This morning I fed the dogs some chicken that I purchased at the grocery store last night, and a little bit of fish that I also picked up.  I had decided not to bring food with me to my parents’, but just buy some locally.  I usually do this because after fitting five crates in my little car, there is really no room for a cooler.

I bought the fish (smelts) because they were there.  I rarely feed my animals fish, but I thought I’d give them a little treat.  I had second thoughts about giving them the fish along with the chicken just because if anyone got sick, I wouldn’t know what from.  Ironic that this thought crossed my mind, because three out of my four dogs have since barfed up their meal.  Ross wouldn’t eat the fish.  But he also wouldn’t eat the chicken.  The cats refused the fish as well, and picked at the chicken.  Hannah, Kess and Mira cleaned up not only their own meals, but the stuff left behind by the others.

Mira was the first to get sick and, just to add to the loveliness of it all, her vomit was moving!  Gross of all grossness.  I HATE worms.  It’s been several years since any of my dogs has had worms and, considering that they are all adults, I figured it would be some time before I’d encounter them again.  Typically worms only affect puppies and dogs with compromised immune systems.  So does this mean that Mira’s immune system is compromised?  Now I need to consider this as well.

I noticed that all the girls had lost weight over the last couple of months but have attributed it to spending time outside in the cold.  Likely that is the case, but now I am going to have to struggle with whether to worm them all, or just Mira.  I don’t like the idea of treating without proof of infestation.  Of course while I went to grab stuff to clean up Mira’s vomit, Kess ran in and ate it.  Aren’t dogs wonderful?  So now I know that Kess has ingested worms, but will they take up shop in her intestines?  Adult dogs should be able to throw off worm infestations on their own, but do I wait and see?

I am about to bring Ross in to a new vet, and also start him working with a professional homeopath.  I am concerned about the state of his thyroid and want to start moving forward with addressing his symptoms.  This has been spurred on by a black blotch that has suddenly appeared on his right inner eyelid.  It looks like ink got spilled in his eye.  It doesn’t seem to affect his vision or be growing or doing anything – essentially it is a change of pigment on the inner eyelid.  Strange, however, and no one I have shown it to has ever seen anything like it before.  So Ross is going in to the vet for a check up and some bloodwork.  I have to decide between two vets who have been strongly recommended to me as being truly holistic and also happy to avoid vaccines and support raw feeding.  Both are a good distance from me (1.5 hour drive) but I don’t mind that if I get the care I am looking for.

Once there, I will also discuss worming protocols.  I will also be putting an end to the morning smooch fest my dogs like to start their day with!  Blech!  The worms I saw are most likely hookworms, which are definitely contagious to people (although not by kisses – it’s more the thought!).  Delightful.

Upon reflection (and further internet research to brush up on my worm lore) I will be dosing them all with diatomaceous earth (DE).  This may be sufficient to clear away any worms as hookworms live in the intestines and will be affected by this product.  I have learned the hard way that whipworms cannot be eliminated by DE because they spread to other parts of the body beyond the gastrointestinal tract (the DE, a powdered earth, only passes through the digestive tract), but most other common types of worms can be.   Hopefully that will put an end to it, which I will test with a stool sample.  .

It’s been a long time since my dogs have had any kind of health issues and I have to wonder if there’s some reason that this is happening now.  Are they stressed by my being away so much?  Ross has made it clear that this really bothers him.  The others aren’t so obvious, but I suspect it is hard on them as well.  More things to think about as I try and figure out my next step.