Canine Intestinal Lymphangiectasia: Care and Feeding

Today I’d like to talk about diets for dogs with Canine Intestinal Lymphangiectasia (CIL). Simply put, there are two common forms of this disease which have somewhat different, but overlapping, dietary requirements. These are:

  • Primary lymphangiectasia (lymphangiectasia by itself), and
  • Lymphangiectasia secondary to Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

“Secondary” here means that your dog has a disease (IBD) which is causing another disease (lymphangiectasia).  When a disease is “secondary,” it means that treating the first (primary) disease will often fix the secondary disease.  What this means is that, with lymphangiectasia that is secondary to IBD, treating the IBD is more important.

So, what you need to feed your dog will differ somewhat, depending upon which form your dog has.  And here’s the catch:  Even with all the testing you’ve done, and even with your vet’s best guess, YOU may not know which form your dog has.  In this case, how your dog reacts to food will provide important information about his dietary needs.

There are generally two items in the diet that may need to be strictly controlled (FAT and PROTEIN), and what you need to do will depend upon which form of the disease is present.  We’ll look at this separately, and then we’ll look at what typically happens in a case where the situation is unclear.

PRIMARY LYMPHANGIECTASIA (FAT is the enemy)

In primary lymphangiectasia, the big enemy is fat.  If you can control the amount of fat in the diet, you can (in some cases) control the disease.  Treatment is simple and straightforward and typically consists of anti-inflammatory drugs and an ultra low-fat diet.  The diet may also be high in protein.  With luck, treatment will resolve the disease as long as strict dietary adherence is maintained.

LYMPHANGIECTASIA SECONDARY TO IBD (PROTEIN is the enemy*)

If lymphangiectasia is secondary to IBD, your path is not so clear.  IBD is usually caused by protein intolerance (a negative reaction to certain kinds of proteins), so it becomes important at this point to determine whether or not your dog is reacting negatively to proteins in the diet.  The protein source in most diets is some kind of meat, so this is where you will need to look.  It is still critically important to reduce dietary fat, especially early in treatment.

Steps to take:

  1. Eliminate commonly fed proteins (especially chicken)
  2. Feed a hypoallergenic prescription diet, OR
  3. Slowly, and one at a time, introduce LEAN proteins that your dog has never eaten (examples of lean meats are bison, venison, kangaroo, whitefish such as tilapia or cod, or turkey).
  4. Observe over 24 hours what changes, if any, are seen in your dog after exposure to these proteins.

There are commercial, prescription diets available which can be tried initially.

Low fat diets include:

  • Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Low Fat
  • Hills w/d® Canine Low Fat

Hypoallergenic diets include:

  • Purina HA hypoallergenic dog food
  • Royal Canin Hypoallergenic dog food
  • Hills z/d® Canine ULTRA Allergen-Free

Your vet may recommend one of these diets.  These diets can provide a good starting point, but may not provide you with the full answer.

IF PRIMARY LYMPHANGIECTASIA IS SUSPECTED BUT YOUR DOG FAILS TO RESPOND TO THE LOW FAT DIETS

This happens quite a lot.  What it usually means is that your dog has an additional protein sensitivity that hasn’t been diagnosed.  You will need to begin to conduct low-fat protein trials to try to find a protein source that agrees with your dog (see “steps to take,” above).

ADDITIONAL TREATMENTS THAT MAY BE RECOMMENDED

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs are frequently prescribed.  These are often steroids, like prednisone.
  • Metronidazole (flagyl) is an antibiotic with anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Tylan (tylosin) is also sometimes recommended, especially in cases where the intestinal disease is suspected to be complicated by Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO).

So far we’ve talked about dietary needs and prescription products.  Many owners of lymphie dogs have found these products to be inadequate, and have turned to homemade or “hybrid” diets (diets containing but not limited to commercial products).  We’ll talk about these in another post.

– Louie’s mom

*SPECIFIC proteins, and you may have to figure out which ones.

 

356 comments to Canine Intestinal Lymphangiectasia: Care and Feeding

  • Linda (Squeekers Mom)

    I wanted to let you know that I asked the Nutritionist about the RC Veg. Food. I’m not sure if it is the same as the RC Hypoallergenic. I was considering it for Squeekers. The Nutritionist told me that the dry food is simular to the HA for fat% but is lower in Protien. The can has almost twice the amount of fat as the RC LF. I stuck to her homemade diet. Hope this helps.

  • Louie

    Thanks for the info. I was all over the internet today looking for information about the Royal Canin diets, but it’s very hard to find. They are being very secretive about their prescription foods these days. It’s too bad.

    How’s she doing on the homemade diet, overall? Still well, I hope!

  • Angela

    Hi, we’ve found that using a handfull of Lathams Light dry food, mixed with heavier portion of potato and 1 piece of white fish daily has worked really well for our dog. The potato appears to work as a binding agent in her stomach and we’ve managed to return to hard stools after a very long and worrying process of weight loss and all the other associations with this disorder.

    • When you say it was a very long process, how long is long? My four year old multipoo Jake, has been undergoing treatment for about 2 months with very little improvement. He has had several rounds of hetastarch IV treatments, is on prednisone, metronidazole, azothioprine, and clavamox for elevated liver count. I feed him whitefish and potato/ and or white rice. His stools still continue to be pretty soft. He is quite weak and cannot jump up on anything any more. Doctor said she usually sees some improvement by now but is still hopeful he will improve.

      • Louies Mom

        It can take a long time to find what works. After two months, if you’re on the right track, I would think that you should be seeing some improvement. What I would be doing would be systematically limiting ingredients to see if there is something I could isolate that is causing the problems.

        Is it too much fat? Add twice as much potato and see if cutting back the overall fat content of the total meal helps. Observe for three days to a week, but no more. You should see changes fairly quickly. If that works, then you now know it’s the amount of fat in the fish, not the fish itself, and you can work with that information. If that doesn’t help, change to a different lowfat protein source. Egg white or 99% fat free turkey are good substitutes. I hope she starts to do better soon.

        • Amy

          I agree with everything Louie’s Mom said, but would also suggest that you try eliminating rice all together. I’ve experimented with several different carb sources with my dog: white rice, potatoes, couscous, quinoa and barley. And she does great on all of them, except white rice. It’s the only carb source that immediately makes her stool soft again. Even if I mix it with potato, she still doesn’t tolerate rice well.

        • I am happy to report that my four year old multipoo Jake is doing much better. He was first diagnosed sometime in January and it was very touch and go for awhile. This website gave me a lot of hope and encouragement. He is back to being a happy, active dog, and wrestling with his Yorkie brother more than ever! I first tried Budesenide, but he was not responding, and had to have several hetatastarch IV treatments. Then we put him on prednisone. His albumin level finally starting going up in July. The prednisone did cause muscle loss, hair loss, and flaky skin, as a lot of other people have described. He is now back on budesenide (along with metronidisol, azathioprine, and ursodiol for liver support) and still doing well. His hair is starting to grow back as well! He is now on the BalanceIt diet with potato and tilapia. So for those of you still struggling with this disease, hang in there. And if your vet tells you to put your dog to sleep, get a second opinion!

          • Amy

            I’m so glad Jake is doing so much better! It’s really strange that it took four months for his albumin levels to start rising, that’s great that you hung in there and didn’t give up. Kudos!

      • Donald King

        Just a suggestion from the owner of a 6 yr. old min pin with CIL that was a lifesaver. Sweet potato (I found it addressed the loose stool) and Quinoa (pronounced “keen-wa”) available in bulk at natural food stores. I have been supplementing her diet of vet prescribed Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Low Fat dog food. Her stood improved in a few days and as remained firm enough to retrieve in a poop bag. She weight about 14 lb. so poops at least 2-3 times a day. Her albumen level was quite low (protein) so I added small amounts of tilapia (conveniently available in individual frozen 5 oz. packages of 5 or 10 lbs). Cod also works. These are what I add in small amounts with each of 3 feedings per day.

        I have also used carrots and broccoli florets (as a swap out for sweet potato. I should add that I mash the vegies and cut up the cooked tilapia in very small pieces so they will digest more easily.

        We were moved to these dietary changes when she was at a very low point and our vet was at a loss as to what to do. She had our dog on 3 drugs (still on them): budensonide (steroid), azathioprine, and metronizadole. Over months she has reduced the dosage with no negative effects.

        She does get thirsty, so water available is important, but it also means she pees frequently (maybe this is just because she is small).

        I hope this is helpful, I think trying substituting rice with sweet potato (which I found to be an important change I read about on a forum like this one.). Donald

      • I saw your blog even though it’s from last year, how is your dog? I noticed my dog cannot tolerate white or brown rice of any kind with this disease and

        • SusanR

          Abby’s mom – I wasn’t able to read your entire blog for some reason, but I am happy to tell you that Jake is still doing great. His coat has grown in better than ever and he has gained back all the weight he lost. My vet recommends keeping him on Budesenide as a preventive measure, so I give him one pill three times a week. Sometimes he has softish light colored stools, but most days its fine. I still alternate his feeding most days between tilapia/potato/balanceit canine formula, and Iams Skin and Coat plus (which is also low fat) which I get from the vets office. I think the Iams food has contributed to his beautiful, fluffy coat. Hope all is going well with your dog.

          • GREAT! So glad you are doing well with this. I think the diet is as important as the meds, go hand in hand.
            Heart.

          • Abby is declining again. Her albumin is 1.6 now,she seems fairly well though otherwise. She has been on tilapia loins along with sweet potato and potato flakes. bone meal and spirulina and has an allergic rxn with welts for 5 days. I’m trying to determine what is doing it so an increasing her pred to 5mg per day and going to try to go up to 7, stopping the spirulina and bone meal. I am also going to spend the money $200 to get the nutrutionist at UT to help me with a homemade diet as my vet said they have been very successful so far with this. I’ll keep you posted. I’m also going to reluctantly start the Chlorambicil. To date, she doesn’t tolerate coconut oil, chicken, turkey, white or brown rice, veggies upset her stomach otherwise. She’s a tough little girl and still fighting. I’m fighting with her. lol

  • Louie

    Thanks, Angela. We’ve done well with potato, too. I just posted a new entry about homecooked and “hybrid” diets (diets containing mixtures of commercial and other foods) for CIL. You might want to describe your diet there, as well. I’m very happy to hear what works for others.

  • Linda (Squeeker Mom)

    Squeekers is doing great with her new diet. I also give her Gentle Snackers. Her Nutritionist thinks outside of the box and called Purina and found out that the Gentle Snackers are actually a balanced food. I tried to use them for her food but the more she had the less she wanted them. Would you like me to post the cat food options the Nutritionist had us try? I always thought cat food was too high in fat but found out from the Nutritionist thats not always the case. In fact it is higher in Protien.

  • Louie

    Sure, you can post anything you want. I’d explain why it was tried and what happened after you tried it, so people looking for answers can figure out if it’s something they might want to try, as well.

  • Joanne

    My little girl Molly will be coming home from the hospital tomorrow and I am having such anxiety. I am afraid I won’t care for her properly and possibly hurt her. I want to thank you for this site – I had never heard of this disease before my little one got a stomach full of fluid. I don’t know what is down the road for Molly and me, but I am thankful for the support you provide – I’m a little less scared because of you folks.

    • Melissa (Rocky's mom)

      Joanne(molly’s mommy), I hope she is doing okay since she is been home. I know that you are having a mix of emotions on what she is going through. Stay positive and keep reading the articles on this site. The support has really helped me and my little guy.

    • Cindy

      Joanne, my 10 yer old was diagnosed with this disease a couple months ago. She was so incredibly skinny and became lethargic along with the diarrhea. Anyway, after a few tests and then surgery to biopsy her intestine they determined this was what she has. My doctors have been wonderful and she is now doing great! I am very optimistic that she will continue to live a long life.

  • Tomi

    Hi Everyone,
    I am glad I found this site. My dog Allie who is a 6 ½ year old mixed breed was retaining fluid and having trouble breathing. We took her to our Vet and about 3 weeks later and an unnecessary liver biopsy our Vet said she had no idea what was going on. She suggested the University of Penn. I was able to get an appointment right away. We took her right down and the Vet there just by examining Allie was able to give us an idea what was wrong with her. She spent the night at the University and they ran tests on her. The diagnosis was IBS and Intestinal Lymphangiectasia. We are very grateful to the Vet and staff at the U Penn as we thought she wouldn’t be coming home with us. We have started her on a new diet but it’s too early to tell if it is helping.

  • Anya

    hello there I have a 5 year old Bichon frise, from Liverpool UK and is suffering badly with this condition. initially he had done really well for 3 months but in a click of a finger he has become really ill. he is on royal canin LF he is on dry also nothing of which he has been interested in. he vomited and is lethargic just wondered what would be the next step to take

    would love to hear from you xx

    • Hi Anya, we’ve had excellent results having moved away from any manufactured dog food. We have a staffie mix and she’s been stable on a daily meal of white fish, vegetables (peas/carrots/broccoli/spinach), and brown rice or wholemeal pasta. We also give her 1 slippery elm capsule in her dinner. She receives only carrots as treats. She’s stopped vomiting and has solid motions, plus a small weight gain. Best of luck with your little guy xx

  • anya

    Thank you for the Reply Angela. i think I would be lost out there if it wasn’t for a website like this. there should be more people made aware of this horrible disease like in a leaflet that we could leave at the local vets

    I will try this but last night he vomited up all the white fish and potatoes i gave him last night. he has an appointment tomorrow so will keep everyone updated

    • Angela

      It’s really tough on them and very hard to watch them go through something like this. There’s a vast array of different options dietary wise that people are trying and alot are having success with these but it’ll take a while to stabilise them, we’ve found the key is also sticking to a super low fat diet. We have another dog who doesnt suffer but we put him on the same diet with a small handful of dry dog food mixed through and he’s thriving, however if our lymphangiectasia sufferer gets into his food she’ll go downhill immediately. Best of luck!

  • Cheri

    Hello! We’re new to this disease as of 3 days ago. I have a 7 yr old MinPin (Roody) who is tentatively diagnosed with Lymphangiectasia (by a VERY specialized IM Vet from Michigan State). He’s Pan-hypoproteinemia/hypocalcemia/hypomagnesia. I say tentatively, because we’ve had all tests except intestinal biopsy. Ultrasound did show striations. We’re still waiting for the B12 lab results. So here is my question: The poor guy has abdominal ascites to the point that he looks like a balloon. The specialist has said that he does not want to put him on corticosteroids because it could cause other problems. He’s been put on Iams Intestinal health which was recommended (by the specialist), but it doesn’t seem to be reducing his ascites. Since we have a week to wait for the B12 info, I’m worried what to do in the mean time. He’s not having difficulty breathing, yet, but I’m worried about it. Any thoughts about when to return to vet/drain ascites? Thanks in advance!!

    • Tracey

      My 11 year old yorkie has this disease, it’s been a very long road and very expensive but he’s now going on 7 years with the disease and is doing well. He’s on vet. Food Om for over weight dogs. He’s on a vitamin called Rutin ,he’s on Budesinide sr 1mg cp, and cyclosporine .2ml. These are both medicines that have to be compounded at the pharmacy and run about 230.00 a month but we really have no choice and they work! Prior we had him on prednisone for a long time but he started to loose his muscles and was peeing while sleeping. He’s doing well now, last 2 blood test his protein levels have stayed the same. Hope this helps,
      Tracey

      • Debbie

        Thanks for the encouragement, we have a 5 year old yorie diagnosed a year -1/2 ago. Since her diagnosis she has been monitored closely with regular blood tests and takes compounded aziothoprine every other day and adheres to a strict diet. She has been in excellent health, loves to take long walks but at our last vet visit we were informed that her albumum levels have dropped the disease is progressing and is now back on steroids. I am horrified at even the mention of loosing our precious girl. But feel much better knowing your little one is 11 and still thriving
        Hoping our fate is a long long life for our little girl.
        Just wondering what you feed your pet, if you don’t mind sharing
        Many many thanks

      • Melissa Grundman

        Why did your vet decide to put your dog on Budesinide, rather than prednisone? I’ve been reading about Budesinide as an alternative to prednisone, and know that it is a compound drug, but I had no idea it was soo expensive. (I live in NYC, where it will probably be twice that!)

        I have a 7 year, 10 month old soft coated wheaten terrier – Hadley. She has been diagnosed with severe IBD and secondary lymphangestasia. Her albumin level was down to 2.1 when she was finally diagnosed. My vet had me consult with a veterinary nutritionist who formulated a diet of turkey (the novel protein), rice and squash. (The diet is based on her low weight and the diseases.) Hadley has her good days and her bad days. My problem is that she tries, and often suceeds, in eating food she finds on the sidewalk. Last month her blood test showed that her albumin had increased to 2.8, but her B12 is low, so she is now getting shots, in addition to prednisone and azathoroprine.

        I am now having her food made by a place called Rayne Clinical Nutrition. They make the food based on the vet’s instructions and ship it to me in airtight sealed trays. I’m going to start Hadley on it tomorrow. We’ll see how it works.

        • Amy

          Wow, Melissa, that sounds expensive. Have you tried excluding rice from her diet all together – maybe mixing the squash with potatoes or yams instead? I found my dog does fine on potatoes or yams, but as soon as I tried going back to rice, her stool became soft again.

        • Tracey

          Oliver was on prednisone for so long that he started to loose muscle mass. According to the vet the Budesinide, goes directly to the intenistinal tract and doesn’t effect the other parts of his body , including his muscles! It’s compounded just for their size so you have to find a pharmacy that compounds. Last month they doubled the script and charged us a little less than normal, his albumin levels have been perfect since we changed to Budesinide about a year ago!
          Good luck, I know what your going through! If you ever want my vets name let me know, he’s been treating him for prob 5-6 years, vets like to brain storm,
          Oliver eats every off the ground too, so now he,s a house dog , we don’t let him out at all!

        • Abby's mom

          I would suggest to EVERYONE who needs meds or compounded meds to call Diamondback Drugs and get a price, they have been literally 1/4 the price of everywhere else I have called and are recommended by the vets at UT where I treat with internal med. IT DOES NOT MATTER IF YOU ARE OUT OF STATE, THEY SHIP WITH VET SCRIPT.
          7631 E. Indian School Rd.
          Scottsdale, Arizona 85251
          Telephone: 480 946-2223
          Toll Free: 1-866-646-2223
          Fax: 480 946-2235
          Toll Free Fax: 1-866-646-2235
          Email: pharmacist@diamondbackdrugs.com

        • Hazel's mom

          We buy Rayne Clinical Nutrition as well. It is manufactured 30 min from our house. It is working so far for my Papillon. The kibble are a bit of a challenge to break to use as treats though. So I am considering their comparable wet food as treats for now.

      • RABLUEYES

        Dear Tracy,please let me know what are the exact concentration of those two medicine,and how you passed from prednison to the others. My Yorkshire it has CIL since 2009, and now it has cataracts and loose muscle mass,secondary prednisone.

        • Tracey

          Hi, both meds are compounded so you have to get them at a regular pharmacy. Oliver is around 71/2 lbs and the exact reading on the bottle is budesonide SR 1mg CP this is a capsule and he gets 1 a day. The other is a liquid CYCLOSPORIN 50 mg/ml. He gets 0.2ML TWICE A DAY. I hope this helps. Ever since he’s been on these, he’s ‘ been perfect! He numbers haven’t changed in 2 years” his health has been good! Only down side is the med runs about $230.00 a month.
          Good luck!
          Tracey

        • Tracey

          The switch from prednisone to the other went well, we tried to wean off the budesonide but that didn’t work so he’s stayed on the same dose for two years now. ! I found these little socks online that have grippers on the bottom, works great for them since they lost the muscle, he loves them! Doesn’t slip anymore

      • Abby's mom

        How is your dog now?

  • Diane (Macximillian's mom )

    Macximillian now rests no pain, he is in heaven and in our hearts. For a young pup he fought a hard battle. We truly miss him how I wish he was still here. Throwing his ball to you , running in circles and loving everyone he came in contact with. He was truly one of a kind. He was our little man

  • Debra

    hello. my sweet yorkie has been diagnosed with lymphangiectasia and inflammatory bowel disease. we have been trying all and everything suggested to us by the vets and internal med vets that we have seen for our Wee Willy. he was diagnosed in september and we are at our wits end as he has not improved a whole lot. please, does anyone know of a food or have any recipes that would be helpful or the answer for our sweetheart. we have tried the vets suggestions and these foods are not helping. please help!!! thank you so much.
    debbie

    • Tracey

      Oliver is on purina veterinary food OM overweight management he uses the soft canned food and the hard food also. His treats are the same brand. Works well but he can only have 1 treat a day or he has loose bowels.
      I know what your going through it took along time to get him where he is today but thank god he is doing so well! Feel free to contact me if you wish. Oliver is the love of our lives and we are so fortunate to have the vet we have that worked so hard for him.
      Tracey
      845-331-0078. Eastern time

      • Kara- Baileys mommy

        Tracey,
        My name is Kara.My yorkie is 3 years old and was just diagnosed with this. The vet tried talking us into putting him to sleep, Until I found this website. I am very hopeful I can help him, especially after reading everything on here. I have no one to talk to about this, because no one really knows much about it. I see you left your phone number. Would it be okay for me to call you? I could really use some advice, and some answered to some questions that I have.( My vet is really no help, I need someone who is dealing with it too).
        Please let me know,
        Thank you!
        Kara

        • Tracey

          You sure can! I get home around 5:30 eastern time please call any time I usually go to bed around 9:30 10 because he gets us up so early! Oliver’s went through all the same stuff u are going through and 6 years later he is stable and doing great!
          Talk to u soon
          Tracey

  • Hi there! Awesome website. I want to suggest a newer and less side effect alternative to prednisone called Budesonide and post about the positive results my dog (Jack Russell named DJ) has had with his relatively simple treatment.

    He was diagnosed with Lymphangiectasia 5 years ago when he was 4. After losing albumen and having crazy diarrhea for years we had the surgery to biopsy his lymph nodes and got a definite Lymphangiectasia diagnosis (with or without IBD my vet still can’t say but she suspects it). Just like you mentioned in your article I guess we will never know about the IBD for certain. Anyway, once diagnosed we switched to Royal Canin Gasttointestinal low fat and it helped a little but albumen was still low.

    We then added a low dose of prednisone and his CID was totally under control. But the pred made him wacko! My vet said budesonide was recently approved for animal use in the US and unlike prednisone it does not effect your dogs brain. In fact it targets the intestines only. So we switched.

