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Gastro issues in dog

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  • Gastro issues in dog

    Looking for ideas, both to try diet-wise and to ask of my vet for a dog with gastro issues. Lots of poop talk to follow, sorry.

    Walter is around 11-12, a MinPin/Chi mix I adopted in early December. When I brought him home, I transitioned him off shelter food and onto Acana Turkey and Greens kibble. My last dog did very well on Acana food and it seems to be high quality so that's what I picked. I also give a probiotic daily. I was finding that Walter pooped a lot - like three times on a walk and several more times a day at home. Poop was never really very firm, so I started adding some pumpkin to his food (also always worked well for my last dog). Lots of rear-end licking and scooting later, vet had to express one anal gland, said it was very full. I decided that this diet wasn't working, so I transitioned him to a frozen raw diet (Primal Turkey and Sardine). Poop quality actually improved, things were looking up.

    This weekend, we had our second or third round of a related issue - waking up one morning to a very loud stomach, no interest in food, eating a pound of grass and puking. That started Saturday morning. After the puking, he did want some food, so I cooked rice for him. More puking overnight Saturday, pretty good most of Sunday, then another round of puke Sunday afternoon. Each time, he throws up one time, then seems to feel better. Stays pretty bright and peppy through it all.

    Went to vet Sunday night - shot of Cerenia, then Metronidazole and Ondansetron for a week. Boiled chicken and rice for a few days to a week, with FortiFlora. He woke up with stomach gurgling again this morning, tried to eat grass, but I got him to eat chicken and rice instead, and he's now resting quietly.

    Dropping off a fecal today; last one was clean. Blood work in November was basically perfect. I know fasting is usually advocated for a day with repeat vomiting, but he really acts like a dog with stomach acid issues and fasting makes him feel worse. That's when he eats the most grass.

    I explained all of this to the vet last night, and besides the meds, I just was told - if it happens again, then we can pull blood work, maybe do an ultrasound. Would you wait, or just request that all now? Would you look at a diet change? I'm already planning on feeding him three times a day, try to avoid any empty stomach acid issues overnight. But what else should I research or ask? I feel a little ignored and I just feel like Walter could feel better than he does if we treated the cause not the symptoms.

    Thanks for any ideas.


  • #2
    I don't know if pancreatitis could be a problem, but my mini Aussie suffers from that. If so, NO FAT is the key. I get the lowest fat, quality dog food and have to be very careful with treats. A major occurrence can be fatal. My vet did blood work and a further test to diagnose.
    He still gets upset tummy and licks his lips a lot, and eats grass, but not often. I sometimes give him Omeprazole to ease his tummy pain. He rarely throws up anymore, although that is what originally led me to do the bloodwork. They can get dehydrated.
    Good luck!

    Comment


    • #3
      I was just going to suggest pancreatitis. My dog can now only eat the prescription food she's had on and off gastro issues for years and a great vet figure out low level pancreatitis and ever since she's had no problem. It can show up on a blood test then they did further more specific testing. The other possibility is an allergy. I'd try a protein your dog has never had, nothing with chicken, rice, beef or lamp including treats and see if that helps.

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      • #4
        When he vomits, is it just bile and maybe some grass? I think that would tend to support your idea of problems with an empty stomach. But the one Sunday afternoon may not fit the pattern.
        I have to give one of my dogs a late night snack to keep her tummy happy. She was bringing up bile late night/early morning. She also does better on a "lower quality" dog food. Seems like some are just too rich for her.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by MsM View Post
          When he vomits, is it just bile and maybe some grass? I think that would tend to support your idea of problems with an empty stomach. But the one Sunday afternoon may not fit the pattern.
          I have to give one of my dogs a late night snack to keep her tummy happy. She was bringing up bile late night/early morning. She also does better on a "lower quality" dog food. Seems like some are just too rich for her.
          Yes, primarily bile and grass. If I catch him when he's making stomach noises, before grass eating, and get him food, he's generally better. I'm going to ask specifically about both stomach acid issues and pancreatitis. His last blood work was perfect, but I'm requesting a full panel today to look again.

          I'm curious what dog food you use. Once he came off the chicken and rice, I put him back on kibble and with a late evening meal he seems a bit better this week. But the kibble is 29% protein, and in reading about stomach acid issues, high protein makes it worse, so I'm wondering if bumping down even further is the right thing. But that does usually mean "lower quality" food, which I don't love. If he feels better though, it's worth it.

          Thanks guys. Good to hear about similar symptoms and the diagnoses so I know what to ask.

          Comment


          • #6
            Good luck finding out what's going on with your little guy!

