Friday, September 21, 2012

My Roller Coaster Ride

The last couple weeks have been filled with highs and lows. When Samba has a good day I get my hopes up that we've turned a corner and have the illness under control. Then she'll have a very bad day that sets us back to the starting line all over again. I can't tell you how many of these sudden changes we've been through. This morning we had another vet visit and I wanted to let you know where we stand going into the weekend.

Yesterday Samba ate almost a cup of kibble, the most she's eaten in weeks. She kept it down and slept though the night. This morning she wanted Morgan's breakfast, so Morgan shared some of her dog food with her sick friend. Her stool was about the same as the last two days.

We headed for the vet's office for her Cerenia injection for nausea. When we arrived we had to face the dreaded scales. She had already dropped from her normal 52 pounds to 33.  But the news was great. She has gained half a pound since Tuesday. The vet checked her over  and we discussed her diet and meds for the weekend. He and I were both pleased that she's actually gained instead of losing more weight.

Getting Samba to eat is a full time job. Because she's been so sick and had a constant stomach ache for weeks, my girl who would eat anything, now has become super picky. She equates food with feeling bad and if she eats something and then feels sick, she won't eat that food again. She won't touch certain dog foods nor hamburg and rice or chicken  and potatoes. Those are all things that she's tried in the past couple weeks but she then felt sick, so she won't try them again.

Fortunately, when I was a little girl I had a Cocker Spaniel and I decided I was going to train her to do tricks. I asked my Grandfather how to train her and he gave me some great advice. He said to be a successful dog trainer, you have to be smarter than the dog.
I made a great discovery the other day. I moved a bag of dog treats to reach something else and I saw Samba's head come up and she looked excited. Samba can't have treats, we have to be careful about what she eats, but I knew she wanted them.

If you remember, last week we received a surprise package from the Science Diet people. In  the box were two bags of treats, but there were also two sample bags of their new dog food. My dogs think that treats come in small bags and the dog food samples were sitting on the counter next to the treats. I picked up the small bag of dog food, opened it and offered each of the dogs a piece. They all thought it was excellent, including Samba.
The next time Samba came in from outside I offered her a couple pieces of the new dog food treat and she happily chewed them up. I started rewarding everyone with the dog food samples. I'd give Samba three pieces for each piece the others ate. Sometimes I'd give her a handful after going out or waking from a nap. She didn't realize it, but she was eating more and more dog food disguised as a treat.

This morning I realized we were running out of the samples, so we made a quick trip to buy a larger bag of this new food. In the privacy of the laundry room, I refilled the little sample bags and the next time I offered a treat they all got some of the new dog food. Samba doesn't know that I'm refilling the sample bags from a large bag of dog food. As far as she's concerned she's been rewarded with a yummy new treat. I just hope I can continue to fool her until her stomach ache is gone and her appetite returns.


Ruby said...

Oh, that is the best news I have heard ALL WEEK! Paws crossed over here!!
Ma is sooo stupid!! My predesessor (another Airedale) had chronic Colitis, and was ALWAYS sick with diarrhea and couldn't have treats either, because anything could cause her to have an 'episode'. So, as treats she would give her kibble. I don't know why Ma didn't think of this before!!! Brain freeze, she calls it. Anyhu, that is exactly what she would do. She would keep kibbles in a treat jar, and give em' to her as treats. You would think the pup would know, but she didn't care. She thought they were treats. Although, they do make Hypo Allergenic treats now. I think Science Diet makes em'. They are 'prescription treats'??? yeah, I don't understand THAT one, but ask your vettie if they could work for Samba.
Keepin' POTP goin' over here for ya!



Nichole said...

I'm LOL because I very much understand how dogs think those tiny sample bags of kibble are treats... been there, done that. Though I've never had to refill, you are one smart lady (and might I add, this is perfect for the Human Shaming going on in dog blogland today)!
Go Samba, go!

Mr. Pip said...

I am so sorry you have been on such a roller coaster ride lately. It's so hard when they are sick ...I am glad Samba likes the treats and I am sending you lots of good vibes that she feels better soon.

Your pal, Pip

STELLA and RORY from Down Under said...

