Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Review of an Event

I have attended a recent event, where different speakers were invited to present their professional views and recommendations on various topics relating to pet care.

There were some things presented by certain speakers that I did not feel in consensus with. My Discernment Sensors were definitely up throughout the event. I will mention some of them here. These were the ones I felt more strongly about.

1) One of the speakers talked about medical care for our furkids. He emphasized the need for vaccinations. Though he did touch on the blood test for antibodies in furkids, he did not recommend doing so. Reason being, it's expensive, as the bloodwork needed to be sent overseas for the test. His stand was, it's cheaper to just vaccinate annually.

>My stand is, given a choice between annual vaccination and the Antibodies' Test, I would choose the Antibodies' Test (or "Titer Test). I also do not think it's "cheaper to just vaccinate annually". In my opinion, the effects of over-vaccination cost a whole lot more to cure than sending the bloodwork overseas for the test. Not forgetting the emotional stress  involved as well. I won't elaborate further on this. The debate on annual vaccination and effects of over-vaccination can be easily googled.

2) A question was posed to him. He was asked for his view on repeated vaccinations causing immunity to drop. His stand on this was, immunity will increase with annual vaccinations. If annual vaccinations were not done, immunity will decrease.

>Well, needless to say, this goes straight into my Trash Bin.

3) He mentioned a certain medicine, whereby one of the side effects was organ damage with continued use, but he stated that this applied Only to Humans, Not dogs. Dogs are not affected, so it is safe for dogs to continue the use of this medicine.

>To this, I have only one question. If it's not safe for us, how safe can it be for our furkids?

4) He also cautioned against being overly trusting in the information found on the internet.

>This one, I agree. But I would like to add, it is essential to use discernment in every piece of information, not just from the internet, but also from other sources, including (or especially) the professionals.

5) Another speaker took on the topic of Nutrition. She talked about the taste, shapes, sizes and types of kibbles suitable for various breeds. She also presented on the technology used to create the kibbles.

>Throughout the whole time, Nothing on  ingredients is touched on. I would have thought ingredients are an integral part of Nutrition. But instead, an analysis on each of the above aspects of kibbles is presented during the entire session. At the end of it, I have gained a fairly good understanding of the mechanics involved in creating a physically attractive kibble. So much for Nutrition.

I would say, for me, the best thing that came out from the event, would probably be the baggie stuffed with free gifts. And that's about it.

Monday, October 18, 2010

New Treats!

Mummy have some new healthy treats for Rossi gal and she loves them so much. I store them in the fridge. Everytime I open the fridge, she will run over and look up at me with those hopeful eyes, hoping I will give her some. How could I resist those eyes?

Left, lighter brown: Dehydrated Chicken &
Right, darker brown: Dehydrated Pork

Dehydrated Lamb

Dehydrated Silverfish

Rossi gal's Dehydrated Treats for the next 3+ weeks.

Dehydrated Fruits for Daddy, Mummy &
a little for Rossi gal (cannot too much, cos its kinda sweet).

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Burdock Root Powder

*Thanks to Coffee & Baubles' Mummy for sharing with me on the Burdock Powder. Really appreciate it. :)

Yesterday, Daddy went to collect Rossi gal's new supplement, "Burdock Powder". I have placed a reservation for it, as the stock had run out when I wanted to get it earlier.

Burdock Powder
I hope to improve Rossi gal's skin with Burdock powder. Besides being beneficial to the skin, Burdock also helps in removing toxins from the body (detoxification). Burdock has other benefits in addition to the ones mentioned here. If interested, information can be obtained by googling or from books on herbs.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


This is great news for Rossi gal.

I have eliminated the use of toothpaste and toothbrush for brushing Rossi gal's teeth. Besides this, I have also done away with the dental solution that I used to add into her drinking water to keep her breath fresh and teeth clean. Off they go!

Who needs them when the raw meaty bone (RMB) is doing a beautiful job of maintaining her dental health? The bone grinding+crunching serves as the brushing function, while the meat tearing helps in exercising her jaws. Any tartar that might stick on the teeth is gone with the bone experience. The result is a full set of healthy, strong and pearly white teeth.

