He’s mine.

Doug gained two pounds!  The dog who runs zoomies for a living burns double the calories that he eats is finally gaining weight! How did it happen? I have no flippen clue.

When last we checked in on skinny-Doug, he was down to 43 lbs (had lost weight) but was eating a diet for a 60lb dog. He was also pooping fourteen six times a day. Losing weight and pooping a ton, not the usual happy ending to a digestive love story. I am still feeding him a part cooked diet (Grandma Lucy’s) but have added in a part raw diet (Primal Raw). Before anyone gasps or says ‘you are not supposed to feed raw and cooked together’, this is our middle ground right now. He is gaining weight back and he is only pooping 2-3 times a day.  We like it here in the land of thriving and NOT SPENDING ALL DAY EVERY DAY PICKING UP POOP! The long-term plan will be for him to move to all raw. But what I have learned from my super active monkey is that he does not transition well.  Not physically, not behaviorally, not digestively, not even emotionally. Doug needs time and space to be, Doug.

There are areas that he is proving to be my dog. Like the need for regular vet visits. This week we went in because his peeing has picked up and he had a few ‘accidents’ in the house.  He was fine in that area so that is why ‘accidents’ have air quotes. (Funny story here, we did blood work and the only metric out of range was the one that would suggest the dog is VERY ACTIVE).

The other thing that is going on with him, that does seem to be something, is that 3-4 times a week, he does this thing were his cheeks puff in and out.  It took forever for me to get it on video and once I was able to get close to him when it’s happening, I could see that during these episodes, his tongue flutters super fast and he is unable to stop it.  He is otherwise normal during it, he can walk, is alert, but for 45 seconds to a minute, he does this:

There is no trend on when it happens. In the morning, afternoon, evening. At home, on a walk, in the car. The vet suggested it could be seizure related. Then she said the words that I have heard before.  You should see a neurologist and get an MRI and Spinal Tap.  If/when Doug goes and has these test done, IT WILL BE THE FOURTH TIME IN FIVE YEARS THAT MY DOGS HAVE HAD AN MRI AND SPINAL TAP. Melvin had one where the findings were inconclusive but they suspected a primary cancer (two years later that turned out to be true). Jake had one when his legs stopped working the first time (and we found out he’d be paralyzed) and one last February when his legs stopped working again (as much as wonky legs could stop working) and we found out he had cancer. The words ‘MRI and Spinal Tap’ ignite my grief.

For now, we are going to start him on anti-seizure meds and see if that helps. Not because I’m not willing to have the MRI/ST done, of course he will have whatever tests he needs.  And not because it hasn’t even been a year since our last MRI/ST where I heard that Jake had cancer. It’s more that I don’t think we need to go from point A to point MRI without hitting point B and C. Doug is young, I have to remind myself not to live a life of ‘cancer finds us’ and instead live a life of ‘it will be ok’.

Oh Doug!


21 thoughts on “He’s mine.

  1. I’m curious what you think of Grandma Lucy’s food? I have an IBD dog that has become intolerant to what he’s been eating for the majority of his life and now we’re back on the food hunt. Grandma Lucy’s came up as an option. It’s pretty expensive for a dog his size, supposed to be 75lbs so we are trying some other options first. So far nothing is working.

    Both our dogs do something very similar to what Doug is doing in the video. It happens when they’re overstimulated it seems. OR something is super duper smelly (either bad or good). Our male does it more, but he’s kind of prone to teeth chattering as well. But I have seen our female do it too. Hope you’re able to figure out what’s causing it in Doug!

    • I like Grandma Lucy’s. He devours it and most importantly he has solid poops on it. The issue with him, and why I now do 1/2 GL and 1/2 raw is that he was pooping too much on just the GL. I have talked to other folks who feed GL and that was not the case for them so I think part of Doug’s issue is that he has to eat so much food to keep up with how many calories he burns. It’s def not cheap. We have a pet food store that we get it from and they had samples for us to try before we started on it so I wonder if you could find something similar in your area or call GL to get some samples? Since it’s cooked, you could also do 1/2 GL and 1/2 a kibble that is built similarly?

      • *Sigh* solid poops, man I wish my boy had those! We went from cooking turkey mixed with Honest Kitchen’s Preference to Acana Singles. Literally he’s had non-solid (in various stages) poops since last fall. While we thought the Acana was helping if he’s on straight Acana he doesn’t have solid poops. So we’ve started mixing Preference with the Acana and adding some ground pork into it in hopes that he needs a higher fiber diet or something. I was looking at the GL because it’s a “novel” protein, they have goat and rabbit. We may still try it but it is spendy and we can’t find a kibble that has just rabbit or goat. I just want to be able to go back to not being the resident poop inspector in my house!

