Author Topic: Fraser with gut issue a year later  (Read 423 times)

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Offline tritonx

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Fraser with gut issue a year later
« on: April 19, 2020, 06:23:00 PM »
And hello all again. It's a year since I last reported on Fraser having an upset tummy that took a while to subside and he seems now to have a chronic bowel issue. Most of the time, though stool is normal shape, it can be black on the outside and/or showing a trace of bloody mucus at the end. I've become an expert on the travels of dog food through canine gut from peering at so much of it  :P He's been back to the vet a couple of times as the condition continues, on/off antibiotic, last suggestion-roughage, so daily pumpkin, but the blood is still there. And by the  way, a pandemic since I talked to you last! I hope you're all hanging in during isolation as we are doing over here in Canada.

Back to Fraser. He's fine in himself, doesn't seem in pain, enjoys his morning frisbee, eats enthusiastically, loves his walkies, but he poops three times per walk with the trace bloody mucus at the end. Since it's been going on for a year (my posts here turned out to be a valuable record of what was happening last March, yay, CO!), I sent an email to my vet to ask if this is a condition that is chronic, but low level and just has to be put up with or should he be under treatment of some kind.) He phoned back and said it appears he has an inflamed gut that's bleeding and he can be given (can't remember, but meds of some sort), but to find out what's going on an ultrasound and endoscopy would be needed eventually. I asked if they would probably be inevitable at some point and he said yes. So I asked him to send me an estimate of costs for the procedures. Deep breath: $5000. And that's just to find out what's going on in there and not even actual treatment for the condition.

I know there must be other cocker owners here whose pets have had something like this, so I'd be interested in hearing how it went, what treatments were given and whether ultrasound and endoscopy were part of it.


Offline Jaysmumagain

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Re: Fraser with gut issue a year later
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2020, 03:08:24 PM »
Sorry to hear you are struggling with Fraser, while Ollie has never had any tests or blood in stool, he tends to have period of inflammed stomach resulting in loose muscus stools and coughs up bile and our vet suggested bio(live)yoghurt (plain no sweetner).  So for last 18 months or so he has had a dessert spoonful in his meal....then managed to find a night time cookie that has bio yoghurt and calomine in it so two at night and his tummy is more settled.

If he has a real flare up it is slippery elm (tree bark powder) mixed in dessert spoon yoghurt with a small pinch sugar or drop honey....it is my go to remedy...it is worth looking up and reading about. I use for about 3 to 4 days then just keep going with the live yoghurt on his food.

Do hope all is well in Canada with this blasted Covid and I am sure we all send our sympathy at the great sadness and shock you are feeling with the incident in Nova Scotia.

Do take care and hope Fraser picks up soon
Cocker kisses and cuddles just make my day!


You are always with me darling Jaypup

Offline bizzylizzy

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Re: Fraser with gut issue a year later
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2020, 04:00:44 PM »


Do hope all is well in Canada with this blasted Covid and I am sure we all send our sympathy at the great sadness and shock you are feeling with the incident in Nova Scotia.

Do take care and hope Fraser picks up soon

Just wanted to second that! What a crazy world weĎre living in right now! 
IĎm sorry, I have no advice to offer regarding poor FraserĎs tummy but I hope you can get some help for him soon! Maybe a second opinion might be an option?

Offline tritonx

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Re: Fraser with gut issue a year later
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2020, 07:00:29 PM »
Iím listening to the RCMP briefing just now. The sense of sadness and shock is awful, that on top of the loss of so many people dying alone in care homes, hospitals and in their own homes from Covid, the loss of a sense of security in life as well as freedom to be with other people and live our lives normally, that some madman should add to the suffering is unspeakable. I must say, while Iím not a big fan of Justin Trudeau, heís risen to the occasion through all of this by reassuring the country that the government will do the right things to help fill the needs of those unemployed, businesses that are faltering, hospitals that need equipment and that Canadians will get through this together by helping each other. Heís struck the right notes and it does help.

As for Fraser, heís not showing any symptoms other than the persistent evidence of trace blood in the stool. $5000, as you can imagine, is a huge amount of money to contemplate, especially as thatís only the opening amount for ongoing treatment arising out of whatever they find. Thereís a calculation I have to make with his pet insurance. Iíve already paid the deductible for this year which is high because heís getting old. If I hold off on the investigative procedures, I risk going into the next year and Iíd have $500 deducted from whatever payout the insurance will cover. So, itís a balance between trying more conservative approaches such as the ones youíve suggested and whatever treatments the vet thinks will help his condition, or biting the bullet and investigating now before the next deductible kicks in. What matters most is that I keep my boy healthy, but itís a careful path to pick through.

