5th February 2013
Tony and I have three very active miniature French Poodles, namely Sinjon (7), Merlin (6) and Zulack (5) (our little tokkolosh!). All three of them came from the same breeder in Johannesburg and we were advised that they had been weaned on a dry food diet and suggested that we keep them on it. Besides his advice the vet also maintained that the dry food diet was the best as they were scientifically developed and manufactured with all they need blah blah……
They all went to puppy socialising with Glyn Anderson, better known as the ‘pet shrink’ in Durban who has since sadly passed away, and she told the class that fresh meat, fresh vegetables and rice were the best and only way to go. Who the hell are you supposed to believe? We tried cooking their meals but decided to go the vet’s route mainly because of the inconvenience of having to cook for them and sometimes depending on what you were cooking for them, it left a horrible odour drifting through the house. (Very selfish reason).
As they all got to about a year old their skin problems, together with ear and eye infections started and we were advised by the vet to put them on a prescription diet and cut out all titbits, treats and leftovers of any nature, which we duly did. However we still had regular visits to the vet (even changing vets for a second opinion). At this stage they were on antihistamine tablets twice a day, cortisone every other day, a cyclosporine tablet (prescribed to humans who have undergone an organ transplant) once a day and with the allergy season in full swing it was regular visits to the vet for antibiotics, twice a day for 10 days.
There was always a pattern. – They would start scratching their ears, then their eyes would get ‘gungy’ and you knew within a matter of hours they would start scratching and licking and pussy lesions would appear on their tummies, chest and groin area and they started smelling offensively. They would lick, scratch and chew their paws constantly leaving wet patches all over from the chewing. Every time I came near my ‘tokki’ with the medication he would cower. What was he telling us? The vet said once to them ‘you have got a very kind and caring mother as most others would have just given up’. I asked him if he was serious and he said YES the owners either try and re-home them or put them down. OMW!
Just before Christmas Merlin (who was the worst of them who was also on Eltroxin for a thyroid issue) and Sinjon started with another infection. Not sure why but this time the medication caused Merlin to vomit. Sinjon is the only one who has not been castrated as we use him for breeding BUT the cortisone caused him to leak urine everywhere and so he was put on oestrogen. – Besides all the chemicals from the drugs going into their bodies and shortening their life span, the cyclosporine alone was costing us R60 a day (R20 per tablet). – Work that out over the month! And then there was the expensive prescription diet that was not even working. We and ‘our Boys’ were desperate and our hands were full! – We actually thought that with all three experiencing the same health issues that the vets could not get to the bottom of, there was a common denominator and it must be an issue with their breeding lines.
My brother and his wife were visiting from New Zealand and they had a Dalmatian with exactly the same health issues and said there is only one solution, which they had been introduced to by their vet, and that was a wet food diet. Well that was me ……….. I was on the internet in no time googling ‘wet food diets_dog_south africa’ and I came across Vondi’s, called and spoke to Paul and he referred me to an Agent in Durban, we placed an order there and then and we immediately stopped ALL medication.
‘Our boys’ have been on the Vondi’s products for six weeks now and have NEVER been better or happier with only the odd scratch here and there! THANK YOU PAUL FOR ALL YOUR GUIDANCE AND SUPPORT!
We are not sure if it is as a result of the change in diet but we have also noticed a significant change in their behaviour. They used to urinate on the patio furniture and dear old Glyn Anderson told the class once, that quite often if a dog is unhappy about something they will communicate by either urinating or defecating in an area where you will most notice it. She said listen to them and more often than not it is diet related. – Guess what that has all changed and no more puddles or offensive smelling entertainment area.
Tony and Barbs