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Old 11-10-2011, 02:16 PM
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Default Vomiting and Digestion problems.

So, I had been trying to figure out how to help Fleetwood become a healthier dog since he's had all kinds of problems in his short life. Loose stool, coat/skin problems, occasional vomiting (mostly bile), weak immune system, panosteitis, lameness on one leg, I could go on and on.

So I finally decided to try him on Innova Large Breed Adult. His stool was better than it had ever been. He had been on it for about 3 months. I began supplementing him consistently every day with 2 Aller-derm Effa-Caps (Virbac brand fatty acid capsules.), 500-1000mg of Vitamin C, and a teaspoon of colostrum supplement. Those were two awesome weeks-- he didn't need any of his tramadol, or prednisone-- he was feeling great.

2 weeks after I began consistently using all of those supplements together, I woke up one morning to 16 piles of vomit. 2 piles of partially digested food, and the rest just bile. He acted fine throughout the rest of the day. That evening, I fed him beef and rice, he threw it all up 3 hours later. The next morning, I tried to feed him just rice, he promptly threw it back up. So off to the vet we went.

X-Rays showed nothing, so they gave him fluids and I had to fast him for a day and then put him back on a bland diet (with a few medications). He was slowly transitioned into beef and rice. His stool was perfectly normal, but he vomited a few times here and there. I was to start weaning him back onto his regular food after 5-7 days. Well, as soon as I did, He had awful diarrhea. Keep in mind, throughout this whole ordeal from day one, he acted just fine. Not sickly, or lethargic, or anything like that.

Now, 3 weeks later, I am STILL feeding him hamburger and rice, using his kibble as 'treats' to try to transition him back to it. But every time he eats a good amount, he has diarrhea. He hasn't vomited it.

So I'm totally lost. I can't figure out what to do next. I'm caught between following my holistic vet's advice, and just home-cooking his food from now on (I can't even afford to feed myself ), keep trying to transition back to innova (he did great on it before!), or try to transition him to a whole new food. I think I'm going to have him tested for pancreatitis, but other than that, I'm lost.

So for now, I've been feeding him a diet consisting of 55-60% hamburger with 10-15ish% fat, 40-45% white or brown rice, about a teaspoon of bone meal added daily, and fish oil supplemented in there too. Should I be adding anything else to sustain him somewhat long term?


Advice? Vibes? A rock for me to hide under?
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Old 11-10-2011, 02:46 PM
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ACK!!! That sounds very frustrating.

Have you talked to your breeder at all about trying him on raw??

Sorry I have nothing else to really suggest.
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:51 PM
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Has the vet ruled out IBD? Can you describe his poops in detail?

Obviously having an EPI dog... some of that could point to SIBO/EPI. http://www.globalspan.net/epi.htm#Management
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Old 01-05-2012, 05:19 PM
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I too am wondering if he has been checked for IBD.
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:43 AM
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My cat developed ibd out of nowhere. We had to change to a protein that he wasn't eating. We decided to go with Halo sensitive stomach turkey and all has been good for the past year.
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Old 01-07-2012, 11:25 AM
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Okay, this is what brought me to this forum (because I can't seem to get others I know elsewhere that are here to do this for me). I've had similar experiences to yours, I think I might be able to help you!

#1, this is from Nov, is he still having any problems? How's he doing?

#2, are you still now giving Vit C? Don't! In fact, I wouldn't give any supplements for a long time, at least till he is fully out of frequent digestive bouts. I've found my girl to be VERY sensitive to Vit C, and after I stopped giving it to her, on a weekly basis she was fine. But I'll get to where we're at in the next one.

#3, I've noticed some pictures of him playing in different sources of water, I don't know what your weather was like at the time of this posting, but I would suspect the water. Now I'm going to say something that I want you to pay close attention to, I was told some years ago, there is a difference in "Vomit" and "Throw up". Vomiting is where they will wretch from their stomach, you'll usually hear that "burping like" sound, where as throwing up is where they just slide food out, almost as if it didn't go down all the way and it came back up. Which is he doing? How often?

With End, she'll "Throw up" often, to hose water! In her puppy pool, and the water buckets for the chickens/sheep, we fill them in the summer from the hose, and every time she drinks it she throws back up, she'll just stop and open her mouth, sometimes there's kibble with it, usually frothy, sometimes discolored like bile. Once summer ends, or if there's a day she doesn't drink from those sources, she doesn't usually do this. She did just the other day throw up while we were out playing with a new ball in the yard, she found she liked "drinking" the snow.

