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Discussion Starter #1
I am taking Akbar for the first time to a Holistic vet and was wondering how optimistic I should be. Akbar has been diagnosed with IBD and is currently on prednisone. Right now it is under control, but I was hoping to get him off of the prednisone. I hate the side effects the prednisone has.

I am also worried about the "healing crisis". I am new to this and have no idea how common that is.

Thanks all.
 

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A lot of dogs need to be on the pred at first to get things back under control and then can get off of it with very careful management of their diet. Sometimes this means a prescription diet and for some dogs, a home prepared diet can do wonders.
 

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Re: Has anyone had any success w/ IBD and holistic

Basu had IBD and I treated him holistically with diet and supplements. It took a while (my learning curve was steep!) but I got it under control. I did cook for him for years using Pitcairn's book because until I got the IBD under control he could not eat kibble.

The supplement that helped the most was this one http://www.onlynaturalpet.com/product_detail.aspx?item_guid=97a33715-65a3-4cef-b12c-7da31ccfcdae

combined with digestive enzymes. That Gi Support stuff was like a miracle!

I also had good luck with Phytomucil powder from Animals Apawthecary and Proper Nutrition Seacure.

You can check out a bunch of holistic stuff (with reviews) for IBD here:
http://search.onlynaturalpet.com/search.aspx?searchterms=IBD&mf=0
 

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Re: Has anyone had any success w/ IBD and holistic

thanks you!

BowWowMeow - I had Akbar on a home coked diet for about a year and was giving him enzymes and probiotics and nothing seemed to work, not even a little bit of improvement. Maybe I wasn't using the right ones. I am trying to keep an open mind about the holistic vet and hopefully I will be able to take Akbar off of the prednisone. My goal some day is too be able to give him different foods. Right now, he only eats venison and rice from Wellness and Evo venison wet food (novel protein). He is not crazy about it and doesn't eat much. But he has always been like that, which drives me crazy. I was able to reduce his prednisone to 5mg once a day and his poop was good. It is just that he would eat less which leads me to believe that he is not feeling well. I heard that IBD can cause nausea, cramping and discomfort making you not want to eat.

How quickly did you start to see results with the GI support?

I have an appointment at Smith Ridge, South Salem, NY (Dr. Goldstein's office), so I am hoping that if anyone can help it would be him.
 

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Re: Has anyone had any success w/ IBD and holistic

Martin Goldstein?????? If so you should be in great hands! He will help with a diet too, I bet. And it will have sweet potatoes in it! He's big on sweet potatoes!

That stuff worked really quickly for Basu. I actually use it now when any of mine have digestive problems.
 

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Re: Has anyone had any success w/ IBD and holistic

Originally Posted By: 041005.....I have an appointment at Smith Ridge, South Salem, NY (Dr. Goldstein's office), so I am hoping that if anyone can help it would be him...
I would love to have a consult with him -- what a learning experience that would be!!

In general, I have had mixed results with holistic vets. It's when I put my dogs' care completely in their hands that I get in trouble. Unless I'm an active participant, in terms of doing the research and participating in the treatment decisions, they don't do well. That just might be me though.

As for IBD and holistic *methods*, I think it really is the only way to treat this condition in the long run. With both of my dogs, I had to switch to homecooked diets and a good amount of supplementation to help heal.

I think that the term healing crisis is overused and misunderstood. Whenever a dog is being treated holistically and there is a downturn, it is almost always called a healing crisis. I don't think that's accurate.

I think it was actually from Goldstein's book that I finally learned about the healing crisis. The body gets stronger and stronger and finally has enough strength to tackle a disease process, so after a time of increasing well-being, the dog starts showing symptoms of the chronic illness. Most folks use it to refer to any downturn once a holistic method has been started. And also from Goldstein I learned that the body has to be ready to deal with this and you must go slowly -- there's a great example of this in his chapter on cancer -- I think he was talking about a poodle with a tumor. Have you read his book?
 

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Re: Has anyone had any success w/ IBD and holistic

"Please take really good notes in your appt!"

Or better yet, just video tape it!

I hope he doesn't charge outrageously.

Good luck!
 

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Re: Has anyone had any success w/ IBD and holistic

Sorry guys not to dissappoint but I have an appointment with an associate in his office, not Dr. Goldstein himself. Dr. Goldstein is booked 3-5 months out and his consult is $420. The associate is $213. I don't want to wait that long for an appointment and I am new to the holistic thing so I decided to go with the associate. My appointment is on the 25th, so I will post that evening.

He has phone consults and so do the associates if anyone is interested. I have the introductory info pack if anyone would like me to PDF it to them.

