Nilla is a 13 year old lab. This past July she developed an aggressive Mast Cell Tumor on her rear left leg and subsequently had her leg amputated. Post surgery she went for over one week without eating and lost a tremendous amount of weight. I should add that she was a very picky and small portion eater for several months prior to the cancer and amputation. The feeding problems began in December/January following a diagnosis and treatment for Giardia, which I am now suspicious may have been the first sign of IBD. Anyway, after the amputation surgery we opted to put in a feeding tube and to run more tests. She tested cancer free (YAY!!) but a biopsy and scope revealed significant gastritis and moderate eosinophils IBD. She began to eat on her own once we started her on prednisone, but around the time the feeding tube was removed she had a huge IBD flare up with chronic explosive bloody diarrhea and a return of her inappetance. The flare up lasted almost two weeks until we put her on 500 mg of metronidazole 2x/day, along with 15 mg/ prednisone 1x/day (and prilosec). She is also on CBD oil. We finally have the diarrhea under control, but her eating is still very poor. Most of her life she was on a salmon/sweet potato or trout/sweet potato diet. When her eating became poor after the giardia we switched her to a chicken/salmon canned food. During her intense IBD flare up I fed her boiled chicken and pumpkin, although the vet really wanted her off chicken. At some point during this two week flare up she rejected the chicken and pumpkin and stopped eating for about 36 hours. Since her belly was empty at that point, I introduced a novel protein, which was what the vet suggested. I attempted the Royal Canin Hydrolyzed protein and Hill’s Z/D, both of which she wanted nothing to do with.
She has now been eating Nature’s Logic canned rabbit for several days and is tolerating it well. However, she eats very small portions. In the mornings she will eat between 1/4 and 1/3 of the can, occasionally returns to it mid-day to eat around another 1/4 to 1/3. At dinner time I open a new can and she will also eat 1/3-1/2, and occasionally finish the can later in the evening. Her poops are now formed but very very mushy and soft, with some loose watery stool at the beginning or end of the poop. She is severely underweight. She should be a 60 pound lab (even with the fourth leg removed) but she is down to 46 pounds. She looks emaciated and sickly. We are seeing a certified canine nutritionist next week and I’m hoping she can steer us in a more nutritious direction. I’m not adverse to home cooking, although I don’t really know what I can cook for her considering she should be off chicken and fish, and when she was younger she tested positive for an allergy to beef, lamb, and rice. We keep a kosher home, so cooking pork products or rabbit is not an option for us. We have spent a small fortune on Nilla’s medical bills, and we’re not ready to let her go just yet, but right now the future is looking kind of dismal. Any advice or suggestions would be most helpful. Thank you.
I would feed her whatever she enjoys as long as it agrees with her. She is in the winter of her life. I would focus on care and comfort. Have a serious talk with your vet as how you should proceed and go from there.
“We are seeing a certified canine nutritionist next week and I’m hoping she can steer us in a more nutritious direction”.
If you can afford this….but is it really necessary. Again, discuss with your vet.
I had a Boxer Angie she had Mast Cell Tumors diagnosed age 8yrs old, she wasnt her happy self, no more she was sleeping more, didn’t want to go on her daily walks or come in the car shopping, her poos became black, vomiting blood, so I took her to see the RSPCA vet where I adopted her from 6yrs before, the vet asked me has she eaten breakfast this morning, I said no Ang eats breakfast at 11am, the vet said I want to remove these lumps ASAP now they don’t look good, I said but I seen another vet where I live about 1 yr ago, the vet said not the vet on Darby st, please say no, I said yes, we always walk past to go to the beach & one day I seen her out the front with another vet who was visiting from America, I stopped & I showed them both her wierd looking lump on the back of her leg, they BOTH said its nothing, its just an old lady wort, its nothing to worry about, this RSPCA vet just shook her head & said if these lumps were removed 1 yr year ago the cancer wouldn’t be as this advanced….Angie had a few Mast Cell tumors 1 on back of her leg & other lumps & bumps all were removed she looked a Quit, full of patches everywhere, 1/2 of her nipples were removed, when I came to take her home that afternoon, the vet said we have removed more then we thought, she wasnt allowed to come home & had to stay the night the poor thing….
