Chronic Intestinal Noise/Digestive issues
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Thread: Chronic Intestinal Noise/Digestive issues

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    Junior Member BillyBoy's Avatar
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    Chronic Intestinal Noise/Digestive issues

    I want to apologize in advance for being so verbose, but I want to get the whole story out there in the hopes of getting the best advice.

    My 6 yr old lab Billy has been having what seems to be digestive issues the past few months. One day he will be fine and then the next I wake up to his stomach making horrible loud noises (usually early morning ~5:00am). I assume this is intestinal gas, but he doesn't actually pass gas. What's most concerning is that he will refuse to eat that entire day and appears to be quite uncomfortable. Then the next day he will be perfectly fine again....until a few days later, then it starts all over again.

    I took him to the vet and they did a fecal test and ruled out parasites (but we still treated with Panacur to be on the safe side). They also did an abdominal X-ray and everything looked ok, except for what appeared to be gas in his intestines (not surprising). Lastly, they ran a complete blood work-up and told me everything "looks great". The only advice my vet had at the time (this was a few weeks ago) was to give him Mylanta when he was having the gas problems, wait and see if the Panacur takes care of the problem, and if all else fails think about changing his food.

    I was hopeful that the Pancur would do the trick, but sadly it didn't. I've been giving Mylanta as recommended, and it helps enough to get him to eat...but gives him diarrhea and doesn't keep him from getting the gas in the first place.

    Wanting to find a solution, not just something to coverup the symptom I decided to try changing his food. He was on TOTW Pacific stream formula, wanting to change him to a different protein source I first tried Blue Buffalo Chicken and Brown rice, but my other dog wouldn't eat it. I am now trying to transition them to Wellness Core Original. They both LOVE the food, but it doesn't seem to be helping with his bouts of intestinal gas. Granted it's still early in the transition. Its only been 2 days, but he has had the gas problem both days. Today I decided to try feeding him 3 times/day rather than 2 and limiting his water after meals. He tends to gulp down water right after eating and I read this can cause gas. We have another vet appointment in a few days and I will update the vet on his lack of progress and hope he has a better idea of how to deal with this situation. I am especially worried because labs are more prone to bloat. I am wondering if this could be chronic bloat.

    In the meantime, I was wondering if any of you have experienced similar complications in your dogs. If so do you know the cause? How did you treat it? Should I consider an allergy formula?

    Billy and I would like to thank you all in advance for you help/suggestions.

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    Re: Chronic Intestinal Noise/Digestive issues

    Our lab used to get stomach upset frequently. We used papaya enzyme tablets from the health food store to calm her noises. It is supposed to be soothing to the stomach and help aid in protein digestion. Our lab has passed but we now use probiotics and pumpkin in our dogs food daily. You could also try a little bit of plain yogurt added to the food. I have also found that moistening the food slightly helps keep them from gulping down water afterwards. Also, if you lab is inhaling his food - as ours did, she was like a big, yellow vacuum cleaner - you can put a few large rocks in his bowl to slow down his eating.

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    Junior Member BillyBoy's Avatar
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    Re: Chronic Intestinal Noise/Digestive issues

    Quote Originally Posted by chriley58 View Post
    Our lab used to get stomach upset frequently. We used papaya enzyme tablets from the health food store to calm her noises. It is supposed to be soothing to the stomach and help aid in protein digestion. Our lab has passed but we now use probiotics and pumpkin in our dogs food daily. You could also try a little bit of plain yogurt added to the food. I have also found that moistening the food slightly helps keep them from gulping down water afterwards. Also, if you lab is inhaling his food - as ours did, she was like a big, yellow vacuum cleaner - you can put a few large rocks in his bowl to slow down his eating.
    Thanks Chriley58. That was a really speedy response! I have used pumpkin in the past for diarrhea and he loves it and it seems to work. I just never used it for this because I was worried that the extra fiber would cause even more gas...but I can give it a try. I also always give yogurt after either of the dogs are on a antibiotic regimen, just never thought to use it on a regular basis because their food is supposed to have probiotics. But again he LOVES yogurt and if it helps keep him from gulping down water I will be more than happy to add it to his food. However, do you think I should wait on the pumpkin and/or yogurt until he is completely transitioned to his new food or should I start right away?

