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What do you feed your sensitive stomach, IBD dog?

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  • What do you feed your sensitive stomach, IBD dog?

    So if you saw my post on the agility thread, you may have heard that my dog recently had a bout of colitis (liquid diarrhea progressing to bloody stool). In hindsight, I think that steroid and antibiotic treatment for an infected tick bite is what started the last cycle of problems, together with the stress of his first (and perhaps last) agility match.

    This is not a first for him. Since he was a puppy, he has been very sensitive to food changes. We finally got him stable, healthy, and happy on TOTW Bison with a spoonful of Canidae wet on top. However, he would get a bit burpy on this, so we mixed it with Wellness Core, and he seemed to do OK. Too much Core, and the stool was soft, too much TOTW, and he burped.

    This summer, I decided to try to find one food to feed him. I also wanted to get away from the larger companies like Diamond and Berwind (who bought Wellness).

    He was crazy,almost psychotically energetic on Orijen. Diarrhea on Instinct. Can't offhand remember all the others we tried, but if you mentioned a name, I would recall.

    So after the last bout of colitis, all we want is hard stools. We are transitioning back from the chicken and rice colitis diet to the TOTW. At this point, we have added Pepcid, Enzymes, and Probiotics. Dog is finally coming around after nearly a month of tummy problems. He has been to the vet multiple times, had bloodwork, etc. Vet says go back to TOTW if that has worked in the past.

    Now that he is on the Pepcid, Priobios, and Prozyme, he may do OK on the TOTW, but we are looking for alternatives. Also, we want to find a wet dog food to dollop on top.

    If you have read to here, I am impressed. Any ideas for us?

  • #2
    Only thing that works for my ubber-sensitive tummy old dog is home cooked. He can eat beef, but can't deal with chicken, fish, lamb ... so I just ended up cooking my own. Boiled beef, rice, veggies (NO corn or peas), and a good multi-vitamin. I tried so many different diets and had no luck.


    • #3
      TOTW didn't work for mine sensitive stomach girl. We ended up on prescription diet for a while...now we feed 4Health from Tractor Supply, which seems to do the trick. It's a fairly high quality food.


      • #4
        My Chinese Crested had colitis a month ago.. pretty scary seeing blood all over your floor when the dog is jumping around wagging tail and acting normal! I have him on Solid Gold and mix in a little Wellness canned food and he seems to do well on this combo. I tried Natural Balance but after a few days he started throwing up bile every morning. I think his tummy was emptying to quick from that food. Be careful with Wellness dry food. I found cobwebs and dead bugs in a few of the big bags.


        • #5
          We are currently feeding Natural Balance Sweet Potato and Fish. It is a limited ingredient diet, and our guy's poop has been pretty firm and good for a couple months now. We've had issues with him since he was a pup, and we've tried a number of foods. The issue I have with this food is that his poop smells pretty bad on it, it's not rated the highest, and he still seems too thin for me. He has an appointment next month with a holistic vet (Sharon Doolittle, if you are in MA, you might remember her as an equine vet) since I just can't get much help diet wise from my regular vet, other than to buy their prescription diet.


          • Original Poster

            Thanks for the suggestions. Agree on ditching the Wellness. Glad I am not the only one who monitors the poop. Husband and I report to each other on a 10 pt scale. We really need to get a life.

            If things don''t resolve I will try the vet recommendation. Thanks, where is she?


            • #7
              She is in North Smithfield, RI, and the soonest appointment I could get was at the beginning of January, so she must be pretty busy. But we're really at our wit's end and I just feel like he's failing to thrive and we aren't doing a good enough job by him.

              PS - We monitor poop too, on a 10 scale with color thrown in the mix too! Plus, since he enjoys a poop snack, we run around after him picking up all his offerings. But hey, we're horse people, we know how important poop is.


              • #8
                Low Fat diets sometimes help. Often the grain free diets are higher in protein and fat...sometimes it works for them, but sometimes the fat content it too high. Also, veggies can give them rip roaring diarrhea too. Sounds like you are doing a good job with trial/error. Dont be afraid to try some vet recommended foods either - as much as people say they are the spawn of the devil, they are usually recommended as results have been achieved with them.


                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by Limitless View Post
                  She is in North Smithfield, RI, and the soonest appointment I could get was at the beginning of January, so she must be pretty busy. But we're really at our wit's end and I just feel like he's failing to thrive and we aren't doing a good enough job by him.

                  PS - We monitor poop too, on a 10 scale with color thrown in the mix too! Plus, since he enjoys a poop snack, we run around after him picking up all his offerings. But hey, we're horse people, we know how important poop is.
                  I know exactly what you mean about feeling like you are not doing a good enough job. It should be so simple to make them happy, and when they are not, you feel awful!

                  As for the poop monitoring, very much appreciate the company there too.