She had another operation as some of the Mast Cell Tumors came back within 3months of removing, my mum said, let her go Susan, I said but she looks good, the little bit of weight she had lost made her her perfect weight 30kg, then she was cancer free BUT she didn’t get better, so the RSPCA vet said you can do Endoscope to see if she has Ulcers from the Mast Cell Tumors as the Mast Cell sets off histimines that attacks the stomach..So I was reffered to another vet that had the Endoscope Camera, it became the vet practice where I go now & take my Staffy Patch who has IBD…
My Angie never got better it was all down hill, I wish I listened to the first vet from the RSPCA when he said, I can put her to sleep on the back seat of your car, I thought to myself, Im not putting my Angie to sleep on my back seat of my car… I was thinking what will I do without my Angie, I cant put her to sleep its all too quick, the same vet did say to me, you have to be strong Susan, Angie sounds like she has been there for you 6 years now? so its your turn now to help her…. I couldn’t put her to sleep, my daughter couldnt PTS either, so I wasted another few thousand dollars doing Endoscope, she had no ulcers & the stupid vet didnt do any biospies, so the Endoscope was pointless but I didnt know all this back then 2009 now I do….
Angie was put on ant acid meds Zantac & Carafate, other medications Valium, Pain meds that made her feel very sick, nausea, vomit, I dont think she could take the Prednisone she took something else similiar, I cant remember the name its started with S she was also put on Hills Z/D dry food in the end & this caused extream stomach pain & she refused to eat it, I told the new vet & he said, Oh she’s just spoilt she’ll eat it, I have found male vets are heartless when it comes to a sick dog, I prefer lady vets & lady vet nurses..
We had had another sleepless 1/2 of the night again up 12am-3am, Angie crying with her pain, so I ended up ringing a mobil vet 8.30am Saturday morning, the mobil vet came 9am & he said gee are you sure she is sick, she started running around all excited we had a visitor, the vet said, she’s in really good condition, then I showed him Angies vet folder, all her tests, her operations, all the meds we had tried & they didnt help etc then he gave her a valium injection, then I talked to Angie for 20mins told her we are going for a walk to the beach I’ll see you at the beach Ang & the vet put her to sleep, he said she’ll have green dreams now…Finally she was painfree… I couldnt fix my Angie, she never had a sick day in her life until she turned 8yrs old, she could eat anything, she was a beautiful dog, a real lady … 🙁
The Nature’s Logic canned rabbit food you’re feeding is 7%min fat, when you convert that to dry matter (Kibble) this is around 35-40%max fat, this would be too high in fat for Nilla, you’re better off cooking & making her a bland diet with lean white meats like Turkey breast, lean Pork, I know you said No pork but the Natures Logic wet can rabbit food has Pork liver in it, she’ll probably do really well on pork, alot of IBD dogs do very well eating sweet Potato, white Potato, Gluten Free Pasta, I know she needs to have some fat in her diet to gain some weight, but is Nilla still on Predisone & the ant acid blocker Losec? if not put her back on the Losec 20mg given every morning, also you cannot just stop the Prilosec once its been taken for 3-4 weeks it must be slowley reduced as all the hydrochloric acid come rushing back into stomach all at once until the stomach acid go back to normal..Taking an acid blocker might make her want to eat again or reduce the fat in her diet with cooked lean meals & see does she get her appetite back again?? My IBD boy takes Pantoprazole 20mg now its an ant acid blocker, he did take Losec for 2 years then it didn’t seem to work…..
If you still want to feed wet can food look at either a low fat vet diet Royal Canine HP or Royal Canine Intestinal Low Fat or Hills I/d Low Fat Stew can food, as these wet can foods are under 8% in fat so they’re 1.7%-2%max fat is written on the canof food, so when converted to Dry Mater (DM) they’re 7-8% in fat & wont cause as bad acid reflux…
No wet can foods or premade raw food, fat % protein % fiber % is converted yet…
or look at “Walk About”
“Walk About” has Rabbit, Kangaroo, Boar, Quail, Duck, the fat is 2%min & isn’t converted, the moisture is 82% so when you convert the fat it will be higher, when you see 78% Moisture this is better, the fat will be a bit lower…. I converted the fat in the Walk About Rabbit formula & it’s around 11.11%min fat, same with the Walk About kangaroo formula, The Walk About wet can foods are heaps lower in fat then the Nature Logic Rabbit formula.. It’s best to email Walk About or other dog food companies who sell wet can foods you want to try & ask them can you have the fat convertion to dry matter please.