Offline phoenix

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Re: Fraser with gut issue a year later
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2020, 07:12:05 PM »
Have you ever tried  slippery elm powder?   Itís a mucilage. Soothing for inflammation, and coats the gut with mucous  to protect ulceration. .  I used it with Bobby cocker for a week when antibiotics didnít work. He had haemorrhaging enteritis, and it healed up .
RIP Marti  the EPI springer age 12,  and beloved black cocker Bobby, 8 yrs old, too soon, from PLN.
Now owned by TInker, tiny hairy grey poodle/terrier rescue from Greece and Jack, local rescue,   scruffy ginger terrier mutt.

Offline tritonx

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Re: Fraser with gut issue a year later
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2020, 12:18:51 AM »
I did ask the vet about slippery elm, but he said there was no clinical backup for its use. I never know exactly what to use in the way of natural products. There are no proper scientific studies that show echinacea being effective, but I use it and it sure feels like it stops colds etc. from getting started. So I go with placebo effect; if it works, good enough. However, vet has prescribed metronidazole, so I guess I'll see how it goes with Fraser. When he had quite a persistent tummy upset last year and he was put on antibiotics, I asked about using yoghurt to restore Fraser's gut flora, but he said there wasn't a high enough concentration in yoghurt to do the job. So once again, I don't know. I just hope the blood leakage stops and I can stop worrying that it's something more dangerous happening inside which, of course, I won't be able to determine unless he goes for the ultrasound and scope.

Offline Mari

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Re: Fraser with gut issue a year later
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2020, 08:48:48 AM »
When he had quite a persistent tummy upset last year and he was put on antibiotics, I asked about using yoghurt to restore Fraser's gut flora, but he said there wasn't a high enough concentration in yoghurt to do the job.

There are probiotic products specifically for dogs, these are more effective than yoghurt. Vet should sell them, or pet pharmacy. Pro-Kolin or Diarsanyl or ZooLac for example  :blink:

Edit: Maybe best to ask vet about this first since Fraser has a chronic issue. But these products are sold over the counter at my vets. Hope you can find something that helps him!

Offline Jaysmumagain

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Re: Fraser with gut issue a year later
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2020, 10:31:36 AM »
Firstly I am not sure about Canadian vets and how they work regarding supplermentary medicine and views.  My vets is very much if it does no harm etc, and slippery elm helps my little guy, but he has never had to go done the antibotic road so Fraser is on Metronidazole which is an antibotic which is used for certain conditions such as bacterial infections.  I personally always get a ladies ;) reaction when taking antibotics and yep I go to yoghurt and an Actimel/Yakult drink daily so as to avert taking another prescribed medication .  The worst reaction by far was after taking Flagyl for tooth abcess, it worked wonders on the abcess though.

I would go down the yoghurt route - maybe it is not as strong but it cant hurt.  As for the vet I would ask about probiotic as Mari suggests.

Flagyl ( Metronidazole) is a frontline and well established drug - but can upset the flora.

Hope that Fraser is feeling better soon.

Flagyl(Metronidazole)
Cocker kisses and cuddles just make my day!


You are always with me darling Jaypup

Offline Mari

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Re: Fraser with gut issue a year later
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2020, 12:03:56 PM »
Just something to keep in mind about yoghurt. I agree it's mostly harmless and potentially helpful, but most adult animals, including dogs, are lactose intolerant to some degree. I don't know that I would use regular yoghurt for a dog that already struggles with tummy issues. I am lactose intolerant myself and it took me a while to understand that yoghurts were doing me no favours despite the probiotics in them :005:

Offline ejp

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Re: Fraser with gut issue a year later
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2020, 05:49:14 PM »
I have used slippery elm for myself and Daisy when needed.  Certainly agree with the placebo effect for myself, but not for Daisy!  It did help her.  I used to give my previous cockers goat's milk, as Bertie in particular, loved a drink of milk and I was aware of the lactose problem, so tried to minimise it.  Certainly didn't have any issues with it, so maybe a goats milk yoghurt if you can get it.

