Canine Intestinal Lymphangiectasia: Homemade and Hybrid Diets

UPDATE:  12/18/2012

Louie’s CIL was triggered a few months ago, which forced us to stop adding a can of commercial food to Louie’s diet.  His only source of protein is spirulina, which means he now receives no animal proteins at all.  

Original post:

Yesterday, I wrote a little bit about the different dietary needs of dogs with CIL.  Today I want to talk about home cooked and hybrid diets.

Many of us have tried the commercially available prescription foods and found them inadequate.  In our case, we had discovered one product that Louie could eat, which was subsequently reformulated by the manufacturer to include ingredients we knew he could not tolerate.  We scrambled around like mad to buy up what we could of this food, but realized after all was said and done that we would probably need to find ways to stretch our food supply over the long term.  So our “hybrid” diet was born.   Others have used different homemade diets with varying degrees of success.

There are a few important things to bear in mind when home cooking for your CIL dog.

  1. The ideal diet will most likely contain one form of protein and one source of carbohydrates.
  2. The diet needs to be balanced (that is, it needs to contain all the nutrients a dog needs to stay healthy).
  3. The diet needs to be strictly controlled for fat content (we’ll talk more about fat content in another post).
  4. The diet should be high in protein to address the protein loss that occurs from the disease process.
  5. The diet should be low in fiber.

Here is where things get tricky.  I am not a veterinary nutritionist, nor am I qualified to create balanced and complete diets from scratch to treat intestinal illness.  Initially I was prescribed a diet by a veterinary nutritionist that contained the following ingredients:

  • white rice
  • baked chicken
  • balancing supplement
  • oil

I dutifully prepared this diet for Louie for several weeks, but he continued to decline in health.  As he continued to decline, I began to experiment, cutting out the oil and then using less and less chicken to see if I could find a level of fat for him that was tolerable (remember that I had only been told that he had lymphangiectasia). Ultimately it became clear that I could not, and at this point I concluded that, in his case, fat was not the only problem.  I had to change his protein source, too.  That’s when I started scrambling to buy up whatever I could find of the discontinued food that he’d been able to eat.

After I had purchased all the old, prescription food that I could find and he began to do better again, I decided to try a new approach.  I had heard about a different kind of balancing product, a dehydrated, organic “base” made by the Honest Kitchen company, called Preference.  This product supposedly contained all the nutrients a dog would need, minus the protein.  The way it’s used for a healthy dog is simple.  Add meat to the dehydrated mix, add water, and off you go.

I purchased some of this and started experimenting with it, eventually landing on a formula that I continue to use today.  Without getting too caught up in the details of all the trial and error we did, here are the main things I ultimately included in his diet, with the good and the bad on each one and the reason for their inclusion.

  • Honest Kitchen Preference (GOOD:  provides many nutrients, very low in fat / BAD:  Very high in fiber, contains little protein)  1 part
  • Plain mashed potato flakes (with water added) (GOOD: provides carbohydrates for weight gain, nutrients, improves the stool, easy to use, very low in fat, very low in fiber / BAD:  Contains little to no protein)   2 parts
  • Powdered spirulina supplement (GOOD: packed with high quality protein that is well tolerated which comes from a non-animal source, fat-free, adds micronutrients)
  • Multi-strain probiotic in very small amounts (GOOD: helps keep the stool firm and keep the intestinal tract from developing bacterial overgrowth)
  • Bone Meal (GOOD:  Supplemental calcium, all dogs need this).

The Preference and the potatoes provide the  bulk of the diet.  The potatoes are very important.  They  cut back the overall fiber content of the meal, add high quality carbohydrates for weight gain, and help the consistency of the stool.

We usually mix up a big batch of this for him, which will last four days or so, and add a can of the prescription food that we purchased during the food drive to each batch, mixed in well.  You can experiment with adding small quantities of any lean meat or fish that your dog might find tolerable to this mix.

That’s what we do, but there are different foods that others have had success with.  These include:

CARBS

  • white rice
  • sweet potato
  • quinoa (a high protein carb source)

 

PROTEIN

  • soy powder
  • tofu
  • egg white
  • venison
  • rabbit
  • bison
  • kangaroo
  • antelope
  • whitefish (cod, tilapia)
  • 99% fat free turkey

There are a few things that I think are very important to mention.  One is about balancing the diet.  You’ll notice that I use one part Preference to two parts potato.  While this mix corrects the fiber content to tolerable levels, it dilutes the nutritive value of the food (mostly contained in the Preference.)

However, the amount of food Louie eats each day, due to his disease, is probably three to four times what he would eat if he were healthy.  So, overall, each day he is getting the right amount of nutrition.  You must either feed a lot of food using this approach, or you need to add balancing agents (such as BalanceIT supplement) to the diet.  

Neither of the dry ingredients (Preference or potato) has a significant amount of protein.  It is imperative that you add protein to this diet in some form.  I use the powdered spirulina because it is extremely well tolerated.  There is also protein in the can of prescription food I sometimes add (but even with this, he still needs the extra protein from the spirulina).  Spirulina is a very efficient form of protein and, for a dog Louie’s size (10 lbs), approximately 1/8 of a teaspoon per meal is all he needs.

Finally, it will be noted that this diet is extremely low in fat.  Much of the fat Louie gets is contained in the can of prescription food we often add to this mix.

Fat is important because some essential nutrients are fat soluble, that is to say that they will only be carried into the body through the intestines after they have been dissolved in fat.  You cannot feed a no-fat diet and expect your dog to live, much less thrive.  This diet may ultimately lead to problems based on limited absorption of those fat-soluble nutrients, and you may need to find ways to increase the fat content.  

Having said this, I will also say that I have a dog who is alive and doing well today by any standard, far better than the typical prognosis for this disease would suggest he would have done.  Feeding this ultra-low fat diet to him is a calculated risk that I have undertaken willingly, knowing that it may lead to other problems down the road.  However you look at it, he’s had four years (so far) that he wouldn’t have had if I had not been willing to take that risk.

Sometimes people tell me that their vets are recommending increased dietary fat because of these concerns.  I always worry when I hear this.  The truth is that (to the best of my knowledge) we do not actually have reliable data on how much fat is required to keep a dog healthy.  We do know that, with a CIL dog, too much fat is deadly.  I take my chances here, but I do it with eyes wide open, and would encourage others to make their own decisions in much the same way.  

CIL dogs are very sensitive to added fat.  Even tolerable amounts may take a few days to adjust to.  If you want to increase the fat content, do it slowly, carefully, and observantly.  

Achieve stability first.  Then, from a stable point, you can work to determine the maximum amount of fat your dog can handle and feed no more than this.  

449 comments to Canine Intestinal Lymphangiectasia: Homemade and Hybrid Diets

  • Linda (Squeekers Mom)

    Squeekers is on a homemade diet. She is eating 1 part Baked Tilapia and 2 parts Spaghetti (Quinoa and Pasta have simular fat %). I do not add the veg. oil it calls for. She gets human vitamins to balance it out. Now that she has developed PLN, I had to find a gluten free pasta. I found a Brown Rice Pasta that she loves. She does not do well with potato. I had her on a baked potato & Tilapia diet and she started to pass stool 3-4 times a day. She is proof that no 2 dogs are the same. Her Vet said she needed more fiber in her diet. Her new pasta has rice bran in it and her stool is formed and she only goes 1-2 times a day.
    I have another novel Protien source that is in one of the recipes the Nutritionist created for Squeekers. Shrimp.

  • Louie

    Thanks, Linda. No, they sure are not ever exactly the same. Squeekers is lucky to have a mom like you who was willing to work to figure out a diet for her. So glad she’s still doing well :)

  • Mandy

    Hi, I’ve been reading your stuff faithfully since I found your web pages. My little dog, funny, was diagnosed with this disease about six weeks ago. She is on RC venison and potato, prednisone, Flagyl, and Cyclosporine (she was on prednisone only and took a serious nosedive requiring hospitalization for a second time). The problem is the RC doesn’t seem to have enough protein so I was wondering about adding spiralina. We were told to stick to this diet for now. Do you think it would be good to do that? Also, what brand of spiralina do you use? I know some are not very good. I love your site and am grateful that it is here. I have felt so helpless about this disease and what to expect or do.

  • Mandy

    Lol, autocorrect changed my dog’s name. It isn’t funny. It is Finny! (short for Finnoughala)

  • Louie

    HI Mandy,

    This is what we are currently using: http://www.nutrex-hawaii.com/hawaiianspirulina but I will buy whatever powdered spirulina they have at the Whole Foods Market when I need it. I’m sure I could do better to shop online, but so far I haven’t done that. It lasts a good while.

    I’m wondering why you don’t think she’s getting enough protein. Is it because of the product label, or does Finny still have low protein levels? The reason I ask is that if her protein is low it may mean that the disease process is not fully under control yet, and in that case added protein will not help. But if you just feel the need to boost the protein a bit, spirulina would be a good way to do it. Use it sparingly, though. Too much protein is hard on the kidneys and a little of this stuff goes a long way.

    • Mandy

      I’m going by product label. It says it is only 5% protein, 3.5% fat. I won’t do anything without talking to her vet, though. He has been very upbeat about her illness. Right now I know he wants us to stick with the RC food because she still eats it. She was on the other RC one with 1% fat, but only ate it for about a week before she refused it. (She also had a crisis that week where we thought for sure she was going to die. However, when we took her to the vet, her blood levels were actually improving and he then put her on the cyclosporine.) It has been 4 weeks since then and she has been doing so much better. But I watch her like a hawk for any signs of a problem and probably over-react. I gave him a copy of your diet for Louie that you posted. He said he thought it would be good for Finny, but he would add some EFAs. But he doesn’t want me to change her diet for a while in order to make sure her intestinal tract heals.

  • Louie

    Sounds good. Keep us posted on how she’s doing.

  • Lexi

    Hi,

    Came across your website looking for diet advice for my Shitzhu who was diagnoses with CIL. She now refuses the RC (which she did well on while she would eat it, although I’m not crazy about the ingredient list) and I see here that you are not using that anymore. I’m wondering how you know how much to feed your dog? I am seeking out a new vet, one who specializes in integrative medicine, but wondering if you can give a better idea of specific measurements?

  • Louie

    I feed him a lot. He hovers between 8-10 lbs depending on how he’s doing, and he eats three pretty large meals a day. I have a large serving spoon and usually spoon out about four – five spoonfuls of his food at breakfast and dinner, and maybe half of that later in the evening. He needs to eat a lot in order to keep any weight on at all.

  • Peter

    Hey,

    My dog, Cosmo, was diagnosed with this about a month ago. He’s doing alright, but he’s markedly basketball-shaped and a bit unstable on his current diet. His blood protein levels are a bit lower than they should be, but not absurdly, and he’s not losing any muscle mass as far as we can tell. However, the bloating is becoming more severe each day, and the last time this happened he required hospitalization twice within two weeks. I’m going to show this to my parents and ask them to show it to the vet. You seem to think along the same lines as I do about the care and maintenance required for this condition, and if your dog is doing well, then it shows you’re at least doing something right. I know each dog is different, but I appreciate how you address the need for adaptability and adjustments in the diet. My family loves this dog, and we’re going to try everything and anything we can before we make the ultimate decision, though in Cosmo’s case it seems as though that may come soon. Your site’s definitely provided me with a new hope (yeah, that was a Star Wars reference), and I’m extremely grateful. Good luck to you and your dog. And sorry about the long post.

  • Mandy

    Just wanted to give you an update on Finny. She just had blood work done and her protein levels are normal. Everything is looking good. The only thing off was potassium and sodium which he said were slightly elevated. He’s cutting her prednisone down to every other day and will recheck her in two weeks to see how she’s doing. Of course, if she starts having problems again, we’ll deal with that. However, he wants to keep her on the RC venison and potato with no changes, at least for the time being. He said diet changes can cause problems and until we know she’s really stable he doesn’t want to risk it. This is working for the time being. Hope all is well with you! Many blessings to you and Louie!

    • Melissa (Rocky's mom)

      Just wanted to see how Mandy was doing since she stayed on the RC venison and potato. The vet wants me to keep him on the RC low fat and he is not getting any better. Plus I am going to start giving him bone meal and vitamins if I can. He is only three and now looks 10. I just want to see him gain his strength back. Hope she is doing well.

      • Mandy

        Hi Melissa,
        My little Finny is doing well. She’s gained back her weight, no diarrhea or vomiting. She’s eating the Venison and potato wet food and the venison and potato kibble. Her appetite is back to a more normal place. We’re about to cut her medication down again… we’ll see how she does with that. Right now she gets Metranidazole every other day and prednisone the other days. She gets Atopica every day. We’re going to a three day cycle: metranidazole one day, prednisone one day, and Atopica one day. She’s active and more like her old self. Once we get her down to the lowest amount of medication and she’s still stable, we’ll be able to maybe think about a different food. I’ve been exploring the options. She seems to be fine with the fat levels of this food and I’ve found other better quality foods with about the same levels. Really, at this point, I’m just grateful she’s doing well.
        I hope Rocky improves. I know how hard it is to watch this. We thought we had lost her a couple of times she was so bad. But my vet was optimistic that we could get this under control and we’ve tried to work with him on this.

        • Hershey's Mom

          Hi Mandy! I was just wondering how much does your dog weigh and how much mg of each meds is she taking? My Portuguese Water Dog is currently at 36lbs and is on Prednisone 17.5 mg, 100mg of Cycloporene 2x a day so 200mg, and 10mg of Famotodine which is an anti-acid. This is all in one day. We’re just starting to try the “White” Diet which is 2 Cups white rice, 3 boiled white potatoes skins on, 2 egg whites and later to add 2 cups cottage cheese. I’m not sure how she’ll do with diary since she didn’t like the yogurt much. Did you try the Spirulina and if so how much? Would appreciate it if you could help! Thanks so much!