    Long story short the lowest dose is 1mg. But that was too much. We eventually settled on .5 mg budesonide every OTHER day. This, plus the Royal Canin did the trick. My vet then warmed that soon the food would stop working and we would have to up the budesonide. She also said that the budesonide may stop working and then we would switch to prednisone. After that no longer worked, she cautioned that he would have a shortened life.

    Well that was 5 years ago. He is now 9 and healthier than ever… aside from the occasional flare up when he gets into something or I cave in and give him a treat or people food, I’m bad, I know. (Btw a ten day course of metronidazole clears up the flare ups).

    My point is anyone on prednisone should ask their vet about budesonide. It’s less harmful in the short and long term for your dog and, at least in DJ’s case, has controlled his CID for the last five years (along with the Royal Canin diet, of course). He still loves the food and is still on .5 mg every other day. Oh, and he also takes a Pepcid twice a day although I’m not sure if its to combat the CID, IBD, or perhaps the medicine upsets his stomache, I forget.

    Hopefully this can provide some hope and alternatives. This disease can be managed if caught and treated in time. Good luck everyone!

  • Yvette

    Our mixed breed, Miles, was just dx with CIL. His protein levels are very low & he has dropped from healthy 55# to 44# No bloating and has minimal energy. His stool is still watery. We started him yesterday with tilapia, white rice. He is on prednisone 20mg. / miracle powder probiotic twice/day. (been on them for 2 wks). Started yesterday on adult human multivitamin crushed & split in 2 doses. His magnesium is low & wonder if u heard of supplementing milk of magnesia for that? How has been sick sine November & we have yet to get home stabilized & turn this around for him.

  • Amy

    My 12-year old toy poodle was tentatively (no biopsy was done) diagnosed with this disease about three weeks ago. She had lost two pounds over three months with terrible diarrhea and her protein dropped to 1.4. She still had good energy, but she felt like skin and bones. After reading everyone’s comments I’m surprised by the variedness of the stories, ranging from folks feeding low-fat dog food and getting good results to those feeding home-cooked meals with poor results. It just goes to show that the severity of this disease can vary so greatly. My dog falls somewhere in the middle. We’re feeding homecooked meals and she’s taking prednisone with very good results. Her stool is still soft, but has form and her blood test showed last week a protein level of 2.7 and she’s gained half a pound. I just started her on BalanceIt yesterday (at the recommendation of my vet), and she had her first firm stool this morning. Because of this web site, I ordered a sample package of The Honest Kitchen Preference. I don’t even cook for myself, so cooking for my dog has been quite an ordeal and I’m looking for something that is a little more convenient, but will continue to help her heal. Has anyone tried Science Diet i/d (low-fat GI) and gotten good results?

    • Tracey

      Oliver’s been on purina veterinary OM, overweight management for years with great results. Even though he’s only 7 pounds its very low fat , I use the OM SNACK, canned and dry! Nothing else except peas and carrots for a treat! He’ had this for over 6 years and doing great! Long road to get the medicene right! Good luck!

    • Amy can you tell me exactly what you are cooking for your poodle. My yorkie’s first result was a 1.2 and then went up to a 1.5. she is on all kinds of meds and hypo allergetic dog food from the vet. She is constantly bloated and has been “tapped” almost once a week going on two months now. Other than that her mannerizism are exactly the same, wants to kill the garbage man, barks at the doorbell, and chases and plays with our cat. I am planning on taking her in in again this week for a CBC and getting her tapped again, but since I do not see anything better with the bloating, I would like to try different food? Can you please help me?

      • Donovan's Mom

        Have you considered using the RC LF instead of the Hypo? Since no biopsy was done it may be CIL as primary. Just a thought.

      • Amy

        Lesia, I’m still cooking balanceIT.com recipes for my poodle. I started out with the potato and tilapia recipe, which I think is best when your dog is so sick. Now that my dog is so improved, I rotate between tilipia, lean ground turkey, and lean ground beef, but I don’t recommend that until after your dog’s albumin level is up. The balanceIt people don’t recommend ground meats for lymphie dogs, but my vet taught me to boil the meat after you brown it and that gets even more fat out, and my dog does fine with that. I thoroughly pat it dry with paper towels too. I just found it more convenient to break apart ground meat with my hands rather than slicing and dicing chicken breasts and buffalo sirloin with a knife. Anyway, I’ve also sometimes mixed in sweet potato and I thought that helped firm up her stool more than russet potatoes. Now, I’m feeding my dog the balanceIt dehydrated potato flakes, which has the supplement already mixed in, which is even more convenient. But again, I wouldn’t recommend that until after your dog has improved. You’ll need your vet to fax an approval form to the balanceIt.com people before you can view the recipes on their web site.
        Also, I agree with Donovan’s Mom that you would probably be better off with Royal Canine lowfat or Science Diet I/D lowfat, rather than Hypo.

  • Tammy

    Our dog Tuck (3yr mix) was diagnosed with the protein-losing intestinal disease in October 2012 after many test and too many ups and downs to mention she is doing better today.Two weeks ago she was having alot of trouble breathing we rushed her to internal med doctor a ultasound exam showed a large amt. of cloudy fluid in her chest cavity after draining approx.1 liter of fluid she was diagnosed with bacterial pyothorax(probably contacted from previous fluid extraction).She is on for the disease prednisone, tylan,furosemide,metronidazole- for the infection ciprofloxacin and amoxicillin.We have tried many diets Science diet lowfat GI and royal canine lowfat,home cooked turkey and rice with none of those working meaning she still had very thin to watery stools. Now(2 weeks strait) we are feeding her tilapia,quinoa, pureed peas and carrots her stools are thick again since this disease started we don’t know what her albumin levels are last tested they were very low 1.7 but hopefully with her diet change they will be up.Her weight is very low she started out 39lbs now down to 27 and I can’t feed her enough she is always hungry the intern med doc says increase food amt so we are doin that.Our prognosis has never been good but we won’t give up she is a stuborn little girl and has been through so much in her short life. This web site has been a life saver for us Thank you Louies Mom! and everyone one else! We felt so helpless until we found so many others with this horrible disease.(It seems that every dog is different and there is no exact treatment unfortunatly)I am not sure if she is getting all the vitamins and minerals she needs doc says there are suppliments available will dicuss with doc next week when we see him she is gettig ultra sound once aweek to monitor fluids.

    • Angela

      Hi Tammy, we open & pour a capsule of slippery elm from health shop into Casey’s dinner daily, if you were looking for any alternative supplements these are working for her fantastically! Best of luck with Tuck xx

  • Tammy

    Hi Angela!I am not familar with slippery elm will look it up. She doesn’t like anything sprinkled on her food.(in the past anyway) We get her tylan compounded She has gotten very good about pill time as it was a struggle at first.Thanks so much

  • Amy

    Tammy, you should check out the http://www.BalanceIt.com web site. Two of the diets they prescribed for my dog were tilapia/baked potato and bison/sweet potato. But I’ve also mixed tilapia and sweet potato. The sweet potato definitely makes her stool much more firm than the russet potato, so you can try that instead of quinoa. I should try quinoa too. Anyway, the BalanceIt supplement is really easy because it’s just one powder that you mixed into their food and it has no taste at all. My dog’s albumin level was 1.4 a month ago, but now it’s up to 3.2! And the doctor has lowered her Predisone dosage twice.

  • Tammy

    Hi Amy did you call them and talk to someone in person to create your special diet, it was alittle confusing about involving our vet, and tilapia and quinoa where not on the option of homemade recipes. Also do you use ground bison or roast.I am afraid to do anything different at this point because she is so much better but if we can get her protein level up using balanceIt along with a special diet we will try it.Did your doctor recommend the balanceIt?Also does you dog eat alot? We just can’t seem to fill her up even though it’s not going through her as fast as it was prier to the fish/quinoa diet.

    • Amy

      No, I just used the recipes on their site. My vet recommended BalanceIt and she told me to click on the boxes for both IBD and Fat Intolerance(severe). You’re right – quinoa and tilapia are not options, but for $50, they will create that recipe for you (if they can). Yes, the portions are much bigger than the dog food portions I used to feed. It seems I’m putting down such large plates of food (as per the recipes) and she eats it all! But it’s very low fat, so it’s not going to be as filling. She’s gained half a pound. As per the web site, the bison is supposed to be sirloin, not ground. I had to go to a specialty market to get it, so the tilapia is more convenient. I noticed that the ratio of potato to meat were roughly the same for both recipes, so that’s why I cheated and mixed tilapia with sweet potato.

  • Kara- Baileys mommy

    Hello,
    My little Bailey is a Yorkie. He is only 3 years old.
    The other night we took him to the emergency vet because his belly was very hard and he was making grunting noises, as if it was hard to breathe.They drained his stomach and took a liter of fluids out. The next day we brought him to his normal vet. There they told us that they believe he has Lymphanagiectasia. They pretty much told me that we should put him to sleep because he wouldn’t make it.I almost did, until I researched last night. From the looks of Louie, my Bailey may have a chance too? I explained to the vet that I read that Bailey could have a chance. She then began to explain that I could put Bailey on medacine: Prednisone and Metronidazole. She said with these as well as him eating a low fat- low protein high fiber diet, it may help him. However, she really doesn’t seem to have too much hope for him :(
    He went to the vet ER Monday and had 1 liter drained, and is having the rest drained today. ( They said they couldn’t drain it all in one night due to a chance of putting him in shock). I am going to try these medicines and the diet and hope for the best. The food they have at the vet is very pricey.Do you recommend any That I can get at the pet store? Also- with these immediacies, how often do you think Bailey will still have to be drained?I have no one to talk to about this, because nobody knows much. Please get back to me as soon as you can. I need hope and any advice I can get before its too late for my little guy :(
    Thank you for your time,
    Kara

    • Denise Huff

      To Kara ( Baileys’ mom),

      I also have a Yorkie, Peaches who is 5. She has IBD and Lymphanagiectasia.
      Peaches just had the abdominal tap done last week, she went in at 11.2 lbs and came home at 9 lbs.
      I adopted Peaches from the shelter knowing she was sick and actually had her off ALL meds for a year. However with these disease there are flare up. I have Crohns disease which is very similiar, so I can relate.
      Peaches right now is on several different medications..Predisone, Metronidazole, glutamine, Dramenin, Lasik, Probitic, another medication that I can’t recall the name right now, but it begins with an AZ, it is another one like predisone. The meds are expensive and so is the dog food.
      She eats Hills ID low fat food. Since the beginning of the year I have spent over $2000 on Peaches.
      She is on the mend!
      Don’t give up on Bailey..there is HOPE, you have to be patient!!
      My vet suggested I see a specilist and that’s what I did and thank GOD.
      Also, because Yorkies are so petite, when they don’t eat their blood sugar drops..NOT GOOD! Peaches blood sugar dropped from not eating and she had a seizure.

      Good luck!!

      • Kara- Baileys mommy

        Oh my, I am so sorry to hear about Peaches. But I am happy that she is still strong!
        My vet gave me a purina veterinary food that is for OM (Overweight management).I just don’t want him to lose too much weight. She says he has to have low protein and low fat but high fiber food. That seems hard to find!

        • Denise Huff

          Kara,

          Peaches right now to me, is VERY thin, after her abdominal tap especially. I know Yorkies are thin anyway, but I think she’s too thin. She’s always hungry, so I feed her 3 times a day.
          I’m not sure where you live, I’m in Easton, Pa. I took Peaches to Valley Central Animal Hospital to see Dr. Hodges. He’s an internal medicine Dr and he is VERY good. There’s only so much our vets can do for our pets and then they need a specialist.
          The food thing is tricky, I’m finding that out.
          Have a went to see another vet for second opinion?

          • Kara- Baileys mommy

            No I have not went to get a second opinion, do you recommend that?
            And I live in Rochester NY. So I am a ways away from you and that doctor:( maybe I can find one around here.
            Thank you:)

          • Denise Huff

            I Highly recommend a second opinion, especially if your vet said to put Bailey down. My mom told me the same thing, to put Peaches down :( I said NO WAY.
            Do a google search in your area for Vets that specialize in Internal medicine.

          • Kara- Baileys mommy

            Okay I definitely will. Thank you!
            Also, I have decided to just make him boiled chicken and white rice. Although my vet said that he cant have protein either, I have done enough research. I think he needs it. She didnt seem to stern with her answer either, because it doesnt look like she knows much about it.
            Anyways, would it hurt if i put some seasoning on his food to make it have some taste? Like onion powder or garlic?

          • Denise Huff

            Kara,

            Chicken and rice is good, that’s what I give all my dogs when they are sick. However, Peaches will pick the rice out! And the specialist that I just saw wanted me to give Peaches turkey, brown rice and oatmeal. So, maybe instead of the chicken you should try the turkey.
            I sprinkle a probiotic on her food ( it needs to be a vet’s formula) and it reminds me a chicken buyon cubes. Also, she gets 500 mg of glutamine sprinkle on her food twice a day. This helps protect the intestine and helps heal it. I wouls stay away from onion or garlic powder..may be more harm than good. Knowing that I have Irritable bowel, I avoid onions and garlic.
            Hope that helps. My vet has a dog with this condition, which I find comforting because she knows about the disease.
            I personally would find another vet…if you are not confident or comfortable in your vet, then I would look for another. I totally trust my vet, that is very important. :)

          • Denise Huff

            Kara,

            I looked up an Internal Medicine Dr for you in the Rochester area…hope you don’t mind.
            It’s called:
            Vetrinary Specialist and Emergency Services
            825 White Spruce Blvd
            Rochester, NY. 14623
            Ph: 585-424-1277
            web site: http://vetspecialistsofrochester.com/internal_medicine_servies_list.php
            They have a Gastro Dr there!

            Good Luck!

          • Amy

            Your dog doesn’t need any seasoning. Dogs usually love the taste of just plain rice and chicken. Also, onions and garlic are often toxic for dogs!

          • Kara- Baileys mommy

            Amy-
            Oh okay, good to know:)

          • Amy

            Denise, that’s funny – when I first fed my dog chicken and rice, she picked out the chicken and left the rice. So, I started adding a couple tablespoons of non-fat cottage cheese to make the whole thing more gloppy, and not as easy to pick through. It worked. That’s also an advantage of potatoes over rice – it all sticks together better. But now that her appetite is back, she eats everything.

  • Amy

    Hi Kara. That must have been so horrible to be told to put your dog to sleep! If you read through ALL the posts above, you’ll see this disease has varying degrees of severeness. It sounds like your dog’s case is very severe, so my personal opinion (I’m not a vet) is to feed your dog home-cooked meals, and not try to get anything from a pet store. If you cook the food yourself, you have total control over the fat content. For instance, my vet recommended that if I cook lean ground chicken or turkey, that I fry it up in a skillet, drain it, and pat it dry with paper towel and then boil it too, to really get all the fat off. It’s not that much trouble to microwave a bake potato for 10 minutes and broil a piece of tilapia, and mix it together. You can let both cool and just crumble them with your hands (no slicing or dicing). Once you get your dog stabalized (no more fluid draining), you can look into adding supplements to make sure he is getting all the vitamins and minerals he needs.

    • Kara- Baileys mommy

      Hi Amy,
      If I make him that kind of food, I am afraid that it is going to have too much protein or fat. Doesn’t meat have a lot of protein and are potatoes fattening? Does any of that have a lot of fiber? I am so worried he isn’t eating enough and I don’t want him to start losing weight. I have him on Purina Veterinary dog food for OM(Overweight management). That is what the vet gave me there. However, I am worried the vet may not know exactly what to provide me with just because she has never actually had a dog with it. For example- she told me to put him to sleep without even trying. lol that goes to show ya…
      Thank you for responding! I am in desperate need of advise.

      • Amy

        I agree with Denise that you may want to seek out a specialist, or at least another vet who has more experience with this disease. Potatoes have no fat. I was in the same boat you were in that I felt blind, just throwing rice and chicken together and not knowing how much of each. But the key was to get my dog eating again and get her stool to at least have some form, not watery. So, even though I discovered later that rice makes her stool soft, and potatoes are much better, in the short-term it didn’t matter that much. I just needed to get her off dog food and onto an ultra low fat diet (and on meds too, of course). Try 80% potatoes and 20% meat. I told my vet I was concerned that she wasn’t getting a balanced diet and her response was “we have bigger fish to fry right now.” And she was right! Once her albumen level increased a little and her stool had some form, she directed me to balanceit.com where I could get balanced low-fat recipes (about 13% fat) that tell me exactly what quantities of everything to mix together. But you don’t have to start doing that immediately.

        • Kara- Baileys mommy

          Okay, then I will start with that:) Thank you for your help everyone!Im sure if bailey could talk he would appreciate it lol.
          Can I give him any fish? as long as it isn’t fried or battered or anything?

          • Amy

            No, some fish is very high fat, like mackeral or salmon. So, don’t feed him those. Tilapia, flounder, and cod are low fat.

  • Kara- Baileys mommy

    Denise-
    Thank you for your response as well as the time you took out of your day to help find a doctor. I appreciate it! I am a college student full time and I also work, so believe it or not that really did help me out lol.
    And does your vet provide you with the probiotic and the glutamine sprinkle? If so, how do i get it? Should I just ask my vet about it and explain that I read about it online? And I will be looking for a new vet within the week, I want to make sure I feel like he is in good hands:)

    • Denise Huff

      Kara,

      You are very welcome,it’s always a pleasure to help out a fellow dog owner in need :)
      You’re a busy mom like me..I have 3 jobs! :( still paying for college!! ( and vet bills) lol
      My vet does provide the Probiotic. The Glutamine you can purchase at a health food store and it’s called L-Glutamine. It comes in capsule form, so I break it open and sprinkle it that way. The pill is HUGE and this poor little girl already takes so many pills I decided to use it that way…vet okayed it. If you have a Vitamin Shoppe up your way they will have it.
      Good Luck and keep me posted!
      Feel free to check out my facebook page…..you’ll see Peaches there!
      facebook.com/vreeland.denise

      • Kara- Baileys mommy

        Denise,
        Okay, thanks a lot for the helpful information.
        One other question I do have, is after all of the research I have done on this.. one of the main things with this disease is that the dog has diarrhea all the time.
        My dog was having it once and a while, but he has only been on the meds 2 days and I just went outside to watch where he went poo, and it is pretty solid. Solid enough for me to pick it up with a paper towel and put it in a baggy without it getting messy at all.
        My vet never did tests to say my dog had this disease, because in order to do that she needed to preform a biopsy which was A LOT of money that we didn’t have. So she just put all of the information together and said this is what she believes it is.
        He had fluid in his stomach, which is where she received her diagnosis from.
        Do you know if all dogs have diarrhea with this disease?

        • Denise Huff

          Kara,

          Diarrhea and vomiting are both common with the disease. Peaches was throwing up all over the place and had very bad runny stools.
          Some of the meds will give them diarrhea and others make them constipated. Sounds like his stool is good at the moment.
          FYI..predisone will make them VERY VERY thirsty, in turn they drink LOTS more water = more accidents in house if not taken out several times throughout the day. Good thing to keep an eye on because even though they are drinking lots of water you may think they are “ok”..but no, they will gey dehydrated..water isn’t staying in them long enough to do anything good. I learned that the hard way. I took Peaches to vet for her belly and turns out she was very dehyrdated. They hydrated her, and vet explained what I just told you above.
          When I adopted Peaches from the shelter she had already been diagnosed with IBD and LYmphangectsia. So I’m not aware of the cost involved in that. But the cost to have the abdominal tap is from $200-$250 depending on how much fluid they need to take out. I think I paid $ 186.00 last week.
          The fluid in the stomach is very serious and it will cost some $$ unfortunately to remove.
          Peaches belly was so bloated that it turned purple and she waddled when she walked. It was hard to hold her, it definately looked uncomfortable.
          The specialist need to do an ultrasound before they removed the fluid just to make sure nothing else was happening in there, that cost was $ 450.00.
          Going to a specialist is going to cost $$. But from experience and I’ve had alot with this little gal….is just bypass the vet ( especially yours) and go to a specialist. ” Regular vets” can’t help our Yorkies ( or any dog) with the Lymphanagectsia , espcially ones that need the fluid removed. All the $$ I spent at my regular vet I could have spent at the specialist.
          After Bailey is on the road to recovery, as I”m sure he will be….get another “regular vet” to do the follow up care..one you trust completely.
          Hope that helps or answers your questions…I know I rambled alot in this one..sorry.
          Take care!
          Denise

        • Denise Huff

          another thing I wanted to mention, I’ve been looking into Pet Insurance for Peaches since all of this has happened. None of the insurance companies will cover a pre existing condition ( IBD..Lymphanagectsia) however, if the dogs kidneys begin to fail because of all the steroids, this will be covered.
          It’s a crap shoot…I’m not sure what to do. I have 2 other pets, a blind Cocker Spaniel and a Flame Point Siamese cat…multiple pet discount..LOL

          Not sure you if have looked into Pet insurance

          • Kara- baileys mommy

            Denise,
            Yeah the biopsy is like $2,000:/. And I read a lot of places that vomiting and diareah are Both symptoms.
            But bailey doesn’t have either? He had loose stool a couple weeks ago. And once the other day.. But that’s it. And no vomiting.. I wonder what that means. Does your vet check peaches’ stool samples ? Maybe I could request mine does..
            And yes I just recently heard of pet insurance. I didn’t know try would take a pet if they had health issues whatsoever. But even if they don’t cover this issue, it would be good to have if anything else came up. So thanks for letting me know that too(:

          • Tracey

            VPI pet insurance does not cover this disease unless you get a biopsy to confirm . I had the ins for 5 years when Oliver came down with this and they wouldn’t cover it! I refused to put him through the biopsy! I fought for months until I got a letter from their attorney saying it was over, not paying so don’t contact them anymore!

          • Denise Huff

            Tracey,

            So, are you saying that if your would have had the biopsy, it would have been covered?

          • Tracey

            I honestly don’t know, the letter stated that without a biopsy this condition would not be covered! (Policy language) I wasn’t going to put him through this! Not even sure if the biopsy would have been covered! Canceled policy shortly after!

          • Louie's Mom

            No insurance will cover treatments for a disease that has not actually been diagnosed. The standard diagnostic test for CIL is the intestinal biopsy, usually done through endoscopy. This distinguishes the disease from other diseases, like lymphoma, which clinically looks much the same but would be treated very differently.

            The endoscopy can cost around $1500.00 so it is not an inexpensive test, however the cost of treatment over time can far exceed these costs. If you can scrape together the money; it’s worth it if your insurance will cover a diagnosed condition. My bills for Louie’s car are well over $10,000.

