veterinary challenges 2 – maybe it’s a food allergy?

Oh boy! Hubbell is now 15 days without a normal bowel movement. That’s a heck of way to start a new post, don’tcha think? 15 days! He is through the medications and bland diets that my vet at Indian Walk Veterinary Center prescribed.  And, while there are no other signs of illness – he is active, eating, drinking – there is clearly something wrong.

Off to an internal medicine specialist at VSEC we go. Hubbell and I spent time on Wednesday morning with Dr. Jamie Etish discussing his history, his recent intestinal challenges, and how to approach it all. He’s not losing weight, he’s not dehydrated, he is otherwise healthy. There are very ugly thoughts going through my head and my husband’s head, especially coming off the sudden loss of Lucy less than a year ago. Does he have pancreas issues, inflammatory bowel disease or, dare I write it down or say it out loud, cancer? Have the antibiotics done their job of killing the Giardia? Why, why, why is this boy having these issues?

Dr. Etish runs down her list of questions and I do my best to answer. I don’t keep my dogs on a “same food everyday” diet. I vary their proteins – venison, rabbit, kangaroo, salmon, sardine, boar. I give them raw in the morning with their kibble. They eat fresh fruits and veggies. Even the treats that I give them are healthy. Hubbell has never, up until 15 days ago, had trouble with his diet. Other than heart worm medication, he is not on any meds, just a multi-vitamin. I don’t treat my dogs for fleas & ticks with any of the commercial treatments you see, favoring an all natural remedy instead. No blood work is ordered since he had an extensive panel done in May during the “Primor Episode.” Does he suddenly have a food allergy?

Food allergy seems like a good place to start while further analysis of his stool is completed. Ugh! Dr. Etish’s preference is Royal Canin HP, a hydrolyzed protein diet designed to help dog’s with digestive sensitivities.  I’ll be a good guardian for my canine patient and follow doctor’s orders for now. Her request is that he stay strictly on this diet, treats included, until she sees him again in mid-October unless, of course, something comes back in his stool analysis.

How’s it going so far? We are 2 days in to the new diet, which is 4 meals, and no change at all! I would expect to see some improvement but… NOTHING!

So here’s my plan. I’ll stick with this through tomorrow. If no improvement, back on the phone with VSEC. My worries and concerns have yet to be allayed.  Again, more to come…

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