We have an 8 y/o Havanese with IBD for the past 5 years. Throughout this time she has been on low dose predizone to keep her albumen numbers in the normal range. We were keeping her on a low fat HK Zeal with success until reasently when hears numbers dropped, lost weight and started passing her food through without much digestion. We started transitioning her to GL Valor fish with higher fat and calories to gain weight and she started having more stool volume and less digestion. The vet had us increase the predizone to settle the inflammation.
We went out looking for a new food and are considering Primal Venison raw complete food, however have some concerns with her IBD and sensitive bowel.
Has anyone had success with a diet and able to virtually eliminate drugs?
Try Pro Plan Select Sensitive Skin & Stomach. It has helped countless dogs with this problem.
Listen to your vet and if an RX food is required do that.
I would want to get to the root cause, and this information from Dr. Karen Becker is a good start:
Have you ever tried probiotics and enzymes? They go a long way in healing the gut. I like brands that do third party testing so I know product is pure, like Animal Essentials, Standard Process, Mercola, Dr. Peter Tobias, Nordic Naturals. Compromised animals don’t need any more unnecessary burdens. That’s also the reason using only natural grooming and household products are important…..all chemical products should be replaced with natural ones, since they can aggravate symptoms.
Also, check out these reviews on Perfect Form, which helped my IBD pup more than meds.
Canned pumpkin can also help.
I would seriously consider doing a phone consultation with a holistic vet like Dr. Karen Becker. There’s a link to a list of holistic vets in the Dr. Karen Becker article as well.
While conventional medicine has its place, the vast majority of veterinarians have little knowledge about nutrition/ healing, and only treat symptoms, while ignoring the root cause of illness. This is believed to push dis-ease further into the body. Holistic vets attempt to help the body heal naturally, which increases health, well being and vitality. That is the direction I would go.
Hi Greg, my boy was diagnosed with IBD thru biopsies 2013, I contacted a Naturopath thru email first to see if she knew anything about IBD & she did, so I booked a consultation over phone she rings you or does Skype for overseas….
Here’s her link her “Maintenance Diet” http://www.naturalanimalsolutions.com.au/natural-diet.html
I told her everything about Patches health, she said it sounds like Patches Pancreas isn’t doing its job & working properly & we need to fix Patches gut……
Jacqueline put Patch on the home made raw “Maintenance Diet” she would not let me buy any of those premade raw diets she said, she has seen them being made & they are not good for dogs especially if they have any health problems especially IBD…..
I had to pick 2 proteins, I picked Kangaroo mince & Chicken breast, 2-4 veggies, I picked, broccoli, celery, carrot & 1-2 fruits I pick apple, all veggies & fruit must be washed & peeled then cut & put thru a blender, for breakfast I feed 1 cup protein kangaroo & add 1-2 spoons of the blended veggie/fruit mix also had to add Digestive Enzymes 1/2 capsule & live probiotic 1/2 capsule per meal…..she told me freeze the veggie/fruit mix in 2 spoon sections & freeze the meats separate in 1 cup sections, it was so easy to do, then when Patch was doing firm stools & was OK which was the next day, I was surprised he did the firmest poo I’ve ever seen, Jacqueline promised me he would, she said the Digestive enzymes & probiotic will firm stools & they did, then I could start to add the DigestaVite Plus Powder 1/4 teaspoon then increase after 1 week.
You need to add supplements & ingredients slowely 1 at a time over 5 days cause if something goes wrong you will not know what is causing the problem……. Less is best in the beginning 🙂 also she told me No bone, some IBD dogs don’t do well eating bone……
I now cook this diet minus any meaty bones & add potato, zucchini….
Sounds like your dog Pancreas isn’t working properly either, not digesting her food properly, I would start with cooking first & see how she does, its fresh & you know what you have cooked, I freeze 2 weeks worth of meals….
have you heard of “Balance It” http://secure.balanceit.com/….Balance It gives you recipes to suit your dogs health problems takes about 20 sec then gives you all recipes, shows you how many calories, how much fat, protein fiber is in that meal & you can contact a their Vet Nutritionist….
