Consistent Tummy Troubles
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  • Hi everyone! Apologies in advance for the wall of text.

    Our year and a half-old boy, Loki, has always had tummy troubles. Sometimes it's from stress, other times from a bug, but he seems to be a very sensitive boy. When we got him at 8 weeks, our breeder had him on Purina Pro Plan. I promptly switched him to Natural Balance grain-free, wanting him on less processed stuff, and also because I had read that so many owners found that grain free worked well for their Bs.

    However, Loki intermittently will have problems. He'll vomit occasionally (foamy bile, we've been told it's from an empty stomach), and about once every 6 weeks, he'll have a combination of diarrhea and inability to pass any stool. We've changed him to 2 feedings a day to combat the vomiting, and whenever he has the intestinal problems, I make him boiled chicken and rice per the vet's instruction.

    Today marks a week that Loki's been having bathroom issues again. Now, I know there are other factors. We moved down the street to a new house about a month ago (although he has adjusted nicely, save for the 3 angry Yorkie-Poos next door). In addition, we're getting married out of state in a month, so he has been at his "grandparents'" house most weekends while we are traveling for prep appointments. Their place is like a second home for Loki, and he has never had any issues there.

    The vet looked at his chart today, and said that she suspects that Loki may be part of the small percentage of dogs that get intestinal problems from a grain-free diet, and gave us a bag of Iams Veterinary Intestinal Plus/Low Residue dry food to try for a week.

    Has anyone had this issue with their B? Does anyone have experience with this food? I'm happy to keep him on it if it keeps him healthy. Any thoughts appreciated!
    +M

    P.S. Including a picture of him laying above me as I type this.
    attachment_t_16318_0_image.jpg

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  • You might want to try Potato and Duck (Natural Balance) and see if the starch helps. Have no experience with the Iams food, however the first ingredient is Corn Grits…. seriously? So I would never use it as I don't and never have found that corn is good for or needed for dogs (any breed). You might was to add a probiotic like FortiFlora (you can get in on Amazon,com). If all that fails, you might want to have your Vet look at testing for EPI or IPSID (read about it at https://www.basenji.org/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=166&Itemid=292)

    And yes, the foamy bile is typically from "empty stomach"

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  • My boy gets the "empty stomach" bile thing from time to time, and it's worse in springtime, because he can't resist chowing down on fresh green grass when he goes out for his first pee of the day (typically just before breakfast). I do find spring has a lot of temptations for dogs. The snow is gone and there is so much to sniff! I notice a lot of people allow their dogs to spend time sniffing and licking and whatever else when out walking. I never do this. If he wants to lift his leg, fine. If not, I don't allow him to spend time where other dogs have been. Good way to pick up whatever is going around (or thawing out!).

    Funny enough, Perry's breeder had him on ProPlan when I got him at 3 years old. He was perfectly healthy on it, but once the bag was used up I switched him to NRG dehydrated, and he has done well. I'd prefer to stay away from corn, but I'm not against a bit of grain, per se. Dogs have scavenged on worse for thousands of years. Bread or rice or oats were probably part of the diet, depending on whose dinner plates were being scraped off into the dog's dish. :)

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  • R

    I add a digestive enzyme to my B's food.I get it at the health food store.It's for people but
    I find it works great and is cheaper then the doggie kind.
    I feed grain-free food and also I feed Primal Raw.

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  • So, I guess this brings me to another question: At what point do you argue with her about the ingredients in the prescription food she's giving you? I don't want to come off as thinking I know better than her.

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  • Vets spend the least amount of time in Vet School learning about food/ingredients. So in the end, you most likely do know more that she does. I never let my Vets talk me into or "bully" me to use something that I don't think is healthy for them.

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  • Or you could try the food for the week and see what happens. Always easier to argue with the vet if you aren't getting the expected results from their approach. And sometimes, for whatever reason, a solution that shouldn't work does work. Wanna argue with that? I might not like that result, but if it works for my animal, what can I say?

