Monday, March 30, 2015

Hard to Believe

By Linda Grupp Boutin

Apologies to all my readers for the interruption in posts on this blog. In rereading the post from last October, there is irony in what I wrote about at that time.

For the last 3 months, much of my time, energy and thoughts have been devoted to how to help our basenji boy, Kindu. In December he had a toothache and began not eating with his usual enthusiasm. In the midst of the holiday  rush, I didn't notice the problem until the week between Christmas and New Year.

I have battled with tooth problems in more than one of our basenjis. They don't like you messing with their mouths, much less brushing their I have relied on a variety of chew toys, edible tooth brushes, and trying to ignore their bad teeth. I know, I know, this attitude has not added up to good oral hygiene for my furry friends. But Kindu seemed to do well enough with this hodge podge process until Star joined our basenji family.

Note to self: Start brushing any new pup's teeth at 8 weeks old, no more poor oral hygiene for my dogs!

Star does not believe in standing at the end of the line waiting patiently for feeding time. If there is food to be had, she wants it. In daily "vacuuming" around our home, she sniffs out any edible, and some not so edible, snack and heaven help anyone or any basenji who attempts to snatch it from her iron-clad jaws. Talk about a Great White Shark hiding under that curly tail and furrowed brow! And now, anytime Kindu dallied over his food (which was multiple times daily), Star happily cleaned up his plate. She kept getting wider, while Kindu withered away before my eyes!

So Kindu's problems began with this toothache. What little winter weather we had in Southern California seemed all to come in the last week of December and first week of January 2015. At the same time, much of our home life took a beating too. When my husband attempted to return to his job after Christmas, he found his bad knees gave up on him entirely. A trip to the VA emergency room and 8 hours later, we learned he would be off work for many weeks. 

We made it back home, fed the dogs and got to bed by 10 p.m. that night. The next morning, well before dawn, Gary's Mom called asking us to take her to the emergency room immediately. Another whole day spent hanging out in an emergency room, only the doctors decided she needed to be hospitalized for what turned into the next 11 days. This was just the beginning of our challenges for the New Year. And as we raced from hospital rooms to doctor's appointments, Kindu became more and more stressed out. By mid-January I took a good look at our basenji boy and realized he had lost way too much weight.

Now this wasn't the first time Kindu has been pretty sick. He has battled colitis from the time he was 6 months old. We have nursed him through several bouts of illness and I confidently went about using my usual routine of home remedies to help him feel better. Except this time it didn't work. Before much more time passed, we decided we needed the vet's advice about this bout.

So several hundred dollars and trying more remedies than I can recall, we have only succeeded in helping Kindu regain a couple of the 11 pounds he has lost this year. The tooth is out and he no longer cringes as he chews, but this time the colitis has not relented. We are still battling to help him regain his health and I must admit my normal optimism is wearing thin. I dislike his new nickname of Skinny Bones and I would give much to see a more rotund appearance on our basenji boy again...
Kindu at his normal weight

Wish us luck and if you wish say a little prayer that our boy regain his health. Hopefully I will be able to post again soon that Kindu is back to his normal ornery self and delighting us with his usual mischief. That would truly be an answer to prayer.