Folks in the IBD support group :) - Page 2 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #11 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 06:26 PM
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What is the deal with ziwi peak, do you soak it or feed it dry?
You can feed it dry just like kibble.

However, it is so nutritionally dense and it really is such a small amount you need to feed compared to other foods, I like to feed it "cereal style" with some sort of tastey broth or goats milk. Or I will mix in some canned, or fresh meat just to put more volume in the bowl so he isn't in raid the fridge mode a few hours later.
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post #12 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 07:15 PM
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@Thecowboysgirl YAY!! for a clear biopsy! Glad your girl remained stable after her big procedure, I can only imagine the worry you were going through!! Also would love to know how THK works out for you. @Liffey glad your boy has been feeling better minus the carsick episode! Hope it stays that way!

So after getting the bloodwork results back this week we have decided to tackle the elimination diet hurdle. The last food she was on claimed to be a "one-protein" LID but come to find out it did have chicken fat... which obviously is in a fat form but still chicken nonetheless. We recently switched to Nature's Variety Instinct Limited(lamb & peas formula) so will be giving that a go for awhile and see if there's any changes. If we can't eventually find a kibble or canned that works for her then I'm willing to go the raw route, but as others mentioned it will be a space/time/cost factor to consider. I am not at all educated on raw feeding so at this point it's overwhelming to think about getting into it when I'm so overwhelmed by everything else already going on.

She is on probiotics(Fortiflora) but TBH, I don't even know if it's making a difference. She has been on it a month. I think it helps to slightly form her poop, but not enough of any change for me to think it's been a gamechanger. There are several products out there I have been researching and am very interested in trying out, including:
Perfect Form from THK, Sunday Sundae from Carm's feed-sentials, slippery elm, Adored Beast Leaky Gut treatment or the Gut Soothe digestive enzyme/pre & pro-biotic, Pancreatin from Enzyme Diane
The problem is I don't know how much is too much or too many supplements to give - I know some give their dogs a probiotic and enzyme every day, some give THK perfect form and enzymes, etc etc... I obviously wouldn't just give her 6 things at once because there would be no way to figure out what was actually helping. I just don't want to overwhelm her system either, so I'm stuck trying to figure out 1. do we stop Fortiflora and just try one new thing 2. keep her on Fortiflora and add one new thing 3. give the new food a couple weeks before doing either 1. or 2. at all ....

This is how the past week has gone poop wise - Thursday/AM & PM normal *** Friday/AM normal, PM diarrhea x1 *** Saturday/AM & PM normal *** Sunday/AM normal, PM diarrhea x4 *** Monday/AM normal, PM diarrhea x2 *** Tuesday/AM & PM normal *** and today so far has been normal. So as you can see, this is just maddening. I should mention that "normal" poop for her is by no means normal poop for most other dogs... it has slight form but is extremely soft and just falls apart/smooshes when picked up.

I hope I didn't stick my nose in uninvited on this thread but it's nice to know others are in a similar boat. I do want to thank those who have offered sincere comforting words of support and advice, in PM's and other posts here. This has taken over my brain, as @Liffey said my head is too a mess. I have cried more than a handful of times, snapped at my husband, and I'm sure annoyed many on this forum with my newbie "help my dog has diarrhea all the time" questions. On the upside, I have become much closer with my vet LOL. He considers Ghost his current "challenge" and has been super open with all my questions and rants. I get so defeated and discouraged every couple days when the diarrhea comes back, especially when she has gone 2-3 days with normal stools. Every time I think maybe something is finally taking hold and changing for the better I get my a** kicked right back to square one again. Sometimes I feel like I'm being too OCD and overthinking things or wasting my dang time taking notes and looking at poop. But I equate this almost to one of my kids being sick, and even though it has me emotionally and mentally ragged - I just want to fix it. I just want to get it right. And it's hard to feel positive sometimes when you feel like nothing you are doing is helping.

So thank you for posting this thread. I teared up while typing all of this out, but at the same time it feels good to get it out and to hear others' stories who understand and are experiencing similar issues. Even though I hate thinking I'm "that annoying new chick who is always posting about her white dog's poop" - I am glad for the kind support I have received here. So thanks, y'all. From the bottom of my heart.
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post #13 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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@lalabug you are definitely not hijacking the thread, I was definitely thinking of you when I titled it to all of us struggling with our dog's digestion.

Speaking of which...I have to ask myself....did this sort of problem exist 20-30 years ago or is that a stupid question hecause a) there were fewer pets 2-30 years ago and/or b) people just didn't take care of pets to the level they do now?

