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Maya is our 10 year old girl, and it seems like we just can't get her healthy.


When we adopted Maya back in 2004, she didn't have good poops. The adoption group was feeding her Nutro Lamb and Rice, but they said that she might do better on a better diet. We started feeding a mixture of Nutro and Science Diet Sensitive Stomach, and her poops became much better. Eventually, we phased out the Nutro and were very happy. Her poops weren't knock-your-socks-off amazing, but compared to what she was having, we were very happy.


Almost two years ago, when we adopted Ashe, we started doing a 50/50 blend of SDSS and Blue Basics. We also started adding Blue stews as a topper. We added the Blue because 1) we wanted a little extra nutrition for Ashe, as he was only 7 months old when we adopted him, and 2) Maya really liked the Blue. Neither Maya nor Ashe was negatively affected by the addition of the Blue. In fact, my memory is that her poops improved as we phased it in gradually. Everything was going great.


Several months ago (probably 6-8 months ago, to be honest), she started having issues with her poops. Her first poop of the day was great. Her second was a bit mushy. Her third (and other poops after in the morning) were terrible... chocolate milkshake terrible (if that gives you any idea of what we're seeing). We figured that, with time, she would work through whatever was ailing her. We pulled back on the Blue and added white rice, boiled chicken, mashed potatoes, plain yogurt... of course, not all at the same time. We kept things bland as we tried to help her work through her tummy issues.


They just haven't gone away.


We tried Fortiflora on her food, as well as Metronidazole (250mg antibiotic twice daily). Neither of them did anything to help her out.


Our vet has wondered if we could be looking at a developing food allergy, so we tried some bland prescription foods: Hills Science Diet i/d Gastrointestinal Health, Gastrointestinal Lo Fat (Innova, maybe?), and Iams Intestinal Plus. We also tried regular Iams (in the green bag) as we've read a lot of great reviews on here. Nothing works. We're dealing with the same issues as always. And poor Maya is being a trooper as we try to work through this.


Add to this the fact that she's dealing with her corns (for which we use Therapaw booties) and general walking issues/joint pain issues (possible arthritis?).


Our vet, whom we trust to the ends of the Earth, is torn between what we should try next.


The first idea idea is to try a hypoallergenic food. Again, this would be the natural thought if we are truly dealing with a developing food allergy. The second idea is to have Maya undergo an ultrasound (most likely anesthetized) to see if there are any issues that are visible within.


I'm at a loss. I know it sounds crazy, but I feel like my girl is fading away. I know she's 10. I know she's aging. But she's still spunky. She still enjoys spurts of playing outside. She still gets excited to go for ANY car ride... especially if it involves a tent and sleeping under the stars! She still gets up on the bed and plays with me when I put my hands under the covers and lift up under her paws. She's my girl... I'll do whatever I can for her.


Has anyone experienced anything like this? Do you have ANY advice on which route you'd take if Maya was your pup? We're leaning towards the ultrasound. Something in my gut tells me that, after all the diet changes we've tried and the non-results that we're seeing, we're not looking at something diet related.


I'll take any and all advice you can give.


I thank you in advance, and so does Maya.





Gwen (07/2003-11/2009),  * Maya (cancer , 06/2003-10/2013), *Ollie (cancer 07/2013 - 10/2018), *Azalea (cancer, 7/6/2015 - 5/20/2019), Ashe (cancer 04/2011 - 03/2020)

*Aztec (sister of Inca, 12/1996-08/2011), *Inca (half-Siamese kitty ,12/1996 - 9/2016)



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Has your vet tried metronidazole or tylan? They're both used with dogs that have worms to reduce the intestinal inflammation that occurs with worm infestations. But inflammation could come from other reasons, and either med might help.


My old boy was on a maintenance dose of metronidazole for more than a year before he died (at age 13), and for the first time in his life, his poops were consistently good. If I stopped the metronidazole, he'd be back to diarrhea within four days. He started with the regular loading dose of metronidazole--I think it was two 500mg pills a day for 10 days or so--then reduced that to one pill a day for a week or so, then half a pill a day, and finally down to half a pill every other day. If he did have a bad poop day (like when he got too much raw turkey neck in one day), I just went back to the loading-dose for a day or so, then back to the maintenance dose. Without the metronidazole, it didn't matter what we fed Sam; he'd have chronic soft poop (or worse). With the metronidazole, we no longer had food/poop issues. (Lots of other issues in an old dog, but not food or poop.)


