This being my first blog I decided to write about something that is close to my heart and it is IBD (Irritable Bowel Disease) occurs when a dog’s stomach and/or intestine become home to an unusually high number of inflammatory cells. These cells cause changes in the lining of the digestive tract, which inhibit the normal absorption of food.
Like the human Crohn’s disease, IBD in my mind is a puzzle of sorts. It is difficult to pinpoint the cause of the inflammation or how to handle the inflammation and flair ups.
So what is a pet owner to do. Work with your vet and/or your nutritionist. Ideally working together, you can come up with a solution that works for your dog.
In my personal case or Zig Zag’s case we started with some medications and a long trip in the vet’s office where he was given a series of medications to decrease the inflammation and give his system a bit of a break. Once things were feeling much better, we brought him home and he started on a hydrolyzed vegetarian food that took away all meat protein (quite often a trigger for the IBD).
All changes to food and medication were on an 8-week schedule. In other words, he ate exactly the same thin and had exactly the same meds for 8 weeks (this includes treats). The hardest part especially in a multi dog household is to limit the treats to the one or two that you have approved to be a part of the diet. All of our dogs get the same treats in our house even those without IBD get the same treats, it is just easier. Once we made it through the 8 weeks and an episode was not triggered, we were ok to change something else.
We started with his meds and reduced them to a manageable amount and once we felt that we had these under control we were able to change or add some other items to his food. We start with novel proteins such as kangaroo, venison and white fish. Again, all new things were added on an 8-week schedule.
This adventure of IBD and our Zig Zag started over 2 years ago and we have had only one flair up since then which we were able to catch quickly and involved special meds from the vet and after he was back to his normal cycle of meds.
He is presently on a Kangaroo based kibble and does not have to be a vegetarian anymore. He is given pumpkin, and coconut oil on both breakfast and dinner. He is given a probiotic with his dinner.
We continue to try new and promising foods, supplements and medication combinations that work for him. Constantly trying to solve the puzzle.