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sienna11711

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  • sienna11711
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    Hi all, thank you for checking in.

    So she’s been on the budesonide for 1.5 weeks now. She has much less abdominal flinching, but an unfortunate side effect of the steroid is hunger and thirst, so on that front she has actually gotten worse and much more restless about food and water. Although her abdominal flinching is disappearing, she does still flinch a lot when I touch her on top on her lower backend by the tail, so she’s getting an exam and Xray for potential arthritis this week, but it would be weird if that is what was bothering her because she is extremely springy and active with zero signs of lethargy, joint pain etc. But we will see!

    I will say the one thing the behaviorist did find was a very high cortisol level in her feces. But that’s all so far.

    I do wonder about cancer because I can’t understand how a dog could simply be this anxious with no clear ailment. She is honestly impossible to deal with. It’s been 14 months with this problem and it’s totally done me over. I’ve taken care of dogs my whole life and it was easier to take care of dogs on the brink of death who can’t walk and are defecating on the floor. My dog is super alert/alive and active. But she literally is stressed all day long, attention seeking and whining nonstop, I wish I knew what the problem was. She is more anxious and worse off than when I adopted her from a person who was totally neglecting her, never took her to the vet, left her outside in the yard all day alone, etc.

    I have definitely decided that the worst symptom/problem is the water drinking, because she will absolutely not stop so I’m taking her out constantly to avoid accidents. If I leave a bowl of water for her before I leave for a few hours, she will drain it as soon as I go and then she’s frantic and panting when I get back because she has no water for 5-6 hours. It’s honestly such a vicious circle everyday.

    We also tried hemp oil, which settled her down a lot for about 3 days and then stopped having whatever initial effect it once had.

    • This reply was modified 11 months, 3 weeks ago by sienna11711.
    sienna11711
    Participant

    Hi all,

    I know this reply may come off super strange considering it’s been a few months, but I wanted to update you all on my dog.

    So our vet implored us to see a veterinary behaviorist for her issues. It turned out to be of great help because the behaviorist asked a lot of questions and had me checking in with her every single week and trying things one at a time. My dog (Sienna) was put on a low dose of zoloft (sertraline) to help with anxiety and stress and we switched her to the Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Diet. Through process of elimination with our behaviorist we were able to figure out that Sienna’s issues are 100% related to her digestive tract and not just random severe anxiety! She is indeed drinking excessively and eating excessively because of physical pain that is much more pronounced right after eating.

    I’m happy to report that on the hydrolyzed diet she gained a little weight eating less than she normally does. She also has less stomach flinching however I did learn that she has the most stomach flinching (when touched underneath) right after eating, and it is markedly less flinchy if she is fasted (for vet appts).

    We decided to see an internist who gave her an ultrasound + tons of bloodwork with absolutely no problems. Unfortunately the biopsy is too expensive for us right now, but the internist thinks it is definitely IBD, and definitely tons of inflammation in her intestines. She will be starting a local steroid (budosenide I think) this week to see if it helps any. If anyone has any suggestions, supplements, etc. that would be great. We have tried many many supplements and diets in the past, so I’m not feeling very positive about it, but you never know.

    sienna11711
    Participant

    Hi,

    Just to clear up any misunderstandings here WondrousPups your suggestions have been great but Susan does have a valid point. When you have a dog with a really sensitive digestive system even the best supplements and whole foods can cause them distress. I personally have gastroparesis and I cannot handle turmeric in any capacity. I don’t think Susan was trying to discredit the benefits, I think she has a lot of valuable experience. Having a “mystery” case dog is extremely stressful. I have tried a home cooked diet and raw diet and I did not experience any of the benefits of it for my dog. The people in the raw feeding facebook group treated me extremely harshly and insisted my dog needed to detox further even though she was slowly becoming skin and bones. Please be sensitive to that! We are trying so hard.

    Susan unfortunately the endoscope and biopsy are out of my price range at the moment 🙁 I am getting an affordable second opinion with a telehealth visit with a vet from Barcelona, I’m looking forward to what she may think. Your vet made an EXCELLENT point- IBD can occur anywhere along the digestive tract, just because a dog isn’t having diarrhea or vomiting does not mean they don’t have IBD.

