Dealing with bowel disease – please help!

Dog Food Advisor Forums Diet and Health Dealing with bowel disease – please help!

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  • #85189 Report Abuse

    Heather C
    Member

    Recently my dog was diagnosed with bowel disease, he is 7 or 8 year old rescue (we think border collie or Aussie shepherd mix). He had 4 pancreatic attacks, one in 2014, and 3 in 2015. At first we thought it was chorionic pancreatitis but when his last 2 episodes were a month apart (one in Oct/nov and the next in Dec) we decided something else was wrong and went to get a second opinion. We took him to an internal specaltist where they performed a colonoscopy and endoduoscopy (spelling?) and a biopsy on his digestive system – the results were Bowel Disease. During this last episode he lost 6 pounds, down from 38 to 32 pounds. We switched him to Royal Canine white fish and potato prescription diet and give him Pepcid 30 minutes before his breakfast and dinner – though we’ve spaced his meals in smaller portions 3 times a day (1 cup at a time, 3 cups total). The food seems to agree with him and his stool has never looked better and he’s been healthy since February of this year (it is now April). He has also put on some weight and is just under 35 pounds (the vet would like him to be 35-37 due to his hip dysplaysia). He was very interested in eating his food at first, but over time he’s had less of an appetite. He picks at his breakfast and lunch and I can’t even get him interested in dinner. I’m concerned because he’s still under the weight the vet wants him to be at. I’ve tried stuffing his food in Kongs and other food dispensing toys and that was working great and normally I can get him to finish his meals that way, but again, the past few days he’s really lost his appetite and seems very uninterested in even that. My husband thinks the Kong toys aren’t challenging enough for him and he’s bored of them, but my gut says it’s something else. Otherwise he seems like his normal happy self and has good energy. This is really tough, my baby has been through so much and I don’t want to sound like a crazy pet parent, my husband thinks I’m over thinking it since his stools still look good. Is this normal? Should I be concerned? If anyone has delt with bowel disease with their dog and has suggestions, advice or just kind words to share I would deeply appreciate it.

    #85191 Report Abuse

    Susan
    Member

    Hi, Patch 7 yrs old suffers with IBD, Helicobacter-Pylori (bad Acid Reflux) & Pancreatitis sounds like the Pepcid isn’t working anymore or he doesn’t need it any more or what are you putting in the Kongs ?? its not Peanut Butter? or his kibble needs changing its making him feel sick …..IBD can make them feel sick especially after they eat…Patch wakes up feeling good he eats breakfast then from 9am to 12pm he doesn’t feel well some mornings. Grass seems to be the only thing that makes him feel better, I have stopped giving the ant acids now…. only use as needed..

    Try stopping the Pepcid for a couple of days & see if he feels better, Patch vomited when he took the Pepcid & was put on Zantac (Ranitidine) instead given 30mins before breakfast & dinner given every 12 hours, then after 3 months it didn’t seem to work anymore, he still had bad acid reflux & was still grinding his teeth & vomiting yellow acid some mornings but he was eating a vet diet that had fish oil & Beet Pulp in kibble that made his acid reflux worse…
    I now only give liquid Mylanta 4-5mls in a syringe kept in the fridge only when he needs it, the Mylanta seems to work the best…..
    I started to realise Patch wasn’t making enough stomach acid & some days he wasn’t getting acid reflux & I was still giving him ant acid medication, so stomach wasn’t working properly…. as we get older we make less hydrochloric acid it’s called “Hypochlorhydria”

    Vet didn’t want Patch on Losec (Omeprazole) cause its a Pump Proton Inhibitor (PPI) & you can not just stop taking a PPI Losec after you have taken it for more then 3 weeks but vet did say I can give Patch the Losec 10mg for 3-4 days then I stop but only when Patch has bad acid reflux…Zantac & Pepcid can be stopped at anytime…So be careful if vet puts him on a PPI…