            Endoscopy is done under general anesthesia so it’s not really much to “put a dog through” and I don’t concur with that line of reasoning. I’ve never heard of a lymphie dog not making it through this procedure, even when quite frail.

            Not being able to afford the test is a different matter.

          • Denise Huff

            Peaches had the biopsy test done before I rescued her from the shelter, that’s how we know she has CIL. The insurance man that I spoke with told me they will not cover a pre existing condition, no insurance would.

            I will need to look into this further, if I’m understanding you correctly. You are saying that if the dog had the biopsy and it was determined that she has CIL, then the insurance would/ should cover it.??

            Actually I’m going to see my vet tonight, I will get their input as well :)
            Thanks!

          • Louie's Mom

            No, the insurance would only cover the expenses if you had the testing done while Peaches was already insured by their policy. Since she was tested before she came to you and was insured by them, they would not cover it. Pre-existing means a condition that existed and was diagnosed prior to the policy being purchased or going into effect. Sorry that is not the answer you would like, I know how expensive this is and believe me if I could have gotten Louie coverage after the fact, I would have!

          • Denise Huff

            ok, I understand now. Thank you for clarifying.

            I doubt that I am going to get the insurance for Peaches. I really don’t think it would benefit me financially. Either way, Peaches is taken care of ;)

            I may look into for my other two though.

        • Amy

          Kara, the way my vet explained the symptoms to me is that the dog’s system isn’t processing/absorbing protein (albumin is a type of protein) properly. So, when the albumin doesn’t get processed, it just “oozes” out to different parts of the body. For some dogs, it oozes into their lungs and they can’t breath, or it oozes into their belly and they get bloated, or it just oozes out their backside and they get diarrhea. My dog never got it in her lungs or belly, just diarrhea. That’s why the symptoms aren’t the same for all dogs. So, just because your dog doesn’t have vomiting or diarrhea doesn’t mean she doesn’t have the disease.

          • Kara- baileys mommy

            Ohhhh I see(: thanks for clearing that up!

          • Louie's Mom

            Yes, this is an excellent way of putting it. Louie never gained abdominal fluid but he did swell up in his paws and legs. The fluid will naturally subside if you get them correctly treated and into remission. A dog in remission should not require repeated taps– continued taps is a sign that something still is not right.

          • Buddy's Mom

            Amy,
            I just posted about my Buddy’s situation today for the first time. I went through all of this a year ago and luckily, Buddy is doing just fine. I love your explanation. It has been explained to me several times and I have read a lot about it but I just didn’t get it… He’s losing protein but its because of all the protein in dog food but he should eat very little protein but we’re trying to get his protein levels up…..none of it made sense :) you explained it in the most simple way. Now I understand. Thank you so much! Sounds silly but it really is frustrating when you can’t even explain what’s wrong with your pet.
            Terry (Buddy’s mom)

          • Amy

            You’re welcome, Terry! I’m glad my explanaton was helpful. I wouldn’t say he should eat “very little” protein though. But I understand what you’re saying – just because we’re trying to increase their protein level doesn’t mean we want to stuff them with very high protein dog food. My dog is getting a diet that’s about 20% protein.

      • Louie's Mom

        Another way to look at the insurance question is to remember what “insurance” means. We buy these policies to “insure” that we will have the help we need (be covered) in the event of unexpected expenses. This is a hedge against future catastrophe.

        it’s a gamble, by nature. If you could buy insurance after you already know what expenses you’re likely to incur, it really wouldn’t be insurance. And it would not be a sustainable business for the insurance companies, because everyone would just wait until they got diagnosed with something serious or expensive before joining the plan.

        • Kara- Baileys mommy

          Yes, you’re right. It wouldn’t help the insurance companies what so ever.
          I think I will look into it though, especially because I also have another dog as well.

    • Denise Huff

      Hi Kara!

      Just wondering how Bailey is doing?
      I took Peaches for her follow up today at the specialist. Her protein levels still are not where they need to be . Therefore I have to try more foods that are HIGH in protein. Vet suggested turkey, green beans, low fat cottage cheese, sweet potatos and plain yogurt….and pasta ( no sauce). On top of that her Vit D is low, so now she’s needs to take Vit D. Her belly is still distended..but not as bad as before so no abdominal tap today.
      My issues with Peaches is she is a very very picky eater :( I will say she LOVES sweet potatos, so I made sweet potato chews for her! She gobbles them right up!

      • Kara- Baileys mommy

        Hi Denise!
        Bailey seems to be doing good so far. He is back to his normal acting self. (Barking at birds, and pooing in my house lol) And I have a follow up appointment for him this week.
        I have been feeding him chicken, plain non fat yogurt and rice. His stomach is not bloated with fluid and it is also not really really skinny anymore. So we shall see what the vet says this week.

        And yeah that stinks that peaches is a picky eater. It is hard to find foods that fit the diet and that the dog also enjoys.
        Maybe Ill try some sweet potatoes to mix it up a bit for my dog:)
        Good luck!

  • Stella's Mom

    My dog, Stella, has had a presumptive diagnosis of CIL because her protein hasn’t been high enough to perform the surgical biopsy. My regular vet performed an endoscopy that just showed inflammation, but the sample size may have been too small to find the CIL. At that point, we went to an internal medicine specialist at Ohio State. I highly recommend a specialist! Stella has been through a lot since early November, but has recently rebounded with a diet of chicken and white rice. Her protein is up, her prednisone dose has been lowered and she has gained back 2 1/2 lbs of the 10 that she lost. We have to put the chicken (and sometimes also the rice) in a food processor to prevent her from picking out the chicken. Our vet also has her on Metumucil (fiber) and fish oil. We have a consultation pending with a nutritionist to supplement the chicken and rice with vitamins. Every dog seems to respond differently. In my opinion, patience and a specialist are key.

  • Beau's Mom

    Beau, a Bichon Frise, was diagnosed with lymphangiectasia about two years ago after running various tests and performing an ultrasound by a specialist at Kansas State Veterinary Hospital. After some diet changes, taking antibotics and prednisone, he was back to normal. We continued the RC Low Fat diet and prednisone, but eventually winning him off of the prednisone after one year. We continued the diet and Beau was normal for about 6 months. Then he quit eating, had diarrhear with blood in it, and he became very weak with a swollen belly. We took him in and his albumin was .5. He was hospitalized for 4 days, received hetastarch, fluids, antibiotics and prednisone. In retrospect, we probably should not have taken him off the prednisone. We continued the prednisone because the specialist said he should always take the prednisone. Beau improved and was back to normal, with an albumin level between 2 and 2.5. Then about four months later, his belly started swelling again and he quit eating his food. For the last two months we have been feeding him chicken and rice, getting abdominal taps or applying hetastarch along with antibotics. We did another ultrasound and nothing else showed except the lympangiectasia. Also, we had a fluid analysis w/Cytology to see if there were other issues. We have spent approx. $10,000 in two years trying to resolve his health issues. Currently he has quit eating and it is very difficult to get him to take all of his 5 medications.
    Sorry to be so long-winded, but I wanted you to have most of the details about Beau’s condition. I don’t want Beau to suffer, and I’m trying to give him every chance for a normal life.
    Any advise? Or is it time to end his suffering?

    • Louie

      I would get all the chicken out of his diet and try something like tilapia or low-fat turkey instead. A lot of lymphie dogs seem to react poorly to chicken. Also, if you’re using rice for a carb make sure it is very well cooked, as we had problems with rice not being digested well and that ultimately led us to switch to the potatoes.

      Sorry to hear that he is not doing well right now and I hope you can pull him out of this.

      • Amy

        I was going to say the same thing. I would switch to tilapia or even ground buffalo, mixed with potatoes. I think my dog does slightly better on sweet potatoes than russet. Just the fact that your changing his food might excite him into eating again. And I’m sure you already know that the most important thing is that he eats virtually no fat. So, if you feed him ground turkey or ground buffalo, draining off all the fat off, and then boiling it too really helps. You can add some cottage cheese, but make sure it’s NON-fat, not just low-fat cottage cheese.

  • Beau's Mom

    Thanks Louie and Amy for your comments. we tried all diet foods and what you recommended; however, Beau quit eating anything and taking his medication. He could hardly walk and he kept collapsing and vomiting. Then the diarrhea started. We tried everything but he was suffering so much that it was time. Beau is now at peace in heaven.

    We pray for your dogs and for you as you love and care for them.

  • Mom of Ruckus

    Ruckus is my 5 pound, 5 year old baby infant boy Yorkshire Terrier. It has been about 5 weeks since Ruckus almost died. First he was super dehydrated and lost 20% of his weight from severe diarrhea and not eating. He was hospitalized, rehydrated and tested. He went home with a special bland diet and things seemed to be getting better (not super low fat though, just bland) Then about a week later, his tummy ballooned. Back to the vet…then to the specialist. His fluid was drained and was put on 1 antibiotic and 1 steroid and began eating Prescription Diet i/d low fat GI Restore. He seemed to be doing much better, then overnight, his abdomen swelled up again. We called the specialist. The blood-work recheck, which was taken a few days before) showed the serious infection was only a tiny bit better so the vet gave him an additional antibiotic. A stronger one. His tummy is still big and swollen but his spirits are pretty good and he eats ok. Not great, but ok. Should I have his fluid drained again or will it go down on its own if the meds and diet are working? Will fluid draining appointments just become a normal part of his life? Thanks for any insight. Also: the specialist said that if the fluid continues to leak into his abdomen, it can lead to him choking and drowning on his fluid. Anyone experience this or heard of this? How ballooned it too ballooned? I’ve been measuring his tummy. It goes up and down by half an inch but is staying huge.

  • Amy

    Did his albumin level improve when you switched to I/D? Yes, if the fluid is leaking into his lungs, he can develop resperatory problems – I’m not sure about the abdomen though. But it can be leaking into both places. No, draining fluid should not become a normal part of his life – the goal is for the diet and medication to stop the fluid leakage. I would ask your specialist if he should be drained again.

  • Louie

    No, repeated fluid draining should not be required once the CIL is under control. It can take some time to figure out how to control it, though, and during this time you may have to have the fluid tapped from time to time. I hope that Ruckus continues to improve and that you find the way to get him into remission.

    • Buddy's Mom

      Yes, my vet told me that she wasn’t going to drain his abdomen because it would just fill up again. In the course of making changes to get him on track he was on quite a few meds and the fluid went away on its own. Terry

      • Kara- Baileys mommy

        Okay thank you so much!
        I went ahead and had him drained.
        We have an appointment tomorrow with the specialist, but I think I am going to have to cancel because I just spent $200 on him being drained and I am out of money now:(

  • Mom of Ruckus

    I took him in to have it drained today and it was not successful. The hole through his skin started leaking the fluid fasted than the needle could draw it out so a bubble of fluid formed under his skin. The vet and specialist decided to not continue the draining process. Ruckus is home now and he has a constant drip of fluid from the injection site. He is happy and active, though, so that is good. I have started him on probiotics and continuing the Rx diet/meds. The vet may up his steroid. Blood was sent to the lab today and results should be in tomorrow. I am praying the probiotics help. Thanks for the input. I am worried.

  • Tree

    I have a 6 year old French Brittany that was recently diagnosed with IBD and secondary lymphangiectasia with protein losing enteropathy. She was always on a healthy home cooked diet along with a healthy kibble. Her stomach started to accumulate fluid but it wasn’t bad then overnight my poor Casey had the vomiting, diarrhea, and was even urinating in the house. After a week of tests, our vet referred us to an internal medicine vet which could perform the testing to confirm the disease. Both vets have been wonderful. Casey’s case was severe and initially she did not respond to any of the medication, if she could even keep it down. In a matter of 3 weeks she lost 18% of her body weight, went from being a happy dog to a lethargic dog, and refused to eat anything. And yes, the vet had the quality of life conversation with me as well but we decided to give the new combo of meds a chance before taking that step. Finally the Aziothripine started to work along with a force fed diet. The diet was Iam’s Maximum Calorie canned dog food with equal amounts of Science Diet i/d for fiber, freeze dried liver and nutritional supplements all run through a food processor and then fed using a turkey baster. Open mouth, insert food, and make her swallow. Done every hour, luckily I can work from home and on days I can’t the husband is able to cover for me. A very high protein diet compared to others just so she could absorb enough protein to survive. After 3 weeks of this she has returned to being a happy dog. She even wanted to play the other night which really warmed my heart. We are slowly graduating back to solid foods which she has only been able to keep down the past 3 days. She has managed to gain at least 1 pound back of the muscle mass she lost, but she is making improvements everyday. The fluid settling in her legs is a thing of the past. There is still some bloating in the abdomen but it is not as severe as before. For Casey it will be a long road back due to the severity of her case, but it is possible. Finding the right combination of meds and foods for the individual dog is key and being able to do it in a timely manner. Currently Casey is on Metronidazole, Aziothripine, Prednosilone, Ondansitron, Cephalexin (for a urinary tract infection which we expected with the diarhea along with an immune suppressant, Vitamin B supplement (now it is oral but initially it was injected) and probiotics plus Prilosec & sucralfate for an ulcer from the drugs. It’s a lot but she is starting to become herself again so there is hope for anyone and their beloved pet going through this. No more vomiting and diarrhea has mostly cleared up. She is still anemic so an iron shot is likely in the future. Sorry if I am rambling but I am happy she is doing better and want others that find this site to know there is hope.

    • Amy

      I’m so glad your dog is doing better. Thanks for sharing your story. Iam’s Maximum Calorie sounds like a food that would be high in fat? I would think that would be bad. Anyway, I’m really surprised to read so many stories from people whose dogs are so much sicker than mine, but they’re still feeding dog food. My dog only had diarrhea and she’s only on two medications. The moment we started her on the meds and a home-cooked diet, she improved so much in such a short period of time. It makes me wonder if dog food is the culprit, even when it’s low fat. I realize every dog is different, but still…

      • Tree

        Amy, I am glad your dog is doing well. It is a high fat diet with the Iams. Which seems contrary to everything I have heard or read in research on IBD. But it is working. We are slowly working our way back to home cooked. I have a great distrust of most dog foods and the quality of the ingredients they use but that is for another forum :-). I mispoke earlier, the antibiotic Casey is on should be listed is Clavimox. The vets of course want me to put her on a hypoallergenic diet. When I looked at the ingredients other than the hydrolized protein it contained other allergens like corn. Right now she is at least on a grain free diet. She doesn’t seem to have a problem with chicken protein but time will tell. More blood work tomorrow to see if her levels have improved.

        • Amy

          Yes, high fat is very contrary to how you should feed a dog with CIL, and so is grain-free. My dog was on a grain-free diet before she got sick, but now she has different needs. Let us know what your dog’s blood work shows. Since your dog is leaking protein into other areas of her body, which is making her sick, feeding her high-protein shouldn’t be the answer and I’m surprised your vet recommended it. I also don’t know why your vet would consider a diet with corn to be hypoallergenic – you’re right that corn is an allergen. From what I’ve read most CIL dogs do best on a high-potato, lower-protein diet. Have you tried that?

        • Louie's Mom

          If your dog is responding well to a diet like Iams that is high in fat, I strongly question the correctness of a lymphangiectasia diagnosis. She probably has IBD, and not CIL.

          • Louie's Mom

            Or lymphoma :(

          • Tree

            Amy, I indicated in my first post that the lymphangiectasia was secondary to IBD. She did have the biopsies done to narrow down that it is IBD and rule out any cancers, bacterial infections, parasites, or fungal infections.

            Got her bloodwork results back and her white blood cell count is down, her red blood cell count shows a slight increase, her liver levels have gone back to normal and more importantly her protein levels (albumin) in her blood have started to rise. She visibly has less swelling in her belly, we even went for a 3/4 mile walk this morning. Every day she shows a little improvement, even on the bad days. She now shows a real interest in food, though you have to be careful to make sure she doesn’t eat too much. Appointment today with her internal med vet and hopefully we can start cutting back on the high protein high fat slop we have to force feed her and get her on a more healthy home cooked diet

            Also I am not recommending her diet to anyone for their dog without first consulting with your vets. The cause of lymphangiectasia can be many and each must be treated differently. In the case of Casey the belief is the pressure caused by the fluid loss into her abdomen affecting her liver and other organs along with the protein loss caused by the IBD. Her intestines were so inflamed that she was not absorbing any nutrition from her food. Our first course of action was to try & get the inflammation under control (hence the prednisolone & the Azathioprine) and to increase the protein levels in her blood. One of the only ways to do that in her severe case was to increase the protein intake so that she had a chance of absorbing a minimal amount of protein from her food which would allow her liver to then produce the albumin her system needed. Short of that a transfusion would have been needed. In her case this diet is working. Her bloating is so much reduced today that I don’t believe a tap will be needed to remove any more fluid. Again, consult a vet before any diet changes for a sick dog.

          • Louie

            Thanks for clarifying, I missed that. I’m glad your dog’s IBD seems to be responding well to the new diet; sometimes that is all it takes with the IBD/CIL cases!

          • Amy

            The problem with starting meds and a new diet at the same time is it’s difficult to know which one your dog is most responding to. I was concerned your dog was improving because of the meds, but in spite of the high fat diet. I did read Louie’s CIL 102 reminder post and she agrees that a higher protein diet is necessary, so I’m sorry I was wrong about that. I was partly going by the balanceit.com recipes which recommend 65% carbohydrates, 20% protein, and 15% fat for dogs with CIL. I considered that to be lower protein, but maybe it’s not. Anyway, I got into a discussion with my vet about the meds because she wasn’t weaning my dog off of them as quickly as I’d like and she pointed out it’s so hard to know if it’s the diet or the meds that are doing the most good, but she doesn’t want to risk a relaps. I do hope your internal vet med recommends cutting back on the “high fat slop” for your dog. :-)

          • Tree

            Most Vets are simply trained to recommend quality dog food. If you look at most dog food, even the high quality, it only contains 6-14% protein. That was one of the reasons we always fed our dog home cooked food before with a quality kibble if she was still hungry. After the initial diagnosis, we went back to low fat chicken & potatoes or chicken and rice per the vet’s recommendation. She doesn’t have an issue with chicken protein. Once she stopped eating entirely it was necessary to force feed her and canned dog food with the maximum protein was the solution. Both her internal med vet and her regular vet worked together and recommended the high fat but really high protein food. We have been given the green light to start adding home cooked food back and start the transition away from the pureed slop. The home cooked food will be augmented with Nupro and with freeze dried liver to keep the protein content as high as possible. She had her first tiny meal of chicken with rice this afternoon and demolished it. I know we will have to take the transition slowly so as not to upset that delicate balance going on with the meds and her IBD. The internal med vet has also recommended calcium, magnesium, and glutamine supplements. I’m just waiting on him to call me tomorrow with the dose size they want her to take for her current weight. He said one week after we have her transitioned to regular food, then we can start cutting her prednisolone dose back if everything is still going ok. The Ondansetron is also being removed slowly so long as the nausea stays at bay. Cutting out the nightly doses now and in a couple days if all goes well her morning dose. Hopefully that goes well as that is one expensive medicine.

            It actually has been a good experience with her internal med vet and her regular vets working together to figure out what would be best to do in her case. Neither thought she was going to make it through this from her bloodwork and overall demeanor just 3 weeks ago. I didn’t think she was going to make it either but I was determined she would have every chance and the vets stuck it out with me.

  • Mom of Ruckus

    Ruckus’ bloodwork came back today. His levels have gotten worse, not better. His abdomen is still leaking, which the vet said was early weird. Apparently, his body isn’t healing the injection site. He still acts happy and has energy to walk around, follow me, and go outside to pee/poop. I plan to continue the meds and switch to a cod diet. I need to look up a good, healthy balanced recipe using cod. My poor baby boy. I am heartbroken when I look at his beautifulness and see him withering away. He is so sweet and loving. Even sick, he is a cuddle boy full of love and spirit.

    • Amy

      I’m so sorry to hear about Ruckus! Don’t worry so much about him getting the perfect balanced diet with all the vitamins and minerals. Just get him stabilzed first. About 80% potato (or sweet potato) and 20% cod is a place to start. Just make sure you cook everything with no added fat. Ordinarily, you should add a little vegetable oil, but I wouldn’t even do that, at this point.

      • Mom of Ruckus

        Thank you! That will be his diet from this point on. What should I be looking for if it is helping? Less swollen?

        • Amy

          I’m sorry, I can’t tell you for sure because my dog only had diarrhea. The moment I got her off dog food, her stool changed from yellowy water to being very soft, but at least it had some form. Less swollen sounds right to me along with more perkiness, and increased appetite.

  • Linda (Squeekers Mom)

    Hi Ruckus mom, Squeekers is my 11yr old 6 lb yorkie. She was diagnosed with CIL and IBD on 6-1-10. We have had our ups and downs. As far as diet, we have seen a nutritionist. Squeekers has done well on Royal Canin LF canned food. She can’t have the RC LF dry because it contains chicken and she has an intolerance to chicken. I also feed her 1/3 baked Tilapia mixed with 2/3 pasta. The nutritionist and her vet both say she needs a diet high in protein and low fat. I agree with Laura. A food with high fat is a really bad idea. There are actually a few prescription cat foods that are low fat and high protein. Squeekers can’t have them because they contain chicken. One is Purina OM Dry cat food.

  • Donovan's Mom

    My little guy was recently diagnosed with Intestinal Lymphanganesia. He had been having problems periodically for the last couple of years but until his little belly swelled up I were treating symptoms. The ultrasound showed that he actually had the problem. Since he is a Yorkie I decided not to have the biopsy and to get started right away on the diet. He responded well to the Royal Canin LF, the swelling went down within about 10 days but then he wouldn’t want to eat and have periods again of diarrhea. This blog gave me a few ideas and I have added a couple of my own. He is only 5 lbs so I feed him twice a day and even though his appetite is back he only gets a couple of extra pieces of his dried RC LF. He gets a rounded 1/4 cup of the RC LF, two Tablespoons of boiled potatoes (which I boil, then pour water and potato into my Ninja, whip, and keep in a small container for use), 1 heaping tsp of carrots and peas (frozen diced and mixed in my Ninja and stored in another small container), 1/4 tsp of Fiber Powder (Equates brand to Benefiber), 1/2 of a Ginger capsule and 1/2 of the pre and probiotic Miraclzyme. I mix this all together after heating the potatoes and peas and carrots in the microwave for 10 seconds. He loves the mixture itself and in just the last 10 days his Albumen has come up from 1.9 to 2.2. I also have order the Budesonide and Metronidazole. Haven’t started these yet. Almost hate to since he is doing so well but will talk to the vets as to whether to go ahead with them or not. I have appreciated reading everyone’s experience with this terrible affliction. I plan to do everything I can for my sweetheart and it helps to hear what works for others.

