Comprehensive Health Check

Mom sent us both the Seniors for our comprehensive Health Check. We missed one last year.

The health check includes:
Complete Blood Count

Blood Chemistry

Blood Pressure

X-Ray

Urinalysis

Here’s them waiting at the vet

a very worried looking coffee. she hates vet visits. always super nervous & tries to get out.

scared coff

baubles couldn’t care less so long as i’m with him. he’s more interested in what’s going on outside.

cant be bothered baub

Baubs’ Blood Tests Results – Slightly elevated BUN is due to dehydration as they just went for their walks before heading to the vet

baub cbcbaub chem

Coffee’s Blood Tests Results

  • Slightly elevated BUN is due to dehydration as they just went for their walks before heading to the vet
  • Slightly elevated EOS – well coffee has a terrible habit of picking up things from the floor so she could have ingested stuff.

coff chemcoff cbc

Urinalysis – concentration was normal. X-rays were normal.

Dental condition – excellent. Vet was surprised with their teeth despite their age (both are 8 years old) & thought they had gone for dental scaling. Never did. And I don’t brush their teeth either.

Mom’s overall very pleased with their health checks. For the skeptics, these results have proven that RAW IS THE BEST DIET FOR THE K9. Not commercial raw but HOME MADE RAW.

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DIY Harness

Mom loves sewing and since she isn’t working currently yet, she decided to try sewing a harness.

Using our old harnesses as a sample to work on, she managed to complete a harness over 2 days.

This was the original harness (which costs about $60 to import from overseas):

harness

and this is what she sewed for less than $5!

diy harness

she tried it on coffee & it fits her snuggly. used it for the first time today during our walks!

coff harness walk

by the way, that leash was sewn by her too. 🙂

Chicken – Myth or Fact?

To date, I still hear alot of people (friends included) telling me that they do not feed chicken to their dogs, either because vet has advised against it or that they claim their dogs are allergic to it (especially for certain breeds such as schnauzers, who have been infamously known as the breed who is highly allergic to chicken).

Really?

I feed my dogs organic chicken once in awhile. Organic chicken is hardly available locally now due to the bird flu epidemic.

The very first time I fed a raw chicken to my dogs was when they were puppies – around 8 months of age. Being new to raw feeding, i thought meats bought from any place is fine. So I bought chicken wings from wet market.

It was a huge mistake.

Baubles broke out in rashes almost immediately. One would have thought – oh dear, he’s allergic to chicken! No chicken for him! Coffee on the other hand didn’t seem to have a reaction – i would like to stress again, every dog is different. So it doesn’t mean that if one dog does ok, the other dog should do fine in the long term on that meat.

There were both rights & wrongs to the problems above & I shall list them below:

1) Baubles (Mini Schnauzer) is allergic to chicken!

WRONG. To be exact, Baubles is only allergic to chickens injected with hormones/antibiotics & fed with GMO feeds. So he’s fed strictly organic chickens & he does really well.

2) Coffee seems to do fine on the normal chicken since she’s half aschnauzer only!

WRONG. Allergy has NOTHING to do with breed. Even if she appears to be tolerant doesn’t mean it’s good for her. Feeding dogs chickens injected with hormones/antibiotics are not good for them in the long term.

3) ORGANIC chickens are impossible to find & they are expensive!

It’s true that it’s hard to purchase organic chickens in Singapore but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get. But it is also true, they are comparatively more expensively.

There used to be:

Rosie Organic Chicken

mt088_jpg_280x300_q85

Eberly’s Organic Chicken

eberly

Now, the only organic chicken i can find is this:

french

If you are unable to purchase any organic chicken, the next best closest chicken will be hormones/antibiotics free chicken, which you can purchase from butchers such as meat the butcher or swiss butchery.

So, it’s a myth that dogs are allergic to chicken. But it is a fact that dogs will not do well on chickens injected with hormones/antibiotics.

New blender

Mommy has been trying to find a reasonably priced but good blender, as the previous blender has served us for at least 5 or more years.

time to retire the Braun blender. It still works well!

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And let let us welcome this beauty!

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It it is half the price of vitamix. Mummy will be testing it this weekend!

Sew sew many

The mom has been heavily hooked onto sewing these days.

she started off sewing curtains, then she tried sewing collars, leashes, cushion covers, bags, purses & the latest addition is a dog bed!

she is so excited and proud of her “products” that she insisted on showing them off here.

ok, we shall give her some ‘airtime’ and let her show only dog related items:

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Dog collars! The pink one is a martingale collar, who is supposed to be a more humane collar. The starry one is a regular collar – purely as an accessory and not for leashing it to walk dog. It has a metal buckle where you can engrave owner’s details on it!

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Houndstooth design leash! Mom loves houndstooth! She loves that she can sew our leashes as she can decide on the length 🙂

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The dog bed! She only has time to sew one for now. So the 2 of us had to fight to sleep on it. She made the bed cover and the insert as well. She ordered kapok from overseas and bought organic lavender. The fabric she used for the bed is also organic! Can’t wait for the other bed to be ready.