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  • Reiterate what I posted earlier… I don't like that the food recommended by the Vet being corn as the first listed... dogs don't need corn... IMO... and I have had corn allergies in my kids before. Look at it like this... corn generates heat.. that is way horses and cattle are fed corn in the winter... to gererate heat during the cold months. This is not need (again IMO) for companion pets of any breed that are mostly house pets

    Try Potato and Duck (Natural Balance) and see if the starch helps
    You might was to add a probiotic like FortiFlora (you can get in on Amazon,com). If all that fails, you might want to have your Vet look at testing for EPI or IPSID (read about it at https://www.basenji.org/joomla/index…166&Itemid=292)

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  • K

    Apart from specific medical issues: have you considered fresh meat? I believe that - barring allergies and the like - meat and bones is best for them. It builds their intestinal flora and that's where the immune system has its foundation.
    Other than that, it might be a parasite or something.
    On both issues, we found that regular vets have little to offer: most of them (at least over here) oppose meat (imagine, for a dog!) and as for internal treatment, it's anti-biotics or prednison, just to see whatever works.
    We take our B's to a holistic vet, with a more subtle repertoire of diagnostics and therapeutics.
    All the best!!

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  • Duplicate post as my mind is a sieve and I forgot I had already posted on this… but the other is better worded :)

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  • First Basenji's

    @Rocky1:

    I add a digestive enzyme to my B's food.I get it at the health food store.It's for people but
    I find it works great and is cheaper then the doggie kind.
    I feed grain-free food and also I feed Primal Raw.

    just a quick comment on mixing kibble with raw….I feed raw and although I give a 'cookie' at before bed, I researched a lot before my decision a two years ago to switch to raw,(I buy human grade chix,meats, organs etc.... and the price is comparable to most high quality dog kibble) and there are different enzymes in their stomach to digest the different food types. I never have read that it is recommended to mix kibble and raw. It takes longer to digest the kibble, where raw is assimilated easily in the stomach. anyway, there are forums to read and much info out there. http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2013/04/15/raw-food-diet-part-3.aspx

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  • Buddy Pal, I believe the current thinking is that kibble and raw at the same time is not ideal, but if you feed raw for one meal and kibble for the other meal, should be OK. I know a number of people that do this

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  • First Basenji's

    @tanza:

    Buddy Pal, I believe the current thinking is that kibble and raw at the same time is not ideal, but if you feed raw for one meal and kibble for the other meal, should be OK. I know a number of people that do this

    well, why would they feed one meal raw and the next kibble? If you would kindly look at Dr Becker's site that I have embedded in the previous response, maybe it will answer why I see the logic and the physiology of keeping to one kind of food…..just me, but it makes sense.

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  • @mtins:

    The vet looked at his chart today, and said that she suspects that Loki may be part of the small percentage of dogs that get intestinal problems from a grain-free diet, and gave us a bag of Iams Veterinary Intestinal Plus/Low Residue dry food to try for a week. ]

    Dogs are predominately carnivores. Dogs do not need grain. What your vet said is really nonsense.
    Cara is a pukey dog as are a lot of the group (rescue from puppymill breeder). Their dx from different vets has been simply overproduction of acid. She used to throw up all the time... I put her on an antacid (generic pepcid or zantac) pills but some give Tums type... I feed 2x a day and give her a snack between meals and at bedtime. She might throw up once in 6 mos now.
    She is also, frankly, the most unstable dog I have ever owned and we have her on Prozac which has wrought miracles (she now will go out to potty with the ground wet and even light rain, whereas the previous 4 yrs of life was a living hell with the best compromise being regular fiber so she would at least poop on the porch instead of explode... and only 2 mild dog fights or attempts whereas very common issue before .).
    I say that so you can understand I get stressful dogs. Often before, stress would induce vomiting and sometimes diarrhea.
    As for questioning your vet... my best advice. You are the owner. You are the one paying the bills. You are the one responsible for your dog's health. If your vet cannot handle you saying "I really prefer to give my dog high quality food and no grains" then you need a new vet. Please understand that if your dog NEEDS a prescription diet (which my older one now does as she has kidney failure), then Hill Science or any Rx is what your dog needs. But otherwise, always try to go with superior ingredients and no grain. And also feel sure that if you spent the next couple of days researching dog food and nutrition, you'd be more up to date and informed that almost every vet who is NOT a nutritionist. Really.