          • Mandy

            Hi, I’m sorry I just saw this! Finny is a Yorkie and weighs about 12/13 pounds. She is on 5 mg of prednisone, 10 mg. of cyclosporine, and 5 mg of metronidazole. We rotate these (she takes prednisone one day, metronidazole the next, and cyclosporine the next, and start over. Haven’t used the spirulina yet. She eats turkey and RC low fat food. That’s all she gets. She seems to be doing well, with the occasional tummy upset. I wish I could change her diet a bit – it must be boring eating the same thing every day. How is Hershey doing?

  • Lexi

    I simply MUST sing your praises. I was having such difficulty with my Josie’s diet, and it seemed nothing that I fed her (store bought or homemade based on my limited knowledge and research) was doing the trick. Then I came across your old website, and eventually this new website and this post. Josie has been eating a diet of quinoa, ground turkey, and cooked squash with probiotics mixed in and a one daily dose of spirulina. I was hesitant at first, but she has gained about a pound or so in TWO weeks, with no bloating (she hasn’t ever had that problem…knock on wood) and has had solid bowel movements for the first time since we adopted her!! AMAZING Her diarrhea had been so bad that she was having accidents in the house, and she hasn’t had an accident in over two weeks. I wanted to say a big, big thank you, I believe you likely saved her life! She is just so much happier and healthier now! For anyone else reading, I couldn’t find the powdered spirulina, and had to buy the tablets (which she seems to like) and just give her one tablet a day. The dosage for humans is six tablets a day, so I believe she is fine. She will have blood work done in a few weeks for ultimate confirmation, but is doing VERY well. Will likely add a multivitamin, but don’t want to change too much because she is doing so well. THANK YOU AGAIN!

    • Mandy

      Lexi, how much quinoa, turkey and squash do you use?

    • Buddy

      Looking for information on quinoa shows it to be a grain but a source of protein?
      I wonder if I could substitute quinoa for the cottage cheese?
      Something is still giving loose stools and I am hoping I won’t have to resort to flagyl just yet…
      I need to ask my Vet about the quinoa. Since quinoa and my dog both share roots with the Incas, it might be somehow poetic if it were to help him.

  • Buddy

    While trying to get rid of the fats and commercial foods, our vet has instructed us to feed our dog the following ingredients: Turkey Breast, Low fat Cottage Cheese and Potato.
    Could someone please give us a little information on how to properly assemble a meal in the right ratio? I believe it should be something like 1 part protein : 3 parts carbs.
    I have been looking everywhere for recipies but it seems that everyone has their own list of ingredients and we need a little help with getting it right.

  • armando

    My boxer just had a biopce. lymphangiectasia is what going on with her,any thoughts or expereance with this condition will help Armando

  • Linda (Squeekers Mom)

    Hi Buddy,
    My Yorkie has a few recipes formulated by a nutritionist and they are all really clost to 1 part protein to 2 parts carb. Hope this helps.

    • Buddy

      Thank you for the reply. I know everyone is busy but I was hoping that we could still get some good helpful information from those actually going through this.

  • armando

    Thank you. Lisa’s biopsy came back with her condition Mild to moderate lymphoplasmacytic and eosinophilic enteritis with scattered crypt dilatation and multifocal moderate Lymphangiectasia with focal granulomatous lymphangitis. Shes eating chicken.nuti source bison kibble and innova low fat senior can and brussel sprouts. Lot of Standard Process nutition. Should I stay away from chicken. At first the vet drew blood from her stomach and thought she spleen cancer and went in to do a splenectomy. Saw no cancer and did a exploratory laparotomy and biopsy of her small intestine. Thank God She had no Cancer. All her symtoms make sense now chonic diarrhea,always hungry.Thank you Louies Mom for this great support blog and everyone else with thier expereances with this condition. Armando and Lisa Marie.

  • Debbie R.

    My redbone coonhound, Buckeye, was just diagnosed with lymphangiectasia this week, after approximately three months of diarrhea and recent weight loss. Fortunately, his appetite is still very good, and he’s willing to eat whatever I feed him. Obviously, the first goal is to stabilize him. So, I’m trying to figure out the best diet. He has a long-standing intolerance to chicken, so I know that is out. I’m wondering if any of you have tried using non-fat Greek yogurt (23 g protein per 8 oz serving) to your dogs’ diets. Buckeye LOVES yogurt…always has, so I’m thinking that might be a good component of his diet. Thoughts?

  • Louie

    Hello everyone! Sorry I have not been around. I will try to work backwards but I want everyone to know I am NOT an expert, so take what I say for what it may be worth!

    Debbie R, I think that fat free yogurt might be good for him. Louie gets probiotics, which are similar in that they contain live cultures that are good for the intestines. I don’t think it would hurt him.

    Armando, I would try something other than the chicken, for sure. Lots of these dogs can’t eat chicken.

    Buddy, Squeekers mom has been going through this for almost as long as we have! She’s a very knowledgeable source of help. She is correct in her suggestion, however, if you use something like spriulina for protein you would use a lot less, because it’s very high in protein compared to meat.

    Lexi, thank you!

    Mandy and Peter, I’d love to hear updates from you both (and everyone else here).

    Thank you for your patience. I have a lot going on in my regular life and don’t get to this blog or my blog related e-mail as often as I should. Answers to a lot of the most frequently asked questions are in this post: http://www.louiethelovemuffin.com/wp/2012/03/14/canine-intestinal-lymphangiectasia-101/

    I hope everyone understands, and I hope everyone is doing well.

    • Rita (Morgan's Mom)

      Hi Louie’s Mom, Hope this finds you and Louie doing well. I was disappointed when the CIL forum changed to read only, so I’m happy to have found you here today. Morgan was diagnosed with CIL in April, 2011. He’s done well until recently. For all this time, he has been only on Azathioprine and eating RC Hypoallergenic whitefish/potato kibble. His bloodwork and urine tests are all normal. Now he’s on Prednisone & Metronidazole to control diarrhea. I’m looking for another food. Today I ordered Honest Kitchen Preference and Perfect Form. Are you no longer using Perfect Form? Does Louie get some RC Gastrointestinal LF canned?? Has it changed? The RC website no longer has any good info. I’m wondering if LF turkey might be an option. I’d appreciate your insight! Rita McComas RFMcComas@yahoo.com

  • Mary Beth (Moochie's Mom)

    Hi all….I have been off and on the website now for the past 15 months since my little baby Moochie (11 yr old Westie) was diagnosed. While he had a few setbacks, he was really doing very well….up until about 3 weeks ago and now has taken a major backslide. He has gone from 14# to 11.5#. He is having diareha and vomiting. his specialist has now added Cyclosporine to his Pred, Metronidozole, Tylan powder, Azatioprine (which he will ween off). I am struggling to get him to eat ANYTHING and when he does it comes up or out. this has been severe for about past 3-4 days. We are moving him from the RC wet/dry diet (which he was thriving on) to a homemade Turkey and potato. Unfortunately, while he used to love potato/sweet potato, now he has no interest. I am consulting with a professional vet dietician working through Moochie’s dr. While waiting for her to give me her anaylsis, I am going to try some of the suggestions above. I’ve GOT to get my little guy to eat! Any and all thoughts welcome….thank you so much for being out there!
    mary beth

    • Mandy

      Hi Mary Beth, I hope the dietician can help. How long has Moochie been on Pred, Metronidozole and Tylan? We’re just now cutting back the meds Finny is on. She’s been on Pred, Metronidozole, and Cyclosporin since March and was doing really well. She originally lost a lot of weight (from nearly 14 lbs. down to 6) but has gained all of it back. Her labs came back normal. We’ve just gone to a rotation of the meds (pred one day, metronidozole the next, cyclosporin the next and then start over). So far all is well but it’s only been this week. Please keep us posted on how Moochie is doing. Honestly, it is hearing the successes of others that has helped keep my hopes up that we’ll be able to control this disease. Louie is certainly an inspiration to me.

      As far as diet goes, we’ve been staying on the RC venison/potato wet and dry food. I want to try a better quality food (and I’ve found a couple with similar fat content) but not sure about trying it when we’re shifting her meds around. So I’ll wait a few weeks to make sure this new med cycle is going to be ok. I’d like to use the same one Louie is on and my vet has ok’d that, but for later.

      This disease is the scariest thing I’ve been through with a pet. The best thing we have is support from others going through it. Please keep us posted on Moochie. And please post the diet when you get it.

      • Rita (Morgan's Mom)

        Mandy,
        Is the Cyclosporin for his diarrhea?? I understand it is an immunosuppressant so it can help with IBD even though it is billed as a remedy for allergy skin issues?? My vet is suggesting it for Morgan, who has IBD & the L disease, but I’m hesitant. Does Finny get the one for cats? Glad to know he is doing well, sure hope it continues.

        • Mandy

          Hi Rita, as far as I know, the Cyclosporin is for the inflamation in the intestinal tract. For Finny, the combination of prednisone, cyclosporin, and Metronidazole have been the most effective for getting her intestinal tract fairly healthy again. She was taking all them for awhile, every day. Then we had her taking cyclosporin every day, and alternating the prednisone and the metronidazole for a couple of months. Now she’s rotating all three: metronidazole one day, prednisone, the next day, cyclosporin the next, etc. She’s been on that routine for about a month and it seems to be working out. I was actually more worried about the prednisone. The vet felt the cyclosporine was a real benefit in helping get CIL under control and so far he’s been right. I wouldn’t hesitate to give it to Morgan. The one Finny gets is for dogs. I hope Morgan gets well! Keep us posted. I found that this site is the only place I got any real information and it has been my lifeline :)

    • Carolyn (Truman's mom)

      My 10 yo Westie, Truman, has been diagnosed with primary lymph. as of a week ago. He is not stable and is currently on the Purina GE dry food, with prednisone and pepcid AC per the vet specialists instructions. I am waiting for him to stabilize before trying a different diet because I have no confidence the Purina GE is helping him.
      He was doing better 1 week ago and have more normal stools, but now we are back to watery w/blood and it is terrifying me. I guess the good news is that he is gobbling up his food and spirit/energy are good. I am so glad to come across this site–thank you Louie’s mom.
      Mary Beth-if you can keep posting Moochie’s progress and diet I would appreciate it.

    • Lesia (Meeka's mom)

      My Meeka is on all these meds too. She has been sick since Nov,2013 with draining ever 10-14 days. She is a yorki tea cup, usuall weight being about 5 lbs. I can’t get her to eat much of anything, I’ve tied what the vet has prescribed and also cooked from scratch. One day she eats the next she looks at me like I came from Mars and eats nothing. If this is all food related and she doesn’t eat much how can I get her healthy?

      • karen

        she ll eat the days her abdomen feels better, keep trying many small meals aday, my vet said many small amounts helps the bowel adjust, boiled chicken or tunafish or tilapia mixed with rice sweet pot, and yes i even bought kangaroo steaks anything that was low fat that she would eat, were great help during pearls crisis days, at one point she was up to 15 pills a day, but keep your hopes up, My pearl is now off ALL MEDS<

      • Abby's mom

        Rice and chicken are generally not tolerated for dogs with IL. May I suggest you try boiled tilapia steaks (white part of fish), boiled and drain water or baked for 15 minutes, mixed with half of sweet potato and regular white potato. You can also instead of white potato, use potato flakes with water to make mashed potato consistency. You can add 1/8 teaspoon spirulina you get at health food store but be careful it has nothing else in it additive wise and some bone meal, also vitamin shop. Feed 4 small meals a day until she is doing better and then increase another source of fiber, quinoa perhaps. You will also need a fat source so perhaps another addition of slowly adding a can of Natural Balance duck and potato would be good but only small amounts due to the fat content. You only want it for the fat content. I would also be giving B12 injections once every two weeks to help with vitamins and increase energy.
        Hope Meeka gets better.
        We are going on a year of ups and downs and I only recently am taking her off prescription diet and doing he homemade :).

  • Mary Beth (Moochies Mom)

    Hi all…..well, I so wish I had better news to share with you all. This has been the hardest week. Poor Moochie is just not responding. He is taking his new meds, but his diareaha and vomiting are not subsiding and he does not have a lot of interest in food. I am still waiting for the dietician’s menu, but have basically tried everything all of you had mentioned in your posts. He will eat something once or twice and then not eat it again. I am open to any suggestions to get him to eat anything! He still has a fairly good energy level and is still fighting hard. taking him to his doctor this afternoon hoping she can work yet another miracle! Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers! thanks!!
    Mary Beth

    • Carolyn (Truman's Mom)

      Hi Mary Beth,

      We’ve said a prayer for Moochie and keeping you in our thoughts. I know what pain you’re going through. Hopefully your Dr. has been able to help with something and that Moochie is still putting up a good fight.
      I know we are both blessed to have a Westie in our lives.
      Carolyn

  • Louie's Mom

    Hi Everyone, Louie’s mom here.

    Rita, I’m glad you found us. The old forum was just getting too contentious for me to continue– people posting misinformation and being rude to others. I like this much better, as it’s less confusing and all of the important information is in just a few key posts and their comments.

    Rita, I don’t use the perfect form too much because Louie’s poops are pretty good without it right now. I would add that in, very lightly, to his mix if he started having runny stools and I couldn’t get it under control by just adding a bit more potato. It’s a good product but I don’t think it’s needed if they aren’t having symptoms.

    As for cyclosporin, Louie took very large amounts of this drug in the beginning and I am quite sure it helped him a lot. We had him on 50 mg 2x a day for about the first two years after his diagnosis. Luckily he tolerated it well with no stomach upset. It’s MUCH harder on humans than it is on dogs. 100mg per day was 10x the normal dosage for a dog his size and he did just fine with it. It’s expensive, but worth trying IMO.

