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Bec_028

HELP...Upset tummy for over 6 weeks

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Hi everyone,

We need your expertise. We have a beautiful BC named Jasper, he is 19 months old and a very happy, outgoing dog who loves people and other animals. We love him to bits and he is basically the baby of our family.

Since Christmas time, he has had an on again off again upset tummy. We took him to see our vet whose opinion we trust, and he prescribed antibiotic and neo-sulcin to form up his poos and lessen the amount of mucus as well as feeding him solely boiled chicken and rice. His normal diet is a combination of chicken, white rice and sweet potato twice daily and some Black Hawk Grain Free/taste of the wild grain free kibble. 

After a couple of days of meds he vomited a few times in one day so our vet recommended taking him off the neo-sulcin. He finished the weeks course of antibiotics and we hoped that would be the end of his sore tummy, but we were wrong. It has continued since with some form poos but equal amounts of runny poos. So today we took him back for a follow up and the vet (a new vet that we don’t normally see because our regular vet has moved overseas) recommended Royal Canin hypoallergenic DR21. She basically said to try it and if he responds, he will need to eat this and only this for the rest of his life. 

We’re worried that this food isn’t the answer for him. If his tummy upset is due to an allergy there must be another answer, like determining the actual cause of the upset, not just recommending a plain diet of so called ‘specialised’ kibble. Jasper is only a pup and has eaten his normal diet his whole life, with the extra tuna, red meat in there as well and always had a very healthy tummy. 

At the moment the main constants in his diet are rice and chicken. From what we have read so far, the likely causes of allergies are usually the grain or the protein, so we’re planning to change to a red meat/sweet potato and grain free red meat-based kibble type diet for a bit to try to eliminate either rice or chicken as the ingredients that he might be allergic to. Has anybody ever tried a similar approach? Has anything worked for your BCs??

I know that nobody can tell us the exact answer but we are desperate for some experience based guidance from you guys who look at your BCs in the way that we do, and care for them like their your baby. It just felt like this new vet didn’t care and was all about antibiotics and vet recommend dry diets. 

Im so sorry about the lengthy story but please know we appreciate any stories or experiences you guys have had and so grateful for your help and support.

Bec and Phil 

 

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Adding a spoonful of tinned pumpkin firmed up stools when my puppy, 8 months old, had an upset tummy. We well as that he had chicken and rice, nothing else for 2 weeks.

Hope this may help.

Mandy

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11 hours ago, Bec_028 said:

...our vet whose opinion we trust, and he prescribed antibiotic...

Did he do any tests to determine if this was a bacterial infection? I worry (as does the CDC and just about everyone researching antibiotics) about their over use. Too many anti-bacterial resistant strains developing because they're being prescribed willy-nilly.

11 hours ago, Bec_028 said:

...Royal Canin hypoallergenic DR21. She basically said to try it and if he responds, he will need to eat this and only this for the rest of his life...

I could see trying it and if he responds looking to find another food that he can tolerate well. But to automatically say that if he responds this is the only food he can eat for the rest of his life? Have you looked at the ingredients? The only meat is hydrolized "poultry" (i.e. unspecified) livers. Add unspecified animal fats and lots of soy.

SOY? I've been reading for years that soy's one of the major food allergens in dogs. It's why so many kibble manufactures tout their formulas as being soy free.

If he were mine I'd be going in a whole different direction.

https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2011/12/01/allergen-free-pet-foods.aspx

I wish you the best in figuring out this issue your dog's having.

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While the CRaP (chicken, rice, and pumpkin) approach is the common one for dogs with upset tummies/intestines, we found out over several months of problems that our elderly dog had suddenly developed an intolerance for chicken! The vet and we tried a number of approaches in terms of meds and moving from a kibble to home-made CRaP, and nothing seemed to help. And then our adult daughter made the comment, "Have you considered that he might be having problems with the chicken?" I said, "Of course not, he was on chicken-based kibbles for a dozen years before we switched to lamb-based (for no particular reason) and then I just switched back to the same chicken-based that he'd been on before." She said, "Try taking him off chicken." I did. Guess what? The diarrhea problems we'd been struggling with for about three months were gone! The intestinal inflammation was gone! The abdominal discomfort was gone! 

So, while you may try a home-made chicken-based bland diet, don't discount trying other protein sources instead if the chicken-based does not help with the problem. 

Disclaimer - He still has a slightly soft poop and in looking at the label on the lamb and rice kibble we feed, I just noticed that the fat source is *chicken* fat. So, I'm looking around for a similar quality kibble that is lamb-based but without chicken fat. 

Very best wishes, as I know this is a worrisome thing to deal with. 

