Raising Litter Mates



It's been awhile since an entry. The puppies and Jordan have been keeping me busy. The puppies are doing well, they are a little over seven (7) months now and growing up quickly.
Jordan was diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease beginning of August, and it has been a challenge since. She has lost her appetite which has resulted in extreme weight loss. The battle continues daily...

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Sunday, October 10, 2010
Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Dogs

I had scheduled Jordan in for an endoscopy after three separate incidents of frank blood in her stools. I wasn't looking forward to the preparation before the procedure - she needed to fast for thirty-six hours (broth and water) along with undergoing a few enemas. We knew this wasn't going to be fun for her, but I needed to know what was going on with the intermittent blood in her stools.

I was fortunate enough to have been able to stay with her while her procedure was taking place. The unfortunate part was there was no TV screen to watch it on, the device (endoscope) used was a portable one! I was able to look into the endoscope to see what her colon looks like. The doctor performing Jordan's endoscopy announced that everything looked normal and suggested we take a biopsy and have the pathologist send us the results. He took a few samples from Jordan, and the clinic sent it off to the Central Laboratory for Veterinarians. The pathologist diagnosed Jordan with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

Inflammatory Bowel Disease is defined as "an idiopathic disease which is thought to involve dysregulation of the normal GI mucosal immune system".

(Taken from J Small Animal Practice 2004, 45:336-342; J Feline Medicine and Surgery 1999, 1:155-64)

"IBD results when cells from the immune system invade the lining of the intestines and/or stomach. Almost like an allergic reaction, the immune system reacts in the gut and causes inflammation and irritation. This irritation causes the gut lining to thicken, and interferes with its absorptive function. Also, the ability of the gut to contract and propel digested food may be affected".

(Excerpt from pets.ca)

Most common symptoms are vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss and blood in stool. These symptoms can also be signs of other illnesses, so it's best to have your veterinarian examine your pet before assuming your pet has IBD.

Jordan had been eating a diet that used lamb as a protein as well as some chicken and beef that we have always added to her kibble. Our veterinarian suggested we change her diet to a protein that she had never had before. We chose Hills Prescription Diet d/d Salmon and Potato. She liked it for the first week or so, then she started to become fussy. I started to supplement her kibble with some d/d Salmon and Potato canned food, and that too lasted only a few weeks. Her stools were great, no more blood! I had contacted the clinic, and decided that we would try her on another kibble - protein was duck. She loved it, but unfortunately within 24 hours she had droplets of blood in her stool, needless to say, the food was returned. I tried to get her back on to the salmon and potato diet and this is when the problems started.

She refused to eat. Her stools were starting to become runny. Within a few days her stools became watery. We had put her on some metronidazole to aid in the diarrhea - no luck. She started to look uncomfortable, and she was losing weight fast. I tried just about everything to entice her to eat. She refused. My vet then recommended we put her on an appetite stimulant, and stop the metronidazole because it wasn't working. Jordan had lost so much weight and having so much watery diarrhea that we had to focus on getting food into her - anything she wanted to eat!

The first few days she wanted to eat bread and eggs. She soon stopped eating the eggs, so then I had to make her french toast for all her meals. We had based her caloric intake on her salmon and potato food and I was trying to feed her no less than that number - bread and eggs combined. This lasted a whole four (4) days.

We started her on chicken breasts, and she was eating that for the next few days. I was worried about her lack of carbohydrates - I tried both white and whole wheat pasta and rice, tried her with bread again, but nothing. She was happy eating just chicken. I had emailed my veterinarian again, and she assured me that just protein would be okay for now as it would help her from losing too much muscle tone.

She was literally withering away before my eyes. She was not improving. My veterinarian informed me that the next step is to try her on a steroid called Budenoside. This particular steroid is released as granules in the small intestine resulting in maximum local effect. Budenoside is a 3mg capsule that is administered orally once daily. I have read that it is commonly used to treat Crohn's Disease in humans.

The battle continues, her medications need a few days to kick in. We are hoping that her tummy starts to feel better which will result in her wanting to eat again.

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