Rabbit for Rena

by Doranna

For the past six weeks, Rena Beagle has been on a rabbit-only diet.

Here’s something that most people don’t ponder very often:  rabbit is a lean meat.  A leeeean meat.  It is not, in fact, enough of anything but lean meat to keep a little girl Beagle going, even when fed whole prey.

(Yes, we got her whole ground rabbit, from the most awesome Hare Today.  Every bit of said rabbit put through the grinder.  And don’t let anyone ever tell you that a dog can’t hork up a hairball.)

So Rena, on her rabbit food, quickly lost weight.  Soon I was giving her twice her normal portion just to maintain what weight she had left, and finally I got her a tummy warmer to wear all the time.

(Sometimes she uses a Dart warmer.)


And let us not talk about what rabbit costs.  No.  Seriously.  I don’t want to think about it.  NA NA NA NA I CAN’T HEAR YOU ASKING.*


George Takai reviews the Whole Fresh Rabbit!: “Brad and I were very excited to order a few of these delectable beauties in order to reenact the skinning and spitting-over-an-open-fire scene from Game of Thrones…”

*Between $5-9/pound.  Rena was eating a pound a day.  NA NA NA NA NA STOP DOING MATH!

The whole point of the diet was to eliminate the possibility that Rena might have food allergies that were causing her some stomach upset which in turn was causing some inflammation in her palate which in turn was causing the incredible, unpredictable, horrifying backwards sneezing that has been escalating for her since it very suddenly started in mid-August at the end of an agility trial run, darned near stopping the entire trial with its drama.

(See what I did there?  All in one sentence!)

Now, I’m no stranger to backwards sneezing.  ConneryBeagle has been through this mess with his own headsplosion crisis, which took years to semi-resolve and resulted in two major ligament injuries for him due to the inhaler meds.

So I know what’s normal, what’s a problem for the dog, and when a certain small girl Beagle nearly passes out from the rising severity of it all.  So we treated her for all the easily-treatable things that could be messing with her and put her on this diet.  Why rabbit?

Because as a dog on a varied raw food diet, she’d already had exposure to just about everything else.

Finally, after six weeks–with the problem still escalating and no other evident cause–Auntie Vet and I made the decision to have a rhino$copy done.


And at that point, Rena was allowed a second protein source–a moment I had planned weeks earlier.  Mutton.  Nice fatty mutton.  I added mutton, took her overall portion down by a quarter, and lo…in one week, she’d gained a full pound.  Which I know because at one week, she went back in for the rhino$copy, and the first thing I did was weigh her.

I have to admit, one of my biggest fears in terms of results was that we would have no results at all.  We really didn’t suspect a tumor, because such things in the facial area tend to be fast growing and we though we would see other signs by that point.

We did think there could be a structural abnormality or a foreign object.  My fervent hope was for “easily removed foreign object.”

There was no such thing.  Auntie Vet found only some generalized inflammation and a more intense area of inflammation, which she sampled and sent off to biopsy.  Meanwhile, Rena came right on home.

Unlike ConneryBeagle, who took weeks to recover from his rhinoscopy and sneezed a lot of blood along the way, Rena arrived home and demanded food, play, and time to dance her special footie dance.  Thank goodness.



Gratuitous Connery Photobomb included free of charge.  And if you think that’s skinny, you should have seen her a week ago.

That was days ago–now she looks better yet.  And that is the story of Rena on rabbit, and why we’re waiting for biopsy results…and why I have several essential oil blends on order for her, and why she’s about to start on mushrooms, too.  We are stabbing somewhat wildly for something that will help…without hurting.

Wish us luck!  Miss Rena says it’s time for something to be easy.


About Doranna

My books are SF/F, mystery, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense. My dogs are Beagles, my home is the Southwest, and the horse wants a cookie!
This entry was posted in Rena Beagle, The Dogs! and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Rabbit for Rena

  1. Babette Beagle says:

    Rena Beagle! It is I, Babette Beagle! I have awful reverse sneezy things, too. I get to wheezing, especially when I am excited, and then I just cannot breathe. My Auntie Vet Adrienne heard me wheezing when we came to get the Harper his license, and gave me something she called “Thuja 1M, once.” I have only sneezed a little bit since them, and I am glad. I hope YourNewMom finds an answer for you and that you have a very good Holiday.