Have you tried a digestive enzyme?? instead of increasing the steroid…..also have you tried Metronidazole (flagyl) for 2 weeks, the Metronidazole often fixes things up & kills the bad bacteria these dogs have problems with, Patch has a few scripts of the Metronidazole in the cupboard & I put him on it for 2 weeks as soon as I start to see his poos going yellow & sloppy & smelling bad….Good Luck
Susan, so good to hear how well Patches is doing! I may do a phone consult for nutritional advice. The supplements look excellent too.
Thank you Everyone. I didn’t see these replays until now. We had another slip in Maddies health and took her to a Diplomate specialist who studied at Texas A&M. Her albumin is down to 1.2 is not eating, extended liver and very lethargic. The vet said predizone is not working and added Atopica, Mirtazipine and Cerenia with hopes to wean off of the prednisone. After he consulted with our vet up north he said they could admit her put on IV and more testing for another cause of the liver issue for approximately $5000-6000.
We are grasping at straws and may try Some enzymes if she starts eating.
We are not sure if we want to put her through the testing on this 8 y/o dog.
I’ve had her on Geneflora probiotic for the last 2 weeks.
Not a good day.
Hi Greg, so sorry about Maddie. My dog also has IBD (confirmed via biopsy).
Dogs with PLE (“low albumin/protein”) need A very LOW FAT high protein diet. Smaller more frequent meals (like 4- 5 a day) with a slightly larger total daily food volume can also sometimes help. Your vet might be able to suggest a specific diet.
Hope Maddie feels better soon.
I just lost my lengthy reply so I’m going to be more concise. Right now we are trying to get her to eat anything to get her to survive; eating cooked chicken, sweet potatoe and duck treats and ice chips (not drinking either). We were on HK Zeal which is dehydrated grainless fish with 35% protein and 8.5 % fat. When I transitioned in Gramma Lucy’s dehydrate fish and Primal raw venison with more fat and calories she turned worse. I’m not sure it is food related. The new vet thinks her 5 years survival with IBD is much better than most??
Tonight she will only eat very small bits every 2 hours.
If she makes it through this (now also has an extended liver and numbers off the charts high) I will reintroduce the Zeal with more smaller meals. I’m assuming the dehydrated novel protein is beneficial and not detrimental. I just wonder if the fish is novel enough.
Thank you for your suggestions.
I have no experience in this which is why I haven’t posted but if she is doing well on THK Zeal, I’d keep feeding it. Keeping you & Maddie in my prayers.
Sending healing thoughts to you and Maddie! The liver problem sounds complicated, hopefully the change in medications does the trick.
Jeffery T had some good advice.
My dog has also been experiencing symptoms of IBD and pancreatitis off & on for the past yr.
After much research and different gets & specialists I have it pretty under control (knock wood).
The most recent specialist was adamant about not giving her any raw meat or goat milk. She was put on a probiotic, pumpkin, bland diet, etc.
It’s been 2 months w/o relapse so I’m thinking of getting her off the prescription can food and trying something else. She gets very little kibble. Not even 1 cup/day.
She continues to get 30 mg Pepcid 2x/day and 2 Tbsp pumpkin for breakfast.
My problem with changing her diet is that low fat is recommended and she’s so active. Keeping weight on her can be tough.
I’m told to try a food with highest protein possible, low carbs and 10% fat on DRY MATTER BASIS (cans seems to be working better for her). Because she’s a GSD that’s kind of low as they really should have about 19% fat. So we’ll see.
The lower the meat protein, the more carbs there will be in the food. The source of the carbs can be difficult on the GI.
The kibble she gets now is Wysong And then
Her wet food is i/d. Usually turkey. Sometimes the stew (not her favorite) or chicken (that’s low fat).
