There is nothing inherently wrong with prednisone if you try a two-week regimen. It does really help a whole bunch of inflammatory-related problems. As long as you provide double the water and steel yourself to resist the "I'm STARVING" look, it truly may supress the bowel inflammation to the point where it gets it back to normal.
I know when I get poison ivy, pred is the ONLY thing that shocks my system enough to make the torturous itching stop. Give it a try. I know you don't want to be on it long-term, but it may really help. And follow the Rx exactly regarding the tapering off.
I am in the process of weaning my Beagle off prednisone, her second round of the drug, to combat joint inflammation as a result of Lyme/Erlichia. She also had gotten really bad diarrhea from the antibiotics she had to be on, a combo of Doxy and Amoxicillin. We tried a whole combo of anti-diarrhrea meds and probiotics including Endosorb, that didn't come close to stopping the problem.
The first time we took her off the pred, her joint inflammation came back two weeks later. She went back on a "loading" daily dose for two weeks, then backed off to every other day and now every two days until the end of the month. The only side effects that I can see are definitely the I'm STARVING more than normal look (ever know a Beagle that wasn't starving?) and the increase in water consumption......which then results into middle of the night excursions out to the pen to pee. Her system has finally resolved the poop problem.
We were battling this whole Lyme thing since October with all its nasty side effects and I spent a lot of my time frustrated and bleary eyed from only getting a couple of hours sleep, either hiking outside to the pen or cleaning up the "we didn't get out fast enough" puddles of pudding. Blech! I feel for you!
I would try the pred.
You need a new vet. There are plenty of great vets in NoVA who will take the time to call you back, call in a prescription, send your files to other consulting vets, etc and who won't seem like they are giving up on your dog.
The first vet here in Oxford was the same way. They lost my business. The new vet here is always super busy but they always spend as much time as you need with you. I get quick answers, they return calls, call to see how the dog is doing, etc. Same with my vet in VA. If they are too busy to take a call at that time, they will always call over their lunch shift or at the end of their shift; sometimes in between clients just to say "I got your message, will call you back this afternoon".
Sorry you didn't get a diagnosis :-/ still thinking of you guys!
I'm not at all against prednisone. I just wanted to make sure I did the ACTH first because once on pred, you have to get off to do the test. I was hoping that the multiple food trials plus probiotics would help if I gave them enough time.
I'm totally fine with pred short term at least.
Milo, if you have a suggestion for a new vet, I'm all ears. I'm very frustrated right now. I finally DID get a call yesterday just to inform me that my vet won't be back until WEDNESDAY to discuss.
I think I'm a little spoiled having worked in a really good clinic for 10 years. My boss/owner of practice would not leave something like this to the next day, let alone a week.
I'm trying to be very cool, Rome wasn't made in a day and all that. But I feel like we could've already had almost a week of treatment under us if I didn't have to wait until WEDNESDAY to talk to someone.
I keep seeing references to this new data, and I keep thinking of your problems...
I think it would really be interesting to try in a canine!