Hollie, our latest Biggest Loser

The newest foster dachshund in our home is Hollie. I’m calling her Hollie Berry to give her confidence that she is beautiful, but I’m not sure she gets the reference. Hollie weighed 21 pounds when she came to DREAM. She should probably weigh about 10. She looks like a waddling black and tan mushroom. A limping, waddling black and tan mushroom — she has arthritis in at least one of her front legs.

AND — poor Hollie has a sensitive tummy, and can’t tolerate any NSAID pain medications for the limp. Our only recourse is to just focus on getting the weight off.

She had blood work, no thyroid issues that could cause the weight. She does have Cushing’s, and we’re starting her on Vetoryl. But this is FAT, not Cushing’s potbelly.

After 2 weeks, Hollie had lost 2 pounds. Imagine. We didn’t even really try — just gave her a measured amount of food with some canned pumpkin for bulk, and a bit of yogurt for tummy upset. She doesn’t beg for food, so we don’t have that issue. I think she might have tried the first day, but we ignored her and she stopped.

Strangely, as the pounds have come off, she hasn’t shrunk overall. Instead the fat seems to be sliding off the back of her as if it is in a bag she carries around on her back, and it’s become off balance as it gets smaller. She needs to hitch up the load.

It’s especially challenging that she cannot exercise, with that painful leg. I do manage to get her to wrestle with my hand, lying down on her bed. She gets really excited and barks and play bites me. If you know what you’re looking for, you can see that she’s doing the classic “play bow” position — you just have to recognize it through the giant brisket fat pad she has on her chest!

In the last 2 weeks, she lost another 1/2 pound — a more comfortable rate. The limp is getting a bit better, though still quite pronounced. She spotted a squirrel in the yard the other day, forgot herself, and ran 5 steps! I was amazed!

You can follow our progress on twitter at #BLHollie. We are @DreamRescue.

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