• Echo is having an IBD attack and the vet suggested we up his Pred from 5mg to 20mg twice a day. He is just so miserable on this medication! Does anyone have any ideas on alternatives to steroid treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease?


  • I don't know of any other meds, and usually that is what is used, however have you asked for a referral to a specialist? I am not sure I would be comfortable with "a" suggestion only by my Vet… Sounds to me like you need a complete workup to try and get it under control. I assume he is on a special diet? Here is a link with some good information


    And you might want to look at trying a holistic Vet

  • There is a BIG difference between Irritable Bowel and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Being that the dog is on prednisone, I'd assume your dog has the latter. Other forms of IBD you may have heard of include Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease. Prednisone is not a pleasant drug to be on. After this acute episode is stabilized, you may be able to persue some herbal and dietary methods to keep this condition under control.

  • He has Inflammatory Bowel Disease and this is his first flare up since being diagnosed a year ago. He had 7 months of excellent health with a prescription dog food diet, 5mg maintenance of Pred and another drug called sulfasalazine. I wish I knew what caused the flare up! He has an appointment for blood work and a fecal sample tomorrow, the suggestion came from the emergency phone call made on memorial day. Say some prayers that he feels better soon. Thank you for all of your help, this community is a blessing!

  • I would also agree with Pat, if you have not had him in to see a specialist then please do. IPSID is a known hereditary disease in basenjis and can start with similar symptoms to IBD.

  • How old is he? If this started when he was under a year, I would most certainly worry about IPSID (please go to BCOA website to read about this in Basenjis if you have not www.basenji.org) And I would most certainly look for a specialist or a holistic Vet, better yet both!

  • Also, not sure if we asked or you said… but have you talked to his breeder about this?

  • Echo, at 3 months old, was found abandoned in a field inside of a box with a dead littermate. He did not start off well. When I adopted him from my vet, which was the day she received him, he was infested with coccydia parasites and round worms. He had absolutely no sphincter control. It was after I took him to a new vet and she diagnosed him with Inflammatory Bowel Disease & put him on pred and sulfasalazine that he began to get better and eventually had completely solid and regular bowel movements. He has gained back about 95% of his sphincter control (has the occasional slip in the middle of the night), but it is obvious that he must have a small "holding area" in his bowel as he poops often in small amounts. I have no way of knowing who the breeder was. He is just over a year old now. He weighs in at a healthy 29 pounds and has had no issues with losing weight. Great skin & coat, very energetic (he has a personality just like Tigger from Winny the Pooh), runs so fast! We were amazed to watch him grow so healthy. This is his "before & after" photo.

  • Poor boy! Some people are just idiots!

  • Yes… it is sad... but certainly he has found a Angel... I would still look for a Specialtist or a holistic Vet... But it sounds like he will be on Pred for his lifetime.... and I would still have him checked for IPSID...

  • I have a dog that was diagnosed with IBD, switched to a prescription diet and told to be on a maintaince dose of pred for life, as well. One thing my holistic / traditional vet did was prescribe some herbal supplements to counterbalance the side effects of the steroid. I don't remember what they were but you might ask about that.
    You might also ask about Tylan. I was given this yellow powder to give to my dog if she ever had a flare up. I'm told it tastes absolutely awful and that I would have a hard time getting it in my dog. Well, My dog is a very competitive girl, and if my other dog was getting a food treat, she would eat whatever I put in front of her, just so long as the OTHER one didn't get it.
    So in my case, an 1/8 teaspon of Tylan powder hidden in canned dog food cleared the problem right up. It is supposed to reduce inflamation of the colon, which is not necessarily the same thing Echo is having trouble with, but I thought I would mention it – you can do your research and ask.
    Btw, I did eventually get my dog off of the pred, so perhaps her case wasn't as bad as Echo's.

  • Kingmonty, you are a blessing. Many, including myself would have a hard time with that. I know that sounds terrible, but you took it on before you even had the dog. You are an angel.

  • @ciarasmom:

    You might also ask about Tylan. I was given this yellow powder to give to my dog if she ever had a flare up. I'm told it tastes absolutely awful and that I would have a hard time getting it in my dog. Well, My dog is a very competitive girl, and if my other dog was getting a food treat, she would eat whatever I put in front of her, just so long as the OTHER one didn't get it.