Rossi gal has never liked me brushing her teeth with toothbrush. She merely tolerated me doing so. In short, she hated toothbrushing. So this is great news for her. Mummy not using the brush on her again. She can bone-brush her teeth with her favorite meaty bones now, ya. ~_~

The dental solution, I never thought much of it when I added it to her drinking water previously. But as time went by, I began to question the need as well as the safety in doing so. For some reason, the solution started to feel, look & smell more and  more like a chemical solution to me. For one, there were a couple of ingredients which sounded like chemicals to me. Then there were also some terms used, which I couldnt be sure what they really meant.

So, the dental solution got a permanent new home in the dumpster. As for the toothpaste and toothbrush, I'm thinking of using them to clean the taps in my toilets..hmm..not a bad idea. ;p 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fresh Sardines

During the weekend, Rossi had "Fresh Sardines" on her menu. It was the first time I seen fresh sardines sold at the supermarket. Most of the time, I only saw canned sardines. Perhaps the fresh ones had always been around, but its just that I didnt notice.

The sardines was in fillet form. Though it was fillet, there were still some soft & fine bones in the flesh, which were a good source of calcium. Despite the small size of the sardines, it is packed with the goodness of omega 3. I bought 8 slices of fillet.  ~_~

Fresh Sardines Fillet

Friday, October 8, 2010


I see Hope for Rossi gal.

This is a write-up of the events leading up to the Hope for Rossi gal. It is a lengthy one, as I have included  specific details to provide a clearer picture.  Anyone who might be reading, hopefully I do not bore you out.

Rossi gal was diagnosed with Demodectic Mange or Demodex. I had been battling her Demodex for over a year. Initially, I did not know it was Demodex, as the first few vets who attended to her, were unable to diagnose her condition correctly.

It started off with hair loss on her face area when I picked her up from the shop, which the sales person dismissed it as a "minor issue" that can be resolved with some fish oil. The vet who saw her, said it was a bacteria infection and prescribed some medication. Very slowly, her hair grew back. I was so relieved then. I thought Rossi gal would not face such a condition anymore under my care.

Little did I realise the hair loss would come back again with a vengence. This time, it was on her body. At first, it was a vaguely noticeable patch with little hair. Daddy and I thought it was just our imagination. Later, when it became a small hairless patch, I became concerned and told Daddy, who thought it might be due to skin sensitivity. We applied some cream on the area and continued to monitor for a while more. Eventually, the hairless patch began to expand. That's when the alarms rang loud in my mind that she needed medical attention.

I took her to the vet. When the vet saw the patch, the very first thing she asked, was her food, which was quite expected. That time, Rossi gal was on Chicken Based kibbles. She advised that Rossi gal be switched to fish kibbles as this could be a food allergy. With this, she tried to promote a GOOD brand of fish-based kibbles sold in the clinic to me. It's one of those brands seen in the vet clinics. But I wasnt taken in by her sales talk, cos at that time, I have already learnt about reading ingredients on pet food labels and knew this was not an optimum food.

I changed her to a Fish-based kibbles. However, despite being on it for some time, her condition did not improve. Instead, her bald patch continued to expand and become more obvious. The patch became inflamed too. I got very worried and took her back to the vet. This time, she checked her skin and was undecided whether or not to do a skin scrape.

Initially, she suspected it could be demodex, but quickly dismissed it as soon as she said it. She said, it dun look like demodex, it cannot be. Then she checked her anal glands and diagnosed it to be an anal glands problem,whereby her glands were full and not expressed, so she tried to reach behind and bite at them, causing her to bite at her body, thus resulting in hair being bitten off and fallen out. I believed in her diagnosis unsuspectingly, cos she was the vet. At that time, vets were the High and Mightly "Know-it-All". their words were sacred and I hang on to each and every word for Rossi gal's dear life.

Rossi gal's condition got worse. Flakes were forming on her bald patch, on top of the skin inflammation and widening of the area. Again, I took her back to the same vet. She was again undecided whether or not to do a skin scrape, but in the end, she didnt do it. The reason for her hesitation was, skin scrape was a "painful & skin-deep process" that she rather spare Rossi gal of. So SWEET, right? This time, her diagnosis was "Fungal Infection",where she proceeded to prescribe some anti-fungal meds for Rossi gal and assured me at the same time, she was very confident that hairs will grow back on Rossi gal's bald patch.