I’m about to try Wysong Epigen cans.
Basically I have had success so far by cutting out raw animal products, probios, pumpkin and lower fat & carbs.
You may find adding enzymes to be helpful also. And maybe even try a novel protein. (If you choose fish be certain no one uses Ethoxyquin as a preservative.)
Remember to make sure the makers of your supplements aren’t sourcing anything from China.
Good luck to you.
Thanks for the reply. We admitted Maddie today around 2:00 to give her the best chance for recovery and hope the new drugs start working. She is on IV, feeding tube and pain meds. They are redoing the ultrasound to check out the pancreas and see if there are other diseases ongoing. In 2-3 days we will evaluate and make some decisions.
The diet you mentioned makes sense to me. In fact I was just checking out the Wysong Epigen kibble for the high protein low carb content.
I think if she makes it past this I will go all out and start making a home food that is an approved balanced recipe. I believe a dog in Maddies health cannot tolerate any problems that commercial dog food can have. Raw is good for many dogs but you can’t take the chance with dogs in Maddies condition.
An interesting comment from the new vet: some dogs with IBD respond to a diet change and the others will always be on medication.
I’m so sorry to hear your Maddie is in hospital. I hope something works for her soon and forever. It’s the worst when they can’t figure out what exactly is wrong.
At first they thought my girl’s problem was acute pancreatitis. Then figured inflammed bowel from the powerful antibiotic to treat Lyme. She had every imaginable blood test and a lot of x-rays & ultrasounds, sub-q fluids (she tends to stop drinking). Went on that ride twice. And other things in between.
This last time I took her to a specialist referred to by the emergency hospital. It was him who said to stop all raw & blah blah blah. Her numbers went back to normal with all his suggestions.
I did have another dog a long time ago that had IBD/IBS. At the beginning he was on Prednisone and Imodium. Then weened off both. Tweaked his diet and he never had a really bad episode again. When symptoms did start he was given a much smaller dose of steroid, bland diet for a few days and he was fine again.
My point is that if your usual vet isn’t getting you anywhere, then have another take a look. Sometimes a fresh set of eyes sees something else. This last ultrasound he looked at every single organ very carefully and didn’t blame everything on the Lyme.
Make sure when she gets home you put a lot of water in her meals. Dehydration makes things so much worse and it helps to keep things going thru the gut.
If it means taking meds and/or supplements for life that’s a small price to pay for her being otherwise healthy.
I truly hope you get answers very soon and she gets well. It’s heart wrenching to see them suffering and uncomfortable and not being able to do anything.
Please keep us in the loop. Best of luck. She’s lucky to have a person like you.
Well I think everyone’s prayers worked. After 2 days in the hospital and no positive signs we waited for the vets 10 am call knowing we gave it all and we prepared ourself so for putting an end to her mistery. Then the vet said she turned the corner and we should give her another 2 days in their care and would come home Tuesday. She is down to 8 1/2 lbs from a normal weight of 11. After 2 days she is eating, firm stools and perky.
We are giving her Hills D/D duck, Primal raw venison cooked, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and a little cottage on top at first to eat the food.
We may still be dealing with lymphoma in addition to IBD and PLE and won’t be doing additional testing and chemo since it won’t buy much time.
I’m considering a consultation with Dr Becker or buying her home recipe book. In the near future I think we will go with fresh venison (low fat) cooked and THK base. This way it is safe and should give her a complete novel high protein, low fat low carb diet with an option to go to an all home cooked meal. Not sure on the supplements.
Thanks for all your thoughts and help.
Good news, Greg F. Don’t forget about http://www.balanceit.com for balanced homemade recipes. They also sell the supplements. Best wishes!
This is wonderful news! I’m so glad Maddie is doing better. Kudos to YOU for taking such good care of her!
Couldn’t be happier to hear such great news!
