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n0mad

sensitive tummy frustrations

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Ever since I brought Ceile home she's had tummy issues, as in you give her anything other than her dog food and she turns into a heinous gas bomber and potential poo cannon.  We have wormed her a couple of times and when we couldn't get the diarrhea under control for a short time took her to the vet.  He said it sounded like she had strongid resistant worms and possibly giardia and put her on panacur.  That pretty much cleared up things up except...  She is so stinking skinny and I have a time keeping weight on her. Three kibbles more than her measured amount produces squishy to liquid stool.   I gave her a bit of ground beef hoping it would help but she started getting  gas and loose stools again.  I thought maybe an allergy so I switched to ground chicken.  I gave it to Ceile only one time and when I got home from work my daughter said, "I threw up."  I asked her why and she said that Ceile's poo smelled so bad that she threw up three times between picking it up and the walk to the dumpster.  Later that evening I understood what she meant.

She's not sick or lethargic, she's in good shape other than collie puppy thin.  I just wish I could stop the horrendous reaction to anything not kibble.  It would be nice to enhance her diet a little.

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Have you tried giving her some probiotics and tummy friendly foods?

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Yes.  Lol, not much more to say.  I gave the probiotics for awhile.  I was considering trying again. About the only food that hasn't had a negative effect is pumpkin which was good because that is what we needed to keep things under control for a bit.  I can give her freeze dried chicken in small amounts but that gets expensive really fast.  She gets a little gassy with it but not to the extent the fresh chicken did.  That's part of what is so frustrating.  She has chicken, salmon and lamb and rice in her dog kibble.  One would think that if she could have it in her kibble, it shouldn't create an issue giving a little bit fresh.  I have given her tiny bits of carrot and other veggies and as long as it is only a very small amount and not every day, she's tolerable, just a little gassy.  As soon as I try to make it a routine, everything gets ugly.

I have always given my dogs people food with their kibble and tried to start her at 10 weeks but here we are at 11 months.  At least she can have the kibble now without any issues so that's something.  Maybe I should just be thankful and stop trying.  

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Did her parents also have a sensitive tummy?

My mom dogs also have crazy sensitive tummy.

My border collie Val used to be horribly pick but has a stomach of steel lol go figure

While my terrier who eats anything regardless if it is food can get gastric upset from some food but probiotics seem to help him. 

sorry Ik that doesn’t help. 

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I don't know about her parents.  Her Mom was imported from Ireland and Dad is still there.  I never asked the breeder because of the litters I've know in the past.  My pom's mom has a moderately sensitive tummy and his sister gets diarrhea from everything and yet he has literally eaten tinfoil (and so much more) with no ill effect.  

There is another type of probiotic that I can pick up.  It's supposed to have a higher efficacy than others (or so the claim goes).  I'll go check it out and see if it's worth the cost.  

Something else I wondered:  If she has a sensitivity to one of the ingredients in her food, but not an actual allergy, then that might keep her belly in a state of potential turmoil without it showing up in other symptoms couldn't it?  Bah!  I hate to change her food again, it took so long to find a good one. 

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One of my dogs was sensitive to rosemary extract :lol: that stuff is I  EVERYTHING!

While not diarrhea if you give Cressa any fish she will be super itchy to the point of getting wounds. I think she might also be sensitive to some preservative since if given raw chicken she won’t touch it if it isn’t organic. But I might just be reading too much into that since I am not a vet nor am I up to par on the food industry or labeling.
 

For a bit I was doing homemade food. I knew exactly what I was giving and would add 1 ingredient to a basic mixture. 

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45 minutes ago, SS Cressa said:

For a bit I was doing homemade food. I knew exactly what I was giving and would add 1 ingredient to a basic mixture. 

I did this for my pom, basically he ate what I ate so I knew exactly what he was getting.  He also only ate a 1/4 cup of pretty much anything so cooking for him was easy, lol.   I would love to do this for Ceile but every time I give her a taste from my plate the kids start opening the doors and windows!  :rolleyes:

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Sorry if this is TMI, but I have irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea. Anything and everything could set me off. It's taken years, but finally after religiously taking both pre- and probiotics it's under control. Now I can even forget for a few days without consequences.

So it's possible that you maybe didn't give the probiotics enough of a chance to work. Or maybe not enough prebiotics to feed them.

It's also important to be sure that the product you're using is dog specific. Some have too many probiotics of the wrong type. 