    I’m happy to hear the good news about so many, and sad about the bad news and losses :( This disease is so hard to manage and I salute anyone who has given it a try for your courage and persistence.

    • Rita (Morgan's Mom)

      Hi Louie’s Mom and everyone, I have ordered some Honest Kitchen Preference, so I’ll need to figure out what protein to add. Do you think turkey has different properties than chicken?? I’m thinking of trying it. What else is being used? RC LF Gastrointestinal Canned?? Also, I am surprised that spirulina only has 2 grams of protein per teaspoon. Have you any idea how much protein a dog needs? (My dog weighs 37 lbs. so he obviously needs more than Louie.) What is that BalanceII? I’ll need to look into that. I think the more info I get from those of you who’ve found something that works, the better, but I do understand all dogs do not react the same! Thanks in advance to all
      Rita & Morgan

      • Louie's mom

        HI Rita,

        If you look at the information at this site:

        http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2765/2

        you can compare products by weight. Here you’ll see that 33 grams of turkey breast contains one gram of protein, whereas 112 grams of dried spirulina contains 64 grams of protein. It’s more than 50% protein with virtually no fat.

        The turkey breast (which I used for this comparison) doesn’t come anywhere close, at barely 3% protein. So I try to add spirulina somewhat sparingly to the food and I find that it’s enough. I’d strongly recommend feeding only that and no meat source at all, if you can get your dog to eat it. As far as how much to feed, I’d look at how much meat you would normally feed and then think about the difference between 3% and 50%. I’m not measuring precisely here myself, but I know that they need a LOT less of the spirulina than they do meat.

        If you have to add meat, I’d add only enough to flavor the food and entice your dog to eat. Louie doesn’t get any meat at all nowadays. That’s been working out for him best lately.

        The Balance-IT is available at https://secure.balanceit.com/ . Please keep us possted on how things are going. I hope all of this helps!

        • Rita (Morgan's Mom)

          Thank you, Louie’s Mom. I see what you mean about the high protein in spirulina. I wonder if it’s appetizing to dogs! Looks like the protein varies a lot for the turkey, depending on which turkey option you choose. Not sure what I will end up doing.

  • Mary Beth (Moochie's Mom)

    Hello all….so sad to say that my baby Moochie (Westie) lost his battle last week. My little sweetheart is an angel in heaven now, and I am hoping watching over all of you that are still continuing the fight. It is the most heartwrenching thing that I have ever been through. He fought so hard but could just not rally into one more remission. Thank you to all for all the support and suggestions and help. keep fighting and don’t give up! I am so thankful that I had Moochie for as long as I did and am thankful for his doctors that tried everything they possibly could for him. I will continue to “visit” the site to see how you are all doing!
    All the best…..Mary Beth (and Moochie)

  • Mandy

    Mary Beth, I am so sorry about Moochie. I wish I knew the right words; I believe Moochie knew how much you loved him and that you did everything you could to help him. I can only imagine the pain you feel; I know how I felt the night we thought Finny was going to die. My prayers are with you.

  • Roxanne

    Just wanted to tell anyone from the old site that we lost Max on May 15, 2012. He stopped eating for me, his IM vet and I tried different PLE diets he would eat for 1 to 2 days than stop again. In the end he refuse medications and food. Once again we are devastated from his lose as when we lost Lexie to GME/NME 2 years ago.

    • Louie

      Roxanne, I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. Mary Beth, I am also sad for your loss. I just hate what this disease does. Rest easy, little ones. Your struggle is over. :(

  • Mandy

    I’m so sorry Roxanne.

  • Rita (Morgan's Mom)

    Hi Louie’s Mom & Everyone,
    I am grateful to know about Honest Kitchen, specifically Preference! While Morgan is still being weaned off Prednisone, he’s doing great. No diarrhea since he started eating Honest Kitchen. I am adding 99% fat free turkey breast and potato flakes. He gobbles it up! I just know he’s still going to be fine, even after I finish up the every other day Pred in a few more days. He gets 6 oz. turkey daily, which I have roasted and ground up, and that contains 30 grams of protein. I decided to wait and see if this all works before I worry about what else I might need to add. Needless to say, this is quite an expensive diet, but I’m so excited he’s doing well, and has been for 17 days! Thank you, Louie’s Mom for your insight!
    Rita & Morgan

  • Rita (Morgan's Mom)

    Hi Louie’s Mom & Everyone, My Morgan continues to do well on the Honest Kitchen Preference and roasted ground turkey breast, with potato flakes and/or plain baked potato added. (He’s been off Prednisone for a week now!) The Honest Kitchen cust serv rep said they do not recommend adding the potato or anything else, other than meat, to the Preference, but I think I have no choice but to add it. It works for your Louie!! I am grateful that you have helped me get to this point. Now I would like to understand more about the bone meal and Balance IT that you add. Do you mind sharing your thinking on this??
    Rita & Morgan

  • My 11 yr. Bichon frise hd 1 bout of ple in oct and responded well with meds. In mid june she had anotherr bout. And its now 10 wks and. We hav tried every low fat. Rc. Hp dd duck dd venizon. She has ben on many combination of drugs. These past 10wks and don colonos. And ndosc. She now has severe cil. And still having pudding like. Diarrrhea. Her. Protein levels. Have not beeen abov 2 . She has not lost wt. But. Her stomach is. Firm. And her. Coat is now falling out from 10 wks on pred, cyclo ,stopped azith. zeniquin, sulcrafate, anoth doggy pepcid. All these. Roids are. Causing muscle mass loss and. Coat loss. I am beside myself. In may she showed at a national specialty in top form. I have 2 interterniss. One here in nj and one at u penn. . Every 2 wks we changed diets cause she. Won’t eat. Then. She eas. Another. But she loves pork. I’m planning on ordering rc lf gastro. And. Adding. Potato flakes. Please help me. Save our. Ggirl pearl. I pray every day for a norrmal stool

    • Rita (Morgan's Mom)

      Karen,
      I am so sorry for all of the problems your puppy is having. I understand how difficult it can be. For what it’s worth, my Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Morgan, eats Honest Kitchen – Preference. It’s the one you add the protein to, and I add ground turkey breast. (I roast a boneless skinless breast and grind it myself.) It’s the way I can get Morgan the lowest fat diet. I also add a few potato flakes. He is on Azathioprine and Sam E, that’s it. I wish the best for you.
      Morgan’s Mom

      • Thank you. In the past my bichons had issues with turkey. But ill try anything. When do you start to see results and wheere do you get this honest kitcheen stuff. Emembr bichons are finicky eaters. I can add rd lf gastro diet. Too.

        • Rita (Morgan's Mom)

          Go to the Honest Kitchen web site, where you can determine if it is available in a store near you. If not, you would have to order it on line, which is what I do. This diet may not work for you, but it is low fat and that’s what seems to work for Lymphangiectasia dogs. Mean while, try giving your pooch some plain baked potato. My Morgan loves them, and potatoes can help firm up stool. Morgan was diagnosed with this disease more than a year ago. For some time, he did fine eating Royal Canin WP (whitefish & potato) but then I had to change because he got diarrhea again. His stools are quite solid now.
          Rita

          • I never saw rc wp. . I have. Hills dd. Duck and potato and venizon n pot. I’m ordering r c. Lf gasto. Ill try anything. Never got her to eat a potato. I ll try that and instant. Mashed flakes. Do I get. The protein powder too? Along with the honest kitchen. Karen. Graeber

    • Carolyn (Truman's Mom)

      Hi Karen,
      Sorry to hear about Pearl’s current condition. Our Westie Truman had his first bout/diagnosis with CIL in late May and has made a turn for the better. He was skin and bones, poop was all pudding and he had a black dander and dull coat. It was hard for me to accept that it wasn’t completely about the diet, but about him stabilizing first.
      My vet spec. put him on 2 prednisone/day + 1 Pepcid AC and the Purina EN kibble. He slowly became more stable so I added 1/4c of instant mashed potatoes to his kibble at both meals and cut down the prednisone to 1/day. I also cut him back to changed the Pepcid AC for Pepto Bismol and after 2 weeks he has improved vastly.
      He is now on 1/2 prednisone/day and Pepto with this diet. I have the Honest Kitchen which I intend to add after one more week of stability.
      I hope this helps, and send a prayer for you and Pearl. I know how hard the unstable times can be.
      Carolyn

      • Pearl blood count dropped today and she is now in the. Hosputal to make sure. Her blood doesn’t go any. Worse. I’m scred

      • Iim not quite clear on what honest kitchen is. Is it food?ther is a place 2 miles from m that sells it and th whole foods is close so I’m hoping to buy that powderd protein. I ordered. The rc lf gastro so. God willing pearl. Comes home I’m rady. W potato and stuff. Can some one tell me if they had better luck with. Ground turkey . I’m not quite clear of the rcipe and no I don’t have a grinder would. Chopping it work or just buy commerciaal ground turkey and boil it to get out any fat. Pearl is getting I v calcium to boost her rbc. . I’m calling hospital for update. Now. Kareen. Whitebredbichons.com

      • Did u dcid wi5hout dr. Advice to cut down th. Ped. I’m scared to mss with the mds. But sh has so many it frightns me. Besides all the drugs everyone has mentiond she is on. Sulcrate and. Doggy ppcid and now calcium. I’ve got to get her diarrhea sttopped so. Her. Blood protins come up. Thy are still low.

        • Mandy

          Hi Karen, whatever her meds are please give them to her. The first thing I had to learn when my little Finny was diagnosed was to follow the doctor’s instructions, both the meds and the food. She is on three meds and eating RC venison/potato. Her protein levels can’t improve unless the meds take care of the inflammation. Praying for your baby!

      • Did u dcid wi5hout dr. Advice to cut down th. Ped. I’m scared to mss with the mds. But sh has so many it frightns me. Besides all the drugs everyone has mentiond she is on. Sulcrate and. Doggy ppcid and now calcium. I’ve got to get her diarrhea sttopped so. Her. Blood protins come up. Thy are still low.I’m a little confused between seacur and the spiruina supplement. Can. Someone. Explain

      • karen

        do you know why they changed to pepto not ac any difference? how much liquid do you add to the potato flakes? just wondering,

        • Morgan's Mom

          Karen,
          I use the recommended amount of water for the HK and then stir in the potato flakes without adding any more water. I use about 1 part potato flakes to 3 parts HK.

        • Carolyn (Truman's Mom)

          Hi Karen,

          We worked very closely with our vet on tapering Truman down on the Prednisone and changing to Pepto from Pepcid was something they recommended, not sure why. He has been more firm and less gassy since we changed, but if I can find out the reason for the switch I will let you know.
          All has been very gradual, ie. we introduced potato flakes about 1 mo ago, and added to the kibble he was on at the vet’s (Gastro EN), which I still have not changed. He’s been stable 2.5 mo now and just now planning to intro the HK Preference.

          Hope all is on the up with Pearl.

  • Rita (Morgan's Mom)

    Karen, Please know that I can only tell you what is working for us. Dogs are different and react differently. I have not used the protein powder but others have.
    I wish you the best.
    Morgan’s Mom

  • Rita (Morgan's Mom)

    Karen, Yes, Honest Kitchen is dog food. It is simply one means of feeding a really low fat diet while providing good nutrition. It is dehydrated, and comes in multiple options. The meat free version is called Preference, which is intended for those who want to add their own meat. I add turkey. I roast skinless, boneless turkey breasts (1% fat). You can try ground turkey, which comes in 1% fat, or chop roasted turkey. The goal is low fat, and finding a food your dog will eat. The other Honest Kitchen options are not low enough in fat. Honest Kitchen and/or turkey are not magic bullets, this just happens to be what I’ve found that works for Morgan.
    Wishing you the best,
    Rita

  • Rita (Morgan's Mom)

    Yes, I understand the LF Royal Canin canned has worked well for many CIL dogs. It is certainly worth a try! Is Pearl still hospitalized??
    Morgan’s Mom

  • Louie

    Hi everyone! I’m having a bit of a family emergency (husband in the hospital) so just dropping in quickly to thank everyone for participating. Karen, it’s not a good idea to cut back prednisone on your own, as it can have serious consequences if it isn’t tapered down carefully.

    I hope everyone’s CIL kids are doing well. Hugs all around.

    Louie’s Mom

    • I’m bringing pearl home today. Her bloodwork was low norm. And she actually had 1 normal stool last nite. I’m praying. And. Continue. To need your knowledge and support. Thank u. Karen graeber whitebredbichons.com

  • pearl has now been home a week from the hospital, she has continued to have watery to mashed potatoe stools and i find no rhyme or reason for day to day changes is that normal when they are unstable,
    i have bought honest kitchen and she doesnt seem to like it no way,
    just curious when i read that people put turkey 99 per cent fat free did they cook it?
    i did and turkey gave her more diarrhea
    tomorrow is her last day on zeniquin, shes been on the antibiotic 28 days, still on pred, cyclospor, metroni,pepci sulcrate 3 x a day, she wants to eat all the time but she wants HER food not the one of 8 that we have tried, rd wd zd, rclf gastro, HA HP DD DUCK DD Venizon there are so many kinds of food here i wonder who will eat them, her rbc has gone back from 21 to 33 but her albumin is still `1.5 i need to get her stablle any more suggestions PLEASE help i have picked up EVERY CAN FOOD in pet stores and know how much crude fat is in ALL of them hah the strange thing the dr said while she was there he was off and the staff gave her regular RC maintanance it should have made her explode with diarrhea but she had NONE while there, so hes thinking maybe we need to try opposite what we know, now that scares me
    she is going about every 8 hrs

  • Morgan's Mom

    Karen, My Morgan eats HK Preference with added 1% fat turkey breast which I have roasted and ground. I think that most all food in pet stores is too high in fat for a CIL dog. However, dogs are different and dogs react differently. I hoped you understood that because my dog does well on HK & turkey breast there was absolutely no guarantee your dog would eat it or do well on it! I was only sharing what works for us. Perhaps you should feed Pearl whatever she ate at the vet’s that did not give her diarrhea. I also encourage you to follow your vet’s advice.

