Two dogs, both with gut problems...
Hey guys. Haven't been around these parts in awhile -- been really busy. Popped back in because I'm having an issue with BOTH of my dogs and myself and my vet are at our wits' ends. So I figured I'd toss it out to the masses to see if anyone has any ideas.
First, some background:
My older boy, Brody, was diagnosed with IBS not long after I got him (and many expensive tests later). After much trial and error, I found a food that agreed with him: Nature's Variety Instinct kibble, chicken flavor (and ONLY chicken flavor -- any other flavor is too rich for him).
This diet has not only kept him stable, but allowed him to even gain weight to a healthy size, something the vet never thought was possible for him.
When I got my second pup, Tsura, it only made sense to put her on the same diet, if nothing else than to just make sure Brody doesn't steal any food he shouldn't have.
Both dogs have thrived.
Having IBS, however, Brody does occasionally have some issues which are generally solved by a spoonful of Kaopectate (versus an expensive round of Metronidazole).
About two and a half months ago, both dogs suddenly started becoming ill with diarrhea.
Treatment has ranged from Kaopectate and fasting them for a day to try to rest things, to Metronidazole for both of them.
While on the medication, they will both firm up. But back to the same problem within a day after the dosage ends.
Recently, at the vet's recommendation, I've added some Metamucil to their food to see if the fiber would firm up their stools.
They've both recently had fecal tests done and a clear of any parasites and show healthy bacteria levels.
Their food hasn't changed. Their routine hasn't changed. I haven't introduced any new cleaning products, etc., into the house.
Neither of them are losing weight.
They fluctuate from very soft, but controllable until they can get outside, to outright explosive and a disgusting mess to clean up in the house.
I've called Nature's Variety and they swear up and down that they haven't changed their formula. I even ordered a bag from a supplier across the country in order try to rule out if I just got a bad batch. Even if they had changed something in their formula, that doesn't explain Tsura's issues. She has no IBS and has a history of a pretty robust gut -- you'd think she would have normalized by now.
I could try finding a different food. That's the only option I can think of at this point, but that will be an expensive and messy ordeal where Brody is concerned, and won't do any good if there's some other issue I and the vet are overlooking.
So I thought I'd see if anyone here has any thoughts of what I might try next.
Like I said, they aren't losing weight. They are also acting normal in every other way. But I know that THEY don't like having diarrhea any more than I like dealing with it.
Well, my first thought was, i wonder if the brand changed its formula. Maybe they added something or went cheap on a ingredient. I would have to look up what you can and cannot feed a dog with IBS but can you home cook them something until they are totally firm for a few days straight then introduce a new food similair to the older brand.
Also are they getting into something you are unaware of, maybe outside on walks or stashed in the house?
I am genuinely puzzled by this.
No new treats by you or anyone else???
Sounds like a good Digestive Enzyme/Probiotic might do the trick to keep their gut healthy.
This one is human grade and fantastic: Sunday Sundae Nutritional Supplement
You may want to try some Slippery Elm (available at health food stores) as this coats and soothes the gut. A couple of capsules about 1/2 hour before they eat when their tummy is acting up.
If they have been on ONE dog food their whole life, they may have become sensitive to it, but strange that it would effect both dogs at the same time...doesn't make sense. The Nature's Variety has Montmorillonate Clay in it, which is similar to what the Kaopectate does for them.
There is another food on the market with Montmorillonate Clay in it
called Nature's Logic - no GMO's or synthetic vitamins: INGREDIENTS: Chicken Meal, Millet, Chicken Fat, Pumpkin Seed, Yeast Culture, Spray Dried Chicken Liver, Dried Eggs, Suncured Alfalfa Meal, Montmorillonite Clay, Kelp, Cheese Powder, Porcine Plasma, Dried Tomato, Almonds, Dried Chicory Root, Dried Carrot, Dried Apple, Sardine Meal, Egg Shell Meal, Dried Pumpkin, Dried Apricot, Dried Blueberry, Dried Spinach, Dried Broccoli, Dried Cranberry, Parsley, Dried Artichoke, Rosemary, Mixed Tocopherols, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Bifidium Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product, Dried Pineapple Extract, Dried Aspergillus Niger Fermentation Extract, Dried Aspergillus Oryzae Fermentation Extract, Dried Trichoderma Longibrachtum Fermentation Extract
But my first choice would be the Honest Kitchen Brand Human Grade Dehydrated food for your IBS dog if you do change. It is the ONLY pet food in the USA that the FDA will legally allow to use the words 'Human Grade' on their packaging and advertising. Fantastic results for dogs with problems like this! All Natural Dog Food - Dehydrated Pet Food | The Honest Kitchen
I had a similar issue and it drove me nuts. I started feeding them less and no more problems since, I was over feeding them. It was a simple fix, I hope you can figure it out.
Thanks for the tips so far, guys. Anything I haven't tried yet is worthwhile.
@Momto2GSDs: Yeah, it hit them both literally at the same time. As in within 24 hours. And since it was not unreasonably long after opening a new bag of food, checking for a formula change was one of the first things I looked into.
And treats are another no-no where Brody is concerned. Very, very rarely and always the same brand. And since I live alone, I can pretty much guarantee that no one else is giving them anything -- again, unless they've learned to treat themselves and are VERY good at hiding the evidence. ;)
Thanks for the suggestions about the food. If I need to switch, I'll definitely look into those.
Just a quick update...
Tried the Slippery Elm. I think that and the Metamucil might be FINALLY making a difference.
I'll have to give it a bit more time to see how much more they stabilize (and whether they remain that way).
But thanks for all of the suggestions, guys! :)
Not sure where you buy your food, but I had an issue with that and it was a bad bag of dog food. I had purchased it online.
Glad to hear they are doing better!
Have you tried any sort of enzymes? Many people find Enzyme Diane to help a lot.
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