I was very happy with a product made by Dr. Peter Dobias called Gut Sense. https://peterdobias.com/products/gutsense It's expensive but it combines dog specific probiotics with herbal digestive support. I gave it to a dog I recently adopted who was having terrible digestive issues as the result of prior poor nutrition, a heavy parasite load and then way too many antibiotics. Her foster home tried for 3 months to get her off of Hill's I/D (crap food IMO) and metronidazole. If she tried any variations she'd get awful diarrhea again. I switched her to raw and used Gut Sense and she's doing great now. Not saying you'd have the same experience because every dog's different and has a different background, but if I ran into another dog with digestive issues I wouldn't hesitate to try it again.

Another possibility could be enzyme deficiency. Again, supplements have to be dog specific and probably to a degree diet specific. Dogs being fed kibble will need different -- and more different kinds of -- enzymes than one being fed a meat based diet.

Good luck.

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, GentleLake said:

I was very happy with a product made by Dr. Peter Dobias called Gut Sense. https://peterdobias.com/products/gutsense It's expensive but it combines dog specific probiotics with herbal digestive support. I gave it to a dog I recently adopted who was having terrible digestive issues as the result of prior poor nutrition, a heavy parasite load and then way too many antibiotics. Her foster home tried for 3 months to get her off of Hill's I/D (crap food IMO) and metronidazole. If she tried any variations she'd get awful diarrhea again. I switched her to raw and used Gut Sense and she's doing great now. Not saying you'd have the same experience because every dog's different and has a different background, but if I ran into another dog with digestive issues I wouldn't hesitate to try it again.

Thank you, I went and looked that up and I think I'll give that a try.  

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nomad, it could be that this dog is highly allergic to just about everything. that is what is sounds like to me. I knew someone with a dog like that and it took a while but she did figure out exactly what that dog could eat and what he could not, and stuck to that very strictly for the rest of the dog's life.

I think if I were in your place I would just stick to whatever kibble you are feeding that doesn't cause problems, and that is all I would feed the dog for several months. then I'd try one small thing added in, just one ingredient at a time, and see if anything else could be tolerated. This might be something she could grow out of as she becomes mature. But if not, then just be glad there is something she can eat.

Also, she may fill out when she gets older as well. some pups are just really skinny until they become fully grown. Best of luck to you!

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1 hour ago, D'Elle said:

nomad, it could be that this dog is highly allergic to just about everything. that is what is sounds like to me. I knew someone with a dog like that and it took a while but she did figure out exactly what that dog could eat and what he could not, and stuck to that very strictly for the rest of the dog's life.

I think if I were in your place I would just stick to whatever kibble you are feeding that doesn't cause problems, and that is all I would feed the dog for several months. then I'd try one small thing added in, just one ingredient at a time, and see if anything else could be tolerated. This might be something she could grow out of as she becomes mature. But if not, then just be glad there is something she can eat.

Also, she may fill out when she gets older as well. some pups are just really skinny until they become fully grown. Best of luck to you!

Thanks, that's kind of what I was thinking, just giving the kibble and the probiotics for awhile and hoping she didn't turn into a complete bone rack.  I did slip her a few bites of apple the last day or two and so far so good, so you might be right, allergic to almost everything.  That would be my luck, I don't think I've ever had just a normal dog.

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How old is this dog? Allergies don't usually start to develop until dogs are about 2 year old.

One of the experts in the field of food intolerance dogs is Dr. Jean Dodds of Hemopet. You might find this interview with her helpful.

If the dog's old enough, she offers a diagnostic test for food sensitivities. Again, not cheap, but if it can ID the problem for you it might be worth considering. IIRC, she doesn't recommend it for puppies though.

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, GentleLake said:

How old is this dog? Allergies don't usually start to develop until dogs are about 2 year old.

One of the experts in the field of food intolerance dogs is Dr. Jean Dodds of Hemopet. You might find this interview with her helpful.

If the dog's old enough, she offers a diagnostic test for food sensitivities. Again, not cheap, but if it can ID the problem for you it might be worth considering. IIRC, she doesn't recommend it for puppies though.

 

 

 

She's only just coming 11 months.  She was wormed the day I picked her up at 10 weeks old.  She had a belly full so I wormed her a second time after the right amount of days had passed.  She was spending a lot of time at my mom's sampling chicken, duck and horse droppings but she was also having a terrible time with her food.  I changed food, which helped but didn't clear it up.  Because of all the dung she was tasting, I wormed her again when she started to drop weight rapidly and became almost skeletal.  I fed her three times a day but had to measure it exact or she would end up just spraying the lawn with liquid.  Soft and squishy she could hold on to, the other just ran out of her whether she was trying to go or not.  I changed feed again and it got a little firmer, but I had to cut the kibble back.  I started trying to add meat by itself.  Small bites were okay, more than a treat though and we had a problem (but always gassy, that never changed).  That's when i took her to the vet and got the panacur.  Everything firmed up after that and most of the flatulence cleared up, but I still can't give her any extra meat.

