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Starting To Think This Isn't A Coincidence


Guest RMarie
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I need input. We've battled poop problems with James from day 1. We've also battled staph infections, which at the times they occurred we could blame on other things, like injuries, possum bite, etc. Well, James has been on green bag for months. He's made it longer on green bag than any other food we've fed. Things were fine until a month or so ago. His poops just started getting soft and mucousy for no reason. I searched this forum and gave him Pepto for possible bowel inflammation. It didn't really work, or if it did work, it didn't work for long. I thought the issue was a lack of fiber (he had an excellent poop after feeding him raw carrots and tortilla chips one day). So, I found a limited ingredient food with 7% fiber (Blue Basics turkey and potato). There was small improvement in the beginning, but it was short-lived. Well, last night while petting James I found a crusty spot of fur just above his tail, which means he's got another staph infection.

 

*sigh*

 

I'm now convinced his poop problems and staph infections are related. Is this a food allergy? Is this IBD? I'm so frustrated. I don't know what to do. Do I just pick a novel protein and cross my fingers? We've already tried chicken, salmon, venison, and turkey. Do I ask for a low does of prednisone to help with the seemingly persistent bowel inflammation?

 

DH is dropping off a poop sample at the vet this morning and will be making an appointment for next week. Until then....help! I need feedback from others who've been here and done this.

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Do an elimination diet ---

 

Try beef (little bit) and rice only for a few days and see if that helps a bit. If that is OK after a few days, add more beef. I find that chicken causes many issues among the dogs that I have fostered and never use it. If the beef and rice are ok after a few days, add some veggies. If that is OK after a few days, add some 5-minute oatmeal (adds fiber).

 

This has pretty much worked for all the dogs that I fostered that had diarrhea issues.

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Sorry you are going through this. We were told chicken and beef were not the best. Have you tried rabbit? If it's IBD, then a hypoallergenic food is what you need. As for pred, it has some nasty side effects but it does get things in check quickly. Budesonide may be a better alternative. All this depends though on the diagnosis. We had a biopsy performed for our non-grey who has IBD.

Edited by Charlies_Dad

Kyle with Stewie ('Super C Ledoux, Super C Sampson x Sing It Blondie) and forever missing my three angels, Jack ('Roy Jack', Greys Flambeau x Miss Cobblepot) and Charlie ('CTR Midas Touch', Leo's Midas x Hallo Argentina) and Shelby ('Shari's Hooty', Flying Viper x Shari Carusi) running free across the bridge.

Gus an coinnich sinn a'rithist my boys and little girl.

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Sorry you are going through this. We were told chicken and beef were not the best. Have you tried rabbit? If it's IBD, then a hypoallergenic food is what you need. As for pred, it has some nasty side effects but it does get things in check quickly. Budesonide may be a better alternative. All this depends though on the diagnosis. We had a biopsy performed for our non-grey who has IBD.

 

I agree that beef is not the best but (IMO) CHICKEN is much, much worse from what I saw with my fosters. Almost every processed dog food has some chicken in it or some ingredient that looks like it might be derived from chicken - sometimes its just a bit of chicken fat or "fat that is not specified". I used to recommend Natural Balance Venison and Sweet Potato Limited Ingredient but, they have recently been taken over, so quality might be compromised going forward. Best to move to a home-cooked diet and go through elimination to find what will work long-term. At the beginning, can just use rice and potatoes and see if that tolerated and then find a protein that works.

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The 2 conditions are quite possibly unrelated.

They could be and that's how we've viewed them in the past. But, yet again, they're back, together. I just don't want to keep dismissing them as unrelated if they're not.

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I'd almost be inclined to think that this is something autoimmune, from the way things sound.

 

If so, grain-free is going to be your best bet as far as kibble goes. Salmon-based foods have always worked best for us. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream :nod But I see you've tried Salmon already (BUT, was it grain-free??)

 

Pinky had lupus and did best on grain-free.

 

Think about the reasons behind eating paleo and what grains can do to humans' digestive systems, especially those with autoimmune issues. Same is true for dogs.

 

When I do not eat well and grains sneak into my diet, my skin conditions flare and my "output" is not well-formed (sorry for the TMI :blush)

Edited by krissn333

Kristin in Moline, IL USA with Ozzie (MRL Crusin Clem), Clarice (Clarice McBones), Latte and Sage the IGs, and the kitties: Violet and Rose
Lovingly Remembered: Sutra (Fliowa Sutra) 12/02/97-10/12/10, Pinky (Pick Me) 04/20/03-11/19/12, Fritz (Fritz Fire) 02/05/01 - 05/20/13, Ace (Fantastic Ace) 02/05/01 - 07/05/13, and Carrie (Takin the Crumbs) 05/08/99 - 09/04/13.

