Sonny is an 8 year old Lagotto Romagnolo. His breed’s weight range is between 30-35 pounds. From the start, we fed him an expensive kibble diet that his breeder recommended. We took him to the vet and did all the things we thought we were supposed to do for him such as getting him shots like rabies, distemper, and bortadella. We also gave him heartgard medication, nexguard for fleas and ticks, and got him fecal exams.
At 21 months, he started to have a cough. We took him into the vet and they were stumped. They performed many tests and finally came up with “possible” tracheal-bronchial lymphadenopathy, and of course the vets thought they needed to run more tests. They prescribed prednisone and one other drug, however, we only gave him the prednisone. The prednisone was a steroid that suppressed his cough and made him even more ill. There was a period during this time when we weren’t sure if Sonny would make it through. We finished that treatment and by the end of it he was 51 pounds. What ended up being the case is that Sonny had “allergies”.
A few years down the road, through a detoxification group, Kim read about Nora’s feeding method and started Sonny on sweet potato and quinoa and he ate our food also. We hadn’t read the book yet so we didn’t fully understand RMF and the real nutritional needs of dogs and were not giving Sonny any meat as our family is vegan. We were really just learning our own human needs nutritionally at this point as well.
This past year in November of 2020, Sonny started retaining a serious amount of fluid in his body. We took him in to the vet again and they gave him a week to live after looking at an ultrasound of his abdomen. He was 36 inches around his middle at this point. He was visibly uncomfortable and ill and had limited movement. The vets again wanted to put him on steroids and water pills and another medication. This time, we said no thank you. We took him home and decided to detox him.
Sonny after starting RMF
We bought Nora’s book, No More Vet Bills, and read it in a day. Everything made perfect sense. We had a one-on-one consultation with Nora and together decided to immediately fast Sonny on only water for five days. This fast gave Sonny’s body the much needed rest to begin the real healing process of removing years of prescriptions and wrong feeding.
The detoxification process is challenging, to say the least. We didn’t know if he was going to come out of it. The roughest part was watching him having detoxification tremors (shaking), seeing him so lethargic as he is normally a high energy dog, and seeing his breathing and heart rate skyrocket and then plummet on and off throughout the process.
After his fast we put him on a meat:plant rotation and at first he only wanted to eat the meat. We kept offering him sweet potato, quinoa, millet, fruit, and vegetables. Eventually and little by little he came around to eating more than meat. He didn’t take the other food until he started losing the fluid retention and we really had to trust Sonny and his body during this process. If we made him something and he didn’t want to eat it, we didn’t force him to eat it. We knew that when his body was ready, his appetite would be back. Detoxification is an on-going process.
After around the second week in January 2021, all the fluid retention was gone and Sonny’s body was healing! His energy came back in full, if not more than before, and his hair was getting darker and fuller. Hair loss was not even one of Sonny’s detoxification symptoms and it grew in thicker, darker, and softer than it ever has been, since he was a puppy.
It is safe to say now that as long as we feed Sonny the species specific diet, he continues to be healthy, happy, and whole. We have Sonny on a protocol now of 3:1 plant to meat rotation and he is a very happy dog. Food is a big motivator for our guy! His weight is now 31 pounds and he is 24.5 inches around. His eyes are clearer, his teeth are whiter, and his hair is thicker, darker, and softer. Through this process, we are still working through bad breath issues. His energy levels are great on both plant and meat days! We even think he’s smarter now, too. We are amazed at the simplicity of health and the genius of nature! Thank you to Nora and the RMF family for supporting us on this journey and for everything they do, for us and our dogs!