But things didnt turn out well. After the meds, Rossi gal's bald patch continued to deteriorate. That was when I switched to another vet at the same clinic. This male vet diagnosed her problem to be bacteria dermatitis cos at that time, angry rashes started to form on her bald patch and also various parts of her body. He prescribed the usual meds..antibiotics and steriods. Same as the previous vet, he was reluctant to do a skin scrape too. After the meds, Rossi gal's inflamed skin settled down. I was glad, hoping hair will start to re-grow on her bald patch. But after a couple of weeks, her skin flared up again, over her bald patch and the rest of her body. It was worse than before. I took her back to this vet again, whereby he decided she needed another course of meds. Well, the same happened again. It was a vicious cycle over and over again. In total, this vet gave Rossi gal 3 courses of antibidotics and steriods!

So I changed to another vet at another clinic, as I have heard good reviews about it. Her diagnosis was food allergy combined with fungal problem. She proceeded to prescribe meds and a cream to apply on the bald patch. The cream caused Rossi gal's skin to become even more inflammed and even more flakes to form. Her skin became greasy and itched badly too. I told the vet about this and she looked at me in a suprised manner, stating that there was NO known side-effects, so any side effects were NOT possible. She told me to continue administering the cream on Rossi gal and I listened to her. My Stupidly Blind Steadfast trust in Vets. The same symptoms arose. I called up the clinic to look for the vet, but she was off duty for that day, so I talked to another vet, who advised me to stop using the cream.

After this incident, I again changed to another vet, also in this same clinic. This vet was known to be good and meticulous in her diagnosis and was known to be very gentle with furkids too. By this time, Rossi gal's bald patch was already a big glaring patch. She was shocked to see the extend of the baldness. She plucked out some hairs on Rossi gal's bald patch and examined the hairs under the magnifier machine (not sure what its called). Like the others before her, she didnt think to do a skin scrape on the patch too. She asked for the food that Rossi gal was having. At this time, she was on fish-based kibbles and Raw Dehydrated food. Her diagnosis was it could be food or genes or a combination of both. She advised me to put Rossi gal on vegetarian kibbles or the hypoallergenic diet from her clinic. I chose the veggie kibbles. With this vet, Rossi gal was given 2 courses of antibiotics and steriods.

Throughout all this while, I bought Rossi gal supplement after supplement, changed kibbles after kibbles, switched vet after vet, all the time hoping to see improvement in her condition and hair regrow. But I was very disappointed that there was no signs of hair growth. When I take Rossi gal out, seeing my friends' furkids and other people's furkids with a full coat, I will be very depressed for Rossi gal. But I never gave up. I told myself as long as I persevered on, one day, her hair will definitely grow back.

Finally, I made an appointment with Dr Ly from ARVC. I have read alot about him and his use of holistic methods. I decided to bring Rossi gal to him, hoping he could help her. Till then, all the other vets were giving me more or less similar diagnosis. I wonder what Dr Ly's diagnosis would be and what would be his treatment plan for Rossi gal.

It was my first time at ARVC. The place was packed, no doubt, to see Dr Ly. Despite being there early, I waited more than 2 hours from my appointment time before I got to see him. When Dr Ly first saw Rossi gal's bald patch, he exclaimed at the extent of its size and severity. The bald patch was indeed quite big at this time. After some initial examination, he asked if a skin scrape was done before, I answered No. Immediately, he took out a blade and declared he will do a skin scrape on the bald area.

He examined the skin specimens under the machine. His diagnosis was "Demodicosis", also known as Demodectic Mange or Demodex. He told me it had nothing to do with food or bacteria or whatsoever. It was mites. He then led me to view the mites using the machine. Seeing the mites for the first time made my skin itch and blood boil. It's these damn mites that have been eating away my gal's hairs!

Every furkid will have demodectic mites, but they would not pose as a problem, so long as the immune system is able to keep them in check. But when the immune system is poor and unable to keep them in check, the mites will become a problem and multiply in numbers, leading to hair loss. There are basically two types of Demodectic Mange, Localised and Generalised. Localised is mainly hair loss on the face area. Generalised consists of a wider area, whereby hair loss can occur on various parts of the body. Rossi gal's demodex is the generalised one.

