Monday, June 26, 2006

The Kishi Experiment: Update

Today was bath day. Definately not a highlight in Kishi's day. But I did notice something unusual – Little pieces of that disqusting black skin came off in the shower. It was almost like scabs, but not as dense. And underneath where they came from is pink, healthy skin.

So while it may be a strange observation, to me it's a sign of good things to come.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Week Two: The Kishi Experiment

So the experiment must be working at least a little bit. We experienced Kishi-tude this week... What is that you say?

Kishi-tude is when the dog knows what you want but does it her way instead... for instance, If you say come, she runs the other way. You say sit. She pretends she didn't hear you. Remember, Kishi has more obedience training than any of my other dogs. She has agility and obedience titles and a couple legs in Rally obedience. It isn't that she doesn't understand, or know what I'm asking her to do. She's just being mischievous. It's pure Kishi-tude. Kishi has always been the most challenging dog to train. But she is also the brightest dog that I have ever met. She picks up on things so quickly. I only have to show her something once or twice and she gets it and remembers it. But she's also the first dog to try to challenge me and see if she can bend the rules. So when she had a little Kishi-tude this week, I had to smile. It was good to see that spark back in her personality. She has been a miserable lump for too many months.

She's still itchy. Although the yeast smell isn't as bad as it was previously, but that could be because of the two baths she's had this week, and all the spritzing of the Ox-E-Drops/distilled water mixture. Her hair on her back is beginning to grow back. And the hair on her face is coming in. It's really white. I'm so used to seeing the black skin under it, that when i look at her she almost doesn't look the same. So while she's not cured, and it's not a drastic change, I am noticing a slight difference.

I just hope it's not wishful thinking on my part.

I started adding in the Nzymes Fortified BacPak Plus on Wednesday. We'll see if that makes a difference this week.

Here are her photos.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Week One: The Kishi Experiment

So Kishi is now eating only Steves Real Food. She's had it before in an attempt to solve the allergy issue. By itself it didn't work, but she does love the food! I also added in yogurt - about a Tablespoon. And I added a little fresh parsley to each meal. Right now she is getting the Nzymes Antioxidant Treats, Nzymes Ox-E-Drops, and the Nzymes Tincture of Black-Leaf mixed in with her food. Next week I will begin adding in Nzymes Fortified BacPak Plus as directed in the instructions from NZYMES.

I also used the Ox-E-Drops and distilled water to make a spray that I use on Kishi several times a day. So really, the only thing that has changed in Kishi's life was the addition of the Nzyme products and the yogurt and parsley. She's always been on a holistic, quality food of one brand or another. When dinner time comes she makes a bee-line to her bowl.

She is still taking her thyroid medication and her antidepressant.

What I've noticed this week: She is underfoot much more than in the past. Before, I always knew where she was - hiding under my desk like a big smelly lump. Now she is much happier and more alert and around us more. I have noticed that she doesn't smell as bad. The goop in her eyes is gone. And I don't see any red spots on her. She still scratches, but I haven't seen her rubbing her face on the floor or skootching her butt across the carpet. All are good signs.


The Kishi Experiment

Once upon a time I had a beautiful red shiba. This dog had personality, trainability, and an attitude to boot. She was my child before the human child. I was the doggy soccer mom, driving her to all her activities. We were buddies, partners and she was (and still is) my once-in-a-lifetime dog. Then at almost 3 years old, one week after the human child was born, I rushed Kishi in to the vet with a rash. The vet said it was allergies, and that very pivital day in our lives started 6 years of testing, antigen shots, antibiotics, antihistimines, anti-fungals, and prednisone and a variety of other drugs. The symptoms would disappear for a couple weeks after the medication ended, and then she would end up looking worse than she ever did before. It was not seasonal. It was something we dealt with everyday, all year around.

Black elephant skin took the place of her once beautiful orange-red coat. She would chew holes in her body, so she was forced to wear a cone around her neck around the clock. When the chewing became really bad, she had to wear a muzzle. I gave her baths with medicated shampoos several times a week. It almost feels funny to take a shower without her in there with me. And the worst thing... she smelled... BAD. So bad that when you walk downstairs in my house, you could smell her without being near her.

The vets seem at an impass. There is nothing left to do that hasn't been tried already. The latest thing, I think I mentioned on the blog was trying an antidepressant to see if that would break the chewing cycle. After 3 months of usage, I have noticed a difference in her attitude. She no longer hides. She wants to be with us and greets me at the bottom of the stairs (the dogs are all trained not to come upstairs). She's like the old Kishi again. But it didn't seem to break the chewing cycle.

So now I'm grasping at straws. She's almost 9 years old. What should I do to make her comfortable in her senior years? I was reading online about allergies and I ran across a website written by Linda Arndt, who calls herself The Great Dane lady. She had some good articles on holistic treament of allergies. One of them peaked my interest. It was all about systemic yeast. They showed photos of dogs with the exact same symptoms that Kishi has.

Great Dane Lady articles

I followed a link to another website.


I read each and every story about the dogs with yeast infections and every story sounded like Kishi's story. I researched back in Kishi's medical files and I found out that all of her problems started after a round of antibiotics that she had to take after she and my chow got in an arguement and she had a puncture wound on her leg. At the same time she received her yearly vacinations. I believe the two of them together overloaded her immune system and with all the additional antibiotics that she has had over the years, the yeast growth has just taken over.

So I ordered the yeast kit from Nzymes and I'm following what they suggest to the T. You can follow it on this blog and see if it works. I will update it once a week with photos of her progress.

These photos were taken the very first day of medication. Kishi is miserable. You can see it in her eyes. What you can't experience is how bad she smells. It smells disqusting. And very much like yeast.

This shows her belly and how bad it looks. The red spot is in an area she can't reach, so it wasn't caused by chewing.

Here is the spot on her back that she will chew a hole in without her cone around her neck. It has healed since the last time she got to it, but the hair has not grown back.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Is that a fox?

Why yes it is... I've heard that question so many times when it came to the shibas, and I always wanted to answer "yes" and see the person's reaction. So today as I was walking and came upon these adorable fox kits, I was able to say "yes, this is a fox" And how on earth do you confuse the two... shibas are way cuter and a little more wild!

I just had to share the photos... these kits pose for the camera even better than the shibas do. They sat still and looked right into the camera! Cheese.