They encourage you to bring in a tape recorder on your visit b/c it is alot to take in, so that is exactly what I will do.

LisaT - I am actually almost done with the book and it is very interesting. I agree with what you said, that you have to use your best judgment sometimes. I just got off the phone with my regular vet. I told her that Akbar is not to thrilled about eating his dog food, she suggested that if he loses weight from not eating enough, that we bring up the prednisone, which I do NOT agree with. I know that he is just sick of that nasty food. He ate broccoli and carrots this morning instead of his food. He would never before eat veggies. He is just sick of the same boring food and I know it. Sometimes we know best. The million dollar question is what can I give him that won't upset his stomach.
 

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Re: Has anyone had any success w/ IBD and holistic

Wow, $420. I wish I could charge for my time like that


I wonder if he doesn't like the food, or just feels crummy?

When you were homecooking, what type of diet were you feeding, protein sources? grains? etc?

What meat sources has he primarily been exposed to, both kibble and homecooked?

Other than probiotics and enzymes, were you supplementing? What enzymes were you using?

I found these:
http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/ubb...true#Post441913
http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/ubb...true#Post447006
http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=582137

What did you do after the last tests came back positive last Sept?
 

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Re: Has anyone had any success w/ IBD and holistic

All the tests for were always normal. He had every test done at some point at least 2 times. The vet figured that he had IBD b/c he had the symptoms and his cobalamin/folate levels came back very low. sometimes, flagyll would help with the explosive diarrhea but it never got rid of the cow piles. Nothing helped with putting on weight. I tried solid gold enzymes and something from vitaminshope. I bought the refrigerated probiotics, I tried the optogest for GI issues and some something else. I dewormed him like 3 or 4 times. The tylan never did a thing. I tried high doses and low doses and nothing.

Part of not eating before was b/c he was feeling crappy, but now that he is on the prednisone, I don't think that is the issue anymore. I just think that he really hates the food. He really doesn't like any dog food and I buy all the best stuff. He will eat it for a bit and than get tired. I try to wait it out, which will work a bit but he won't eat enough. He was sooooo skinny for so long, so now that he is over 80lbs, i am afraid that he will get skinny again. He loves beef and will eat it all day long, the problem is that he can't have beef.

He can't have chicken or beef. He's tried bison and fish but doesn't like it. He's had lamb too. Right now he is on Wellness Venison and rice and Evo- venison-can. He doesn't really care for it .

when i was cooking for him, I was cooking turkey and potatoes and he was okay with the turkey and not really crazy about the potatoes. I always felt that his nutrition was lacking b/c that is all he ate. If I tried adding any veggies, he would pick them out. He will stand there eating for about 30 minutes and spit out a pea if it got in his mouth or eat around it.

The vet suggested the novel protein and that is why he is now on the Venison.
His stool is good with the food and he has gained weight on it, it is just that I think that he is sick of it now and not so willing to eat it anymore.

I really feel that the prednisone had to do more with him getting healthy again than the novel protein.

I would be willing to cook fresh venison to add to his food, but where would I even buy that and how expensive would that be. Rabbit is easier to find, but also pricey. I could afford this if it was a maltese, but not a GSD

If you have any thoughts, suggestions, please let me know. I appreciate any insight.
 

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Re: Has anyone had any success w/ IBD and holistic

I forgot about the pred. If you get around to trying to wean off pred, you might try some cetyl myristoleate -- it helps with overall inflammation and some immune system problems. I just posted about it in the senior section.

Are you sure that there are no tick diseases? Has he ever been on tetracycline or doxycycline?

LOL -- I can just see him spitting out a single pea. They are so funny.

No chicken, no turkey, no beef, no fish (at least no fish for now).

Have you tried pork? have you tried frozen green beans? Have you tried a homecooked diet with no grains and no starches like potatoes?
 

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Re: Has anyone had any success w/ IBD and holistic

He has never been on either of thos two medications. I think that he was once tested for the general tick test and the test was negative. I know there are more specific tests, put never did those. Why do you suggest ticks diseases? I am willing to have him checked. I just thought that since he has been having this problem for soooo long (1.5 years) it was IBD. Do you think that it might be a tick related thing for this long?

Re the pea - it was funny at first. I thought it was hilarious that he was so smart. His facial expression trying to spit out that **** pea was too much, like a human. He is our first and only dog (no children either), he is the center of attention. He does that with other foods if I try and sneak them in. If I puree it, then he just won't touch his food. Too much of something or the pieces are too big and he will spend 30 minutes picking out what he likes. People can't believe how fussy he is. There is a level of skill required to getting him to eat something, unless it is meat. Unfortuanately, I am not rich otherwise I would just buy him fresh venison and rabbit every week.