Perhaps you should get a definitive diagnosis on the lymphoma. Diet can be helpful for certain cancers.
When 2 of my dogs had cancer I used a holistic vet as well as my conventional vet & oncologists. He was a tremendous asset to their care & quality of life.
I love so much of Dr. Becker’s advice, but I do get very aggravated by her constant “species appropriate diet” preaching. She has a huge agenda in regards to that. It seems like she thinks it’s a cure all. Not all dogs do well on raw diets. Any evidence of thriving is anecdotal not scientific.
Just be aware of anyone pushing their products/agenda when seeking medical help. This is not to say they don’t work. It just may be sales is more of a priority than your individual dog’s needs.
I wish your dog has continued good health. And you have many great years with her.
Hi Greg – I did buy Dr Becker’s book – it is helpful but the recipes are very complicated because of the need to mix your own supplements – which can include a dozen or more vitamins and minerals in minute to large amounts. I then researched to find recipes and a pre-mixed supplement and had a consultation with my vet and Hilary Watson of Hilary’s Blend. I followed her program closely – everything measured to the gram, cooked according to the recipes and no substitutions. Ingredients included boneless chicken breasts, wild catch salmon, lean ground beef – with rice or potatoes and fruit and vegetables along with the supplements. Cooking for 2 dogs approx. 45 lb. each was a huge effort which I was willing to continue. My dogs did not do well on this program – while it may not be related, the 11 month old has been diagnosed with pancreatitis and the 4 year old doesn’t seem to be able to digest brown rice and/or chicken. We are now on Hills ID for the 4 year old and Royal Canin gastro low fat for the baby. I’ve also tried raw (violently ill). So while I still think that home cooking should be better (especially when you use quality ingredients), my experience is that the dogs do better on commercial kibble and canned.
I’m also a little skeptical of Dr Becker and Meracola and how they push and sell products. I wanted to see what is in her book however on Amazon you can’t “See Inside” before you buy like most books. I wanted to see if she had recipes specifically for IBD.
As for the lymphoma the vet said if she has it the type she would have only would gain her 3 months with treatment. Other than weight and hair loss she is pretty good appearance wise. I do wish we had a good holistic vet in southwest Florida to consult without pushing services and products.
Unless I get comfortable with home cooking I plan to buy THK Kindly dehydrated base mix and mix in cooked venison from the bucher. This should give her a high quality product that has moisture, high protein and low fat and carbs which most people agree is good for IBD. I don’t think for quite some time we can consider the raw protein source.
I will however continue my research on cancer fighting foods and will be very interested in the follow up tests next Wednesday.
Thank you for your input.
It is good to see your experience unlike many supports my plan of feeding. I think you probably have more options than I do since we need a novel protein. If your current diet stops working or you want more protein two foods I’ve use that may work are THK Zeal and Natures Variety Instinct Raw Boost Healty Weight. Our other two Havanese are on NV and have excellent weight, energy and stools. It has 34% protein and 12 % fat which should be good for pancreatic issues.
The Zeal is 35% protein and only 8.5 % fat while giving you the benefits of more moisture and less proscessing than kibble. Zeal worked well with the IBD dog for sometime until we had a flare up. I think the fish was not a novel enough protein as venison or duck as needed for IBD.
I have a minuature Poodle with Colitis, IBS and all possible due to his low acid stoamch production. After years on a Vegetable diet he is now low on nutrients. I. Change to mostly raw foods, lamb, veggies and early mornings fruits. The problem now is Costipation to the point of Colitis episodes and bacterial infection. I lived in Honduras, Central America, no good Dog food available here so, any ideas on what can help to help him eliminating the protein and veggie waste??
His digetion has gotten better using Apple Cider Vinegar.
Greg, I’m so glad Maddie is doing well. It’s certainly has much to do with her person. I sometimes feel like I’m being condescending so please don’t take it that way. Clearly you are not an idiot who will buy into and purchase all the products some vets & sites push. I’m relieved to see someone doing careful research.
