Reoccurring vomiting/diarrhea - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 03-20-2014, 10:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Reoccurring vomiting/diarrhea

Early February, Kora had an incident of vomiting and diarrhea. Took her to the vet where they did blood work and x-rays. Blood work was normal. X-rays showed some kind of blockage from her small intestine to colon. Vet was about to close so recommended we take her to be hospitalized at the emergency vet. They kept her under observation overnight and gave her fluids and bland diet in the morning. We picked her up that evening, were given metronidozole (excuse my spelling) and pepcid ac, and kept her on boiled ground turkey and white rice for a few days before slowly switching her back to her regular diet (Blue Buffalo Wilderness). Exactly a month later, the same thing happened. Took her to her regular vet again - they tested for heart worm, giardia, and eventually we decided to do x-rays again. The x-rays showed that (again) there was some kind of a blockage and her colon was inflamed to 3x its normal size. Vet recommended bland diet, metro and pepcid ac again. We also began adding pumpkin to bland diet to up fiber intake. She was also given subcutaneous fluids. Took her back for a checkup a week later and vet said she looked good, to start getting her back on her regular diet, and to add psyllium powder (2tbs every 24 hours) to her food instead of pumpkin. Tentative diagnosis was colitis secondary to lack of fiber. None of the "blockages" were ever found to be a nonfood item that she ate.

A week later would bring us to today. Kora was outside with my husband and our husky. He reports that she began digging in the dirt and kind of coughing and then she threw up partially digested kibble and foam. This was before her dinner, so she hadn't eaten for 8+ hours. Then she kept doing this weird breathing/panting thing - I don't know how to describe it other than almost like almost burping. I called the vet immediately because it freaked me out so much - and they know me pretty well there by now. As I was speaking to the vet tech, Kora began to slow down her breathing, drank some water, and stopped doing that weird breathing thing, so we did not take her in. An hour later she ate dinner, and then she had diarrhea.

I plan on calling the vet in the morning (again) and withholding her breakfast.

I am at a loss. I cannot afford to keep taking her back to the vet for the same thing…she should not be getting continual bouts of vomiting and diarrhea, especially with added fiber to her food. She is almost 2 years old, has been on Wilderness for almost a year, but has never really had a good firm stool consistently…we have intermittently done pumpkin and she has had anal gland infections in the past, which they said was because she didn't have enough of a firm stool because of lack of fiber. I am considering raw diet, but with my schedule and my husband's schedule I am not sure how it would fit into our lifestyle, or where to start.

Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 03-21-2014, 12:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I would take her to a different vet. I had a similar situation with my golden. They did X-rays, barium test, more X-rays. Things were passing , slowly but passing. He was fine within a few days. I changed his dog food because my other dog started showing similar symptoms. No problems since.
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Old 03-21-2014, 07:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Llombardo's advice is right on- getting a second opinion is probably good in your situation- been there, done that, sometimes will take a change of food after the dog has recovered-. Bob
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Old 03-21-2014, 04:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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GI issues are very distressing and can be tricky to figure out. Another vet might not hurt just to get the ball rolling, but I might also consider an internal medicine specialist, if you have a specialty practice in your area, or a teaching hospital if you have a large University nearby with a veterinary school.

My own dog went through similar issues-- vomiting and diarrhea, sometimes vomiting up kibble 8+ hours after eating, plus weight loss, bad gas, etc. It was nearly a six month process to figure out what was wrong with him. I have a thread on the board about it that I'll link here:

At wit's end with chronic diarrhea

One thing you might try just to start off is switching your dog's food. Wellness is a great brand but there lots of ingredients, and even a single ingredient might be throwing off your dog's GI tract. You might consider switching her to a kibble that has a single novel protein source (a protein source she's never eaten before) and a single novel carb source. California Naturals, Nature's Variety Instinct, and Natural Balance all have limited ingredient foods, and Wellness has their simple solutions if you can find one that had a protein source she's never had before. Try her on the new food for several weeks and see if that makes any changes.

Other possibilities that wouldn't hurt to try:

Worms can be difficult to detect sometimes on fecal exams. Might not hurt to do a round or two of Pancur.

Same with giarida-- the giardi life cycle is cyclical so they won't always have the symptoms, so it's very difficult to pick up on a fecal exam. Many folks on the forum have had a lot of success with this product:

Amazon.com: Amber Technology Kocci Free: Pet Supplies Amazon.com: Amber Technology Kocci Free: Pet Supplies

Good luck, and please keep us updated. GI issues are so frustrating.
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks so much for the suggestions. I will be getting a second opinion soon. There is a holistic vet about an hour away, so I think we may try there. Llombardo, what kind of food did you switch to?

_Zero_, thank you also for linking your thread. I know they did fecal tests both times we went in and one giardia test and seemed pretty confident it wasn't either, but I may ask about it anyway just to be sure.
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Have you looked into Small Intestine Bacteria Overgrowth S.I.B.O. or Irritable Bowel Disease I.B.D also is she on a good probiotic...My boy is having the same problems for the last 6months not digesting his kibble vomiting it up 7 hours later still formed..now I boil the jug I put half a cup of boiling water in a cup, I put 1 kibble in the boiling water, I count too 40sec then take out the kibble put it inbetween 2 spoons & see if u can easily crush the kibble, I found that some kibbles are so hard, I stay away from them.. My vet has put my boy on the Eukanuba Intestinal vet prescription diet kibble, Its a low residue kibble & breaks up very easy, the Intestinal has stopped the undigested kibble when he vomites. If ur in Americia I think its called Iams, I know it has corn in it but its been the only kibble that has helped with the diarrhea & vomiting, my vet said to leave him on the Eulkanuba Intestinal for 6months & no treats nothing then in 6months I can introduce a new food once the tummy & bowels have settled..
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