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Sensitive stomach after poisoning?


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Hi everyone! I am a first time poster (and first time Mum to two gorgeous BC puppies!)from Australia.


When my puppies were about twelve weeks old, one of them, Oscar, became very ill. The vet could not work out what was wrong, until I suggested green potatoes (solanine). I had found Oscar and George both eating potatoes from the back corner of our yard (left from previous owners of the house). The vet had never come across solanine poisoning in a dog, and had to do some research before confirming the diagnosis. Oscar had three days in the vets' clinic on a drip, and came home with his hindquarters still paralysed. It was another two days before he could support his own weight and take a few steps.


Oscar appeared to have fully recovered, with no side effects aside from losing his puppy coat early. He has had blood tests to confirm there is no organ damage, but he is now 7 months old and has had two bouts of gastritis within two months.


I suspect that the solanine poisoning has left him with either a sensitive stomach or a weakness to stomach viruses.


I currently feed Oscar Bonnie puppy dry food, with a quarter of a cooked chicken shared between him and George each night. I don't measure the dry food, and it is available on demand. Oscar also eats raw carrot as a treat, some seedless watermelon when it is hot, and other treats are pigs ears and pigs tendons (dried by a local samll business from local pigs killed at a local slaughterhouse) and Schmackos. Occasionally they might have some rockmelon/canteloupe, a bit of capsicum or some plums or apricots from the trees in the backyard.


The vet has suggested doing a food trial with Oscar on a hypersensitive dog food. I suspect it will be Royal Canin they suggest, as that is what I see at their clinic. I am not sure if I should try that, or look to move to homecooked. I am a little worried about the expense of homecooked.


George has been perfectly healthy the whole time.


As a first time owner, I want to do the best for my dogs and I love them to bits. It kills me to see Oscar looking so sad and droopy. Help?!?

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When was his last bout of gastritis and what were his/their symptoms? Was it bad enough he/they had loose bloody stool? Or was it mild? Did they have the bouts at the same time?


I have never seen a dog actually get that poisoning either.... I'm glad you caught that before it was to late!!

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Go for a food that is grain and white potato free and see how he does. Grains can affect the villi in the intestines which affects absorption of nutrients. Potatos in dog food are the total rejects for human purposes, which means more solanine.


Also, add probiotics and digestive enzymes, these help prevent stomach issues by balancing the gut bacteria and aiding digestion, both of which could have been thrown off by his previous bout.

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Thank you for your welcome.


gtokitty, Oscar's last bout was today. It was not as bad as last time, as he just had runny stools and was lethargic and droopy, which is VERY unlike Oscar. The last time was in December where he had runny stools, a 41+ degree temperature (celsius) and sore abdomen and was also off his food and water, very lethargic and looked sooooo sad. He had a blood panel today which came back normal except for his white blood cell count, which was elevated indicating (I was told) infection or inflammation.


George has not had a sick day in his life thus far.


I actually took Oscar to the after hours vet when he first became unwell with the solanine poison, and they thought he had a chest infection because he had a fever and crackly lungs. It was later, as his fever did not respond to meds and he became unable to stand that we took him back in and they figured out what was wrong. Oscar got sick one afternoon and two mornings later he was in the vets. Apparently the crackly lungs was a symptom of solanine poisoning too, but there was nothing else to suggest it, and no one had any experience with it. I am now possibly overcautious in taking him to the vet when he seems unwell, but I would rather be safe (and poor) than sorry!


When Oscar is well, he is very active (I know that goes without saying for a BC, but he is more active than his brother!) My partner calls him a Tigger dog, because he is always go go go and bouncing around.


Thank you for those suggestions Gideon's Girl. I don't think it is a problem with grain, as he has eaten rice with no problems, and his usual kibble doesn't seem to cause problems. I would be interested in giving him probiotics. Are there special dog probiotics, or do I use the ones designed for humans? Any idea where I would find them if I need canine probiotics?

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I feed my dogs a kibble that includes probiotics, and I have used probiotics in the past when I fed different feeds. Have you tried a Google search on "canine probiotics" to see what might be available in your country? Many products like that, if you can't buy them locally, may be ordered over the internet.


I can see where a bout of poisoning could possibly affect the digestive system. Have you had bloodwork done, both basic and more complete, to see if there is something else at work here? I ask that because we had a dog with intermittent digestive issues (and also appetite issues) who was found to have B vitamin malabsorption problems. His digestive issues were reflected in liver and kidney readings (in his first bloodwork) that were not normal, and were discovered in more extensive bloodwork. Bloodwork can often be a good tool in diagnosing problems.


I see you mention feeding cooked chicken. I am assuming that that does not include bone as I'm sure you are aware to never feed cooked poultry bones. Have you considered feeding raw chicken? There are quite a few people on this forum who feed raw to one degree or another, either as a total diet (all raw foods) or partially raw diets (as supplements to a commercial feed).