                  • #10
                    I'd try limited ingredient diets. One protein source and one carb source and nothing else. California Natural has some, as Natural Balance.

                    I have an IBD cat, and I simply cannot feed her stuff with a long ingredient list--it's just entirely too many opportunities for her to react to something.

                    Just take a look at what's in the TOTW Bison:

                    Bison, lamb meal, chicken meal, egg product, sweet potatoes, peas, potatoes, canola oil, roasted bison, roasted venison, natural flavor, tomato pomace, ocean fish meal, salt, choline chloride, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, yucca schidigera extract, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product,dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid.
                    All of that might work GREAT for some dogs, but there are sooooo many opportunities in there for allergies or sensitivities. Compare to Cal Nat:

                    Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Rice, Chicken Fat, Flaxseed, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavors, Potassium Chloride, Carotene, Biotin, Calcium Carbonate, Calcium Iodate, Choline Chloride, Cobalt Carbonate, Cobalt Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Dicalcium Pantothenate, dl-Methionine, Folic Acid, Iron Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Niacin, Potassium Chloride, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin C Supplement (Sodium Ascorbate), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement (Alpha Tocopherol), Zinc Proteinate, Rosemary Extract


                    • Original Poster

                      Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                      I'd try limited ingredient diets. One protein source and one carb source and nothing else. California Natural has some, as Natural Balance.

                      I have an IBD cat, and I simply cannot feed her stuff with a long ingredient list--it's just entirely too many opportunities for her to react to something.

                      Just take a look at what's in the TOTW Bison:

                      All of that might work GREAT for some dogs, but there are sooooo many opportunities in there for allergies or sensitivities. Compare to Cal Nat:
                      I agree the limited ingredients formulas make more sense. Ironically, it was the Instinct limited ingredient lamb and peas that set him off last. We may try again if things continue to get better on the TOTW.


                      • #12
                        My little sensitive sheltie is on Fromm - the blue bag with the gold print for less-active senior dogs. She does quite well on it.
                        "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

                        So, the Zen Buddhist says to the hotdog vendor, "Make me one with everything."


                        • #13
                          Surprisingly, I learned from a greyhound forum to add beetpulp to my girl's diet to help make her stools more firm. It has worked great!! I soak about 2 heaping tablespoons of beet pulp and add it to Hazy's dinner every night. She loves it and her poop is more solid.

                          Best of luck...


                          • #14
                            My JRT got IBD when she was about 12. The vet made me change protein from Chicken which she ate her entire life, to something she had never eaten. so i went with Fish protein. She had to have 6 months of prednisone for her stomach to heal up. that did not work so we continued the prednisone at the vet's request. She had to have a daily probiotic. treats had to be similar as her food. good luck this is a very upsetting disease.


                            • #15
                              Peas gives one of my dogs wicked diarrhea...like, all... over....the..... house.

                              If you have the time, you may also want to consider "very" low ingredient like ground beef or turkey (or any protein) and rice. I would stay away from feeding veggies. A good balance of protein and carb is ideal,too much protein can also cause IBD flareups.


                              • #16
                                Raw. Seriously. My Piper had very similar issues to your dog. Switched to prey model raw (no vegetables or anything, just meat, bone & organs) almost 5 months ago and it's the best thing I've ever done for her. She is healthier than ever, no more loose stools or colitis episodes and just looks amazing.

                                I'm kicking myself for not switching her over sooner.. this was a dog that basically lived on Metronidazole before the switch.


                                • #17
                                  I know grain-free is the "trend", but rice is probably the easiest carb source for dogs to digest. A simple chicken and rice formula, making sure the protein is sufficient of course. Perhaps Anamet Ultra?

                                  Peas in dog food are a pet peeve of mine. Dogs can't digest legumes. And they are starting to show up in food after food after food. Want gas? add peas to your dog's food.


                                  • #18
                                    If Orijen was too much for your dog, you might try Acana instead. It is a little lower in fat and protein.


                                    • #19
                                      The only thing one of my dogs can eat is Raw, I feed Stella and Chewy's and Nature's Variety.

                                      I also give him Vetri-Science Labs Vetri-Probiotic BD and Standard Process Veterinary Formula Canine Enteric Support.

                                      Good luck! I feel your pain, I've been through the same ordeal with one of my guys.
                                      Proud Native Texan!
                                      owned by 3 Cardigan Corgi's + 3 wonderful horses!


                                      • Original Poster

                                        Thanks for all your suggestions. Right now, he is pooping an 8, so we are ecstatic! He is mostly on the TOTW with some chicken and rice at meals. Then to try to put some more weight back on him, I am giving him an extra quarter cup of food a few times a day.

                                        Our other dog has to settle for carrots to bribe him into the crate while Mr. Sensitive Tummy gets extra meals. Figures the puppy mill rescue puppy can eat anything, and the well-bred dog has the sensitive stomach.