I have a husky-terrier mix, Axel, whom I have self-diagnosed to have CECS (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canine_epileptoid_cramping_syndrome). A couple years ago I noticed on 2 separate occasions total body cramping episodes – there was no foaming at the mouth and he was coherent during the episode. I immediately took him to the ER where they ran tests and determined he was a healthy young dog. Frustrated, I did some research to determine his symptoms to be related to CECS. I had since changed his food from a basic dog chow to a grain-free food and he has not had an episode for 2 years. BUT, for the past year I have had problems with him having explosive diarrhea on and off. I had been feeding him Chef Michaels brand food until it was discontinued, then I switched him to Rachel Ray Zero Grain. This was great for a couple months until he started having diarrhea. Thinking this was a food issue, we switched to grain-free Beyond brand. Again, same situation. I switched to Rachel Ray Nutrish, same situation. I now have him back on Rachael Ray Zero Grain. I have taken him to the vet on several occasions and they just give me antibiotics and tell me to buy their expensive food (not grain-free). He has a normal playful personality even when he has the diarrhea moments. I am at a loss. I don’t want to take him off of a grain-free/gluten-free diet for fear of an episode occurrence, but my carpeting is totaled and I have gone through 2 steam cleaners. Does anyone have any food recommendations that wont break the bank and which is available at grocery stores/big box stores?
out of all the grain free formula’s you have tried what are the common ingredients in all these brands you have been feeding when he has had diarrhea?? is there always tapioca, chicken, peas, beet pulp, potato, chickpeas, fish?? do you feed teh same protein source? go thru all the brands & formula’s you have feed & write down the first 12 ingredients…. do you give any treats, is he eating anything else outside, are you using a flea product, did you change anything the times he’s had diarrhea??
Start keeping a diary & write down every single thing that goes in his mouth & on his skin if the flea meds are spot on’s, when he has diarrhea or starts doing sloppy poo’s…..I have a diary & it sits on loungeroom table & I write down what Patch ate, times, what his pos were like on walks, firm, soft, sloppy, yellow, condom over poo etc when he eats any treats, he’s eating the Hills Vet Diet treats at the moment & doing really well, so if he does get diarrhea I can look back thru his diary & see what has happened or it might be his IBD & he needs his Metronidazole tablets for 14-21 days again….
When you buy a new bag of kibble always read the “Use By Date” & I try & keep getting the same Use By Date Batches, this is what I do when Patch is doing really well, stick with the same Use By Date bags of kibble they always have 12-18 months on the bags of kibbles…..When the diarrhea has happened did you start a new bag of kibble?
also do you store kibble in a cool place, in air tight container?
My boy has IBD & this happens with Patch I’ve given him a food or started introducing him to a new kibble when he gets the rumbles (diarrhea sloppy poos) & I’ve just found out this year he can’t have barley tapioca & chickpeas, or he’s having an IBD flare too much bad bacteria….
Patch does the best on “Taste Of The Wild” Sierra Mountain, Roasted Lamb grain free gluten free formula, it just has 1 meat protein Lamb meal, sweet potato, potato, peas, egg, blueberries, raspberries, Costco sells Kirkland Signature, Nature’s Domain, made by TOTW but cheaper….Kirkland Signature Salmon & Sweet Potato is the same as the TOTW Pacific Stream Smoked Salmon formula, or there’s the Turkey & Sweet Potatoes aswell, the Beef formula has garbanzo beans, you want a kibble with the least ingredients…
Have you tried “4Health” sold thru Tractor Supply, I’ve read alot of dogs with stomach sensitivities do really well on “4Health” grain free limited ingredient formula’s…look at “4Health, Duck & Potato”, it has the less ingredients, it has no beet pulp, no tapioca, no chicken, or there’s
4Health, Special care Sensitive Stomach or Special Care Sensitive Skin, sometimes in certain brands the Sensitive Skin is better then the Sensitive Stomach formula’s, read ingredient list to both formula’s, I think the 4health Sensitive skin is better it has Hydrolyzed Salmon, potato free (he might be sensitive to potato??) & it has less ingredients & it’s higher in Omega 3 what you want for his Skin, Joints, Stomach, Brain, Heart. you can always try both & see which one works best, rotate between the 2, they both might be good…Google “4Health” Tractor Supply also have the wet tin food $1.19c a 13 oz. can
When you rotate foods it helps with food sensitivites & strengthens their immune system..
If after trying either the Kirkland Signature, Natures Domain, Turkey or the Salmon + sweet potatoes formula’s or the 4Health Duck Meal & Potato or Sensitive Skin formula & the same thing happens you might have to ty a limited ingredient grain formula & see does it happen as well?? if it does happen then he might have small intestinal bowel overgrowth S.I.B.O, stop feeding kibbles with Beet Pulp, is poo yellow, is it just a one off diarrhea? or do you need Metronidazole (Flagyl) from the vet to stop the diarrhea & get rid of the bad bacteria in stomach & bowel ??
I had to use the Metronidazole (Antibiotic) maybe three times a year to fix Patches bacteria & kill the bad bacteria cause it takes over the stomach & small bowel when he was eating kibble with Beet Pulp… S.I.B.O…..
Pick a new kibble with different ingredients to what he’s eating at the moment..
Good Luck keep me posted..
I understand how frustrating it can be when something happens to our beloved pets and we can’t find an answer from the doctors. Just remember they are humans, not God’s. Sometimes it’s takes multiple opinions and multiple trips to different doctors to get an answer.
It’s likely that episode you saw was isolated and completely unrelated to diet. CECS has also only been documented in one breed. Continuing to feed her based on a self diagnosis is not helpful as it’s not a true diagnosis.
You may have to use the prescription food just long enough to stop her from having diarrhea. It will cost much more money than a bag of prescription food if she gets dehydrated enough from constantly having diarrhea.
It also sounds like you have changed foods a lot. My question would be did you transition her each time? You did not mention if you did or not.
- This reply was modified 2 years ago by pitlove.
Susan – Thank-you for replying. After comparing the ingredients in all of the foods we have tried with Axel, we noticed common ingredients that you mention (beet root, dried peas, etc). Therefore, I have started to transition (75%, 25%; then 50%,50%) Axel’s food from Rachael Ray Nutrish to the 4Health grain free Duck&Potato and he began to have firmer stool for about a week then diarrhea again. The diarrhea lasted for about 3 days so I added one antibiotic to his food mix for 3 days, which had brought him back to solid poop. I now have him on only 4Health brand food and I have stopped with the antibiotic. So, for the past 2 days Axel has not had any diarrhea. Another possibility to the recent bout with diarrhea could be the water…we recently moved from the city water to well water and I am not sure if this could be a contributing factor; but, anything is possible…
I also add 3oz of boiled boneless skinless chicken breast to my dog’s food as a “treat” (they do not get any other treats) so this is the next variable which I will change if the 4Health food seems to not work.
Thanks again for your help!
@pitlove – Thanks for the reply. Axel is not a purebred, he is a husky/terrier mix and he does have border terrier in his lines (I have had a DNA test done). I do not claim to be a vet; but, the vet did not witness the episodes nor is there a blood test to determine the syndrome; therefore, my gut tells me to “guess” on how to prevent further episodes from occurring. Since changing Axel’s diet to grain-free I have not witnessed an episode. I have been trying foods to no avail for over a year now (ONLY since chef michaels was discontinued). I am keeping my fingers crossed that the 4Health brand food will do the trick!
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