To be compared with 11/4/2010
RDW% 18.2 a little high (ref 12-17.5)
The red blood cells and hemoglobin seem slightly elevated, if anything. The platelets are low but still sufficient. Not much of a profile on the platelet volume elution. The white blood cells and granulocytes are right in the middle. The lymphocytes and monocytes are slightly low. The blood profile seems on the extreme side to me. Some values high, others low.
The blood chemistry to be compared with 12/8/2010:
Total protein 6.2
Total Bilirubin 0.1
Na/K ratio 40
Liver enzymes are high, and potassium is low, otherwise very middle of the road. Bananas. He’s on a catfish and sweet potato diet now.
He has slowly recovered, first stopping to lick his paws, then clearing the arthritis in his joints (a little change in gait is noticable if one looks closely, but he is off of the rimadyl already. He used to always go down 4 stairs and then back up again as I opened the porch door to let him back in; one week after this incident, he now he stays put). I have done a daily leashed walk of about 15 min with him, and the last time he wanted to trot. His paws remain sensitive on gravel surfaces.
So, how to improve his fitness without overdoing it? The main point will probably be weight loss (he is 10 pounds heavier than he was when we hiked New York), coupled with more moderate lower temperature exercise. So, maybe 1 mile 4 times a week, and 2 miles once on the weekend when the temperature is 75 or so. This is a change from 12 miles a week to 6 miles a week. Start with walking, and maybe eventually build back up to a trot. Supplement his diet with potassium, iron, and glucosamine (1000 mg/day) for his joints. Since he used to be able to do more, I think that his recent diet change may be more relevant than a chronic lack of supplementation, but given his symptoms and blood work, I think that the supplementation can be protective and helpful.
In terms of a medical workup, I could do lyme titers and an EKG, but it would be more indicated if I were to treat him with antibiotics. Right now, given the enormous amounts of antibiotic that I am on, I am unwilling to treat him with something different for something that is not acutely resolvable. That is, he very likely does have antibodies in his blood to lyme that can fight it, so it is more likely a gradual problem that can wait until I am done with my antibiotics. Getting his weight down is a priority. If the weight is water, then he may need medical help in the form of a diuretic. I am first going to try for some moderate changes to see if they help. Weekly weights. He usually gets about 1/4 cup of dry rice (cooked) and 1/2 can of wet food per day. But he has switched over to more caloric natural dry dog food recently. Maybe try 1 cup a day of that. He’ll let me know if he is hungry. If the salt content is too high, maybe switch back to rice and low salt wet. I might consider a liver cleanse too in a bit, because I know that these herbs work well for people with liver disease, but I would want to do it after I’m sure that he doesn’t need an adjustment to medicine like antibiotics, and probably after the flea and tick season.