Sunday, October 09, 2011

Recipe for Temporary Tummy Trouble

Vida had a little bit of an upset stomach last night and this morning. Enough to disturb her sleep, but still with good energy. Evidence this morning (mucous coating on some of her poop and vomiting some very sticky white muck) led me to not feed her breakfast, however, and instead I gave her herbal tea, waiting a few hours to offer some food. 

Her tea was chamomile and calendula with honey, served room temperature. I made it just like I'd make it for a person, steeping it covered for about 20 minutes, but then let it cool quite a bit more, stirring in the honey with my fingers. She drank it all, about a cup.

Chamomile, as everyone knows, is soothing the stomach. It is helpful for dogs that tend to have "rebellious qi" that results in vomiting. Most people know of Calendula for its skin healing properties, but of course the gastro-intestinal system is the same thing, and calendula tea is slightly astringing too. Honey is soothing, healing, and tasty - an important feature when asking dogs to drink herbal tea.

After a couple of hours and a walk I offered her some steamed eggs. My mom suggested cottage cheese and rice, but really, I think the lightly cooked eggs are a much more species-appropriate light meal. 

My dog is one of those that seems to do better with cooked eggs than raw, so I've come to suggest this way of cooking because it's easy and doesn't require oil, which when heated isn't so healthy (and while I love mine gently cooked with olive oil my dog loves them plain just as well), especially for a dog who may have deeper digestive issues made worse with fats.

Steamed eggs? I got the idea from having worked in a local cafe where we scrambled eggs using the milk steamer nozzle on the espresso machine. You steam them just like you steam milk and they turn out lovely (add your flavor extras right in and cook them with the eggs). So if you have a milk steamer at home have at it.

If you aren't a coffee freak with your own milk steamer at home don't worry, a pan works just fine. Just add water when your whisking your eggs before cooking. I don't measure, but for 2 eggs I add a few tablespoons. A quarter cup wouldn't be too much, all it does is add some flavored moisture, which can't be a bad thing for a bad stomach.

Cook over medium heat. I use cast iron pans myself. You'll begin to see the water bubble and steam as the eggs form. Stir them as usual until their opaque and you're done, there's no need to cook off any excess moisture unless you're having some too and prefer them less wet.

Most important - don't serve the eggs hot to your dog! Put your dog's portion in the freezer for a few minutes to quickly cool them down to room temperature (test them before serving). Just one egg is fine for a medium sized dog, then have them wait until their next regular mealtime for more food if they seem fine.
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