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Sweet potato?

(15 Posts)
blonderedhead Sun 11-Sep-11 23:57:06

Hi there, I wrote a while back about my dog Fred who became very sick with haemorragic gastroenteritis. He came home from the hospital but has been back and forth from the vet's with continual diarrhoea. His appetite went completely and he had a steroid injection which restored this and he has definitely improved in strength and put on some of the weight he lost so dramatically, but still no solid poos for so long now. It's a terrific strain and worry that he is in pain but he does seem happy most of the time, loves his walks, cuddles up, wags his tail.

Anyway the question I had was - has anyone tried sweet potato for diarrhoea? I read on t'internet that it was good for both constipation and diarrhoea but my vet wasn't so sure. I also read that yoghurt was good but as it is made from cows' milk can this be true?

He has just been eating chicken and rice for weeks, sometimes scrambled egg or boiled mince. He won't eat the hills i/d food after we hid medication in it and isn't much interested in his old kibble (JWb) so am just trying to find alternatives. Thanks for any help.

Scuttlebutter Mon 12-Sep-11 00:08:34

Ours regularly eat sweet potato and roasted squash/pumpkin - we eat lots of it too! One of ours has a VERY sensitive tum (has had colitis, and took ages to get him settled) and he likes it and eats it with no ill effects. We don't feed kibble any longer, so the occasional dollop of roasted veggies is always enjoyed by them.

Personally, we've had no success with yogurt, though I know other people who swear by it - don't forget of course that you can get both sheeps milk yogurt (like traditional Greek yogurts) or goats milk yogurt, both of which might be easier to digest.

How does Fred like tripe? It smells vile but dogs seem to love it, and it seems to be easily digested. PAH also do nice blocks of frozen minced rabbit which could be ideal to tempt him too.

blonderedhead Mon 12-Sep-11 00:25:51

Thank you Scuttle, I think I will get some tomorrow. Just want to do something to make him better! Fingers xed all this will be over soon and I can go back to boring people with tales of him chasing squirrels behaving beautifully and what a terror angel he is.

ceres Mon 12-Sep-11 07:31:29

our staffie has colitis which is mainly diet controlled. we use slippery elm bark made into a gloop and mixed with his food twice daily. we used to feed nature diet but had a few problems with quality and switched to nature's harvest which we find much better. he doesn't have anything else - his tummy is too sensitive to risk it as we have found from experience.

i have read about pumpkin being very good for diarrhoea however we tried the slippery elm first and that works well so never got round to trying anything else.

it's probably worth trying - i'm sure different dogs respond to different things. our boy also has multiple allergies and, as with colitis, i did a lot of research. however he didn't respond to lots of things that other owners had huge success with.

hope you find something that works for fred soon - tummy problems are horrible.

blonderedhead Mon 12-Sep-11 11:35:20

Thank you Ceres, I really appreciate it. Hadn't heard of the slippery elm but will get on it. Cheers x

ceres Wed 14-Sep-11 06:23:06

glad to be of help. how's fred?

blonderedhead Thu 15-Sep-11 23:38:58

He's not really improved, it's now a month since he had a solid poo. But still playful and friendly, if with less stamina and strength than he used to have. He used to get mistaken for a puppy while we were out walking, now people ask if he is an old dog. (He's 4ish)

I tried butternut squash which he loved but it didn't have any effect, also tried a little goats' milk yoghurt which made him sick... Spoke to vet for millionth time who said he was running out of ideas but didn't want to stress Fred out by getting me to bring him in again - he hates going there now (who can blame him). He suggested a small dose of Immodium so duly been feeding him a quarter of a capsule twice a day - again, no effect. Tried a little bit more this evening.

Haven't got the Slippery Elm yet as didn't want to throw too many things in the mix as it would be harder to pinpoint what was/wasn't working, but will try in a couple of days.

He is still eating but has to be persuaded and is very suspicious of all food, making sure we haven't hidden any pills in it. It's heartbreaking after two years of having a dog who would be bowled over with the excitement of having even a tiny piece of chicken.

The anxiety is killing me and dh, we are fractious and rowing. Totally unhelpful I know. Terrified that he is in pain and we are delaying the inevitable. If I felt that he was giving up then maybe it would be easier to know what to do - but his general demeanour is still contented, in most ways I'd say he is recovering. Just whenever he passes a diarrhoea he gets a bit down.

Sorry to go on but it's such a worry. Thanks for the support.

pennefab Fri 16-Sep-11 17:21:20

We've had a lot of experience with diarrhea, bloody diarrhea and the mix. Couple things that have worked for us over the years (6 yrs of dealing with irritable bowel disease) - canned, unsweetened, pumpkin (up 12 oz at a go); baked sweet potato with skin; greek yogurt (unsweetened, plain with active or live cultures); metamucil (fiber - start with lose dose and increase until see firming results); probiotics (both prescription and over-the-counter); small doses of prednisone/steriod (10 mg every 4th day for really bad flare-up). A lot of it is trial and error.

The prednisone ALWAYS works...but there are some side effects (increased hunger & thirst, diuretic), but we've really tapered off and use the probiotics more consistently.

Naughty dog recently stole whole loaf of bread, package of brownies, several chocolate energy type bars, 2 whole bananas (peels and all). A bit of the probiotics and he's been right as rain.