    I have found I have to keep changing Patches kibbles & rotating them & no vet diets, if he stays on the same kibble for more then 2 months, his acid reflux starts to come back also I read when they have acid reflux they need a low fiber kibble 3-4% fiber & no Beet Pulp, Does the kibble he’s eating have “Beet Pulp” ?? it makes their poos look beautiful & firm, so everything looks OK cause poos are firm & look good, its the beet pulp making the poos firm…most vet diets use Beet Pulp….
    When the Kibble has beet Pulp it made Patches acid reflux bad again, I started doing so much research & read low fiber diets are best when they have Acid Reflux thru IBD & if you can start feeding a balanced cooked diet will be better then eating a kibble, feed lean meats boil some potatoes, sweet potato & green vegetables, Google Dr Judy Morgan she has easy to follow recipes on You-Tube & she uses the Honest Kitchen Base Mixes in some of her meals you just add the meat & the Base Mixes balances the meal, she also has supplements to balance the cooked meals also have a look at the Honest Kitchen Zeal its low in fat & excellent for dogs with Pancreatitis & IBD…you just add warm water..
    http://www.thehonestkitchen.com/dog-food/zeal
    I started feeding cooked chicken breast, sweet potato & broccoli & replacing 1 kibble meal, I’m feeding “Taste Of The Wild” Sierra Mountain now, I’m going to try Canidae Pure Land you cant have too much high fat in a kibble with acid reflux so I normally stay around 10-14% for fat but in Australia we have 1 low fat grain free kibble & the fiber is high 5%….I’m waiting cause Canidae has 4 new grain free formulas, Pure Meadows, is for seniors & is 10% fat & limited ingredients & grain free, if you live in America you can get the Canidae Pure Meadow.. I also want to try the Pure Wild its boar & Pork…
    I was feeding Patch Salmon & Sardine kibbles but I think the fish gives him his acid reflux also certain kibbles he starts getting his pain right side pancreas/stomach area & wants me to rub the chest area, he starts his whinging when he has his pain again & doesn’t really want to eat so I change his food, I have to introduce the new kibble over 1 week……I make sure the kibble doesn’t have fish oil & has limited ingredients…. I wish they could talk….. if you can cook & freeze meals give it a try cause kibble is hard to digest especially on the pancreas….

    #85192 Report Abuse

    Heather C
    Member

    Thanks for getting back and so sad to hear about your pup! The only thing our dog eats is the prescribed food, kibble and wet, even when we stuff his Kongs. Outside of that its water and occasionally he too will eat grass – though I haven’t seen him eat grass in a while (we used to joke he was part cow but now realize it was because of his digestive system … Poor guy). When we thought he had chronic pancreatitis we actually had him on a home cooked meal with a supplement, but it never agreed with him (and we did try slowly changing him to a few different recipes per our vet). The Royal Canine Potatoe Whitefish doesn’t have any beet pulp, and it’s not a kibble that can just be picked up at the vet, even the vet has to special order it. It’s also hydrolized so the protein is broken down to its smallest digestible form. Stool wise it is the best we’ve seen – before he would strain to go, have diarrhea, blood, mucus like substance, etc, it was terrible. I’m not against a home cooked diet and I’m not against something more holistic, but we’ve been down that road to disappointing results – though we thought we were treating chronic pancreatitis and not bowel disease at the time. {Sigh}

    The strange thing is other than not wanting to eat as much he seems normal, he’s sleeping through the night, he’s not grinding his teeth or vomiting like Patch … It’s just really frustrating and I agree, I wish he could just talk to me.

    You’ve given a lot of helpful information and I’m curious about the Pepcid. I may reach out to the vet much to the chagrin of my husband – I’d rather be safe than sorry. If you have any other advice let me know.

    #85198 Report Abuse

    Susan
    Member

    Hi Heather, is there another vet diet that’s hydrolysed like Rabbit or Venison & ask vet can you give that a try cause he’s losing his appetite eating the fish all the time & then rotate between the 2 flavours, give him more of a variety….