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    Re: Chronic Intestinal Noise/Digestive issues

    Personally, I like to use the pumpkin and/or yogurt during a food transition to help ease into the transition and keep their potential digestive upset to a minimum. We used pumpkin and probiotics during our last food change and none of our three dogs had an issue. We have continued the probiotics and pumpkin since then as we have noticed a total decrease in gassiness in all three dogs, my nose appreciates that! Plus they all really like the pumpkin.

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    Junior Member BillyBoy's Avatar
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    Re: Chronic Intestinal Noise/Digestive issues

    Thanks! I'll try the pumpkin tomorrow. I already have a few cans in the cupboard.

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    Senior Member MoosMom's Avatar
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    Re: Chronic Intestinal Noise/Digestive issues

    Something else that may help if you haven't already done so is elevate the food and water bowls. This can help with gulping air with the food, cuts down on gas. We had to do this with my mal. If you find he is eating his kibble to fast(yet another gas factor)you could try a long choke chain in his kibble. It will force him to pick the food from around the chain and he will have to eat slower. Yoshi would inhale kibble until I did this and in about a week we could feed without it. Good Luck. Gas is no fun.
    Unless you are the lead dog, the scenery never changes.

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    Junior Member BillyBoy's Avatar
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    Re: Chronic Intestinal Noise/Digestive issues

    Thanks MoosMom. I'll keep that in mind as well. He is usually good about taking his time while eating, but lately (since switching foods) he has been eating faster. I think he really likes the taste of the Wellness Core.

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    Junior Member BillyBoy's Avatar
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    Re: Chronic Intestinal Noise/Digestive issues

    Just wanted to update for anyone that may come across this in the future because they have a similar problem.

    While my dog seemed to love the taste of Wellness Core, it didn't seem to help...in fact it seemed to make things worse. Rather than having intestinal upset once every few days, it was happening every night. I decided to cave and get an allergy formula. Didn't initially want an allergy formula because they all have the carb as the first ingredient and the protein as the second. I chose Wellness Simple Solutions Rice and Duck (Billy's never had duck, so I thought it would be a good choice). Also, Wellness sells a wet version of the food that has duck as the 1st ingredient, so I figured I could at least supplement his dry kibble with the canned food.

    Billy has not yet started on this food however because I put him on a bland diet for a few days to give his digestive system a break. The bland diet has been going well so I plan on introducing the Wellness tomorrow. I will transition him with the bland diet, because at this point he doesn't have an "old" food...at least not one that he will eat.

    I will update after he has been on the Simple Solutions for at least a few weeks.

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    Senior Member 5 s corral's Avatar
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    Re: Chronic Intestinal Noise/Digestive issues

    Hi
    I hope it works for him
    keep us posted
    jamie

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    Junior Member BillyBoy's Avatar
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    Re: Chronic Intestinal Noise/Digestive issues

    Update:
    Well....Billy was doing great with the simple solutions...until suddenly two days ago he started having mucus in his stool. I figured it was my fault for transitioning him too quickly. He was doing so well on the new food, no intestinal noise, no more refusal to eat and firm stools. Being a graduate student, I sometimes spend long hours in the lab and it can be tough to find the time to cook a bland diet. So I decided to cheat a bit and do a quicker transition than usual. As soon as I saw the mucus in the stool I immediately reduced the amount of kibble in his kibble/bland diet mix. The next day he has mucus yet again so I went back to all bland diet. This morning....mucus again! So it's back to the vet for us (he has an appointment in an hour). I still think its just intestinal upset from the food switch, but I'd rather be safe and have him checked out by the vet. Needless to say, no more quick food transitions for us.

