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Alex Update: He Started Acupuncture!

Guest CyndiW

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Guest CyndiW

I got a phone call from Alex's internist on Wednesday. She had received and studied the DVD that she had requested of him eating/choking/vomiting at home. After going over that closely, the x-rays, and the fluoroscopy again, she has decided that the damage is all in the upper 1/3 of his esophagus and that it is irreversible and there is no medical treatment that will help. She said hopefully it doesn't get worse and he can continue to survive on a liquid diet. If not and it gets worse, he will increase his chances of aspiration and pneumonia and death.


Thank goodness for this forum and knowing that I had read of dogs with similar problems who do just fine with careful and diligent TLC from their owners. Also, knowing that he had his first acupuncture appt the next night helped make the situation not so grim.


His acupuncture appt went great!! She was very positive and sent him home with homeopathic drops. He will go back again this Thursday. She seems to think he will be able to eat solid foods again someday which at least gives us some hope.


Are there any really bad long term effects from Ensure? I know all the sugar is not good for the teeth so I have been brushing at least once a day. I am just worried how so much sugar/corn syrup effects their bodies and plus I can't tell if it has a lot of preservatives in it or not. He gets about 1.5 cups of dry food pureed in blender 3x/day so he should definitely be getting enough protein. However, the Ensure has been great to get down the Carafate plus he just seems to look and feel so much better when he has one can a day. I just don't want to hurt his health long term just because he seems to be doing so well on it short term (weight gain/more active). The acupuncturist mentioned an Ensure type supplement for dogs (Clinicare) but from what I could find it is about $8/can compared to 6 bottles of Ensure for $9.

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Can't see that Ensure would hurt him over the long term. If that's all he was eating, some supplements might be in order, but 1-2 cans plus meat/complex carbs/dog food seem like a decent diet to me.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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You're probably already aware of this, but Clinicare is made by the same company that makes Ensure. It's terrible that they charge so much for this just because it is formulated as a pet product, but this is not unusual. :( In comparing labels, it appears Clinicare may contain less sugar -- Ensure has three sources of sugar (corn and cane) while the Clinicare only lists a corn source. I don't understand why pet food and treats have sugar in them, but I won't use this post to get on that soapbox. :colgate


Clinicare Canine Ingredients:



Ensure ingredients:

Water, sugar (sucrose), corn syrup, maltodextrin (corn), calcium caseinate, high-oleic safflower oil, canola oil, soy protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, corn oil, calcium phosphate tribasic, potassium citrate, magnesium phosphate dibasic, natural and artificial flavor, soy lecithin, sodium citrate, magnesium chloride, salt (sodium chloride), carrageenan, choline chloride, potassium chloride, ascorbic acid, ferrous sulfate, alpha-tocopheryl acetate, zinc sulfate, niacinamide, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, cupric sulfate, vitamin A palmitate, thiamine chloride hydrochloride, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, folic acid, chromium chloride, biotin, sodium molybdate, sodium selenate, potassium iodide, phylloquinone, vitamin D3 and cyanocobalamin.


* Note chocolate flavored Ensure has cocoa powder in it.


I understand your concern about that much sugar, but don't know what your other options are unless you put together your own liquid diet for him from unsweetened protein powder, oils, and supplements. I wouldn't begin to know how to do this in a nutritionally complete manner. Perhaps an alternative or complementary veterinarian or canine nutritionist could help with this? If I come across anything, I'll let you know.


I'm glad you are encouraged after the visit with the acupuncturist. I'm a firm believer in "alternative" medicine. I will continue to send Alex healing thoughts and will check for updates.









Cynthia, & Cristiano, galgo
Always in my heart: Frostman
Newdawn Frost, Keno Jet Action & Chloe (NGA racing name unknown), Irys (galgo), Hannah (weim), Cruz (galgo), & Carly CW Your Charming

Princess http://www.greyhound-data.com/d?i=1018857

"It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life, gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are." -- Unknown

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My Ben has been on daily cans of Ensure for almost 4 years. He has a birth defect & cannot eat solid foods at all.


He has never had any problem from Ensure or from his liquid diet. I can't remember him ever having diahrea. I did try switching him to a diabetic formula without sugar, but he wouldn't drink it.


He is also at risk of aspiration pneumonia. He has aspirated many times, but it has never developed into pneumonia. I watch him & can tell when he has - then we just start massive doses of antibiotics.


It is a daily struggle sometimes, but Ben is worth it.


Jennifer Watkins

Shamrock Greyhound Placement

Louisville, KY

Jennifer Watkins

Shamrock Greyhound Placement, Louisville, KY

Greyhound Festival of the Bluegrass -July 19-21, 2013

Holiday Inn/Hurstbourne, Louisville KY

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I wonder if the folks over at K9 Kitchen might be able to help:




Monica Segal formed the group (I think), and she's a wealth of information as well:




It's possible someone else has already thought this through, been-there-done-that, and already has a viable solution.


I do agree that loading a dog up on corn syrup and "fast-burn" carbs is not in their long-term interest. There should be another way.

Coco (Maze Cocodrillo)

Minerva (Kid's Snipper)

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Guest CyndiW

Yes, she did chiropractic along with the acupuncture. Between the testing and treatments, he was probably in her therapy room about 1.5 hours (his head in our laps the whole time). I think he liked all that massaging on his neck which is a good sign because this is a dog that bites when he gets mad or uncomfortable. She said it would take about 3 days for the muscles to release although there was great improvement that she saw immediately. Three days was accurate because last night he was chasing tennis balls in the back yard like a mad man (out running the other boys every time). Still some coughing and mild choking even on the liquids but he feels so much better. I think this one appt took him back even before the whole corn cob incident. She said he already had some neck problems from what she could tell and we have to agree that although he never complained, it does seem that he has held his neck lower these past couple of years. Can't wait until this week's appt!

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Guest LolasMom

So good to hear! I've seen unbelievable improvements with acupuncture, chiro, and homeopathy on a number of tricky issues with pups.

It's great to know he enjoys it and is responding so well. Such a good boy Alex! :wub:

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Awesome! Glad to hear the good news!


If you're worried about pneumonia just keep a ear out for random coughing. If he starts coughing a lot, and it's not after feeding time, have your vet listen to his lungs. The vet will be able to hear any fluid build-up or raspy-ness in his breathing. My Huggy Bear developed pneumonia once, probably as a result of aspiration, and the only warning sign (in retrospect) was a slight cough that he'd had for about a month before he got really sick. So just keep your ears out for that.


Good luck!



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Guest Winterwish

Yes,very glad to hear good news for you and Alex! I also don't see how a can of Ensure a day can be harmful.

People survive on ensure alone for years. And as Jennifer Watkins said,look at her Ben,so I wouldn't worry heavily about it.


Just want to mention since he gets pureed dry food- Wysong's canned food is VERY soft,particularly the chicken and turkey,- it's as liquid-y as a canned food can get. You might be interested in knowing that. The beef seems a bit more meaty and not as velvety,liquid-y smooth as the chicken and turkey.

Edited by Winterwish
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