    #85209 Report Abuse

    Heather C
    Member

    Hey Susan, that’s actually a really great idea! I’ll totally keep that in my back pocket. My husband suggested we try more wet food mixed in with his kibble. Normally I don’t do a lot, but this time I gave him half and half and he snarfed it down! Fingers crossed it’s that simple, but am definitely going to mention your suggestion to the vet on the next visit.

    Also I wanted to ask if any pet parents who have a dog with bowel disease have any good suggestions for food dispensing toys. My dog loved his bullysticks and rawhides and obviously that’s off the table … But something he can sit with quietly and work on for hours. We have the original Kong, a food wobbler and the Kong duets kibble dispenser but he goes through them so quickly.

    #85211 Report Abuse

    Susan
    Member

    Hi, I’d be asking vet can you start re introducing foods or a lean protein back into his diet, say Rabbit, Kangaroo, Venison & make your own fresh jerky, after Patch was on a Vet Diet for 9 months I was allowed to start adding 1 new food into his diet, I now give Patch little cut up pieces of peeled, seeded apple…… I started with 1 small piece first week then increased to 2 small pieces 2nd week… Now Patch eats 1/8th of a apple, I cut out about 1/8th of the apple & wrap rest of apple in plastic wrap & put in the fridge for the next day…. I peel the skin off, I cut out bit of the core & seeds, I then make Patch sit & chew each pieces of apple…He loves apples, watermelon & rock melon…… They say apple cleans our teeth, I only buy the Red Apples the sweet apples, the green granny smith apples are bitter & acidy.
    …..also Hills make Hypoallergenic treats I’m pretty sure look on the Hills Web page..

    #85244 Report Abuse

    Bobbie S
    Member

    Hi – looks like your pup is a bully breed – so is our boxer we recently rescued. When we picked him up they said he had stress diarrhea – and had him on some prescription GI food. Didn’t help. So moved him to a grain free TOTW – better. Then switched to TOTW fish based
    but both Duke and our Jack Russell have been eating grass. Lots of it. So after doing some research, found out often BULLY BREEDS are sensitive to Peas!

    so found Natural Balance limited ingredient – grain free with kangaroo – and no peas. And only 330kcal/cup so they get the volume to satisfy them. IT WORKED no more grass eating for them both. I did notice that the review of the food isn’t that good, but it is agreeing with my boys so until I can find another grain and pea free with a unique protein (don’t like chicken or beef) this is what they will eat. And they do love it…..

    good luck. We had a boxer in the past with megaesophagus – had to feed him with a raised bowl with the food in a slurry. Then he had to sit and I rubbed his chest and chin until he “burped”. Really stopped the vomiting.

    #85279 Report Abuse

    Susan
    Member

    Hi Bobbie, why your dogs are probably doing better on the Natural Balance is the Protein % & fat % is lower, that’s why Natural Balance gets less stars cause of the lower protein…..some dogs do better on a lower fat & lower protein kibble… I can’t get Natural Balance in Australia… Did you try the Potato & Fish?? then rotate between the 2 kibbles….

    #85285 Report Abuse

    Greg F
    Member

    We recently lost a 5 year battle with IBD. I think between the disease and long term meds this disease started throwing off the liver and possibly brought on lymphoma. Diseases with dogs like humans are often a mistery and what works for one doesn’t on another. When foods and meds aren’t working changes need to be made. We had the lymphocytes IBD and PLE. Most experts think this should be treated with a novel protein, very low fat and lower fiber. I came across (too late) an excellent vetinarian food by Rayne Clinical Nutrition out of Australia. They have a Low Fat Kangaroo dry and can food. The dry has 26% protein, 6% fat and low fiber. My dog liked the kibble and wasn’t eating the can. They say the can is less processed and probably better however is very expensive. The dry runs about $3.50/#.
    If you aren’t aware there is a 1000 member on Facebook called Dogs with Inflamitory Bowel Disorder. You have to go trough a wait period to get excepted into the group. There is a lot of input from owners. It is here where a person had his dog on the Rayne wet food for the past year with excellent results. He said “I think all IBD dogs should be on this food”.
    If wet is too expensive for you you can go dry or mix the two together.