After all the wrong diagnosis from all the other vets and so much unnecessary medication, I finally knew what was wrong with Rossi gal. Dr. Ly prescribed oral Ivermectin for killing the mites, Hepavite caps for protecting the liver while on Ivermectin (which he said, its a Poison.), Sang Hwang(Wild Lingzhi) with Panalog for application on the bald area and Domoso roll-on for reducing skin inflammation. The charge was a whopping $500. Consultation at ARVC, especially with Dr. Ly do not come cheap. But I am willing to pay, for I knew Dr. Ly is good.

At this time, I have changed her to a Homecooked Diet, hoping it can help her condition. While giving her homecooked, I came across alot of information and testimonies on raw feeding. I have also read that raw is actually the best for furkids with skin problems. Cooking the food kills off much nutrients and enzymes. I was, of course, very keen on raw when I read all these. But I couldnt bring myself to let her go raw. The thought of raw meat and bones, especially the bones scared me. It's the Psychological Barriers at work in my mind.

In  my research, I read up both positive and negative aspects of a raw diet. Positive things like better health, good teeth, shiny coat and abundant energy and Negative things like bacteria and choking on bones. But the advantages of going raw clearly outweigh the disadvantages. I started to think about raw and how I can go about doing it. Then I decided to go along with Homecooked first while reading up more about raw and working to break through my psychological barriers.

After a few visits to Dr. Ly and being on Homecooked, there was still no visible progress on Rossi gal other than mini, fine sprouts of hairs that never seemed to grow further. Besides applying the Sang Hwang on her skin, I started to let Rossi gal take the Sang Hwang Caps orally, as I learnt that LingZhi can help to boost the immune system, which was what she needed to fight the sickening demodectic mites.

Then Dr. Ly began to paint a more grim picture of Rossi gal's skin condition. He said that the hair follicles on her bald patch were 'dead' and her hair might not grow back. This was a sign of very poor immune system. When I heard this, my heart grew cold. It was like a dagger was plunged deep into my heart. My heart ached so much for my poor little sweet baby gal. I went into depression mode. After everything I have done, it all came down to nothing?

No! It can't be! I Cannot and Won't settle for this. I braced myself up and continued to research on what can be done for Rossi gal. I started her on another new supplement, TF+, which was able to build up and educate her immunity to fight against the Demodectic Mange and a range of other conditions. I also started to check out the commercial raw diet brands available, with particular interest in Dr. B patties.

The turning point came during the last appointment to Dr. Ly. I have actually stopped the oral Ivermectin weeks before this appointment. He did a skin scrape on her bald patch. After examing the results, he declared that her mites were in control, she can stop the Ivermectin. (I'm secretly glad that I stopped it much earlier, but of course, I never told him.) For the hair re-growth part, he was still grim, repeating again that her hair might not grow back.

But the next thing he said, gave me Hope. Quoting him word for word, he said, "The best thing you can do for her now is to go on a Raw Diet. It might help her. Anyway, its healthier too." This was the turning point, where I finally brought Rossi gal's diet to another brand new level. Yes, Rossi gal will go raw.

Within the next two days, I contacted Barf Singapore and made some enquiries about Dr. B patties. As my fridge was still quite packed, I ordered the patties about 1 week plus later. Meanwhile, as I still got some raw lamb shabu in my fridge, I let Rossi have her first taste of Raw first. Oh! She loved it! Finished up and asked for more. As she was already having raw blended veggies in her Homecooked, so there was no problem for her taking it in her raw diet as well.

Then the time came for her to start Dr. B patties. I ordered two boxes, as I was confident she will enjoy the patties. When I first presented some of the patty to her, I was expecting her to chomp it down like the lamb shabu I gave her. However, to my surprise, she sniffed and nipped at the patty, then turned her face away.

Rossi gal is not a fussy eater. She eats almost anything as long as it's edible. But she rejected the patties.

I fasted her, hoping to induce hunger in her to eat the patty. She very reluctantly ate some here and there, but can never finish up the whole patty. I knew she tried her best to eat, she was really a good gal. For the next few days, it was like this. I could feel she was unhappy with eating the patties. So I stopped. I gave her some raw lamb shabu and her appetite immediately returned. I could see her happy little face again. Then I decided to go into doing my own (DIY) raw diet for her.