    Also, lastly, (Patricia A) my vet said my dog could have IBD and we could certainly try the Hills IBD diet if I wanted to go down that road but she really didn’t seem convinced that it was. So there’s really no official actual diagnosis besides anxiety/stress. But I would classify her symptoms as some form of IBD or IBS – ravenous hunger, inability to digest anything besides kibble, poor fat digestion, resulting weak immunity, in the past she had chronic regurgitation as well.

    sienna11711
    Participant

    Hi Susan,

    Right now we are feeding EarthBorn Holistic Ocean Fusion – the main source of protein is white fish- 22% protein, 12% fat, and 4% fiber. 415 kcal/cup.
    It does have grains but no wheat, corn, or soy and no random animal byproduct meal. My dog doesn’t do well on chicken based kibbles, she does better on turkey, rabbit, pollock, etc.

    I’m going to order the slippery elm powder as well as turmeric and see how that does for her. I’ve taken slippery elm in the past and it is definitely soothing to the GI tract.


    @WondrousPups
    , do you know where I might be able to get Ashwagandha on its own that is safe for dogs?

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by sienna11711.
    sienna11711
    Participant

    Hi!! I am definitely a food is medicine kind of person. I was pretty sad when the raw and homemade diet didn’t work for her, because it definitely made her more calm overall but the stool and weight loss was a no go. I’m hoping that one day we can do a homemade diet especially since she’s a senior now.

    We have used various tinctures from Pet Health and Nutrition Co.- they make awesome blends for many different issues, but unfortunately with my dog they would help a lot (almost like a sweetspot) for like, one month tops, and then she would go back to how she was previously. We were doing a hypothyroid blend as well as the adrenal blend. I still have the adrenal blend, so maybe I can try starting it up again.

    She was also previously on a supplement called Thyro Complex (Progressive Labs) which has thyroid/pituitary/adrenal/spleen glandulars as well as iodine and kelp. When she was first “diagnosed” with hypothyroidism and prescribed levothyroxine, the vet also prescribed this. Within 2 days her coat drastically improved, even the color (she’s a brindle) opened up, she looked like an orange tiger! Her coat was amazingly soft. But unfortunately she then started dribbling urine nonstop all day, became excessively thirsty, and lost like 5 pounds in one week. Our new vet said it was likely that since her thyroid is not the true issue here, the thyroid glandular was over supporting her thyroid and plunging her into possible hyperthyroid territory. I did used to pour out half the capsule for a while, but gave up on it once we ruled out true hypothyroidism. Perhaps I should re order for the time being just to give extra support.

    I’m very interested in turmeric, would you recommend giving it as a powder? she totally has some inflammation going on so turmeric would probably be a good option.

    I’m not sure if you’ve ever tried aromatherapy, but Caroline Ingraham ihas an amazingggg essential oil program for animals with behavioral and health issues. I myself never was into oils although I do enjoy the scents, but it’s basically a method of letting animals select their own “cure” by presenting them a bunch of different oils. Animals in the wild will often self medicate by consuming certain plants when distressed so it works with that phenomenon. She’s done this with horses, dogs, cats, and even leopards. Usually during a successful session the animal will totally relax and even sleep. It’s amazing how the animals actually choose what they need. I ordered a bunch from her just to try out and my dog was obsessively trying to lick and eat Violet Leaf Oil- commonly used for stress and anxiety. She actually just keeps going at it over and over so it made it pretty clear my dog’s condition is really taxing to her. Other oils she would sniff for a bit and then turn away and others she just ignored completely.

    sienna11711
    Participant

    Yes, I was actually on the EPI forum recently and all of the EPI dogs have really poor stools and poor appetites, and weight loss. On fresh food my dog lost weight rapidly, but back on kibble her weight is stable and her body is ideal. I sent them her recent bloodwork and they said it looked indicative of chronic pancreatitis, but a low fat food combined with incubating the food in enzymes and warm water for 15-20 min usually causes a big turnaround for dogs with that issue.

    My vet told me her behavior is likely 100% behavioral- that my dog is basically just so generally stressed that she is resorting to eating- and since she doesn’t have loose stool or diarrhea that she may just have general IBD but to keep her on this same food since her stools are nice and firm with it.