    • Rena Beagle says:

      I am Here! I have decided to call the New Mom the Now Mom because she is not New anymore but she is still not the Only.

      What sort of Thuja did you get? Was it in those tiny pills or a liquid? The moms need details to get these things right. I will be taking a CORDYCEPS mushroom today. I hope that helps because I did a huge Inside Out Wheezing last night and I was Not Pleased! The Now Mom is not impressed that she took a tiny bit and on that Very Day she got the start of a Big Sick that she still has. We Will See.

      • Babette Beagle says:

        Rena Beagle! I like “The Now Mom!” Auntie Vet Adrienne gave me the tiny pills. There are bigger pills that Humans use, and very, very tiny pills that Auntie Vet uses for Us Hounds. But she said the people pills would work for Hounds, too. It has been several paws of days since I had it, and my nose has not turned itself inside out once, even though I have sneezed a little. (Where I live is very Wet and there is Much to make a Hound sneeze.) Not Sneezing is a Good Thing. Did you enjoy the rabbit? I have not had rabbit, but My Missy says we will get Game Hen for Christmas.

      • Babette Beagle says:

        PS, I am not sure about MUSHROOMS. They grow around here and every time I have sniffed one, I sneeze. So I try not to sniff them any more. But maybe the CORDYCEPS is a different kind than what grows here when it has been wet, wet, wet!

        • Rena Beagle says:

          That is good information about the tiny pills!

  2. Robert says:

    voting for easy. adversity is highly over rated in both people and dogs.

  3. Kristina Forsyth says:

    It is awesome that Rena can eat mutton now too (see, looking at the positive) and while eliminating the possibility of food allergy is not as reassuring as identifying the real problem, at least it is a step. When do you get the biopsy result?

    • Doranna says:

      We hope it won’t be too long–after Christmas sometime.

      It is *totally* awesome that Rena can now have mutton. Starting the day after Christmas, she can add another protein, and it’ll be turkey, since turkey hearts are one of our mainstays and we also have a really fatty turkey frame grind from Omas–fat *and* bone. That balance will leave her a little shy of organ until the next two weeks pass, at which point I’ll add beef because the organ mix we buy is beef, and I can balance her out with it.

      • Marilyn says:

        Curious about the organ mix you get. (I know about Hare Today. $$$$$ but good stuff. My sister used to get stuff from them when she lived in Ohio.) I can get beef heart around here, and I cut it into small pieces and dry it for training treats. Ditto liver. Haven’t had a lot of luck finding kidney.

        • Marilyn says:

          Oops. Forgot about HTML and angle brackets. Make that opening “Fingers crossed on biopsy.”

        • Doranna says:

          We were getting kidney without any problem, but have switched to an organ mix done by a local friend. Not of much help, I’m afraid!

          Hare Today is awesome (I could wish that their bags weren’t consistently torn, so didn’t leak everywhere when thawing, but to be fair I haven’t given them feedback about this, either…), but as you say $$$. I’ll probably continue to order now and then once Rena is done with this simply because they have the best products–whole ground and meaty bones!–and it’s good to keep some variety in the mix.

  4. Patty says:

    People who tried to live on rabbit alone sometimes died of rabbit starvation. Same for trying to live on starving caribou–need the fat with the protein! Glad Rena-beagle is getting mutton. She is welcome to come visit Rena-Cat–who is overweight–hmmm. Maybe Rena-Cat needs the rabbit diet…

    • Doranna says:

      I’m familiar with the starving people–I was surprised when rabbit was the suggested meat (I was hoping for lamb, because she’s only ever had one lamb bone). Of course, they presumably weren’t eating the whole rabbit, skin and all, so I think Rena was getting more goodies for her size than some. Either way, she’s definitely gaining better form now that she’s got the mutton! After another three days, I can add turkey, and the rabbit will trickle away.

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