Karen, Wish there was something you could do @ home. Are docs providing any home recommendations that can possibly avoid these repeated hospital visits/NG tube? Sounds miserable. How about a "Whaddaya doin all the way up in that bed"
& "I'll take some of that too"
pic of Miss Chloe? Have you gotten to talk to Miss Molly on the phone? ruff ruff
Hope you can go home soon & be reunited w/your little princess.
peanut, I don't even know where to start on dog food. At 14, Chloe has been on many different kinds of kibble, but not raw diet. I personally draw the line on that one for several reasons, none of which have to do w/the health of the dog (other than what I now know about bones). Maybe raw bones different, IDK. CRguy may have an opinion since he is little bit Eastern, little bit Western (not to be confused w/AC/DC)
I started Chloe out on Nutro, then a few years later...maybe about the time she was getting her teeth cleaned her vet recommended Royal Canin Veterinary Diet (prescription) for teeth, probably b/c she is a Doxie. Larger kibble, the theory being, when it breaks up it tends to scrape the dog's teeth. We have stuck w/Royal Canin probably b/c that's is the brand they carry & apparently like for whatever reason. Recently I ran into a huge problem w/Royal Canin fish & potato kibble. The vet's office couldn't get it ordered; out of stock @ mfg & no eta! I had to find a pet store that carried it (PetSmart), then have them get RX from the doc so they could sell it to me. It had to be a store that had a pet hospital in-store. It was a scramble b/c I was running low, but 2 wks before I learned it was a problem.
Later Chloe stopped eating the dental diet kibble & the vet wanted her on the urinary diet anyway due to creatine levels in bloodwork slightly elevated. Then in 2011 @ age 8 & subsequent to her gallbladder removal surgery, dx of IBD, autoimmune disease + e-coli, enterococcus bacterial infections in her innards discovered during surgery, the specialist thought urinary diet too high in calories & Chloe needed to be on food-sensitivity diet. So she wanted Chloe on white fish & white potato diet that she has been on ever since...also Royal Canin. Chloe wasn't eating after this major surgery & also when she actually stopped chewing kibble @ all. Due to this switch & being the desert rat (not a water drinker) that she is, I began heating water in w/her kibble in the nuker to make a broth + I now knew how much water she was getting a day. She didn't like dry kibble & was only drinking about 2-3 oz of water daily. Therefore, I needed to increase feedings, (adjust serving size) 3x/day + added canned pumpkin (no spices) @ 2nd feeding to provide some natural fiber + added moisture to assist in elimination. She loves it. So now I knew she was getting min of 9 to 12 oz of fluid per day + it has increased her intake @ the water bowel all on her own.
Then Chloe was losing her hair, most noticeably on her floppy ears not too long post surgery (maybe a few months or so). After mentioning this to her vet a few times over the next several months, I then insisted this be seriously addressed. She recommended Royal Canin Skin Support mixed 1/2 into her fish & potato diet. I kid you not, within 5 days
her hair was flourishing. Hard to believe, I know. So that's where we are today. Not the greatest pic of her coat, but it is nice, shiny & as you can see plenty of hair on those floppy ears. It also grew that "grassy knoll" on top of her head. No spritzer needed.
Sometimes I wonder if she doesn't need the skin support food anymore, but coat is still nice & no dandruff so maybe just leave well enough alone @ this point.
The last few years I occasionally given Chloe bits of carrot, frozen blueberries (won't eat them soft), sweet potato, broccoli, added strawberry, watermelon, cantelope, bananna this year...all very small taste. I look it up on the internet on @ least 2 sites to make sure dogs can have it. I just wanted her to "live a little", stimulate those taste buds a bit. She gets regular doggie treats & very occasionally I give a rounded tsp of canned dog food to surprise her taste buds. Not to say I haven't ever given her a taste of raw burger here & there, I tend not to do that anymore. If I threw a whole raw chicken @ her, she would probably go to town & eat the whole thing. No bones for us...no more broken teeth, no chicken or turkey bones to get stuck in the throat. My understanding is that is a no-no.
So the question is what is the healthiest diet for dogs? I'm a bad person to ask.
Though Chloe is not a frequent licker nor a slobberer (making up my own words again)...for me there will be no raw, e-coli laced wet-nose kisses on a regular basis or extra shopping/cooking unless special circumstances exist.
I'm sure once one gets the hang of it w/raw diet in correct combinations for proper nutrients, it becomes automatic.
Given the fact that it is recommended to make changes in a dog's diet gradually, I would suggest whatever you do @ home, you can also carryout on the road for sake of consistency, thus avoiding gastro problems. So would you mix her diet half & half daily a.m. vs p.m. feeding or choose certain days for raw vs ready made?
Whatever you decide, my understanding w/bulldogs is they tend to have heart/pulmonary issues (flat- nose dogs vs nosey ones like Chloe) so good oral hygiene w/b important. Maybe the single best thing you can do & weight control. So kudos for you on asking early on that issue.
Chloe has had so many health issues. Is it due to poor breeding, poor diet...I can't answer.