    I know she is ravenous because when we go out on walks the entire walk she is nose to the ground sniffing for food and poop. Sometimes she will be so keen to find food or crumbs that she literally bumps into poles and stuff when I try to keep her moving. Sometime we’ll be crossing a busy road and she will drop to the ground to eat something while cars are waiting for us to cross. Before quarantine, when I’d go out to a restaurant, instead of sitting down and hanging out she would be all over me, trying to get onto the table, and crawling all over the surrounding tables on the floor to sniff for crumbs. She wakes up 1-2 hours earlier than usual these days and barks and whines at me to eat. I thought at first it was to go out but if I take her out before feeding her she will just frantically look for food and potty a few minutes into the walk, so I know it’s not bathroom related. After she eats she will drink any and all water in the bowl, and then keep sniffing her food bowl, then go back to water bowl, then come to me and whine and keep doing that over and over. If I don’t strictly monitor her water intake she will just gulp it all away and pee herself while napping. Around 2:30 pm ( dinner is at 5pm) she becomes impossible to deal with. She follows my every move, paws at me constantly, and will just sit there hypervigilant of what I’m doing. If I even move to adjust myself on the couch she will get up as if we were going somewhere. If I’m eating she will literally be underfoot. Her counter surfing has surged, now if I leave anything on the counter in a box she will knock it over. I left a taped box of donuts and went to take out trash down the hallway and when I came back she had taken the entire box down on the floor, ripped it open, and ate 12 donuts in a matter of 45 seconds. When I leave and watch her on the pet camera, she goes straight into the kitchen and jumps up on the counter and sniffs the entire area of it. I’ve always been really food about not leaving anything out, but I was always able to leave fruit out or even boxes of snacks so long at they were closed, but now anything is fair game for her. All of this becomes 10 times worse if we do more activity like long walks, little trips to the park or to the beach…so it’s really diminished our relationship unfortunately. She’s also not very playful anymore, she only grabs her toys when shes hungry and is super rough if I try to play with her so it seems like it’s only agitation.

    Previously, she was always a food lover, and would always come and stand in the kitchen if I was cooking or eating, but I would ask her to move away and go sit on her bed and it was that easy. She would only try to steal off the counter if it was open sitting on a plate and no one was in the room, otherwise she wouldn’t touch it. I used to take her everywhere that was pet friendly with me. She was also a much more gentle player.

    sienna11711
    Participant

    Also, as an update, it’s day 2 on a lower fat food, same number of calories as previous food though, and she’s unfortunately even hungrier than usual. It’s so weird that her pancreas is clearly struggling a bit, so you’d think that lower fat would ease the burden, but then she’s just even hungrier. She must not be able to digest and assimilate any kind of fat appropriately. Back to the drawing board.

    sienna11711
    Participant

    Hi,

    I think these are important, and I know some dogs tend to not like hugs, but my dog is super affectionate and loves cuddling and climbs all over anyone if given the chance. I actually don’t really believe that all dogs hate hugs, much like people say that dogs find it threatening to be stared at– my dog literally stares at me all day long and looks into my eyes with her face in my face. She is soo close to me and she has never shown any sign of being uncomfortable- she solicits it!

    I took a great webinar on dog body language and it was super helpful. A balanced dog will give quite a few signals until they would actually be driven to nip or bite. A dog in pain is less likely to show elaborate signs because their threshold is already higher than that of a normal dog. So when people do come over, now, I tell them to be really hands off and I don’t let her get super close to them. It kind of sucks, because she was always such a lap dog.

    sienna11711
    Participant

    Hi Susan,

    Interesting how similar Patch and my dog are. I totally know your pain with thinking about putting him down- I actually contacted my local boxer rescue twice about rehoming in the last 6 months in a panic. My vet also recommended a muzzle. My dog hates wearing anything- muzzle, harness, I think she has bodily discomfort so wearing anything extra on top is just stress. I even got diapers for when she sleeps and urinates but she’ll rip those off. To be totally honest, I think trying to “train out” the issues actually just adds more stress to an already-stressed dog’s life. A sick dog has a much lower threshold of stress.

    I will definitely call my vet tomorrow and ask about endoscope and biopsy- is there a specific type that you asked for Patch? Biopsy of which tissues?

    sienna11711
    Participant

    Haha- didn’t take you as one at all 🙂 I did this process with a behaviorist during quarantine to try and isolate the issue- same conclusion unfortunately. And this is my first dog – so you surely know more than me 🙂

    When I’ve changed her food, I can do it cold turkey with no diarrhea, I used to do it slowly, but her stool is actually more loose if I do it that way. With kibble it’s easy. Sometimes her stool will be lighter brown but that’s it.

    I feel that the whining is because she doesn’t feel satiated. When we had her cPL and TLI tested, she was eating 3 cups of food, and her values were so elevated. indicating some kind of pancreatic stress… so I don’t feel comfortable giving her more and more because her pancreatic values will increase for sure with more fat. In September of 2019 she was eating 1 3/4 cups of food a day with no issue whatsoever. Our feeding schedule was totally relaxed, I could sleep in and she’d sleep with me and eat whenever I was up.

    sienna11711
    Participant

    Sorry, the website cut off your entire post, Patricia. So for her whole life my dog was always dog friendly (albeit the more submissive one in the group) and never had any issue with people. She was my brother’s dog and I watched her grow up, she never had to be muzzled at the vet, they fostered a GSD puppy at one point with no issues.