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You didn't mention if your vet had actually done stool sample testing - giardia is a common and indolent infection that can wax and wane, and it requires specialized antibiotics to treat.  Also, you might consider cobalamin deficiency (Sue R might chime in here) which is an inherited inability to produce Vitamin B12 that can cause all sorts of problems, eventually resulting in death.  There is a DNA test for it now.  I personally would be most interested in a full fecal panel first, however.

Good luck with your lovely pup!

Amy

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Thank you so much guys, we’re so grateful for your guidance and support. 

Thanks for the link GentleLake, that article reaffirmed a lot of what we’ve been reading. 

Our plan is to set aside the Royal Canin DR21 dry good and try to go back to an elimination process. We’re going to start with feeding our little guy lamb and sweet potato and see how his tummy handles it. If he responds to a limited diet then we might try to start reintroducing things one by one to see how he responds.

i just wish the vet didn’t immediately jump to antibiotics instead of doing a fecal analysis or a blood test or something. It seems a bit like guess work when no tests are actually performed. Anyway, hopefully his tummy will settle and we’ll get him back to tip top health soon.

Again thanks so much guys, we can’t thank you enough. 

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2 minutes ago, Bec_028 said:

...i just wish the vet didn’t immediately jump to antibiotics instead of doing a fecal analysis or a blood test or something. It seems a bit like guess work when no tests are actually performed...

Remember that in situations like this it's your job to be your dog's advocate. Ask lots of questions and if you don't like the answers you're getting it's OK to refuse the treatment offered and get a second opinion.

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Since the vet did not do a fecal...if it was my dog, I'd fast for 24 hours, worm him, panacur, and use some Tylan powder, with regular feedings, along with some good probiotics. Food allergies, in the big picture, are pretty rare. 

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If it is possible, I would be looking at going to another vet clinic to get a second opinion.  Fecal testing would be high on my list as well.  Then think about an elimination diet if the fecal testing came back with nothing, following veterinary advice. 

I have also heard anecdotally about chicken being a big issue for protein allergies. I am in Australia, so I would probably go with kangaroo as the protein to reintroduce to him.  I understand it is a lot harder to get in America. There are obviously other options, including fish, lamb, duck, beef, venison etc.  In Australia, we even have an option of crocodile! 

With food allergies, it comes down to either making food yourself, or becoming very skilled and diligent at reading ingredient labels, and reading them every time, because ingredients can change without notice. 

The only other thing I will say, is that I have a dog with a sensitive stomach, and I find that giving him a tablespoon or two of natural yoghurt does help when he has runny poop.  This WILL NOT WORK FOR EVERY DOG.  A fairly large proportion of dogs are lactose intolerant, and if your dog is in this category yoghurt will not help.  If your dog can tolerate lactose, some natural yoghurt (and I mean unflavoured, unsweetened, natural yoghurt - the one I buy is just bio-dynamic milk and the yoghurt culture, with no extra milk solids, thickeners etc - it is better quality than what I eat) may help.

 

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I would take him to a different vet and have tests ran.

Couple of stories:

My insurance agent's puppy golden retriever had soft stool and diarrhea from when they got her,  his regular vet suggested probiotics, changes in diet but never did any fecal testing. They went to my vet who ran tests and found a problem that she had picked up from her horses on the farm where she had been bred, some drugs and she was the happy healthy puppy a test had denied her. What really shocked me was he still goes to the original vet!

My own dogs periodically pick up intestinal problems, a fecal test has identified the problem and within a few days of the right drugs they have been good. 

 

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A fecal test would be the first thing I would suggest, as many have suggested. And, just because nothing is found in a fecal, does not mean it isn't something like giardia, which can be hard to detect (make sure your sample is very fresh for best results). 

Amy mentioned IGS - I had a dog with cobalamine malabsorption deficiency (the inability to absorb B12 from the diet) back before this genetic defect and its DNA test were commonly recognized. I doubt this is your dog's problem as you would likely have been seeing issues (normally periodic, recurrent diarrhea and lack of appetite) for much of his life and not just now, but it is something to consider if you rule out other possibilities. It is easily dealt with by regular Vitamin B12 injections which are simple to give yourself once you know how. I doubt this is your dog's problem but it is a possibility. 

One other thing that I would consider in an otherwise healthy dog that occasionally vomits is a mass of foreign material in the stomach. If he is the kind of dog that swallows fibers from toys (tug ropes, stuffed dog toys, etc., and I have one of those) or even hair that he has pulled out if he is an over-active self-groomer (I have one of those), he might have a mass of indigestible material in his stomach that occasionally gets in the way of his food passing on to his intestines and he vomits his food. I have had two dogs that experienced this - once the young dog vomited the mass (after several months of regular small vomits with no discernible cause), he was just fine. The other, when going through a bad time of over-zealous self-grooming and swallowing a lot of hair, would vomit up a mass every couple of weeks, and occasionally her food as the mass increased in size throughout the two-week period. 

So, a couple more things to consider. 

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