  • Kara- Baileys mommy

    Hi everyone,
    I haven’t been on here in a while now.
    Bailey was doing much better. We were feeding him a low fat high protein dog food and giving him the medications prescribed. However, a few weeks ago he ate some slim jims and his belly swelled up. It was drained and we had to start giving him extra doses for two weeks. It has been about 3 weeks now and now his belly is getting full.My vet charges $150 to drain him. Is there anything else that I can do to make the fluid go away?
    Also- There is a specialist that I would like to see, but he charges $175 just for the consultation :( And then a couple hundred for the testing. And then how ever much surgery is for the biopsy (Around 1 grand I heard )… I love my little baby and its so sad to know I cant help him because of money reasons :(

    • Denise ( Peaches mom)

      Kara,

      Peaches went through the same thing, belly taps every week @ $150 a tap, very costly.
      I told the vet that there has to be another option because not only is this costly it can’t be good for the dog.
      Peaches was hospitalized for a week and they did a plasma IV on her. Her cells were attacking each other, the plasma is suppose to coat the cells and stop them from doing that.
      Her meds were switched around again and she is now on Hill’s ZD food. The vet actually called Hill’s and asked them which food they recommend for dogs that have this disease and they sais Hill’s ZD. Peaches is responding very well to this food. HOWEVER the food cost $44.00 for 12 cans.
      I think, unfortunately every dog is going to respond differently to food and medication. It’s a trial and error process.

      • Kara- Baileys mommy

        :( oh boy.
        So you dont think that if I try to give her more protein that his stomach will go down?

        • Denise ( Peaches mom)

          No, I don’t think it goes down on it’s on….but I’m not a vet. I think from my experience, is once the belly is tapped, the vet needs to find the right combo of meds and food to keep it that way.
          Right now Peaches is on a diuretic twice a day, which is helping, along with some other medications. Once I get home tonight I can give you the list of what she is on. The Diuretic certainly help…however she needs to wear a diaper, because now she’s peeing everywhere :(

          • Kara- Baileys mommy

            Okay, well I gave him some extra protein tonight (fat free plain yogurt). I used to give it to him daily, but stopped :( maybe that was my problem?
            If it is not down a little bit by tomorrow I am going to take him in.
            And oh no! Peeing? is that from the medicines?

          • Denise ( Peaches mom)

            Diuretics will make the dog pee ALOT , just like a human. But it really helps with the fluid In belly. I would much rather pay a few dollars for diapers, than $150 for belly taps every week :)
            Also, prednisolone that she is on makes her very hungry, so not only does she get me up every 2 hours at night to pee…she also needs to eat. LOL…needless to say mom doesn’t get much sleep

          • Kara- Baileys mommy

            lol well I’m sorry!
            But it seems like you are doing an amazing job at being a mommy!

    • Amy

      Kara, I’m not sure why you’re considering a specialist when Bailey was already doing much better. Try to come up with the $150 just one more time, and keep him out of the slim jims! :-)

      • Kara- Baileys mommy

        Well because he was already drained once after the slim jim incident (lol piggy!) and so I figured if he has to be drained again now, maybe he isn’t reacting well anymore?

    • Donovan's Mom

      Did you see my post as to the “diet” I finally came up with for my little one? It has been three weeks and he has been picture perfect. I have even postponed indefinitely putting him on the Budesonide and Metronidazole. I know each dog is different but just thought I would share. Hope your little one responds well.

      • Kara- baileys mommy

        No I haven’t, but I’ll look at it(:
        Thanks !!

        • Donovan's Mom

          It has worked so well for Donovan. Not sure why but glad. His belly was so swollen and his digestive tract so messed up I was so surprised that anything worked. It had been so long. Only draw back is that he now has to poop four times a day instead of two. That isn’t a problem for me as I am home most of the time and he is so good. He never makes a mess. He would get me up in the middle of the night when he was so sick. Now he sleeps through the night. I hope you have good results too.

    • Donald King

      We have a 6 yr. old min pin with this disease and the symptoms are very much the same as most of the comments posted on this site. I want to echo some dietary foods we have found most successful: tilapia which is easily found frozen in bags with individual small portions that can be thawed and cooked briefly in water (don’t overcook), sweet potatoes or yams, quinoa (good easily digestible, low fat and high protein grain made like rice and much better than rice which we have been advised to AVOID, baked potato sometimes mixed with the yams, and carrots or mashed up beets. Also some egg whites.

      Actually because of her size, we pretty much mash up most of her food except the Royal Canin low fat dog food we get from the vet (not cheap, but good stuff). After reading on this site, we plan to try giving her raw carrot chips for treats (which she expects after going out to potty).

      She is on the commonly prescribed meds mentioned on countless comments on this site such as the metronidazole, budesonide and azathioprine. Her protein levels have gone up and down, but he last time were critically low (below 2) which alarmed our vet. This coincided with eliminating the budesonide to see if she still needed it. She is back on .5 ml.

      This is an extremely valuable web site and we really appreciate Louie’s mom for starting it! It has been my best sourced of info, because it comes from people trying a wide variety of measures to help save their dogs. Our dog is now waking up to pee every night which is hard for our sleep patterns as we must get up by 6 (she has to go again then and several times per day).

      Thank you all as we are trying hard to help our beloved dogs.

  • Buddy's Mom

    It’s hard to believe just over a year ago my Buddy almost died. His bowels were leaking into his stomach and he could hardly breathe. My vet said she thought it was IBD and put him on many very expensive drugs. He only got worse. I decided I had to save him. He’s a Maltese and he was only 4 1/2 years old. I asked her to give me a referral to a specialist. It was very expensive but so worth it. Now I cook for him. I have it down where I can cook 30 days worth at one time. I package them and freeze them. Each day I take another one out and put it in the thawing rotation. He eats eaqual portions of ground turkey, white rice, canned carrots and canned green beans all mixed up. He was also on steroids for close to a year and recently his levels tested so well that he is off of the steroids completely. He’s gotten back his hair, strength and energy. You would never know that he was sick. I will cook for him for the rest of his life but I am so happy to do it.
    A year ago I thought there was no hope and I was beside myself. I just wanted to share a success story to give everyone hope. Good luck everyone! Terry

    • Amy

      Thank you for sharing your story! I’m so glad Buddy is doing so well. I, too, cook for my dog and freeze the little containers and take out one each day to thaw, but I only cook about a week’s worth at a time. Even if she could process a low-fat canned dog food, I don’t know if she would like the taste anymore – she’s so spoiled! And I think she would associate dog food with being sick and not trust it ether. She’s down now to a half a Prednisone pill every other day, after three months of gradually reducing the dosage. Next week, she goes off all medication all together. I’m keeping my fingers crossed she doesn’t relapse! But if she does, I’ll know the symptoms right away now and I can deal with it. The crazy thing that happened a couple weeks ago is that my CAT started showing the exact same symptoms: refusing to eat, losing weight, and diarrhea. Oh no, not again! It turned out she just had a very upset stomach from something she ate, but the upshot is that I’m now cooking for her too. She eats basically the same diet as the dog, but she gets salmon instead of tilapia. And my freezer now is even more loaded with little containers. :-) And I will cook for both of them the rest of their lives. I think if I ever get more pets, even healthy ones, I will cook for them too. It’s just not that hard and they seem to do so much better on it.

      • Amy

        Louie’s Mom, I don’t think Buddy’s Mom or me ever said in our posts that people who don’t cook for their dogs are “bad pet parents”. But I have been chagrined by posts I’ve read here from pet owners saying they’ve tried science diet I/D or Royal Canan Low-fat and their dog is still very sick, and they want to know what other DOG food they can try. To me, the obvious answer is “none”. To go from one dog food to the next when their albumin level is 1.4, and the clock is ticking is a very bad idea, in my opinion. I think a lot of people FEAR cooking for their dog (I know, I did at first) because they think it’s too much trouble or the diet won’t be nutritionally balanced. I was just trying to squelch some of those fears for people who like the idea of cooking for their pets, but think they can’t do it. I never meant to make anyone feel guilty and I’m sorry if my post was misconstrued that way.

        • Louies Mom

          Hi Amy. The post I that caused me to become chagrined was not your post, it was this one, here, from Ellie http://www.louiethelovemuffin.com/wp/2013/05/23/what-to-feed-your-healthy-dog/#comment-1676

          Obviously worlds apart from your home-cooking suggestions. Ellie wandered in here through a trackback link at one of the blogs that I linked to in that post and started spewing about how we are all killing our dogs if we feed kibble. She doesn’t participate here on a regular basis (or at all, actually) but her post was undoubtedly hurtful to some.

          I am sorry if you misunderstood my intention here. I am quite supportive of anyone who wants to cook, just as I am quite supportive of anyone who doesn’t!

          • Amy

            Yikes! I didn’t even see that post. It appeared mine and Buddy’s Mom’s posts were the most recent about home-cooked diets and I assumed… I read your other new post and you’re right, I should have e-mailed you privately first. I’m sorry!

          • Louies Mom

            No worries, I just wanted to make sure you saw that I was not upset by your suggestions. On the contrary, I appreciate them very much. I wish I had more time and energy to do more for my kids the way some do, and I’m very happy to hear all the different ways we all care for our furkids!

        • Buddy's Mom

          This is Buddy’s mom. I did try several foods that my vet suggested. Nothing worked. Cooking was my last resort. It is a hassle and its worse because I have two Cotons that are not sick so I have to keep them separated when food is around. I guess I was just telling my story and how happy I was that he seems to be better. It was such a difficult time and success in any treatment is such a wonderful thing. I hope everyone finds what works to save their dogs that are so important to them :)
          Terry

          • Louies Mom

            I’m happy to have your story here. Have either of you checked out our full story at the old blog? We went through many of the same things. Through our vets at UC Davis I even paid a nutritionist to create a recipe for Louie which, of course, did nothing for us. There was not a single diet that the vets suggested, whether pre-made or home made, that helped him. That’s how we eventually ended up with these methods– because nothing we were told to do worked for him consistently.

            In case you haven’t really read Louie’s story, you might find it interesting. We truly went through hell. It’s still available at http://savelouie.blogspot.com just look for the links to his story in the right hand column.

          • Amy

            No, I don’t think I’d ever read the full story of Louie at the old blog. It was extremely interesting. How horrendous it was that you were dealing with so many different ailments at once which made his diagnosis so difficult. I was surprised to read your vet talked you out of euthanizing him. I thought vets tend to give up easier than the owners do. My dog’s only other ailment is that she gets frequent anal gland infections, no matter how often I have them emptied. She just got a new infection last weekend when her glands were just expressed three weeks ago. The vet hypothosized that the CIL and medication may have weakend her immune system. The good news is they have discovered they can pack her glands with anti-biotic ointment without putting her under general anesthesia because she’s so well-behaved and passive. So, that saves me about $100 each time. Every little bit helps!

      • Amy

        ” Next week, she goes off all medication all together. I’m keeping my fingers crossed she doesn’t relapse! But if she does, I’ll know the symptoms right away now and I can deal with it. ”
        Update: my dog is relapsing. :-( The odd thing is that she has no symptoms at all. Her stool is still very firm and she’s keeping weight on (thanks to the low-fat potato diet, I guess). But her albumin level is down to 2.2, so she’s back on Prednisone again (albeit a low dosage)…sigh. My vet wants another blood test in one month and then we’ll discuss Budesinide. I was really hoping this could be controlled via diet alone, but I believe now she’ll always need some type of medication. Ah well, at least she’s feeling good, so I’m very grateful for that.

        • Amy

          So, my dog has been back on Prednisone for a month and her albumin level is back up. She’s been symptom-free for months now, but I’m very concerned about long-term steroid use. My vet was going to prescribe Budesinide, but she read some negative things about it, and as long as my dog doesn’t show side-effects from the Prednisone, which she hasn’t, she doesn’t want to switch medications. I’m thinking about getting a second opinion. Thoughts anyone?

          • Donovan's Mom

            What bad things has she heard about Budesonide? I have always heard the Prednisone is worse because it affects the whole body, whereas Budesonide works in the intestines only. I think a second opinion never hurts but finding someone who has dealt with the disease isn’t easy. Even the specialist here is still new to so much of the treatment. Diagnosis is a lot easier but treatment varies from patient to patient. I have been fortunate so far that diet is working with Donovan but I do have the Metronidazole and Budesonide on-hand in case I need them. Keep us posted on your findings, I want to hear everyone’s opinion and experiences with IL. Good luck to you and your little one.

          • Louie's mom

            The biggest negative I’ve heard about Budesonide is the expense, but I have little to no experience with the steroids because we never used them.

          • Amy

            She had read an article from one vet that said if you try Budesonide and it doesn’t work, then when you go back to Prednisone again, it’s not always as effective, and she could end up on higher dosages than she is now. Basically, she feels my dog is doing well on Prednisone and she’s not having any side effectives, so she just doesn’t want to mess with it and risk making things worse. She also mentioned it being more expensive, but my response was: with all the money I’m spending on all these blood tests every month, how much can it be?! She laughed. I still think I’d like a second opinion from another vet on Budesonide.

          • Louis

            Regarding the expense, it really has come down. But some vets may need to double check with their compounding pharmacy. My vet said it cost over one thousands dollars (really). When I said that cant be, they called again and somehow they said “whoops, I can get it for 60 dollars for 100 capsules of .5mg. So keep trying.

            As for whether its good or not they’re right and it really depends on the dog. This goes for any medication but after starting it you should keep testing to ensure his or her albumin stays stable. At thr end if the day, I think that’s how you know if Budesonide is for you.

          • Amy

            Well, with the last blood test, the vet found my dog’s liver enzymes are out of whack. She thinks this is due to the Predisone, so she FINALLY prescribed budesonide, which I wanted to switch to months ago. Ah well, so far so good. The only annoying thing is that it’s in liquid form, so I have to measure it into a syringe. (At least she seems to like the taste.) Putting a tiny half pill into a piece of food and feeding it to her was much easier. When I use up this bottle I’ll see if the compounding place can put it in pill form.

          • Donovan's Mom

            There is a compounding pharmacy called petrescuerx.com that did Donovan’s scripts. A part of every prescription is donated to help rescues. It was cheaper too. Just a thought. Glad you are having luck with it working.

          • Amy

            Thanks! I’ll look at the web site. It will be interesting to see what her next blood test shows.

    • Donna (Charlie's mom)

      Hi Buddy’s Mom, I have also a Maltese who just got diagnosed with PLE 2 weeks ago. I understand that you prepare homemade food for him, but do you add any supplements to it? Do you give him any treats? Also is he on any medications? Did he have a swollen belly from time to time? If yes did the food or meds help with that condition? Thanks in advance for your answer.

  • Laura Britnay's Aunt

    Thank you all for the information we are just starting on our CIL journey Britnay is my Mom’s dog and was sick for weeks before we got a diagnosis she is doing better on prednisone but we want to keep he that way. I’v been reading for about an hour and a half and learned so much.

    • Donovan's Mom

      Wishing you much success. Good luck with your research.

    • Louies Mom

      So glad you found us! I hope we’re not driving you crazy because I’m making lots of changes to the site tonight. So glad she’s doing better already with the prednisone. I hope you find something here that will help her do even better.

  • Louies mom. Thankyou for all the great info. Ella has been fighting cil for almost 2 years. I was wondering if heartworm prevention chewables could be harmful. The vet wants to keep her on them. Last. Time I gave her one she threw up.

    • Louies Mom

      Louie threw up his interceptor once. I stopped giving it because we are not really in a high-risk heartworm area. After he got stronger, I gave it again. I think it really depends on where you live. Some areas are very high risk and, in those places, I wouldn’t risk it. Heartworm is a terrible disease.

  • Yvette

    Our mixed breed, Myles, has made great improvement from the last 5 months. His protein is back to normal & his weight is going up weekly. We make his food and give him supplements formulated by cornell nutritionist. He has been on prednisone & cyclosporine since February. My question is, when the dog is in remission, can we wean him off the meds? Or wean down to less doses. The long ter effect of these drugs are scary!

    • Amy

      What does your vet say about that? My vet started weaning my dog down to lower doses after a couple weeks. She started at two prednisone pills a day, then one pill a day for a month, then half a pill a day, then half a pill every other day. This went on for almost four months. And I kept having to go back for blood tests every three weeks to make sure she wasn’t relapsing. Your vet hasn’t lowered the doses for your dog at all since February? I think that’s a bit odd, but every dog is different.

  • Louies Mom

    Every dog is different, and every vet is different. Louie was never on prednisone because they felt his Cushing’s disease was creating enough steroid to “treat” his CIL, so I don’t have experience with that. The cyclosporine we kept giving for a couple of years, I believe, but eventually we were able to discontinue that.

    From what I observe here it seems that most who are on steroids do make an attempt to wean from them at some point, but the disease is so hard to manage that many don’t want to mess around too much with what’s working if remission is achieved, as it can be so hard to get there. Many do seem to wean down to lower doses but many end up with a maintenance dose because they can’t get them completely off of it without symptoms returning.

    The intestinal tissue can take a long time to heal, so I’m wondering if your vet is waiting he/she feels your dog has the best chance of not relapsing. You should talk to the vet and see what can be done with the meds.

  • Lola's Dad

    My dog Lola is an 8 year old female Pug. She’s had IBD most of her life and has recently been diagnosed with Lymphangiectasia. As we’ve been dealing with the IBD most of her life we are quite used to flare ups, but most often they are short patches and we get through them enough. She’s on all the standard medications for IBD. Most recently though she’s taken a dramatic turn for the worse prompting us to see an internal medicine specialist and the diagnosis of Lymphangiectasia. Our biggest concern right now is finding a food that Lola will respond to. We’ve been on various specialty dog foods and for most of her life Lola has eaten anything in front of her with gusto. its in the last 3 weeks that she’s rejected almost every dog food presented and has limited interest in any human food we feed her. Scrambled Eggs, Chicken, yogurt, carrots, potato, salmon have all been tried. she tends to respond to them initially in small portions, but then decides she does not like it and wont’ eat. We know that low fat diet is important, but we are also concerned about calorie intake and wanting to make sure she is getting enough nutrition as we attempt to solve this eating riddle. We are a busy family with a 16 month child and both parents holding down full time jobs. the vet bills have been through the roof and with much pain and regret we are discussing if we need to put Lola down. She is our first child and in many ways the bond that has kept this family together. We are absolutely desperate for answers and finding very little success. Grateful for any advice.

    • Donovan's Mom

      I would not pretend to be an expert but I would not consider “putting Lola down” without a good fight. My little one had been sick for a couple of years before the IL diagnosis. They told me it was probably IBD. So I tried to make sure his diet was good and even though he had occasional flare-ups I dealt with them at the time and then went on, until, his stomach filled up with fluid and he looked like a little teddy bear. The diagnosis was heartbreaking because I felt he had this for almost two years and now was getting worse. I understand it depends on which is primary the IBD of IL but Royal Canin makes the lowest fat dog food you can buy and Donovan’s stomach went down quickly. Thought all was well but the diarrhea flared up again with a week and that is when I found this blog. I decided on mixing potatoes (which I cook a couple in water and then pour potatoes water and all and make a thin potato mixture), 1/2 capsule of ginger (125 mg) and 1/4 tsp of fiber powder (equiv. of Benefiber) with his 1/4 cup of RC LF dog food. Not sure how much your baby weighs but mine was down to 5 pounds (now 5 1/2 which is his normal weight) so you can adjust the food part as necessary for your dog. There are so many diets you can try and only you know your dog. I am sure others will respond and have been through this longer than me but so far I have not had to give him the Budesonide or Metronidazole although I have a prescription filled for him. I know it isn’t good to keep changing the basic food you feed but when you decide which one fits her needs best you can add as you feel you should even one item at a time. There is nothing for sure and I know I may have to change his diet several times but as long as he is willing to fight so am I. This blog has a lot of good information and receipes and people more than willing to share any information you would like. I hope Lola responds to one of these diets (or one you come up with) but only you will know when it is her time. If you haven’t already done so, read Louie’s story, it really helps, http://savelouie.blogspot.com/2009/07/how-it-started.html.

      Good luck,

      Donovan’s Mom

      • Monica

        Just a quick question donovan’s mom- im wondering if my dog is losing protein from his intake.. Would feeding him high protein… Fill his belly up quicker? I’m just wondering base on your experiences. Pleadse let me know

        • Donovan's Mom

          I wrote a long reply and then it just went blank. I have to leave for a bit but you are welcome to call me or I can call you. My number is (918) 607-2359 and you are welcome to call anytime or leave me your number and I will call you.

          Don’t know if you saw my recipe but it has worked for Donovan for over 2 months now since his diagnosis in April. I would be glad to give it to you.

          Basically I understand that the IL causes protein to be leaked with the lymph fluid into the stomach causing the low albumin. If your baby’s protein is low the leaking must be stopped before protein will build up again. That is the bad thing about this disease. Low fat is the only thing that will help this condition. You can always add extra protein (like tilapia, etc.) as long as it is no extra fat. Donovan did well on his diet after a few trials. RC LF is the lowest fat packaged dog food available and it worked fine for his base diet. I’ve read others say they had to go to another food base. Louie’s mom has a recipe on her blog as do some of the other posts you can read. You just need to start and see what works for your baby. Let me know if I can help in any way. I feel so sorry for everyone going through this. I have other special needs dogs but I try to give them all whatever they need. I will do whatever is necessary. Let me hear from you.

    • Amy

      Lola’s Dad, I hope the scrambled eggs contained only the whites, since yolks are full of fat. From what I’ve read here, IBD dogs don’t do well on chicken, and salmon is also very high in fat. So, I think there are better diets you can try for an IBD and CIL dog. Potatoes and tilapia are frequently recommended and my dog has done well on those ingredients, especially sweet potatoes. You can also try turkey or buffalo meat, which are both low in fat. To make sure my dog’s food is nutritionally-balanced, I use the recipes and supplements from http://www.balanceIT.com, so you can look there. And Louie’s Mom liked using Honest Kitchen dog food, which you can read about here. It has all the nutrition dogs need, but you can add your own meat source, thereby controlling the fat and protein content better. Good luck and I hope your dog is feeling better soon!