I have never done any homecooking without graines or starches. I tried the turkey and potaoes for about a year. At the time he wasn't on the prednisone and it didn't help. But what would I cook if I did home cook again? Anything affordable, he can't have - beef, turkey, chicken OR he doesn't like - fish.

Re the cetyl myristoleate. I read about this in Dr. Martin Goldstein's book. I was actually very eager to try it. I don't want to change anything right now and rock the boat. I will see what they say about the supplements.

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the homecooking.

Thank you, thank you.
 

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Re: Has anyone had any success w/ IBD and holistic

It seems like so many of the folks on the tick list have dogs that had these on-descript abdominal symptoms, and I know that NY is a tick area. Additionally, my dog was always negative for tick diseases, but is stools and inflammation cleared up with doxycycline, and there is another poster that used tetracycline to deal with her GSD's digestive problems. Just kinda curious. Maybe the wierd liver results had me thinking too.

Have you ever tried lean pork chops? If you're a member of Costco, they might be doable. Our Max gets lamb from there at $3.99 a pound. Still not cheap, but so much better than at the supermarket, and it's the only protein he can handle.

Have you tried any of the grainless foods? Or any of the kibbles with potatoes rather than rice?
 

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Re: Has anyone had any success w/ IBD and holistic

I always heard that GSDs don't do well on pork. I once gave it to him but this was before he was on the predinsone and had tons of inflammtion so of course he got diarrhea. I know now that anything I could have given him would have upset his stomach, but I am still a little scared to try and give it to him again. Plus, the vet really wanted something that he had never been exposed to and venison was it. I think if the venison thing doesn't work out then I will give the pork a shot.

I did try the duck and potaoe by natural balance and he ate it for a bit, but again this was before he got diagnosed with IBD. At the time, he was extremely finicky, throwing up and he wasn't on the prednisone. So I ended up buying something else b/c I didn't know any better.

I just found a company that has venison raw called Primal. I just ordered some and will give it a try. They also have pheasant and buffalo. It is pricey but will give it a shot. I figure the actual meat might open up his Akbar's appetite instead of that yucky dried kibble.
 

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Re: Has anyone had any success w/ IBD and holistic

My GSD does terrible on pork. My mixed breed does great on pork. Seems that when this comes up on the nutrition board here, the GSDs are mixed between doing well and doing terrible on it. It might be work a try, but I completely understand the hesitation.

Good luck, you've got a pretty tricky one on your hands!
 

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Re: Has anyone had any success w/ IBD and holistic

Interesting thread. I was just researching IBD holistic treatments myself as our GSD all of a sudden started having issues and internist thought there might be a suspicion of IBD. Ultrasound and x-ray, blood test all were normal and neither did she have the symptoms (she actually had the opposite: constipation and weight loss). Unfortunately she had to go off the raw diet for a while and is on a low residue diet (cooked - rice or potatoes with fish or rabbit) which seems to do the trick for the most part. Very frustrating not to have any answers - it got so bad that she had to have numerous enemas - never ever had any problems with that dog before. Always had a stomach like a pig.

I feel for you!!
As for the pork, we had a GSD and Mix who did well on it. Our current GSD didn't here but when she was in Germany she got nothing but and had no problems.

Best of luck and sending good thoughts for Akbar!!
 

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Re: Has anyone had any success w/ IBD and holistic

Good thought. I will check if that was tested. When we have recovered financially a bit I will bring her for accupuncture. Maybe that will help too. I was told it could also be an idiopathic large bowel motility disorder (although there is nothing in her genetics) or nerve dysfunction (she had an injury years ago).

I hope she can be put back on a raw diet - the cooked diet is terrible expensive and for the first time she gets a bit picky too. She had a six pounds weight loss (and she was at perfect weight before). Thankfully she didn't lose any more. Who would have thought that constipation could be as frustrating as diarrehea? Not me! In the beginning she had some mucous covered stool and a bout of diarrhea (never happened before either) so I guess that's why the suspicion of IBD at first but that went away. Pancreatitis test was normal too and so were several stool tests for worms.

Sorry, not to hijack the topic!!

Are any of you who feed a fish based diet worried about the mercury content? Since the rabbit is so expensive she only gets it once a week so it's mostly rice and fish. I alternate to potatoes and rabbit when she gets sick of it. Thanx.
 

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Re: Has anyone had any success w/ IBD and holistic

Acupuncture is GREAT for digestive problems.

For IBD, I would be inclined not to do raw at first, but start with homecooking, and then slowly wean to raw. But I'm sure you will hear different opinions on that.

I used to feed a lot of salmon, but I'm worried about the mercury issue. I've been trying out sardines.
 
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