Long-term use of metronidazole at larger doses can cause neurological trouble, but at a low maintenance dose, we didn't have a problem. Tylan doesn't carry the potential for bad side effects with long-term use, but it was absolutely no help to my old boy.

Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

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Have you tried probiotics for the bowel? I have started using "Vetri-Probiotic BD" by Vetri-Science with our Bess and there is some improvement. Another owner recommended it and also recommended getting it on Amazon for the best price. Also, canned pumpkin (not pie filling) added to the food is a good source of binding fiber.

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This is all assuming you've eliminated any sort of parasite or TBD problem first.


It sounds like you've been continuing to feed her basically commercial products. Have you actually tried an elimination diet? Fast for a few meals to empty out her system and calm it down. Then introduce ONE food - a very low fat protein, home cooked. If it does NOT go well, fast another meal and then try a different protein. When you find a protein source she can tolerate, then add in a carb source - over cooked plain rice, or pasta, or sweet potato, or regular potato.


I don't think you can tell if she has an allergy when using a commercial product, unless she always reacts to foods with a certain protein in them, since you can't control exactly what is in the food. Though you may be able to tell something by trying unique-protein-source, grain-free foods like a duck or fish (there's also buffalo, venison, pork, and even a vegan one I saw the other day).


Has she been tested for malabsorption issues? What about kidney or liver values? Is she on any other medications? Has your vet mentioned Protein Losing Enteropathy?

Chris - Mom to: Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

52592535884_69debcd9b4.jpgsiggy by Chris Harper, on Flickr

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom, Lilly

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I might suggest not giving any chicken at all and instead use beef chunks or hamburger (cooked) with rice and some pulverzed veggies. Today, chickens have too much antibiotics given to them which can play havoc with digestive systems (both human and canine). I might also suggest giving oatmeal (5 minute type) in one of the meals. It has fiber which helps to firm up the poop. All 3 of mine get between 1/2 to 1 cup of oatmeal in the morning along with hamburger although, you would probably want to start with just adding about 1/4 cup in to start.

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Is her weight stable? Did you run bloodwork-stool analysis ? Knowing these two questions may help with further advice.

I can tell you though that the metronidazole dose seems low--most hounds of her average weight would be dispensed 500mgs twice daily.

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Agree with greysmom. Has she had recent fecal tests? Has she ever had hookworms, giardia, etc? Does she have access to water outside from a pond, lake, river, fountain, birdbath, plant saucer? If so, she could be recontaminating her body with giarda, etc. Also, hookworms, giardia, etc. can live in soil for extended periods and continue the on-going cycle of reinfection.


Our most severely food allergic dog happened to be best stabilized on a simple protein dog kibble of venison. SInce we dealt with her eating limitations for 13 years, we occasionally tried duck or rabbit with decent results, but venison worked best in her case. These days there are many more simple commercial dog foods available. Zero treats other than her approved dog kibble.

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Has she had the allergy blood test? We had a little girlie that was chewing herself to pieces. The vet suggested the blood test. Turns out she was allergic to practically everything! Her poops were fine thank goodness, but allergies can affect lots of things. We ended up feeding her Hills ZD Ultra (basically chicken, air and water LOL). The protein was broken down like they do in some baby formula so even if she had been allergic to chicken it would not have affected her. Hope you find something that works. Poor munchkin!



Aljo Atomic Kogo and DC Man of Steal

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1. Check for worms. If no worms, proceed to #2.

2. Hypoallergenic diet (Z/D Ultra). If no improvement over 5 days, proceed to #3.

3. Tylan.


If she's losing significant weight, obviously feels poorly, etc., I'd do some other tests for things like pancreatic insufficiency. You want recent (last couple weeks) CBC and chemistry in any case.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Rx clay & slippery elm maybe just what you need to get the poops back to acceptable, then you can work on the nutrition factor; rule out grains and change the protein source completely, and the other medical issues you want to address as well.

lorinda, mom to the ever revolving door of Foster greyhounds

Always in my heart: Teala (LC Sweet Dream) , Pepton, Darbee-Do (Hey Barb) , Rascal (Abitta Rascal), Power (Beyond the Power), and the miracle boy LAZER (2/21/14), Spirit (Bitter Almonds) 8/14

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