But for this, you could either put him on distilled water for a while if he's still having problems, and see if that changes anything, maybe buy a water filtering system that connects to the faucet to fill the water bowl. Even if that does make a difference, you may still have to just live with a dog who gets sick on strange water, I just ignore her when she does it, she's right back to playing after and it doesn't effect her much other wise.

#4, I'd try a different kibble. Although I haven't heard of many problem since the P&G buy out, and there shouldn't be, some quality in there products may have slid due to increased production to fill larger chain stores. I just had two kibble samples I used as training treats, as Enda is fine, the one was even about 3 month past exp. date (call me a bad person, she eats deer poop! a few months out of date isn't that bad). What she is eating right now, is Fromm, they have MANY different formula's in all price ranges, their website has a "store locater" tool you can use if you're not sure if it's sold in your area. I do know that the flavor she's eating right now, a friend just took a bag of that same flavor to the store because it gave her dog the major runs (which this dog is End's baby sister), every dog is different, and some dogs will just have a sensitivity to one ingredient more than another, Enda got the MAJOR sour tummy on Wellness Core, it was Turkey based, so I avoid foods with Turkey as the first ingredient with her just in case, but she eats fresh ground turkey fine. Our friend is now feeding Earth born, which is another you could look at.

And last but not least, #5, I'd like to hear more about his Pano diagnosis. Another friend of ours has two dogs from this same breeder, their bitch is actually Fleetwood's dam's litter mate. But it is their male with problems (same dam, different sire), I'm not going to say much, but I heard through a grapevine of sorts, he has a "shoulder defect". I don't like pressing people, so I've never asked them about it personally and probably wont ever. But where did his Pano start and where does it seem to affect the most, if you don't mind me asking?

That is all for now, I just hope this post doesn't get zapped into "Mod review" or for long anyway, hopefully not "trashed" either as I've heard this new system is doing (I was really hoping my first post needed to be reviewed just because I was new, guess that's not the case?).
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Old 01-07-2012, 10:09 PM
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Hi WelshStump! I think I may know you from flickr!

Anyway, to answer your questions--
1. No, he seems to be over whatever was wrong with him then. I eventually got him back onto Innova.

2. I have stopped all supplementation since then, except for fish oil.

3. He's typically not allowed to drink water from strange bodies, LOL! Of course I can't always stop him. He's never had problems specifically after visiting a lake or river.

He does vomit, and quite regularly-- before and after our November incident. Many days he doesn't feel like eating, and will vomit bile. Sometimes he'll just vomit bile anyways. Sometimes he'll just vomit a little food. Just twice in a row, and then he's fine after that.

4. He's been on TOTW, Blue buffalo wilderness, Merrick B.G., Nutro Natural, Nature's recipe, and Innova has treated him the best so far. I would really like to switch him again (Ironically I've been looking closely at Fromm lately), but I don't wanna screw his digestive system up since it's being decent right now.

5. The Panosteitis is... questionable. When he was 5ish months old, he started limping on his front left leg. The vet had us rest him for a month. After a month, I started exercising him again, and he started limping again. It seemed to affect other legs too, so the vet figured it was Pano.

I then went to a different vet, and he was/is having so many other symptoms. Lethargy, inflammation, skin problems, etc. He had only been limping on that one leg. The breeder told me one of his siblings had an OCD (Osteochondritis dissecans?) injury to the same shoulder, so she advised us to check for that. So we did X-rays, which didn't show any injury, but did show inflammation. That means he at least had mild Pano.

The vet also determined that all of his other symptoms would be explained by Pano, which is an autoimmune disease. He still has 'Phantom limping' from time to time, so if we can resolve his other problems, I want to schedule an exploratory surgery.

So currently his problems are as follows-- Lack of appetite every so often, Occasional Loose Stool, Occasional Vomiting, Occasional limping, Occasional lethargy and weakness, and painful dry yucky skin all down his spine with lesions and sores (but the skin isn't red). He has warm areas of inflammation on his body sometimes, and the doctor says that she thinks he has 'hypersenstivity to staph.' The doctor is just positive that he suffers from an immune system disorder.