Lingzhi

Few years ago, when Baubles fell very sick (difficulty in breathing, normal but slightly low end blood count), and worse, vet couldn’t tell what was wrong, despite running bloodtests & x-rays, the Mom bought some lingzhi, after reading up the positive effects of it.

In a span of 2 weeks, Baubs’ bloodwork improved dramatically. Even the vet was surprised.

Thinking back, Mom suspected it could be due to the work of lingzhi.

So, she decided to buy lingzhi for us again, more for maintenance. She was surprised to find “organic” lingzhi!

20% contained Yunzhi (another type of medicinal mushroom). This costs close to $160. She’s not feeding this to us everyday. Just a pinch every alternate day. And she’s planning to eat this herself & she’s getting old too (she said it herself!)

it’s been awhile…

wow. 2 months since we last posted.

nothing big had happened. everything’s been rather peaceful.

haru occasionally pees on blanket still. mom suspects because it already has her pee scent, that’s why.

anyway, mom now locks the room door when she’s out & we all have to remain in the living room 😦

not that the living room space is small BUT, we want to lie down on the bed too!

so she’s looking at sewing a small bed for us! mom just purchased some kapok online & waiting for it to be shipped. she’s going to sew a bed! she’s hooked onto sewing of late as she bought a sewing machine. so far, she has attempted curtains. look decent!

digressing, we are kinda overdue for our health check. mom is trying to find time to send us for blood tests. mom dreads vet clinics because vets always try to counsel mom on what she should do & not do for us. our tests pretty much show us both in the pink of health but we have our usual physical issues such as ear & skin, which mom has kept them under control the past years. we do have breakouts once awhile but vets seem to use this opportunity to try to tell us the serious-ness of it, the consequences & eventually, push products to mom. being the typical mom that we’ve been with her for the past 7 odd years, we know mom is just gonna roll her eyes. kekekek

and it suddenly struck her that we are both coming to 8 years old this year! to many people, dog that age equals to SENIOR liao. but coffee isn’t acting anything like her age. she loves hopping around like a rabbit & play chase me games! baubs on the other, has always been the laid back one. he jumps around excitedly & nips at mom when he’s going out for walks. nothing has pretty much changed for the 2 of us. well, we are both aging & it does show abit. coffee has some white strands around her eyes. baub lost sight in his left eye & mom is trying to prevent the right one from degenerating further.

haru is still young at about 4 years old. but because she was born a weak kitten with a strange physical defect which the vet also cannot comprehend, she’s also pretty laid back just like baubs. in fact, both of them are really similar in many ways.

mom’s been reading news about dogs being given up, abandoned, largely due to old age, illness, new baby, moving house, bla bla bla & what have you.

many times, mom could only think of the worst, if she didn’t bring baubs back. no, she’s not praising herself. she didn’t rescue baubs either. she bought baubs for S$750 from a pet farm. back then, mom never heard about puppy mills & she wasn’t prepared, or rather, she was totally ignorant about the possible health issues that puppies from pet farms might have. in fact,she never wanted a male puppy. she wanted a companion for coffee, as she didn’t want coffee to be left alone at home for long hours. so she’s been bringing coffee around to see puppies. and there was just this time, coffee didn’t go with her when she went to this particular pet farm in pasir ris. there were many puppies in cages, all stacked up. there were plenty of barks from the back of the store (which was closed off to public). she was attended by a lady who owns a schnauzer. her schnauzer had huge bumps all over the body (as large of 50cent coins). there were several breeds & all cute. but baubs caught mom’s eye. not because he’s cute (all the puppies were cute & it’s hard to pick out  the cutest anyway) but baub was totally not reactive to mom at all. sat in his cage as laid back as can be, not a care in the world, locked up in his own cage, resigned to his own fate. all puppies have to go through this. it’s really sad. very sad. to say that mom took pity on baub is also not correct. she didn’t felt any sympathy towards baub. she just felt, drawn & connected to him. no exact words can describe. when she brought baub back, baub’s stank of pee. and had ticks. farm owner said baub cannot be bathed due to his recent vaccination so we had to live with a pee-stained pup for a couple of days. can you imagine what other pups had to go through? with so many dogs/puppies in the farm, and with so few humans to manage it, it is no surprise that many of them sleep in their own pee & poop, AND, eventually, plaqued with health issues.

