February 27th, 2018
Bailey’s follow-up vet appointment on Monday revealed that the bacterial ear infection had now become a multiple one and her paws had not improved. The prescribed medication still had to be administered and cleaning these areas nightly continued. I shaved the fur on the inside of her ears and paws to allow for better ventilation. The vet and I agreed that food allergies were the most likely causes. As a result, Bailey needed to be put on a diet of only grain-free kibble without any type of fowl as quickly as possible. Chicken and grain seemed to be to the culprits. Surprisingly, Bailey’s grain-free labelled food wasn’t. It had oat bran in it. I felt horrible that Bailey had been battling food allergy symptoms for the past few months and I was clueless. Thanks to information given to us by Bailey’s breeder, I learned of a possible kibble to try that other Newfs who were kin of Bailey had been put on with good success. I remained hopeful. The transitioning process began by reducing the old kibble and increasing the new kibble until she would be eating only the healthier food. Total time allotted for the transition was one week.
Bailey was introduced to the new kibble yesterday. Her reaction was not one of being impressed. Was it the shape or size? She took a sniff and then proceeded to lie down beside her bowl. The ironic thing is that Bailey is crazy about her wild Alaskan dried salmon strips (only 1 ingredient) and canned salmon. Her new kibble is completely fish-based. She is a Newfoundland dog whose ancestors were fed fish. How could she not want to eat it? Eventually, she was hungry enough to try. To my amazement, she managed to separate her old kibble from the new kibble. She reminded me of my son who would painstakingly pick out every piece of corn from his mixed vegetables. The older stuff was completely gone but, only a portion of the newer kibble was. Our girl did not want to give up the fowl. Or, was she thinking foul play?
Like it or not, Bailey needed to adapt to her new food regimen. Our options are very limited here. A raw diet is not practical given what we have to pay for meat at the one and only grocery store in a remote community. In fact, our family has been eating more vegetarian meals as of late. Last time I looked ground beef was going for $16 per kg. No one in the family has the stomach or the passion for hunting so, wild game is not an option. Our area only has one pet store that carries only one higher-end grain and fowl-free kibble product and it is fish-based. If we lived closer to a bigger centre then ordering on-line with a free shipping option might provide other kibble options. Sadly, Labrador is not a place to which free shipping applies. I did find out that the Northwest Territories and Inuvik do qualify. I would have thought that they were as remote as us. The thought of paying more for shipping than the actual kibble with its own hefty price is enough to drive me crazy. The best course of action is to wait Bailey out. Sooner or later, she will be hungry enough that it won’t matter. If tonight’s refusal to eat her dinner is any indication, it is going to be a long week. When Bailey saw that she was getting no plate or pot licks, it was time to sulk in the garage. Tomorrow is another day and I can be just as stubborn as my sweetness. Seeing her suffer with food allergies is motivation enough to make the necessary changes.