My puppy Bella is an 8 month old 9 pound schnoodle that has been suffering from severe diarrhea accompanied by occasional blood & mucus as well as vomiting since November 2014. I have spent thousands of dollars at the vet to eliminate other possibilities such as addisons, parvo, liver shunt etc etc. She had giardia when she was very little and treated with metronidizole. Good news is so far all tests are good (liver enzymes very slightly elevated as is potassium), bad news is we still don’t have a definitive diagnosis, however the vet seems pretty sure it is colitis/IBD/HGE. What the vets are not helping me with is putting her on a diet other than the Hills W/D which she doesnt want to eat. I started her on Merrick dry kibble when I first took her home. When she stopped eating that, I mixed in Merrick wet food. This worked for a month before she had terrible diarrhea. In addition she seem to be allergic to something in the merrick food which caused a chronic cough & eye discharge. Then She went on Natures VAriety for a short while, but would ONLY eat the freeze dried raw bits and not the kibble. So because of this I then I put her on Stella & Chewys freeze dried lamb & duck patties. That also worked for about a month and then she had another bout, this time extremely severe. Through each bout (which seems to happen 1-2 times per month) they put her back on metronidizole again, so I never really get the chance to see if a food is working or not. Vet wanted to try the whole novel protein diet and put her on Hills prescription D/D. Tried it for 2 weeks and she would not touch it and lost 1.5 pounds. At that point I gave up and needed to just get food into her system so I put her back on Merrick but this time tried the grain free duck. One week into it and she started back with diarrhea again and is now back on metronidizole. This time the vet wants me to put her on Hills W/D because of the low fat/high fiber. I already use a probiotic (restore) and give her a tablespoon of pumpkin everyday (which incidentally seems to make the diarrea worse). Took her off all bully sticks (still love the brand BEST bully stick, but never again). No treats either. I have read extensively and there seems to be many different opinions on what to give a dog with GI inflammation of sorts. I have read everything from Canine cavier to Addiction and more. Having had signed up for the editors choice, I am hoping for some good solid recommendations. I do not want to give her Merrick or Hills anymore. Cost is not an issue, but I don’t think puppies this tiny are ok with raw food (just my experience since the worst she ever was when I fed her Stella & Chewys, even though I think its a great product for most). She is going in for spay surgery on May 7th (health permitting) and the vet is saying if I am not able to regulate her with diet in the next month that they want to do an intestinal biopsy which I have a real problem with especially if the intestine is ALREADY inflamed. I have an appointment for her with a holistic vet tomorrow and am really hoping to get some suggestions that I can speak to the holistic vet about. I have read all about pre/pro biotics, digestive enzymes, glucose, fructose, hypoallergenic, L-glutamine and plan to ask the holistic vet which of those she thinks I should try, but I find it troubling that I have not gotten any viable food options from my vet to date. Any advice would be greatly appreciated by Baby Bella & her Mom!
Hi Dawn R- I am very sorry to hear about your struggles with Bella. My dogs had a similar start. First of all, I’m pretty sure you have done this, but I just have to ask. Has she been retested for Giardia? It is a difficult parasite to get rid of at times and I’m wondering if it is active again. Have you wormed her lately? If not, I’d try either Panacur or Drontal Plus in case she had some dormant giardia lurking.
My pups had a bad case and struggled with diarrhea off and on for a few years. I think the parasites and the over use of antibiotics caused them to have a leaky gut or some form of colitis. Check out this site for some great info: http://www.dogaware.com/health/digestive.html
My dogs are having issues right now because I think I got too confident in their tummies being better and they are not. I am feeding them the Merrick Classic Chicken formula and it is not going too well. However, when I fed them the Merrick grain free duck and turkey they did fine. My suspicion is maybe there are just too many ingredients in the classic formula. My dogs do fine with peas, sweet potatoes, and rice as a binder. I’m now suspicious of rye and barley as no no’s.
So far, my best kibbles for them have been Victor grain free and California Natural Pork and Peas. I try to add some fresh, frozen or canned to their kibble every meal. Your best is to try to keep their kibble as simple as possible. Shoot for just one protein and one carb with low fat and slightly higher fiber. I think the California Natural Pork formula might be a food one for you. I ordered it from Pet Flow when it was 30% off to give it a try!
The supplements that I have used with success are:
Seacure, Phytomucil, Vetri Pro BD, Gastriplex, Perfect Form and Pro Flora probiotic
chews. I still rotate them.
Oh, and also, plain canned pumpkin doesn’t work wonders for us either. But the Fruitables Pumpkin digestive canned supplement does. It has a few other goodies in it that seem helpful. Of course, it costs at least twice as much as the plain pumpkin.
Please write back if you have anymore questions!
Here’s a good article on IBS from Karen Becker
Personally I would not have the spay operation done now or perhaps never. Hormones are the fountain of youth in humans…my vet believes they are in pets as well, and an operation could cause more complications. If you must spay, consider a laparoscopic spay done by a vet well versed in this procedure…it’s less invasive and less recovery time.
Going to a holistic vet is a great idea. Good luck and please update.
Please hold off on the spay,at this point it’s elective and not at all a priority. I understand your angst about invasive diagnostics but IMO that is the ONLY way to proceed…you have to have a definitive diagnosis to be able to know what to do next…anything less is too much trial and error. I had my Boxer bitch scoped (endoscopy and colonoscopy) a little after 2 and she’ll be to this May (IBS/colitis). It has been helpful to know how and what to feed her. We’ve had other GI issues along the way (hemmoragic gastritis,bowel resections,polyps,pancreatitis flares with the IBS…) but overall she has fared well and you’d never know to look at her she copes with illness. I’ve had success with Hill’s Ultra Z/D,Honest Kitchen Zeal and Force and home cooking….turkey and oatmeal and veggies run through the food processor.
I strongly agree with JeffeyT. Get to the holistic vet pronto. Great articles by Karen Becker free on her website. Stay away from all foods sold in vet clinics. They are all awful, expensive and junk. Don’t spay until one year or never. Good luck.
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