eg- when you see 5%min fat, 78% moisture on a wet can of dog food, this 5%min fat when converted will be around 20%min fat to 26% max fat…
Here’s a Dog Food Guaranteed Analysis Calculator link, save it…
If you can cook, cook & freeze small meals, I make rissoles balls, I buy 1kg = 2lbs of lean 5 star Beef or Pork mince low fat, I whisk 1 egg, add to the beef mince some freshly chopped parsley & add about 1 teaspoon parsley, then I chop a few small brocolli heads & grate 1 small peeled carrot, mix all together & make either 1/4 cup size rissole balls or 1/2 a cup size rissole balls & put on a foil lined baking tray & bake for 15mins take out drain any water/fat turn over the rissole balls then bake for another 15mins till ready do not over cook as you’ll have leather rissoles, you can eat these rissoles with some mashed potatoes, I also boil 1 peeled cut up sweet potato then boil then cool & freeze those sweet potato in a sandwich clip lock bags & make sure the sweet potato pieces aren’t touching each other if they do touch then when frozen just wack on kicthen bench while still in sandwich bag & they should separate, you can add 1/2 cup size rissole ball & about 1/3 cup boiled sweet potato then I put 1 rissole ball & the sweet potato pieces in a blender & blend your dog will really like the rissoles, you can make turkey breast mince into rissoles & add some boiled Sweet Potato, theyre really nice, also scrambled egg make Nilla 1 scambled egg, what ever your eating as long as its not hot chillie, curry etc she can eats some & feed about 4-5 small meals a day get her back into a rountine & ask vet about ant acid medication..I use Quick eze chews as well for my IBD boy he comes & tells me & looks at the draw that has his meds in it…
The Canine Nutritionist will help but be careful with omega oils as these can cause acid reflux & then Nilla may not want to eat again so be fully intune with Nilla so you know whats wrong, also with the Walk About wet can foods you can boil some potato & add 1/2 wet can food & 1/3 boiled Potato this the potato should firm up her poos..
I hope you find answers & fix Nilla up but if you look into Nilla eyes & they have lost their spark, put her to sleep…its the best thing you can do for Nilla…
Hi, my friend has a dog with IBS and he feeds him natures variety instinct. They have limited ingredient diets which he uses and he said this is the only food that worked. Check it out it may be worth it. Also, they have can food to. It has some kind of mineral clay that helps with stomach issues. If your dog can eat salmon they have a salmon limited ingredient, duck and turkey. But NO matter what feed a protein that the dog can tolerate.
Thank you for your replies. For now Nilla is tolerating the canned rabbit, although Susan brought it to my attention that it has a high fat content. I’m banking on when I see the nutritionist next week she will give me guidance on the best protein-to-fat-to-carb ratio Nilla should be on.
“I would feed her whatever she enjoys as long as it agrees with her” – Unfortunately I cannot do this. When I gave her boiled chicken her IBD flared up intensely. For now I’m going to follow dr’s orders and keep her on this one novel protein. My short term goal would be to get her off the metronidazole and maintain good digestive health, and the long term goal is to wean her to the lowest possible dose of prednisone. I feel very blessed that I live in the New York City area where there are vets with specialties in cancer, nutrition, etc. We have received superb care at the speciality animal hospital, and they have directed us to experts in holistic and nutrition care as well. We have excellent pet insurance, and although they do not cover everything, it has helped tremendously.
Susan, I’m so sorry to hear that you received such different and negligent information from the various vets you saw. Many years ago we fostered a beautiful black lab named Queenie who was suffering from a congenital kidney disease. She was a breeding dog for a Guiding Eyes agency and the kidney disease reared it’s ugly head during her first (and only) pregnancy. After several bouts of IV fluids, the vet told us that we would “know” when the time was right to let her go. To this day I am haunted by the fact that I put her down too soon. One morning we came downstairs and she didn’t wag her tail or stand up to greet us, but instead lay curled up in front of the warm cozy fireplace. I took that as a sign that she was ready to go. However, on the drive to the vet she was happy and looking out the window, and while walking from the parking lot to the vet’s office she was curious, sniffing, exploring, wagging her tail, etc. I know that ultimately she couldn’t survive with her kidney disease, but almost 14 years later I still question if that was the right thing to do on that day. I’m not making the same mistake with Nilla. She still has a lot of spunk and life in her. Her life may not be the same as it was when she was healthy and had four legs — she may not be able to roll in the mud or hike the woods as she used to do, but she is still social, curious, affectionate, and seems happy. She is not in any pain, which is primary for me. I’ll keep you all posted on my sweet Nilla girl!