Typically he has good days and bad days, but lately they've all been so/so. I was SO hoping that after he turned a year old that things would get better, but he seems to be getting somewhat worse. I've been saying (to friends and the breeder) since he was just a baby, that he's not energetic like he should be. I thought something was wrong because he was so laid back and sleepy all the time-- Now I'm starting to think I was right!

Don't get me wrong, though, he does play ball and walk and do things that normal dogs do... He just can't do as much as he SHOULD be able to do. I got a beauceron to be able to go out and walk and hike and do other stuff with me, and he just can't keep up with me like this. Which is sad because I'm a lazy and way-out-of-shape human!

And as for the IBD comments-- that's never been brought up by the doctor, but the vomiting and diarrhea are only occasional, and not really a main concern at this point. My cat has IBD, and Fleetwood's problems are nothing like my cat's. It's something to consider, though, and another vet suggested testing for Pancreatitis.
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:46 AM
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His problems do sound more complex. My girl is a general "Picky eater", she wont even look at chicken liver, she HATES it so much! But she'll snub a lot, she hates when I try to use cherrios as training treats, she just spits them back out and looks for me to give her something else, lol. But her picky streak did lead to her looking like an Afghan hound puppy, hips showing and all, at one point. That is when I got drastic about changing her food, and although she finally found she LOVED the Merrick (Cowboy cookout?), they recently changed their formula, it gave her rotten ears! So although she was only 10 months, I got TotW. She loved it just as much as the Merrick. But, she couldn't keep weight on on it, and for a show dog that was important, especially for a breed where judges prefer bigger over breed type! Well, at least I can say most of the time we don't have competition anyway, so why does it matter? But anyway, as complicated as it is, and messy as she is, I went back to feeding her half Raw, the breeder weans her puppies onto half/half kibble/Raw, and finally she started to put on weight, but she's still so picky about what she will and wont eat.


Anyway, back to the answers, I personally would say with his current state if he's doing fine on Innova stick with it, but if you do want to try Fromm, if you can get it in your area I'd start with the "Gold" recipes, as they are most like Innova in ingredients. Oh, and which Innova flavor are you feeding right now? Have you ever tried different protein sources of the same food? Jinjo use to be a MESS with his food problems, and after YEARS of just managing them with what my vet told me, Science diet *gag*, I decided to go in a completely different direction. He use to go back and fourth between constipation and diarrhea every few days, and he'd vomit no less than once a week. After many food trials and errors over a few years, I finally managed to pin point him problems to "Poultry", any kind. I put him on a Lamb only diet and he has no problems from it, all the issues he had before were gone. He does still have problems from time to time, messy butt and itchy ears, but you can always find the source (right now, he's been into the spilled chicken feed! The chickens scratch it out the door and he eats it). If you haven't already, I'd try looking at the food you're feeding and try once to switch to a formula without the current protein source and a completely opposite one (Chicken and duck are from the same family, beef is not, nor is fish related to either, etc), just try it out once and make the transition SLOWLY.


I'll admit, I haven't read up much on Pano and what I have was a while ago. If it is a general "autoimmune disorder", that could be causing a lot of the digestive problems. I would still look into the possibility that he might be having a problem with the protein source in his food, again stick with the same brand but try a different flavor. I'm sure you know how people with AI disorders that affect the digestive track will tell you how they can't eat certain foods, and it probably isn't any different with dogs.

I'd really hate to say it, because I know you said getting ingredients to make food yourself is pricey, but I'd be inclined to say he might do better on a Raw, or even home-cooked, or semi-home-cooked diet, or even a mixture of any combo Raw, Cooked, Kibble. I have Jin on Half/Half kibble and cooked, mostly for his weight problems, but he overall does look much nicer than on kibble alone. And home-cooked or even a half cooked blend with raw ground meat added doesn't have to be expensive (and IMO, it's far cheaper in the end, than the endless vet bills! Jin would go back every 4 months or so on his first diet for chronic ear infections). If you want more information on doing it yourself, I'd highly recommend the book "Raw and natural nutrition for dogs, by Lew Olson", and well as a subscription to Whole dog journal, it's only $20 and your subscription gives you unlimited online access to every back issue article!


And I really do now wish to look more into these related dogs with these problems. The biggest problem facing any breed, especially a newly recognized one, and one with a smaller gene pool, are the recessives, the things you can't see till they've infiltrated an entire line.

