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 Post subject: Sensitive stomach - Update page 2 (03/13)
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:38 am 
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I'm trying to make a long story short here... I've been stuggling to find a food that will help with Charlie's soft stool. We've tried kibbles: Evo Chicken & Turkey (and Weight Managment), Now Grain Free Adult. We've also tried raw: Nature's Variety Instinct Raw (Chicken, Beef, Venison). I do feed some pumpkin at supper time. He seems to do fine for a few weeks and then it starts again.

Last week, he had a very bad week and I spoke to our vet on the phone Friday afternoon. She suspects colitis or IBD but we haven't done any testing yet. She prescribed MediCal Gastro High Energy to stabilize him and recommended that this be his permanent diet. Personally, I don't like the ingredients in that food but if it works, I will give it a try.

The MediCal Gastro food is very expensive ($50 for 4kg/8.8 lbs). I'm looking for an alternative once his situation has stabilized. Is anyone aware of a food made especially for dogs with gastro issues/sensitive stomachs? At this point, I don't care if it's grain free or not, as long as it works and that Charlie can feel good permanently...

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Last edited by Vicky & Charlie on Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:06 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Very sensitive stomach & digestive system
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:59 am 
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I feel your pain Vicky, as Jack Jack has a very sensitive stomach, and has since he was a puppy (he's 4 now). I went through just about everything with him (except the vet food).

Right now he's eating Acana Duck and Pear. He can't handle grain-free foods, they're just too rich for him, so he gets a high quality grain food with limited ingredients. He also did really well on Dick van Patten Venison & Sweet Potato. I also use Digestive Enzymes for him (Digestive Enhancer from Nature's Farmacy) and when his tummy is bad, I also add Tylan powder, which is an antibiotic powder. I don't use it all the time, though, as I don't want him on antibiotics all the time.

I use pumpkin from time to time, but otherwise he gets his kibble and some treats that I know won't bother his stomach. Anything out of the ordinary does produce soft stools, especially traveling.

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 Post subject: Re: Very sensitive stomach & digestive system
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:38 am 
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Vicky, has he been checked for any type of infection or parasites? Just a thought. I hope you find something that works for your sweetie.

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 Post subject: Re: Very sensitive stomach & digestive system
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:50 am 
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Deborah, yes Charlie has been checked for that. He just had his annual check up at the beginning of May and everything looked fine. Besides this issue, he's as healthy as can be. No eye issues, no ear infections, xrays of hips etc came back super good (we didn't xray specifically for that but she told me it looked good)...

Kelly, I might give Acana a try but I don't think he likes duck. When I was feeding raw, I was buying chicken, turkey and duck necks for him to chew on. He liked all except the duck (which smelled horrible). Maybe he wouldn't mind it in kibble form.

Anyway, for now we'll stick to the pescribed food until he's stable and decide from there.

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 Post subject: Re: Very sensitive stomach & digestive system
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:07 pm 
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When I first got Emma I fed her the Costco grain free food and she had SIX bowel movements every day. It was awful. She's now eating Acana Pacifica (fish), but just this week she has soft stools, too. I'm dropping off a sample tomorrow to rule out parasites (because of her disgusting habit of eating "yard art.") Have you tried Flagyl at all? But I think that's for bacterial gut problems so maybe that wouldn't help.

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 Post subject: Re: Very sensitive stomach & digestive system
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:27 pm 
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No Tina, I haven't tried Flagyl, but I might. Beside changing food from time to time, I haven't tried anything special. I just thought it would go away not realizing how long it had been going on for. He'd do fine for a while and then bad again. I'm seriously tired of it though, he must be too. The prescription food seems to be improving the sitation a bit, I'll give it some time. I'll also try to make only one change at a time to make sure I can identify what works and what doesn't.

Anyone else on the forum has a pup with bad tummy issues?

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Last edited by Vicky & Charlie on Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Very sensitive stomach & digestive system
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:29 pm 
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About six months ago I ended up taking Piper to a specialist since she was having major issues out of the blue with her food (didn't matter if raw or bland diet). It would get better for a few weeks to just return with a vengence. The specialist said it could be one of two things: severe protein allergy or IBD. We started her on metronidazole and prednisone to get her back to firm along with Science Diets special diet. I just recently switched her to Nature's Variety Limited Ingredient Lamb with great success. She seems like she's just now starting to be normal again. I sprinkle Honest Kitchen's Perfect Form on her food too and that always seems to help.

Maybe try the NV Instinct Limited Ingredient line. It has worked super well for us (along with the meds but she's weaned down to very low dose). She also no longer gets chicken and that seems to make a big difference. It's so interesting that what works for her is completely opposite of what works for her brother!

Poor Charlie! I hope you find something that works for you guys!

