Abby is in much better condition than she was just a few months ago, both physically and mentally. After three months of raw food, in the beginning mostly minced raw green tripe but now including minced raw chicken, turkey, rabbit, lamb with the addition of an occasional egg, we are now introducing small amounts of cottage cheese, cooked offal such as hearts, and marrow bones. These all caused extremely loose bowels in the past, but don’t do so now. Even a hastily snatched piece of seaweed recently – a runny poo certainty in the past – had no ill effects. She is now allowed on clear parts of the beach without a muzzle! We are still giving fish oil capsules as well as cooked vegetables. If we have rice left over from a meal we give her a small amount of that. Gradually we will introduce more variations to her diet.
Mentally Abby is now aware of her surroundings, more alert and more willing to engage in interaction with us. We notice her doing a lot more sniffing out on walks than she used to – she used to just plod along behind us, only stopping if she found something edible. Her coat is much better after a recent heavy moult. The greasiness has gone. Our main concern with her now is that her back legs remain quite stiff and this is something we are going to look at more carefully now that she’s stable.
We think that Abby’s turnaround is the result of two things: one is her diet, and the other is that it has just taken this long – a year and a half – for her to feel confident and stress-free. One thing probably has an effect on the other; if she is stressed then this affects her digestion, and if her diet is not easily digested, this prolongs the stress.
She still looks a bit sad! She is grey around her muzzle – much more so than Cairid who is supposed to be about the same age, and she is very much less active than Cairid. But she shows affection now, and interest in her surroundings. That’s a big step forward in our book.