Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Need Advice

Dental Student updates in red

Its time to employ the expertise of Blogville.  Dental Student could not wait for me to write this post.  You  see, we have two questions:

1. Being the excellent dentist he is, Dental Student wants to start brushing Havi's teeth.  Recommendations on tooth brush, toothpaste, and routine, please!  Has anyone used a toothpaste versus dental wipes, what would you recommend?

2. We have spoken so many time during our first three months with Havi that she had an awful tummy problem.  You can read more about it here.  But basically, we did everything (multiple blood tests, fecal tests, giardia tests) and yet, she would wake up in the middle of the night and poop on the floor.  After we our last post 6 months ago, you all recommended a raw diet.  When we were scared, you suggested Evo Red Meat formula and Missing Link Probiotic.  Well, Havi has been waking up in the middle of the night again.  Our options, as we see them
-Go back to our vet
-Go to a new vet
-Go to a specialist
-Start a raw diet
PLEASE, any other options, or ideas what may be wrong with our Havi.  She cries when she poops in the middle of the night and even bleeds at times.  She does not wimper, she just gets sad and bows her head, because she knows pooping in the apartment as bad.  There is not blood in the stool, its probably due to a fissure, we believe.  This does not happen everyday like it used to, it is once every other week, which makes us think it could be attributed to something she ate.  (She has 2 cups of Evo per day and 1 MilkBone three times a week).

Thanks, in advance as always!  I promise for a more fun post tomorrow!

P.S. I am going to reply to the comments to help the brainstorming process.


  1. that's terrible...poor Havi and poor you guys too! although a raw diet might help, if Maisie was crying (and sometimes bleeding) while pooping I would definitely seek medical attention. perhaps a new vet is not a bad idea, just to get another opinion. is there a holistic/alternative vet nearby? just a thought, maybe they'd have some other suggestions. please keep us posted!


  2. Poor Havi. That can't be fun for her! Izzy has a weak stomach and will occasionally need to go out in the middle of the night but it's certainly not an every day thing. We fix her up with some pumpkin in her food.

    And Izzy loves getting her teeth brushed. We use a peanut butter flavored paste and she just wants to lick it off the brush.

  3. What do her poops look like? ( Sorry it's important). If they look like a cow pie, she might have EPI ( Endocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency) Has she been eating ravenously and still losing weight? Basically what this condition is, her pancreas are not creating enough/any enzymes to digest her food and it all just passes through. OK, so maybe this is extreme, but we have a dog with it and I thought it might be something to suggest. Blood tests and stool cultures can answer that. But def get her to a vet...

  4. Poor baby. I would try another vet for her pooping issues. I hope it's nothing serious.
    As far as the teeth cleaning, i'm interested too!

  5. I would visit another vet. Maybe a holistic vet if one is nearby. I was very cautious in starting a raw diet because Sophie had so many stomach/immune issues. I would not have done it without the help of the holistic vet. But all that said, she has flourished on raw where she would never be able tolerate any one kibble for more than 3 months.

  6. must add go to a specialist... blood in poo, with pain, is not a good sign... could be a blockage or even a tumor. Need xrays/MRI, possibly

    for dental: basically anything works, just do it regularly. Be sure to buy doggie toothpaste only and make sure it doesn't have xylitol (poison for dogs)

  7. Good luck with brushing the teeth. We tried a few times, but did not have much luck. Poor Pauley does not have enough of his teeth to worry about it (broken off & missing before we got him). Blood in the stool does not always mean that there is a problem, but added to the fact that she is crying, I would definitely go to another vet! Hope the mystery is solved soon.

  8. We just started Wellness Large Breed. They also have something called Core. Our poops are very firm and smaller since starting this food.

    -Gizmo, Bart and Ruby

  9. Have they ruled out IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)? Sounds like a possibility.

    For teeth brushing, I don't. But, my dogs eat prey model raw, and the muscle fibers in the meat they eat combined with the raw bones in it do a really good job of keeping their teeth shiny white.

  10. I use PlaqueOff for our dogs - it's a powder you put in the dogs' food and it utilizes their saliva to remove plaque and tartar. It's been a lifesaver for us and saved tons of money! As far as Havi's poo issues - I would definitely seek another opinion. Bloody poos are never a good thing. Good luck! Let us know how everything goes...

  11. I do not have any advice about the stomach issues, I just wanted to say that I'm sorry you and she are dealing with that. It sucks to see your dog having issues that you feel like you can't control. I hope people have good advice for you.

    Oh, and we're terrible dog parents because we don't brush their teeth***runs and hides due to embarrassment***

  12. First - take her to the vet to rule out anything serious. But so long as she checks out fine:

    Have you tried a probiotic digestive supplement to help with her tummy? This might be more effective than supplements directly in the food. I'd also recommend checking out Honest Kitchen - they do a dehydrated raw food. It's a great way to get introduced to the benefits of a fresher diet if you're hesitant about raw. Honest Kitchen is part of the rotation I feed my dogs and they love it. Their stool is great on it (but I don't have many digestive issues with them except for awful farts).

  13. Poor Havi! I've used canned pumpkin, but it's more of a quick fix for a one time tummy trouble, so I'm not sure how Havi would do. I would recommend checking out a different vet. Skye has had nothing but health problems, and while I loved my vet they couldn't get any answers. I switched to a new vet with a new perspective, and we already have 1 actual diagnosis. A new set of eyes never hurts!

    As far as teeth, my dogs are much better with a real toothbrush and peanut butter flavored toothpaste. I've tried other things, and they literally run and hide.