  • Louie's mom

    There is a recipe in this pos abovet:

    Honest Kitchen Preference (GOOD: provides many nutrients, very low in fat / BAD: Very high in fiber, contains little protein) 1 part
    Plain mashed potato flakes (GOOD: provides carbohydrates for weight gain, nutrients, improves the stool, easy to use, very low in fat, very low in fiber / BAD: Contains little to no protein) 2 parts
    Powdered spirulina supplement (GOOD: packed with high quality protein that is well tolerated which comes from a non-animal source, fat-free, adds micronutrients)
    Multi-strain probiotic in very small amounts (GOOD: helps keep the stool firm and keep the intestinal tract from developing bacterial overgrowth)
    Bone Meal (GOOD: Supplemental calcium, all dogs need this).

    2 things: The preference is WAY too high in fiber to be fed at a ratio of 3 parts HK to 1 part potato. You need to use at least twice as much potato as preference or it will be very hard on your dog’s digestive system. Three parts potato to one part preference might even be better.

    Also, please add water to the potato. Mix in as much water as makes it a good consistency that your dog will eat. If you just feed flakes this will undoubtedly also cause problems.

    Hope this is helpful.

    • Morgan's Mom

      Hi Louie’s Mom,
      Morgan gets equal amounts of ground LF turkey and HK, as recommended by HK. I do add potato flakes, but the HK rep advises not to add anything to HK Preference other than the meat!
      Morgan’s Mom

      • Louie's mom

        All of our lymphie dogs are a bit different, but having said that, I try to avoid letting food manufacturers provide veterinary advice (THK is notorious in my book for offering poor advice to customers who have unhealthy dogs– I’ve gotten into it with them on their Facebook page over advice they were giving an owner of an IBD dog to feed a variety of proteins). Manufacturer’s reps are trained to promote the use of their products for healthy animals; in our case we’re adapting a product to suit the needs of dogs that aren’t healthy.

        My understanding about the disease of lymphangiectasia is that, in general, a high fiber diet is a very poor way to feed because they have so much trouble digesting their food to begin with and all that fiber just pushes the food quickly through the intestines undigested. We want our lymphie kids to absorb as many nutrients as they can, which usually means feeding things that slow down motility rather than speeding it up. That’s what the potatoes do.

        So if your dog is doing okay and gaining or maintaining weight with just the Preference, I’d not worry about the potatoes too much. For Louie it would never work without the potato and, for any lymphie dog, it’s always something to consider adding or tweaking if the weight begins to drop or the stools become soft or fibrous.

        • karen

          This may b a silly question. But what does a fibrous swtool look like. I do want to report. After. 3 months. Pearl had a normal stood last nite. So. Its the 1st day of. Positive. Response.

          • Louie's mom

            So happy to hear about the normal stool! When Louie has a stool that looks like it contains a lot of the Honest Kitchen Preference undigested, I call that a fibrous stool and will add in more potato and protein for a bit. If the stool looks more like a healthy stool, that’s better.

          • karen

            Well. She’s. Not a fan yet. Of hk or. Potatoes. But I. Keep tryingshe still. Wants. To eat alot at 10pm and. That’s. When. She will eat. Rclf gastro. Dry. And. She gained. A lb. Since last week. But im still unsure. If. The slightly distended. Belly. Is. From. All the. Meds. Or if there is fluid. .I might have. To have. Her. Checked. By the internist

  • Rupert's Mom

    Hi all! First I would like to say that it is very comforting to have this forum to discuss things with! I just found out that my 1 & 1/2 year old Shar Pei has lymphangietasia! So hard to believe at such a young age! Such a sweet guy! I’m glad we at least have a diagnosis for his problems – now to get the guy up to weight!

    My problem with Rupert right now is putting the weight back on him. Not only is he very underweight but also has allergies to things …. We have tried him on lamb & rice, zd & now kangaroo & oats. Although he will eat anything, he is very underweight!!!

    The vet has started him on 25mg of pred – 2 times a day …… I am suppose to talk to the doggie dermatologist tomorrow to come up with a diet suggestion.

    I may just go ahead and try the HK recipe and see how that works.

    I would welcome any suggestions that you all have for my Rupert!!!!

    Thanks
    Michelle

  • karen

    We ve had another set back I. Just don’t know why I can’t get pearl stable. One day she eats the next she. Doesn’t like it. We have hk. And 99 ff turkey. And pot. Flakes wont eat it. However this week she. Accumulated fluid and they drained it. He said that would make her not want to eat. W fluid in her. So tonite she ate. 1 small. Baked turkey breat. She had. 3. Liquid diarrhea. And now I sit here in the middle of the night. Upset. Cause she seemed restless so I took her out she made a. Pudding. Textre but when she came in her rear was covered in red blood. There was none in the stool. And I washed her. And it happened 2x. This is the 1st I’ve seen. Bllod. From her. Today. At the hosp. Dr. Said she might not b responding to meds. Cause. She’s not absorbing enough of them so he gave. Her the pred. Injected. After 1 normal stool. Monday. We go backwards. Im so frantic. I don’t know how to soothe her. Insides.

  • Morgan's Mom

    Karen,
    I am so sorry for you and Pearl. I wish I had an answer for you. All I can suggest is to try to follow your vet’s advice. I will be thinking of you.
    Morgan’s Mom

  • Jesse Brown

    Hi,
    My whippet was diagnosed a couple weeks ago with Lymphangiectasia and IBD. He is not doing well at all and we are having a very difficult time getting him to eat. He doesn’t want to eat any of the things that is listed here that is working for others. He prefers to not eat at all. This is killing me and I feel so helpless….

  • karen

    Phenolate. Pearl. Continues to be unstable and has. Started. To. Ocassionally. Accumulate. Fluid.. the drs feel. Her intestines are not absorbing the. Meds. So she’s not getting their benefit. So now we are on pred. Sub q shots. I asked for liquid cyclo. Since I was shoving so. Many pills. In her. Mouth. Also. Metro. Pepcid. Mirtazapine to encourage her to eat, mycophenolate. The nuvo. Drug. To treat. Cil. , a probiotic, 2 tums, 1 calcium capsule. 3 sulcrfate a day. So needless to say. I’ve tried. Hk, rclf. Id. And all the other foods. Her muscle mass is. Lessoning and her hair has fallen out. But I will not give up till im forced to. If I could only see some. Positive sign. One. Normal stool. Id give all I had. Someone has sluggested I try. Raw im scared to death. Cause she. Can’t get salmeonella. I bought 93. Per cent ff beef. 99. Ff turkey and now buffalo. Each day she ll. Eat a little something different. When I think I found something she ll eat the next day. Nope. Does anyone think I should stop giving her. Choices and keep giving her. What she. Should eat till she’s so hungry. She will eat. I hardly leave. Cause im always. Giving her something.

  • Rupert's Mom

    I have been feeding Rupert the hk with turkey & potatoes and supplements listed. He also has allergies of some sort & his eyes are runny & itchy. He looks like a skeleton although he will eat anything you give him. Not sure what to try next. I feel like I am watching him starve to death. I also am unsure how long I keep feeding him something before trying something new ….

    Suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated!

  • karen

    dont change anything if its working and he doesnt have diarrhea. i have tried 8 different foods and she eats it for one day and then not the next. she will NOT eat HK but the others eat it . i have tried kangaroo and red bean. all the RC LF things and right now i have 7 can foods open because today she eats a spoon full tomorrow she wont. this week she ate only turkey baby food so i mixed all her tums crushed it that , today she would not eat a bite of it. i dont have the luxury of waiting till she eats it because she is down to 10 pounds from 14 since june , she has lost all her muscle mass and looks like a skeleton but this week her blood work went up. so i am NOT giving up, even thouggh she is almost bald. I will never give up till im forced to and neither shoud you. karen

  • Mia's Dad

    My teacup Yorkshire Terrier, Mia was diagnosed yesterday after noticing her abdomen was swollen. I’m so scared she is just 3lbs. The vet started her on prednisone and no other meds but the prescription food Hills r/d. She is eating the food and stool seems formed. We’ve not had a problem with loose stool. Her labs are critical. Albumin, globulin low, BUN/creatinine high…should I add anything to r/d or just go right to cooking for her to give her a better chance for remission. I was told turkey and sweet potato. I sure hope the prednisone helps on it’s own without the combos I’ve read mentioned above.

  • Liz Dempsey

    I will be buying spiralina tomorrow thank u so much.

    Have your ever heard of seacure -if so what are your thoughts

  • Tillys Mam

    My lurcher Tilly was diognosed with this awful condition just a couple of days ago after an exploritory biopsy, for weeks i’v wached my beautiful big girl waste away to a bag of bones after having terrible diorrhoea and going off her food,,she lost almost 5 kilos in 6 weeks!, i tried tempting her with anything i could think of to get her to eat but nothing worked including steak, duck and chicken which she used to love, after her op my vet put her on antibiotics metronidazole and think the others were called cereceptin? at the moment her appetites back as shes on steroids that are making her realy hungry and so far poop normal, i’v ordered some rc gastrointestinal low fat food so will see how we go with that, this sites so helpful,, scary too reading about the poor dogs that have lost their battle with this awful illness,,my heart goes out to their owners

    • karen

      hang in there tillys. my pearl had it it now 5 months since june we thought we would lose here in aug and again in oct, she is down from 13 to under 10 pounds and bald. but she had a blood transfusion. her rbc and calcium are now normal but her protein remains low. she eats but not enough to gain weight and her diarrhea is now semi soft to loose but not watery any more her energy level is so much better and i m just happy she is still living and fighting. i have gotten her acupunture and will try a few more, when you are desperate you try anything. and yes i give her ANYTHING she ll eat some days she ll eat rclfg dry nut not the can., i have tried 12 different can foods but now shes eating wellness chicken is NOT that low fat but i mix it with others ., she is still on 12 meds a day and 2 tums and now some holistic , i basically am giving her ICU treatment and my internist said im doing more than the hospital could but she is alive and barking at people when they come in, as long as i see life in her eyes i will keep going and so should you, glad you have normal stool we get it maybe 1x weekly and i have wine when it happens.
      karen whitebredbichons.com

  • Little Bits Mom (Natalie)

    Hi there, I’m new to this site but looking for some serious guidance. My Husband and I have been struggling with our Yorkie – Little Bit for roughly 3 months with this disease. We feel she has responded well to the diet and the steroids, flagyl, spironolactone ect., but now has developed very distressed breathing. Even to the point of emergency Vet visits. Has anybody had this same issue in association with this disease? Had an Xray done of her chest and little to no fluid there or in her belly so we were extremely happy, but didn’t explain the breathing. She has fainted on us and now has hard time catching her breath. We are at a loss and the Vets can’t seem to give answers. Any help or thoughts are greatly appreciated as we feel watching her struggle just doesn’t seem right and think it may be her time to go. Please HELP!! Natalie n Little Bit

    • Mandy

      Natalie, my dog Finny does that too. She’s fine though. The vet thinks it is allergy related (both of my Yorkies seem to have allergy issues). Her lungs are clear, but she sounds awful sometimes. He upped the cyclosporine back to every other day instead of every three days and it improved a lot. She still snores a bit at night, but overall she seems ok. No problems with the CIL right now. How is Little Bit doing right now?

  • Dustin (Brutus' Dad)

    I have posted before in the old forum when, Brutus (our Boston terrier), was first diagnosed with ‘L’. It’s been nearly two years now. I want to thank Louie’s mom for generously sharing all of her understanding and knowledge regarding this condition. It saved Brutus’ life.

    When Brutus was first diagnosed, we started using the Royal Canin LF – a mix of canned and dry. He responded well and for the next year and a half we didn’t have much trouble, just a few flair ups. Then in August, he began to show signs he was no longer tolerating the Royal Canin. Since then we’ve tried a number of different prescription diets and none of them have worked. He was quickly declining. Finally, last Thursday, I noticed he had pretty bad swelling of his abdomen and he was drinking a lot (for whatever reason, when Brutus develops serious PLE, he drinks much more than normal). I immediately went out and purchased the ingredients in Louie’s diet. Within 11 hours of switching his food, Brutus went from having severe diarrhea to having normal, solid stool. Within 24 hours, he didn’t have any more swelling in his belly. We’ve also noticed some really nice side effects — he’s not gassy like he has always been since he was on the Royal Canin. And, it now appears he won’t require medication just yet to treat his condition — something I’ve been hoping to avoid since he was diagnosed.

    I plan to discuss this with his vet this week and see if she recommends any supplements considering his new diet. She also has two other ‘L’ dogs in her practice that may benefit from knowing about this diet. Thanks again Louie’s mom!

    • karen

      wow congrats, and hope he stays well, my pearl would not touch the HK food at all, the other dogs ate it , she has started vomited her food , i dont like that but with all the meds shes taking 12 a day, i wish i knew what was causing the vomiting this is a new symptom

  • Suzie Bender

    Hi Louie’s Mom! I’ve been reading everyone’s posts and your amazing knowledge about this disease. It’s helped so much! I have a question about the potato flakes. Do you just add them as is, or make them into “mashed potatoes”? My sweet Berner Rigby has been maintaining her weight after losing 11 lbs with no significant weight gain to speak of. Now it seems she’s lost a few lbs more since she’s not eating as much. Suggestions?

