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View Full Version : Gracie's diarrhea not getting better so far.... starting to get very worried



GraciesMom
27th March 2011, 12:39 AM
We have had her on metronidazole for 7 days and before that sulfasazine for 5 days. I am seriously worried now. Gracie has maybe had 4 somewhat normal poops and the rest have been various types of diarrhea (all over the board). She has had all kinds of blood tests, fecal tests and ultrasound. Nothing showing up there of concern that would cause this. The good news is that she has not lost that much weight considering and she still seems to feel pretty good. The only thing I can say is that the urgent diarrhea has been gone but when she does poop, it usually is not good.

The big issue I think we have is WHAT to feed her to get better. We are getting contradictory advice all over the place. She is very tired of rice mixed with anything... and even what we feed her now till she is better is a big concern. Some say CHANGE IT IMMEDIATELY to boiled ground beef with rice....but then others say do NOT change anything at all until she is better. We are now doing just cottage cheese and rice with a little broth with the hope that no meat will help her heal. Boiled chicken does not sit well with her and not sure if adding a tablespoon of ground beef boiled/drained made her worse yesterday. She loved the ground beef but not sure if we can use it either!!

So now no meat at all.. really boring diet that she does not want to eat... and waiting to see if she is better tomorrow.

We are not sure if some of this was re-triggered by a deworming med that we were told to give her just in case that was the issue since not responding to meds. We gave it to her Wednesday and on Thursday her diarrhea was back. Maybe the Drontal is doing its job?? and that is why we have the diarrhea now? It is not super runny now but more like pudding.

I am terrified to make changes and terrified not to. Any advice is greatly appreciated. I do know that if not better on Monday, we are back to the vet but not sure what route they will want to take or what we should ask them to do. They will likely want to do a colonoscopy, but some here have said that likely will not tell us anything. I don't know if that is true or not but we do know this is a lower bowel issue.

My own instincts tell me that this is a diet or immune issue ...or both in combination. If anyone has suggestions on how to find a way out of this mess before she gets worse, I would greatly appreciate it.

Sydneys Mom
27th March 2011, 03:34 AM
Sorry Gracie is feeling so poorly and I can feel how worried you are. I have no advise, just wanted to say I'm thinking about you both and hope you find a solution soon. Sending good vibes your way.

Reptigirl
27th March 2011, 03:47 AM
When Flash had a really bad upset tummy that rice wouldn't fix my Vet gave him a canned food made my Science Diet. It was the I/D formula. It worked in about 24 hours. Has your vet sent you home with any prescription foods? I hate how expensive they are but it really did the trick for Flash

Good Luck!

Zumie05
27th March 2011, 04:52 AM
Has she been tested for Giardia? I know you have been dealing with this for quite some time..I do not recall if she had this test. I battled loose stool with my Rottweiler for months on end, until finally we had the giardia test...come back positive. After treatment he had normal stool.

For now, the more bland the diet, the better. It will help eliminate possible allergens. Does she have any skin or ear odor, or dry skin? What about in between her paws, any brownish coloring? These would be other signs of allergies.

I bet she just has a very sensitive tum tum. Have you considered a raw diet? Some dogs do very well on raw..but I understand your fear of trying anything different right now :( For the time being all I can do is offer support. You are doing everything you can, so don't feel bad!

Furrfoot
27th March 2011, 05:10 AM
All I can think of that I don't see mentioned is have you asked your vet about probiotics? With her being on a bunch of different meds, maybe she is lacking in the good gut bacteria? I know (sorry, tmi, but..) that when I take antibiotics (and I take them frequently), I HAVE to have probiotics, especially during and at least 2 weeks after, to get things back to normal. They make them that you can just add to food (as opposed to adding yogurt to her diet). Whole Foods has some in the refrigerated section of the supplements, and Culturelle is a reliable brand single strain probiotic that is not refrigerated and can usually be found at Walmart and Target. I think there are also some aimed at pets, but I don't know what they are. Might be something to ask about. I hope she is feeling better soon.

