It was roughly three years ago that the not-Paleo, star of all Paleos, Petro “Peter…Hyperlipid” Dobromylskyj saved Rotor by talking sense to me. He both encouraged my own thinking on the condition in question, while gently expressing skepticism regarding the veterinary advice we were being given at the time, such as to feed Rotor lots of rice.
I sent him a nice hardcover coffee table book on evolution—with pictures—I thought he might like, as thanks. He did like it. In the aftermath of things working out, I asked him if I might blog about it and he gave me the OK. Thing is, I was worried he’d just get a flood of emails from people whose dogs or cats didn’t poop on schedule. You’d be surprised, judging form the emails I get.
I’m wondering if three years later, with evolutionary thinking and sanity being a little bit more common, exuberance a bit less, if people can refrain from that. …And, if they have a real problem and seek Peter’s help and he takes a bit of time for it, that they are absolutely certain to send him something he’ll enjoy, making him glad for it?
Can you promise me? OK, please don’t make yourself a disappointment. Here’s my email, just out to Peter.
Long time. I only get around to your place now & then, but loved your recent post about what you eat. After some time of experimenting and venturing out, I’m back to more of a semi-classical Paleo with a bit of upped carbs including my own raw milk kefir, IF, not watching the scale, instead to focus on body composition more. Quality of life. Post on that, soon.
Anyway, Rat Terrier: Rotor. I hope to give you something to chew on. Not a plea for advice, such as three years ago. As you may recall back then, it turned out he was enzymatic, pancreatic insufficient. Since, he gets about a rounded 1/4 tsp of desiccated pig pancreas in each of two meals per day—relatively high protein, grain free food always, with a bit of various rabbit food derivatives they put in the stuff; plus beef or chicken stock I normally add. Since, as you told me back then, “I doubt Rotor has a rice deficiency,” he never gets any of that, by means of food that vets always seem to want to prescribe.
Prior to the event three years ago, I used to mix about 1-2K IU D3 and 1-2 mg K2 per can of the wet food (Evo) he and the Rat Terrier Nannuk “Nuke!” bitch would share over 2-3 days. His huge & sudden EPI crash had made me circumspect about conducting experiments on them, though the bitch is still super fine. Nonetheless, I limit experiments to myself, now. One interesting thing with Rotor initially, once the EPI was diagnosed, was that when his EPI-induced muscle atrophy subsided due supplemental enzymes and he began to gain back a bit of weight, he was like a spry puppy—at 11 years, able to easily leap up onto pretty high stuff. Totally full of life.
But a couple of years later, a year or so ago, big change again. He basically became almost blind, nearly deaf, in a very short time. His sense of smell, however, is top notch, if not enhanced. He never passes up a butt. It was curious, disappointing, sad, and reality all at once. Small dogs typically have pretty good longevity and it’s sobering to have put him to completely grain free long ago, high fat & protein, low carbohydrate for years, long walks every day (we’ve crossed the equivalent of the continental U.S. four times together in his years), and then to see him degrade faster and sooner than a crap-in-bag fed dog.
Facts are always facts, however.
I note also that Nuke is a salad supplementer. I call her “Nuke the Cow,” for her intermittent propensity to graze on grass & leaves in the face of an explicit “evolutionary diet” I provide. To me, this is observational science, too. She also IFs once or twice per week on her own, skipping the after-walk breakfast offered. More worrisome, she also displays unsociable cat behavior, to complicate matters. :) I often call or admonish her: “Nuke the Cat.” Makes her bark…same as if I shout “Kitty Cat,” or “Squirrel.” The upside is that she only wants to kill either, in cold blood and with attitude. I also call her “Wild Dog;” which is, I think, my most accurate general moniker. She’s mostly a joy to me because she’s some sort of hybrid between complete domestication like Rotor, and totally wild ass wild animal. So I also call her: “My Baby.”
Rotor never, ever passes up a meal, a treat, and our kitchen floor never needs mopping. It’s licked clean at all times. I’ve always intuited that the desiccated porcine pancreas is medication and does not substitute for natural enzymatic secretion and consequent hormonal secretion for satiation. I’ve noted that once Rotor has eaten, that about 30 minutes later, he finally seems sated.
So there’s all the background. Last week one night, I woke at 1:30am to the main bedroom light on. Beatrice was up.
“Something’s wrong with Rotor.”
He was alongside his bed, on the wood floor, laid out on his right side (the only side he will lay on). She got dressed, I picked him up, and he was nearly as limp as a dead dog, but for the twitching all over. Could not even hold his head up. It was just draped over my arm.
Off to a local 24-hr hospital that recently saved our neighbor’s dog after getting rolled under a car from front to back. The young DMV, after a cursory examination came out. “Old Dog Vestibular. Probably.” “We need to take some tests to rule out, but we see this all the time, virtually 100% get better. We’ll put him on a saline drip and you should be able to take him home in a couple of days.” After the first day they said we could take him home if we wanted.
I’m sure you’re thinking, Peter, ‘yep, that’s about right.’ In fact, in the 2 days he was there, this very impressive facility with their people busy constantly, 24/7, immaculate in every respect (humans should be so lucky), all the attendants said: “We see this a lot.” They all get better.”
We took him home a couple of days ago; fear, loathing, trepidation…because we know what happens if he doesn’t get better. But improvement is striking and I’ll get to the most striking part of the puzzle in a bit. He was already able to move his head around. Then, he could prop himself up on his front legs. His hindquarter is still paralyzed as I write this, almost like a cerebral palsy condition with knotted muscles (I did my time at the March of Dimes). But in the morning after he’s slept, the hindquarter is relaxed and his legs can bend. And, he can scoot around. I didn’t check up on him for about 15 minutes yesterday, and came back to find he had scooted around on the back porch, off of his bed onto the concrete, so as to pee down the slope without getting any on himself. There he was, just laying there with an enormous pee stream splayed out, down-gravity.
I felt pride.
All of a sudden, just today, he can hear from both ears about equal (it was mainly his right ear all this time…he always moved his head to the left when his name was called). Whereas, his dark brown eyes were cloudy with grey, they are now totally clear; and whereas, we could walk within a few feet of him over the last year and he didn’t notice us unless we clapped or snapped a finger, he looks directly at us 30 feet away!
Just today. I’m amazed.
So, because this condition, though idiomatic (no money in figuring it out), involves ear & neurological stuff, of what value is speculation that whatever was causing his compromised hearing and sight over the last year was somehow cleared, causing this OD Vestibular condition as a downstream effect? We’re actually a bit guardedly giddy at this point, anticipating the possibility he’ll be New Rotor again after a year’s vacation. (Plus, this all made him a grouch. Beatrice often has him in the bed; her nickname for him being “LoveBug,” for years; but given his propensity to growl at slightest in-bed movement, I renamed him “GrouchBug.”)
As final note, I confounded it all. The day he came back from hospital, knowing the end game if he can’t remobilize, I added 2K IU D3 and 2mg K2 to his food without telling Beatrice (I told her a bit ago).
Either way, it seems to me a decent realm for reasoned speculation as to causes & effects.
So, there’s all about my last few days living the life of a human animal that keeps other animal slaves, for the sole purpose of making our lives not only more complicated, but wondrously, welcomingly pathetic.