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NOTE: This post is a retroactive journal and all dates, times and events have been logged accordingly and will appear in italics. All thoughts and feelings are my own.
July 24, 2015
I was really overwhelmed with information yesterday, felt like my first day of learning Geometry. It was our first call with Dr. B and I was blown away by it all. I have to say that he explained Angelo’s mitral valve disease very thoroughly, and yet, was able to translate it into laymen lingo. We went over what could have potentially have caused Angelo’s heart problems, and while there are a number of things, Dr. B feels it is probably genetics. I couldn’t help but to breathe a slight sigh of relief. However, just because it’s genetics, that doesn’t take away my guilt. I do blame myself still yet. Being his Dad, I just feel like I could have done more, maybe prevented it or caught it earlier?
But Dr. B calmed me and told me not to stress so much, instead, he said it’s important to remember that animals feed off our energy and that if I am upset, Angelo could also be getting upset. Instead he said we should be concentrating on getting Angelo better and up to par.
The biggest thing we needed to change was Angelo’s diet. Prior to this consult, Dr. B’s assistant had me send over what type of food we were feeding Angelo. So during the call, Dr. B asked me to quickly go over the ingredients on the back of the bag of dog food and tell him what I thought about it and how I felt it helped Angelo. Honestly, I had no damn clue. Yes, I did feel embarrassed, because as a pet parent, I should have been more vigilant, especially with what happened back in 2007. Dr. B went through some of those ingredients and NONE of them sounded like they were of any benefit to a well balanced diet.
I didn’t want to get political as this consult was for Angelo and it was costing me a mini fortune, but I probed a bit more about the dog food companies and their responsibility to pet parents. In a nut shell I was absolutely DISGUSTED at all the lies the public is fed about what is actually in commercial pet food.
THE LIES: Shortly after our consult I found a video online that showed a former AAFCO President (Association of Animal Feed Control Officials, which regulates the sale and distribution of animal feeds and animal drug remedies) saying that they use euthanized dogs/cats in commercial pet food.
What bothered me too is I found out that many veterinarian schools are actually sponsored by the large dog food companies. This is why when most veterinarians are asked about diet, they recommend a commercial dog food. Add to the fact that veterinarians aren’t really taught about nutrition (they have to take additional classes, and many don’t see the point) and you have the perfect storm colliding. All of this makes sense now.
After recovering from the horrifying things I learned, Dr. B recommended that I cook daily for Angelo. Good grief, I can barely get toast right. We wanted to ease Angelo in to eating home cooked meals, or else he could get a sore tummy. For the couple of weeks, he would eat nothing but organic ground beef and sweet potato.
Organic beef or beef in general is important for ALL dogs who have heart disease. The belief is that since the heart is deficient in certain nutrients, you feed what it’s lacking. In this instance the beef would help provide carnitine and taurine, which help strengthen the heart. As time goes on, we can add detoxifying vegetables such as alfalfa sprouts, kale, broccoli and clover sprouts.
We also need to add some supplements like fish oil, probiotics and Co-Q10. A bit nervous as I don’t know how Angelo will respond to this, he’s such a picky eater that I imagine he will be refusing it. Oh well, it needs to be done.
Before we hung up the phone, we spoke about oral hygiene and it’s effect on the heart. Just like humans, bad teeth can lead to a bad heart. I actually used to brush Angelo’s teeth daily when he was younger, and surprisingly he didn’t mind it. Anyway, I was given a simple recipe for the solution, so I hope he likes it.
Well here we go.