German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've battled GI issues w/ my 5 yr old GSD since I got him at 2 yrs old. He's been tested (neg) for EPI and the bloodwork test for either SIBO or IBD (can't remember which one you can test for w/ blood). We went through about 6 foods before finding that he did very well on Orijen. However, he generally still has 1-2x a year that his digestive system gets way out of whack. Last time, they gave him metronidazole and he responded very well. The vet believes that he has stress colitis.

About a month 1/2 ago, I switched him to Acana Grasslands to see if he'd do better w/ a lamb formula. He did great and stool was totally normal for over 3 weeks.

Then about 1 1/2 wks ago, he had another flare up of the colitis (after a stressful event). Diarrhea w/ blood in stool and I couldn't get it under control on my own. He also showed pain in his stomach area after eating & started food refusal. I brought him in and he was checked over. They ran bloodwork, which showed slightly high white cell count I believe. They thought it was likely parasites and had already given him a de-wormer. (Vet wasn't happy I don't give the heartworm pill year-round; I give it during the non-frozen season here). He was also given metronidazole again.

He responded well to the metronidazole for 6 days and I had him back to normal food w/ normal stool on day 5 & 6. On night 6, he was also given a very very small bite of steak (tiny little shaving I was testing as a potential reward for training tomorrow). Then yesterday, on day 7, it was like he backtracked to pre-medication. He showed some stomach discomfort in the am. Had only 2 stools, am was normal, but pm was big pile of mush (but no blood).

Now this am, he had a small amount of solid and soft stool and is still showing stomach discomfort w/ food. He's just not himself and still seems sick. I've backed off on food, going back to 1 cup rice and 1/3 cup kibble, plus the canned GI stuff for meds (small amount).

I'm at a loss for what to do....is this normal on these meds? Should I just hang in there for a little longer? My vet is closed til tomorrow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
No, he usually does get probiotics (NOW acidophilus; we tried others too, but this is the simplest and only one that worked well for us), but I stopped when we started the antibiotics. I didn't think they'd work w/ the timeframe...giving the meds every 12 hrs. And I was trying to give his system a break by only feeding him every 12 hrs (rather than the usual 3 times a day).

I'm guessing by your question though I should give him the probiotic mid-day?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
512 Posts
So I'm clear, is he on, or off, antibiotics *currently*?

Right now, and until he has had healthy, normal poo and appetite, he shouldn't be getting anything other than several small meals a day of boneless, skinless chicken and rice boiled to the point of being porridge or mush, and fed along with the water it was boiled in.

If he is *off* the antibiotics, I would supplement that with probiotics.

If the tests are coming back negative for any concrete explanation, and you've ruled out the possibility that he's eating things in the yard, etc... chances are it's just a matter of putting him back onto "solid" foods too fast, before his gut has a chance to recover from being ill.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,787 Posts
I would go with nothing but chicken, rice, and plain yogurt until he is back to normal. The plain yogurt will help settle his stomach and regulate him along with the chicken and rice. You might try pumpkin as well but it takes a few days to work. Whenever my kids are on antibiotics I go to the chicken and rice automatically.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
He is still on antibiotics until Wednesday (was a 10 day prescription).

No chance of foreign object ingestion.

And food is the confusing part....he was back to normal stool and appetite & food 2 days ago. That lasted for about 48 hrs, til we went downhill last night. Maybe just too early to hang onto it for his gut though? I'll go back to cutting out kibble completely and just feed chicken/rice/GI canned again.

So would it be ok to give the probiotic at the point that I'm 6 hrs after meds & 6 hrs before next meds?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
512 Posts
Frankly, there's no *harm* to giving it now.
It might be wasted effort, it might not.

Unless you're really, really deadset on it? I would really urge you to cut out the GI Canned, as well. If you're referring to the Science Diet Rx GI Canned... I've always been really, really baffled [to the point of having quasi-paranoia that it's a scam to KEEP your dog sick] that they included PORK in the ingredient list of a food for dogs who are already having digestive issues.

Pork is notorious for causing gastro upset in dogs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the replies. I'm also pretty anti-science diet anything. I just couldn't figure another way to give him the meds. I really only give him enough to encapsulate the pill. He'd take it in a little peanut butter ball....but would that be worse on his stomach? Otherwise, I'm open to ideas for sneaking pills....

And I think I will give him the probiotic at the 1/2 way b/w meds point in the day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
493 Posts
You may also want to consider IBD as a possibility, if this continues. It can only be diagnosed with biopsies, but it would at least give you a direction for treatment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
669 Posts
You have to remember to, that by giving him the antibiotics it also destroys all the good flora in the gut hence more runny stool. Continue with the probiotics with the antibiotics so all good flora is not destroyed. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,649 Posts
This does sound like IBD to me. In addition to a good probiotic and plain, canned pumpkin, I would recommend this supplement:

Phytomucil Animals' Apawthecary Phytomucil Powder Herbal Remedy

You can find it cheaper elsewhere but I linked that site so that you could read reviews.

And to everyone else: chicken is not necessarily a good thing for a dog with IBD because if they have problems with chicken it will cause a flare-up.

I would go with a novel protein and, if you can, switch to a raw or homemade diet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the suggestions! He seems to be feeling a little better right now. I'll be giving him a small meal w/ probiotic pretty soon here, so hopefully he'll stay feeling better.

As for the IBD, that was mentioned along with SIBO as possibilities in the past. As of right now, he's scheduled for surgery to have his stomach tacked next month....as long as he's doing better by then. I brought up the possibility of doing a biopsy at the same time, but the vet steered away from it. It would be nice to know, but our vet said that she'd basically be recommending the same treatment whether he was diagnosed with those or presented the symptoms he already has.