A cure for cancer can't come soon enough.--

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I'd almost be inclined to think that this is something autoimmune, from the way things sound.

 

If so, grain-free is going to be your best bet as far as kibble goes. Salmon-based foods have always worked best for us. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream :nod But I see you've tried Salmon already (BUT, was it grain-free??)

 

Pinky had lupus and did best on grain-free.

 

Think about the reasons behind eating paleo and what grains can do to humans' digestive systems, especially those with autoimmune issues. Same is true for dogs.

 

When I do not eat well and grains sneak into my diet, my skin conditions flare and my "output" is not well-formed (sorry for the TMI :blush)

Yes, the salmon food was grain free (Nature's Domain from Costco). The Blue Basics I'm currently feeding is also grain free. I didn't pick it for being grain free, I picked it b/c it has 7% fiber and I thought James needed more fiber since feeding him carrots and tortilla chips helped firm up his poops. I was surprised a grain free food could have so much fiber.

 

If this is IBD, do I just pick a novel protein and hope for the best? Is there something else I do in addition to picking a new protein to help keep his digestive distress in check? I'm considering adding raw goat's milk to his diet. With the upcoming antibiotics he'll be on to treat his staph infection, he'll need all the good bacteria he can get.

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I was kind of thinking along the same lines as Kristin. You mentioned several different proteins you've tried, it may not be some of the proteins so much as the other ingredients in those foods you tried with him. Even foods with similar ingredients can have different effects depending on the ratio of ingredients with each other. For instance if I feed Nadir raw ground venison with bone he gets constipated. When I fed California Natural GF Venison and Potato his poops were perfect. When they had the recall I had to switch to another brand, lately I've been rotating the different proteins in the Natural Balance brand. When I feed the venison his poops are decent, but no way easy to clean up as when he ate CN.

Lamb, incidentally which is one of the most common proteins fed now has given him the worse results, aside from kangaroo.

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If this is IBD, do I just pick a novel protein and hope for the best? Is there something else I do in addition to picking a new protein to help keep his digestive distress in check? I'm considering adding raw goat's milk to his diet. With the upcoming antibiotics he'll be on to treat his staph infection, he'll need all the good bacteria he can get.

If you haven't already tried it give Manuka honey a try, especially if you think it could be bacterial or IBD related. I know it has helped Nadir immensely with his stomach problems. It is expensive but I don't always have to use it and when I do it settles his stomach and his poops always seem better afterwards. Sometimes I go through a jar a month and sometimes a jar will last several months.

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One thing I want to say...a friend fed TOTW Pacific Stream and then switched to the Costco Nature's Domain Salmon and her dogs have had runny poop. Gave it to Ozzie (who has had perfect poop on TOTW) and it gave him diarrhea. Back on TOTW and he's good. Something about that Costco food (even though both are made by Diamond) is different enough that it makes a difference. Which sucks because the Costco food is much more affordable!

Kristin in Moline, IL USA with Ozzie (MRL Crusin Clem), Clarice (Clarice McBones), Latte and Sage the IGs, and the kitties: Violet and Rose
Lovingly Remembered: Sutra (Fliowa Sutra) 12/02/97-10/12/10, Pinky (Pick Me) 04/20/03-11/19/12, Fritz (Fritz Fire) 02/05/01 - 05/20/13, Ace (Fantastic Ace) 02/05/01 - 07/05/13, and Carrie (Takin the Crumbs) 05/08/99 - 09/04/13.

A cure for cancer can't come soon enough.--

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You don't ask for anything. Let the vet do some diagnostics, including a check on his weight (gaining? losing? staying the same?). If those come out clean -- no worms, no giardia, etc. -- then 2 rounds of broad-spectrum wormer.

 

There's no reason to suspect "grains" -- that's just a fad -- or anything else at this point. Also no reason to suspect IBD.

 

If you believe the dog has a food sensitivity, the best way to proceed is with a true elimination diet. That means ONE protein source, usually a novel one, and NOTHING else except absolutely required medications (heartworm, antibiotics if needed) for 12 weeks.

 

Staph skin infections are hard to cure and often require longer-term antibiotics than many vets tend to prescribe. Assume he is on flea control?

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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You don't ask for anything. Let the vet do some diagnostics, including a check on his weight (gaining? losing? staying the same?). If those come out clean -- no worms, no giardia, etc. -- then 2 rounds of broad-spectrum wormer.

 

There's no reason to suspect "grains" -- that's just a fad -- or anything else at this point. Also no reason to suspect IBD.

 

If you believe the dog has a food sensitivity, the best way to proceed is with a true elimination diet. That means ONE protein source, usually a novel one, and NOTHING else except absolutely required medications (heartworm, antibiotics if needed) for 12 weeks.