    Suzie

  • Louie's Mom

    Hi Suzie,

    You don’t need to cook them, but you will need to add water to them to make them the same consistency as mashed potatoes. I usually just mix all my dry ingredients together (including the potato flakes) and store it dry like that. Then a few times a week I will take a smaller container, put a few scoops of the dry mix in there and add water and mix until the consistency looks good (kinda mushy but not soaking wet). I keep that in the fridge and get his meals from there, adding more water to the food in the bowl when I feed him.

    Hope this helps.

  • Suzie Bender (Rigby's Mom)

    I have such good news to report. Rigby has gained 6lbs since we started to add Potato Flakes & Tilapia to her diet!!! Thank you so much for your blog and all of your help. The Vet was beyond thrilled and was amazed at how good she looked. And he decreased her Pred to 5mg a day.

    :~)

  • Louie's mom

    That is great news! I’m so glad that this has helped you. Hope she keeps up the improvement!

    • Suzie Bender

      Thanks Louie’s Mom!!!

    • Suzie Bender

      Hi everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve been on or posted. I think that’s a good thing, since Rigby’s health has been pretty great! She has gained back all of her weight and seems to be stable with a few minor setbacks. The Vet took her off of her 5mg of Pred every other day. Well that only lasted a little bit more than a week. Her stool started to become mushy, so he put her back on. But, all of a sudden, she’s starting to lose her hair :( And on a Bernese Mountain Dog, that’s a lot! Is there anything I can do about it? I’m sure it has to do with her diet and lack of Protein & Fats. If you remember, besides Lymphangiectasia she has Irritable Bowel Disease.

      • My bichon in full show coat lost it all. Dr said it was the combo off pred and all the other drugs shes on. Its just starting to grow back . However her condition now going on 9 months is losing ground this month wt loss bad blood work and some vomiting. I will never give up but its heartwrenching to see her have diarrhea 9 months be hairless and now not gaining wt. We have tried it all and and so far nothing has worked. I would try anything but 12 pills a day . Cant hide them in food antmore shoving down her throat is. Aweful and there is no food I can say she loves. I need to get calories in her but not fat. All my other bichons will est anything. Any suggeztions. . So just hang in there . Its a bad road.

      • Chelsea's mom

        As we all know, every dog seems to be a little different with this disease. What works for one, may not for another. However, the good thing about this forum is that we can share what has worked for our own dog and maybe it can help someone else.

        Suzie, I almost lost my English bulldog to this disease 2 1/2 years ago. 5 days of intensive care, and an albumin transfusion and thankfully, she survived. She has Lymphangiectasia and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

        As much as I didn’t like the prescription dog food thing, the internal medicine vet begged me to try it to get her back on track, so I agreed. I use Purina HA dry and it has worked.The challenge is if the dog will eat it- fortunately Chelsea scarfs it down!) Chelsea is off all prednisone and flagyl, is back to her original weight. Her skin is a little dry due to lack of fats, but after she was of the pred for a while she stopped shedding and flaking so much.

        I monitor her closely and if I notice any early signs of discomfort I will give her a short dose of pred to calm the flare up. It has worked thus far, 2.5 years and counting! I also give her Slippery Elm Bark tablets at night.

        About a year ago i tried to do some homeopathic treatment with a vet, and started a home cooked diet,accupuncture and some herbs but 4 weeks in Chelsea started to relapse, so I stopped it all.

        This month I am headed to see a vet in a nearby town who is supposed to have some really great training in chinese herabl medicine. I would love to get Chelsea back on some better more natural food, so I’m hoping she can help.

        Of course, i’ll let everyone know if it works!!

        • yes please let us know the acupuncture best that I used tried every natural herb there was adding it slowly to my dogs diet but her diarrhea seem to get worse we used 7 different natural herbsall supposedly to help with diarrheabut not have worked

          • Chelsea's mom

            Okay I will post results. I did alot of homework to get to this vet and even spoke to a very well known Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine doctor in Australia who was specially trained in China. He told me exactly what to look for when choosing a vet that truly knows how to practice Chinese herbal medicine. Said there are a ton of vets out there practicing that are not properly trained.

            So, we shall see how it goes!

          • Yes they should b trained at the chi institute in fla

  • Hi to all the moms out there. I’m just another mom going through the same ups and downs of this condition. Delilah has been diagnosed with lymphangiectasia. she’s OK for a couple days after we change diets but then goes back to the liquid diarrhea. I’m so tired and helpless. I’ve been reading about potato or flakes, are they the same as far as the results? I’m scared but at this point I’m willing to try.good luck to all of you.

    • karen

      my pearl has had some type of diarrhea 1st mashed potato texture then liquid now for 6 months has lost all her hair and muscle almost died but now is eating and her blood work is almost normal however the diarrhea still continues i have tried every combo of the HK food and perfect form rice mashed pot, flakes and so far NOTHING has worked. not sure if she will ever have a normal stool again however she still is energetic and eating and for that im thankful, Keep trying maybe something will work along with the LOW FAT gastro food, which she eats but has not helped her diarrhea ,my other dogs ate the HK but ha she said no to that food, good luck with your dog

      • Rupert's Mom

        Hi all – I would suggest a probiotic of some sort on your dogs food. This may help with the “poops”. My Rupert is currently eating a raw diet of K-9 Kraving – Turkey with a probiotic and is doing really well. Now he is also on 25mg of pred a day. I also give him pepcid and benedryl twice a day.

  • Hi my friend! I wish to say that this article is awesome, great written and come with approximately all significant infos. I¡¦d like to see extra posts like this .

  • Chelsea's mom

    Hi all-

    I have an 8yr old Bulldog with CIL secondary to IBD. She was originally diagnosed almost 2 years ago and I did almost lose her. She is no longer on any medication other then Tums daily for calcium and an occasional pepcid. She continues to eat the Prescription food Purina HA that was originally prescribed by her gastroenterologist. I did try to make a move to Healthy Kitchen once but diarrhea and weight loss returned. IMPORTANT: Every dog with this disease is different. Some of these dogs just have CIL as the primary disease so their big problem is with fat, but others have IBD as well (not always diagnosed) and they have protein issues along with issues with fat content. So, the safe way is usually low,low fat for these dogs and a single source of protein. Chicken is a no on. Turkey may work for some, but others will likely have problems with this too. Some will just need to not get any protein from an animal source.

    The Purina HA protein source is soy, I don’t love that, but it has bought her 2 years, so far . She has occassional flare ups which I treat with prednisone and flagyl. I have become extremely watchful of her bathroom useage and checking stools. Important to catch a flare up.

    Make sure your dog is stable before you try diet changes.

    Karen- reading your postings prompted me to post. My Chelsea was a pretty severe case and Purina HA did the trick, so you may want to try it. The challenge may be getting Pearl to eat it. I have been fortunate that my bully is a ravenous eater and has never turned her nose up. Good luck!

    • karen

      thank you so much. however i tried HA several months back because someone else told me their dog loved HA., FORGET it pearl would not touch it, i still have two cans ill try again, i noticed people saying they are using flagyl. that is only a human product and pearl has been on imodium 3x a day besides metro…. and budescidide mycophenolate , cyclosporine and pepcid, and an appetite increaser as welll as 2 tums a day and still has diarrhea. she is eating and her bloodwork is good she is still hairless but now has some peachfuzz growing, the Internist does not know what we cant get her stool firm., except to say her sm int. is shot, she is very energetic but being on 12 pills a day makes it hard to go away and have anyone care for her, I have tried all that i know, im curious though, you said no chicken , she gobbles that and turkey too,. it has not made her worse or better, she gets her RCLF gastro dry and can and anything else i can find that is lowfat and that she will eat,
      wont touch mashed pot, or rice any more., ,
      anything else feel free to suggest it

      • Chelsea's mom

        Hey there- Flagyl is metronidazole :) If it were me, I might ask the vet to drop the budesonide and just go straight prednisone. It is also common to use and since Pearl continues to have diarrhea it certainly couldn’t hurt!

        I’m sorry she is struggling with this disease. It is a difficult one to deal with because of the different way each and every dog responds. The chicken may not be a good idea just because these dogs have had exposure to that protein in alot of dog fods. Our specialist said the trick is to find one unique protein source that the dog likes, but has never been exposed to. This is why they say Kangaroo, venison, white fish, etc. Turkey may be fine too at 99.9% fat free if the dog has not eaten it in the past. Perhaps remove the chicken for 1 month to see if there is any improvement (takes 4 weeks to determine if something you changed is or isn’t working).Have you tried the dry Purina HA (that is what we use)and then put a little turkey on top for smell and mix with warm water? Don’t want to put alot of turkey on it because HA already has the soy protein in there. The whole thing is keep it simple for their tummies! Some have had success with sprinkling a little garlic salt on it. Also,I did have some success with Chelsea with an Eastern medicaine vet that did accupuncture,(did the points to stregnthen her stomache health) but it was too hard with my schedule to keep the regular appointments. Again, just tossing all ideas out there- really wish you the best of luck with Pearl!

        • karen

          pearl has eaten lots of fish and loves it the only think she has not eaten was kangaroo . but i did try the dry with the kangaroo and she would not eat it, she was on pred, for the 1st 4 months and thats why alll her hair fell out every last hair, she is just starting to grow some back and we are trying to get her off bud, that is the last one with steroid in it, i will try chicken free for the rest of the month , have never seen purina HA dry its not carried around here . but funny she IS getting acupuncture for the last 6weeks and i believe the energy is due to that but it has NOT helped the diarrhea. but im not giving up

          • Chelsea's mom

            Karen it is great all that you are trying for your girl! You can order Purina HA dry online (it’s expensive!) I really hope you guys can find a way to help her firm up the stool. Best of luck- I’m rooting for Pearl!

  • Lisa

    Hello all,

    I am new to this site and so thankful I found it. Thanks to all! Great resource!

    My 5.5 pound yorkie Tootsie was just diagnosed with Lymphangectasia. She is currently at 7.5 pounds with the fluid in her belly, so tight she looks like she is going to pop! No breathing problems, but critical low protein and albumin. Very foul watery stools. She just started on prednisone 5 mg twice a day for 2 days and just increased to 3 times a day and Flagyl daily – but her tummy continues to swell.

    She refuses the moist GI diet, so we have the dried GI food coming from the vet. Do real mashed potatoes work like the flake ones? Her protein and albumin are critical low. I’d like to try tofu and greek yogurt. She likes string cheese. How do your dogs do with lo fat string cheese?

    What about bulk forming meds, like metamucil? Or is that too irritating?

    Lisa

    • I have tried Metamucil recently with pearl it didn’t help on her but certainly try itI also tried mashed potatoes but she wouldn’t eat it’s a matter of trial and error pearl had fluid in her belly twice and they drained it immediately and it has not returnedgood luck with your girl it’s a beautiful disease my pearl is still struggling with diarrhea my vet gave pearl ivy calcium every week for 6 weeks until her body started absorbing again good luck and hang in there

  • Amy

    When my 12-year old toy poodle was diagnosed three weeks ago, I started feeding her white rice or potato, chicken or turkey or very lean ground beef, and non-fat cottage cheese. The homecooked diet along with the meds (mainly prednisone) immediately improved her condition. Her stools were still soft, but not watery. Once her protein level improved, my vet recommended a BalanceIt diet. The recipes on their web site for IBD are crazy: squid and banana, ostrich and barley, crab and millet, crab and quinoa, etc. The two that weren’t so strange were tilapia and potato, and bison and sweet potato, so those are the recipes I’ve tried so far. I did have to go to a specialty market for the top sirloin bison/buffalo steaks. (It can’t be ground buffalo, which I could get at any grocery store.) She wasn’t crazy about the tilapia, but she ate it. She’s been on a BalanceIt diet for two days and she had her first firm stool this morning. BalanceIt.com requires approval from your vet in order to get their recipies and order their powder supplement.

    • Albert's mom

      Hi Amy. My little guy was diagnosed with CIL about 3 weeks ago and we have been struggling to get his protein levels up with prednisone and atopica. As of now he is on Royal Canin low fat. He does like it but all he has been able to produce is watery stools. Mostly complete water. He is miserable. I was reading your initial diet and would like to try to integrate that. I see that you have listed white rice or potato, chicken or turkey or very lean ground beef, and non-fat cottage cheese. Can you tell me how you mixed these ingredients and how much of each? My Albert is a 60lb english bulldog.

      • Chelsea's mom

        Just wanted to mention what I am using for Chelsea since she is an English Bull dog as well and we are 2.5 years in with her disease and she is doing well. Again, every dog is different, but Purina HA dry food is what she eats. If Albert is a chow hound like Chelsea, hopefully he would eat it. Just thought i would mention it since he is still having watery stools.She also originally was on Prednisone and flagyl, flagyl removed first, then slowly weaned off the pred. Good luck and keep us posted!

  • Amy

    The BalanceIt recipes call for about 17% meat to 83% carbohydrate. The key is to get the diet as low fat as possible. (Although some nutrients do require a small amount of fat to be absorbed.) I found that although chicken and rice stopped my dog’s stool from being watery, they were still very soft. Sweet potato was the one ingredient to finally make them firm. They’re much more fiberous than russet potatoes – they’re almost more like pumpkin.

  • Amy

    Oh no! It turns out what I thought were sweet potatoes were actually yams. (Can you tell I don’t cook?) I personally don’t like either, so forgive my ignorance. Anyway, yams are what I’ve been feeding my dog, and that’s why they were more like pumpkin than potatoes. Sorry about that. I did switch to actual sweet potatoes and my dog’s stool are firm with those as well.

