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BarbMazz
23rd August 2006, 04:57 PM
Hi.. I'm a member who doesn't post much, but today I must because I'm at my wits end about my Bentley's tummy problems. Bentley will be three in November.. he's a sweet little tri.

Every couple of weeks Bentley has a couple of bad days, with his tummy grumbling and growling so loud I can hear it from the next room. He gets the runs (sometimes with a small bit of blood, not much), wants to eat a lot of grass, is lethargic, etc. I fast him as soon as I notice, and then give him small amounts of white rice with small bits of chicken for a couple of days.

I've spoken with my vet about this, but he has yet to get me in for an appt when this is actually happening. I'm disappointed in my vet to say the least!

I would like to hear opinions from any of you who have had troubles like this, too. Thanks so much! :xfngr:

Alison_Leighfield
23rd August 2006, 05:08 PM
Poor Bentley, :(

What do you normally feed him everyday?

Alison, Wilts, U.K.

BarbMazz
23rd August 2006, 05:18 PM
Right now he is eating Nature's Variety Raw Instinct kibble in the morning, and Nature's Variety raw in the afternoon. The raw he gets is different every few days... I switch between chicken and turkey, rabbit, and venison.

I generally switch out food every 6-9 months, for variety and nutritional changes. I always do the switch very gradually, taking about two wks to switch over.

He's had this problem off and on since he was just shy of a year old, no matter what food he's eating.

Alison_Leighfield
23rd August 2006, 05:19 PM
Are you up todate with worming etc?

Alison.

BarbMazz
23rd August 2006, 05:31 PM
Yes, he was just checked in June, and was negative for worms. All his vacs are up-to-date as well.

Alison_Leighfield
23rd August 2006, 05:34 PM
When he starts are the runs watery, oily, bubbly or covered in jelly? and colour? yellow, dark? and frequency? is there a smell? any vomiting?

Diarrhoea tells us lots about the the intestines...note all the above in a diary for your vet, does he strain? is he ever constipated? this could be many things like allergy related or bacterial or even an absorbtion problem, it needs to be looked into. Are you keeping an eye on his weight? Make sure he drinks plenty as the runs can cause loss of fluids fast.

Your vet should be given a sample of the "runs" in a clear clean jar, let them test
it and see the colour texture etc.

Different problems within the gut have different poo samples :yikes it needs to be done! If you are not happy with your vet...CHANGE...we pay enough for their fee's!

Alison, Wilts, U.K.

BarbMazz
23rd August 2006, 05:42 PM
Thank you, Alison! I will start a journal today. He is feeling much better this morning, thankfully!

The next time this happens I will collect several samples, and keep them separate, then even if my vet can't fit him in I will take the samples there and insist they be tested, at the very minimum.

You're right, I pay enough in fees there, and this problem definitely needs to be figured out.

Alison_Leighfield
23rd August 2006, 05:57 PM
I had left the computer to do my evening meal when I remembered my first Sheltie Meg, she was very similar to your little Cavalier, we did all the tests and found nothing....through trial and error I found she was much better with tiny meals through out the day rather than two big ones....she used to bolt her food and was also very windy, I guessed she swallowed as much air as food! this really seemed to help the most.

Alison, Wilts, U.K.

Cathy Moon
23rd August 2006, 06:23 PM
Just a thought, does Bentley walk on lawns that have been treated with lawn care products? Is your lawn treated?

Both India and Chocolate had 2 days of diarrhea recently just from having a few walks in our neighborhood where everyone treats their lawns, even though I kept them on the sidewalk as best I could. :( I do not treat my backyard at all, so within a couple of days they recovered, but I still feel bad about it.

