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Old 07-31-2009, 11:54 PM
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PeggyPup PeggyPup is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2009
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Default Long story...Luke's health problems...still trying to figure out adjustments....

This past year has been pretty tough on our 8 year old Border Collie, Luke.

We'd had our dogs on a raw food diet for years. We usually mixed dry food with the raw meat, and we ALWAYS froze the meat before feeding it to them. Luke was always fine, never had a problem, LOVED his food, always managed to eat around the dry food, haha.

But somewhere down the line, something went horribly wrong. To this day we can't figure out what happened. We don't even know if it had anything to do with his diet. He started throwing up after every meal, and his stool was never solid...and we started finding mucus or pus in his stool. His ears suddenly exploded with infection, and his eyes started discharging. He was a complete mess within a week. We brought him to our local vet, who I am NOT crazy about, and he basically told us to wait awhile longer and see if he gets worse. We told him he had already gone downhill so fast within a week we were afraid to wait any longer, but he basically refused to treat Luke until we waited at least another 4 days.

Now, just keep in mind, our Papillon Oliver was on a raw diet as well, and always had been and still was doing great on it. He had zero problems and was healthy as a horse.

So we brought Luke home. The next night, he couldn't stop drinking water. He could have lapped up the entire ocean if you let him. Then he got lethargic, and got to a point where he couldn't get up. I stayed up with him all night, expecting he wouldn't make it to the next morning. Shockingly, he did. His breathing was shallow all night and he slept fitfully but he awoke the next morning, but obviously not right. Well we marched right into that vet's office and demanded help.

Anyway, time goes on, he puts Luke on flagyl, which made us nervous and he didn't respond well to it, so we took him off, he needed an IV every night for awhile because he couldn't eat anything.

He tested positive for a parasite, which is why we got the flagyl, and our first thought was that we had gotten bad meat. So we took Oliver to get tested. He was clear. Again, perfectly fine. So where did Luke's parasite come from? It seems unlikely that little Oliver would dodge the parasite completely if it was in the meat. To this day we're unsure where the parasite came from...our vet insisted that it was undoubtedly the raw meat, and that NO dog should EVER be on a raw diet. I don't tend to listen to him a lot of the time, though. He has BSed us and some of our friends on a number of occasions just to get more money.

We ran more tests after the parasite cleared up, and Luke had developed chronic Pancreatitis, and he had developed an allergy to wheat. He also cannot properly digest Saturated Fat. Oh boy. He told us that he would have to be on flagyl the rest of his life, but that meant that he would only live a couple more years before the flagyl destroyed his vital organs. If Luke was going to live a miserable, uncomfortable and medicated life we would rather just let him have peace and pass on.

But before we resorted to that, we consulted an all natural dog nutritionist and vet, and he helped us put together an all new diet for Luke that would hopefully help all his new problems. Thanks to his new allergies, commercial dog foods were 100% out of the question.

This is the diet we have for him now. He eats mashed sweet potatoes and chicken breast that is cooked white, basically getting all the fat out. He gets Omega 3 fish oil in the mix, along with calcium powder and digestive enzymes and vitamins.

For awhile it worked great! He made a complete turn around, his coat looked beautiful, he was running around happy again, he put on weight, he was keeping his food down, his stool was solid....but a little more orange than before!

But now we're going in a loop again...his eyes are goopy, he's lost a bit of weight, and for the first time in his whole life, we found him digging through the trash!!! NOT a good sign. It's so unlike him, and it tells us that something isn't sitting right with him.

What are we doing wrong now? Am I just hurting him by putting him through this again? for 4 solid months he's been awesome, but now I feel like we're slowly creeping back. We tested him again for the parasite, and that's gone for good. So I feel like perhaps there's something I'm missing...has anyone had this happen? I'm worried about him and feel guilty. Am I making him suffer? What can I do to get him back to his old self?
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Old 08-01-2009, 10:49 AM
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bubbatd bubbatd is offline
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Question for those who feed raw you freeze the meat to kill parasites ???
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Old 08-01-2009, 11:50 AM
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Dekka Dekka is offline
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depending on the meat yes..
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Old 08-02-2009, 05:22 PM
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Bailey08 Bailey08 is offline
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I would absolutely contact a board certified internal medicine specialist. ASAP.

Flagyl won't kill your dog. Bailey is on a daily dose of metronidazole (it's the same thing -- I think flagyl is the brand name) to control his GI issues and I was told by his specialist (as well 2 board certified general vets) that he could stay on it for the rest of his life if needed -- and Bailey is barely a year old. It's not ideal, but it's not going to kill him. OTOH, if you don't address your dog's problems, and he isn't getting sufficient nutrition, you are going to have bigger issues than giving him a daily med.
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Old 08-02-2009, 05:29 PM
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drmom777 drmom777 is offline
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Metronidazole is used for people too. It is quite safe when used correctly. It does not destroy internal organs. My dog was on it for some eight months and then weaned off. often dogs will develop subclinical problems with Giardia and require continued treatment even with negative tests.

In addition, flagyl (metronidazole) seems to help control chronic diarrhea in both humans and dogs that do not have parasites to begin with, so it appears to have intrinsic qualities that help with bowel irritation.

I also fed my dog chicken and sweet potatoes. He had chronic bloody, mucous filled diarrhea for months. Now he is doing great. He is totally fine eating kibble with a topper, the only really weird thing is that if he misses even one meal or it is really late, he starts producing bloody mucus again. As soon as he eats, it stops. So much for the theory of bowel rest being a great thing.

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