I certainly hope you are able to figure this out and help him to feel better. Best wishes!

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Years ago, I had a blue heeler who had to be hospitalized for mushroom/toadstool toxicity. In most ways she made what appeared to be a complete recovery. But her coat was never the same as it had been. (She'd had gorgeous thick rich red hair, which afterwards became lighter, thinner, duller and less even.) She also became permanently borderline low-thyroid. (Thyroid supplements improved her coat, but not to its original glory.) Since dogs express a lot of internal issues through their skin, that's a pretty good indicator something important had been thrown off kilter. My vet said that the sudden hypo-thyroidism was likely a side effect of the poison. I'm not a vet, merely a veteran dog owner. But from that experience, I'd think that solanine (a nasty neurotoxin, which appears to strike hard at the central nervous system and the digestive tract) could well have permament effects, particularly in a still-developing puppy.


As a separate issue, is it possible there are still live potato plants accessible to your pup? Any growing parts at all? Because puppies do love to chew on everything, and the toxin is concentrated in *all* the green parts of a potato plant -- stems and leaves are also quite poisonous, not just the green skin and sprouting eyes on a bad spud.


I hope your pup's tummy issues clear up all the way, and if you find you do have to stick to a bland diet, that's all it takes.


Best regards,


LizS in upstate New York USA

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I just google canine probiotics. In the US, Mercola has the best that I have found so far. It has 14 different strains of good bacteria. That's what you want to look for, as many different strains as you can find.


The problem with probiotics in food is that depending on several factors, the probiotics on kibble are completely inactive by the time the kibble gets to you. Probiotics are heat sensitive, moisture sensitive, etc. and only stay viable a short time after they are activated. It's like joint supplements in food, if you don't really need it then the amount in the food is great, but if you really need it then you should get a seperate supplement because what's in the food is usually just window dressing.

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Welcome and I'm sorry that your boy is so poorly. He sounds much like my departed Buzz, who would have episodes of lethargy/bad diarrhea, etc. On the 4th or 5th round in as many months, my vet was ready to send us to an internist, but he did one more test. Clostridia perfingens turned out to be the culprit, a bug that is everywhere in the soil, etc.


C perfingens is treated w/amoxicillin and that stuff you use for giardia, can't remember the name of it. Once it takes hold in a dog's or person's gut, stress will tend to bring on another episode. The theory, (Liz P, correct me if I'm wrong) is that the stress upsets the gut's balance of helpful bacteria, giving the C perfingens a chance to bloom.


My vet diagnosed it with a simple fecal test that was sent to a lab. Perhaps you can suggest checking this out to your vet?


Treatment once the diagnosis is established is pretty simple, with the meds mentioned above. I started dosing Buzz a few days before a known stressor - being kenneled, us having company, etc, - and that really helped.


Good luck - I hope you find out what is bothering Oscar soon.


Ruth and Agent Gibbs

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Thank you to everyone for your helpfull suggestions.


Sue R, I have had a blood panel done, and the vet said all of the enzymes relating to the organs (liver, kidneys, pancreas etc) were normal, so I think we are OK there. I am considering trying some home cooked meals, but will ahev to do some research into raw food diets.


Thnuderhill, Oscar shed a lot of fur when he was poisoned, but it just seemed to be the very fluffy puppy fur. He still has a thick coat with good shine and colour. I will have to try and post a photo of him for everyone to see, maybe on the photos board. And of course one of George (aka Georgeous) too. I had to try and de-spud the backyard, and after digging up about two buckets worth from about 1 square meter(for the second time), I covered the entire area with a tarpaulin and weighed it down with rocks, so there is no access at all to the potates anymore.


Gideon's Girl, I will google and look to buy a probiotic supplement. I can't see that it will hurt either of my BCs, and if it stops Oscar getting sick again, it will be worth it!


Thank you for the suggestion of C perfrigens, urge to herd. Oscar is now on antibiotics, amoxycilin and clavulanic acid in one (a combination I have personally been precribed before) which worked last time, and he seems to be improving. If he has another bout, I will ask for a fecal test, but if I give him probiotics, hopefully the good gut flora will stop another attack.


While Oscar and George do eat some fruit, G. Festerling, it is not a huge amount. Fruit is an occasional treat, and not more than once a week from us, if that often. The only fruit we cannot control completely is the apricots and plums. Most of our apricots were eaten by birds, and ended in about December. The plums (because we have two trees - early and late harvesting) are still going but we pick them up from the ground every couple of days, and they are almost completely finished. We also take them off of the dogs whenever we see them with one. If it was the fruit, I would think they would have had constant problems over the last few months, but there have just been these two attacks.


I am going to try some probiotics, and keep an eye on what Oscar eats and see if that fixes things. I will try to keep you updated!

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