We live in Naples, FL with my husband, Mike. Carson came to live with us in January 9, 2009 at the age of 9 weeks. His diet was raw foods mixed with dry kibble; and he thrived.
His raw diet led me on the organic eating pathway for Carson and myself. Vegetables and fruits as well as free range poultry and grass fed beef or bison. I made sure his kibble was always corn free. I thought I had covered all the bases for optimal healthy eating for Carson, boy was I wrong.
He began having bouts of diarrhea. I had to be away from home for a week and while I was gone the diarrhea became so severe Carson became dehydrated. (A nightmare week for my husband!)
The visit to the Vet resulted in him staying for IV fluids to rehydrate, medications and a big change in his diet. No more raw foods and a change to maintenance foods with no nutrition. Diagnosis was stress from me being away from him for a week. Labs were negative. The diarrhea continued.
A second Vet was consulted, more lab tests were ordered; results were negative. The maintenance diet of wet and dry food continued for the next 6 weeks, more medicines for what this Vet thought was Girardia. After this regimented diet Carson seemed to be better so we started him back on a natural no corn, no fillers, dry kibble only diet and all went well for a few months.
Intestinal problems began again, hair loss spots (were told these were hot spots), itching and biting at his back, hair seemed to lack luster, plaque begin to build up on his teeth and his attitude was becoming more alpha.
We attended training classes, consulted with trainers and always we were told he is just rambunctious and excitable. He will outgrow this behavior, well this was not happening. By the time he was 1 1/2 years of age and 115 lbs. we knew we had to get a handle on his problems.
Following a recommendation from my friend, I contacted a Holistic Healer. Within the first few minutes of her visit I learned the culprit behind all Carson’s problems was Gluten! After her visit I had a changed dog.
My knowledge of gluten allergy was non-existent. When I heard about family and friends who were suffering from fibromyalgia or illness related to gluten, I thought well they can’t have anything containing whole wheat. I was so naive. Thanks to Carson’s diagnosis I have been doing my homework. I now realize Gluten is a real problem in canines and humans, the more I research the more I learn. While I do not suffer from celiac or gluten/wheat allergies, I am doing all I can to become gluten free.
Carson now eats Fromm Surf & Turf grain and gluten free dry kibble. His meals are mixed with frozen vegetables, cooked ground turkey and some fruit. No more medications. He is very healthy, hair is shiny, no bald spots, teeth are clean. His attitude and behavior are calmer, loving and affectionate.
I am convinced Carson came into my life to help me become aware of my living/eating habits. I thought I was eating healthy, salads, vegetables and fruits. I just was not eating organic…. I was consuming all the chemicals and GMO of conventional farming. I had learned of the hazards of soy and I have been as soy free as is possible for the past year and continue my diligence to keep soy out of life.
Every weekend we spend what we call “Carson’s Day Out” socializing at fundraisers for the Naples Humane Society, Art Festivials, local Farmer’s Markets, going on fun walks in the parks and downtown. We have met and made many new friends, canine and humans alike.
These new friendships have led me personally to new ways of eating; not only organic but now into the world of raw/living foods. Carson and I continue to share our story and hopefully we help others in their quest for optimal health as we help ourselves.