Even the organic lawn care products are not safe, especially when corn gluten meal is used. Usually corn gluten meal is put down in the early Spring and again in August to prohibit crab grass from germinating. My dogs had colitis from it last year, right before we moved. If corn gluten meal is in humidity, it becomes toxic and can cause liver failure in dogs.

judy
23rd August 2006, 06:32 PM
Yes, he was just checked in June, and was negative for worms. All his vacs are up-to-date as well.

when i got zack he had bloody diarrhea and loose stool off and on for a month. Three times i took stool samples and no worms or other parasites showed up.

i tried different vets, and if i was experiencing what you are experiencing, if i had other options, i'd be trying other vets. it's not that i would be giving up the first vet. i would just be seeking other opinions until i found something that would help. that's what i did when zack had colitis and over a month 4 vets had no clue about what was causing it or how to stop it, but finally, despite negative worm tests, a 5th vet wanted to give him dontral Plus, a deworming medication. He never had colitis again following that first of two dosasges.

i later read on the internet in more than one place that worms and parasites often don't show up in stool samples because of their life cycles, and that to get a positive sample when the dog really has worms or parasites, samples should be taken for about 4 consecutive days and all tested at the same time, or each day if possible. negative for 4 days in a row, approximately, would rule it out.

during my experience with it, i learned that flagyl will get rid of the symptoms, but the symptoms can come right back if the cause is still there. I also learned that Tylan or Tylosin is an effective long term anti-diarrheal medication, it hasn't been found to be harmful or have side effects and some have found it eliminates symptoms of diarrhea, and if taken long enough, it may resolve the root cause. zack was on it for a few weeks, but i don't know if it helped. He took it during the period when he was well, but the cure seemed have been from the worm medication. but Tylan is a said to be a good long term antidiarrheal which i would probably try if worming didn't solve the problem, after the experience i had with it. i just gave the tylan once a day, it was a very small amount. i knew someone else who used it for years and then stopped it and the dog was ok. her vet wanted her to use it indefinitely but she finally stopped.

too bad there isn't an online vet consultation service like there used to be with mike richards. one of my vets, wendy brooks, used to have something like that on AOL, that's how i found them, she helped wiht my UTI problem with my cat on AOL. maybe there is such a thing now. I'd like to know about it if there is.

BarbMazz
23rd August 2006, 06:32 PM
Actually, we have NO lawn right now! We just moved into our new home at the end of June, so we have dirt and mud and stones.

He has had limited access to the yard because we've had lots of rain this summer and I don't want to clean up muddy messes several times a day.

I have two other dogs as well. A Golden Retriever and an English Springer. I do notice that all three will try to eat clay in the yard if I let them. I read about clay eating, and it seems that it wouldn't harm them much if they do get a bit of it.

Because of Bentley's tummy I watch him like a hawk outside so that he doesn't get into anything that might mess him up.

Cathy Moon
23rd August 2006, 06:46 PM
Has your vet checked Bentley for Clostridium? My dogs had that one summer, and we had similar symptoms, returning diarrhea.

Our vet sent a sample to be cultured, and it was found to be Clostridium. This is a bacteria in the intestines that can get an overgrowth, then it releases toxins. The vet gave us a bottle of Tylan powder, which we had to put 1/16th teaspoon in their food for several weeks. That took care of the problem.

Just an FYI, I live sort of near you; there is a very good, large practice veterinary clinic in North Ridgeville that is nationally known. If you want to get a second opinion, feel free to PM me for their names.

BarbMazz
23rd August 2006, 06:49 PM
Thank you, Judy!

Did you dose with the Drontal Plus twice, and that was it? Or was he on it for awhile?[/quote]

rory
23rd August 2006, 07:05 PM
The different foods may be upsetting his tummy. Try giving just the kibble for both meals for a few weeks and see how that works. Dogs don't tend to handle changing foods around as well as you and I. This is often the cause of colitis and diarrhea. Our lab had colitis for the first several months of her life and we just had to get her on a different food. Has he had this problem wwhen o n different brands of food, or have you always had him on Nature's Variety?

BarbMazz
23rd August 2006, 09:38 PM
Okay! I called my vet and asked to be seen this afternoon. I explained the problem <again> I've had when trying to get this little guy in to be seen when this is happening. So, they fit me in at 4:45 est, today!