I can see her ribs.  She plays hard and her coat is in good shape so it seems like she's doing okay nutritionally, it's just a matter of getting a bit more into her.  She's a tiny little thing, 27lbs, but the max I can give her in dog food without upsetting her system is 4 cups a day.  It's a good food too.  She is eating twice as much as what my last adult collie ate and we are just barely maintaining.  After the weekend when she plays with my parents Vizsla for hours, she always drops a little, thankfully we don't have many play times like that Monday to Thursday so her body has a chance to try and catch up.

I thought, because of the worms and the panacur, that probiotics would help.  They helped a little with the gas but she still gets the runs if I increase the feed.  I still want to try a "better" probiotic just in case it just wasn't right or enough for her.  I honestly expected the apple to soften things up but it had little to no effect that way, and it didn't give her gas.  I count this as a good sign.  I could change food again but I hate to do that so soon, especially when she's finally solid.  And it's so hard to find a good food that isn't laden with legumes, potatoes and the like.  

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OK, so too young for this to be true allergies to food.

Many adolescent border collies are skinny, but exactly the right weight for them. If she's active and not having any other health issues, there's no sense IMO to try to force her to eat more than she wants to, especially when it ends up giving her the runs. Diarrhea is the body's way of getting rid of something it doesn't like quickly. Sometimes what it doesn't like is just too much food. Several years ago someone (I think on these boards) was having a problem with recurring diarrhea. I suggested that the pup might be being fed too much. They cut back and the problem resolved itself. I'm not saying definitively that that's what's going on here, but the fact that you say 4 more kibbles gives her the runs does support the hypothesis, at least in part.

If it were me, I'd probably cut back on food a little, as long as she's not dropping tons of weight -- or at least not try to get her to eat more -- and do as D'Elle suggested and stick with one thing she doesn't react to, at least for the time being. You may be able to add some things later -- much later -- a little at a time, but for now just let her gut sort itself out and heal. Repeated bouts of diarrhea may just have her gut in a constant state of irritation.

Good luck.

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1 hour ago, GentleLake said:

BTW, when you were looking at Dr. Dobias' site, did you come across this?

Thanks, I hadn't seen it.  Gave it a read and actually feel better.   My other young collies had heavier coats, Ceile is smooth coated.  It's possible they were just as scary skinny and I just couldn't see it.  

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I would check her for Giardia again.  Skinny and absolutely revolting smelling feces are classic signs of giardia which she could easily have picked up from eating other animals' poop.  Once she's had it she infests soil anywhere she defecates and can become reinfected if she then frequents that same area.

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9 hours ago, Hooper2 said:

I would check her for Giardia again.  Skinny and absolutely revolting smelling feces are classic signs of giardia which she could easily have picked up from eating other animals' poop.  Once she's had it she infests soil anywhere she defecates and can become reinfected if she then frequents that same area.

We've had a ton of snow which means the place we used for her to relieve herself was constantly being cleared away and I've kept her out of the barnyard since last treating her for the giardia and worms.  Now that the snow is melting we are able to use a different area for her to relieve herself  and the grass is only just beginning to show around the buildings so I don't think that's it although I understand what you're saying and I understand it may still be a place of reinfection.  

I've gone back and looked at everything and in the meantime kept feeding her little bits of apple since that seems to not affect.  I'm not convinced that a dog won't have an allergic reaction to things until after they are a year old.  One of the reasons I changed her food the last time (besides the soft stools) was because she had begun scratching her ears and chewing at her paws.  I changed food and that stopped.  I waited a week or so and gave her a little of the old food (because I hate to throw things out if I don't have to) and she began scratching again.  It contains corn and wheat.  I have allergies and sensitivities to food and I know that if I eat a lovely piece of yeasty bread I have about fifteen minutes until I start sneezing and scratching my eyes out.  Twice now, since changing her food, she has been given a Timbit (doughnut hole for those who don't know) and ended up scratching at her ears.  Not necessarily proof but certainly suspicious.  

I also can't see that I was over feeding her with the two cups a feeding.  I've had dachshunds who could eat more than that.  They looked like footballs after consuming huge amounts of food but they never pooped themselves.  Ceile eats a meal and you can't tell she's eaten anything at all; no round tummy, you can barely even feel it.  I would think an overfull stomach would at least show a little.  