I do have something I want you to look up. I only just learned about this disorder, and although it is known as a Sheltie disease, it apparently is found in several lines of Beaucerons, but the symptoms sound similar in a lot of ways you're describing Fleetwood, and would also explain the other two related dogs with similar, but different disorders, as well as the most important observation...that dry skin! It's called "Sheltie skin disease" or "Dermatomyositis"-
http://www.illinoissheltierescue.com/dm.html
http://www.dermvetvegas.com/dermatomyositis.html

Recently, Debbie Skinner had a blurb on her site about it, it was VERY well written out, but sadly she's taken it down now that the puppy she was placing has been re-homed. She whelped a very nice, really promising working litter, and tragically, at least two, I think she said three, puppies in the litter came down with symptoms, one with skin problems and another with muscular problems. The very promising puppy they were going to keep, they spayed and placed up for re-home. I would talk to her, personally, she had a lot of great info on that page and I'm very sad to see it gone because I don't think this is something that is just going to go away. She said which dog it was that they believed in their program carried the genes for this disorder, I'll look back up which one it was if you'd like, but he has no relation that I know of in Fleetwood's immediate pedigree.

I'd really encourage you to look that one up! It sound familiar in many aspects, and it is known in the breed, pretty well obviously. I would print out info online and give it to the vet you're using now and just see. And I would highly encourage you to email and ask Debbie about this, as she seemed to have a lot of knowledge on the disorder.

I feel really terrible you have had this happen. I can't say whether luck has anything to do with how things work out or not, but I know where you're coming from. My childhood companion lived to 16 1/2 (not always in the best of condition along the way though, and the last 3 years were painful for me to watch). Someone dumped at our house, a puppy, I decided to keep her as mine and she was going to be my first agility dog, at almost 6 months (give or take, we guessed she was 7-8 weeks when found) she was killed in an accident. I then decided since the agility competition I watched on TV was by the AKC, I had to get an AKC registered dog to compete, I picked out a breed, Pembroke Welsh Corgi's, and although it wasn't the worst choice in breeders, we made many red flag over sights. He is now 11, I didn't expect him to live long, he has a heart murmur, which was recently more accurately diagnosed as a pulmonary murmur, he has VERY bad allergies two vets diagnosed as possibly from early vaccinations, he has torn a muscle/tendon in both fore arms probably from his weight issues early neuter and strait constructed front, not to mention his digestive issues, none of which of these problems (except his poor front), could have been fixed/changed with better breeding! It was all a fluke. But, I still made the choice to buy from a breeder again. She is not without her problems, but no one is, but hers are manageable mostly with training and patients. Sit happens.

Well, there's another hour spent on one post, think I'll leave it at that for now because I'm sure it'll take some reading .
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:47 PM
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DARN IT! I just typed out a long-arse post and somehow it didn't post. Here we go again.

I swear I replied to this one a few days ago, anyway-- Sorry for the delay!

Thank you so much, Welsh, for your input! I immediately emailed my vet after your last post. She's treated quite a few shelties with dermatomyositis, and she doesn't think it's likely that that's what's affecting fletwood. She just opened her own clinic (tomorrow's their first day! Yay!) and she wants me to bring him in asap to re-do his shoulder x rays on her new digital machine. It should be much clearer. I still believe he's suffering from some kind of injury.

I'm going to research the possibility of switching to Fromm right now, and I know a store near here that carries it. I'll check it out, I like that suggestion. I want to keep him on kibble to stay within the breeder's contract. Until he's 18 months old, at least. Then I may seriously consider raw feeding depending on where we're at.

I'm in distress every day over his health, and subsequently his behavior. He has so many behavior problems that are directly caused by his health problems. I want him to be better, I want to find something that helps him and that we can gain some kind of consistency. Thank you for your help, and input! I appreciate every bit!

ETA: It's sad how accustomed he is to throwing up. He asks to go outside, just as if he needed to go potty. He vomits, and then goes about his normal business as if nothing had happened. I've never had a dog that throws up so often.
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:59 PM
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I just thought about it-- Fleetwood is on the large breed adult Innova, so the protein comes from chicken and turkey. He did really well on Hamburger and rice, so perhaps I'll switch him to the red meat formula. It doesn't seem to have any poultry at all.
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