  • Louies mom, thanks for reply. Ella is on heartguard and we are in a high risk area so I will keep up the med. Thanks for your care for our sick dogs

  • Monica

    Has anyone tried hydrolyzed protein? Charlie enjoyed it for a bit, and his poop was good today. No meds either!

    • Donovan's Mom

      Monica, I wouldn’t feed anything that I wouldn’t eat to my dog. Hydrolyzed protein is one of them. Here is an article. There are just a lot of hype for these products. Mainly because it is cheaper to put in foods than to prepare the real food (veggie burgers, etc.) I would think, just my opinion, that it would do more harm than good. The idea to control IL as I understand it is to stop the leaking of the protein (gained from his food) from the lymph into the stomach or other areas of the body. I don’t think it would control his diarrhea or make him retain any more protein. After reading what how it is obtained, and hearing that it is very biologically destructive (affecting other organs) I would be very careful. If you think it is what is working though good luck and I will be interested to hear. Hope he is still doing better.

    • Louie's Mom

      A very important line question to ask about hydrolyzed protein is whether your dog’s CIL is primary or is secondary to IBD. Secondary CIL will most likely respond well to the hydrolyzed proteins because IBD is a problem with protein intolerace. It won’t make a bit of different in primary CIL, because when CIL is primary, the problem is dietary fat, not protein.

      Since the lines aren’t always easy to see, it can be worth trying if you’re not finding success with low fat alone, but this is why you will see some saying it worked miracles and others saying it did not do anything. Generally the amount of fat in these hydrolyzed foods are far too high, as Donovan’s Mom points out, to treat primary CIL.

    • Angels Mom

      My Angel is on RC Hydrolized Protein dry food. Vet and specialist agree on it. She has IBD and Lymphangiecstasia. She has just started allergy shots and one of her meds has to be given with food so I am giving a small amount of ground turkey as I then know she is not on an empty stomach.

  • Donovan's Mom

    I contacted Royal Canin yesterday and they sent me the analysis of the RC LF and the Hypo. There is a big difference. The LF is the LOWEST fat content and highest protein available. The Hypo had over three times the fat content as the LF. You really need to get a vet to prescribe the LF. It made a world of difference. Plus I never worried about protein. He stopped leaking it out of the lymph and so his level came back up. I will be glad to forward the RC e-mail they sent me to you if you will give me your e-mail address again. It did not save in my book. Hope he is doing well. Take care.

  • Donovan's Mom

    Sorry you aren’t feeling well. If anyone would like Royal Canin’s analysis of the RC LF vs. RC Hypoallergenic they sent me an e-mail today to compare. If anyone has doubts RC LF is the LOWEST fat content and highest protein of any specialty diet for IL. RC LF 5% fat, 20% protein vs. the RC Hypo 17% fat, 19% protein. Fiber is the same and very low. I have added fiber (Benefiber or equal) to Donovan’s diet with great success. His potato, peas and carrots, ginger and fiber plus his Miraclezyme has been the recipe for success for us (at least so far). Hoping it continues. No meds yet.

  • Morgan's Mom

    Morgan has both CIL and IBD. He successfully ate RC Whitefish/potato hypoallergenic food for a year. When his runny stools returned I switched him to Honest Kitchen Preference with added ground turkey breast and potato flakes, which he ate for another year. Now, he’s starting to have some runny stools again, along with loss of appetite. I’d like to start him on just baked potato and turkey breast, which he would like, but I doubt that is nutritionally complete. Couldn’t I just add Balance It?? If so, how much? Their website doesn’t give me info needed. Can anyone help??

  • Amy

    Yes, absolutely, you can add BalanceIt to a potato and turkey breast diet. But their web site doesn’t give you the info you need because they require you to work with a veterinarian, just like getting a drug prescription from your doctor, rather than over-the-counter. Once you click on the check boxes for IBD and severe (or moderate) fat restriction, and choose the recipe you want, you’ll see a form that asks you to provide your vet’s name and fax number. They’ll fax the vet your request, he/she approves it, and you’ll be able to view the entire recipe, including the amount of supplement. Even if someone here was willing to “cheat” and give you the amount of supplement, I doubt you’d be able to order it without a vet approval number. By the way, they also sell potato flakes with the supplement already mixed in, which is nice and convenient. I just add either tilapia, lean ground turkey, or lean ground beef. I rotate them just for variety.

  • Chase's mom

    Does anyone have some experience/advice on giving fish oils or vitamins with their dog? My aussies skin is so dry & flakey. I cannot brush him cause his hair just pulls out & he will be bald- likely due to the pred. His CIL is secondary to IBD.

    • Morgan's Mom

      My Morgan could not tolerate fish oil. When he was on pred, his coat thinned and his skin was flakey. Once off pred, his coat grew in fine again.

  • Morgan's Mom

    For those of you out there using Balance It, what diet are you using? My 1st Balance It order is currently in transit. I was surprised at the recipes………… 2 teaspoons of corn oil a day?? Are you doing that? It just seems like way more fat than Morgan is accustomed to. This is the potato/fish diet.

  • Amy

    Hi Morgan’s Mom. On the web site, click on “See Nutrient Profile” and it will tell you what percent fat the diet is. If you selected moderate or severe fat-intolerance, the recipe should only be about 13% to 15% fat, which is pretty low. My dog is a toy poodle and only weighs about 9 lbs. so my recipe of potato and tilapia only calls for half a teaspoon of corn oil. (You must have a much bigger dog!) And, yes, I am doing that, and my dog is doing well on the diet, along with half a tablet of Prednisone a day. I asked my vet if I could skip the corn oil, so I could reduce the Prednisone, but she didn’t like that idea because tilapia is so lean, she thought that would be too little fat. Remember, some nutrients are fat-soluable and require some amount of fat to be absorbed.

    • Morgan's Mom

      Thanks Amy. The recipe is 14% fat. Morgan probably doesn’t get half that much fat and hasn’t for more than 2 years. He is about 4 times bigger than your dog, so the relationship of fat is consistent with what you are using. I’ll just introduce it gradually and see how it goes. Morgan only gets Azathioprine, no Prednisone.

      • Amy

        I think that’s a very good idea. For my dog, this disease hasn’t been particularly severe, so she may be able to tolerate more fat than other dogs.

  • Morgan's Mom

    Oh Amy, thank you. I guess I had oil on my brain. I thought Susan had a BIG dog! :-)

  • Virginia

    Hi,
    Thank you for posting this. Our 6-year old peekapoo is bloating with fluid in abdomen and preliminary tests show a loss of protein. Next is endoscopy for biopsy of intestine tissue to confirm ICL. I wanted to know if organiz, no salt peanut butter would be a fat substitute? Again, thank you for sharing everything with us.

    • Amy

      Why are you looking for a fat substitute? You should be looking for a protein substitute that’s very low fat, such as tilapia instead of chicken or beef.

      • Donovan's Mom

        Have you tried Royal Canin LF? Donovan had bloating and the vet that did the Ultrasound told me to start him on it immediately. It worked in about a week, but then he still had diarrhea and I had to add whipped potatoes, fiber powder, peas and carrots and 1/2 ginger capsule. Three months and he is good as gold. Still have to take a day at a time because things can change. Just a suggestion.

  • Morgan's Mom

    Virginia,
    I don’t think so….. peanut butter contains a lot of fat.
    Morgan’s Mom

  • Morgan's Mom

    BalanceIt Issue
    Morgan does not want anything to do with food that contains BalanceIt! I even tried just a little bit, not nearly the amount in the recipe. Did others have this problem, and if so, do you have any suggestions??
    Morgan’s Mom

    • Amy

      I’m really surprised you’re having this issue. I’ve licked a bit of the powder off my finger and it has virtually no smell or taste at all. I wonder how your dog knows it’s there. I feed it to my cat too, and she’s fine with it. My only suggestion would be to add something fat-free that your dog loves, in order to mask whatever your dog is detecting. For instance, would your dog like it if you added some fat-free cottage cheese or chicken broth?

  • aleida

    My 12 year old Havanese, Max, was diagnosed with CIL this past week. He has lost weight and has fluid build up which causes him to cough. He is not refusing to eat dog food. He will eat small amounts of ground beef or chicken. He is on Vitamin B-12, Prednisone, Lasix, and Chlorambucil. My concern is that he is not eating enough and it is very hard to get him to take the tablets. I hide them in hotdogs, treats, etc and he eats the treat and spits out the pill especially the Chlorambucil. Any help is appreciated.

    • Morgan's Mom

      We give our Wheaten Terrier, Morgan, his pills wrapped in potato. We keep potatoes baked in the microwave on hand, mash up, mix in a bit of chicken broth to moisten, form into a ball and put the pill(s) inside. I sometimes make multiple balls, some without pills to give before and after those that contain the pills. Good luck!

    • Donovan's Mom

      My Donovan was diagnosed last April. It took about three weeks trial and error but I finally came up with a diet suited for his needs. I don’t know but am assuming that his IL is primary and if so he needs the low fat diet. There are many good diets listed on this site but the one that worked for us was the Royal Canin LF which is the lowest fat of ALL the dry foods. He only weighs 5 1/2 pounds so he gets 1/4 cup of the RC LF, two Tablespoons of whipped potatoes (I keep in a bowl in the refrigerator after boiling two potatoes in water and then pouring EVERYTHING, liquid and all in my Ninja and whipping them up). I put the two Tablespoons of potatoes, 1/4 tablet of ginger capsule (the 125 mg one), less than a 1/4 teaspoon of fiber powder (equal to Benefiber) and a teaspoon of diced peas and carrots (which I also keep in a bowl in the refrigerator after I have run them through my Ninja), and 1/2 tablet of Miraclezyme (which is a pre and pro biotic) mixed all together with his RC LF)

    • Donovan's Mom

      My Donovan was diagnosed last April. It took about three weeks trial and error but I finally came up with a diet suited for his needs. I don’t know but am assuming that his IL is primary and if so he needs the low fat diet. There are many good diets listed on this site but the one that worked for us was the Royal Canin LF which is the lowest fat of ALL the dry foods. He only weighs 5 1/2 pounds so he gets 1/4 cup of the RC LF, two Tablespoons of whipped potatoes (I keep in a bowl in the refrigerator after boiling two potatoes in water and then pouring EVERYTHING, liquid and all in my Ninja and whipping them up). I put the two Tablespoons of potatoes, 1/4 tablet of ginger capsule (the 125 mg one), less than a 1/4 teaspoon of fiber powder (equal to Benefiber) and a teaspoon of diced peas and carrots (which I also keep in a bowl in the refrigerator after I have run them through my Ninja), and 1/2 tablet of Miraclezyme (which is a pre and pro biotic) mixed all together with his RC LF). I think the main thing is consistency and finding the right combination for your baby. We were going to put Donovan on Budesonide and Metronidazole but his diet worked so well it hasn’t been necessary so far. It has only been 4 months but I am hopeful. I wish you good luck. If he needs added protein you can always fix some tilapia (jut plain) in the microwave (cover good). They love it. Hang in there.

    • Glenda Sorger

      Try Greenie’s pill pockets – I’ve never had a dog that didn’t immdiately swallow a pill when enclosed in one of those. I get them at my vet’s, but I believe they are available in stores such as Petco, etc.

    • The Greenies Pill pockets work great. My dog Jake really likes the chicken flavored ones, which I get at Petsmart or the vet’s office. Also I have use sweet potato to wrap the pills in which Jake loves too.
      Also, have you tried giving your dog tilapia? CIL dogs don’t digest fats well and are supposed to stick to low fat protein sources. My vet also thinks that many dogs are allergic to chicken, so she wants me to stay away from any thing with chicken in it. I make my dogs food using the BalanceIt (balanceIt.com) recipe of potato and tilapia that my vet got for me.

      Hang in there, as it seems to take a lot of trial and error to find out what works for your dog. It took about five months to see a turn around in my four year multipoo. He started on Prednisone (along with metronidazole, azathiaprine, and ursodiol), which did make a lot of his hair fall out sadly, but now he is doing great. We have now switched him to Budesenide and all his hair is growing back and he is continuing to do well eight months out.

      • YorkieMom13

        I’ve spoken to my vet about it, and he’s receptive to the idea of budesonide, but for some reason he wants me to stick with the prednisone for 5 more days. My little guy has mild tremors with the prednisone and seems to be very sensitive to it. Vet said he would like to see him on prednisone for 4 weeks total before switching to budesonide, because that improves his chances of responding well to the budesonide. Hoping he’s right. Scary how much faith you have to put in a total stranger to save a loved one!

  • YorkieMom13

    Hello –

    My 6 yr old Yorkie was diagnosed with lymphangiectasia about 3 weeks ago.

    His symptoms prior to diagnosis were simply being a picky eater. However, in the 2 days leading up to diagnosis he began having liquid green vomit and stool. He was lethargic and had a swollen belly. When we took him in, I was of course concerned, the vet admitted him to the animal hospital and he was found to have an albumin of 1 and they asked for permission to transfuse plasma and drain the abdomen of fluid.

    They removed 875mL of fluid from his abdomen (and my little guy was 3 lbs lighter coming home!) and his albumin had gone to 2.8, roughly 4 hours after plasma infusion. He was discharged home to be the next day on prednisone (weaning over 3 weeks) and metronidazole (twice a day for 5 days). He was sent home for 2 day on Science Diet GI health, and then his Royal Canin Hypoallergenic Hydrolyzed Protein was available to be picked up.

    His abdomen begun to swell for about 2 weeks after this, and he was up 1 lb when I took him to the vet. They suggested increasing the prednisone I had begun weaning him from already. Also, his albumin level was 1, again. I was crushed, thinking that his special diet and prednisone weren’t working. His behavior (eating/drinking/pooping/barking/etc) had returned to about 80% of normal for him.

    Now he has had 1 semi-loose stool, green and foul smelling like when I took him to the vet the initial time. He has also vomited once, with partially digested food and bile. However, his behavior remains much improved, at least 75-80% of his normal behavior (including running to greet me at the door).

    He isn’t eating as much, but continues to drink water (probably the prednisone). His gums are light pink, maybe a little too light, but I am able to see the blood return when I press on his gums, and it comes back quickly. His gums are dry sometimes, but not sticky or tacky and often moisten back up when he drinks water and walks around more.

    His vet said no prednisone for 2 days, and start 2.5mg of famotidine once a day, for 5-7 days depending on what happens when I restart the prednisone. He was very receptive to the idea of budesonide when I suggested it, but said he wants to see how my little guy does with the diet as well. The biggest issue is that he is a picky eater, so some days he doesn’t eat his new food (he was the same way with his old food). The vet says he doesn’t think that my Yorkie will be able to tolerate diet modification alone and may need medication and diet therapy to correct his issues. His biggest concern is that the albumin is low and he is hoping that the Royal Canin Hypo HP will be just what he needs to recover from this.

    Are there any other treatments or ideas anyone else may have? I’m reading that for a lot of dogs it may take several months for them to improve, but how long until his albumin returns to a somewhat normal range? His WBC was normal at the last visit.

    • YorkieMom13

      Also – the vet doesn’t want us to give anything with his medication, and suggested giving it to him in his food.

      The way he suggested was that we would moisten his food with water, freeze it, and let it thaw slightly, stick the medicine in it, and then feed it to him. He surprisingly is very excited for pill time when his “treats” come out of the freezer. He looks forward to them even when he goes pee and would normally get a fatty treat.

      Again, he’s on the Royal Canin Hypoallergenic Hydrolyzed Protein, and we just use the dry food and moisten it. We managed to find a place that sells the canned wet food version of it, but it seems like a waste for a dog who is so picky anyway!

      • Donovan's Mom

        I have the RC LF and RC Hypo stats from Royal Canin if you would like me to forward them to you. RC LF is the lowest fat content of any brand out there. My little guy responded so well to the LF and when I added potato, ginger and fiber powder to his diet he has made a total turnaround. It has been 4 months now and he hasn’t had to go on any meds (so far). I am hoping this diet will be good for a long time. Let me know and I’ll be glad to share anything I can with you.

      • Louis

        OP… Please keep us posted. Those were some scary numbers.

        Also the Royal Canin Hypo seemed like an odd choice. I, too, thought the Low Fat was better.

        ASK your Vet:
        RC makes wet canned versions of all their food, and they are 2 bucks a can or so. I use the wet Royal Canin as once a day treats plus twice a day I put his meds in it (3 meatballs total) per day. DJ LOVES it and doesnt even know he is taking medicine.

        Remember the metronidazole tastes very very very bitter so if he tasted it in his food he may be turned off to it all together. (Not eating for this reason is common and even listed as an actual side effect in animals). It is best to separate this from his food if you can.

        One can lasts me up to a month. Ask your vet if you can do this.

        • Amy

          Yeah, I agree with the others. I went looking for the stats on the RC Hypo to see the fat content and it only gives the min percentage and not the max. I would be concerned about that. You can also try just cooking potatoes and tilapia for him for a little while to see if there’s improvement and then look at canned dog food again after his albumin level is up. It shouldn’t take more than a couple weeks for him to improve.

  • Louie's Mom

    Use the calculator here to determine true fat content: http://www.louiethelovemuffin.com/wp/2013/06/05/how-much-fat-is-really-in-that-food/

    The results can be quite different than you would expect.

    Also, as I posted elsewhere on the site today, the two foods treat different conditions. If your primary problem is IBS, the hypo is probably the best choice. If primary CIL really is the problem, it has too much fat.

    Hope this helps.

    • Amy

      Based on the MINIMUM fat number shown on the can, yes, you can calculate the true fat content. I entered the numbers for Royal Canin L/F: 6.0% protein, 1.0% fat, 77% moisture, and the balanceIT calculator came back with 12.97% fat. Great! But what if the fat MAXIMUM fat is higher? I decided to call Royal Canin on the phone and ask them. It turns out they don’t have minimum/maximum numbers because the ingredients don’t fluctuate. So, she gave me the ACTUAL numbers: 7.14% protein, 1.62% fat, and 76% moisture. Now the fat content is 18.9%. That’s not as wonderful as 12.97% fat.

      • Amy

        I just went to the Science Diet web site and it looks like they do the calculation for you and provide the percentages based on the dry matter. The canned W/D Low-fat is 12.7% fat and I/D Low-fat is 8.5%. So, they’re both lower in fat that the Royal Canin low-fat food.

      • Donovan's Mom

        That is the canned?

        • Amy

          Yes, that’s canned. I’m not trying to tell everyone to switch from RC to SD. I know a lot of people have posted here that they’ve had great success with RC/LF, including you. 18.9% is still fairly low fat. The balanceIT recipes I feed my dog are 14 to 15% fat. My concern is for YorkieMom who is feeding RC Hypo, which isn’t low fat at all, and her dog isn’t doing well.

          • Donovan's Mom

            I don’t feed the canned at all. The RC LF I feed is dry. My vet told me that it was lower than SD and I called RC and they sent me the stats. I understand about your concern for Yorkie Mom as that was my concern too. I’m for whatever works and I know what works for one won’t work for everyone. Thanks for clearing that up.

      • Louie's Mom

        You don’t enter the fat numbers. You enter everything else, and it gives you the fat content as a result.

        • Amy

          I’m sorry, but that’s not true. Go look at the form again. You enter in all the numbers from the can’s label: protein, fat, moisture, and fiber. Then, the calculator gives you the true percentages based on the dry matter (moisture removed). If you don’t enter in a fat number, it defaults to 0%.

          • The RC-LF that I fed my little peekapoo was the dry food. I didn’t calculate any numbers; I just needed to get some food into her and went with the Vet’s suggestion. I hope all your little doggies will spring back to good health very soon.

  • Louis

    That is interesting, Louie’s Mom. Good to know.

    Unfortunately, DJ has primary CIL. But thanks to my wonderful vet and your gracious website he’s going on 6 years from his diagnosis when he was 4!!!

    (I tried to enter his bloodwork on your website but unfortunately I can’t remember back that far and I have all the vet bills and instructions but not the bloodwork)

    Maybe Yorkiemom is dealing with Secondary lymphangiectasia? Or are they equally as bad to manage?

  • Louie's Mom

    I think CIL that is secondary to IBS can be easier if they respond well to a hypoallergenic diet or if you can identify a novel protein to feed that is tolerated well. The problem is that it can take a little time for the intestinal lacteals to stop being distended, so sometimes you won’t see progress right away. Sometimes it isn’t that simple and, like in Louie’s case, you end up having to manage both fats and proteins. If you only have to manage proteins, you’re lucky.

  • virginia

    The vets at the Univ. of Florida started my littler peekapoo off with Hills, Z/D since her albulin was 2.1. That wasn’t too low, but she bloated up in the abdomen and gained two pounds with the liquid. She ate the z/d for about 6 days and lost most of the liquid in her cavity, thank God. Then, she walked away from the z/d because, as a finiky eater, it probably tasted like cardboard to her. I tried to give it some taste by adding just 1/4 tsp of wet bison (canine) food, but she wouldn’t eat it. So the vet recommended I try the Royal Canine L/F. She is eating much better (still with 1/8 tsp. of bison added) and after two weeks of this food, her level rose to 2.8. Everyone, thanks for your input, it is invaluable if you have a doggie with IBD of Lymp…..tasia

  • Lacey's Mom

    Hi Louie’s Mom, I just found this incredible website. Thank you so much for the great information. I have been trying to manage Lacey’s CIL for 2 years now. She was first diagnosed in Oct. 2011 and it took about 3 months to get it under control. She relapsed in Sept. 2012 and that time it took about 5 months until remission. We are now relapsing again and I can’t help but think there is some kind of airborne allergy that triggers it since this is the 3rd time and always the same time of year! I don’t think that is a coincidence. She has been on the strict diet of RC LF canned food for 2 years. I am wondering if I should try to change her to another diet. It seems a lot of posts were successful with Kangaroo. I tried to move her to the Hypo 2 weeks ago and it triggered another diarrhea episode. Her albumin is up to 1.8 and although that is not great, it is better from where she was 2 weeks ago.

    She is a 5 lb. Maltese and cannot afford to lose weight. She started shivering constantly and I’m not sure if she is cold or in pain. She is on the maximum dose of prednisone, the maximum dose of atopica and tylan powder. She has been on liver supplements, she was recently put on probiotics and 3mg of melatonin. I think we have a wonderful team of doctors treating her that are not giving up on this fight and I am not ready to give up on this fight either.

    Do you think I should try a new food for her? My heart is breaking…..

    • Donovan's Mom

      Have you tried adding a Tablespoon of whipped potatoes to the RC LF? The RC LF immediately made Donovan’s stomach swelling go away but he still had diarrhea. I added potatoes and ginger to his 1/4 cup morning and night and he has been great for 5 months now. The potatoes and ginger helped soothe his stomach and the fiber took care of his diarrhea. I just mix it all together every meal. I know there are a lot of good diets on the site so hopefully you can find something that works. Best wishes.