I love THK and would prefer to feed only that. It’s just not possible right now as my puppy and another dog set half my kitchen on fire. The mixes they recommend for my dogs’ needs require me to add the protein.
I’m also glad to see that I am not the only person who doesn’t buy into completely raw as the cure all for every dog.
Too bad their isn’t a holistic vet near you.
I work at a horse farm. Everyone has dogs and everyone raises & feeds them very differently. I’ll people I know & trust if they’ve ever had a dog with lymphoma. We have a lot of different vets as well. Quite a few are holistic/alternative and some practice all schools of medicine.
Also I wanted to let you know that I’m not questioning or judging your treatment choices for the lymphoma. I had a dog that would have had a miserable quality if life if we treated his cancer. But maybe would’ve have survived 6-9 months. Sadly we had 5 wks from the time of diagnosis, but is was a wonderful 5 wks. He didn’t suffer at all. That’s the most important thing.
Diet and holistic treatment had everything to do with his survival. It was sort of a freak thing that caused his death.
I was just wondering too what the other type of lymphoma it could be and what the possible treatment of that is. Is there a reason why you can’t test for it? Just in case it isn’t the probable type. Again, not judging. Just trying to learn.
Thanks for updating. We can all benefit from one another’s experiences. I hope you have many many many happy times with your Maddie and she goes beyond their expectations.
Well not to dwell on the cancer until we know she has it for sure. Next Wednesday will be the first time they see her since this past Tuesday and they will be doing a blood work up.
I don’t want to get too optimistic, however she is playing and eating like she never ate. Her stools are also the best I’ve seen for quite some time. I’m hoping it is only IBD & PLE and this threw her liver off and not the lymphoma. The vet said if it is lymphoma the type and in her condition would only buy 3 months. Due to the timing & quality of life from chemo it isn’t worth it. On another note we are retired and have now invested over $15,000 just in medical since she first got IBD 5 years ago.
Ps I just found another interesting dog food site site called dog food scoop.
I’m praying for you that the worst is over and all of this illness is IBD related and nothing more.
She’s a very lucky girl to have people willing to sacrifice so much for her.
I’m glad she’s feeling well and you can enjoy her.
Good news. Today’s blood work showed an increase in alb from 1.2 to 1.8. While still is low it is headed in the right direction and it appears this was the cause of enlarged liver and not lymphoma.
The plan is to not change the diet of Hills d d for one month until we know it won’t reverse. We have been supplementing it with cooked Primal venison, pumpkin and sweet potatoes. Once this is reached we will probably do a home cooked meal with a recommended balanced diet with venison and lower fat content. The vet mentioned the Univ of Tennessee has a diet recipe program along with Balanceit like Susan mentioned above.
I think the only thing I learned was the prednisone no longer worked and the THK Zeal probably didn’t have much to do with the flare up. We will however keep the changes in diet to a minimum and fewer ingredients to keep it simple. We don’t need a third episode like this.
Sooooooo very happy for you all!!!!!!!!!!
I hope this is going to be the end of all her troubles.
Thanks for sharing so much. I will keep all this in mind if my girl has another flare up. We’re almost at 3 months since the last time. That’s the longest she has gone in the past yr since the first episode.
Good to know also that THK Zeal wasn’t to blame..