            If it ends up that it's pancreatitis, fat and fiber make my dog worse. Avoderm recently discontinued the food I had him on for years. I tried a lower fat food with 10% fiber and that set him off very painfully. Luckily I was able to find a food with moderate fat and no more than 5.5% fiber that he's been doing very well on. https://frommfamily.com/products/dog...ish-and-potato

            I would have chosen some different ingredients in a food, but as long as he's feeling well and healthy, I'll stick with it. After I was sure he was stable and doing well on it, I went back to giving him a sardine along with his food a couple times a week and he gets only very low fat treats.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Well, the vet does not think it is pancreatitis because he's not exhibiting any of those classic symptoms. She suspects it is rooted in food intolerance, and gave the suggestion to either go to an rx food, or a fish-based food, with a goal of eliminating all poultry. So I went the fish route. She also said that, in her experience, for these GI dogs, they do better on some mid-grade foods, and slightly lower protein. I ended up picking up a Merrick fish and sweet potato food, and some fish-based treats. The Merrick steps down the protein a little, and has a decent rep overall, I think. She also gave me a few weeks worth of Metronidazole so I could do another week and have some on hand if he flares while we test this food for a month. And gave me the okay to do Pepcid if he seems to be having a little sour stomach episode.

              So fingers crossed. It sounds a lot like we are on the same path that already worked for you guys, so I'm hopeful.

              Comment


              • #8
                I would do this, and if not successful, would move to allergy testing. Too many people just keep messing around with food after food after food, and eventually find out that there is an allergy. It's spending some money, but a lot faster to help narrow down the issues.

                FWIW, I tried switching my dogs from a lamb & rice food to a "better quality" food - a similar product but with supposedly better ingredients and less grain. They never had solid stools, even after a slow transition and a month of only that food. It just wasn't worth it; I switched back and they were fine.

                I'd be cautious on using the Metronidazole for flare ups. It is an antibiotic, so keep in mind that it can also throw their gut flora off which can create new problems. I don't really understand the purpose unless you suspect the dog is dealing with something like giardia - there is a lot of good bacteria in our systems that is supposed to be there. (I know a lot of people that keep it on hand "just in case"; my vet will not prescribe it for that purpose and thinks it is over prescribed without cause.)

                Good luck!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by S1969 View Post
                  I would do this, and if not successful, would move to allergy testing. Too many people just keep messing around with food after food after food, and eventually find out that there is an allergy. It's spending some money, but a lot faster to help narrow down the issues.
                  Please keep in mind that food allergy testing is EXTREMLY unreliable and most vets and doctors won't recommend it. The only true way to test foods is to eliminate and see if there is a reaction if it's added back into the diet. I personally have 2 food allergies where my reactions are extreme, anaphylactic have sent me to the hospital and my allergy tests to those foods come back negative. I would follow your vet's instructions try the fish food or a prescription food and pay close attention to reactions. Keep in mind that itchiness, reddish stains around the eyes and paws and ear infections can be a sign of a food allergy too.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Talk to your vet about Pepcid. It saved a dog of mine when nothing else worked.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My Welsh Terrier had gastro issues for most of the summer. Alternating diarrhea, vomiting. Some blood. Rumbling, gassy mess. Her fecals were clean, in that no parasites were found. But the vet diagnosed pancreatitis, and prescribed meds and ID dog food. She didn't like the canned food. She tolerated the kibble, but wasn't a big fan. And her poop wasn't great, anyway, even with the meds and special food.

                      This is working great. Stools are solid, and no more midnight poops in the living room.

                      She gets a packet of Purina FortiFlora every other day. One sweet potato "rawhide" chew every day.

                      Kibble is plain Purina ProPlan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach. Analysis is here:
                      https://www.proplan.com/dogs/product...anteedanalysis

                      She likes the salmon flavor.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Well, I'm seeing some improvement even though I know it's early days. Tomorrow he comes off the Metronidazole but I plan to keep him on the nighttime Pepcid for a while longer. He's fully on the Merrick fish food, and his probiotic, and there's been no bile vomiting since Friday. He seemed under the weather Sunday which is when it dawned on me that I was still using the duck pill pockets, which is still poultry, so that was dumb on my part. After some googling, I came upon the idea of using instant potato flakes (the ones with only potato, no flavors) as a sub and it actually works like a charm. I'm very thankful he's not a picky eater on top of all this.

                        He is still drinking more water than I think is normal, and thus needs nighttime bathroom breaks, but I'll give that a little more time to resolve. I know that can be a sign of other illnesses so I'll be checking in with the vet if that doesn't normalize soon. She was not concerned last week, given the stomach issues, that he was drinking extra.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My dog has pacreatitus and is doing very well on Acana Light and Fit. Protein is 8% much less than regular Acana. Hope your dog feels better soon.

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