 

Staph skin infections are hard to cure and often require longer-term antibiotics than many vets tend to prescribe. Assume he is on flea control?

Yes, he's on Frontline.

 

As far as weight, he's gained weight since we started Iams a while ago (he was down, so we needed the weight gain). We actually started cutting back his food intake a couple of months ago (he's petite, so we prefer a slimmer dog). He's never tested positive for any worms or parasites. I know that isn't full-proof, but I worry about the side effects on his gut from whatever broad spectrum de-wormer he'd be prescribed.

 

Just curious, why don't you suspect IBD? Don't get me wrong, I don't want there to be anything wrong with him, but I'd also kind of like an answer as to why he just starts "not doing well" on a food anymore after months of no problems. I have no problems with an elimination diet but fear we'll be like other families that run the gamut of proteins and then nothing is novel anymore.

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No reason TO suspect IBD. Much more likely to be worms, giardia, minor bacterial infection, or just not quite the right food for the dog. That the problem recurs from time to time strongly suggests worms or, perhaps more likely in this case, a minor bacterial infection. Look at it this way: Is your poop of exactly the same quality, same characteristics, day in, day out, for an entire year? Don't answer that ..... :lol

 

Worming isn't likely to hurt his gut. Some wormers, such as Panacur, are also effective against giardia.

 

When mine have honest-to-goodness diarrhea that doesn't clear up on its own, we usually do @ 2 weeks of metronidazole (flagyl) or Tylan. Those are gut-active antibiotics. Sometimes one works better than the other -- depends on the dog and the problem.

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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I guess my only retort to the day-in-day-out poop consistency is mine changes, yes...but I don't eat the same thing everyday. We're very strict with what James eats because his gut is sensitive. I wouldn't be questioning his poops if we'd fed him something out of the ordinary.

 

I do agree that it sounds bacterial, as his poops are mucousy. It seems like something is irritating his gut. We feed Fortiflora, though, shouldn't that help keep bacteria in check? If it is bacteria, how to we prevent it from happening again?

 

The cycles in the past have been (based on our beliefs at that time): staph infection (caused by injury, rodent bite, trauma), then bad poops (caused by antibiotics for staph infection killing off good gut bacteria), calm and quiet, staph infection (pick a cause from above), then bad poops (same reason as before), repeat. This is the first time the bad poops have preceded the staph infection. And this is the first time we can't pinpoint the likely cause of the staph infection.

 

Sorry, Batmom, I don't really expect you to answer all my questions. I'm just thinking out-loud. James doesn't seem to be suffering at all. His weight his fine, his attitude is fine, his energy levels are fine. I just wish I could get his pooper under control.

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Fortiflora likely only keeps good bacteria around...doesn't eliminate bad bacteria.

Tough when a pup doesn't tolerate antibiotics well, though.

 

Extended course of Flagyl will probably help. Cruddy issue is the return of the staph. What antibiotic was he given for that?

Kristin in Moline, IL USA with Ozzie (MRL Crusin Clem), Clarice (Clarice McBones), Latte and Sage the IGs, and the kitties: Violet and Rose
Lovingly Remembered: Sutra (Fliowa Sutra) 12/02/97-10/12/10, Pinky (Pick Me) 04/20/03-11/19/12, Fritz (Fritz Fire) 02/05/01 - 05/20/13, Ace (Fantastic Ace) 02/05/01 - 07/05/13, and Carrie (Takin the Crumbs) 05/08/99 - 09/04/13.

A cure for cancer can't come soon enough.--

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He usually gets Cephalexin for staph. He came to us on Flagyl and didn't do that great on it. The meds don't give him diarrhea, they just give him soft/loose poops. Until the antibiotics are over, we probably won't have a great idea whether the protein we pick is right for him.

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Ugh and cephalexin can be rough on the tummy :( Tough to deal with.

Kristin in Moline, IL USA with Ozzie (MRL Crusin Clem), Clarice (Clarice McBones), Latte and Sage the IGs, and the kitties: Violet and Rose
Lovingly Remembered: Sutra (Fliowa Sutra) 12/02/97-10/12/10, Pinky (Pick Me) 04/20/03-11/19/12, Fritz (Fritz Fire) 02/05/01 - 05/20/13, Ace (Fantastic Ace) 02/05/01 - 07/05/13, and Carrie (Takin the Crumbs) 05/08/99 - 09/04/13.

A cure for cancer can't come soon enough.--

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Probiotics have gotten popular for dogs and people both. I have never seen a useful result in either case. The theory is good, but ....

 

If metronidazole (flagyl) is indicated and doesn't work well for your dog, might ask the vet about trying Tylan instead.

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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Just a note too on grain-free foods...they're not all created equal. Both of the foods you mentioned get 3.5 stars from dogfoodadvisor.com. Mostly due to the lower amounts of meat-based protein (more plant proteins in those).

