How to make a Happy Gabby!

I picked Gabby up on 5/4/13. She did a lot of lying around. Her previous owners described her as a turtle. 
exhibit A: lying in the kitchen
Well, we discovered she moved like a turtle because a) her vision is poor, b) she has hip and elbow dysplasia, c) she is hypothyroid, d) she was obese, e) had a bladder infection, and f) she had broken/infected/painful teeth.

she was just a little "thick"

Over the last 12 months Gabby has:
a) gotten a diagnosis of PRA 
b) had her hips and elbows xrayed to confirm arthritis and dysplasia
c) confirmed hypothyroidism with bloodwork and she started Soloxine last fall
d) lost 20 pounds -- TWENTY POUNDS
e) treated the bladder infection with antibiotics
f) had a dental last summer and very obviously felt so much better after

she frequently looked angry
I have a lot of photos of her that I never shared publicly, because they really aren't flattering, but because of how far she's come... I'm sharing them today!

tubby lumpkins

exhibit B: she looked like a pregnant pig
As she started to feel better, she started doing more. Like playing with toys, and playing tug with me!

She enjoyed going for walks where she could just putter around at her own pace.

I took this picture the day I announced to the world I'd decided to keep her!

A few people have asked what I've done and continue to do for Gabby. Some people even asked if we were going to do surgery on her hips. The answer to surgery is more than likely, no. As she continues to lose weight and build muscle, we have only noticed decreasing pain, not increasing. That's very promising for us to be able to manage her well with all the things we've been doing, for many years to come.

This is what we've done for Gabby:
  • I started her on Cosequin as soon as I got her. It is my go-to joint health supplement, because they've done the research. A couple months later, she was switched to Dasuquin (the next level). Just like everyone in the family, she continues to take her Dasuquin every morning.
  • The first week I had her, she went to the vet for a general health check up where we discovered she had a UTI and an ear infection. She was put on medication to treat both conditions.
  • I added in a Vitamin B complex. B vitamins are great for everyone and they seemed to put a pep in her step. She continues to get this on a regular basis (we both take it every morning).
  • In early July, she had a dental with four extractions. She felt SO MUCH BETTER getting those teeth out of her mouth!
  • By August, her vet and I determined there was likely an underlying cause for her to be losing weight so slowly despite a very strict diet and exercise plan. So a thyroid panel was run. She is hypothyroid and was started on Soloxine.
  • At some point around here, it was decided she should be on an omega 3 supplement. She has been on Grizzly Pollock Oil and Solid Gold SeaMeal since then.
  • On October 6, 2013 I announced I'd decided to keep her!
  • In November, Gabby had an eye exam with Dr. Larocca. It was determined she is afflicted with PRA. She had been taking an eye supplement for some time, but the supplement was changed to Opti-Vue with Floraglo Lutein. So far, her eyes seem to be holding steady!
  • This winter was a little tough for all of us with it being so cold but I continued to monitor her caloric intake and she really enjoyed playing in the snow. She learned to wear boots and a coat so we could be outside for longer than to just potty.
In the last couple of months, she's had a full functional exam at work. This entails taking range of motion measurements of all four limbs, checking for pain, measuring muscle mass, assessing gait, and determining core strength. She has started Adequan (an injectable chondroprotective). She's had her four-doses-every-four-days already and now we're at the four-doses-once-a-week before we go to once every 3-4 weeks. She has also started working out in the treadmill at work regularly as well as doing exercises at home! Last, but certainly not least, regular veterinary spinal manipulation therapy (chiropractic) rounds out her "get fit, feel great" health care plan. 

Gabby's current medication/supplement list:
So, even though her xrays look pretty terrible...

With weight loss, joint support, and rehab... Gabby is having a blast in life.

**Disclaimer, I am not a veterinarian. Gabby's protocol has been developed and adjusted as needed by a veterinarian!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You have done such an amazing job with her, so fantastic to see her transformation! She is obviously enjoying life so much more, those old pictures of her make me so sad for her. And ouch, her poor hip x-rays are horrendous! :( But she's doing great now thanks to you, which is pretty darn awesome. :)