Flip to page 50 on this link: http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/advanstar/vm0107/index.php?startpage=37

lovecavaliers
27th March 2011, 05:20 AM
aww poor Gracie. I remember when Jack was a pup he had a period of diarrhea and all tests came back fine. I did the white rice and boiled chicken ( I know you said chicken didn't sit well with her). I also added the probiotics as furrfoot said. Finally, I put a tablespoon of canned (unsweetened) pumpkin in his food. Not sure which of the above worked but he got over the diarrhea.

My vet also did 2 fecals on him for giardia because it doesn't always show up throughout the entire stool sample (this is what I was told) so def get that ruled out if you haven't already.

Also my cat who has irritable bowel disease does well on the royal canine venison and pea diet. As reptigirl said they have similar vet diet food for dogs that maybe your vet could recommend.
I hope she is feeling better soon. Let us know how she is doing.

Soushiruiuma
27th March 2011, 06:15 AM
Poor Gracie, this is just never-ending. Obviously not a long term solution, fasting for a day then reintroducing food slowly can give the gut some time to get itself in order. I think infections should be pretty well taken care of with all the meds she's been on, maybe ask your vet about a cortisone shot or something that might suppress her immune response, sometimes breaking the cycle of inflammation helps.

I feel like you might be at a point where if you could just get her gut settled it would do more good than continuing to treat with antibiotics. I would continue with probiotics, probably for the rest of her life.

For feeding, maybe try sweet potato or pumpkin with some meat (venison or whatever). In the short run getting balanced nutrition isn't critical, if you can get her stable quickly you can work on moving to a complete diet.

Out of interest, I googled venison and found a place that sells deer, elk, buffalo, and goat meat. So if you are needing yet another novel protein source maybe one of those other ones.

There is someone who custom designs diets for dogs, but I honestly can't think of her name. If I remember I'll get a link to her site. She was expensive, but if it would help it might be worthwhile.

Soushiruiuma
27th March 2011, 06:44 AM
I can't find the site I was thinking of, but this is a similar type of thing

https://www.petdiets.com/

They are veterinary nutritionists (anyone can make a website, these people have actual qualifications). They can do a custom diet, for a fee. You can try looking through their feeding info, and maybe ask your vet if consulting with them might be beneficial.

Reptigirl
27th March 2011, 07:40 AM
Don't know why I didn't think about it but as already mentioned Probiotics worked wonders on my cat with a VERY sensitive stomach. I use a product called "FullPetential". ( www.fullpetential.com ) They make it for dogs and cats. It has several different kinds of probiotics and prebiotics in it.

Also as stated above I have also heard that canned pumpkin is helpful to dogs with upset tummies. Never tried it myself but a vet tech friend of mine has recommended it in the past.

GraciesMom
27th March 2011, 02:51 PM
We do have some doggy Probiotics but did not seem to be helping so we stopped but willing to try a bit of that again. The vet thought maybe the metronidazole was acting on that instead of the bad bacteria in her gut. I am pretty sure she was tested for giardia and it was negative but will verify that. I can ask about that and also another idea was coccidia, which also can be missed by fecal test. I understand you can do a blood test for the later and that might be an idea.

We now have done the no meat diet for a full day of just cottage cheese and rice. We were using venison but since she was not getting better, we decided to take away meat for a while.

I will talk with the vet about a presciption diet tomorrow too as maybe a temporary thing, but if she does really really well, then who knows?? I honestly am leaning toward a raw diet mixed with a high quality kibble with limited ingredients for a long-term choice if she does well on it.

I will look for signs of allergies mentioned.... did not know about the coloration in her paws but not seeing the other signs. Her ears seems to be pink and no smell. I put ear cleaner and dryer in them weekly. So far she is not getting much hair growing in her ear canal trim.

She has not had a poop this morning, but hoping it is a bit better but no time yet for the no-meat diet to work its way through. Also still not sure how much of this latest round of soft poop is due to the dewormer.

GraciesMom
27th March 2011, 03:07 PM
we continue to have her on cottage cheese, rice and some organic pumpkin (about 1.5 tsps per day). We are feeding her 5 small meals now instead of a larger amount. I am thinking about adding the probiotic gel back again but maybe not as much.