Mom didn’t know baub was sickly. but she knows baub is different. he was rather lethargic for a puppy. very different from coffee (coffee came from a domestic environment). he was this scrawny little fella with an awkward body. and so, mom was hit with a series of shocks in the first 2 years. baub keeps falling sick. she blogged about it before & so she shall not go into details. vet has no answer, or rather, VETS have no answer. she decided to take matters into her own hands & give him the best treatment that she could.

by the 3rd year, baub has gotten better & stronger. even mom’s mommy saw the change. that is why mom really dread to think what could have happened to him, if she didn’t bring him back. he could have been bought by another person who couldn’t care enough to treat him & just dump him. because baub also had this skin problems (on & off) which caused him to lose fur & bald. many times dogs which were dumped looked like that. with love, care & time, it can be treated. and this is something which many people fail to understand.

this is baub when he was balding:

that is not his worst. but you can see patches of baldness on his body. this was 2012.

here’s a recent one taken few months back:

we all fall sick, at one time or another. however, humans tend to judge, & take the easy way out by eliminating the problem (by abandonment). we just need time to heal. and we need your help. animals have the power to heal themselves & to heal people too, if only people give them a chance to.

and here’s coffee, signing off:

raw feeding is not suitable for my dog

why?

i find it strange when people claim that their dogs cannot eat raw.

animals are supposed to eat raw foods. nobody cooks their foods, except humans. i try to find out why they feel raw foods aren’t suitable. the most common reason is the effect of raw: the dog has diarrhea. some have breakouts. some became lethargic.

to be honest, these are very common effects.

coffee, had diarrhea, on & off for 2 months when she was raw fed. both had occasional skin breakouts when raw fed. these symptoms appeared mostly in the beginning.

diarrhea: being the most common ‘problem’.

my advice to most people is to convert their dog to raw feeding straightaway : cold turkey. most people are skeptical as the drastic food change might have a negative impact.

true. it depends on dog to dog. baubles had no issue, while coffee took a while to adapt to it. another dog that i fostered had no issue as well.

to be honest, i almost wanted to give up raw feeding for them, when coffee’s persistent diarrhea lasted for 2 months. it was no joke. i am really happy i didn’t give up – both have been on raw for more than 6 years, and counting.

raw feeding ain’t rocket science. there are lots of trial & error. but people shouldn’t dive into raw feeding without reading anything about it either. do some background research.

one of the common problems about raw feeding is the type of meats which people tend to feed.

for one: supermarket / market meats is a problem itself, in Singapore. many of them are enhanced meats. meaning, they are injected with hormones, antibiotics or sodium. i’ve always encouraged people to get meats from the butchers & ask where these meats come from. where as in, where they are farmed & to find out how they are raised/farmed. this is but a basic & perhaps the most decent one thing that anyone should do, when feeding raw meats.

secondly, which animal? many people make the mistake of feeding only 1 type of animal. DO feed a variety. BUT, a variety does not mean feeding chicken, beef, lamb, pork all in a meal. by variety, i mean to alternate the meats. you need not be feeding chicken on mon, beef on tues, lamb on wed, etc etc. again, this isn’t necessary. there should ideally be a ‘staple’ meat. for mine, their staple meat is lamb. and i give them chicken 3 times a week. pork are solely treats. i’ve stopped beef simply because of an advice from a vet : he mentioned that beef causes inflammation. it is true for the case for coffee. and red meats & grass fed is best.

thirdly: which animal parts. unfortunately, animal parts are limited in singapore. and i meant ethically farmed animals. yes, one can easily find all sorts of organs & even pig heads in sheng siong or wet markets. but no thank you. i’d rather skip those, totally. and some tend to feed only minced meats or the cheapest cuts of meats. please give a variety. for us, we get mainly rumps, loin, fillet, shoulder, shank. for chicken, we eat every part (except for legs/head), which is a huge pity because these are totally missing in organic chickens. there are some parts of the animals that contains loads of fats: these will inevitably cause diarrhea. feeding too much organs will cause diarrhea too, that is why i always include organs only when they are fed bones.

these are the 3 key factors that one needs to consider, when you decide to feed raw to your dogs (or cat).

Coffee – Then & Now

About 2 years ago, Coffee had this incessant problem of scratching her chin & snout, which caused her skin to turn raw & bleed, leading to gradual beard loss. Her fur was growing everywhere, except her beard. I took a photo of her scruffy look then:

Notice her beard area? It wasn’t growing at all. And I didn’t know what was wrong 😦

I started her on some of Dr Dobias’ supplements, New Chapter Fish Oil & a few supps recommended by Dr Dobias, and in a year, I noticed drastic improvements. She scratched her chin alot lesser, her skin has healed & the best part is, her beard has grown back!

Here’s a recent photo of her:

Same scruffy look but looking prettier now with her beard!

I’m really glad that I was able to put her on natural & safe methods to put her on the road to recovery. Yup, it took long but at least I know, I’m doing it the holistically way.

Coffee’s Doppelganger

there are a few online sites that offer custom made plush to look like your animal but mummy selected shelterpups for the following reasons:

1) Proceeds go to the shelters

2) They are hand made in USA

3) They use non-toxic/eco friendly materials

No doubt one other supplier might do a better job to replicate the looks, but mommy didn’t felt comfortable when she read they were made in a country where it is infamous for toxic products.

Her doppelganger is still in USA & waiting for us to be adopted! 🙂 Here’s another comparison: