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The good news is that the charcoal poultice and insulin seems to be working. Happy’s glucose has stabilized somewhere between 175 and 250. While it is still high, at least he has reached a point where he is feeling much better, his hair is growing again, and has even managed to gain nearly 4 pounds which makes it much easier to give him his insulin shot.
The good news is Happy is doing much better, the bad news is Happy is doing much better and has transformed into a little dictator. When we took the picture of Happy wearing a little crown, we had no clue how fitting a picture it would be. For the past few weeks Happy has become unusually bossy. If I spend too much time in my room (anything more than 2 minutes), which I have to do more of since my laptop broke down and all I have is my desktop), Happy starts throwing a fit.
He starts pacing the floor and barking and barking, demanding that I stop what I am doing and immediately go to the sofa and sit next to him. This would be great if it happened once or twice a day, but this goes on all day and sometimes part of the night. Several times he has gotten out of bed and started pacing the floor and barking until I head to the sofa and spend part of the night sleeping on the sofa next to him. Which under normal circumstance is not the most comfortable night sleep, but when you have fibromyalgia it leads to a very miserable next day.
If it were just that he was scared I would understand a bit more, but in spite of having lost most of his sight thanks to his diabetes, Happy is still a very independent dog in most respects. While he has to be carried outside most of the time, when he is feeling good he will not hesitate to investigate every corner of his yard or find his way to his food and water bowl.
For some reason he has gotten into his adorable puppy head that my job is to spend my day and night sitting next to him on the sofa, no matter what I need to do or how desperately I need to spend some time relaxing in a soft bed. While it is nice on the one hand to feel needed, it can get quite frustrating to feel like you can do nothing because your dog is going to bark so loud that he disturbs the peace of the neighbors (which is not a good idea when you live in an HOA community).
When I know that he is not barking because he is sick or needs to go out I will wait for a while to tire him out, but he is back to being a bit like a the duracell bunny. He just keeps barking an barking which is not very good when he decides at 2 in the morning that he wants to spend the rest of the night hanging out on the sofa.
Hopefully with a little love and care this stage will pass. And as exasperating and wearing as it can be at times, it is reassuring to know that Happy is doing much better. As only a few weeks ago Happy could barely let out a whimper and now his lungs are back to their powerful bellow once again. And as nice as the peace and quiet would be for my aching ears, I would not trade my healthier and noisy Happy pup for the eerie quietness that filled our homes a few weeks ago when Happy was so close to death.
If you would like to know more about why we started making Happy an the charcoal poultice that we have been using to help Happy feel better along with his medicine check our this post https://maketimeforhappy101.com/2021/09/01/happy-health-update-good-news-bad-news/
The main ingredient of the poultice is activated charcoal. The type that we use varies depending upon the availability of the charcoal. Here is an example of one of the charcoal brands that we have used for Happy.
To that we add Earth’s Living Animin Calcium Bentonite Clay for Pets
and we also like to add blended oatmeal.
The mixture that we use is approximately 4 parts activated charcoal and one part bentonite clay and one part blended oatmeal.
To this mixture you add enough water to make a thin paste (I have read where some compare it to pancake batter).
We then get a piece of plastic wrap upon which we place a moist paper towel to help keep the mixture moist.
We then put the activated charcoal mixture on top of the paper towel and cover it with a cheese cloth to help hold in the mixture in. I like to roll up the edges of the poultice and put a little piece of medical tape around the corner to help reduce spilling from the poultice as charcoal makes a very big disaster.
We then place the cheese cloth portion of the poultice on Happy’s side (usually the right side because of his high liver enzymes), and then to help keep the poultice on and to make sure that Happy cannot nibble the poultice or have an issue with the plastic wrap, we wrap up the poultice in a piece of wide cloth and secure it with a large piece of medical tape.
We like to make the poultice in the evening, shortly before bed time. We let the poultice stay on the whole night and take it off in the morning.
Because of my own poor health I like to make enough mixture at one time to last several days. I place the unused portion in a sealed container in our refrigerator and then put what I am going to use in a bowl to mix with water. This helps to save time and energy making it much easier to make the poultice on a night that no one in the house is feeling very well.
I am not sure how good this is, as I do not know that much about making poultices. Before Happy got sick I had never made a poultice. But about two months in to Happy’s sickness I heard someone talk about the time their dog got bit by a poisonous snake. Their dog became very sick and was in danger of losing its leg and possibly its life. The lady, not wanting to have her dog’s leg removed, made a charcoal poultice and after a week or so, her dog was doing much better.
That story stuck in my head, and as Happy was getting progressively worse, I thought it might be worth a try to see if the poultice would help Happy. I must admit that I am surprised by how fast Happy took to the poultice. I cannot say for sure what the charcoal poultice does, but I can say for certain that Happy loves his poultices. If it is getting near bed time and we have not made him his poultice, Happy will let us know. He will bark, cry, whine, and complain until we make his poultice. Often, within a minute or two of putting the poultice on his side, he will relax and go limp even if we are still in the middle of trying to wrap up his poultice. Also, I have noticed that if we forget to put the poultice on for a day or two, he will start walking in circles again and he will start to twitch a bit. So it seems like it is doing something to help him feel better.