As for the remaining patties, I gave them to my friend who wished to let her furkids try them.

I began to read up and learn how I can do a proper raw diet for Rossi gal. Now, I'm still reading and learning to see how I could improve her diet. Till date, Rossi gal had been on DIY Raw for 2 months & 2 weeks.

Now, here comes the part where I finally see the fruits of my efforts. After so long..After so much heart-ache, tears and hard work..Somewhere late last week, I started to notice some dark pigmentation on her big bald patch At first, I thought it was due to the lighting, so I didnt think much about it. But I just couldnt help noticing the tinge of black on her skin. Then I started to be concerned, as I read somewhere that the blackening of skin was not something good. I began to get worried.

When I got home that day after work, I grabbed Rossi gal onto my lap and examined her skin. To my utter Delight, the black pigmentation I worried about, were actually Hairs growing out! I shrieked in joy and screamed for Daddy to come over and look. He quickly scrambled to switch on all the lights and closely screened through Rossi gal's skin like an Archeologist examining a priced artifact. The corners of his mouth curved up into a bright smile.

Indeed, Rossi gal's hairs are growing back.

Since then, both of us have been examining Rossi gal's bald patch everyday. Day by day, strands of hairs are growing out more and more noticeably. The black pigmentation is covering up the bald patch. This is something I have never seen before when she was on kibbles or raw dehydrated, not even when she was on Homecooked. (She was on Homecook for 3 months plus.)

But on Raw for slightly over two months, I have Results.

I see Hope. I feel Hope.

And I am Overwhelmed with Joy! :D

Raw is not a miracle diet, but it definitely did great wonders for my Rossi gal.

In my own space, I shout out loud, RAW is the BEST diet to give our furkids whom we Love so so Much!

RAW is the BEST!

*I'll be posting before and after pictures of my gal later on.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Baking Time!

On a bright Sunday afternoon, I happily gathered up some ingredients and wanted to do some baking. It was then I realised I missed out an important ingredient, "Eggs". There was not a single egg left in my fridge. The last egg was eaten up by Rossi gal two days ago.

I told daddy, it seemed like I have to postphone my baking plans. But daddy said, No Worries, he will get those eggs for me. I use organic eggs in my baking and the nearest place that has this is the NTUC at Thomson Plaza, so this means he have to drive out to get them.

Baking in Progress.

So sweet of daddy. He was actually planning to nap the afternoon away, but still, he went out to get the eggs for me..?? Hmm..to be specific, its actually for Rossi gal, cos the baking is for her. If I didnt have the eggs, I couldnt do the baking , then Rossi gal wont get to eat the snacks on the day itself. Daddy wanted Rossi gal to have her snacks, so he went to get the eggs. Loads of Daddy Love for Rossi gal. :)

"Blueberry Cheese Muffins"Fresh from the oven

The little black dots are blueberries. Shredded low fat cheddar cheese is used. The portion of baking powder and baking soda used are a little lesser than the original recipe. For baking powder, I didnt use the readily available ones in the supermarket, as many of them contain "Aluminium", so I mixed my own baking powder.

Other ingredients used are organic quinoa flour, plain low-fat yoghurt, pure honey, madagascar vanilla powder, organic cold-pressed olive oil and filtered water. I love making muffins, cos I love the way the muffins rise into puffy tops!

I used to buy Rossi gal's baked snacks (eg.biscuits, muffins) from USDB. They got nice snacks. But as I wanted control over the ingredients, I decided to bake my own snacks for Rossi gal, though I know nuts about baking then. For Rossi gal's sake, I learnt baking from scratch, perserving through the many trials & errors + failed attempts and finally, succeeding. It was all worth it.

Besides this, I also give her other natural treats prepared by me. Personally, I do not feel safe with any food or treats from the pet shops anymore.

Raw Salmon Meal

I have decided to do away the salmon oil, by giving Rossi gal regular raw fish meals.

I would prefer to give her the real fish meat to make up her Omega 3 requirements, now that she is able to take raw fish. Besides, it is also evident to me that she enjoys the fish meat so much more than the fish oil.

Over the weekend, I sliced up some salmon for her. This is a sample of the sliced salmon I gave her. She ate more than the shown quantity.