express my ramblings.

Recently my dog Chock-dee was diagnosed with Megaesophagus (ME) a condition that effects the way a dog will eat for the rest of it’s life. BUT it is by no means a death sentence, it just requires management and a lot of patience.

So what is Megaesophagus? Basically, it is a condition caused by an enlarged esophagus which becomes slack and doesn’t allow the food to pass easily to the stomach. I had to do a lot of research online around the time she started to show symptoms. After taking her to our regular veterinarian twice and returning with medication that was basically for a sore throat, we decided a second opinion was necessary. By this point she had already lost 2kgs in weight and was regurgitating everything she ate, including water.

At the second veterinarian she was examined and had several tests carried out on her but still no diagnoses. She was given critical care food at the veterinarian which she managed to keep in her stomach and we were elated. More medication was prescribed and we returned home thinking we had finally sorted the issue. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case and her weight continued to decrease to a dangerously low level. Obviously fraught by this point as watching your pet slowly starve to death is possibly one of the worst things you could ever witness.

We looked for a veterinarian that stocked the critical care food that she had previously managed to keep in her system and drove there right away. We explained the whole experience with the doctor there and she finally confirmed what I thought she had….Megaesophagus.

She gave us a few pointers and we headed home with a new sense of confidence that we could finally help her eat something. It took probably 2 or 3 days to find the position that was correct for Chock-dee. Most people find Bailey chairs very useful for dogs with Megaesophagus, but living in Thailand things like that are difficult to come by, we had to find another solution. Now our dog sits and is spoon fed!

Like I mentioned before, I am no expert and some people may find other ways better than ours. But our way is working and she is finally putting on weight after some very stressful weeks. This blog is where I plan to share the ‘recipes’ and what does and doesn’t work with Chock-dee.