  • Lacey's Mom

    Thanks Donovan’s Mom. I am trying the sweet potato today. I just added about a tablespoon to her evening meal. Her latest bowel movement was better. Although it is not formed or firm stool. I also added the Slippery Elm that I have been reading so much about. Keeping my fingers crossed!

    • Donovan's Mom

      The fiber from the sweet potato should be helpful. You might just add 1/4 tsp of Benefiber or equivalent to the sweet potato if that doesn’t work. Was a miracle for Donovan. I never used the sweet potato as the regular potatoes worked first. The ginger also helped with the nausea. Good luck and keep us posted.

  • Lacey's Mom

    It is with a very heavy heart that I am writing this. Lacey lost her battle with CIL today. I am so grateful for the 12 years that we had with her. She left us on her terms and I was happy that I did not have to make that tough decision for her. We love her very much and she will be missed terribly…..

  • Glenda Sorger

    To Lacey’s mom – I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s just so difficult when we lose a member of the family, but at least her suffering is over. The more I read about CIL and IBD, it’s apparent that it’s the smaller dogs that have such a hard time with these diseases. My own Daisy is doing so well; her Albumin is just about in the normal range now, but she is a 48 lb dog, and her diseases were caught before she had real physical symptoms. It was just her bloodwork, and the fact that her Albumin was at 1.8 (which isn’t terrible), that gave our vet a clue to what might be going on. An ultrasound, intestinal biopsies, food changes and $5,000 later, she is her normal Daisy self. I just hope that she stays that way.

    • To Lacey’s Mom – I also wish to express my condolences for your loss. We came very close to losing my multipoo Jake earlier this year. And he is only 4-1/2. It was a very stressful time for the whole family to see him so sick. But between my vet figuring out which medications to use and me figuring out the best diet for him (and also $5000 later!) and Jake fighting hard, he is doing amazingly well. His albumin level went from 1.4 to 3.9 and he’s back to his normal weight. It is so wonderful to have our adorable, loving Jake back. And like Daisy’s mom, we can only hope he stays that way.

      • Donna (Charlie's mom)

        His Susan, could you tell me what did your vet prescribed and what did you feed Jake? I have 4 year old Maltese (Charlie) that was diagnosed two weeks ago. I’m agonizing what’s going to happen to him. So far he’s responding well to all medications and food but this is just 1 week of treatment. I would love to have different approaches ready if this won’t work. Pls. let me know.

        • Glenda Sorger (Daisy's mom)

          To Charlie’s mom – I know you directed your inquiry to Susan, but I thought I’d add my two cents worth, just becasue Daisy is doing so unbelievable well – unfortunately, at first, her vet did put her on the Royal Canin LF, but she got sick from it. We don’t know if it was the barley or what it was she was sensitive to. They switched her to the HP, and that made all the difference in the world. Granted, it isn’t a low fat food, but I mix two parts of the dry food with 1 part roasted butternut squash mixed with cooked 99% fat free ground turkey and cooked green beans (in fairly equal amounts)that have all been run through the food processor. Obviously, if your dog tolerates the Royal Canin LF, that is much better, but Daisy just can’t eat it. She is also on Prednisone, and she gets a vitamin B shot, once per week. This is for 4 weeks, then she goes to every other week for the next 4 shots. Luckily, my husband used to be a paramedic, so he gives her the shots. I just can’t stab my own dog! We are now at the point where they are going to begin cutting back her Prednisone, as she shows no signs of illness whatsoever. I am keeping my fingers crossed. I hope your dog does well, but there are lots of good ideas on this website regarding what to feed our dogs with CIL. Don’t expect miracles with the medication – Daisy is on what is considered a lower dose for her size, and although her albumin is going up, with each blood test, it’s only been rising about .3 every two weeks, but I did not want her on a large dose of Prednisone. There are just so many bad effects with it. Anyway, sorry for the wordiness, but much luck to you!

          • Donna (Charlie's mom)

            Glenda, thank you so much for the info. Charlie is on Hill’s ID Low Fat (turkey) and is tolerating it very well. He’s on Prednisone, Chlorambucil (Leukeren), Tylan. B12 shots once a week (Vet. technician administers it). He is hungry constantly but I understand that taking Prednisone gets their appetite up. We’ll see a Vet in a week to check his blood.
            I’ve also heard that putting them on RAW diet (very low fat and protein only) would be very beneficial. I went to the store and bought “Primal” venison formula (which has great ratio of protein and fat) and started adding a little bit to his dry kibble. He absolutely loves it. The question is am I doing the right thing by adding other protein to his prescribed diet? Any advise?

          • Glenda Sorger (Daisy's mom)

            Charlie’s mom – I was going to do that, as well, but my vet did not want me to do it. I wanted to go with a kangaroo and squash diet, so my vet called the company that makes the food, Rayne Clinical Nutrition, and although she did like a lot of what they had to say, she just wasn’t convinved that it was the best thing to do. That food requires a prescription, so in the end, I wasn’t able to get it. I did the next best thing, which was to add the squash, turkey (I do use chicken breast, as well, since Daisy is not sensitive to it) and green beans, and she has done amazingly well. Prior to the diagnosis of this illness, she was on Orijen, which is a grain free food. I hated taking her off that food, but I had to. This may explain why she had a hard time with the RC LF – it’s largely barley-based, and the grains weren’t something she was used to. Having said that, I’ve always heard that adding a novel protein (one your dog has never eaten before) can be a good thing, but I believe that is more for a dog with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Daisy has both IBD and CIL, so figuring out her diet is a bit more complicated. Frankly, I would say that if your dog doesn’t get the runs or vomit while you are feeding the venison, you can probably rest assured knowing that it is ok for your dog to have the venison – and your vet will probably agree. Mine now actually asks me what I’m feeding Daisy instead of telling me what to feed her. She thinks that I am doing everything right, so I intend to stay the course! My vet was also very surprised that Daisy’s weight has not increased, but I measure her food, rather than leaving food out for her, and although she is hungry all the time, I don’t give in to her. By the way, my vet also told me no treats, but I ignore that too. She gets mostly natural sweet potato treats, or duck-wrapped sweet potato. She loves them, and she tolerates them just fine. Her Sunday night treat was always a pig ear, but I honestly believe that she started getting sick when we started giving her those things. No more. Anyway, as I mentioned, if your little one is tolerating the food that you are feeding him, I would just keep doing what you’re doing!

          • Amy

            Glenda, with all that cooking you’re doing with the squash, turkey and green beans, why bother with the RC HP at all? You may as well switch to a completely home-cooked diet and use something like the BalanceIt supplement to make sure she’s getting all the vitamins and minerals she needs. And they even sell potato flakes now with the supplement already mixed in, so it’s even easier. Folks use dog food as a convenience, so they don’t have to cook, but as long as you’re cooking anyway… Remember, you’re diluting the vitamin/mineral balance of the RC HP food with all the cooked food you’re adding, so you don’t necessarily have a balanced diet anymore. It’s just a thought.

          • Glenda Sorger (Daisy's mom)

            Well, Amy, that’s a good question, but the fact is that Daisy eats about 3 1/2 cups of the RC HP a day. She eats only the dry in the morning (albeit a bit reluctantly), then about 3/4 of a cup of the ground turkey, squash and green beans mixed with the other 2 cups of dry in the late afternoon (I was a little off on the ratio in my ealier posting). I do it because she was used to having something that tasted good, and it adds volume to her food without adding fat – and she looks forward to that little bit of tastiness in her meal. If I wasn’t feeding her the RC HP and was only feeding home-cooked food, I would do what you are suggesting, but my vet believes she is doing so well on what I am feeding her, there is simply no reason to change. And as a percentage of her diet, the 3/4 of a cup of cooked food just isn’t enough to warrant starting the BalanceIt, since the HP is a fully balanced diet. She is currently undergoing blood tests every two weeks, so if she was not getting a balanced diet, it would likely show up in those blood panels. Frankly, I don’t even know why she eats the HP. It’s made from soy protein, and it stinks! If I was a dog, I don’t know if I’d want to eat it – unless it was coated with something that tasted good. I wonder if she will still eat it when her Prednisone is cut back. As far as cooking for her, I do it in large batches, whiz it up, then freeze it in containers that last about 4 days each. Not much work when you do it that way. I do appreciate the input, Amy -

        • Hi Donna. Jake was also 4 years old when he was diagnosed around February of this year. We first tried budesenide as I was trying to avoid prednisone due to the side effects. But he was not responding. He had to undergo about three weekly rounds of hetastarch treatments intravenously, which is sort of an artificial replacement for albumin. That helped a little and then he went on prednisone. He was also taking metronidazole, ursodiol, azothioprine, and B12 injections twice a week. I also had him on a diet of potato or sweet potato and tilapia. He was also hungry all the time and lost a lot of hair. After a few months, he started doing much better, so I wanted to try taking him off the prednisone and go back to the budesenide. I also then put him on the BalanceIt diet ( from BalanceIt.com and my vet) which is added to his potato and fish so that he gets a much more nutritionally balanced diet. Now he only takes budesenide, 1/2 metronidazole a day, and 1/8 tab azothioprine. We will probably be reducing the budesenide dose next week. I’ve also added a dry food, Iam’s Skin and Coat Plus, which I get at the vets office, and he tolerates it well. The first two ingredient are potato and fish and is low in fat. This way I get a break from having to prepare the fresh food for every meal. I think my vet is very knowledgeable and she really worked with us to get Jake well. Now he’s back to acting and looking like our adorable, fluffy, loving, teddy bear!

          • Donna (Charlie's mom)

            Glenda and Susan, thank you so much for the quick response. I feel so much better now knowing that there is real hope for Charlie. The first week after the diagnosis I couldn’t stop crying. I was absolutely devastated. Then I found this forum and after reading all the entries I understand that this disease can be managed with proper food and medication. I don’t care how much money or time I may spend to care for my baby Charlie. I will do everything in my power to help my little guy. So far he’s doing great on his medication (prednisone 15mg/day (split 10mg in the morning, 5mg evening), Chlorambucil 10mg/day; Tylan and B12 shots 1x week.
            His diet consists of 2x day ID prescription low fat(turkey)dry food with addition of 2oz of raw venison from “Primal Formula”. As a snack he gets a tiny little bytes of cheddar cheese (0% fat) and turkey jerky from “Smartdog” (5% of fat). From time to time I would give him sweet mashed potato. He eats everything with incredible enthusiasm and his stool become normal 4 days ago. The excess fluid around his belly is gone! He doesn’t show any signs of illness, except he drinks more than usual, hence more frequent urination. He’s still very energetic, playful and sweet as always. Am I being overly optimistic as this is just the beginning of his treatment (10 days to be precise)? Any thoughts?

          • Donovan's Mom

            I too cried when Donovan was first diagnosed in April because neither my vet nor the specialist would give me much hope. The specialist put him on RC LF after the ultrasound and we waited the results of the other tests. Within 1 1/2 weeks his swelling went down but after about another week he had diarrhea again. That’s when I added the mashed potatoes mix, fiber powder and ginger as well as his pre and pro biotic. When the specialist wanted to put him on Budesonide and Metronidazole I agreed and he wrote the scripts which I had filled but adding the other ingredients to his diet gave him all the balance he needed. He has been picture perfect since 4-29. I filled the meds and keep them in the frig in case I ever need to start them but am hoping he will continue his dramatic turnaround. I too knew that I would never give up on him unless he wanted to give up. I think it is a great sign that your Charlie has responded so well and I think you have every right and reason to expect him to continue to do so. I just keep in the back of my mind that since the disease is not curable anything could change at any time. We live one day at a time and enjoy all our time together. Today no one would even know Donovan was ever sick. I hope that Charlie and Donovan will live long and happy lives. So glad that Charlie has done so well and hoping for continued success. Just know you are doing your best and never blame yourself for anything this terrible disease causes. This sight is such a great thing because you can hear what works for everyone else and understand there are so many different effects of this disease. Hang in there.

  • Louie's Mom

    It sounds very promising to me. I hope Charlie continues to improve! Glad you found us.

  • Donna (Charlie's mom)

    Dear Louie’s Mom, I’m very happy and very grateful that I found your website and have received so much good information regarding this rare disease. I would like to financially support your website since I also want you to be able to continue doing such needed work of giving the great advice for other people. I was at complete loss once my sweet Charlie got sick. After the diagnosis I plunged myself into researching this awful disease but every time I found new information I got more depressed….until I found your website that gave me some hope and much better understanding of this particular illness. Please let me know where can I send the donation to further your/our cause to educate, inform and support one another while struggling to control this disease. Again, thank you so much.

    • Louie's Mom

      Thank you Donna. Anyone who wishes to lend support to the site can send a donation to me through Paypal. My Paypal account is lbsterner@gmail.com. Just make a note that it’s for the site, since I do fundraising occasionally for rescues and use the same account for that.

      • Donna (Charlie's mom)

        Hi Louie’s Mom,
        I’ve tried to donate some money to your website through your PayPal account, but unfortunately it comes back unaccepted. What else can I do? Thanks!

        • Louie's Mom

          I don’t really know another way to do it. I have a fundraising campaign running right now for a friend to help pay down his vet bills related to rescue, and I’m receiving many donations for him, so I’m not sure why this wouldn’t work. I’ll look into it. Thanks!

  • Glenda Sorger (Daisy's mom)

    Hi Donna (Charlie’s mom), Don’t feel alone on that crying thing – my husband and I were both devastated at Daisy’s diagnosis, and I cried for solid week over it! I’m not 100% sure if you’re being overly optimistic, but only because Daisy’s progress, as far as her bloodwork is concerned, has been on the slow side. Yesterday, her vet called me with her latest results, and they did show her albumin at a normal level now. Her total protein is still a bit low, at 4.8, but the reading is rising about .3 – .4 every two weeks. One thing I noticed from your post is that Daisy (being a 48 lb. dog) is on a much lower dose (in relation to body weight) of Prednisone than your little one is. Her dose is 20 milligrams, split in half, given every 12 hours, as well. I believe the reason we went with such a conservative approach is because her disease was caught so early – before she displayed real symptoms. Looking back, I did notice that she didn’t want to play as much and seemed a bit lethargic, but she rarely ever had diarrhea, and I think she might have thrown up twice in the nearly 3 years that we’ve had her. It was just those blood tests that initially revealed the problem. She isn’t on any other drugs for the CIL and IBD (just vitamin B-12 shots). Her behavior is completely back to normal, and she and I play ball at least 3 – 4 times a day!. Her next appt. is on the 24th, and I’m hopeful that following that appt, we will be able to begin cutting the dose of Prednisone in half, but if my vet doesn’t feel that her protein levels are high enough and recommends keeping her on her current dose, that’s what I’ll do. I will also continue with the blood tests, as often as necessary, because if there is a backslide, I want to make sure we catch it quickly. I think that the term “cautiously optimistic” is what I am, and in order to keep on top of these diseases, it’s probably what I should be at all times. I’m so happy that your little Charlie is doing so well! Keep us all posted with his progress -

    • Donna (Charlie's mom)

      Thank you Glenda for all your info. When I compare Charlie’s weight (12 lb) with Daisy’s (48 lb) the amount of prednisone he’s taking sounds like a lot! As I mentioned before he doesn’t exhibit any side effects so far but I probably should talk about it with my Vet next week when we go for another blood test. His blood work looked really bad 10 days ago:
      albumin – 1.3 (range 2.5-4.0 g/dl)
      total protein – 2.7 (range 5.1 – 7.8 g/dl)
      cholesterol – 75 (range 112 – 328 mg/dl)
      chloride – 119 (range 105 -115)
      also
      absolute neutrophil seg. – 11501 (range 3000 – 11500 /uL)

      I did ask my Vet about this quite aggressive treatment (not only 15mg prednisone but also 1mg Chlorambucil plus Tylan daily). She said if Charlie responds to this medication we should see the improvements in his blood levels very soon. As I mentioned before he’s is doing very well so far. I just have to have hope that this is the right course of treatment for him.

      • Glenda Sorger (Daisy's mom)

        Donna, while I do agree, for the most part, with Louie’s mom (and she does have extensive experience!), my only concern is that Daisy was not exhibiting actual symptoms of the disease, hence the conservative treatment her vet decided on. I, like Louie’s mom, don’t live on bloodtests alone, but trends are what gives an indication of a problem and was what got my vet’s attention in the first place. The first low reading didn’t garner much attention, but a second blood test, just a few weeks later revealed even lower protein levels, which then raised concerns. Of course, it is up to you on how you approach your dog’s treatment. For me, once Daisy’s readings are normal, I will probably follow a testing schedule that is recommended by my vet. Daisy likes going there and doesn’t mind the blood tests at all. And here’s the biggest reason: I, unlike so many others on this site, have not had to deal with a dog that is extremely sick with CIL or IBD, so to me, occasional bloodwork seems like small price to pay for a little peace of mind. Let’s face it, it doesn’t come easily with this disease.

        • Louie's Mom

          Daisy’s mom, that seems like a good approach for Daisy. We so often say here that every dog is different, and they all need different things. This is one more example!

          For the record, I would not recommend going without testing until you are pretty sure things are stabilizing well. It’s so easy for them to backtrack and every bit of information is helpful in the early days.

          I hope everyone can find the stability they seek so that they will have many happy years with their CIL babies!

    • Louie's Mom

      My experience is that the blood work improvements tend to lag behind other observed indicators of improving health. Firm stools and increased energy are great early signs, and we do well if we keep on a steady course of treatment once we see those signs. Of course, we also hope the blood work eventually catches up.

      I learned that it’s very easy to drive yourself crazy if you start living by test results alone– sometimes the vets will keep pushing for more and more testing even when your dog seems otherwise well. I eventually stopped dragging Louie in for endless testing and only took him about once every six months or once a year for followup to make sure things were still okay. If your dog feels good and seems better with firming stool and an appetite, those are very good things to see early in treatment. Monitor his progress with testing but don’t be too upset if you only see modest improvements at first.

      I’m not sure why this is, but if I had to guess, I’d say it is likely because the intestines take a long time to heal from the damage and so the improvement in protein retention starts out slowly and improves gradually.

  • Donna (Charlie's mom)

    Hi everybody,

    So it’s been almost 3 weeks now and we got another blood test results. Charlie’s protein level went way up (which is apparently great news) but other numbers are are not that great. I’m trying to be as optimistic as I can knowing that blood tests are not everything. He’s still in great spirit, running and playing, eating everything. So far he doesn’t show any side effects from taking so many different meds, except the usual: frequent urination and huge appetite.
    He continues on Hill’s LF diet with addition of organic breast chicken, sweet/white potatoes and occasional white fish (he’s not a big white fish fan). As a treat he gets an organic chicken or turkey jerky (made in USA)that he loves.
    My Vet wasn’t extremely happy about raw venison, that I used to add to Charlie’s dry food and that he seemed to like it (although he loves chicken breast much more), so for now I dropped it from a diet.
    In 2 more weeks he’ll go for another blood test and then we’ll know if the meds can be reduced. I’ll keep you posted with his progress.

  • Spot's Family

    Our ~10 year old Jack Russell, Spot, was just diagnosed with primary Lymphangiectasia. Looking back, I believe he has been losing muscle mass for a number of months but in the last 19 days he lost 2% of his body weight. He was on a low fat (7% turkey) homemade diet for his entire time with us (we rescued him 4 years ago). He’s been on Prednisone for 2 weeks and tomorrow we get the test results back to see if his Albumin level has come up at all from 1.6. While his primary diet was probably okay, before finding this site, I was feeding him treats and chews he shouldn’t have and also taking him on long walks, thinking his restlessness was due to lack of exercise (now I think he was waking up in the night because he was hungry). I’m sure more exercise has not helped with his weight loss. :-(

    We are now trying to transition him to 1% turkey and sweet potatoes but have noticed his stools have gotten a bit softer so I’m wondering if we should try a different protein source completely or if sweet potatoes may not agree with him. Are there other sources you would recommend that are under 7% fat (current turkey he is on)? He also doesn’t do well with rice. Do other dogs who don’t do well with rice do okay with quinoa?

    I will hear from the vet tomorrow and plan to bring up other medications mentioned on this site, including Budesinide, as well as the supplements you recommend (Perfect Form, Pet Dophilus). Thank you for your suggestions. This is the only site I’ve found with this level of info.

    • Donovan's Mom

      Just wondering what dog food you are feeding? If you haven’t tried the Royal Canin LF it would be worth it. I also add whipped potatoes (potatoes mixed with the water they are boiled in, nothing else), 1/4 capsule of ginger for nausea and 1/4 tsp of fiber powder (Benfiber of equiv). He gets a measured amount morning and night and “no treats” other than maybe a piece of his dry RC LF. We are picture perfect after 8 months. It is so hard to get them “balanced” but good luck finding the perfect formula for Spot. Love from our house to yours.

      • Spot's Family

        Spot has been eating a homemade diet of 50% cooked ground turkey (7%), 25% carbs (cooked, mashed squash), 25% other cooked veggies + Missing Link (vitamins).

        Perhaps it’s the sweet potato that’s throwing him off and we should try to only change the turkey to a lower percentage fat to minimize changes.

        He has always been a 2x a day eater. I haven’t come across any posts yet that talk about whether more frequent meals is helpful or not. We will have to find a way to maintain the correct calorie intake which is harder on a lower % fat, so I’m wondering if people feed more often or larger volume.

        Would appreciate hearing people’s experiences on this.

        • Donovan's Mom

          Donovan eats twice a day also. The fiber was helpful as it kept everything going through him. As I understand it, you shouldn’t worry about calories, only stopping the protein from leaking. Once you do that he will gain weight. I know a lot of people like to make their own food but the RC LF has a great balance, adding the potatoes helps their stomach, and the fiber has been the last thing necessary. Maybe your little guy is different. Sweet potatoes are good for fiber too. Regular potatoes are healing too. I am sure you will get more responses when the holidays are over. Good luck to you.

        • YorkieMom13

          So Little Man is my Yorkie who we have been managing with this disease. At first, we were feeding 95% wet food to just get him to eat something in the first few days after diagnosis. Because of our worry he needed food, we would waste mounds and mounds of wet food that got dried out from sitting too long.