“I know that ultimately she couldn’t survive with her kidney disease, but almost 14 years later I still question if that was the right thing to do on that day”.
It’s a horrible decision to have to make. You always wonder did I do it too soon? Did I wait too long? It’s not always clear 🙁
But, it sounds like your dog is comfortable and is getting the best of care. She’s a very lucky dog.
Hi Im sorry for using this forum but I don’t know how to start a new topic on my own.
I’ve got this amazing 11 years old dog
His a mixed dog- Canaanite and Golden Retriever.
We had him since he was 2 moths old, and he was always healthy, extremely energetic dog.
A few years ago he got very sick, mainly expressed in losing weight really fast ang being numb and down. He’s a large dog that by the vet should weight 30 kg when he’s healthy, and by this time he wieghtened 15 kg in his most severe condition.
After several exams we found out he had Addisons’ disease, and he starded to recive a hormonalic treatment , so thank god now he’s stable, back being really energetic and happy dog, and he got he’s appetite back.
But since the drastic slimming he’s not gaining enough weight and currently is 23 kg which is still very skinny for he’s size. He get a lot of meat and dry food.
I want to change he’s food but i realy need advice for wich tipe of food is the best for his condition and for how long to give him a different food?
I would give your vet a call, the veterinary healthcare professional that has examined your dog, provided treatment and see what they recommend.
what country are you in?
What is he eating, what brand of dry food do you feed, why do you want to change his food is it cause he’s not gaining weight, are his poos firm? is he vomiting??
are you feeding 3-4 smaller meals a day??
Hi Jill, my name is Cathie and I have a 7 1/2 year old Bichon who is allergic to everything except turkey and duck. This happened when I first applied Frontline to her when she was about 7 mos. old. I had an allergy test done and it came back that she is allergic to most everything including ALL 5 dust mites. I buy her tenderloin turkey that they sell in the supermarkets. I actually cook it in a frying pan sprayed with Pam on the stovetop. I add this to Zignature duck a food made with pea flour (she is allergic to wheat, rice, grains, etc.). I could also give her rabbit but I hate putting the thing on my stock pot. And when I cooked it for her she turned her nose up. Maybe your pup is allergic to some foods and that’s why she isn’t eating. I’ve been working on Lola’s diet for 6+ years so maybe I could help. Lola has colitis and gets, diarrhea every 3 weeks lately. Most of the time when this happens she bleeds when she deficates. When that happens I give her a flagyl regimen – 5 days of 1/2 flagyl morning and night.
Hi Jill, my name is Cathie and I have a 7 1/2 year old Bichon who is allergic to everything except turkey and duck. This happened when I first applied Frontline to her when she was about 7 mos. old. I had an allergy test done and it came back that she is allergic to most everything including ALL 5 dust mites. I buy her tenderloin turkey that they sell in the supermarkets. I actually cook it in a frying pan sprayed with Pam on the stovetop. I add this to Zignature duck a food made with pea flour (she is allergic to wheat, rice, grains, etc.). I could also give her rabbit but I hate putting the thing on my stock pot. And when I cooked it for her she turned her nose up. Maybe your pup is allergic to some foods and that’s why she isn’t eating. Lola is allergic to potatoes, white and sweet; banana and apple; chicken, beef, I’ve been working on Lola’s diet for 6+ years so maybe I could help. Lola has colitis and gets diarrhea every 3 weeks lately. Most of the time when this happens she bleeds when she deficates. When that happens I give her a flagyl regimen – 5 days of 1/2 flagyl morning and night. Right now I am waiting for the vet to call. I gave her the first half and then called to get a refill. They told me they wanted a stool sample free of flagyl and until they get that they won’t renew the prescription. I have 2 half pills left and she should get 1/2 twice a day for 5 days.
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