Love my Cavaliers
27th March 2011, 05:04 PM
I don't like the food so I am reluctant to recommend it, but like Reptigirl said, it seems to do the trick and that is the I/D food from Science Diet. I believe you can only get it from your vet or by a prescription from Petsmart. One of my dogs had horrible diarrhea lasting weeks - we went the same route you've been taking with the bland food, pumpkin, etc, flagyl. The canned I/D diet really did work. I kept Maddie on it for a while and then was able to slowly transition her off it and back on to the food that the rest of my dogs are on. She's been fine for years now.

I have heard of some dogs that have to be on a low residue diet after they go through a bout of this and there is a low residue kibble that you can get from the vet after the diarrhea is brought under control. Good luck. This is not fun and very worrisome.

I have also heard of a doctor in Chinatown in Chicago who will prescribe Chinese herbs for dogs. Some people around here swear by him. If you're interested you can PM me and I can get you the information. He will talk to you over the phone and send you what you need. My breeder has used him before.

MadPip
27th March 2011, 06:17 PM
I echo the suggestion to try Hills Science Diet I/D. It comes in both kibble and tinned. We use the tinned for Maddie when she has upset tummy, colitis etc. and she does really well on it. She also likes it which is a bonus. I always keep a couple of tins in the cupboard so at the first sign of an upset tummy (which we haven't had for a long while :D) I put her on that. She hasn't had colitis for almost a year now. Fingers crossed we've got it sussed.

Furrfoot
27th March 2011, 11:26 PM
You may need a different probiotic- it could be that that one is no longer effective (live cultures died off) or you may need to try a different strain. I forgot to mention, there is a little bit of a trick to managing antibiotics and probiotics. The probiotics need to be staggered with the antibiotic dosing, because, yes, if you give them at the same time, the antibiotics will kill off the probiotics in the gut. If I take my antibiotics at lunch and before bed, then I take my probiotics at breakfast and dinner.

Also, not starting the probiotics at full strength, but working up to the full dose over say, 3 days or so will be easier on her tummy. And lastly ;) , pumpkin can be good, but too much can also cause loose stools. I know there is a "dosing recommendation" somewhere, based on weight, for giving pumpkin to help with loose stools in dogs and cats. I will see if I can find it ;) . And yes, the SD food has worked for our pets in the past too, but we have only used it short term, so I can't add anything about long term usage.

I read a few google results, and this is the most common recommendations:

"About a tablespoon with meals for a weight of 50lbs. Adjust it accordingly. eg: 1/2 tablespoon for 25lbs. Make sure it is 100% pure canned pumpkin. It does help, I've usd both this along with plain boiled rice with hamburger. He was good after 4 days & has been good ever since. I have also kept him on a grain free diet."

If you try it, it is VERY important that you use only the pure pumpkin, no sugar, spices, etc.

*Edited again to add: I reread that you are already using the pumpkin, sorry! :P I'll leave it though, in case anyone else needs the amounts ;) .

waldor
27th March 2011, 11:53 PM
There is someone who custom designs diets for dogs, but I honestly can't think of her name. If I remember I'll get a link to her site. She was expensive, but if it would help it might be worthwhile.

Might that be Monica Segal? Gracie'sMom - there is a Yahoo Group Monica started, someone else moderates the group now, but Monica is a Cavalier person and there are a lot of Cavalier folks in the group. You'll even see a Cavalier on the Home page.

Monica also has written two books, just search her at Amazon.com but I have to admit I down own them since Sophie is doing well on her current diet.

Here's a link to Monica Segal's K9Nutrition YG:
http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/K9Kitchen/ I forgot about that group. I joined it when Sophie was a pup but don't read very often. It might be very helpful to you. Here is the group description, copied & pasted from the home page:

This list discusses raw and cooked canine diets with a focus on individual needs. While we encourage a proactive approach for healthy dogs and puppies, we also support the unique requirements of breeding dogs, canine athletes and dogs battling cancer, kidney disease, liver disease, IBD, colitis, allergies, skin problems, heart disease, pancreatitis, bladder stones, thyroid disease and other disorders. Other topics include appropriate nutritional supplements based on dietary requirements, treat recipes, reading material and holistic, traditional and complimentary approaches. Whether your dogs are already on a raw diet, home-cooked diet or you're searching in order to learn more, we welcome and encourage you to share your experiences, ask questions and help others. Our community shows respect for the uniqueness of dogs and people that make diet diversity a must.