I've collected a couple different samples about 4hrs apart and will have them both tested to see if anything shows. I'm going to request the Clostridium test, too.

I'll post after I get home to let you guys know what happened. Thanks so much for all your replies!

Karlin
24th August 2006, 01:09 AM
I strongly agree with Rory on this -- I would not be rotating foods around for a dog that has a sensitive stomach. I'd look for a single bland food designed for sensitive stomachs (many kibble makers do something specifically designed to address digestive upset), I'd not rotate flavours of the same brand wither, and I'd not feed treats that may contribute to the problem -- eg manufactured treats, and nothing fatty like pig ears and so forth.

It may also be that three or four small meals would suit him better that two larger meals.

This is setting aside the possibility of other causes for problems like this such as giardia, worms, etc.

You would worm once to clear the system -- then at most around four times a year on something like Drontal; I wouldn't worm more frequently (and indeed I worm a lot less frequently than that but that's my own preference). Sometimes a vet will have you worm twice, a short time apart, to clear out anything stubborn and serious, but this should be done only under vet's advice.

Worms can cause all these problems.

Cathy T
24th August 2006, 01:37 AM
I don't change my food. Jake and Shelby eat CA Natural chicken and rice every single day. I had such a hard time finding a food that agreed with Jake upset tummy that once I found my solution...that was it...no more changes.

BarbMazz
24th August 2006, 02:17 AM
I saw the vet, who tested the samples, which were negative for worms...which I realize doesn't mean Bentley doesn't have them, just that nothing showed up today!

He wants Bentley to eat an ID only diet for one month.. no treats, and nothing else besides the ID. He feels if he has no problems in that one month time the troubles are most probably due to diet related issues.

If Bentley has another episode while on the diet, he will then proceed to other testing; xray, ultrasound, fecal culture, etc. to try to pinpoint what is going on.

I know that foods can play havoc with a sensitive tummy and I sure hope that I have not contributed to his discomfort. It doesn't seem related to me because the upsets don't happen at the times I switch the foods.

Feeding raw, I've always switched up the protein sources with no troubles. I am very interested to see how this goes with the ID. The only treats Bentley gets are liver biscotti (very small pieces) and an occasional bully stick. These episodes don't seem to have any correlation with bully sticks. The liver biscotti he gets every day, but only two or three pieces, but that will be stopping too for now. He'll be very disappointed!

The vet also put him on a week's course of Flagyl. He'll be calling me in one month's time to see how Bentley is doing. Of course, if he has an episode before then I will contact the vet right away.

I appreciate everyone's thoughts, they are truly helpful.

Cathy T
24th August 2006, 03:41 AM
I had Jake on Purina vet formula for gastrointestinal problems for several months to rule out everything else. I also use canned ID when we have a "flare up".

Keep us posted and hope he continues to do well.

judy
24th August 2006, 07:32 AM
Thank you, Judy!

Did you dose with the Drontal Plus twice, and that was it? Or was he on it for awhile?


It was two doses a week apart. Or maybe it was two weeks apart. It was unforgettable, that first dose, because zack had a reaction to it--i gave it to him about 7pm and he got wired on it, hyper, he couldn't settle down, he couldn't relax, he was running around, he was climbing on me, he tried to lay down and settle down but he couldn't, he was cliimbing on furniture that he never climbs on, and it went on and on for hours, and i was supposed to go to work the next morning. I think he finally conked out around 4am or later and i got to sleep around 5. I reported this to the vet and was reluctant to give him the second dose a week or so later. I was very pleased though, that the diarrhea and vomiting abruptly stopped. I reported the hyper reaction to the vet, they called the manufacturer and they said it can happen sometimes, and the way to deal with it is to give the dog a quarter of a tablet at intervals throughout the day instead of all at once. I was still hesitant but the vet, who was a brand new vet to me who was my hero because she cured the awful neverending colitis and worsening GI symptoms and miserable doggie, said the second dose was important because of the worm life cycle, the eggs that would hatch after the first dose. So, i gave the second dose, starting early in the day, and i didn't see any hyper reaction.