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    Re: Chronic Intestinal Noise/Digestive issues

    Have you tried a Digestive Enhancer?

    I love the one from Nature's Farmacy

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    Junior Member BillyBoy's Avatar
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    Re: Chronic Intestinal Noise/Digestive issues

    Quote Originally Posted by RedyreRottweilers View Post
    Have you tried a Digestive Enhancer?

    I love the one from Nature's Farmacy
    No not yet, but I've been thinking about it. Just wasn't sure which to go with. I will look for that brand.

    Thanks!

    Looks like that digestive enzyme one is only available online. I think I will order it, but do you know of any good ones I can get in stores for the meantime? I would like to get him well ASAP. Most importantly because I want him to fell well (although he hasn't been acting sick), but also because I am going away for Thanksgiving and the kennel where I board him will not take him if he is showing ANY signs of illness. This is because all of the dogs there play together all day and are only in the crates from 6pm-6am to sleep.
    Thanks

    Just got back from the vet. He said it looks like a case of colitis due to the diet change. He wants me to stick with the Wellness simple solutions because it helped rid him of the other problems (gas, vomiting, refusing to eat, etc.). He also said he doesn't believe this is related to the problems he was having before....some dogs are just really sensitive to diet change and get colitis as a result. He also prescribed Flagyl (an antibiotic), which he said generally helps dogs in cases like this. He said it should take care of the mucus in about a day or so. I'm hopeful and keeping my fingers crossed!
    Last edited by BillyBoy; 11-14-2009 at 11:07 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Senior Member winniec777's Avatar
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    Re: Chronic Intestinal Noise/Digestive issues

    Has your vet ever mentioned Tylan as a possibility? It's being used for IBD/colitis in dogs with success. Our dog has had chronic stomach problems since she was a pup. We've tried everything already mentioned here - food trials, pumpkin, probiotics, no grain, allergy diet, etc. etc.

    We started her on the Tylan about 3 months ago and so far she seems to be doing well. She's also been on Hills z/d for a year. We're going to see if she can go another 3 months without an attack (blood/mucous in her stool, loud rumbling stomach, lethargy, loss of appetite) and then try her on a non-prescription food again. She gets 1/4 tsp. of Tylan 2x a day, with Activia yogurt in the middle of the day a couple of times a week.

    The only downside so far is that Tylan tastes terrible and to get her to take it we had been giving it to her in about a tblsp of peanut butter. We just got her bloodwork results back and she has elevated cholesterol, so we're eliminating the peanut butter and finding other things to put the Tylan in.

    I know how frustrating this must be for you. I get anxious just thinking about Poca being sick again. I'm praying that this new program does the trick. I hope your pup improves soon!

    P.S. After all of the food trials with Poca, I now believe that the better foods we were trying (TOTW, Wellness, Eagle Pack, etc.) were just too rich for her. She would start out loving them and then refuse to eat them within 6-12 weeks. When we switch her back to a regular food, it's going to be tough finding something that meets all of the right criteria. I see cooking for my dog 100% of the time in my future. It's a good think I like boiled chicken and rice myself!

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    Junior Member BillyBoy's Avatar
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    Re: Chronic Intestinal Noise/Digestive issues

    Quote Originally Posted by winniec777 View Post
    Has your vet ever mentioned Tylan as a possibility? It's being used for IBD/colitis in dogs with success. Our dog has had chronic stomach problems since she was a pup. We've tried everything already mentioned here - food trials, pumpkin, probiotics, no grain, allergy diet, etc. etc.
    No he hasn't mentioned Tylan, but its good to know. Thanks for sharing your story. My vet seems fairly confident that the Flagyl combined with the new allergy diet will do the trick...so I am hopeful. He did mention IBD as something to keep in the back of our minds, but he felt it was too early to come to that conclusion just yet. I will definitely keep Tylan in the back of my mind and mention it to my vet if Billy continues to have problems.

