My dog has IBD, biopsy diagnosis. Tested feb 2010 mild fib rising lymphocytic eosinophilic gastritis, mild lymphoplasmacytic enteritis, mild lymphoplasmacytic and supportive colitis, in all levels gastrointestinal tract. Originally placed on predisone and hills zd ultra ,roo or turkey and antibiotics. He had vomiting and runny to cow paddy stools, severe lethargy , weight loss and skin infections. He started to respond on pred in first few days unfortunately he could not urinate while on pred thus after many test and drugs he had to come of it. Put on budesonide 3 mg a day which he is currently still on. This helped but has never fully stabilized him. He seems to have relapses every 3 months but improves on antibiotics for two weeks then starts to slip again. All his usual blood tests have been normal. Six months ago I found a naturpath for dogs and she put him on slipper elm , probiotics, vitamin E, glucosamine. He was put on cooked diet of carrot, zucchini, sweet potato and lamb. He gained 5 kgs first time in 11/2 years he didn't look starved to death. However He still has relapses with vomiting mainly in the morning with bile unless I can get him to eat early. He is still quite lethargic and is now turning his nose up at his food and just wants to sleep all day. He has seen specialist for his skin, related to IBD, skin became better on antibiotics but now getting bad again once finished. Told allegy tests need to be done next but I have to save up. Vet bills ect so far cost over$15,000 and now I'm broke and still have sick dog. I love him like a child and soooo want to help him but vets have no idea what to do next. I just gave you the rough outline there has been many more tests and blunders throughout the last two years... Any ideas ??
Dr. Marie replied:
Oh, poor Moose. It sounds like both of you have been through so much!
Cases like this make me so sad because there is usually no easy fix, and I have had some dogs where no matter what I do I can't make them better.
You are doing all of the right things for Moose's IBD. I'm not sure how much I can help but I'll give you a few thoughts.
Sometimes dogs with IBD can go through periods where they have bacterial infections in their intestines. Sometimes a course of Metronidazole will help. I have other dogs that I have put on a relatively inexpensive antibiotic called Tylosin in their food every day and sometimes this can make a huge difference. Of course, you would need to get these antibiotics from your vet.
There are other dogs with IBD that can be helped by getting B12 injections. I have some cases where I will teach my owners how to do their own injections so that it is not so pricey.
Most dogs with IBD need some type of steroids. It is unfortunate that the prednisone had side effects. The budesonide is the next choice and it is likely doing some good. Some dogs will do better on something called cyclosporin. The problem is that this drug is very expensive.
If not already done, you could ask your vet for a course of fenbendazole which is a good broad spectrum dewormer. If there are any parasites present then this can make IBD symptoms much much worse.
I have some IBD dogs that do well on probiotics, but again these can add up in price, especially for a big dog.
You have likely tried many, if not all of these things, but perhaps there are one or two of them that you could talk to your vet about.
In my career I have had a few patients with IBD that I have done everything I could for, and yet the dogs still continued to suffer. Just last week I had to euthanize a beautiful German Shepherd dog who was in this type of situation. If Moose seems to be unable to recover despite all of these treatments, this is an option you might need to consider. Hopefully not though.
I really hope that things look up soon!
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Dr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.
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