Anyway I have to ask myself...why are all these dogs sick like this!?

@lalabug I think you are right to be wary of mixing too many supplements. There are also some herbal supplements that can interact with certain perscription drugs too, so it is worthwhile to be cautious. I don't have any research to back this up but my inclination would be to stick with supplements that are made by the same manufacturer and designed to be fed together.

My dogs went crazy for Sunday Sundae in the beginning. By our second tub of it they were less interested. Maybe they didn't need it as much by then? But we called it the magical pixie dust because it sort of smells like pixie dust dry, and they would line up to lick it out of a spoon. I *think* all of Carmen's supplements are designed to be used together, maybe not all in one day, but I am sure she could tell you.

For no particular reason I decided to try the Adored Beast Healthy Gut and Gut Soothe this time, I just bought them. But now that she is going on prednisone I will have to look into it further before I give her the soothe one.
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post #14 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 08:33 PM
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@lalabug

Just a thought here, but the Nature's Variety Lamb & Pea might be contributing to the problem. Peas being legumes, are high in lectins which may cause leaky gut and otherwise irritate the digestive track. They are a lot lower in lectins than grains and other legumes, but there is A LOT of peas in that brand.

I've been working on a home prepared GARD diet to attempt to control my dog's epilepsy, one of the things I was reading by Dr. Symes (DVM) mentioned peas:

Quote:
Sadly, the pet food industry has recently taken another “left hand turn” by putting legumes (green peas, lentils, garbanzo beans/chick peas) into their formulas. This move is not nearly as bad as the addition of wheat in the 1980’s but…they will come to regret the use of legumes, not only because of what they can do to epileptics but because they cause can intestinal distress (gas, bloating, diarrhea) and allergy symptoms. I frequently hear from clients whose dogs have become unusually flatulent on pea-containing foods. This should come as no surprise unless one does not know that peas are legumes/beans. On a more serious note, I have found that nearly 40% of the pets I food allergy test are allergic to peas, suggesting that soy is not the only legume to do significant harm to the the intestinal tract. Short version? Eliminate peas and other legumes from the pet’s diet whenever possible…which is difficult in today’s grain-free world.
Elimination diets for IBD can be infuriatingly strict. You'll want to eliminate all grains, legumes, nightshades, dairy and histamine rich foods. Some really common dog food ingredients fall into those categories. Tomato, spinach, peas, lentils, etc
https://www.ibdrelief.com/diet/role-...-foods-and-ibd

The only two dog foods I know of off the top of my head that are free from grains/legumes/nightshade/histamine rich foods are ziwipeak and the Dr. E's/Great Life GF/Pioneer Naturals (all same company).

Just something to consider if the Nature's Variety isn't working for you.
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post #15 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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@Voodoolamb, how is Mako? I am often thinking of you guys and hoping he is making some progress
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post #16 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 09:16 PM
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@Thecowboysgirl thank you for thinking of me. ❤️
I would venture to think these problems may have existed but the medicine world and the holistic world have probably come far and hopefully pet owners are more aware these days or at least try to take an active role in their pets' care(though I shudder knowing there are also the opposite owner types out there).

I feel like there's a lot of just plain CRAP in commercial dog food... so is that causing it? Probably in some cases. Is it pre-disposed genetically to our breed? You can read article after article that tell you "it's more common in this breed and that breed", but unless you spent $$$ doing some kind of genetic analysis on your dog how would you even know if that was his/her particular case. Everybody knows certain parasites have turned up becoming resistant to medications so there's that factor too... nonetheless it's a mystery to be solved in each dog's case!

PLEASE let me know how you and your girl end up doing with the Adored Beast. I'd love to hear your results. And I hope the prednisone helps the duodenum inflammation.
@voodoolamb thanks for the input about the peas. I think we are going to stick with this food at least a few weeks so we can see if there's any change - though there are other "flavors" so maybe after this small bag that we have almost finished I'll look into the other formulas and their ingredients. I hate to just give her one food for a week or two and give up and switch. From everything I read you have to give it time so that is the hardest part/most frustrating at times. But we are only purchasing the smaller lb size bags for now, so they only last a week or two. Just no sense in buying a 25-30lb bag if its not helping to improve things at all or she just won't eat it. I have seen several people suggest ziwipeak and I of course have it on my list to consider. That would take some serious coaxing with my husband due to cost LOL! But honestly, if we get to that point of trying that and it works, there would be nobody that could tell me no.