    • Amy

      Oh no again. It turns out that what’s labeled as “red yams” in the grocery store are really just a different variety of sweet potato, so it’s perfectly okay to feed my dog those red yams (the nutrition content is virtually the same). It turns out that true yams don’t grow in this country because they require a very hot climate, so you can’t buy them from just a regular grocery store. You have to go to a special international market to find them. I learn something new every day. :-)

  • Louie's mom

    LOL, luckily yams are very low in fat, also, so those should be okay. Some prefer them over the regular potato flakes. I’m lazy, so the potato flakes work for me!

  • Amy

    Thanks! I noticed that BalanceIT makes their own “Potato Blend” which is just dehydrated potatoes, plus all the vitamins and minerals they prescribe, so you don’t need to add their supplement powder. That would definitely be a lot more convenient, but I think my vet would want me to wait until my dog is off all her medication before messing around with her diet again. By the way, I did try feeding her Honest Kitchen and she wouldn’t touch it. After eating all this yummy fresh cooked food for a month, I don’t know if she’ll ever eat anything else, ha! She may not even eat potato flakes…we’ll see.

  • I want to thank everyone on this site for making me feel so not alone. Our 6 year old yorkie was diagnosed with Lymphangiectasia, after many tests, a biopsy, lots of worrying and an albumin level at 1. He is going to the Vet in a few hours to begin his treatment and after trying every trick in the book, including pill pockets, peanut butter, slipping the pill into all sorts of foods,a “pill gun/popper” he does not take pills, with three of us trying, including the veterinary staff. He is too smart, he literally spits the pill across the room and eats the surrounding food, IF he doesn’t turn up his nose and walk away! Does anyone know if medicine-wise, he can be treated with a long acting injection? They had to administer a long acting antibiotic after his biopsy but said the metranidosol didn’t come in such a form, and is now having diarrhea again. This is the most worrying I’ve done in my life, hoping we can maintain him along with his diet…any input is appreciated. Thank you all and i wish you the best with your loving doggies!

  • Mandy

    Haven’t heard of any long-acting medicine/injection. Finny’s been on prednisone/atopica/metronidazole for over a year. They are rotated so she only gets each one every three days. She also is too smart for her own good when it comes to pills. And sneaky (she’ll hide it in her mouth and spit it out when I turn my back). But I’m stubborn and keep giving it to her LOL. It becomes a battle of wills. If she doesn’t take it in her food, I put it in the back of her throat, hold her mouth closed and rub her head (so she knows I love her) until she swallows it. Sounds mean, but it is better than the alternative. Luckily I manage to trick her into taking the pill most of the time. She’s actually doing really, really well. Her labs have come back good each time. To be honest, the biggest struggle right now is food. She hates RC GI canned food. She likes the vegetarian kibble ok. We’re about to try a new food made by Raynes, which is also only 1% fat. We’ll see if she’ll eat it. One thing I can tell you Wilson is to be in charge – it’s easy to feel bad for your baby and not want to force him to take the meds. They are life savers though.

  • JinJoo

    Hi,
    I have a 11 yr old pomapoo that has had IBD since 2008 and has now progressed to lymphangiectasia.
    She has been on Z/D until recently but cannot tolerate it anymore. I am trying to find a new food source but
    I had a quick question about vitamin b12. I know Spirulina can provide the protein but can it also provide b12? Or does it come from some other source?

    Thank you so much!

  • Thank you Mandy for your response and I hope Finny continues with good health. Our biggest struggle with Wilson is food. He hates the dog food so he is having home cooked meals and continues to be picky. He hates turkey and potatoes, which the Vet stressed I should stick with. I have been giving him grilled chicken and finally he ate a mashed up baked potato only bc I melted cheese on it. Does anyone know if this is ok to do? He has lost so much weight and would have gone all day without eating had it not been for the cheese. Any suggestions for other low fat high protein home cooked foods? Is bread or pizza crust an approved source for a carb?

    • Delilah's mom

      I’m so sorry about your dog. Delilah was diagosed w/ CIL She lost a lot of weight 3 weeks ago she got out of the prednisone complitely and it has been gaining her weight back. she still has soft stools and some mornings she vomits but she’s hanging in there. My vet didn’t want me to give her patotoes but she can’t have any other of our food. I’m giving her mashed patotoes cooked just in water no salt with a little of her canned food. mush everything together and than mix w/ the dry food.it looks like it works for her. If I give her any of our other food she gets worst for 2 to 3 days. The dry and canned food my vet recomended is Hill’s prescription diet i/d low fat (GI Restore). My vet says any kind of bread is poiseness for dogs. sorry about the spelling English is not my first language.

    • Amy

      Wilson, feeding your dog cheese is not a good idea because cheese is so high in fat. Try mixing non-fat, or at least low-fat cottage cheese with the mashed potato instead. I understand your dog is picky, but most dogs love cottage cheese. Rather than bread, I would try feeding pasta. It’s low fat (provided it’s not egg noodles), and my vet said it’s okay to feed pasta to my dog.

    • Amy

      Another idea – have you tried sweet potatoes, rather than russet? Your dog might like the taste of sweet potatoes better.

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  • Rocky

    Our 4yr old boxer was diagnosed w/ pancreatitis and lymphangiectasia in February. He also has bleeding ulcers in which every month or so he begins to bleed out his mouth. His protein levels are good, no watery stool or vomiting yet so we have caught it early. He had been on predinslone, sulcrafate, and a few others…..now he is on zantac, predinslone and cyclosporine. He has only been on the cyclosporine a few days….but am very concerned w/ how toxic this drug is?? He is eating Blue Buffalo Turkey and Potato…also Turkey cutlets boiled as treats. Is this okay? I have lost all confidence in the Vets I have seen and would love something holistic to be offered….not more steriods! He wants to keep him on the cyclosporine for a month and do blood work then to see if it helped…..should I continue on w/ what he recommends, get another opinion……We are lost!!!

    • I would do what your vet says take it from me after 1 year I have tried every holistic stick thing there is you are better off with meds if your dog responds. Yes they are fierce but thiscdiseasecwill progress if you dont beat it back.

    • Mandy

      If you’re interested in something more holistic, try http://www.askariel.com/. I do know people have had success with this disease using more natural methods of controlling it. I am slowly moving in that direction, first by using products to control the issues like upset stomach and also a diet that isn’t the RC stuff I use now. I want to eventually wean Finny off her medication if I can. I have talked to people who have done this through Ask Ariel Pet Nutritionist and they are very happy with it. It’s worth at least talking to them.

    • Mandy

      Forgot to mention that Ask Ariel is associated with a veterinarian – everything is done in conjunction with the vet as well as your veterinarian. They are located here in southern California.

  • Louie's Mom

    I would keep him on the cyclosporine. If he’s doing well, it’s very much in your best interest to not change anything. This disease is so difficult to manage that we don’t mess with success.

    Cyclosporine in dogs is very safe. Louie was on very high doses of this drug for several years. Humans tolerate it much less well than dogs do.

  • Louie's Mom

    Anyone who is thinking about consulting with a nutrition expert would do well to talk with Monica Segal, one of the best.

    Please realize that, while Louie never took steroids, that was because his body was making them due to his Cushing’s disease. Would he have survived on diet changes alone otherwise? There is no way of knowing.

    Messing around with anything that’s keeping them stable is generally a pretty bad idea. Once you find that they are doing well, it’s magic that you don’t want to futz around with. If you get them off course it may be impossible to get them back again.

  • Louie's Mom

    Sorry, forgot to put Monica’s website: http://www.monicasegal.com/

  • Donna (Taco's mom)

    I just found this site while researching my little Chihuahua’s symptons. He hasn’t eaten in two days, I’ve offered everything possible. Just returned from yet another vet visit, today he was given prednisone, peptic and IV Fluids again. He has lost an additional 2 ounces in less than a week. His grand total of weight loss is now 3 pounds. I’m not going to let him go without a fight. I will read every post, comment and heed each suggestion before this night ends. This disease along with IBD will be our eventual diagnosis. His protein levels are too low to risk being sedated for a bioposy. Right now we are “stabbing in the dark” for answers.

    • Do not give up . I have a story of hope. My bichon pearl was diagnosed with ibd and lymphagestasia 1 year ago my vet referred me to the top internist in rhe state. We tried every combination of drug human and vet to help her tried every low fat diet . She continued to have wt loss and all her hair fell out. Symptoms all day. We tried all autoimmune drugs . Then this aug her bp dropped and her wt was 7lbs down from 14. We didnt think shed make it the nite. But the vet at the hosputal said we r not giving up. Sohe put in a jugular cath and gave her 10 hrs of amino acids dripping for 2wks gave her less food 4x a day instead of trying to get her to eat alot. The bowel could not handle the volume. At that point she was 16 pills a day. I am happy to call her our miracle dog. Its almost 3 months her hair is growing back she is 14 lbs and feel free to email me at whitebredkg@aol.com

      off all meds but budescinide . And no diarrhea she still eats 3 small meals a day of low fat rd can n dry with chicken mixed in . If you are anywhere near nj. U need to see dr strauss at aera.west caldwell. He conferenced with the top ibd guru in the u s and it worked. Have her vet call him and find out the protocal.. if anyone wants to email me privately

    • Chelseas mom

      Donna- don’t give up hope. My English bulldog Chelsea was in very bad shape , lost a lot of weight and we thought we would lose her. She had several days in ICU and an albumin transfusion, calcium drip etc. etc. The diagnosis was IBD and lymphangestecia .That was almost 3 years ago! Her disease will always be with her and thus she is on a restricted diet forever, but we have learned how to manage it and spot a flare up early on to address it. She’s living a good life again.

      • Mandy

        Do you still give slippery elm bark tablets to Chelsea? If so, which brand do you use? Sometimes it is hard to know which ones are good quality and which are not.

        • Chelseas mom

          I stopped the slippery elm a while back. I did start Astragalus after doing some research and talking with a very interesting guy in Australia that teaches Chinese medicine. Astragalus targets the immune system which in turn supports the lymphatic system. I thought it made sense to support the system that is failing(lymphatic) in lymphangestesia. It seems to have decreased the number of “flare ups” . You want to be careful with slippery elm as it can coat the stomach so well, that they don’t get the benefits of any medication they may be taking.

          • Mandy

            Is there a particular company that is good? I try to go with those that seem to care about quality.

          • Chelseas mom

            I have just been using “Natures Way” brand

          • Louie's Mom

            Don’t forget about the Perfect Form by Honest Kitchen. I added that to Louie’s food for a long time and I think it really helped him. It contains slippery elm and other ingredients that are soothing to the intestinal tract.

          • Mandy

            I haven’t tried this yet. I will check it out. Thank you!

          • Mandy

            How much of the Astragalus do you use?

          • Chelseas mom

            I am using human astragalus capsules. I was told to follow 1/2 the human dose for my Chelsea who weighs 50lbs. I have been giving her 1 capsule 1 x a day- the human dosage is 1 capsule 2x a day for the one I have. It was easier to just give her 1 a day rather then split one in half and give 2x a day.

            I am actually giving all of my dogs Astragalus now after reading up on all of its great benefits!

  • Mandy

    Hi Donna, this disease is really scary. My Finny just went in for a checkup (including blood work) and she is still doing ok. Her labs all look good. She is still on prednisolone every three days, metranidazole every three days, and cyclosporin (Atopica) every three days. She was diagnosed in February of 2012. She lost over half her body weight (from 14 lbs. down to 6 lbs.) but has gained back most of it (she weighs 12 lbs) and is holding steady. The only issue we have is the occasional stomach discomfort. We aren’t in any hurry to reduce the meds yet because she still has too many stomach discomfort days. That being said, she has not had any episodes of vomiting or diarrhea since March of 2012. (Her meds originally started out with her taking one of each of these meds every day. After a few months we started cutting back until we got on this particular cycle.) Food was, and is, the only issue we have because she doesn’t particularly like the RC food. We tried Raynes, which has a wet and dry food that is specifically for dogs with this disease. She doesn’t care for the wet food particularly but doesn’t mind the kibble. So we give her a handful of kibble for a snack. It seems to work out. Don’t give up without a fight. We thought for sure Finny was going to die and she came really close. We enjoy every minute with have with her. Bless you in this journey.

  • Pearl recovered on rayne tub with squash with natural balance fat dog. It has lower fat then any dry food on the market . rd is close. I know everyone does not have the time or money to give . In one yr I spent 24k yes u read that correctly but I am hopeful she is recovered and I would do it again pearl is 12l and a half and every day I thank god forbher will to fight .

  • Donna (Taco's mom)

    Thank you all so much for the encouragement. We actually had a good night, I read and researched until 2am. Taco ate 3 very small (1 tablespoon each time) meals of instant potatoes and green beans. I didn’t force any meds on him last night, waiting to speak with the vet today. I have located a specialty store close to me that has the Honest Kitchen organic base. My husband located a supplier for exotic game, I think Bison would be new protein source for Taco. We don’t have many buffalo on the beach these days!! Mandy, I was particularly interested in Finny’s store, it’s mirrors Taco’s. I’m so new and haven’t researched this as much as I will. What is the RC food? Royal Canine? He ate the Royal Canine Chihuahua Blend for years, until he developed allergies. Then we switched to a salmon/sweet potato food, then to a Wellness Grain-Free small kibble. He has been on that for over a year, due to food allergies and skin issues. He will eat, or would until this flare up, dry food if it’s small kibbles. He has never liked to eat large pieces of food, he’s not very big. I am taking off tomorrow for a road trip to Raleigh, NC in search of food items and supplements for Taco. Planned purchases are powdered spirulina, multi-strain probiotic, suggestions?, Bone Meal. They have several specialty pet stores, the farmers market and multiple organic suppliers in Raleigh. I live on an island and we don’t have many specialty stores, except for beachwear and tourist trappings. Karen, I followed Pearl’s story closely as well. Taco lost all his hair a few years ago and looked like a mangy rat for months on end. This was the first time we switched food from Royal Canine to salmon/sweet potato. I went with a very aggressive treatment then, totally switched diet, opted for oral steroids and changed his shampoo/bedding and eliminated all people foods. He pouted but his hair grew back. Thanks, for sharing your e-mail with me, I’ll try not to abuse it. While in Raleigh this weekend, I am going to try and get him an appointment with the NC State Veterinary School Clinic. They are always looking for “teaching cases”, my daughter attends college in Raleigh so I have a place to stay. Taco is actually hers, he just stayed home when she left for college. He’s smart enough already!! Again, thank you all for sharing your stories, good and bad. I feel better today than I have in two weeks since he’s been ill. It’s nice to know that others have successfully saved their “Canine Americans”, we don’t use the “D” word at our house, he is offended.