          Now we do a mixture of dry kibble bits and wet food, and we only mix maybe 1/4 cup of dry food with 2 slices of canned wet food, and feed him 4-5 times each day. This is what works for him and what keeps us from wasting food. He’s gotten really food about bringing us to the bowl if he’s hungry in between feedings, but for the most part we try to encourage him to eat every 3 hours or so while awake.

          We usually try him with a small piece of wet food, if he takes it, we make his “meal” and let him eat extra slices of wet food as he pleases. If he doesn’t take the small piece of wet food, we acknowledge that he’s probably not hungry and move on. What I have also found is that he gets extremely nauseated since diagnosis. So some days he just won’t eat, for a day or two at a time. Now we just keep him on a daily dose of famotidine for his stomach, and we haven’t had any issues with him not eating since starting that at our vet’s recommendation.

          I have found that small, frequent meals seems to work best for him, because it limits how much acid builds up in his stomach between meals. This is just what works for him, I’m sure some dogs probably do better with one or two meals a day, but 4-5 seems to work for Little Man.

    • Amy

      It’s common for dogs with this disease to not do well on rice. When my dog started to improve, I tried introducing rice into her diet again, and her stool immediately became loose again. Any other carbs are fine – I can feed her quinoa, couscous, barley, sweet and russet potatoes and her stool is fine. It’s just white rice she can’t eat (I haven’t tried brown rice). I happen to be feeding my cat potatoes and quinoa right now too, but I’m thinking of switching back to barley, just because it’s a lot cheaper.

      If you think the 7% turkey may have too much fat, you can try switching to tilapia. Also when you cook the turkey, after you brown it in a pan, also boil it for a few minutes to get more of the fat off. I rotate my dog’s diet between tilpia, lean ground turkey and lean ground beef, and I always boil the ground meats, and my dog does well with that.

      • Spot's Family

        We are feeling very fortunate and happy today. After 2 weeks on Prednisone, Spot’s Albumin has gone for 1.6 to 2.6! We are cautious though as he had lost a lot of weight and his stools are still soft.

        When I talked to our vet, she said she thought he would be okay on 7% turkey and asked that we add some sweet potato to increase his carbs. After adding a small amount of sweet potatoes over the last couple days, his stools have gone from soft to very soft (not formed). A long time again a vet told us to stay away from root veggies (I think the sweet potato confirms this) with Spot and we know he doesn’t do well on white rice, which always made me wonder if the latter was a grain thing. Thoughts on the next target for additional carbs?

        • Louie's mom

          I’d be more suspicious of the 7% turkey; that still seems like a lot of fat, to me. Try the 99% fat free turkey instead, and see if things firm up. If not, then I’d start attacking the carb source, though I’m not sure what you might use that isn’t a root vegetable, other than rice. If you do use rice, cook it extremely well and put it in the food processor. We have had problems with rice going undigested.

        • Amy

          Spot’s Family, see my post above. Next, you can try quinoa or couscous or barley. Or mix all three. But I would introduce them one at a time, in case one of them doesn’t agree with her, you’d know which one. You can also feed pasta, but I think it’s best to feed your dog ingredients that aren’t so processed, so I would start with the other three first.

        • I too have a Jack battling this disease. How is Spot doing? My Abby has an albumin if 1.6 right now, dropped from 2.2 so we are putting her back on Pred and although the vet wants to start Chlorambucil I want to try the diet first of tilapia, potato, sweet potato, bone meal and spirulina. She loves it. One day at a time.

  • Dagmar's Mom & Dad

    Our 4 yr. old Yorkie was diagnosed with CIL with IBD. Her first symptoms were bloating and lethargy.she never had any vomiting or diarrhea prior to her diagnosis. I was familiar with CIL because I had known another Yorkie that had it six years ago. My local vet wasn’t real familiar with the disease and it wasn’t the first thing that she thought she had. After another big bloat we had her x-ray’d and the vet was freaked out and sent us to Michigan State Vet School the next day.she spent several days there and we spent some $
    And had the biopsy done. Dagmar is doing quite well so far with only a few flare-ups. She is eating both the Purina HA kibble(soy based) and the Hills z/d both canned and kibble(hydrolized chicken liver based). We also give her boiled potato/sweet potato as a treat. Her few flare-ups bring some vomiting but always her stools have been firm. She’s on Prednisone,aspirin(to eliminate threat of blood clots)and Pepsid. She spent the first month after biopsy on antibiotics but we’ve stopped those. She seems to be happy with the prescription chow and my local vet( she always talks to the specialist at MSU)wants us to stay with it rather than cooking food for her so we’re going with what they advise. Steroids are cranking her up(terrier x 10!!!)
    and amping up her appetite but her protein levels came back up with in the month but her white blood count always is slightly elevated. Maybe her “new normal”. Really appreciate this blog site. Best wishes for all of you out there.

  • Daisy's Mom

    Hi everyone – I just wanted to mention that I have just started Daisy on a presciption diet that is actually made for Lymphangiectasia, Rayne Clinical Nutrition Kangaroo and Sweet Potato Dry. I just received a couple of bags the other day, and when I brought the box into the house, Daisy nearly tore the box open. When I opened one of the bags, it was easy to see why – this dog food is really fresh and actually smells like sweet potatoes. It is low-fat, and I have never seen my dog go nuts over a dry dog food like she has with this food. Most of you know that once your dog is weaned of the higher doses of Prednisone, they tend to disliking whatever prescription dry food they’re on. Daisy was on Royal Canin HP (she got sick from the Gastro LF), and she is doing well, but her protein level has never gotten high enough to be considered normal (the highest it has ever been, since her diagnosis, is 5.0), and I have just been concerned that this is due to the relatively higher fat content of the HP, although she’s still never exhibited symptoms of the disease. Again, this food is by prescription only, but I encourage you to check out their website. It’s http://www.raynenutrition.com/aboutus.asp
    I will keep everyone posted on how she does with this food. Her next appointment and blood test is March 3rd, 2014, although not sure this is enough time to be able to tell if the food is making a difference. We’ll see -

  • Dagmar's Mom & Dad

    Dagmar is currently having a flare up (bloated belly but still as usual firm stools). We upped her steroids to 1&1/2 tabs from 1 tab (5mg) for the last five days but she doesn’t seem to be any less bloated. I’m concerned that the prescription chow that the vets have prescribed for her are not right. Purina HA and Hills z/d are both fairly low fat but the z/d is hydrolized chicken liver. The vets say that as long as the protein is hydrolized it should be ok for her but everything I read says that we should avoid chicken and go to a novel protein. I’m looking forward to the results Daisy’s mom will see from the kangaroo/squash chow from Rayne. Also, if my dog has never had loose stools how can they say that she has IBD along with the CIL? We had a Yorkie before that had IBD and Dagmar has never shown those symptoms. Color me confused……
    Fortunately Dagmar is active and happy but I want to keep her that way as long as possible.
    Bye for now…..

    • Donovan's Mom

      I would also not want to feed the hydrolyzed protein. I read how it was manufactured. Anyway, have you had an ultrasound? It would be hard to tell which is primary without one but if CIL is primary then the Royal Canin LF is the lowest fat of all the dry manufactured foods. Donovan was diagnosed with CIL last April 4th and put on RC LF immediately. His stomach went down almost immediately but he still had diarrhea flare ups. I added potatoes (I boil potatoes in just enough water to cook them and then mix them with the water I boil them in) about 1 T per meal, a 1/4 tsp of fiber powder, and 1/4 capsule of ginger). Donovan is a Yorkie too. He has been good since April 29th without any flare-ups of any kind. I had a prescription for Budesonide and Metronidazole, but as yet have not had to use them. He had had diarrhea flare ups for about 1 1/2 years previous to his bloating. Now he is picture perfect. I know that can change but for now he is status quo. I wish you luck in your search for the diet that will work for Dagmar. If you haven’t tried the RC LF it wouldn’t hurt. Hope to hear good news from you soon.

      • Daisy's Mom

        Dagmar’s Mom and Dad – Forgive the oversight – I read back and saw that Dagmar did have the intestinal biopsy – sorry for that!

      • The problem I see with RC low fat is if you have a dog that doesn’t tolerate rice which many don’t with IL, it has rice flour as a base. The canned has chicken protein and that is also hard to tolerate in many dogs with IL. My dog is one………her levels went down down down on this good dry and wet. I’m not paying the money to get the nutritionist at UT to develop a homemade food as they have treated this disease successfully. Fingers crossed, every dog is different it seems with this.
        Heart.

    • Daisy's Mom

      Dagmar’s Mom and Dad – Daisy is doing really well, so far. She had diarrhea only one time, and I think that was due to the swich to the new food being a little too agressive. I cut back to 50/50 Rayne (it’s actually Kangaroo/Sweet Potato Dry)and RC HP (she was unable to tolerate the RC LF), then gradually reduced the HP. She is on 100% Rayne now and has not had any problems. I will say that her last blood work, on March 3rd, showed a decrease in Albumin, from 2.0 to 1.8, but both the vet and I felt that we wanted to take a wait and see approach (we were in the middle of doing the food switch). She is only on 5 milligrams of Pred, per day, and she is a 50 lb dog, so this is way less than a theraputic dose. She has excellent energy, has never lost weight, and she goes outside with me and plays ball at least 3 times, per day, but having said that, this is a dog whose disease was caught much earlier than most, simply due to a random blood test that indicated low protein, so we addressed it right away. Jeanie, Daisy was also diagnosed with both diseases (via intestinal biopsy), even though she rarely had diarrhea. Looking back, we had noticed a few incidences of it, but it seemed to happen when we were at our vacation home, so we thought she might have found something fun to eat that she shouldn’t have. She also vomited a couple of times, so we now know that it was likely the IBD/CIL. Anyway, she is doing just wonderful on the Rayne food. It is awfully expensive (it was $127.50 for about 34 lbs of food, but $25.50 of that was shipping!), but I am going to keep her on it. I won’t go back to RC HP. It’s just not the right food for her, at least not in my opinion. Her next bloodwork isn’t until early April, but I will definitely post her results. One question for you: was your Dagmar diagnosed following intestinal biopsy?

      • Dagmar’s Mom and Dad
        You HAVE to have a vet that has had experience with this disease, which I was fortunate enough to have. My multipoo Jake was very sick. Lots of diarrhea, vomiting, and weight loss, and bloating. It took about 6 or 7 months for things to begin to turn around , but he is now doing great. From my experience, it takes the right combination of meds and diet to control this disease. Jake’s albumen levels were so low that he had to have three or four rounds of hetastarch IV treatments to help stabilize his protein levels. He was then put on prednisone, metronidazole, and azathioprine. I fed him ONLY home cooked tilapia and potatoes and sometimes sweet potato (I don’t know for sure, but mahi mahi might be higher in fat content). The vet in the beginning didn’t worry about him getting enough vitamins and minerals. It was more important to her for us to keep his fat intake very low. When his protein levels improved, we tried adding some Royal Canin LF but he wasn’t crazy about that. Then the vet had him try Iam’s Skin and Coat which is also low fat, and that worked well, AND also significantly improved his coat, which had become very sparse from the prednisone (which also made him hungry all the time like Dagmar). The vet then had me add BalanceIt to his fish and potato meals (BalanceIt.com) which gives them the vitamins and minerals they need. Your vet has to get the customized formula from BalanceIt based on your dog’s weight and health needs. Also, we were able to change from prednisone to budesenide (compounded by wedgewood.com – not that expensive) which has a lot less side effects. Now I generally feed one meal a day of the home cooked food with the BalanceIt supplement, and one meal of the Iam’s kibble. I know that the disease could flare up at any time, but right now Jake is healthier and happier and more adorable than ever with his beautiful coat! I now give Jake one budesenide pill three times a week at the vet’s suggestion as a preventive measure.
        I know everyone here has found what works for them, but this is what worked for us. I hope this helps.
        All my best to you and Dagmar.

  • Jill's Mom (LaVanda)

    It has been a couple months since I posted when we were so happy to finally have Jill somewhat stable. She was diagnosed one year ago after a bad bout with pancreatitis and then recurring bouts with nausea, diarrhea, gas and low appetite. Her protein levels were 1.0 last summer and we almost lost her Labor day weekend. But we kept up all the meds (flagyl, budesonide, metaclopromide and Pro-Pectalin gel) and she turned a corner in October. Her protein levels were normal range and she was eating the Hill’s ID diet with gusto and even gained a little weight back. Well, our bubble is burst, February brought on dropping protein levels again, lack of desire for her food and more weight loss. She is a 16 -1/2 year old jack russell who was 12 pounds of muscle before and feisty to boot, and now she is 8 lbs., bony and no energy. She has once again refused to eat the ID diet, we tried the WD and she ate it for 2 days off and on and now won’t touch it. Today the only thing she will eat is baked chicken and I finally coaxed her to eat a few bites of sweet potato about 15 minutes ago. Mostly she wanted to sleep in my arms wrapped in her blankie. I fear we are losing this battle. I pray we are able to get her over this downturn one more time.

  • Dagmar's Mom & Dad

    Hello again,
    We took Dagmar to our local vet and had her blood work done again suspecting that her protein levels would be low and her white blood count would be high due to her flare up (bloating but no vomiting or loose stools). Surprise surprise we confused the vet once again. Her WBC was slightly elevated (her new “normal”) and her protein levels had dipped slightly but still well within normal. We came to the conclusion that the canned
    chow (Hills z/d) that had become her main chow was no where near the same protein/fat level as the same kibble. So we were actually feeding her something that was not good for her. We have now gone to fish and sweet potatoes. We still give her some of the Purina HA kibble (soy based) mixed with Wellness brand Ocean white fish with sweet potatoe kibble. We mix in a small amount of poached fish (Mahi Mahi or Cod) and boiled sweet potato. We feed her seven or eight small meals thru out the day. The vet has us continuing the prednisone, aspirin and famotidine. She also started us back on metronidazole (antibiotic) for two weeks just to see if this helps. After three days the bloating is reducing and she seems to be more comfortable and can jump up onto things again. The vet said that she should have about 90% kibble and 10% other food to insure that she gets all the vitamins and minerals that are in the kibble. We probably actually do about 75% -
    25% and she seems to be doing ok for now. We use the actual fish/ sweet potatoes to tuck her pills into so she takes them. We are lucky that she likes this food option and hope that we can stay on this for a while.
    Keeping our fingers crossed……
    Bye for now

  • Jeannie

    Hi everyone – I just started my Annie on a home cooked diet of turkey and white potatoes. Within a week her albumin level has increased. Is there a benefit of the sweet potato over the white potato? She still has loose stool and I am not sure if the sweet potato would be better for that. Also, can you recommend a good canine supplement since we plan on keeping her on a home cooked diet going forward. Thanks so much.

    • Donovan's Mom

      Sweet potatoes probably have more fiber. I prefer the white potatoes because it seems to help their stomach more. You might try adding some fiber to the mixture. I add 1/4 tsp to each of my baby’s meals. Works like a dream. Also for treats you could use the sweet potato kind you can buy in the store. Fat-free. I just use his regular RC LF as treats dry because it is usually mixed with the potatoes, fiber, etc. he thinks the dry is great.

    • Amy

      Jeannie, I like to use the supplements from BalanceIt.com. They’re web site has free recipes, and the supplements to go with them, so it’s one-stop-shopping.

  • Dagmar's Mom & Dad

    Hello to all,
    Dagmar was diagnosed after she had endoscopic surgerywith stomach and small intestine biopsies. I previously knew a Yorkie with CIL so I was more familiar with the disease than my local vet. Her biopsy was preformed in Dec. 2013 so we’ve been treating her for just a few months now. Just recently we switched from the Hills z/d kibble and canned food to Wellness brand Ocean fish/sweet potato along with poached Mahi Mahi(because I have it in the freezer) and steamed sweet potato. 90% dry kibble 10% people food. We also still give her Purina HA(soy based) kibble because she still likes it and it was the original food given to us by the vet at Michigan State Vet School where she had her biopsy and that was all the vet there wanted her to eat. We feed her 6 – 7 small meals per day. We also just started to cut back on her prednisone(5mg/day) from the whole pill to 3/4 of a pill per day and she still takes aspirin( to protect against blood clots),and famotidine for stomach upset. She was also on antibiotics at several times during this period. We had her blood work done two weeks ago because she was beginning to bloat again but like I posted before we were surprised by the results. Her proteins were still in the upper levels of good range and her white blood cells were the same as last time(slightly elevated but this is her “new normal” We are still seeing some slight bloating but this could be the result of 3 months of prednisone use. The vets want us to have an ultrasound because the pred. Could be causing fat deposits that would make her seem bloated but at $300 we are hesitant because we are hitting the $4000.00 level of how much we have spent so far and we are not financially set up for that. Anyway the course of action is the same whether she has steroid induced fat deposits or not and that is to begin backing off of the pred. So why spend the bucks.Dagmar as always, has firm stools and rarely vomits. She has lots of energy although some of this is steroid induced. She gets alittle “roided out” in the evening and is showing other signs of prednisone use like thinning hair. Her appetite is insatiable and we have to hold back on feeding her every ten minutes when she begs . Sometimes the barking barking barking drive us insane and we have to hide in the bathroom just so she will shut up. We are hoping that backing off of the pred. will help with this problem…….
    Trying to stay sane and still loving our little Dagmar with all we’ve got.

    • Dagmars mom, concerned about the aspirin therapy. This is never recommended for this disease in everything I have studied and discussed with my vet about. This can create stomach issues in itself if there is an IBD component or not, perhaps you may want to investigate this a little further. I understand about the prednisone, they are insatiable! lol

  • Janet Walsdorf

    My 8 yr old lab Lola has just been diagnosed wit IBD and secondary lymphangiectasia. Her symptoms were sudden and included bloody diarrhea and letheragy..that’s it..no vomiting or swelling..anyway we just got diagnosed yesterday after 4 weeks of symptoms. I’m all in for cooking her dietary requirements, my vet is not real familiar with the lymphangiectasia , so I’m searching out the best homemade diets first and hoping along with the standard meds, that Lola will continue to thrive. I’m seeing all the ingredients on several posts, but I’m not seeing the 1/2 cup this, 1/4 cup that..3 times a day..etc..she is 77 lbs ( has lost 4 lbs in the 4 wks since the awful bloody diarrhea started) I’m hoping her case is not so severe, or we caught it before it became too severe..I just need some advice on where to find some great diets too keep her healthy.

    • Donovan's Mom

      Don’t think you are going to find a “standard” diet for either IBD or CIL. How was the diagnosis made? Have you tried the low fat or hypo diets? There are several out there. Is your baby on any meds? I have what works for my dog right now (and that can change) and have and would be glad to share, but he is on RC LF and I mix the other ingredients with his normal amount for breakfast and dinner. Some have said it has helped for them to feed more often but the main thing was getting him stable and he was use to the 2 meals a day and didn’t need more. I add potatoes (made with the water they are boiled in and whipped), ginger and fiber powder (as the RC LF did not seem to have enough fiber). I also give him 1/2 Miraclezyme tablet(pre and pro biotic) with each meal. I was fortunate he has no other medical issues at the present. I truly hope that you find what works for your guy. I know others will be responding to your post as this is a great blog. Love to you and yours.

    • Daisy's mom

      Hi Janet, say, I was also wondering how this diagnosis was made. Did your dog have intestinal biopsy? If so, then the recommnedations you get from the people on this site are, for the most part, really good. Each dog responds to different diets, medications, etc. I have Daisy on Rayne Clinical Nutrition Kangaroo and Sweet Potato Dry, and I have to say, I have not seen her with this kind of energy since before her diagnosis last September. She bounces around like she’s on a trampoline. Has to go out and play ball 4 times a day. She is only on a 5mg dose of Prednisone, per day, but she is a 50 lb dog, so this is definitely not a theraputic dose. She has her next bloodwork on April 3rd, and I expect her protein levels to be pretty much normal. If they aren’t, I will be shocked, because most dogs are really lethargic with low protein. Anyway, I really would advise you to find a veterinarian that is very familiar with IBD and CIL, because it’s not an easy disease to treat if it gets out of hand. If you are going to do the homemade diet, there is a website called Balance IT, website is https://secure.balanceit.com. This website can customize a homemade recipe for your dog with the right proportions of ingredients. I haven’t used it, but lots of people do, and they swear by it. I hope you find something that works for your dog!

      • Susan R

        Hi Janet,
        As Daisy’s mom mentioned, I got a recipe for my dog from BalanceIt.com that my vet got for me. It consists of a specific ratio of white potato and tilapia, and the balance it canine nutritional powder. But in the beginning, when my multipoo Jake was very sick (diarrhea, lethargy, weakness, very low albumin level) my vet told me not to worry about the supplement and just give him the tilapia and potato so as to have him on a very low fat diet ( along with the meds, if course. Sometimes I added sweet potato too. As many people on this site say they have success with that. Now that he is better I usually give him the home-cooked food once a day and then a dry low-fat Iams vet prescribed dog food for his other meal. I don’t give him any thing with chicken, as my vet believes many dogs are allergic to chicken. I give him dried sweet potato pieces from Petsmart for treats.
        Also as Daisy’s mom says, it is important to try to find a vet who has had experience with this disease, as it seems that every dog is different as to what helps them get better. I never had to have Jake’s belly tapped, but he did have several IV treatments of Hetastarch to help raise his protein levels. It was really touch and go for a while, but after about four or five months, things finally started to turn around.
        Good luck with your baby.

        • Amy

          Janet, I’m another one who uses the balanceIT.com recipes. Their web site is very user-friendly and the recipe portions are calculated specifically for your dog’s weight and fat restriction. Your vet just needs to fax back the approval form they send out. I was so impressed with their recipes and supplements that I now use them for my perfectly healthy cat! It’s a silly thing, but I like that I can lick the spoon after I dish it out. :-)

          • janet walsdorf

            Thank You..I’m seeing our primary vet on Mon, so I will find out more on Balanceit..I’m just gonna feed turkey, sweet potatoes , carrots and gluten free pasta over the weekend.

          • Dee, Priya's Mom

            I appreciate you all sharing this info! My Chihuahua Priya is on her fourth day of prednisone. Doing better but so thin! Feeding her Hills Prescription W/D, sweet and regular potatoes and egg whites. She seems to have more energy than she did, and her stools look normal.
            Hope people keep posting so I can keep knowing I’m not going through this alone!

          • Donovan's Mom

            You definitely aren’t alone and I am willing to “talk” anytime you need. I have been very fortunate with my baby and I love to hear others success stories. My little guy was very thin after the bloating went down, which was almost as soon as I started the RC LF. He now weighs more than he did before. I know I am lucky and I just want others to be.

