B-Naturals Newsletter – July, 2009 – Benny’s Story
By Lew Olson, PhD Natural Health
This month’s article is a special story about Benny, a Great Dane puppy who was near death before he was surrendered by his owner. We’d like to offer our thanks to Sarah Hamilton and Benny’s new owners, Jillian Morin and Phil Roach, for bringing us this story and giving us permission to share it with you.
By Sarah Hamilton, Jillian Morin and Phil Roach Benny was a Great Dane puppy that was surrendered by his owners to their veterinarian. Benny was diagnosed with severe malnutrition and hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD), which is a common disease of rapidly growing, large and giant pure breed dogs. This vet thought Benny could survive given the proper care. A volunteer from Upper Midwest Great Dane Rescue (UMGDR) picked Benny up from the vet and took him to see another vet. This vet thought Benny was in such bad shape that he should be put down. Sarah Hamilton, also a volunteer for Upper Midwest Great Dane Rescue picked Benny up a few days after he had been seen by this vet. She was expecting the worst, Sarah got in touch with Lew Olson, PhD in Natural Health, prior to picking Benny up, to see if she might have some recommendations for his condition. Lew Olson recommended removing all commercial food from his diet and putting Benny on either a raw or home cooked diet immediately. She also suggested giving him Bertes Daily Blend vitamins, Bertes Ultra Probiotic and Bertes Fish Oil at 1000 mg per ten pounds of his body weight. She also thought he would benefit from Immuno-DMG and recommended 2 ml of that per day.
After Sarah got Benny home, he was in such bad shape that even she thought he was going to have to be euthanized. She took Benny to see her own vet and he said it was the worst case of HOD he’d ever seen. They drew blood and had a full CBC blood panel done. His levels were all over the place, that their concern grew. He was anemic, running a fever, was in great pain from the HOD and it was very apparent he was also starving to death. At the time he was brought in, he only weighed 45 pounds and could not walk on his own or support his own weight due to his pain and weakness. He had to be carried everywhere.
Three veterinarians at Sarah’s clinic came in to take a look at Benny and all of them shook their heads in disbelief. One of them just cried. The consensus was that the most humane thing to do was to put this darling little boy to sleep so he could be put out of his misery. Sarah agreed. She asked the vet for the maximum pain medication he could safely be put on so he could be kept comfortable until she contacted the rescue for permission to make the final decision for his life. The drive home from the vet was a 150-mile heartbreaking trip for Sarah believing that his fate was only a few days away. On the way home, she decided if Benny only had a few remaining days of life left, she was going to feed him anything he would eat, regardless of whether it was food appropriate for HOD or not. She stopped at the store before getting home and picked up heavy whipping cream, baby food, liver, ensure drinks, cat food, pedialite, ground beef, ground turkey, branswager suet and yogurt!
Benny wasn’t eating on his own, so she bought a baby bottle too! She put all these food items into a blender, added the Bertes Daily Blend, Bertes Ultra Probiotic and Fish Oil and made a soup-like mixture for Benny. She bottle fed him every two hours for two days. He would not drink water on his own either, so she gave him water from a syringe during feeding times. He could only handle a few ounces at a time. On the second night home with Sarah, Benny spiked another fever, started coughing, and had mucus coming from his nose. More symptoms of distress! Sarah’s heart was breaking for this boy. She was becoming eager to get him back to the vet so he could be put out of his misery. But, miracles do happen. Benny was a fighter! On the third night with Sarah, Benny managed to get up on his own and started moving around! He found his way to Sarah in the middle of the night and gave her a little ‘muzzle snuggle’ to let her know he had to go outside! With this progress, Sarah continued feeding him the ground foods with the supplements and pain medications. He continued to improve so much that she cancelled the vet appointment. On day six, Sarah switched him to a completely raw diet and Benny continued to improve daily. With the help of everyone that was involved, good nutrition and supplements, and Benny’s fighting spirit, today, Benny is happy, healthy and living in his new forever home with his new family. Benny is still fed a raw diet with his supplements daily.
An Update on Benny from Jillian Morin and Phil Roach, Benny’s forever family!
Benny is doing great and we love him so much. He has gained a lot of weight and the healthier he gets, the more spunky he becomes. He is our softball mascot and comes with us everywhere we go. He loves riding in the truck with the windows down and if he’s in the truck waiting for us, he sticks his out the truck sunroof like he’s keeping a watch out!
He is quite the comedian with tons of personality. He shows his feminine side from time to time as he prances around the yard flicking his feet up behind him like he was a model in a past life or is shooting for first place in a dog show! He runs out of the room with Jill when there is a June bug flying around. He acts like a nervous parent when Jill is playing on the softball field. He won’t let Jill out of his site no matter what! At night he lays on our bed and kicks us off so we can sleep on his nice orthopedic bed! He runs every time he hears a loud noise, as a true Great Danes do! At some point he was taught to ‘shake’, so that’s what he does! You tell him "Benny, Sit" and he automatically puts up his leg to ‘shake’ But that’s OK, we don’t mind! He has made so many friends at the dog parks, the banks, movie stores, pet stores and all around our neighborhood. He is such a great dog and we are so glad to be his forever home! He is a permanent member of our family now and the best dog we could ever ask for. We can’t explain in words how grateful we are to be able to give Benny his second chance. Without everything that was done for Benny, we would never have been able to enjoy the many memories we have already experienced and all the ones that are yet to come. We’d like to give a special thanks to Sarah and Lew Olson for everything they did. Thanks to UMGDR, Raws for Paws, Swansons Meats, Bone Adventure, Dr. Perry and everyone else who helped us find the perfect diet for him. He now weighs in at 110 lbs. and his legs are slowly looking better and getting stronger.
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