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post #17 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 09:27 PM
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@Voodoolamb, how is Mako? I am often thinking of you guys and hoping he is making some progress
Thank you for asking and keeping us in your thoughts

good news and bad news about Mako.

He is still having seizures. The meds are just not working. Refractory epilepsy. He was having well over a dozen seizures a week, but then I started ocular compression. With using ocular compression regularly he has only had 4 seizures in the last 17 days. But there have been dozens of incidents of preictal behavior where a seizure would have come on if I didn't intervene.

The only two treatments that really seem to help are the OC and Valium. Both of which work by increasing GABA in the brain. So, my hunch is that there is an issue with the glutamate/gaba balance in his brain. My local neurologist thinks i'm off my rocker and doesn't want change the meds to one of the newer glutamate blocking anticonvulsants because they haven't really been used in dogs. So I am doing a consult with an out of state vet who has been really successful in controlling canine epilepsy through use of a glutamate restriction diet.

So he'll be starting on a strict GARD soon. Basically all he will be able to eat is sweet potato, spinach, kale, some blue berries and a limited amount of lamb and eggs for a while. Oh and heavily seasoned with Turmeric (Curcumin being a natural glutamate blocker). All organic and grass fed. It's going to have to be a cooked diet since there is so much egg (biotin destroying enzyme in raw whites) and I will have to use supplements to balance it all out. He will just baaarely be getting enough protein. I ordered dehydrated organic sweet potato powder, I intend to lightly simmer the lamb in some water and use that to reconstitute the potato to make it more palatable for him. I will also be feeding 5 or 6 small meals a day instead of 2 large ones, to try and spread out the glutamate instead of flooding him with it all at once.

If that doesn't work. I don't know where to go from there. We'll just have to wait and see I guess.
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post #18 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 10:20 PM
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@voodoolamb that sounds overwhelming but also like you've got an excellent hold on the situation!! So sorry you and your boy are dealing with this condition.
Really hope your consult with the new vet goes well and that Mako's new diet will help! Sounds promising!!
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post #19 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
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Wow...

What happens when he is alone? Are you able to be with him all the time?

No matter how it turns out, no one could say you didn't try everything on earth to help him. Hats off to you, I can't imagine how stressful that must be.
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post #20 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 10:43 PM
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I have been following all of you with your pups with GI issues. Been there...done that...got the tee shirt. I wish I could tell y'all that after 4 years that we have it beat... we haven't. We have however found a decent happy place.

It so very hard and the struggle is very real. I have gotten lots of good advise on the forum but the sad truth is much of it we just could use because of food sensitivities.

I know opinions are split on the value and reliability of food allergy/sensitivity testing. I'm just going say that the NutriScan test was very helpful for us. It gave us a good place to start. It was a lot easier to figure out which protein to use for the elimination diet when the test said no chicken, venison, turkey, pork or rabbit, all fish including salmon and duck was borderline. All of which we were or had tried to feed (kibble and raw).

A little story to give ya a chuckle. Our vet had prescribed Zyrtec for allergy symptoms. Itching, runny eyes, red eyes etc. while we worked on the cause of said symptoms along with all the GI issues. I was giving the meds in a blob of peanut butter. We filled the kong with peanut butter for fun time treat. Guess what her strongest food sensitivity is. Yup... you guessed it ...Peanuts. Talk about self defeating.

Two years since the NutriScan test I can say with confidence that all the foods labelled as high sensitivity have proven to be foods not tolerated in any amount. Same as those listed as intermediate. Foods listed as borderline are tolerated in limited amounts for short duration with one exception. Duck protein was borderline. Duck is no longer tolerated. Discovered to be the source of random but frequent bouts of vomiting and loose stools. That was sad to realize as she loved her duck necks and duck feet.

So if you haven't considered testing for food sensitivity give it some thought. You are already spending a ton of money on vet bills, this food and that food, different supplements. You might be surprised with the results and how they can help in narrowing down where to start.

End of the day do we still have GI issues. Yup. Stress colitis and that random eating of goodies found on the middle school grounds where we walk off leash often. One day she snagged up a discarded peanut butter sandwich and had half of it down before I saw it in her mouth a made her "drop it". Yup...next few days she had loose poops, gurgling tummy, gooey eyes and itching. All from half a sandwich.

So...you are not alone with your struggles. I've been where you are. It gets better. You will find what works and what doesn't.
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