Healing Arthritis (palliative case)

Photo of Bella

Before RMF

Bella came into our lives as a foster dog at age 10, in 2018. She was in such bad shape that her previous owners had considered euthanasia. Thankfully, they instead made the decision to surrender her to a rescue to see if anything could be done. I am eternally grateful for this. Bel struggled to hobble from one side of our living room to the other, her back legs were very arthritic and extremely weak, and she was very overweight. I cried the first time I saw her. Mostly she just laid on her bed and slept. Within a few days, we made the decision to adopt this crippled, old dog. This was to now be her home and we would give her the best last few months of her life, as clearly, she was palliative.

From Day 1 with us, she ate a BARF raw diet, and we were thrilled that the excess weight started to come off quite quickly. She received one set of Cartrophen injections and was put on joint supplements, and slowly her mobility improved. She was doing pretty good but still needed help to get into the car and other such activities, as her back legs remained quite weak. She still couldn’t get up the stairs. We were thankful that at least she had more mobility now and thought this was as good as she would get, being a senior dog. After around a year on BARF, she developed a painful anal gland abscess (OUCH!), which I know now was the result of improper feeding. We took her to the vet where she was given a myriad of medications to treat it. I gave them all to her but in my heart, something didn’t feel right about it, and I started researching. That’s when I found Nora’s book.

After RMF

I’m pretty openminded when it comes to natural pet care, but at first, I wont lie, it sounded really weird! Just feeding your dog fruit? Feeding plants and meat separately? And shock, horror…actually not feeding your dog at all for a day? It was definitely not like anything I’d heard of before. But still, with nothing to lose, we dived right in and gave it a go for her and our other senior dog, who had issues of her own. They took to it fine and I muddled my way through different protocols, trying to figure out which one worked best for them. There were times, during detox, where I was really anxious and close to throwing it all in.

The amount of gunk coming out of Bella’s eyes was intense and she went through periods of excessive licking and scratching at herself, to the point where none of us were getting much sleep. It was horrible to watch, and I really questioned what I was doing. We did a couple of extended fasts which I found uncomfortable (Bella coped fine!) and was amazed to see her symptoms improve immensely. Out of the blue one day after about 6 months on RMF, Bella unexpectedly climbed the stairs!! She had NEVER been able to do this before and we were all in shock. This was HUGE!! Not only that, but she started being able to jump up onto the couch (her new favorite place for naps), onto our bed and even up into the boot of our 4WD without any help. This was INCREDIBLE as she had never had the strength in her back legs to do any of this before and we’d just accepted she wasn’t able to do it. We were absolutely in shock.

Since then, she has gone from strength to strength. She bombs around the park like a puppy, absolutely loves zooming around at the beach and loves playing with other dogs. She runs alongside us with ease when we go for bike rides – and this is a dog who could barely walk before! Her coat is glorious, her eyes are bright and she’s as happy as can be. At age 14 now, she’s like a whole new dog and vastly different to the dog we took on as palliative care. After trial and error we’ve found that 2/1/1 is the winning rotation for her (plant/meat/fast).

To anyone considering giving this way of feeding a go for their pet, I say DO IT! Yes, it’ll feel weird at first, yes, it’ll probably be scary at times, but if you stick with it the results are truly astounding. RMF has given my dog’s a quality of life and vitality that I never believed possible. I am most grateful to have found it.

Gemma Lee