Hope this helps. Hugs to you and Gracie!

GraciesMom
28th March 2011, 01:07 AM
We finally had 2 normal poops in a row! woooo hooo. Was a bit "pumpkin orange" at the end. :p That last 2 inches was a bit softer so I think we did overdo the pumpkin a bit in the past 24 hours, so cutting that back or it will cause her stools to be too soft. I honestly think she does not tolerate dewormer well.... and concerned about doing that again. The consistent bland diet for 3 days did help I guess even though

I also am looking into going the raw diet and natural treatment route.... just don't know if I can sway the hubby. Piper has been very helpful on that front. Hubby is not excited about this idea but may do it if we can't get improvement otherwise. I would at least like to add raw diet to each meal.... so we shall see.

So if we do have her stablized... the next step is what diet to slowly get her on long-term. So many opinions on the options. I know this will not be a quick fix.

GraciesMom
28th March 2011, 01:09 AM
Here's a link to Monica Segal's K9Nutrition YG:
http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/K9Kitchen/ I forgot about that group. I joined it when Sophie was a pup but don't read very often. It might be very helpful to you. Here is the group description, copied & pasted from the home page:

This list discusses raw and cooked canine diets with a focus on individual needs. While we encourage a proactive approach for healthy dogs and puppies, we also support the unique requirements of breeding dogs, canine athletes and dogs battling cancer, kidney disease, liver disease, IBD, colitis, allergies, skin problems, heart disease, pancreatitis, bladder stones, thyroid disease and other disorders. Other topics include appropriate nutritional supplements based on dietary requirements, treat recipes, reading material and holistic, traditional and complimentary approaches. Whether your dogs are already on a raw diet, home-cooked diet or you're searching in order to learn more, we welcome and encourage you to share your experiences, ask questions and help others. Our community shows respect for the uniqueness of dogs and people that make diet diversity a must.

Hope this helps. Hugs to you and Gracie!

Thank you soooo much. I will check this out.

Kate H
28th March 2011, 02:29 AM
Advice from all directions - I should think you're reeling! Anyway, I'll add my pennyworth (centsworth?), which won't help to find the cause but might help with the symptom and won't do any harm - and that is a teaspoon of cornflour on her food (not sure what you call it in the US, but it's the very refined, white maize/corn meal that is used in baking). It doesn't taste of anything so can be mixed into cottage cheese or similar, and is good for getting things gummed together a bit, which seems to be the immediate priority!

If it was me or a child, the standard WFO treatment for diarrhoea (a lot of water containing salt and sugar) works brilliantly - but I'm not sure how you'd persuade a dog to drink it! I know your instinct is to treat her gut gently, but when I have a runny tummy the last thing I want is runny food; I tend to keep off food and just nibble dry crackers, which are restful for the inside! Pity we can't ask dogs what they really fancy...

Hope you find something that works soon, and glad that Gracie is keeping cheerful and not losing too much weight.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

Soushiruiuma
28th March 2011, 04:17 AM
Thanks, Waldor. Yes, it was Monica Segal I was thinking of.

Check her website as well: http://www.monicasegal.com/

I suspect that you are beyond the point of picking up tidbits of advice here and there online. I would be seriously thinking about paying for the full consultation. Either with her, or another nutritionist.

mommytoClaire
28th March 2011, 04:30 PM
My Nash (non Cavalier) has had tummy issues on and off over the last few years (he's diabetic), and the only way we can get him straightened out is with the canned I/D. It's very limited in ingredients (from what I remember), and it has always straightened Nash out.

I have a friend who uses Flagyl when her pugs have pooh issues. She swears it straightens them out every time. I have no experience with it.
But, just thought I would mention it.

Let us know how the appt. goes today.