Offline tritonx

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Re: Fraser with gut issue a year later
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2020, 12:50:25 AM »
I've used the probiotic powder they sell at the vets over the counter in the past after antibiotic, so I'll use it again when he's done this current course of antibiotic. He's 3 days in and still a little blood showing in the stool. He's on half a pill every 12 hours for 5 days and then 1/2 pill every day until they're finished.  There goes weaning him off his hold over cheese habit in the evening due to last antibiotic treatment. Over time I'd traded it out for his regular healthier treat. He noticeably brightened when I pulled out the Brie at pill time as if his little mind said, Hello, my old friend. I've missed you.  :005:

Offline phoenix

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Re: Fraser with gut issue a year later
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2020, 09:30:07 AM »
Vets canít be responsible for recommended herbal remedies like slippery elm. However, it is heartily endorsed by the support groups for people with IBD , Crohns and ulcerative colitis.  Bleeding, which is the dark coating, means inflammation,  so the mucilage from SE , which is like wallpaper paste, is soothing and healing. No side effects, apart from some slime accompanying the poo. If the antibiotics donít work, so itís not an infection, the next step with my dog was a short course of steroids, to reduce inflammation. An endoscopy is a huge step financially, and if your pet isnít acting in discomfort,  is premature.  It would only show the location of the ulceration. Then they would give steroids!
Iím not a medical person, but I have family with Crohns, and a previous dog with gut and pancreatic issues.  Your pet isnít losing weight, vomiting or diarrhoea,  so donít despair. You could always try a different vet for a second opinion.
RIP Marti  the EPI springer age 12,  and beloved black cocker Bobby, 8 yrs old, too soon, from PLN.
Now owned by TInker, tiny hairy grey poodle/terrier rescue from Greece and Jack, local rescue,   scruffy ginger terrier mutt.

Offline tritonx

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Re: Fraser with gut issue a year later
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2020, 09:59:42 PM »
A little update. Fraser's almost finished the antibiotic and it didn't really make much difference. Still some bloody slime traces visible. He seems fine otherwise. So, another conversation with the vet before going the ultrasound etc. route. There is no-one where I live (north of Vancouver and a ferry ride away) that can do the scope, or at least the person who does them is on medical leave with no certainty of when he'd be back. The vet would have to refer me to a clinic in Vancouver. However, we're in the midst of Covid, only essential travel on the ferries and people told to stay home, avoid contact with others etc. especially people like me who are old and have health vulnerabilities. I was mulling it over one night and trying to picture the trip--staying in my car on the ferry, leaving him at the clinic and finding a place to park and wait for it to be finished and for him to be judged fit to go home after anaesthetic, trying to get back to the ferry terminal before the last sailing etc.  And all the while trying to avoid contact with other people. Then it occurred to me, one of the lovely features of old age (and being female) is lots of visits to the toilet. And since businesses, parks and other places you might find a toilet mid journey are closed, major problem.  It all comes down to such a mundane issue though rather fundamental.  :-\

So, I've asked the vet what he can do short of referring to Vancouver clinic for the procedures. Can we buy some time until perhaps the vet on medical leave who does scopes up here has come back to work. Came to the decision that he's going to do blood tests including one that determines gut function and then, depending on results make a presumptive diagnosis of chronic IBS and treat with steroids. That happens tomorrow and we'll see if anything comes of the blood tests. His reservation was that the steroids can obscure the results of further tests if it turns out they are needed, but with the complication of Covid in the midst of all this, it is a provisional alternative.

To cap it off, on Monday night Fraser developed a heavy limp. I can only guess maybe he hurt himself jumping off the sofa. No yelps from him after I went up and down his legs and shoulders and pressed between his paw pads, so no idea why he's favouring his paw. I've given him reduced activity for the week to see if it subsides and by today it had subsided quite a bit though not entirely gone. I hesitate to ask, what next.  >:D

Offline Archie bean

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Re: Fraser with gut issue a year later
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2020, 10:58:10 PM »
Archie suffered very similarly with gut issues. His symptoms are exactly as you describe.  He was diagnosed with colitis quite a few years ago. Working with my vet,  I had him allergy tested (simple blood test) and found that he was intolerant to a lot of things - including most animal proteins. I put him on a strict fish and potato only diet -no grain. One of his biggest allergens was soya and also peas so I also cut both of those out (pea protein is in a LOT of foods and treats). He very rarely has any problems now but when he does, slippery Elm definitely helps a LOT whenever he has a flare up.
Hope you manage to get to the bottom of things.

Offline tritonx

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Re: Fraser with gut issue a year later
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2020, 11:33:24 PM »
I'll ask the vet about allergies tomorrow. Thanks for the suggestion. It would be nice if it was something simple.