  14. I'm a new reader so I don't know Havi's background. Have you tried grain free and/or limited ingredient dog food? She may have an allergy that is manifesting with digestive upset. As far as the toothbrushing, a regular toothbrush or fingerbrush will do fine. Always use a doggie toothpaste. Tropiclean has a system that you squeeze a gel along the teeth and don't even need to brush. Also has a water additive that helps break down plaque.

  15. I will turn this over to my mom...

    1) Tooth brushing - veterinary dentists will always tell you brushing is best. I use soft human toothbrushes. I think they work better than the dog toothbrushes. Use toothpaste specifically made for dogs. Don't waste your money on vanilla flavored toothpaste - all three of mine HATE it. They are OK with peanut butter but paws down, if they MUST brush, they prefer poultry flavor. I always brush in the evening after dinner.

    2) Stools - I feel when it comes to something that regular vets will nickel and dime you to death on trying this and trying that with nothing working, go straight to a specialist (internist in your case). They might cost more but in the long run it will cost less because they can get to the root of the problem much more efficiently. The blood is probably due to straining. There are so many other things it could be that usually require an endoscopy to diagnose. Had a dog with tummy problems be diagnosed with helicobacter infection and that was found when they scoped. Expensive, but the problem was diagnosed and cured. If you are dealing with something like that, all the different foods and supplements in the world won't do any good until the problem is treated. Be sure to take all of your vet records along so they don't have to repeat what was already done.

    I just have to ask, if you are feeding her a good quality food like Evo, why throw in a low quality Milk Bone?

  16. I brush both dogs teeth every morning and Pug also gets mouthwash after every meal. For 3 years in a row I had to get Pugs teeth cleaned and it was $300 a pop so I am super serious about brushing teeth to lower the cost (plus it isn't great for pugs to get put under so much). I use CET toothpaste and mouth wash. Since I started using the mouth wash on Pug I haven't had to get his teeth cleaned. I started brushing him for extra precaution.

    I dont have any advice on Havi's tummy issues. I am just so sorry she is feeling yucky at night!

  17. Our very LARGE and (dare I admit it?) MEAN supposed shih-tzu Butter (27 lbs and bigger than a cocker spaniel) has always been our most 'sensitive' guy. He had stomach/poop issues for years. Long after he was house-trained he would occasionally have the same issue as Havi. He saw several different Vets over the years with no actual issue identified. We are not raw-diet advocates and truthfully when we did break down and try it our other shih tzu and basset hound were less than thrilled. About a year ago, after seemingly endless research, we changed all 4 dogs to Orijen Reginal Red. Butter has not had an issue since and our rescue Boxer has improved hugely. There are many myths out there about high protein foods, but you should check out their website http://www.orijen.ca/orijen/about/
    they have tons of info about the food.
    I also have to agree with Shawnee that it may be best to just bypass the general Vet and go straight to a specialist. We did that when our basset Fred had what seemed like an incurable and severe ear infection...cleared up within 2 weeks of the specialist visit.
    As for teeth, we add Biotene Vet water additive to all the water and brush everyones teeth with the exception of Butter. I am not too keen on the idea of losing a finger. Butter is addicted to Dingo-type chews and amazingly has fabulous teeth. All of them get their teeth cleaned once a year because I am somewhat insane.
    Please keep posted on Havi and we really hope she is 100% very soon.

    Cande @ Beans4Biscuits

  18. do the tummy problems happen more on days when she's had a Milk Bone? if she's on a grain-free diet otherwise (with the Evo), I wonder if giving her treats that contain grain like Milk Bones do could be or be contributing to the problem? just a thought. there are a lot of good grain-free treats out there, Fromm makes some inexpensive (but small) ones. Maisie goes nuts for the Sam's Yams dried sweet potatoes, which are made of 100% sweet potato. they come in 3 sizes ranging from that of a french fry all the way up to a thick slab of sweet potato. they make some grain free cookie treats she loves as well. maybe give 'em a try...

  19. p.s. I forgot to add that even Mister Peepers (aka The World's Most Allergic Dog) can eat the sweet potato treats without incident. other than his prescription hypoallergenic kibble, they are the only thing he CAN eat!

  20. I don't think I'm much help, but if I were you I'd probably consult another vet. Sometimes a fresh perspective can really help. We've had a couple diagnoses made after getting a second opinion. It's not that the first vet is bad, but sometimes they're too close to a situation or they just don't have that experience with those same symptoms.

    Sorry her tummy is bothering her :(

  21. Mom brushes my teeth often - she tries about every other day. She just picked up a tooth brush and tooth paste for me at PetCO... does the trick! I enjoy the taste of the toothpaste, so I don't mind her scrubbing away.

    As for the poor problem... have to tried adding a scoop of pumpkin to her food? It'll help with her interal stuff and make it easier for her to go to the bathroom. I get a scoop in the morning with my food. Also, maybe try another vet before going to a specialist?

    Hope she feels better!


  22. Toothbrushing: we've never brushed Beau's teeth, so I'm anxious to hear how it goes for you guys!

    Stomach: my first reaction was the same as Shawnee. Why milkbones? It sounds as though Havi is on a grain-free diet aside from this, so it really could be the milkbones that are upsetting her stomach. But, like everyone has suggested, I would definitely get her checked out by another vet. Beau had bloody diarrhea a few months ago and we took him straight to the vet to find out he had a parasite. The vet said that since we live in a city there can be nasty things on the sidewalk, and then his paws, and then his mouth, and then his stomach. Antibiotics and a week of a chicken and rice diet did the trick.

    One question: do you have pet health insurance? With an issue like Havi's that seems to pop up every now and then, it would probably be a good idea. We pay $17/month and have had almost all of our "emergency" vet bills covered. (One being the diarrhea issue explained above.) That was a relief!

  23. What are your fears with a raw diet?