      • I had the same struggles with Melin with his allergies and colitis. We finally landed on raw (Beef only). I also added pure canned pumpkin to every meal. He was mildly allergic to pumpkin but it’s benefits with his digestion and stool outweighed his body’s reaction. When Jake had the poops I used Honest Kitchens Be Firm supplement. That always worked for him. Chronic poop issues are so challenging (that said, I miss Jake’s meatballs so you are talking to the right person!).

      • Ah pumpkin lol. We had a little mishap with it a while back. My mom thought one tablespoon meant 1 heaping hugest spoon she could find in the house full. We had orange diarrhea for DAYS! I keep thinking about trying beef for him and trying that. Unfortunately I’m trying to go the “easy” route. 8 years of home cooking I’m a bit burnt out on the whole deal.

    • Ditto to demolition puppy, Dante does exactly that along with teeth chattering when he is overstimulated usually around intact male and female dogs or even just meeting certain dogs…not sure what that is about.
      Hopefully Doug isn’t having any seizures!

      • haha Yes! I didn’t know how to put it. Sometimes when our male sniffs our female… the chattering/licking happens. It’s super weird. I’ve only seen our female do it once or twice but it’s been under similar circumstances, or she’ll do it if she’s super excited about a toy. Strangely both ours are fixed but still same result.

      • That is so interesting! He has not really been around any dogs lately, certainly not when it has happened. But we did talk about how he now lifts his leg to pee and is likely reaching sexual maturity. Dogs are so funny!

      • I love that we are like Edi! I thought it was due to cold, but he does it in the house when he’s been inside for hours. I thought it was excitement, but he has done it laying down. In the video, I’m washing dishes, and I doubt that excites him. If it does he’s hurtful! I’m going to keep a log of when it happens and what precedes it to see if I can figure it out. Like you, I’d rather wait and see. Both Melvin and Jake had seizure issues where they were not in control so if that happens, I would absolutely see the need for testing.

    • We had tremors as well, took the worlds shortest video to the vet and showed her. It was like a head bobbing, almost like he was falling asleep but fighting it but he was completely awake. The only thing that had changed was we had started giving him Apoquel for his itchiness. While it worked wonders, about a month in he started the head bobbing thing. It took almost two months of being off it before it stopped. We haven’t seen it since, it was the strangest thing. Prior to him the vet hadn’t see that as a side effect before, now she’s seen it in 3 other dogs.

  2. This is so interesting. Glad you caught it on video. Habi occasionally does a similar thing after licking her vulva or after smelling a particularly interesting peemail. It looks like a flehmen response to pheromones, a way to direct these fascinating scents to her vomeronasal organ. How that relates to Doug’s behavior – lord only knows! Hopefully turns out to be a minor issue!

    BTW, we are so pleased to see how he’s coming along as he settles in and the ‘real’ Doug is emerging. Looks like you have yourself a winner AND what a lucky boy he is to have found you)!

    • You are the sweetest! I love how far we have come and am excited to learn about him in every phase of our lives!

      That is interesting about your girl. Doug is likely reaching sexual maturity at this point, I wonder if that has anything to do with all of this. I’ll def put that on the list of ideas.

  3. Glad to hear you are finding a sweet spot for diet. I love that you are able to express to readers that while you may not be doing exactly what is recommended by “experts” in regards to feeding a particular diet, you know your dog well enough to know for sure what is working for him and to advocate for him effectively. My dog had an event this week that nearly killed her, the vet said we are really lucky, that she either had a cardiac episode causing her to collapse and become unconscious or a seizure, difficult to tell. I am leaning toward the cardiac event, either way they both are serious. When my dog was limping at night or difficulty getting up and being a young dog, I took her to the vet, “nothing wrong” they said, and I listened. A month later at the humane society vet office, they listened and put her on restriction with anti-inflammatory drug. Better, but not quite right, At any rate within 2 months grade 4 rupture of CCL and Patella tear. Big surgery and very good recovery. My point, I know my dog! In reading your dog, I have come to learn how to advocate for my dog, and to learn that I do know my own dog and what works and doesn’t for her. I may not know all dogs like the vet, but I do know my dog. Thank you for showing me this through your writings about your own dogs. This blog is great!

    • I’m so sorry you and your girl had a scare like that! So overwhelming! I hope there is something that can be done to keep it from happening again.

      We always know our dogs best. We found out Melvin had cancer because he had a new sleeping position and I knew something was wrong because of it. xoxo

  4. Oh wow! That was interesting! I’ve never seen a dog do that. He almost looked like he was confused by what his mouth was doing. Maybe it’s something to so with the growth phase he’s in. But, IF it turns out to be some sort of medical issue, I know you will always do what is best for Doug and his life will always be filled with love and joy. IF that’s the case it will be that Melvin and Jake knew he needed you, just as much as you needed him.

    Awesome news on the poop front! Hope the diet continues to work!

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