My dog is driving me crazy – please help!

Question: 

My dog had an intestinal biopsy and was diagnosed with Inflammatory bowel disease, mild gastritis, lymphoplasmacytic & eosinophillic enteritis with lacteal ectasia with inflammatory cells (lymphocytes & eosinophils). She has been on Tylosin and a number of other treatments. I feed her cooked goat which seems to help. When we go for walks she grabs and swallows sticks, small rocks etc. and the next day is sick again. She won’t eat and has a lot of grumbling noises in her stomach and is in pain. I have ordered a cage muzzle to prevent her from eating stray stuff. She also eats feces, seems hungry all the time, nips at my clothes constantly. She also has terrible breath and she itches her butt a lot too. I am worried that she is not getting enough or the right kinds of nutrients. I am so frustrated – please help me.

 

 

Answer: 

There are many causes of intestinal inflammation, IBD being just one of them.  In fact, we often see mild inflammation on GI biopsies of dogs that have no symptoms.  In addition, the presence of eosinophils is suggestive of either a food allergy or GI parasitism, which is why it is so important to rule out GI parasites, infectious causes, and food allergies prior to making a diagnosis of IBD.  Interestingly, the main culprit in most food allergies is the protein source, which could be why your dog does better on goat.  That said, goat, alone, is not a balanced diet, should not be used long term, and might even be the cause of the pica (due to nutritional deficiencies). There are MANY balanced hypoallergenic prescription diets out there that would address this concern.

My suggestion would be to pursue consultation with a board certified specialist in internal medicine to sort through these issues, eliminate possible parasites and dietary allergies, and assess whether IBD truly is the problem, and determine the optimal diet and/or treatment.

In the short term, the best solution for pica is a balanced diet and regular use of her cage muzzle to prevent her from getting into anything other than her food. (This will also be an issue with any hypoallergenic dietary trial …)