 

The TOTW gets 4 stars and there are others (Solid Gold Barking at the Moon, for instance) that get 5 stars for their protein content being from animal proteins as opposed to plant proteins.

Earthborn Holistic grain-free also gets really good reviews (our veterinary chiropractor's office sells this).

Kristin in Moline, IL USA with Ozzie (MRL Crusin Clem), Clarice (Clarice McBones), Latte and Sage the IGs, and the kitties: Violet and Rose
Lovingly Remembered: Sutra (Fliowa Sutra) 12/02/97-10/12/10, Pinky (Pick Me) 04/20/03-11/19/12, Fritz (Fritz Fire) 02/05/01 - 05/20/13, Ace (Fantastic Ace) 02/05/01 - 07/05/13, and Carrie (Takin the Crumbs) 05/08/99 - 09/04/13.

A cure for cancer can't come soon enough.--

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Have you ever tried a prescription and/or homemade diet with him for an extended period of time to see if it helped? My old dog had endless problems on everything which eventually turned into chronic pancreatitis, and I was about ready to give up. Then I was given some simple homemade recipes to try. Presto! She was fixed and never had another issue. Once her system got a chance to heal up, she could go back to eating a wider variety of foods. Every dog is different, but just a suggestion....

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He came to us on Rx food....Iams low-residue. He did terribly on it. His diarrhea turned to soft poops almost overnight as soon as we stopped the low-res. We did chicken and rice for a bit until the first vet we went to asked why in the world we were feeding him that, that he wasn't getting enough nutrients on chicken and rice, and to just find a kibble and go with it. *sigh* So, that's when we started Nature's Domain and then switched vets (there were other reasons why we didn't like him).

 

I cooked up a bunch of ground beef and rice. We'll see if we can't reset him with that + the raw goat's milk.

 

I had a thought today on our drive back from meeting James' soon-to-be sister just now....there is a giant yellow duck in Pittsburgh right now...an "art" exhibition docked at Point State Park (google it, it's hilarious and totally awesome). Maybe this is a BIG sign that we should be feeding duck!?!?! :chow

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You never mentioned - have you tried rice? Have you ever tried oatmeal- that has plenty of fiber ..

 

You might be having a problem with one of the ingredients in dog food rather then the protein. Also, it's not unusual for a dog food company to change ingredients (maybe the china ingredient is cheaper). They usually don't do sufficient quality control on the smaller brands of dog food so it is "buyer beware".

 

If there is mucous - then GI is irritated.

 

I might suggest that the more that you experiment, the worse this can become. To take control of this, you probably want to move to a homemade elimination diet. It will take about 6 to 8 weeks but, will give you some answers on what is tolerated and what is not. It will also let you know if grains can be eaten (most dogs seem to do OK on grains but, it the "grain-free fad has taken control).


He came to us on Rx food....Iams low-residue. He did terribly on it. His diarrhea turned to soft poops almost overnight as soon as we stopped the low-res. We did chicken and rice for a bit until the first vet we went to asked why in the world we were feeding him that, that he wasn't getting enough nutrients on chicken and rice, and to just find a kibble and go with it. *sigh* So, that's when we started Nature's Domain and then switched vets (there were other reasons why we didn't like him).

 

I cooked up a bunch of ground beef and rice. We'll see if we can't reset him with that + the raw goat's milk.

 

I had a thought today on our drive back from meeting James' soon-to-be sister just now....there is a giant yellow duck in Pittsburgh right now...an "art" exhibition docked at Point State Park (google it, it's hilarious and totally awesome). Maybe this is a BIG sign that we should be feeding duck!?!?! :chow

 

I'm confused, why are you feeding "raw goat's milk"? That is not pasteurized and could cause other issues. As to other nutrients, he will need to get Calcium pills and vitamins if you decide to go the route of home-cooking. If the home-feeding works (1 to 2 weeks with little issues), post again and ask about what other supplements to give.

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I wouldn't feed milk of any kind. Not sure why anyone would recommend that?

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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The raw goat's milk was suggested to me to help with digestion. Apparently, it is the most easily digested food in the world and has lots of enzymes and probiotics. I guess the thought is it practically digests itself and will help digest whatever else is being consumed, so there's less strain on the GI tract. I've only been giving it to him since Friday. So far, it hasn't seemed to make things worse. DH reported that James' poop this morning was better than it has been, started out soft, then firmer towards the end.

 

I don't mean to sound like we've done lots of experimenting in a small amount of time. All that I've posted about took place over the course of 13 months. I never up and switched his food just to switch. I only transitioned foods at a time when he was experiencing prolonged gut problems from whatever food we were feeding at that time. We were on Iams for longer than I can remember with no problems, until the last month or so.

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