To Aracely, if your dog has gotten better after having Apple Cider Vinegar means your dog isn’t making enough stomach acid to digest his food, My boy was having bad acid reflux colitis, food sensitivities, vet said IBD… I needed to know what was wrong, so Patch had an Endoscope & Biopsies done & he had Lymphocytic Gastritis & Helicobacter-Pylori, he was put on the Triple Therapy, Metronidazole, Amoxicillin & Zantac for 21 days & a gluten free vet diet Royal Canine Sensitivity Control Tapioca & Duck it gave Patch bad farts. (at the time I didn’t know Patch is sensitive to Tapioca) 1-2 weeks after finishing the triple therapy Patches acid reflux was back again & bad again probably cause of the Tapioca, so his helicobacter was back, there’s not much research on dogs with Lymphocytic Gastritis & Helicobacter-Pylori only humans, then I found Hypochlorydria it’s insufficient stomach acid being made which causes the same symptoms when you make tooo much stomach acid…. if you take Apple Cider vinegar when your making tooo much stomach acid the ACV makes the acid reflux worse, if you take ACV & feel better then your not making enough hydrochloric acid, but dogs can’t talk & tell us mum I’m feeling better… here’s a link http://nutritiongang.com/low-stomach-acidity-hypochlorhydria/#diet-impact
No starchy carbs, No foods high in Lectins, No kibbles with Beet Pulp high in fiber, low carb kibbles, doesn’t have to be grain free, gluten free diets are best & fish omega 3…. What your doing feeding a raw diet with lean white proteins are best….Raw diet made Patch regurgitate food & water back up into his mouth giving him acid reflux, so I started cooking instead…..I’m going to try the raw again…
I’m not sure you’ll see this but my baby is as sick, if not sicker, than yours. First let me say I hope your baby is still doing well.
You mentioned when you left your baby for fluid therapy that she was doing better. What meds did they use to get her on the right track? We’ve used the prednisolone and are now on Atopica which isn’t doing much for her at this point? My little girl has been through the fluid therapy through the emergency vet hosp and through her vet. Our emergency vet hosp is horrible so I really couldn’t leave her there again. The regular vet did it on an out patient basis.
My dog (7 years old Yorkshire terrier) was diagnosed with PLE couple of weeks ago. Until August 2017, Ralf was a very healthy, happy dog without any indication that he could get so sick. In mid-August he suddenly got diarrhea and vomiting. We have visited several veterinarians, taken various lab examinations, many different antibiotics but nothing helped. We visited then Vet Clinic beginning of October and the diagnosed PLE (without endoscopy, as this was not possible). He got his therapy: Atopica, Cortison, Omep, Semintra and Tylan, sometimes complemented with some additional meds against nausea and vomiting. After 3 weeks ups and downs, his vet called me and said that his Albumin / Total protein got better. However, his kidneys seem not to work properly as large amounts of protein escape through his urine. Looking at him, I have a feeling he’s got a lot better – he has energy, wants to walk/ play, has appetite, not much water in abdomen, etc. However, his vet results are not great. Does anyone has experience with this or something similar? PLE and PNE together.
Concerning food, he has been on Hills Z/D. However, he hates canned food and does not even want to eat it if mixed with something he normally likes. Hills Z/D kibble is still acceptable for him. He is used to home cooking. He used to eat organic chicken or turkey breast with rice and other veggies (carrots, pumpkin, zucchini etc), sometimes white fish and kibble. As he got this awful disease, we have tried with novel protein, such as horse, rabbit and venison meat. He prefers venison meat cooked with veggies (sweet potato, pumpkin, zucchini, carrots) and tapioca. We add also every second day cooked egg white and a little bit of kefir or cottage cheese with very low fat. From time to time he likes white fish, or tuna & salmon. He still has not gained his normal weight, but seems he can digest it well (at least)? I think we are on the right way when it comes to PLE, but I am really worried about PLN as his kidneys are not working properly. So, I need to come up with a proper diet, to satisfy his daily protein needs but on the other hand I need to protect & make his kidneys work better.
Concerning fat, we try to keep it on a very low level.
Any tips, ideas or suggestions are very much welcome as I have a feeling we are fighting for life!
Balance it – looks really great. However, I need approval from my vet. My dog is at vet clinic, based in Vienna, Austria. I am not sure they have balance it accounts and/or have time to create one. Any other ideas how I can approach the recipes?
Thanks a lot for your feedback(s)!
Iva & Ralf
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