This last week I had some left over beef and tried giving her a bit of that for three days in a row.  This time there was no reaction.  I'm thinking her gut was just so irritated it's taking a long time to settle down and heal.  At 11 months she's done most of her growing so if I can get a little bit of something else into her she should be able to maintain at least enough not to see her ribs.  Otherwise she looks amazing and has an endless supply of energy so I'm going to try a little more beef and probiotics and see what happens.  

Thanks for all the help.  It's good to be able to sort through all the thoughts and opinions born of other people's experience.  

 

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In rereading your posts, I realized that the super smelly poop was specific to one instance of overeating chicken, so maybe my giardia hypothesis is a long shot.  But giardia is pretty ubiquitous.  It's not uncommon to get false negatives from stool samples because you have to catch the giardia at just the right stage to have it show up in stools, so I still think it might be worth while testing her a couple times before completely ruling out the possibility.                     

But, my new hypothesis is that you are just overstuffing her.  Kibbles vary in their usable calorie content but 4 cups of kibble a day for a 28 lb dog sounds like a lot to me.   I have an 18 month old male that is nearly twice the size of your girl, and I've recently cut his food back from 2 cups twice a day to 1 1/2 cups.  My Fitbit says I average about 6 miles of walking a day, and my guy is racing circles around me the whole time, so he's reasonably active, and 4 cups a day was starting to make him a bit more cushiony than I like.  If any of my dogs ever ate so much in a single meal that their abdomen was visibly distended, I'd be at least considering the possibility that my day might include a visit to the vet.  I certainly don't expect my dogs to routinely have a distended abdomen following a meal. 

It may seem counter-intuitive to cut back on feeding a dog that you think is underweight, but feeding her to the point of diarrhea is not going to enhance weight gain.  It's going to irritate and inflame her intestines to the point that she can't absorb the nutrients you are providing.  I'm not a gastero-enterologist, but my go-to method for treating diarrhea is to fast the dog for a day, and then give the dog reduced rations for a couple more days.  Trying to stuff more food into a dog with an upset GI tract never helps, no matter how many probiotics, prebiotics, antibiotics, and/or robotics get thrown into the mix. 

But if you are absolutely convinced that your dog is too skinny for the amount of food you are feeding, you might want to Google Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency

 

Edited by Hooper2

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5 hours ago, Hooper2 said:

But, my new hypothesis is that you are just overstuffing her.  Kibbles vary in their usable calorie content but 4 cups of kibble a day for a 28 lb dog sounds like a lot to me.   I have an 18 month old male that is nearly twice the size of your girl, and I've recently cut his food back from 2 cups twice a day to 1 1/2 cups.  My Fitbit says I average about 6 miles of walking a day, and my guy is racing circles around me the whole time, so he's reasonably active, and 4 cups a day was starting to make him a bit more cushiony than I like.  If any of my dogs ever ate so much in a single meal that their abdomen was visibly distended, I'd be at least considering the possibility that my day might include a visit to the vet.  I certainly don't expect my dogs to routinely have a distended abdomen following a meal. 

Let's start with this.  My pup NEVER has a distended abdomen after eating.  My point in talking about the dachshunds (who were greedy little sneak thieves and not fed large doses of food on a regular basis) was to point out that a dog who was over eating to the point of getting diarrhea would almost certainly show physical signs of it, such as a distended belly.  Again you can barely FEEL a difference between a full belly and an empty belly on my pup, let alone see one, ever! 

Skinny - this pup was, for a time through some major growth spurts, skeletal.  No disrespect meant but I'm talking almost Auschwitz thin (just so you can have a picture of what I'm talking about).  I got her to gain a little weight in spite of the on again off again diarrhea that she had, had since I brought her home at 10 weeks old but it wasn't easy.  I went to the vet who treated her. She got much better but I still needed her to gain a few pounds; skeletal doesn't go away overnight.  I don't believe it's normal for a dog who is supposedly getting too much food to be skeletal.  Like you said, your dog got some extra cushioning going on when you overfed him.  If I am supposedly feeding my dog so much that her belly can't contain it all then she should be a rolly polly sausage, not a bone rack.  

Next:  If you read my  last post, you would see that everything has basically settled down.  

Quote

This last week I had some left over beef and tried giving her a bit of that for three days in a row.  This time there was no reaction.  I'm thinking her gut was just so irritated it's taking a long time to settle down and heal.  

Let me make this more clear.  My dog appears to be getting better.  She had other food with no ill effect - no gas, no diarrhea, no problem.  Her irritated intestinal tract, it seems, was just needing an extra long time to calm itself.  She is still eating 2 cups of food twice a day (good high quality food that I researched before giving her) and isn't having the issues that she was prior to her treatment with panacur.  She is still thin but her ribs are a little less noticeable.  I trust in a short time she will be a perfect weight.