    I'm glad to hear your dog is doing well. I hope the transition to a commercial food goes well for you. I know what you mean about most of the premium foods being too rich for dogs like ours. I think that could have been one of the problems with Billy. He was on TOTW when all the symptoms started, and a transition to Wellness Core failed. I was actually hesitant to go with Wellness Simple Solutions at first because of the lower animal protein content, but now think it is probably for the best.

    Thanks again for sharing your story. This whole ordeal is so frustrating, and its good to know that someone else went through this and came out ok in the end.

    P.S. Billy also will not take pills without peanut butter, so I guess he will be getting PB twice a day for the next 7 days. I buy the reduced fat, so hopefully it won't be too bad for him. I haven't been able to find anything else that works. I've tried hiding in meat, cheese, all kinds of things and he will eat whatever the pill is in and spit the pill out. Hope you have better luck than me!

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    Senior Member winniec777's Avatar
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    Re: Chronic Intestinal Noise/Digestive issues

    I think Poca and Billy have been sharing notes! Peanut butter is the only thing that works for her, too - lol. I have to grind up tablets and take apart capsules and mix the powder in peanut butter to get medicine in her. Lately, we've been trying a tablespoon of gravy which she'll usually take. I've tasted her medicines and know how foul they are so it's hard to blame her.

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    Junior Member BillyBoy's Avatar
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    Re: Chronic Intestinal Noise/Digestive issues

    Now that it's been a few weeks I just wanted to update. The Falgyl seemed to work wonders. After just a few days on it, Billy stopped having mucus covered stools. He is still on Wellness simple solutions Duck and Rice and doing great. I have even been able to start introducing treats from Natural Balance that only contain potato, duck and molasses. He seems to be tolerating those well too! Looks like all he needed was a diet change and some meds to help him with the transition. I'm hoping to eventually introduce other treats (like raw veggies), but I'm gonna wait a few months until I know his system is ready. For now, nothing but duck food and duck treats.

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    Re: Chronic Intestinal Noise/Digestive issues

    Quote Originally Posted by MoosMom View Post
    Something else that may help if you haven't already done so is elevate the food and water bowls. This can help with gulping air with the food, cuts down on gas.
    This has actually been proven by a study done by Dr. Glickman and crew from purdue veterinary univ that feeding out of an elevated food bowl actually INCREASED the chances of bloat. My Dane bloated TWICE eating on an elevated food bowl. After we put in on the ground never bloated again. Also food with citric acid as a preservative, or fats or oils in the first 4 ingredients also elevate the chances of bloat.

    Probiotics such as Yogert in their food every other day or so it awesome at keeping the guts GI flora naturally restored and actually lessens your chance of parasitic invaders because they like a depelated or irregular system for optimum growth. A well balanced gut has a better chance of defeating worm infestations. I would keep him on a regular schedule of yogert. About 1tablespoon per 20 pounds. Cinnamon is also a great natural stomach soother. If you give canned pumpkin make sure it is NOT the pie filling stuff but just plain pumpkin. You can also use Phasime infant gas drops if the mylanta is giving the dog diareah.

    My lab also gets the occasional gurguly stomach. Usually he eats and it's all better. I just presumed it was hunger pangs like we get.

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    Junior Member BillyBoy's Avatar
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    Re: Chronic Intestinal Noise/Digestive issues

    Well ever since the food switch, he hasn't had any intestinal noise...so I think the vet was right in suggesting that it was caused by a food intolerance. I too have read that elevated bowls increase risk of bloat. Billy loves his new food so much, he was starting to eat too fast so I bought him an "Eat Well" bowl from Contech. It specially designed to keep dogs from eating too fast and it actually seems to work! It takes him several minutes longer to eat his food in that bowl compared to a traditional one. I also bought a "Drink Well" bowl from the same company, which keeps him from drinking to much too quickly. The are a bit pricy for plastic bowls...but they were worth it IMO.

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    Senior Member winniec777's Avatar
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    Re: Chronic Intestinal Noise/Digestive issues

    I'm so glad the meds & wellness are working. Sounds like your pup is doing much better.

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