Last Friday, Buckles had a perfect weigh-in — he lost 0.6 pounds, right on track with where I’d like him to lose. Not too fast, not too slow. Yay Buckles!
Our food regimen continues as follows:
Morning: 1/4 cup of kibble (with his thyroid pill)
A couple of veggie snacks during the day (if I am home). Carrot or cucumber.
Evening: 1 cup of kibble, 1 cup of mixed veggies and yogurt (usually some pumpkin, some green beans, and some yogurt, but I try to mix things up a little to keep it interesting). Also his thyroid pill.
He doesn’t act hungry during the day, so I know the pumpkin and green beans are doing their job of keeping him full. The 1/4 cup of kibble in the morning keeps his blood sugar relatively stable too.
Now Buckles has lost a total of 3.6 pounds (down from 63 pounds when we started). Our goal is 30 pounds, I think.
This week, Buckles discovered that he can bend around and lick himself “down there” as many dogs delight in doing. Now he acts like he has to make up for lost time (!). That’s a rather odd milestone, eh? I actually had to go sleep in the other room last night because the slurping sound was driving me crazy.
And that’s when I realized that ….
Buckles also has acanthosis nigricans, a skin condition that is caused by 3 things: obesity, hypothyroidism, and food sensitivities. Poor Buckles has all 3! This looks like lots of dark spots on his belly, and raised crinkly skin in his armpits. Before he lost the initial 3 pounds, I didn’t think he was itchy — but the truth seems to be that he DID itch, he just couldn’t SCRATCH because he was too big! The poor guy has been itching and itching all this time, and couldn’t do anything about it! So now I am giving him benadryl to help with the itch, and topical creams. On Friday he will have an oatmeal bath after his next weigh-in, and that should help too. We also do cool compresses on his belly, where the itch seems to be worst.
We discovered, thanks to our friend Regina (@ReginatheRVT), that Buckles LOVES squeaker toys. I don’t have any around the house because one of my dogs annihilates them within minutes, so I hadn’t seen Buckles with a squeaker before. But Regina gave him one after his weigh-in last week, and he he loved it! He had a big smile on his face as he squeaked that cheeseburger (ironically, the only kind of cheeseburger he is allowed). So now, when he rides in the car, he gets to squeak the burger the whole way.
Through it all, he is calm, affectionate, and oh-so-grateful to be safe, fed, and loved every day. Once in a while, he asks to be hauled onto the bed for snuggle time. He trembles when it storms, but he calms down when he gets his snuggles. He is a very special guy, and he is going to love getting all the attention he deserves in a forever home some day.