I did just pick up this supplement:

Honest Kitchen Perfect Form. Ingredients: Fennel, papain, papaya, pumpkin seed, plantain, pectin, slippery elm.

It looks similar in ingredients to the supplement above, but hard to tell for sure. It's marketed for dogs with GI issues and I've read some good things about it. I'm not sure whether to start adding it in now or wait til he's doing better. I'm kind of leery about testing out a supplement (even if it is supposed to be great) when he's sick. But as soon as he's consistent with stool again, I'll give it a try.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,649 Posts
I was going to suggest Perfect Form as an alternative! That has been great for my dog, Rafi, and my cat with IBD gets it every day. The Phytomucil has slightly different ingredients (licorice and maybe something else?) but hopefully the Perfect Form will work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,397 Posts
I like the ingredients in Perfect Form a lot, though I've never used it.

I would seriously consider a blood allergy test, environmental and food, as a starting point. This sounds to me like a dog with multiple food issues, and then throw in the standard GSD stuff.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeding lean pork to a dog with GI issues, unless they can't tolerate pork. My GI issue girl ate pork for over a decade, it saved her life. However, one holistic vet told me that she has met a number of GSDs that can't tolerate pork, and I have seen that on the forums.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,423 Posts
Try Tylan Powder.
After about a month of blood in her stools and being on Flagyl, the vet recommended Tylan Powder.
In 3 doses the blood has stopped.
Perfect poops.
We were this close to doing an endoscopy on
Gypsy.
It comes in powder that you sprinkle on food.
My dog won't eat her food with it on it, so I bought some geatin caps and put the correct dosage in there for her.
She weighs 83 pounds and gets a fourth teaspon in the a.M. AND AGAIN IN P.M.
Read the reviews on this link, good stuff.
I bought some from the vet to try it and it worked so well that I bought more on Amazon plus a capsule filler machine. $13
[ame="http://www.amazon.com/Tylan-Soluble-Powder-100-gram/dp/B00061MQIC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1295316069&sr=8-1"]http://www.amazon.com/Tylan-Soluble-Powder-100-gram/dp/B00061MQIC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1295316069&sr=8-1[/ame]
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,423 Posts
Oh, Tylan Powder is a natural antibiotic and gets the guts regulated and also they use this for dogs that have stains around their eyes as well.
The angel eye stuff.
So, if you see that in the testimonials that's why.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,951 Posts
My lab gets Tylan powder in every meal for his GI issues and it works wonderfully. As a human with chronic colitis I can tell you keeping a really bland diet for weeks after a flare up is super important- not days:) Chicken and rice is really gentle and you can add vitamins and probiotics to make it a more whole meal nutritionally. I would do this for 7-10 days after he shows you he feels better and then slowly add in 1/4 a cup of kibble gradually increasing back to full kibble over a 2 week period. It doesn't take much to inflame an angry colon believe me so take it suuuuupppper slow:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Great suggestions! This issue is exhausting, so I really appreciate all the help!

I'll talk to the vet about blood testing for allergies. And about the Tylan. I'd read about Tylan and Metronidazole when I first started trying to figure out all these issues. But the vet would never consider them, rather preferring that the next step was a Hills Prescription Diet dry kibble. The more I learned about food as I tried to figure out his digestive issues, the less I wanted him on any of the Hills products. So I focused more on finding food that worked. I brought up the meds as a way to help with flare-ups last year, but was again turned down. So it was a major breakthrough to get the prescription for the last flare up. (My dog is a working dog, so although I'm his handler, his vet care runs through our employer and I have to get approval for decisions). I'll push to move towards Tylan as a safer alternative for future flare-ups though.

So then I'm wondering if I give him chicken and rice for the next 7-10 days (with pumpkin and probiotic added), how much should he get in a day and what other vitamins do I need to add? He's probably right at 80 lbs now (down a couple over the last week) and will have to remain active with work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,397 Posts
Some vets aren't as versed in dealing with these GSD issues. Many of us have purchased Tylan on our own, but that sounds like it's not an option for you.

The blood allergy tests are a starting point to finding the right food. Finding the right food can be so tricky, the more info the better.

Amount of food will vary. My boy gets 6 oz of cooked meat in the morning, 8 oz at night, both with veggies and supplements. That might not be enough for a working dog? An adult dog can go for a week or so on just that without additional vitamins. I use a regular human daily vitamin here, it's a low-level vit, not something with large amounts. You can pick up some Pet Tabs at PetSmart, or the like. The problem is that some dogs are so sensitive, they can't handle the flavorings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Actually, I already have some Tylan powder that I ordered about 9 mos ago when we were having issues but the vet didn't want to consider medications. But we were on a trip and by the time we got back and I had access to the Tylan, he was just starting to show imrovement. So I never actually tried it with him.

I'd be very interested to know where to buy capsules/what kind and also for the capsule filler machine. Any suggetions?

I can still manage his health on my own...just have to be careful about it. So once we get through this flare up and get back to normal, I'd feel comfortable trying the Tylan on my own for the next time his system is thrown off. I'll work on getting the vet to be on board with it. But either way, as long as I'm not combining it with any other meds, it seems to be a low risk medicine.

Today started out promising for him and seemed to stay relatively stable through our work day, but then went downhill at some point. I gave him a little food w/ a probiotic when I got home and everything went straight through him. He didn't eat all of it, so I'm hoping the probiotic went in him and didn't go through as quick as the rest of the rice/chicken. Sooooo tough seeing him in this shape. I'll hope for a better day tomorrow though - looks like I will be able to keep him home and relaxed for the day.

And I think I just found the capsule filler. If there's one other than the one linked through Tylan on amazon, let me know. Otherwise, I'll figure that's the right/best one.
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top