          • Dee, Priya's Mom

            Thanks! So glad I found this site.

  • Asta's Dad

    Thanks to all of you for providing us with the info that will hopefully help keep our boy Asta alive. He is currently at the vets office awaiting his endoscopy procedure. He has had diarrhea for over a month accompanied with vomiting, weight / muscle mass loss and weakness. Asta is an 8 year old rough coat Jack Russell and we hope that he makes it through this.

    • To Asta’s Dad – my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family and Asta. I can sympathize with what you are going through, along with all the other dog owners on this site. My 4 year old multipoo Jake was in the same condition as Asta when he was diagnosed in January of 2013. He was in bad shape. It took about 5 or 6 long months for him to turn around, but now he is doing great and looks better than ever. It was so sad to see Jake so skinny and weak and so sick, then loosing so much of his adorable, fluffy coat when he was on Prednisone. But it definitely helped to bring his albumin level to a safe number. If you have been following this site, I am sure you have discovered that it takes three important factors to turn things around: 1) A good vet experienced in this disease, 2) the right medication, and 3) the right diet (and of course being fortunate enough to have the financial ability to pay for all the necessary treatment!). Hopefully, you have all these things and will have the same results with Asta. All the best to you.

    • Donovan's Mom

      My thoughts and best wishes go out to you. Hope your little love will be fine.

      • Asta's Dad

        Thanks to both of you. Asta came home today and is eating his sweet potato/ 99% lean turkey mix with enthusiasm. I cooked the sweet potatoes and turkey then ran them through the food processor to make a purree. hopefully this makes it easy to digest. Tomorrow he starts his prednisone treatment and we begin our journey to hopefully a long life for our boy. The biopsy wont come back until next week but our vet says that based on what he saw today with the scope it looks like Lympangiectasia but Asta’s energy is high and we will do whatever we need to do to serve his needs.

        • Donovan's Mom

          Your news has made my day. Hoping the path you are on takes you to a long life for your baby. It has only been one year for my Donovan but he continues to appear to be a healthy, happy, little guy. I have to remind myself sometimes he still has CIL (only he doesn’t know it). I watch him like a hawk. Please keep everyone posted on how he is doing and if there is anything we can do for you or your family. Good thoughts will always be with you and Asta.

          • Asta's Dad

            Update on Asta’s condition: He has been on a strict Z/D diet for the last month along with prednisone and the results have been fantastic! He is gaining weight as we are feeding him twice as much food as normal and with the prednisone his appetite is voracious. His muscle mass is returning and his stool is normal. The most difficult part of all of this is keeping him from eating bark, mulch, worms or anything else he can find when outside. So far things are looking up!

          • Donovan's Mom

            How nice to hear someone having success. Sounds like Asta is on the right track. So happy for you all.

          • janet walsdorf

            My lab Lola has been on the Purina HA ,10 mg prednisone and Forti Flora for a month now and no weight gain, but she hasn’t lost any either. Is the prednisone going to be a lifelong drug? She is ravenous and so thirsty, I feel terrible for her…

          • Donovan's Mom

            Prednisone doesn’t have to be for life unless nothing else works. The Specialist I went to prescribed Budesonide to start with because it only works in the intestines, does not affect other organs. I was fortunate that, even though I filled his prescription for Budesonide and Metronidazole, by the time I was ready to start him on it the RC LF, along with the potatoes, ginger and fiber powder had him back on track. I still have his scripts just in case but it has been over a year. He’s one of the lucky ones. Whatever works, you do. Good luck with your baby.

          • Amy

            That’s great new! At 14% fat, SD Z/D isn’t particularly low fat, but it’s not very high either. If you find his progress sort of stalls and his albumin level isn’t getting back up to where it should, you could try switching to SC I/D Gastrointestinal Low-fat, which is only 8.5% fat.

          • Donovan's Mom

            RC LF is only 5% fat. It is the lowest I have found and a name I can trust. The RC Hypo is 17% fat. Big difference.

          • Amy

            Janet, according to my vet, it’s rare that CIL can be controlled with diet alone and the prednisone is usually needed for life. But I would think you could gradually get the dosage down low enough that it’s not bothering her so much.

          • janet walsdorf

            Ugh..that’s what I figured..I ask every week when we go in for blood work and a b12 injection..I just hoped my vet was being cautious keeping her on it..we are off the metronidazole , so I guess that’s something positive :) I wish I could get some weight back on her, but I don’t want to mess with her diet and have a relapse…we emptied our pool for a remodel, so I’m hoping she will gain a couple of pounds back with not swimming daily..I know not exercising has worked for me..HA

          • Janet, my dog Jake was on prednisone for about five months and improved so much (along with his diet and other drugs) that we were able to switch him to Budesenide (which we ordered from Wedgewood compuonding lab – not really that expensive). He continued to improve and all his beautiful fluffy white fur that had fallen out in droves from the prednisone grew back in. After another few months, the vet said I could could take him off all his other drugs and put him on a lower dose of Budesenide for preventive purposes (he gets 3 pills a week) and is still doing great four months later.

          • Amy

            I would think you could just increase the portion sizes without really changing the recipe or fat percentage. That shouldn’t cause a relapse, and she may actually need the extra calories. How’s her albumin level?

          • janet walsdorf

            It was back in the normal range , we go back on Tues, so I will have the actual number then, it is her Liver something that is way off so we started giving her Sam-e last week. I feed her a total of 6 cups of the Purina HA a day, spaced out of course, a little green beans and some cottage cheese at her 4pm feeding, I have 7 other dogs and they are sooooo jealous of her feeding schedule, I get the “why only her” faces everyday..

          • Asta's Dad

            Janet, what we did was we started feeding 4 times a day instead of 2 and fed the the same servings as usual so twice as much food. He has put the weight back on quickly.

  • Henry's mom

    Henry is an 8 1/2 year old dachshund who was diagnosed with lymphangiectasia about six weeks ago, and it has been heartbreaking to watch him decline. I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate this site and how much I have learned from everyone’s comments. He was eating a mixture of tilapia, white potatoes, quinoa and egg whites and loved it at first but has recently begun to boycott it (the potatoes and quinoa I think) so it has been really helpful reading here what has worked for others. I have a great vet but I always like to educate myself as much as possible, and this is the only site I’ve found that isn’t written for vets. Thank you everyone!

    • My dog went downhill on tilapia loins and quinoa.Just fyi. The sodium content has to be specific in these dogs and it’s sodium content is high, even with the meaty loins I purchased. Then we tried organic kangaroo and quinoa, Balance IT, I have had a nutritionist follow mine for the past year.

  • Jerry's Mum

    My 18 month old springer spaniel has just been diagnosed with CIL and I cant find any information for dogs this young or breed. Is there anyone out there that can relate to this? He had to have an operation and had a foot of his bowel removed but seems to have made a good recovery but I start to panic whenever he has a soft stool. Can anybody shed any light on what to expect for a flare up and how to treat it. He is only on anti sickness medication at the moment and the vet has sais its ok to give him his normal wainwrights dog food as it is hypo allergenic and quite low in fat and high in protein depending on flavour some are better than others. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

    • Amy

      Oops, I meant my post below to be a reply to this one. Sorry!

    • Donovan's Mom

      From what I know CIL isn’t breed or age specific. How was he diagnosed, with an ultrasound, biopsy? If it truly is CIL then the lowest fat dog food, to me, would be the best. The lowest I found was Royal Canin LF. Even my vet recommended it. The nausea, diarrhea was still a problem the first couple of weeks so I added mashed potatoes (mixed with the water they were cooked in), 1/4 tsp of fiber powder, and 1/4 capsule of ginger. Donovan has been on this diet successfully for over a year. I had a prescription filled for Budesonide and Metronidazole but he never had to use them (yet). This disease isn’t curable so vigilance is required. It is manageable but what works for one doesn’t always work for someone else. Even my vet specialist doesn’t know that much about diet other than low fat. This website has so many stories and what has worked for them. It is all trial and error. I certainly wish you the best in finding the right diet for Jerry.

  • Amy

    Hi Jerry’s Mum. I don’t believe that treatment for this disease varies based on breed. And although your dog is young, he is mostly full-grown, correct? That said, every dog is different and flare-up symptoms vary. The most common seem to be diarrhea, bloated belly, trouble breathing and vomitting. How’s his albumin level? It’s possible the disease can be controlled with a low-fat diet alone, but if his albumin level sinks too low, he’ll either need medication (such as prednisone and/or azathioprine) or maybe the wainwrights food isn’t low enough in fat, and you may need to switch to something like Science Diet I/D Low-fat.

    • Jerry's Mum

      Hi Amy
      He hasn’t had any blood tests done yet. Booked for tomorrow. It seems that he is fat intolerant and protein isn’t an issue. Is this usual do you know?

      • Amy

        Yes, if you go to the home page of this site and read the article: “CIL, how it works…” that really explains clearly why your dog can’t tolerate fat. Some CIL dogs react poorly to some protein sources, such as chicken, but others don’t. My dog can eat any meats as long as they’re low fat. The only food she doesn’t tolerate well is white rice, which is very common in CIL dogs.

  • Jerry's Mum

    Blood tests came back fine – no problems at the moment. Totally off meds as well. He has made a remarkable recovery from the operation which was very serious as he could have developed peritonitis. At the moment I am feeding him 3 times a day on just his wainwrights dry food though we have bought the duck and rice which is the lowest in fat and this seems to be working ok at the moment. He has put on 2kg in 2 weeks which is also good but he still seems to be pooing alot though it is quite firm. Does everyone elses dogs poo alot?

    • Donovan's Mom

      After I added the fiber powder to Donovan’s mixture, he started pooing more often, at least three times a day. I think that keeping things flowing through his body helped him to gain his weight back and from being nauseated. It has worked well for over a year. As long as it is solid, I can live with that as I take my babies out about every three hours because they are all small, but he is the only one that poos that often.

  • Jerry's Mum

    Thanks for that. Seems quite normal for the condition then. Was just concerned because he did 2 big piles in one sitting this morning and another pile 2 hours later and he will probably do another before bedtime… I suppose as long as they are gaining or maintaining weight, then they are absorbing some proper nutrients and we can’t ask for more x

    • Just to let you know that my dog recently started doing that. It’s part of the IL process, you should probably need to have your dog’s levels rechecked, it’s the end state as is with my Abby when the intestines don’t absorb nutrients. She was going 5-7 times a day, heavy stools.

    • Amy

      Ever since I switched my dog from commercial dog food to home-cooked meals, her stools are much smaller. And she poops about the same number of times each day.

  • Abbys mom

    Abbys protein is now 0.7, the vet has prepared me that I need to come to terms that she will not survive as when the protein is 1 or below they cannot absorb nutrients. She is still sharp, has solid stools however her peeing is much more and pooping 4 5 times a day, the peeing the result of when their level is this low the colon often will often absorb the leaky lymph fluids.
    She has been on the vet recommended diet of Kangaroo, quinoa, Balance IT, Calcium I posted before. I’m afraid in the next week of two I will have to make the decision to let her sleep as I would hate for her to throw an embolism or something critical happen that would cause her to suffer needlessly. It’s the kind thing to do.
    I will still try a slight diet change according to the vet nutritionist, give her a B12 injection and continue the 2.5 pred as that is all she can tolerate and feel decent. I’m afraid however we have lost this fight and it saddens me more than I can express. I have had my little girl for almost 13 years and this is a horrible disease that only a few know how to treat so I hope in the future there is insight into this to help all of you with this battle. I have spend about 12k dollars in the past year + trying to keep her alive but in the end, it’s about the quality of life and anything less than that would be selfish and about me not her. There is never enough time for us to have these precious pets and it’s been my joy to have had her.

  • Abbys mom

    We lost our girl today. There are no words.

  • Casey's dad

    Since coming across this little forum we have been most thankful for its existence. Casey is a “trooper” and has been through some difficult things, but this cant be healed with stitches. CIL, EPI, DIABETES and IBD, asthma, allergies a collapsed Larynx and 10 different meds. The CIL is the current priority. He is responding well to the Whitefish, sweet potato and bean meal. Still has very loose stools. We are in the Balance It site but would like to know exactly what some of their products are that seem to be working. Casey is a 11yo wire-Doxxie. Has gone from 12 pounds to 9 but has recently gained half pound. We are ecstatic about that!Thanks for being here. We will continue to follow along. Thanks again.

    • Amy

      Casey’s dad, the products on the BalanceIt web site are mostly supplements for your whitefish and sweet potato diet. If you just feed your dog the food alone he won’t get all the vitamins and minerals (especially calcium) that he needs. The website offers the supplements by themselves to sprinkle in the food, or you can get deyhydrated potato flakes or dehydrated oatmeal with the supplements already mixed in, for added convenience. To just firm up your dog’s stool, you can try the Perfect Form supplement that this site recommends and sprinkle it in Casey’s food. It’s not a balanceIt product, but you can still use it with the balanceIt diet.

    • Donovan's Mom

      I add fiber powder to Donovan’s diet. He has done well on RC LF, with potatoes, ginger and fiber powder added. He also gets a pre and pro biotic. Wishing you well with your little one. One day at a time.

      • Bailey's Mom

        Did your vet suggest the fiber powder and the pre and probiotic? Bailey’s stool is formed but soft and I just get worried about that. I see the vet Tuesday, so I will definitely ask her about other options. I don’t want to keep him permanently on flagyll. His stools have been soft like that his entire life.

        • Donovan's Mom

          When Donovan was first diagnosed, the Specialist just told me to put him on RC LF and then gave me the two prescriptions. I got the RC LF and the scripts filled but held off on starting the meds. I always think diet is the best medicine if possible. I had a 14 year old Yorkie that had kidney failure several years ago and I cam up with a diet for him based on his food and he lived another 1 1/2 years. Fiber powder was one of the things I added to his diet. Anyway, I called my regular vet and told him what I was planning to add and he said it couldn’t hurt him and actually should be good for him. I was lucky as it was a magic combo and not only did the swelling go down and never came back, but his stools firmed up and he became regular. I am very strict about when and how much he eats and I think this helps. He knows he has to eat all his food before he can get down (I feed him on the table). He gets fed at a regular time and eats a certain amount twice a day every day (7:00 am and 4:00 pm). As long as I know that what I give him can’t hurt him, I would be willing to try anything. Hope this helps. Not saying that it will be your answer but it can’t hurt (at least according to my vet). Good luck. Love to you and Baily from our house to yours.

          • Bailey's Mom

            Where can I get the fiber powder. I’m going to mention this to the vet. Thank you so much!

          • Donovan's Mom

            Don’t know where you live, but if you have a WalMart you can get the Equate brand that is the equivalent of Benefiber. Benefiber is the brand name but of course the generic is cheaper. You could use others but Benefiber worked the best for me. It is tasteless and you can even sprinkle it on dry food and they’ll eat it. Between the potatoes and fiber powder I think Donovan was saved. He only weighed 5 1/2 pounds so I use less than 1/4 tsp. on his 1/4 cup of food twice a day. I fix his plates in the morning with the fiber powder and 1/4 capsule of ginger and then mix 1 Tablespoon of his potato mixture before I add his food and coat each piece. Worked for us. Good luck at the vet. Keep me posted.

          • Donovan's Mom

            By the way, the pre and pro biotic I found was Miraclezyme. I ordered it on-line. I split a tablet between his two meals.

          • Bailey's Mom

            Thank you so much! That’s easy enough! Bailey is 5 1/2 lbs too so you just answered my next question! I’ll look into the pro and pre biotic too. Do you give him the recommended amount of food still? Or do you lower it because of the potato? Thank you again!!! I’m really hoping to nip the soft stool altogether!

          • Donovan's Mom

            I have several dog, all about the same size, mostly rescues from puppy mills. I have never cared what it “recommends” on the package as this is just a guideline. Some might need less, some more. More important to keep it down and make good use of it. I came up with the 1/4 cup for him because he could eat at least that much and keep it down, and he gained his weight back. After he lost the fluid which was almost a pound he weighed less than 5 lbs. He had never been a fleshy dog which was good in a way, but when he got sick you could really tell it. The potato doesn’t add that many calories (make sure it is only the boiled potatoes whipped in their own juice, I just pour the liquid and potatoes into my blender and keep in the fridge). All of my babies get a “treat” after they eat which is only 2 more pieces of their own food, but they all sit and wait on it, really cute. Anyway, you can adjust the amount to suit your little one. As long as she keeps it down and thrives you are doing well. She may get tired of the mixture, Donovan doesn’t like to eat it sometimes because it is messy to pick up, so I hand feed him. You can also add peas and carrots (the frozen diced ones which have been blended in your blender (I use my Ninja). It changes the taste just enough and if Bailey has ever been B12 poor it can help with that. Donovan never had a B12 problem, but I gave it to him until the test results came back. He loves the mix in the potatoes. The ginger also adds taste and helps with nausea. I truly hope some of this helps. I know not every dog is the same but maybe you can come up with the magic mix too. Mine seemed easy, so maybe I was just lucky but I swear by the combination (at least for Donovan). Also if you have company always warn them not to feed her anything unless you approve. At the holidays, he does get a small bit of turkey on occasion and during the year lean chicken, etc. but I mean ONLY a small bit. Otherwise treats are pieces of his food (4 a day). It has been 1 year and 4 months since diagnosis and vets are amazed. Good luck, just keep trying. That’s all you can do, your best.

          • Bailey's Mom

            Thank you again! I have taken notes and have tons of questions for the vet. I’m hoping his blood work is still normal so he can come off the budesonide. His b12 was low in the beginning so he was on b12 injections for a few months so I will definitely try the peas and carrots. I know that’ll switch it up a bit. He gets sick of potato very quickly which is why I had to switch him back to dog food. He started picking out the turkey, leaving the potato behind! I’ll keep you posted though! I am so grateful for your help!!

          • Donovan's Mom

            It just takes a Tablespoon of the whipped potatoes and you can mix the peas and carrots with it. They think it is so good. Potatoes are magic, lol. Good luck and you are more than welcome. Would like to help more. Will be anxious to hear. Hope it is great news.

          • Amy

            When I switched from fresh baked potatoes to the balanceIT potato flakes, my dog started picking out the meat and leaving the potatoes behind too. So, I started mixing in a half can of Science Diet I/D low fat to about four cups of potatoes. So, it’s a very small amount of dog food, but it’s just enough to improve the taste so she eats it all.

          • Donovan's Mom

            I have never used the potato flakes. I boil his potatoes and use the juice to whip them together in my blender. I feel the juice is what actually helps the most. I just keep a small amount in the fridge and when it gets low peel a couple more and boil them. It takes an extra 30 minutes a month but I like the fresh. The potatoes taste totally different than the flakes, even the best. The canned food would be a good way to hide the flakes though. Donovan has never liked wet food. I know that is strange but all of my dogs eat dry food best. A couple would eat anything though, lol. Thanks for the suggestion.

        • Bailey's Mom

          Hi Donovan’s Mom,

          Well so far so good! Bailey still has no fluid build up!! Once his blood work comes back, if it remained normal they’ll decrease his meds to every other day. He won’t need a follow-up for 4 months. He’s also officially gained all the weight he lost back (maybe a little more than I had planned :) but Dr. Phillips was extremely pleased!!)I asked her about adding fiber to his diet and she said that was fine. She gave me some natural suggestions (sweet potato or pumpkin) and that I could use a dash of fiber powder too. She did say his food was low on fiber, which is the most likely cause of his soft stool. I’ll let you know when his blood work comes back and how the addition of fiber works out for him!

          • Donovan's Mom

            That is such great news. I am so happy for you and Bailey. Give the fiber powder some time to work. After all it is to “regulate” his little system. Nothing works over night even if we want it to do so. They do make low fat sweet potato treats. Not sure of how low. You can check the packages for what they have in them. Natural foods are best anyway. Anything below 5% fat is good. Thank you so much for the update and hope to hear even more good news later. Sounds like you are on the right track. Just be prepared for “anything”. I try to remind myself that Donovan is still sick, even though he looks and feels great. Talk to you later.

          • Bailey's Mom

            Oh yes…I live every day on the edge right now. I just love getting good news!

  • Casey's dad

    I’m in the process of reading every one of the blogs because they can be helpful in trying new things for Casey. Since he is on so many meds we have been using Pill Pockets exclusively and there has never been an issue regarding his inhaling the meds. Are there any concerns we should be aware of using the Pill Pockets? In addition, Casey loves carrots but I’ve found a few conflicting opinions. Last night we did add diced carrots to his fish and sweet potato and green bean mix and they wound up being excreted. Any thoughts? Continue? Stop? Keep experimenting? And, where do they get the Miraclzyme?

    • Donovan's Mom

      I buy my Miraclezyme directly from Nusentia. http://nusentia.com/probiotics-for-pets/probiotic-tablets.html Amazon has it and says it is 50% off but it actually costs more as it comes from Nusentia anyway and is not available for Prime. Have been using it for years, first for my dog with kidney failure and now Donovan with CIL. Carrots sometimes do not digest as well. I mashed his up or put them in the blender with the peas. Regarding pill pockets, I don’t know too much about them, but they are considered low fat. That being said, depending on how many you are giving him, it can add to the fat intake. It doesn’t hurt once in a while but on a daily basis like anything else can add up. RC LF is only 5% fat so based on that the pill pockets are twice as much. You can compare with other foods you could use. I think it is wise to read as many experiences as you can on the site as everyone has something different to say. Wishing you well with lots of love from our house to yours.

    • Bailey's Mom

      My vet cautioned against anything like pill pockets, however they do have hypoallergenic pill pockets. I had to switch Baileys heartworm because it had flavoring (the only flavors they have are CIL triggers such as chicken and beef). I now have his heartworm compounded with no flavoring. As Donovan’s mom said, it’s all about the fat content so just keep that in mind! If the pills are small enough, I hide them between small pieces of turkey breast (boil all the fat out). I used to used mashed potatoes too until he got sick of eating them. He has gotten used to the routine and takes it all very well. I have heard that raw carrots can be rough on their digestive tract so I stopped giving him that as treat alternatives. I’m going to verify with the vet this week to see if I can add cooked carrots to his food. Hope this helps!

      • Casey's dad

        We’ve tried to be aware of Casey’s delicate condition and only
        Give the Pockets with his meal. Approximately 1pill pocket is used
        for all his meds twice a day. Never as a treat. We will continue but will
        also experiment with alternatives for his meds. You all
        are being very helpful. Thanks. Jd

        • Louies Mom

          Better to try something else. It’s hard to believe, but even the smallest amounts of fat can cause a huge setback or prevent your dog from recovering.

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