GraciesMom
28th March 2011, 07:55 PM
Did not go to vet today. Instead trying to get appointment with recommended vet nutritionist who has some natural remedy expertise as well. Hope to get that later this week for sure.

I appreciate you all more than you know. You help keep me sane through all this craziness.

Cathy T
28th March 2011, 08:18 PM
I have a friend who uses Flagyl when her pugs have pooh issues


Flagyl is the same thing as metronidazole. I will use flagyl if I'm sure it's just an upset tummy nothing more serious. It kicks in pretty much immediately.

I feed a raw diet and don't have tummy issues anymore but we had them for about 2 years when Jake was a puppy. Can't stand Science Diet.....but their I/D was what used to do the trick for us. It worked great but I only gave it short term (a couple of days). Now with an upset tummy (either end) I give a diet of 50% boiled white fish, 25% boiled sweet potatoes and 25% boiled white potatoes. It works every time.

GraciesMom
28th March 2011, 11:45 PM
She has been on flagyl for 7 days now.... and we are finally getting results. But I think more because of removing a dog food that was too rich and a bland diet for 5 days. I am considering a raw diet. My hubby is the problem there. I really would love to do that. Here's hoping that I can convince him to give it a try.

3cavies
28th March 2011, 11:54 PM
So glad Gracie's feeling better:smile:

Zumie05
29th March 2011, 12:07 AM
Way to go Gracie! And I forgot to say about the brownish coloring in between paw pads; that can be a yeast infection brought on by allergies. Just wanted to clarify that!

And if your hubby is really frowning on having to do this whole raw thing, try looking for pre made raw. It is nore expensive, but so much easier to feed. It is already balanced so you would not need to worry about adding supplements or "preparing" meals for her.

I use Instinct, comes in a lot of different meat varieties :)

anniemac
29th March 2011, 12:31 AM
So glad Gracie is doing better

Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk

GraciesMom
29th March 2011, 05:01 PM
Thanks to everyone who has helped. We are finally on a steady path and slowly adding meat to her bland diet. We have her off all meds and using natural things like organic pumpkin (just a 1/2 tsp twice a day) and probiotics. Will have to take her in for anal glands tomorrow as the diarrhea took a toll there based on her butt scooting and trying to scratch an itch at her tail alot.

I think my hubby is coming around to using raw food.... very likely Nature's Raw. We are going to give that a try mixed with a high quality kibble with no grains. But all this has to happen very very slowly. We are slowly adding plain ground beef to her bland diet and so far no issues. I am quite sure that the Evo canned meat was a problem in her being able to heal. It is just too rich for her GI.

So I guess we are headed somewhere between all raw and all traditional, but more toward raw diet.

I have found a highly recommended holistic vet near where I work. He specializes in using many natural treatments and special (mostly raw) diets for dogs with health issues. He also is not a big fan of so many vaccines and monthly treatments. He uses more natural options for fleas and ticks. I am considering a consultation with him as Gracie has some reactions to Frontline flea/tick treatment.

Will keep you posted on upcoming transition to raw food diet.

mommytoClaire
31st March 2011, 05:41 AM
Glad she is doing better. Let us know what happens.

Nicki
31st March 2011, 09:34 AM
So pleased she is doing better - it's very hard on all of you dealing with constant diarrhoea.

The new vet sounds fantastic - please let us know what he recommends for natural flea treatments!! Always looking for new ideas :D

Garlic and brewers yeast in their food seems to help - but I wouldn't recommend you adding anything yet. You can also make a spray with lemons and rosemary that keeps in the fridge for about a week, you spray them every day. There are also prepared natural things on the market.

Karen Rawlins
31st March 2011, 07:04 PM
My Churchill had diarriea and had so many accidents in the house. It was very frustrating. I did some research and started making my own dogfood. There are somegreat recipes on dogare.com and other places. He is doing so much better since then and he has not had one accident. It has been 2 months now and he loves his new food. Would be glad to share recipes if you would like. Apparently most homemade recipes lack in calcium and phosphorus, so I grind up egg shells and hopefully this will help. Churchill is 3 1/2 years old and I give him 1/2 t of ground egg shells per day along with his homemade dog food. He is like a different dog. good luck.