As for your older male dog eating less than my smaller, younger female allow me to explain how this works - not all dogs have the same metabolism.  I have, with only short time spans in between, always had a multi dog household.  I have raised and trained many dogs of several different breeds over the last 40 years and I can tell you that even litter mates will have different nutritional needs of the same food and require it to be measured accordingly to keep them at a healthy weight (that's healthy, not fat).  My concern was that she was eating and NOT maintaining a healthy weight.  Now, at 11 months, she has pretty much stopped her speedy upward growth which will make a difference.  This will be another factor in why your older dog eats less - he is not growing!

As for testing for giardia:  Should she return to having stinky, smelly, diarrhea, I will look into it; that is why I took her to the vet in the first place.  Until that time however, I will continue to provide her with probiotics and as much good healthy food as is needed to keep her the brilliant, gorgeous, trim speed demon she is.

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I don’t think Hooper2 meant disrespect. I was kind of surprised when I reread how much you fed for her size. I have own 3 border collies from puppyhood. Own 5 border collie altogether. Lived with, not including mine own dogs or other breeds, an additional 6 border collies from puppyhood.

My girl at her ideal sport weight was 28 pounds. She was fed 1 cup(8 Oz) of food at her prime.

Both of my boys were “bigger” border collies(50-57 pounds) and even as a pup never ate more then 2-3 cups(1-1.5 pound) per day.

I can’t currently afford expensive dog food... so they get fed the best I can afford. Regardless what I have fed my dogs they seem to still eat around the same amount (raw, pre mixed raw, homemade dog food, quality dog food, lower quality dog food)

The only time I have ever seen their bellies distend was if they really gorge on food or if the food wasn’t agreeing with them. My one boy given he is bigger then your girlie ate 3 pounds of meat once and his tummy wasn’t distended. I knew it was him since he was the only one who could reach it. :lol:

I know each dog is different and the growing border collies normally are thin until they mature. Plus you are working with a vet. Hope you figure out what is happening and she stops looking starved. Lol #NoReallyIDoFeedMyDog! 

 

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 Lol #NoReallyIDoFeedMyDog! 

I know right!  I hate getting stopped on the street and told how skinny my dog is.  Most of the people are well meaning and good when I just tell them, "yah, we're working on that".  Some I know would report me for abuse if they knew my name.  Lovely world we live in.  

I had her on less food just after I wormed her thinking that would solve the problem but she had a sudden growth spurt and started eating everything, paper, hair off the floor and mushrooms to name a few!  That was terrifying.  That's when I boosted her food until we settled on what she's eating now. 

That's another thing, obviously puppies grow fast but she had some pretty crazy growth spurts.  She would go to bed with a level topline and wake up with her butt an inch or two higher in the morning.  I used to say she looked like that werewolf in Harry Potter she was so out of proportion. Lol.  

Anyway, sorry for being surly - have a lot on my plate right now.  Happy news is Ceile and I will be starting herding training this month.  A little stress relief for both of us. :)

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My boy fortunately has fluff. Although I did warn him if he didn’t figure himself out although he came from working dog he was gonna be treated as a show dog . <_<:lol: I love the man mane on males. His daddy was gorgeous. His brother inherited the mane. Val just got his mama fluffiness. I can’t image how many more comments I would get if he was a smooth coat or less fluffy.

Ik pictures don’t do justice. Here are some pictures of him in adolescences. His fluff covered how thin he was. To showcase I had him get wet.  He has since matured nicely as shown in a picture. I’m not sure how the pictures are being order. 

 

good luck on herding.

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He's beautiful.  That's what all my other border collies looked like at that age.  I used to call Darcy "Bean" because she was so thin; all tall and no width, lol.  That's a nice weight.  I used to tell people in my obedience classes to keep their dogs on the thinner side then scare them with the stats on hip dysplasia just for good measure.  It worked for a lot of them, not all unfortunately.  My aunt used to think that if her dog showed any kind of a tuck up it was starving to death.  Instead her dogs always carried about an inch of fat over their tail head.  Mom and I tried many times to explain but she just liked her dogs fat.

This is Ceile at 8 months just before her weight plummeted.  She's almost back to this which will make me very happy.

IMG_1254_edited-1.JPG

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On 2/29/2020 at 8:44 AM, n0mad said:

I'm not convinced that a dog won't have an allergic reaction to things until after they are a year old. 

I know that some dogs will show allergic reactions when they are younger than a year. I have known at least 2 dogs who did. I doubt that any blanket statement like "dogs don't show allergic reactions until they are more than a year old" is going to be true for all dogs.

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