Monday, September 19, 2011

Thanks For Your Help!

I am going to try to address the answers to many of your questions in the comments.  You all helped and responded to how to help Havi's tummy on Thursday!

As far as the teeth, you guys were all over the place.  Dental Student is going to buy wipes and let you know his review later this month!

1. Holistic Vet - This is definitely an option.  But why do so many of you favor a holistic vet?  Do you see one for yourselves?  

2.  Pumpkin - While a good idea, this is more of a quick fix.

3. Her poops do not look like cow pie.  They are usually semi-solid.  When she has these bouts in the middle of the night, its ultra loose and looks to be covered in a jelly film.  (There's a sentence I never thought I'd type!)

4. Wellness Large Breed or Orijen Reginal Red food.  This is always an option.  However, Evo Red Meat is already the third food we have tried with Havi.  (Hill's Science Diet, Wellness, Canidae)

5. We have not ruled out IBS, however, there is no cure for that in humans, is there one for pups?

6. Another opinion - Next time her tummy acts up, this may be what we do.  Fresh eyes are always the best!  We've gotten a few NYC recommendations.  Any others, who loves their vet?!  Why do some people jump to a specialist?

7. ProBiotic - She is already on one!  Missing Link!

8. Endoscopy - May be our next step with the new vet.  We have also heard sonogram.  

9. Our fears with a raw diet is because we're just kinda grossed out by it...and truthfully don't get it.  It would also hurt our wallet.  

Most common question:  MILKBONES.  Yes, we know.  Crappy food/treat.  Especially because we give her a grain-free diet.  Honestly, we know this is not what caused Havi's problems.  We did many diets where we add in all foods and take out all foods.  Milkbones are just so mild (despite their grains) that they do not influence her tummy.  

Next step: Next time Havi acts up we think you are right and going to another vet.  But holistic, specialist, or regular old vet-thats our next decision.  Sigh, no pet insurance, but that discussion is for another day.


  1. Not to get too icky but I'm familiar with the "jelly film"! I know you're not too keen on the raw idea but Billy used to suffer from it a lot before he started a raw diet and now he's doing great. I still hold by the pre-packaged version as a really easy way to go raw and the Bravo that I get is really not that pricey compared with the kibble that the vet prescribed (or multiple vet visits!).

  2. Like the poster above, we had that jelly film too. It was sometimes giardia and sometimes just a product of Sophie's really weird digestive system. Like the poster above, it went away with the switch to raw. Pre packaged is super easy and convenient, not even all that gross since its shaped as a nugget or patty. You can look into co-ops they sometimes sell pre packaged raw at less than the retail price.

  3. Have you tried California Naturals (I don't know if I mentioned this). They have 9 ingredients in them. One is a chicken based, one is lamb based, one is herring based. We use the herring one if anyone is getting an upset stomach or there are a lot of changes going on. Its not even that expensive (compared to some)


  4. Well I am late to comment here, but have you ever had Havi checked for Pancreatitis? It almost sounds like some of the symptoms, (greasy stool, pain, diarrhea). There are blood tests that can be done to check levels and help diagnose it (it can be difficult to diagnose). The causes are not completely known, but they think it can be brought on by diet, stress, many things. Once a dog has had a bout it can recur. I believe the condition can be managed. Just a thought and maybe something to ask about if you end up at a vet for the problem, (any knowledgeable vet should be able to diagnose/rule out).

    Good luck!

  5. Missing Link contains a pro-biotic but is not purely a pro-biotic. The vet can give you some that come in a little envelope that you just sprinkle in her food.

  6. Slippery Elm Bark is also something that helps sooth irritated stomachs/digestive tract. A lot of raw feeders will use this first, rather than pumpkin, if their dog develops issues. Instead of putting extra fiber in the diet (which is what pumpkin does), which can cause more irritation despite improving the look of the final poop, slippery elm bark actually helps sooth the digestive tract. It is not for long term use, though, as it does impede absorption of nutrients a little bit.

  7. Ugh. It's so tough when you just can't figure out what is wrong! I hope you are able to get things figured out soon!

  8. Pancreatitis would result in rapid weight loss. We have several dogs who come in with enzymes on their food to help them absorb nutrients and maintain their weight on their food. One of our dogs lost 14lbs before he was diagnosed! If Havi is losing weight, along with her other symptoms, this may well be the case. But, seeing as this only happens once every two weeks, and is otherwise doing fine, I wouldn't jump to that.

    I didn't know you'd conducted elimination diets with Havi? Usually those take upwards of 12 weeks when done *correctly*. They consist of homemade bland diets (one source of protein, one source of carb); a close relative to raw.

    You could also try an exotic protein. Rabbit? Duck? Etc.

    Havi would also be showing more symptoms of allergies (itching and subsequent hairloss, hives, chewing, feet licking, etc) if she was allergic to something.

    On probiotics: I DO NOT recommend using Fortiflora regardless of how strongly your vet may stand behind it. Try a Kefir or something more natural... even if it is made from dairy. :(

  9. There isn't always weight loss with Pancreatitis. There are different forms acute and chronic. Storm had a case of acute Pancreatitis that sent her to the ER vet. It was diagnosed through a blood test. We make sure to not feed her high fat foods and it has not reoccurred. There was no weight loss involved just intermittent problems before the attack which sent her to the vet, (the problems included greasy stools, diarrhea, vomiting...but really only now and again.)

    I am NOT saying that is what is wrong with Havi, just offering it as something that may be worth considering and ruling out.

  10. I favor a holistic vet because they are less likely to push you to get a whole bunch of crap for your dog that is unnecessary; like most vaccines, and are more likely to work with you on finding a different and more natural solution to your dog's medical problems than drugs or surgery.

    Hope this helps! :)
    As far as raw diets; I LOVE the raw diet! Imagine poop that is smaller in size and you never have to pick up because it disintegrates and blows away! I will never go back to dog food. Most dog food is the equivalent to potato chips for people. I actually spend the same ammount of money on raw food that I did on high quality dog food. Its so easy to feed too! Its as simple as tossing them a few chicken wings and calling it a day! :) You have to realize that raw food is the type of food that dogs stomachs are meant to handle; most cannot handle the store bought crap that we humans made for them. There is a reason why when dogs puke up their store bought crappy dog food hours after they eat it that it is still almost whole, they cannot digest it as well as raw or even homemade diets.

    Here is a great book to educate yourself on all types of dog food; from store bought, to homemade, and to raw diets: Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs: The Definitive Guide to Homemade Meals by Lew Olson.

    Here is a great website on all types of different kinds of supplements for your dog: http://www.b-naturals.com/