    • Mandy

      Hi Donna, It is Royal Canine – It is the Gastro Intestinal wet food that has only 1% fat. With this disease, it is all about the fat. She was on the Royal Canine bison wet food for a while (the can says 3.5% fat) but her triglycerides were too high so we went back to the Gastro Intestinal food. The Raynes food is also good. It is kangaroo meat with sweet potato which is really low fat. It too is only 1%. The kibble is very small as well (although Finny will eat anything that looks or smells like food LOL. She may not prefer it and try and stick her nose up, but the tummy always wins). She does have an appetite; that’s how we know when her tummy is bothering her – she doesn’t want to eat. She’s always been this way, so I don’t attribute this appetite to her illness or meds. You’ve also hit on another key aspect that helps: small is better. Smaller meals. The way the vet explained it to me is that because of this illness, eating too much at one time puts pressure that is very uncomfortable. He feels that may be why Finny has these occasional down times when she doesn’t want to eat. They never last more than a few hours and then she’s hungry again. For me, it is finding the right amount (we are at work all day and can’t feed her 3-4 times during the day. She eats twice a day). Interestingly Finny never lost her hair. You can feel free to email as well. mandy.bennett@cgu.edu

      I have to say this site was a blessing to us – Louie’s story is amazing and reading about Louie’s journey gave me the hope I needed.

  • karen

    contact me anytime. good you are going to vet school. mention parental feeding if the combo of meds do not work, but if they try to tell you its related to allergies they are on the wrong track, its strictly related to intestine, , you can also order any novel meets at fossilfarms.com , the ostrich is even leaner than bison,. it helped pearl however the she stayed on rayne tub food till she got well, the spiralina honest kitchen she would NOT touch,
    good luck

  • Donna (Taco's mom)

    Hey everybody, I wanted to post an update on Taco since his last emergency vet visit. He is tolerating the potato flakes really well. I found something he will eat and so far he hasn’t gotten sick. A product made by Morning Star, it’s a 100% veggie product that looks and taste like sausage. Fat content is a little higher than I would like but the protein is worth it. I mixed this with his potatoes until I could make the trip to Raleigh and locate suitable foods for him. Hoping the potatoes offset the fat from the patty, no vomiting or diarrhea. I am desperate for protein at this point. I mixed in a little scrambled egg this morning, he actually ate from the bowl instead of being hand fed. A little worried because the only way to get meds in him is with cream chese. I have forced pills down his throat so much, he has learned to be afraid of me. That makes me really sad when he hides from me. I fed him one meal of just potatoes to offset the fat of the cream cheese. He actually slept all night wih me, no crying, gas or “quirky” stomach noises. Just sweet, uninterrupted sleep for my “little brown boy”. He was passed out in my arms on his back with all four feet sticking up. Sleeping the way only innocent animals and children can. He barely acknowledged when I laid him on the pillow next to me, just snuggled against me and snoozed. First night in weeks I haven’t been up at least twice. Thanks again to all who offered advice and the much needed words of encouragement. To Louie’s mom, a heartfelt thank you for sharing your struggles and successes with us. I was at my breaking point and trying to find peace with letting Taco go when I stumbled onto your site. Taco is here today by God’s grace and his leading me to click on one more link. Following your example, I have a food journal for Taco. Everything he is fed and his reaction to it is chronicled. It’s an adjustment for all of us including Taco, he doesn’t appreciate me following him around during his private time. His look says it all!! The mission for food begins in a few hours, I better rest up.

    • Glad to hear Taco ate. We too struggled and almost lost our dog and had it not been for this website urging me to see a specialist, out vet gave up and was almost talking us into puttin Wilson down. I wanted to mention something that has really worked bc Wilson would NOT take a pill and it was a huge problem…we crushed them and the specialist recommended putting the crushed pills into something he will absolutely eat, so we have been buying EDy’s half the fat ice cream, and only use a teaspoon of it and thank God to this day it works and our boy is happy, healthy and back to himself again! Don’t give up, read as much as u can on here, this is where I found my best information and I owe my dogs life to this site!!!!

    • Louie's mom

      Glad to hear that he is doing a little better. Egg yolks are high in fat so I don’t recommend whole eggs, but egg whites are all protein so if he likes those you might want to separate the yolk out and start adding the whites in with his food. I hope you will continue to find ways to keep him improving!

      • Donna (Taco's mom)

        Thanks, I coked two eggs and separated out one yolk. Left one in so he would eat it better. I will take it all out next feed. This site is a lifesaver, you are a wealth of information.

  • Good for u and taco. Having put 15 pills a day in pearl i know. I found lowfat liverwurst and put a dab on a pill she swallowed it whole. Its in the butcher section on the deli. They can slice it thin good luck

  • Donna (Taco's mom)

    Help. Taco will not eat the Honest Kitchen mixture. Third day of diarrhea and not eating. I enticed him to eat maybe a teaspoon of egg whites and potato flakes this morning. Wanting excessive amounts of water. He is trembling (more than Chihuahuas normally do). I can’t tell if he’s cold or if it’s from the loss of fluids from the diarrhea. Any suggestions on what to feed him?

    • Chelseas mom

      Is Taco already taking prednisone, flagyl etc? You are going to get a ton of responses on what to try so it will be hard. My Chelsea never stopped eating the prescription food (Purina HA)she got when it all first happened, but she is not a finicky eater.Chihuahuas are more finicky- Have you tried to put a little fat free chicken or turkey broth on the potato flakes? Smell plays a huge role with their appetites.

    • Is he on metronidosal one qt pill 2x a day when pearl had bad diarrea I also gave her one half Iimmodium up to 3x a day

  • Donna (Taco's mom)

    He is on pred, flagyl and carafate. He just can’t eat right now and doesn’t want to be held. His stomach makes noises and then he loses control. The diarrhea is uncontrollable right now. He just cries when it happens, I feel so sorry for him. Has anybody fed a raw diet? The pet specialty store really promoted that to me along with raw goats milk for probiotics. The fat content seemed extremely high to me. Would definitely have to mix with potato flakes to reduce the fat per serving. I will add some Pepcid and Imodium as well. He was never a picky eater until the last few months, just the opposite. He never met food he didn’t like. It’s going to be a long night, better put on some coffee.

    • Wilson's Mom

      I feel for you and we went thru what felt like an eternity and i never cooked so many different foods in desperation. Even if you are tempted and feeling like your baby is starving, don’t give the fatty food…trust me, it will make the belly noises and diarrhea WORSE. Try to keep calm and provide a calm atmosphere and when his insides are settled enough, he will eat. We found that if our other dog ate the food first, Wilson was more likely to try it, although many times I would cook an entire turkey, for example, and he would run away in disgust:( Then one day we ate the turkey, he smelled it in the air, the other dog was eating it, so he joined and finally ate. I am hoping this goes well…I really am. If you have faith the Vet is on the right track with meds to calm the immediate irritation, once that works, Taco should hopefully eat. I feel your anxiety, rightfully so, and know your pain and desperation but it does sound like you are doing all you can. I can tell you that our Wilson now looks and acts back to his normal self after we struggled with hti9s back in March when he was diagnosed.

    • Chelseas mom

      Donna-

      I am so sorry! I remember the helplessness I felt with Chelsea. Hang in there. Please be careful and do check in with vet. Chelsea did get so bad that we had to take her to the vet hospital and they did have to do a calcium drip and an albumin transfusion to save her. You want to be sure someone is running her blood samples to check these things. Once they are too far out of whack- she will need hospital care so just be careful and check with your vet often. If your vet is not very familiar with the disease find a place that has a specialist that is!! No raw food and do be careful with making a lot of changes.Good luck!!

      • Absolutely. Only change one thing or u dont know if it helps sometome it takes a week to change. Her calcium needs to b checked weekly and my internist sent out albumin it takes 24hrs to b exact. Pearl was given calcium drip many times. Especially if they are listless. That is a sign. Sausage of any kind no good. Did u get to the vet school? Tuna in water. 99 per cent fat free ground turkey mixed w rice never helped my pearl. Chicken broth over plain pasta I know u want to get food in taco but if he eats stay with it.

  • Louie's mom

    I don’t think a raw diet is called for. There are lots of trends in feeding, and we really need to take a lot of well meaning advice with a pinch of salt. This is a very serious disease that has very strict dietary rules and you can’t just listen to the advice of someone in a pet store about what’s good for dogs in general because they have such difficult requirements. A raw diet is usually mostly meat, which usually means a lot of fat. I think that the fat content in a raw diet would be just about impossible to control in the way these kiddos need their fat content controlled.

    • She us correct .do not go raw.has the vet tried budesinide. Pearl is still on that its a compound prescrip. From a regular pharm.. yes they have no control when duar. Happens make sure u clean the area I kept cortizone cream on her butt. .y shoprite has low fat goats milk I gave her a drink daily . Def get rayne tub food they will ship overnite. They gobble it. And try one food for a few days when u keep changing it doesnt help. Stay w boiled chicken.

  • Donna (Taco)

    Well we made it through the night. At some point during the night his stomach won over his stubbornness. I put down an egg white with a tiny bit of a veggie sausage (no meat)and 2 tablespoons of goats milk before I went to bed at 3am. It was gone at 6am, so obviously he ate it. One small bm, not as liquid, so that’s a tiny improvement. I did get his meds in him with miniscule amounts of fat free cream cheese. He can tell the difference and doesn’t want to eat as much. I was thinking of trying non-fat cottage cheese to mix with the egg whited. We have an appointment this afternoon to evaluate for fluids. He is drinking a lot of water and peeing a lot, so that still works well. I am also asking the vet for the Raynes tub. Karen, no chicken, turkey or grains, long standing allergies to corn and wheat. Chicken was his favorite until this crisis started, now it makes him sick. It truly is an elimination process with this illness, I feel like a chemist these days. Thanks for all the advice and prayers.

  • Donna (Taco's mom)

    This is a very heartbreaking post for our family. We just laid our sweet “little brown boy” to rest. He is sleeping in heavenly peace now. No more aches, pains or worries, he is running around in heaven without a care in the world. I bet the angels will get tired of his little jingle ball, it’s gets annoying when he chases it for hours. Run free little Taco, we know you will be waiting for us.

  • Louie's Mom

    I’m so sorry about your loss :(

  • Donna

    I am so sorry. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  • Well we are back after a month of ups and downs. It’s been 9 months since diagnosis and my little 12 lb Jack can be fine one day and the next few struggling. Her count now is 2.2 but her liver enzymes miraculously almost have normalized after her only being on Clavamox for a week. She simply was so sick and couldn’t tolerate the drug. Budesonide is now causing her increased respirations, she’s on 1ml a day in divided doses and we tried to increase to 1.5 but I cannot, she’s just too sick from it. She has been on it for two months and it’s done it’s job, now on to Cyclosporine. She also takes 1/2 Pepcid and 1/2 Metrodiaznole am and pm. She is still on RC GI lowfat canned and dry but I’m going to now offer her some sweet potato and organic nonfat Greek yogurt VERY SLOWLY and fat free ground turkey, homemade.
    Prayers to all. It’s one day at a time.

    • you hang in there Pearl was on all those drugs and. Budesiniin did the trick. also try adding chicken that kept pearl going for 18 months

    • Amy

      Abby’s mom, I would have done it just in reverse – switched to an all homemade diet and then introduced the RC GI dog food very slowly. The benefit of dog food is the convenience. I believe a really sick CIL dog does better on a homemade diet. If you’re going to be doing all that cooking with the sweet potato and the ground turkey, you may as well just cook and skip the dog food.

  • Cabby’s mom

    Sending prayers, it takes time for medications and right food to kick in.

  • Bosco's mom

    First time on this site looking for some ideas. Our soon to be 12 yr old Portuguese Water Dog ‘Bosco’ was diagnosed with CIL at the age of 3. It’s been a roller coaster of a ride since them but we’ve had things under control for the better part of the last 8 years. He is on Royal Canin Sensitivty RC and a host of meds, both prescription and homeopathic.
    His appetite has been good up until earlier this week, now he is turning up his nose at his food and barely eating. I managed to get him to eat some of it after moistening it with some warm water and letting it sit for a bit, but it’s not enough and he is losing weight.
    He has always been a lover of fruits and veggies in limited quantities of course and we are now toying with the idea of cooking for him as we did way back when at the start of this horrible disease.
    What’s the latest thought process on proteins: fish vs low fat turkey, etc. mixed with potatoes or rice?
    And recommended servings for a 60 lb senior doggy are also needed.
    Looking forward to hearing back from anyone with a similar situation.
    Thanks!

