View Full Version : "colitis" issues - long but looking for suggestions if you have them

2nd April 2010, 02:57 AM
Kosmo had his annual vet appt on February 19th of this year and everything was perfect for him - there were no concerns. On February 23rd, we had a basement leak and unfortunately it was a lot of sewer water (there was human feces, toilet paper and stagnant water from the washer in the basement.) Unfortunately, I did not realize what it was down there until it was already too late and the dogs had run through it. On February 28th, Kosmo started showing mucous in his stools. On March 2nd, he went to the vet and was diagnosed with colitis (he started showing blood afterwards, too). He first went through 7 days of metronidazole (flagyl), and then his symptoms came back and he was put on another 7 (I think? but 1/2 of one in the morning and 1/2 of one at night) and then another 14. He had his last pill yesterday morning and started to crash again this morning. Three times now, it's happened where he finishes his flagyl and then gets sick again... What happens is this:

Pills are done *like yesterday morning*, yesterday night I hear a little bit of a louder tummy but nothing too bad.. this morning I wake up and his tummy is growling and gurgling like crazy. I let him outside and he's interested in only eating grass and refuses his morning kibble. His tummy settles down after a while, but he still doesn't feel good. He then has a bowel movement which is extremely loose and has a lot of mucous in it *yesterdays when he was still on the pills was completely formed although a tinge soft, it was good*. Today's had blood tinged mucous and smelled AWFUL. He's now back on the flagyl for 10 more days and my vet and I are at a total loss.

His fecals have all come back negative. His CBC came back with elevated eosinophils but that was in early March. He's on Orijen dog food (6 fish) and has done great with that. I believe he's allergic to grain and he's VERY picky so I have to be careful with what I feed him, but I've read that dogs with inflammatory bowel disease (which I'm concerned about) may do better on low protein foods - anybody heard that before?

The next step for us right now looks like a bacterial culture (I'm not sure what that entails or how it's obtained?) and a Gastro specialist for an endoscopy. The vet says the problem seems to originate in his stomach since his stomach makes a TON of noise before his stools get loose. He was on reglan pills orally for a week and also had to spend a day at the doggy hospital and get an injection because his tummy got so upset. The vet also told me that this is a very a-typical case as most cases of colitis do not react like his.

I am concerned he has IBS from this. To me, it seems like the flagyl is helping only while he's on it, but as soon as he's off it comes back. I'm convinced it's because it has anti-inflammatory properties and as soon as the anti-inflammatory agents are gone, the inflammation returns. My vet thinks it's a combination of that and the kibble being too dense for him (although while he's on the flagyl his stool does return to close to normal....)

The only other thing I can think of is the possibility that he coincidentally developed a food allergy to the 6fish at the same time of the basement ordeal. This would corroborate with the elevated eosinophils and makes sense to me that as soon as he's off the pills the inflammation comes back as flagyl apparently has an immunosuppressant property to it as well. I tried putting him on RAW but he doesn't eat it. I have read before that something like that happens you should try a protein source that a dog hasn't been on before.. Does this make sense?

Thank you for any and all help and or advice you can give me. As this is a holiday weekend, I am glad my vet gave me the script of flagyl to get through the weekend and then we'll make a new action plan next week, but she mentioned making plans to meet with a specialist next week. I am just trying to be proactive, prepare myself explore all options and make myself a question list before that appointment. :thnku:

PS.. Thank goodness I kept my insurance! :yikes

2nd April 2010, 03:16 AM
PS - I should probably add that Kos is also on probiotics (Rx Biotics - 2 scoops/day) and has been for a couple of weeks, as well as someone mentioned tripe helps so he's on about a tsp of that and he's on pumpkin. He's been on and off pepto bismol on my vet's advice as well.

2nd April 2010, 09:02 AM
Your poor dog (and poor you) - it can be so stressful and frustrating when they are sick.

I have a Cavalier who is prone to colitis and gets bouts every so often (involving us yoyoing back and forth to the vet, and her being miserable). I have found that food makes a big difference to her (she is allergic to grain also) and I have her on Royal Canin Sensitivity Control, which works wonders for her. It has a fish protein source and is grain free. I originally only put her onto it when she was going through a dodgy patch but after a while I just kept her on it and it really has helped.

From reading reviews of Orijen, some people swear by it (as do I with regards to my other dogs) but others report slimy poos which could be adding to your little ones problems.

When my lady has a bout, she is usually given an antibiotic (flagyl or something similar) for anything from 5 days to 2 weeks and an anti inflammatories for the same period, if not longer. I find the anti inflams work the best for my lady so often she is just given a long lasting antibiotic injection and given oral anti inflams for a week or two at home. I have heard of dogs being on flagyl for months and having no ill side effects but my own vet has not used this method with my dog.