Oh well done. Sometimes its the crackle of the bag that attracts our two with their treats. We have paws and fingers crossed here for your dear Samba. Sending you gentle hugs and love. No worries, and love, Stella and Rory

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

Any sign of improvement is good news, but we understand the roller coaster ride. What a great idea with the sample food bags! Smart Mom.

We won a bag of Salmon Paws Wowzers Alaskan Salmon food topper. It isn't cheap but you don't have to use very much. So far it has been tricking Phantom into doing a bit better eating. Who knows how long it will last?

Woos - Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

Anonymous said...

OH, we like the sneakie stuff, feed her, feed her, Eat Samba Eat!

Your Furends
Susie & Bites

The Teacher's Pets said...

I'm so glad Samba doesn't realize that the bowl of food you give her isn't dog treats after all. I have found that just the tiniest change to a pet's diet makes all the difference. As a professional pet sitter I have found that some dogs won't eat while their owners are away so I often sprinkle parmesan cheese on their food and it tempts dogs to eat their kibble just about every time!

Mitch and Molly said...

You are so smart, Sue! We hope this does the trick and Samba gains weight and feels better soon.

Love ya lots,
Mitch and Molly

chicamom85 said...

I am visiting from Mango and have paws crossed for Samba. I hope you are all better very soon.

Loveys Sasha

Amber DaWeenie said...

Hey...we do whatever works!

Sending good vibes, crossed paws, and prayers in Samba's direction!

Nola said...

That's great news! Could you try oats soaked in low sodium chicken or beef broth? Maybe add some chicken liver? When Nola gets sick that's the only thing she'll eat.
Nola's Mom

The Life of Riley said...

That is great that Samba is eating! If you used to train your dogs with food, can you do some simple commands with all your dogs (sits, downs,comes, etc) so Samba continues to think about getting the treat, and not that it is just being fed? Also in the bag, if you wanted to, maybe try a 3 to 1 raito treats/normal food to see if Samba "works" for normal kibble.

Paws crossed here that Samba's appetite continues to improve.

Love and woofs from NZ.

soulbrush said...

Wonderful news. Aren't we moms clever- we have to try all the tricks we know to get our sick kiddies to eat. Well done Sue. I am sure this is the turning point for dear Samba.

Mango said...

If they come out of that bag, then they ARE treats, plain and simple. Way to go Samba!


Sam said...

We are keeping paws crossed that this is the turning point for the better.


~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

We're keeping our fingers and paws crossed that you'll be able to as well--I think it would fool our crew for a long, long time! :-) Let us know and know that we're keeping you in our thoughts and prayers!

Marjie said...

It's all about outthinking your kids or dogs. I love your bag refilling subterfuge! Hoping for you that Samba continues to improve!

Jed and Abby in MerryLand said...

We just hate it when mama is on the DL and we get all behind on news about our bloggie friends. We're keeping our paws crossed for Samba especially, but for all the crew to get well and stay well. Jed is super sympathetic. He was just slowly working his way off of rice and back to kibble for dinner when he got a seriously inflamed sore on his normally good rear leg. It's being cultured; mama's hoping it's not MRSA again. He had that in the other rear leg last summer and the months of antibiotics played havoc with his autoimmune disease; switched it into overdrive and that's when he was diagnosed with MMM. So we're holding you extra close to our hearts.

Jed & Abby

SissySees said...

You are a brilliant, devoted dog-ma!

I'm delighted to hear Samba has gained a little weight back. Paws crossed the trend continues.

Lovable Lily said...

We're keeping our paws crossed for you Furend!

Lily Belle & Muffin

Scruffy, Lacie and Stanley's Place said...

Mango told us about Samba...sweet are all in our prayers...what a horrid illness your pack all had...we wish we could help you with your kids...

Terrier kisses,

Scruffy, Lacie, Stanley and Mumsie

Jeanne Pursell said...

Ah Ha! You have figured out the secret!! Put everything in the small bags! I do that with my girlz when they don't like something...I break it up into little pieces and put it in their game...they LOVE their game and will eat anything I put in it! SO happy Samba is eating and is feeling is so very hard when they are sick!!
xoxo Chloe and LadyBug

Anonymous said...

Ha! Very smart Mom! :)
Good to know Samba's eatin. Yay!

Waggin at ya,