Our dog does eat minimal kibble (4-6 mini meals throughout the day) - we usually change type or brand every so often because he starts to react to the proteins...changing protein base every 18 months or so. We don't let him have wheat. Only treats are broccoli and banana (peeled!). Add the pumpkin or greek yogurt (with live, active cultures important) when notice things getting too soft again.

Keep giving fiber to help bulk things up. Adjust doses. Trial and error to find what works for your dog.

Good luck!

blonderedhead Fri 16-Sep-11 21:48:01

Thank you, that's all really helpful. We are trying one thing at a time to try and identify what helps/hinders. Today he has been much brighter, refused his chicken and rice this morning but wolfed down the Nature's Harvest I bought so we'll see what comes out the other end tomorrow! Mmm I do spend a lot of time looking at dog poo...

He's been on a low dose of Immodium for the last few days as suggested by vet but no improvement so this thing is pretty resistant. I am taking heart in his general demeanour and hoping we will get there one day.

ceres Sat 17-Sep-11 08:23:52

i know what you mean about spending a lot of time looking at dog poo!

hopefully the nature's harvest will suit him. our boy loves it.

it's a good idea to try one thing at a time to see what helps or hinders. if you do decide to try the slippery elm there is loads of info out there if you have a google. be sure to buy the powder, not the capsules. also make sure it is pure slippery elm as some products have other ingredients in there.

our dog used to have the elm gloop (you mix the powder with boiling water - looks vile!) with just one meal a day but as he has got older (he's 11 now) his tummy has become even more sensitive, so we have increased it and he now has it with both meals. it is very safe in both canines and humans so there isn't an issue with having too much.

our dog is also an expert at detecting, and spitting out, tablets hidden in food. as the elm gloop is mixed in with his ordinary food he doesn't notice and happily wolfs it down.

good luck, i hope things settle down soon. keep us updated.

blonderedhead Sun 18-Sep-11 22:49:33

*******Dog poo NEWSFLASH******

Freddie has managed to produce something which almost has a shape, first time in a MONTH it's been anything other than a big SPLAT (sorry).

He's so much brighter and seems much happier in himself so long may it continue. He's loving the Nature's Harvest and taking his meds. Been researching the Slippery Elm, H&B only had capsules which also contain Magnesium so looking at the options online, so many variations out there. Just trying to make sure I get one that doesn't have any hidden additives. Presumably I don't have to get a specific 'dog' brand? Dorwest etc all seem to contain other stuff like peppermint or White Poplar Bark. I think Napiers, Now Foods and Herbs, Garden & Health are the human versions on Amazon, don't seem to have any additives so I will pick one of those.

Really starting to feel like he might get better now. It's such a relief. Thanks again for all the suggestions, it has been really helpful.

ceres Mon 19-Sep-11 06:30:48

That's great news! it really is amazing how excited you can get about a good poo!

i'm glad he likes the nature's harvest and it seems to be suiting him. we just use the 'human' version of slippery elm, no particular brand just any that is 100% slippery elm. the capsules are fine to use but work out very expensive as you have to break them open and empty out the powder.

there are some slippery elm 'recipes' on the net which i found helpful to begin with, to ensure i was giving an effective amount. now i just use 1 teaspoon with each meal - i just whisk it up with a little boiling water until it resembles slime, then i mix it in with his food. i always give more if he has a flare up and reduce to normal dose once he is better. not sure what breed fred is but this regime suits our staffie.

so good to hear fred is brighter and happier, hope things continue to improve.

ceres Sat 24-Sep-11 06:57:26

blonde - just wondering how fred is now? hope there have been continued improvements in the poo department!

blonderedhead Tue 27-Sep-11 00:43:13

Thanks ceres. Fred has been up and down, not a consistent improvement but he is hungry and lively which seem like good signs. Tummy trouble still ongoing but not at its worst level. Last week the vet saw him and was concerned that he hadn't put on any more weight in the fortnight since he last weighed him, and hasn't grown his fur back since his initial hospital visit six weeks ago. So I'm still not sure what to think but trying to enjoy time with him and take each day as it comes.

Unfortunately we have had a little snappiness in the last few days so I am worried we have indulged him too much since his illness started, partly through necessity as he has had access to more of the house than normal because we have had to make sure he can get to the garden quickly when he needs to. When we got him from Battersea he had a few behavioural problems that we had to work hard on so I hope this has not been undone. It seems different to anything before though (previous issues were mostly around food) so equally I hope it is not a sign that he is in pain. Hopefully he is just going through a period of oversensitivity at being handled after his various treatments and we can control it through reinforcing some boundaries and being patient.

Anyway thanks for your ongoing support and I hope your staffie is doing well, best wishes x

ceres Thu 29-Sep-11 07:18:27

sorry to hear things are still up and down. at least he seems happy and lively in himself which must be a good sign.

my sraffie is fine, spoilt rotton! he rarely has a flare up of colitis now that we have found a diet regime that suits him. any variation of his routine and we know about it - liquid, bloody poo and alarming tummy noises swiftly followed by a trip to the vet. it is a case of management rather than cure.

hope poor fred is feeling better soon.

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