Good luck and I really hope you get this sorted soon.

2nd April 2010, 12:10 PM
We had a similar problem with one of our cavs, Belle, she always had these "infections" and liquidy poos, etc. Finally after much hemming and hawing, speculating and wrong diagnoses, the vet tested her stool for GIARDIA (which can come from stagnant water, look it up on a search engine) and that was it. It's a nasty strong parasite but can be taken care of by a 5 week regimen of worming meds, etc. Maybe you should ask about that. She's absolutely grand now. Thank goodness. Good Luck.

2nd April 2010, 03:25 PM
Chaos has always had the same problems with her tummy from a young puppy every few weeks she would have a bad attack and I was never able to find a cure or cause. I did think it might be caused by her being a very nervous type and was caused by anxiety but am not really sure. Last year I started to give her 10 mg of Omeprazole which is a human medicine for people with ulcers and gastric upsets. I was giving her this to help with her SM but it has been a miracle cure for her tummy. Now she can eat anything and has not had any upsets since starting to take it. At one stage when she was so bad the vet did give her a Tagamet injection which is also used by people with ulcers and that also helped. It is just a suggestion that might help and obviously all these medicines have possible side effects and you could ask your vet first.

Cathy Moon
3rd April 2010, 09:23 PM
Poor Kosmo!

I would definitely try a different protein source. Maybe Nature's Variety Venison & Millet? Could Faith just finish off whatever foods that don't work for Kosmo? Usually I feed Chocolate & Geordie whatever foods I try buying for India that don't agree with her allergies.

Definitely go for the stool culture - it might show an overgrowth of something easily treatable.

I had to have stool cultures done on both India and Geordie years ago, and it revealed an overgrowth of clostridium, which could absolutely be causing these problems. The stool sample is usually sent to a lab, where it is cultured/grown and different antibiotics can be tried on it to find the most effective. It might turn out to be something like Clostridium, which actually causes toxins to build up in the intestines and must be treated. The most effective treatment our vet found for Geordie and India's clostridium was Tylan powder for several weeks.

What does the vet recommend to feed him until he is diagnosed? Have you tried him on boiled ground beef or turkey and white rice? Or a larger serving of tripe?

4th April 2010, 04:51 AM
Thank you guys for all of your replies. Kos is back on the flagyl and has been acting like nothing is wrong since then :confused:

Lorebringer - my vet actually said she's had dogs in her practice on Flagyl for months at a time with no ill effects - that's such a good thing, but I'm hoping it doesn't come down to that!! lol - if he's going to have to be on it for months, I want to try to figure out what we're fighting!

Desrae - Omg I am so sorry to hear you had to deal with giardia! I know a few people who've had to deal with that over the years and it sounds like no fun at all! I know kosmo was tested for that in his fecals (he had 2 and possibly 3 but I don't know on the third) and they have all shown up negative, but I know that doesn't necessarily mean it is negative. I'm hoping if they have to go in and explore they will see if it's that.

Jacies - thanks for the info on the omeprazole and tagamet! I'll have to ask the specialist about those when I get there!

Cathy - OMG! I TOTALLY think Kosmo could have an overgrowth of Clostridium!!! I REALLY am having a hard time believing ANY of this has to do with his food honestly - it just doesn't make sense to me the more I think about it, and he has been on Orijen for years now and just has no history of this type of thing. I threw him underneath a plane at one point and we moved houses in June (which was so stressful for them that they sulked for weeks!) and nothing like this ever happened!!

I am seriously considering the possibility of clostridium and will definitely asked it be tested for Monday. Here's why: I am a nursing student and have been in and out of hospitals for the last 3 years now.. Many patients end up with clostridium overgrowth for different reasons but one thing that is a hallmark of this is the SMELL of it.. :yikes When Kosmo had that awful bowel movement on Thursday - that smell.. well, I could barely drive in the car with the poop and I deal with poop on a daily basis!!! I wonder if perhaps that's what he has??!! I was actually thinking about this possibility yesterday so it's funny you mentioned it. What's even more coincidental is that I see that it's treated by several weeks of Flagyl.. Kosmo has been on it for several weeks already, but I'm wondering if the dosage is right? It does seem like he's getting better - but he's better when he's on the pills. I'm convinced it is SOME form of bacteria because of the smell and the way "it's" (whatever it is) acting. I don't even care if I don't figure it out, as long as he gets better :sl*p:

It's going to be interesting what happens with this. I'm just ready to do whatever I have to do to get to the bottom of this now. I love my vet but I'm starting to get concerned about long-term effects of him getting so sick (i.e. scarring of the colon from the bleeding and that sort of thing). She has been great in the respect that she's been so willing to work with me, but I think she's finally getting frustrated with this so perhaps it's time to pick someone else's brain :o