    If it was just reactivity to dogs that would be a breeze– we have never done leash greetings and we don’t go to dog parks. She still loves people and approaches them to be pet, leans on them, wants to play– it’s only when being handled or touched in certain ways that she snaps, and she has yet to even actually break skin, it’s always the lightest nip and she’s right back to being cuddly when the person gives her space. So it’s exhausting when people come over and she’s all over them and jumping on the couch and wanting to snuggle but if they make one wrong move she will flip.

    Dogs who completely ignore her she will also walk right past 9 times out of 10. It’s the dogs who show interest in her, or are walking behind us advancing, or other reactive dogs (unfortunately a lot of little ones in our neighborhood seem to hate her passionately) that will set her off. It’s not so much the reaction (she just freezes or pulls toward, sometimes shes actually interested) than the resulting stress (immediately pees after, pants a ton, constantly looking over her shoulder, walks frantically and speeds up to get away). There are some real REACTIVE dogs in our complex who are genuinely reactive- barking, growling, baring teeth- she does none of these things.

    That being said, my main concerns are her clinginess, obsession with food, poop eating, and how she flinches even when I touch her abdomen area. Oh… and the excessive shedding! 🙂

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by sienna11711.
    sienna11711
    Participant

    Hi, thank you all for your attention and insight, it’s truly appreciated.

    Yes I would say confidently my dog has IBD symptoms if she eats fresh food of any kind, a lot of times her body will outright reject it- gave her a piece of pineapple yesterday and she woke up in the middle of the night and expelled it, undigested.

    To clarify- ALL of the behaviors LESSEN with LESS food. Right now she is eating 2 cups of food a day. If I were to up it to 3 cups, she would become more reactive, whine more after eating, demand food earlier, and she would put on some weight. 2 cups of the food she is eating is at the higher end anyway. The vet thought the answer was simple – if she is hungry, feed her more, but everything gets way worse, not just reactivity.

    sienna11711
    Participant

    Yes, I clean her vulva area once a day to prevent bacteria. Luckily she has not had a UTI in a long time and her urine has been normal.
    The thing is that now her stool is totally normal, firm, and brown. Her weight is stable. If I feed her more to satisfy her hunger, she becomes much more reactive and defensive.

    When I was feeding her home cooked and raw she lost about 10 pounds in 3 months, no matter how much I kept feeding her, and her ribs were visible. So putting her back on kibble stabilized her physically, but nothing is preventing the behavioral issues, overall stress, and hunger. Walking her is honestly a nightmare too, because she spends the entire walk sniffing for poop and food/crumbs to eat instead of actually enjoying the walk with me.

    sienna11711
    Participant

    When I first adopted her she got an actual UTI with straining to urinate, constantly wanting to go out, etc. They gave her antibiotics and the symptoms went away, but when they rechecked her urine, they said there’s still so much bacteria. So they put her on them again, and still bacteria as well as crystals, but she had no symptoms so we decided to just monitor and not keep funneling with antibiotics. She also had a kidney ultrasound and was fine. When she started peeing herself in her sleep, I assumed it was UTI and so I would take her to vet and they’d find, once again, tons of bacteria in urine and prescribe, and it would make the peeing in her sleep go away temporarily, but she never had any other UTI symptoms. As for the last few months, her urine has been consistently normal and bacteria free with no UTI symptoms but she still pees in her sleep once or twice a week. I think it’s a stress thing combined with her excessive drinking due to hunger. I try to monitor as much as I can but we live in south florida so I really don’t like to limit how much she drinks.

    And yes, after 9 months on levothyroxine with no change in her T4 or symptoms, I told the vet I was no longer giving it to her because I know it’s not a thyroid issue specifically. Nothing changed when I stopped giving it to her, so I knew it wasn’t making anything better.

    We tried a canine nutritionist formulated home cooked diet extremely low in fat (turkey) and same thing- orange slimy stool and even worse hungry. And yes, with boiled chicken we’ve always done white only and same thing- orange slimy. I gave her a piece of pineapple last night and she threw it up undigested in the middle of the night. Weak stomach?

    I did order a much lower fat food and I’ve been soaking her food in digestive enzymes (epi dog forum suggested it) so we’ll see. I just can’t understand the hunger, she literally follows me all day long and it’s even worse when it’s remotely close to feeding time.

    Unfortunately the vet said it must be behavioral and suggested I make an appointment with a behaviorist.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by sienna11711.
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