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 Post subject: Re: Very sensitive stomach & digestive system
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:40 pm 
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Vicky,
I sure can sympathize. I am constantly doing a balancing act in the effort to keep Chessie solid. She has been doing OK on Acana Ranchlands in the morning and NV Instinct Raw beef at night. Like Sarah I add Honest Kitchen's Perfect Form to her evening meal. It sure helps but in spite of the name nothing is perfect and she still comes up soft a couple times a week. :goof Chessie is sensitive to chicken and can not tolerate tripe. I recently tried NV raw lamb for variety and she's back to soft. :bang This is crazy! If they lived on the street they would be eating rotten garbage and surviving! I've reluctantly come to the conclusion that as long as her stool has form I'm not doing too bad with her.

One thing I have noticed is that I can almost always think back and recognize what she got that was different and probably caused the soft stool. If I were you I'd keep a log for a couple weeks and see if you can start to pin point any pattern with Charlie. I'd keep track of food, treats, meds, activities, the weather (any storms) anything different in his routine... even how much exercise he got that day.

One more thing... I recently ran across a chart that showed examples of various stool output. It's pretty disgusting but it did reassure me by showing what "normal" really means. Since I saw it I've been slightly less anal (pun intended) about it... although I must admit I still check. :gig


I wish I could give you the magic answer... but since I don't know all I can do is wish you luck!

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 Post subject: Re: Very sensitive stomach & digestive system
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:11 am 
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Thanks for all your replies, it sure gives me something to think about.

I just realized that most food I've tried for Charlie had chicken as primary source of meat. Maybe it's the chicken (like Chessie) :dk He's been eating MediCal Gastro High Energy since Saturday exclusively (no treats, fruits or veggies) and this morning, he was still a little soft but not as bad as last week.

I'm very interested in Honest Kitchen Perfect Form, I will probably give that a try once he's "under control". I will also try the food diary to identify what triggers the bad incidents.

I've never been this worried about poop in my entire life!

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 Post subject: Re: Very sensitive stomach & digestive system
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:21 am 
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Vicky, I have to avoid Chicken with Abby...it is definitely a thought.

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 Post subject: Re: Very sensitive stomach & digestive system
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:58 am 
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debbiefive wrote:
Vicky, I have to avoid Chicken with Abby...it is definitely a thought.


:shock: Our vet tech also told me that chicken is one of the most popular culprit in allergies. I have some studying to do.

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 Post subject: Re: Very sensitive stomach & digestive system
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:45 pm 
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My previous cocker had major stomach intestional issues, I was pretty niave back then and took what the vet said as gospel,they said that she just had a sensitve stomach. Well that senstive stomach turned into a major nightmare, when I brought her in when she was 10 with skin, ear and eye issues. They could then tell me that she had a protein allergy. They put her on a hydrolzed food,and for the first time in her life she had a firm stool. She lived on that for her last 5 years of life with no more issues.
When I first got Snicky I had her on a chicken based puppy food which she did not do well on, and after doing a lot of research I switched her over to a limited ingredient diet of venison and potato and she has been fine on that for 2 years with no issues. :Clap After what happened to my Peachy I was not going to go down that road again.


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 Post subject: Re: Very sensitive stomach & digestive system
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:55 pm 
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I avoid chicken because Max breaks out but you could try turkey if he likes poultry. Turkey is usually novel enough and fairly chemically different from chicken, so that may be an option. When Max had the tummy aliens come visit we started a probiotic, human acidophilus, and it has helped tremendously. It promotes good flora in the stomach and intestines. Once we did that we had almost no tummy aliens. It's not expensive and can be found easily and has really made a difference for him. Good luck with Charlie. I know you've been to the moon and back getting this sorted out for him.

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 Post subject: Re: Very sensitive stomach & digestive system
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:53 am 
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Last week I discovered little drops of bright red blood towards the end of Toby's bowel movements. I monitored it for a few days before taking it to the vet. The stool was tested for parasites and came back negative so the vet said it could be due to one of two things: his food (Wellness core) or stress (very possible as we just moved). We have had him on metronidozole (2x a day) since last Friday, a probiotic, and were feeding him wet food that was prescribed by the vet. Immediately, the blood from his stool disappeared and was getting back to normal. As we started to run out of the prescribed food, I slowly started to reintroduce the Wellness and right away the blood came back. My guess is the cause is now due to his food so we're also looking for alternatives. Just wanted to chime in since we're going through something similar. Best of luck to you and Charlie and please let keep us posted on what works!


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 Post subject: Re: Very sensitive stomach & digestive system
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:02 pm 
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I had this problem 4 a year try a very good probiotic for dogs,
The 1 that worked best for me was Naturvet.I thought my dog was allergic to chicken and everythIng else going, its like every now and then the good bacteria gets wiped out. Without the good bacteria your dog wont absorb any nutrients so then its ear infections ddandruff, loose stools, the problems are endless. Certainly wont hurt to try but might not to.


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 Post subject: Re: Very sensitive stomach & digestive system
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:20 am 
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UPDATE

Charlie has been eating MediCal Gastro Intestinal High Energy for 25 days and I am still not seeing the results I was expecting. It's a little bit better but nothing to be excited about (I'm trying to stay away from to many details :gig ). It has been very warm and humid here for the last couple of weeks, maybe it's not helping but I was very careful to not give him anything else than the prescribed food... I'm disappointed.