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  • @Buddys:

    just a quick comment on mixing kibble with raw….I feed raw and although I give a 'cookie' at before bed, I researched a lot before my decision a two years ago to switch to raw,(I buy human grade chix,meats, organs etc.... and the price is comparable to most high quality dog kibble) and there are different enzymes in their stomach to digest the different food types. I never have read that it is recommended to mix kibble and raw. It takes longer to digest the kibble, where raw is assimilated easily in the stomach. anyway, there are forums to read and much info out there. http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2013/04/15/raw-food-diet-part-3.aspx

    Mercola site should never be trusted ever. Full hooey. Do a google search for Mercola and lawsuits/hoax/etc.

    In fact research has proven the "don't mix" (btw they had same nonsense for people meals) to be utterly without scientific basis. This is an excellent debunking, with more info (and pictures/xrays) than I needed. :)

    http://therawfeedingcommunity.com/2015/01/08/digest-this-kibble-may-actually-digest-faster-than-raw/

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  • @Rocky1:

    I add a digestive enzyme to my B's food.I get it at the health food store.It's for people but
    I find it works great and is cheaper then the doggie kind.
    I feed grain-free food and also I feed Primal Raw.

    What do you get? I use probiotics but the animal ones are much cheaper that I have seen for those. Would like to find a digestive enzyme for Cara.

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  • @Buddys:

    well, why would they feed one meal raw and the next kibble? If you would kindly look at Dr Becker's site that I have embedded in the previous response, maybe it will answer why I see the logic and the physiology of keeping to one kind of food…..just me, but it makes sense.

    Maybe because Dr Becker is a quack? I could give you a dozen but ….

    http://skeptvet.com/Blog/2012/04/more-misleading-and-unethical-advertising-for-alternative-veterinary-medicine/

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  • R

    Debra,
    I get my enzymes at the Vitamin Shoppe and they are there house brands.
    Before I started adding these to Diva's food she would throw up. Now, she eats better and no
    vomit. They have helped her put on weight and keep it on with less food.
    She eats about 1/2 cup of grain-free kibble in the morning and 4 or 5 nuggets of the Primal Beef at night.
    She weighs 20 lbs now and has kept her weight as before she only weighed 18/19 lbs.

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  • Thank you Rocky. Btw, in researching vitamins and supplements that pass analysis on whether they have what they say, I found Vitamin Shoppe OFTEN not only passed but top cost efficient. I'll look into them now. Any particular one you use?

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  • Hi all, not sure if you'll all see this since it's an old thread, but I figured I'd keep the story together. It's been about two months since this original post, and we're basically in the same spot. We went along and fed Loki the Iams Vet stuff for about 4 weeks, and it actually did help. His stools went back to normal, so we were prepared to suck it up and just keep him on that food.

    That is, until he stopped eating it. It got to the point where he would go a full day without eating (so stubborn). The only way he'd eat is if we mixed it with a tiny bit of peanut butter. Knowing that wasn't a permanent solution, we went out about two weeks ago and picked up a bag of Nature's Variety "Prairie" chicken and brown rice flavor. It's high in fiber, so we had been told by other pet owners to give it a shot. Two days ago, Loki stopped eating this new food again. So, again we're mixing peanut butter into it to at least get something in his system.

    He is still struggling with bowl movements. On any given walk, he'll have one bout of diarrhea, followed by squatting and pushing so hard, I can see how red and enflamed his rectum is. I feel so bad. We're at the beginning of week 2 with this. Tomorrow, I call the vet. Again. This is getting so frustrating, and I feel so bad for my pup! :(

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  • I would be looking at getting a second opinion at this point. Have you ever tried a dehydrated food? Or for that matter a canned food? IMO, the processed dry foods are the most unnatural thing you can feed.

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