    I think this powder might be the same as the "tylosin" I gave Max when his IBD flared up during his chemo treatments last year. I believe it is an antibiotic? The food that was a blessing for us and helped keep his IBD under control most of his life was Eukanuba Low Residue (I would mix a little canned with dry). And he loved it. But yes–that tylosin powder was really hard to get down him--it helps to put it into a capsule (you can get empty capsules from your vet or a pharmacy). The other thing I used from time to time to help with the symptoms was pepto bismol tablets--but you have to be careful with this because it does have some aspirin in it. I'm wondering if rymadyl might help at all since it's a nonsteroid antinflammatory? Your baby is lucky to have you taking such good care of him.

  • You guys are great, it's so nice to have people care about Echo's problems! His IBD is not a topic to many people care to talk to me about. When we lost Monty to Blastomycosis last year in March, Echo showed up seemingly out of no where 2 months later. Call me silly, but it seemed like a sign and we just had to have him no matter the rectal incontinence! Also, in order to check him for IPSID, wouldn't I have to have a biopsy done? The best news is that he had solid poop about an hour ago. He is beginning to feel much better. I got some soft ZD and mixed it with some of the dry ZD so he has some yummy meals.

  • Yes, a biopsy would need to be done for IPSID. I assume that you are having blood work done on a regular schedule?

  • FYI, Tylan is poisonous to people. I have a bunch of it left over from Beta.

    Please do a search in this section for "Basenji without spunk". This thread was about my basenji girl that passed away. I put in a lot of information about medications and what they were used for. It may give you some insight to what the meds are doing to your basenji.

    My girl had IPSID and another disease that were difficult to identify until it was too late. Hopefully some of that information in that thread may give you more insight about IPSID and IBS and other diseases.

    The vet recommended to me right away, a change in diet to Natural Balance Duck and Potatoe soft food. You can do a search online to read about that food. It is for sensitive stomachs and has no grain, no wheat, no rice, no soy and no preservatives. It was the only think I could get Beta to eat when she couldnt hold anything down.

    It actually turned out to be such a good food that I have my other two basenjis eating the dry version of it now. There are several different varieties to choose from.

    I purchase the food from a feed store and it was the only thing that Beta (my girl) could eat that she could poop in somewhat of a solid form vs. throwing it up.

    Tylan is used for ulcers as well as Carafate. If the stomach has an ulcer the carafate sticks to it and works on healing it by coating it as well.

    Have you ruled out giardia?

    Have you done a scope to see if it is upper intestine or lower intestine. Is there any throwing up?

    They put Beta on Prednisone when they couldnt do anything else. It is an anti inflamatory and works great, but can mask other problems.

    From what I have read, the best thing to do with a sensitive GI track is to use sensitive foods and gently change the food every 4 months to avoid your basenji becoming allergic to the foods. That is what was described to me about IPSID. My vet said IBS and IPSID are commonly confused if your vet doesnt have experience with Basenjis.

    You are not alone and you are doing great! If you have any questions you are welcome to PM me or post them here. This group was so supportive to me as my girl became ill.

  • I was told Rimadyl can be harsh on the stomach and is too much for an irratable bowell. At least that is what my vet told me.

    Carafate may also be a good choice to try. If there is an ulcerated area in the intestines or stomach that may be slowly healing, this will coat it and help your little guy pass his stuff.

    If your guy had problems holding it he could have been so irritated that he couldnt hold it. Now that he has been on a bland diet and his lifestyle is normal, he is improving.

    Without doing a biopsy you cant determine that it is IBS< IPSID< or anything else. Prednisone sounds like a maintenance drug to use over time. Carafate will do nothing or help. You could still do the pred and see if it improves anything. Another option is a scope through the throat which can look into the upper intestine.

    Pepto bismol in small doses is okay but if given over a long period of time can also become irritating. Great for nausea and lets your pup eat.

    Pepsid AC is also great and reduces the acid.

    I think that the diet is bland enough that acid shouldnt be a big factor and pepsid and pepto arent really vital until your basenji wont eat or throws up a lot.

    Good luck and keep us posted!!

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