judy
24th August 2006, 07:39 AM
You would worm once to clear the system -- then at most around four times a year on something like Drontal; I wouldn't worm more frequently (and indeed I worm a lot less frequently than that but that's my own preference). Sometimes a vet will have you worm twice, a short time apart, to clear out anything stubborn and serious, but this should be done only under vet's advice.
Worms can cause all these problems.

karlin--what are the reasons for trying to avoid worming too often? Is it because it's a pesticide and exposes them to a neurotoxin? I've always wondered why all the other vets i saw when zack had stubborn persistent GI symptoms didn't consider deworming him. I imagine it might be for the same reason you avoid doing it very often. My vet tried it without a positive stool culture. She gave it a trial because nothing else had worked, even in the absence of positive stool culture.

judy
24th August 2006, 08:08 AM
...He wants Bentley to eat an ID only diet for one month.. no treats, and nothing else besides the ID. He feels if he has no problems in that one month time the troubles are most probably due to diet related issues.
...If Bentley has another episode while on the diet, he will then proceed to other testing; xray, ultrasound, fecal culture, etc. to try to pinpoint what is going on.....
The vet also put him on a week's course of Flagyl. He'll be calling me in one month's time to see how Bentley is doing. Of course, if he has an episode before then I will contact the vet right away.


Zack was put on ID diet too during the ordeal. I was kind of leery of it just because it had a bunch of ingredients, including corn which is a common allergen. I thought it was strange that they would put that stuff in it, but i'm sure they know what they're doing.

Your vet sounds reasonable and taking a conservative sensible approach.

The first two vets i went to each said that having tried diet and Flagyl, and in the second vet's case, sulfasalazine, first alone and then in combination with Flagyl, they were unable to do anything more for Zack without more invasive assessment procedures. The first vet said the only thing left for her to try was either endoscopy or exploratory surgery where she would "cut open his stomach and intestines", (her words).
:yikes
hearing her say that really bothered me. Plus i had no insurance then.
And the second vet said she was "stumped" and that the next thing to do was barium studies, which would involve taking views of his abdomin for 6 hours while i guess he would be suspended in space, i'm not sure if he would've had to be anaesthetized for that, she said they would be looking for blockages. That vet put him on the Tylan, and said if that didn't help, then she didn't know what else to do besides barium studies, that would be the next thing, $600.
that was the point things were at when i went to yet another new vet, and she was the one who said she wanted me to give him the Dontral Plus for worms, she said "I would hate to miss that diagnosis."
For Zack, Flagyl worked very quickly the first time, and he was asymptomatic for several days after he finished taking it for 7 days. Then he had a vaccination and had a "normal" (they said) reaction to that (sore and lethargic for a day), and then the diarrhea returned. so then he had Flagyl again, and it worked again, but the diarrhea came back while he was still on it, after stopping for a few days. then they gave him Flagyl again, and on the last day of the prescription, for the first time he started vomiting and that continued for a very long week until the deworming. During that week, he had the sulfasalazine, and then more Flagyl too, with no benefit.

i sure hope these conservative measures fix Bentley--i think that in most cases these things do work. In fact, i believe that if i hadn't had Zack's vaccination until a month or more after the diarrhea stopped, he may not have been overrun by worms or whatever it was. The vaccination wiped out his immune system and it wasn't a good time for that to happen to him. He had just come to his new home, he was adapting to new things, it was stressful for the little guy, as it would be for anyone.

Fingers crossed for Bentley!

Cathy Moon
24th August 2006, 01:01 PM
Hope Bentley is feeling better soon! :flwr:

Claire
24th August 2006, 01:55 PM
Yes, any news?

My three have been on the same Lamb and Rice biscuits for months, and I just add the tuna or mince and carrots to add a different flavouring - touch wood (or Woody) everyone is okay now.... Busta was a bit ill a few months ago but the vet reckons he had a bug... we did try different flavours every so often but they prefer the lamb and rice (James Wellbeloved).