    #85287 Report Abuse

    Susan
    Member

    Hi Greg, sorry for your loss 🙁 thru your dog suffering you can now help other people, something good may come out of it all….. IBD is an awful disease, awful…. Yes “Rayne Nutrition” is excellent for dogs with GI problems & its made in Canada, I wish it was made in Australian, the Kangaroo is Australian but not made in Australia.. http://www.raynenutrition.com/

    #85293 Report Abuse

    M F
    Member

    Hi Heather, My dog was diagnosed with Pancreatitis at only two years of age and she was put on Hills WD chicken and rice, that worked good for her for a number of years but then at age 13 she was diagnosed with IBD and she could no longer tolerate the Hills WD because at that time they had made a slight change to their formula, now let me say I am not a fan of Hills they really aren’t that highly rate. I cooked for her for close to a year trying to find food she could keep down, then I discovered Royal Canine Gastrointestinal Low Fat dry dog food Chicken and Rice formula and she did great on that and lived to be seventeen years old, I also found that giving her salt free soda crackers at night before bedtime broken up with a little water on them helped to avoid an upset tummy in the morning, she could also tolerate carrots for treats which I think helped give her extra fiber, of course what works for one dog doesn’t necessarily work for another, I wish you good luck, I thought perhaps you might also try some boiled boneless skinless chicken ground up in a grinder very small and then stir a tablespoon of that in with the try, maybe it will entice him to eat.

    #85296 Report Abuse

    RRLOVER
    Member

    Hi Heather,

    I also have an IBD dog, confirmed by biopsy via endoscopy.

    You aren’t a “crazy pet parent” for worrying about low appetite in an IBD dog. Low appetite in an IBD dog can indicate that the inflammation isn’t totally under control with the new diet. I would say its worth mentioning to your specialist, particularly if it doesnt totally resolve, or continues to repeat itself. In my experience it’s always better to ask an expert.

    There’s also a yahoo group for people with dogs with IBD, IBDogs.

    GREG – if I recall correctly you posted here a few months ago, when the IBD/PLE worsened? I’m so sorry for your loss.

    #85309 Report Abuse

    Greg F
    Member

    Rrlover
    Yes I was I started a topic on IBD dog 2 months ago when we had a flare up and almost lost her. She bounced back with new medication and 4 days in the hospital. About a week ago she started deterioring. The vet thinks it might have been lymphoma the was masked by the new meds.
    I read an article by Karen Becker that said this can happen by a length bout with IBD and continued use of drugs. I can’t help wonder if different drugs or diet started 5 years ago would have made a difference.
    With all the hype about raw food I wonder if any dogs that were always on raw ever picked up this disease? Have any does with IBD switched over to raw were able to get off the meds?

    #85351 Report Abuse

    Heather C
    Member

    thank you everyone for your input and sharing your stories. So glad to find a forum to get advice, I also joined the Facebook group. It’s so sad that more isn’t known about this terrible disease. I would do just about anything to cure this in my dog, I certainly wouldn’t wish it on any creature or my worse enemy. Everyday I try to see this as a blessing because so far we are able to give him the care he needs. He is such a sweet boy and everyone comments how special and loveable he is, they can’t believe he’s sick. It does seem like doing half wet food has completely changed his appetite and he’s really excited to eat. Hopefully it keeps up and fingers crossed he can be on this diet for a while. If not we’ll do everything to make sure he’s happy and healthy. It’s super helpful to get advice from everyone and hear your experience, I feel like there are tons of articles about bowel disease but not many about living with it day to day and that’s where this forum is super helpful. Thanks again for all of your input.

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