Hi, I am trying to get the word out to as many dog lovers as possible. Here is my story.
Our 9yo female Golden Retriever, Powder (she's a rare white blonde), was sick with liver failure. We had been called home early from a vacation by our pet sitter. When I returned home, she had crawled into a large hole on our property and was literally on her last legs. She couldn't stand, she was feverish, her eyes were glazed over and dull, and bugs were crawling on her. She barely recognized me. After rushing her to the vet, she was diagnosed with liver failure and hospitalized. The vet said we got home just in time as he didn't think she would have lived more than a few hours more.
After 3 days of IV fluids, pain control, and medication, she was released to home at my urging. I felt she would do better at home as she has severe separation anxiety. The vet prescribed the only medication available, a 3-week course, and gave her a 5% chance of recovery. Not good. So I researched diets that might help. At first, I went with the raw food diet but didn't see any improvement and I didn't have time to waste. I found another diet written by a vet who claimed that she has reversed liver failure with this diet. After 3 days, Powder struggled to stand but was at least attempting it with help. After 1 week, she was still very weak but standing on her own.
It's now been 2 months and she is fully recovered! More than that! She is like she was at 1 year old! Running and playing, alert and bright, impish as ever. It's incredible! Her coat is soft and fluffy and her eyes shine with joy. The sores on her tongue (common in liver failure) are completely gone and her breath is fresh. We had really thought we were facing that dreadful decision but it has been postponed, hopefully for a long time yet. I was so pleased with the results that we switched all of our dogs to this diet. We have one other Golden Retriever (7) and one Chihuahua/Min Pin (7) mix. The change in them is remarkable as well. We feel like we have a houseful of puppies again, albeit well-behaved puppies.
I am posting the diet for anyone who is interested in this.
2 cups of fresh green beans and broccoli, thoroughly cooked
1 1/2 cups of white potatoes, cooked, cooled, then peeled and chunked
1/2 cup of sweet potatoes, cooked, cooled, then peeled and chunked
1 1/2 cups of steamed white fish such as haddock, cod, or tilapia
You may add a bit of Italian seasoning or garlic for flavor. We add the minced garlic that comes in jars. It's also a natural flea repellent and our dogs love the taste. Feed the amount of the mixture that your dog normally would eat but you may need to adjust it. We have found that our dogs stay full on less amounts of food than they did previously. About once a week, you can add one raw egg yolk or a spoonful of cottage cheese.
It is more work to prepare this food but that is hardly a burden when your dog's life is at stake, I'm srue you'll agree. I make up huge batches then freeze them in freezer bags. That way I can just pop a few out at a time and thaw. Our dogs don't like cold food so I heat it in the microwave to make it room tempature. I also add one Milk Thistle vitamin to Powder's bowl of food. This restores liver function in adults and works well with dogs too.
By looking at Powder, you would never guess that she just went through a serious illness. Even our vet is shocked and is now recommending this diet to all of his patients with liver failure. I truly expected the raw diet to work as it made sense but it was miraculous at how fast this diet worked. And cost-wise, it's not any more expensive than the premium dog food we had bought at one time and with 2 giant dogs, you can imagine how much they used to eat! They actually eat less now than they used to so it is less expensive. I am now a firm believer that all of the commercial dog food is bad for the health of our dogs and they will stay on "real" food for the rest of their lives.
I hope this may help someone else who faces this tragic scenario.