From the above replies, it seems like a limited ingredients diet could work. The ones I know are Acana (duck or lamb), Nature's Variety LID (lamb or turkey) and Wellness (Simple line: duck & oatmeal, salmon & potato, turkey & potato or lamb & oatmeal).

I will call our vet today and ask what she recommends. But I don't plan on continuing to buy that food if the results are not there.

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 Post subject: Re: Very sensitive stomach & digestive system
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:28 am 
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I'm no expert, but a friend of mine with a sensitive dog found duck / lamb type foods made her worse as they are quite rich. Have you tried fish type foods? I'm having a struggle at the moment in that I've finally found a kibble my picky princess Hetty will eat, albeit mixed with beef mince (she's not daft) but it's giving her sloppy poos. Hopefully she will settle soon!

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 Post subject: Re: Very sensitive stomach & digestive system
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:57 am 
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When Tucker had Colitis I was given FortiFlora to add to his food once a day. I was also told to feed a high fiber diet and after looking at a lot of foods I found that the chicken soup LIGHT for the dog lovers soul was what helped him. Most kibble only contains 3 to 4 percent fiber but the chicken soup light contained 13% fiber and to help things along I also added a tablespoon of pumpkin to the kibble in the evenings food.
After about a week his stools firmed back up and his stomach settled down. We kept him on this food and added probiotic yogurt to his AM kibble and pumpkin to his PM kibble and never had another problem with his stools.
Now every AM the dog's still get probiotic yogurt added to their AM kibble and thats to keep the gassy Jessie from clearing the room.

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 Post subject: Re: Very sensitive stomach & digestive system
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:53 am 
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Argh! :bang

Vicky,

I know how frustrating this is for you! I hope you can find a food that works for Charlie!

Were you able to find the Perfect Form to try?

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 Post subject: Re: Very sensitive stomach & digestive system
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:23 pm 
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Lisa,

No I haven't been able to find Perfect Form anywhere in the province. I had to leave 3 voicemails with the store who was suppose to be able to order it for me. The girl called me back to say she's almost positive they can't get it. If your offer to send me a can is still on, let me know, I'll probably get one. What's frustrating is that I read such good reviews for that product online, I really want to try it before anything else.

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 Post subject: Re: Very sensitive stomach & digestive system
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:25 am 
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I just want to add an update on this topic since everybody has been so helpful with suggestions.

Charlie has been eating MediCal Gastro Intestinal Moderate Calories prescribed diet since mid-June. Forum member Lisa R was also very helpful in sending me a can of Honest Kitchen Perfect Form by mail, since it's not available in my province at the moment :nw .

I don't know if the food + Perfect Form finally kicked in or if it's because of the antibiotics he's taking, but Charlie has been PERFECT for about 3-4 weeks now. He has also been at his perfect weight for a couple of months too and since the abscess nightmare is over, he seems happy as could be. I could not be happier. Actually, I could be happier if I could find a food that would give us the same result with better ingredients...

These past few weeks have been so good that I am now afraid to change anything. What would you guys do? Keep the vet prescribed kibble or try to change it?

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 Post subject: Re: Sensitive stomach & digestive system - Update 08/21
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:36 am 
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Why mess with perfection. Just my thought but I would wait a little longer before I tried to change his food again.

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 Post subject: Re: Sensitive stomach & digestive system - Update 08/21
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:42 pm 
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My Coriander has colitis. I fed him Wellness Core Fat-Reduced and put my homemade food on top. A few times a year he would have a flare which was usually stress-related. At that point we would give him Flagyl. I hope you find something that keeps him comfortable.

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 Post subject: Re: Very sensitive stomach & digestive system
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:01 pm 
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Vicky & Charlie wrote:
I just want to add an update on this topic since everybody has been so helpful with suggestions.

Charlie has been eating MediCal Gastro Intestinal Moderate Calories prescribed diet since mid-June. Forum member Lisa R was also very helpful in sending me a can of Honest Kitchen Perfect Form by mail, since it's not available in my province at the moment :nw .

I don't know if the food + Perfect Form finally kicked in or if it's because of the antibiotics he's taking, but Charlie has been PERFECT for about 3-4 weeks now. He has also been at his perfect weight for a couple of months too and since the abscess nightmare is over, he seems happy as could be. I could not be happier. Actually, I could be happier if I could find a food that would give us the same result with better ingredients...

These past few weeks have been so good that I am now afraid to change anything. What would you guys do? Keep the vet prescribed kibble or try to change it?


Vicky,

I am glad to hear that Charlie is doing much better. :hp Just one suggestion: If you do decide to change something, please do so one item at a time. This way you will have better control over what is happening with your Charlie.

Dawn :paw

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 Post subject: Re: Sensitive stomach & digestive system - Update 08/21
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:15 pm 
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I'm pretty sure we'll stick to the current diet for a while just to see if it's a permanent solution. Now that he's doing this well, I'm afraid to mess things up for him. Even if I don't like the ingredients in his current food, it can't be that bad for him... :dk

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