    • Amy

      Bosco’s Mom, I would get his albumin level checked first to see where he’s at with the disease, and then you can decide how much fat you think he can tolerate. Tilapia is going to be lower in fat than low-fat turkey, so start with the fish first (especially if his albumin level is low). CIL dogs tend not to do well with white rice, so just stick with potatoes. And you’ll need to add supplements to make sure he’s getting a balanced diet. I use the http://www.balanceIt.com web site for recipes. You just enter in your dog’s disease and his weight, and the site will tell you exactly what and how much to feed for a 60 lb dog. They sell powder supplements separately, but they also have dehydrated potato flakes with the supplements mixed in, for added convenience. To view complete recipes, a request form will be faxed to your vet, and your vet will need to approve it, just like a drug prescription. Hope this helps!

      • Bosco's mom

        Thanks for the response Amy!
        We took Bosco to his vet today and his albumin is very low. She thinks he is fighting one or two infections so he’s on a course of 2 antibiotics, one of which he’ll probably need to stay on as preventative for the rest of his life. He’s also a little dehydrated due to the loose stool but was his usual charming self and super cooperative.
        He gobbled down the steamed cod and baby potatoes I prepared for him today, served in small portions so as not to further upset things. At least he ate that and with his usual gusto!
        We’ll keep an eye on him for any changes and hopefully he’ll regain interest in his usual food because he tolerates it so well. Back to the vet for blood work in 2 weeks and hopefully he’ll be back to his old self.
        One day at a time, got to stay positive!

        • Amy

          Yes, if you’re only planning to cook for him for a couple weeks, then you don’t need to worry about supplements. Glad to hear he’s eating again. Good luck!

          • Bosco's mom

            Unfortunately, our brave Bosco lost his battle on Saturday night. The last week of his life was spent receiving a plasma transplant, 2 days of saline flush, antibiotics and appetite stimulants.
            Sadly, his body did not respond to any treatment this time.
            He passed away on his own terms, at home just 2 weeks shy of his 12th birthday.

            Since his diagnosis at the age of 3, the prognosis was not great and the treatment vague.
            We had to be hyper vigilant with food, snacks, medication, you all know the drill.
            Our vet thought it would be a miracle if he lived to the age of 9.
            He proved us all wrong and we will miss him dearly.

            Courage to those of you who’s dogs are living with this horrible disease.

  • Sad news about bosco…you took tremendous care of him. So sorry.

    • Louie's mom

      I am so sorry, as well. Every time we lose one, it is like a knife through the heart. I want so much for us to be able to save them, but it isn’t always in the cards.

      Godspeed, Bosco. Rest easy at the bridge, waiting for your mom. You have been fiercely loved, and we know that love never dies. See you on the flip side.

      with tears,

      Louie’s mom

  • Mandy

    I am so sorry about Bosco. It is amazing he survived for 9 years with this disease which speaks volumes about your care for him. Blessings to you, and may your heart be at peace knowing you did the best you could.

  • Abby was back at UT today, drained 250 cc of fluid from abdomen. Her albumin is low again, went up to 2.2 and I recognized the “cough” and took her in for ultrasound and fluid was there. She couldn’t tolerate the Cyclosporine, Clavamox stabilized her liver enzymes but she couldn’t tolerate that either. We are almost at the end of meds if her disease cannot be controlled. Very sad. Will let everyone know the outcome. She still greets us at the door excited and wags her tail, a trooper through it all at a little 10 lb jack russell. Prayers.

    • karen

      there are so many other meds to try, email me and ill send you a list, my vet kept trying all 15 and finally a combo worked ,

      • Hi Karen.
        Abby had 250 cc removed from her chest two days ago, the cough was a sign and she had dyspnea (difficulty breathing) so I took her in. her albumin dropped to 1.6 (critical), all other values surprisingly ok other than calcium is low which is a byproduct of the albumin.
        She has not tolerated Pred above 5 mg so she is now back on it, the Budesonide made her vomit blood. She went from albumin of 2.2 to 1.6 on Cyclosporine so it’s not the drug for her even though they say the brand sometimes works better so we are changing her now to Chlorambucil.I’m giving her 1/2 Pepcid twice a day also and Align for probiotic once a day.
        BTW, if anyone needs expensive vet meds, have their vet call it in to Diamindback Pharmacy in TX, they are AMAZINGLY cheaper than anywhere I have found here in TN or major pharmacies.
        Her diet has been RC low fat GI for months but I noticed the second ingredient is rice flour, first ingredient pork. She doesn’t do well with turkey, chicken or white or brown rice. I asked the vet about changing and she hates Purina HA, Hills, anything Iams so will probably now give her tilapia, sweet potato and use some spriulin and bone meal. Thoughts? My vets service offers a nutritionist at $200 to give me advice on home cooked but from these blogs I feel like I’m more of an expert than they would be, using Louie’s mom’s suggestion of proportions of protein ratio.
        Scary but she right now is comfortable, hoping this will work.

        • Amy

          Yeah, Science Diet I/D low fat has rice and pork too. It’s so odd to think that CIL dogs do well on these foods, and yet somehow they do. Tilapia and sweet potato is excellent for a home-cooked diet and I hope you see some improvement in Abby quickly. But if you plan to feed her that way long-term, you’ll eventually need balanced recipe and added supplements. You can get these from balanceIt.com – the recipes are free and the supplements are only about $50, so you don’t need to spend $200 on a nutritionist.

        • Abbys mom

          Yes please send me list. She has been on many for the past year!

    • Abbys mom

      Error in that blog. Her numbers went FROM 2.2 to 1.6, :(

  • Mandy

    Curious about the “cough.” what kind of cough? Finny has allergies and gets a cough that is only in upper respiratory area (not lungs), especially when pollen counts are really high.

    • She was diagnosed with moderate tracheal collapse. Two weeks later I realized she was having true respiratory difficult in getting her breath, not just episodic so I took her in and had the large amt of fluid drained from her abdomen. They did a tracheal study under fluro guided and saw the collapse which is common in older dogs, mine is almost 13. She will stand there and just seem like she cannot get her breath and the cough sounds like a honk almost, like a dog that has heartworms if that makes any sense. They use different meds, lots of things can trigger it, she oculdn’t tolerate the bronchodilator but they use Hydrocodone and 1/4 pill helped her alot.

      • karen

        funny you say that, pearl has no fluid and is off all meds but recently she has started to cough about 2 times a day like cleaning her throat

        • Now that she cannot tolerate the Cyclosporine, the vet wants to switch her to Chlormabucil which is Leukeran. I used to use this as a chemo drug in patients and I’m concerned giving it to Abby in all honesty. We are out of options other than Pred at this point I think other than diet. I have started her on Tilapia, two filets boiled and drained, 1/4 sweet potato (Vit A is not good for dogs in excess), spirulina and bone meal. I may also add some quinoa in if she does well from this. The RC low fat GI diet she was on I realized in the dry form was chicken based which she definitely cannot tolerate and the canned has a second ingredient as rice which she cannot tolerate. Most of these blogs mention their dogs don’t tolerate rice of any kind. Wish us luck!

  • abby’s mom, sending thoughts and prayers…I know what you are going through.

    • yes it’s such a difficult disease and each dog seems to tolerate different things. I saw that Hershey’s mom is using coconut oil and of everything I have studied its supposed to be harmful so I’m concerned a bit.Great for humans, not for dogs. Louie’s mom has a blog re oils if you look for it, specifically coconut and fish oil studies/MCT’s. My dog cannot tolerate rice but her’s can. Frustrating for all of us.

      Thanks for your support!

  • Ki's mom

    Thanks so much for this site Louie’s Mom! it has been an anchor in our CIL storm with Ki. After a month of trying to get his diet right with prescribed diets we seem to be there with just food for dogs turkey (homemade) and their nutrient pack. We have a ton of meds (though down from the 16 he came home from the hospital with) and this part has been frustrating since he hates taking pills. We use a pill popper that squirts water for the cylinder pills and then for all other pills we use a kiddie liquid medicine dispenser–the trick has been to use cold water and to place the pills in the back of his throat. Wishing all you other CIL pet parents strength to get through this time with your beloved pet.

  • Hershey's Mom

    My dog was on a high dosage of Prednisone and Cyclosporene but we decided to finally decrease her meds and move on to a human food based diet. She was first on Royal Canin Vegetarian kibble but there was no improvement in terms of her albumin blood levels. So after researching a basic food diet we came up with 1/4 cup Vegetarian kibble, 1/4 white rice, one half egg whites. 2 tbsp white potato, 2 tbsp sweet potato, 2 tbsp of cottage cheese and 1/4 of tempeh. This is her meal 4 times a day. She was 36lbs at the time. We slowly added each ingredients as we tested her reaction. I had another vet recommend that we add medium chain triglycerides and because I already use coconut oil to my own diet I decided to give it to my dog as well. At first I started with 1/4 tsp for the first meal and over every 5 days, added another 1/4 tsp to each meal. We are eventually going to give 1 tsp per meal. Coconut oil should be 1 tsp per 10lbs of dog. After a month, she gained 4 lbs and her albumin went up from 14 points to 20 points! We believe that the Tempeh was the most significant food to add to her diet!! Will keep you posted!!

    • Tempeh, soy? Powder? Where did you get it, how much did you use, 1/4 cup, is that what you are referring to?

      • Hershey's Mom

        Hi Abby’s mom, I wanted to use something like tofu but I know that tofu isn’t beneficially healthy in the long run so with further research I came across Tempeh which seemed like another soybean high-protein alternative. The brand I use is from the Noble Bean company http://www.noblebean.ca and can be found in health food/organic stores in the refrigerated section. I steam it for 20 mins and then cut in portions and then use a processor to crumble it into a texture similar to feta cheese. However, it comes in like a small square and it only feeds her for two days. I will find a distributor to buy it in bulk. I personally don’t like the taste of it but I make it plain. Also, I use gluten-free white rice from Sunkist brand (made in Australia). I rinse the rice once to get some starch out and use a rice cooker of course! I’m also using the Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil and that’s for both dogs as I have two! Hope this helps!

        • Hershey's Mom

          Oh yes, btw, everything was mostly 1/4 cup of food if I didn’t put anything there like tbsp. or tsp! I used the Noble Bean Tempeh 3 Grain with Soy but that’s the only one right now I have access to. I would love to try the Tempeh with Sea Veggies or with Sesame Quinoa and I will when I can get some!

    • Linda

      when you say 1/4 tempeh, is that 1/4 cup or 12/4 package?

  • karen

    for abbys mom my internist said the average vet might not know of all the drugs used to treat PLE and he said any vet can contact him regarding dosage at AERA in west caldwell NJ
    ok here goes , list of meds calcitrol to keep up the calcium mirtazapine mycophenolate pedcid prednisone cyclosporine budesinide metronidazole tums, imodium sucrafate L glutamine also the cyclo comes in liquid so you can adjust dosages easier she got b12 injections weekly also tried all the things on louies list as far as food and supplements go none helped or she would not eat them, clavamox zenequin sulfasalazine ,tylan powder lefleudemide , MCT oil, iron supplement pill and finally the last thing he added which was suggested by the top cancer dr at aera was RX CLAY 2x a day , alsoslipperty elm her stools actually stopped diarrhea and from then she gained wt , she was on at least 10 of these meds several times a day for months i had a check off book for anyone here if i wasnt so that she NEVER missed a pill he kept changing dosage and meds till he found what positive response , and i cant say enough times that the BEST food that kept her alive was rayne food she thrived in it, well that is all hahah i hope this helps abbys mom as you can see pearl was on it ALL and it worked but the 18 months were like a roller coaster down to 2wks with parental IV feeding slow drip and that is what helped her intestine and body to heal

  • Abby's mom

    Thanks. Another observation that what works on one dog works on others. The vets I use are internal medicine at one of the best along with A & M Univ Vets in the country, University of TN. These internal meds docs have treated this condition successfully for many years so I’m trying to take their advice but also consider what others say on these blogs as I feel we as the “moms” have advice to offer as well.
    She is eating a moderate meal right now of tilapia, one white meat part of the fish filet and equal ration of sweet potato and white potato or flakes made up into mashed. I give her B12 injections once a month. Interesting with this disease is they don’t have to exhibit diarrhea/loose stools necessarily, the IL can come out in different ways. In Abby’s case, a lot of abd fluid which had to be tapped. Since starting this and one week post tap, she is active and seems good. I know I need to add another food source and will ask my vet about the Balance IT and also research the spirulina and bone meal that Louie’s mom suggested. If anyone has any recommendation for dosage along with the tilapia and potato I would welcome it. I’ll also look into the Raynes food.
    Thank you so much for your response and advice. Heart.

  • Abby's mom

    Anyone have luck with the MCT’s? Louie’s mom didn’t recommend it and withheld other oil I think, I have heard coconut oil is bad but need others experience! Also the Balance IT recipes have corn oil as an additive and the Honest Kitchen Preference does have coconut oil.
    Looking for another fat source to add.
    One vet recommended a line called Health Balance and the duck and potato I was thinking might be the way to go to add a little to her homemade diet for the fat content.
    She is also on spirulina, bone meal, tilapia, white and sweet potato.
    THANKS TO EVERYONE!

    • Hershey's Mom

      Hey Abby, I just wanted to let you know how I came across the findings about Coconut Oil. After being frustrated with our vet and not seeing any results, we happen to meet a customer at work who was a vet and we asked if he knew about the Lymphangiectasia Disease and as luck would have it, he was very familiar with the disease not only because he was a vet but because his own dog, a Rottweiler had the disease as well. The very first advice he gave us was to first lower her meds immediately. He then recommended a home-cook diet and most importantly he stressed the importance of adding MCTs. I was not familiar with MCTs so I did my research. First mention I found of it was in, believe it or not, Wikipedia on Lymphangiectasia under the section of “Treatment”. Then as I read it, I clicked on the highlighted “medium-chain triglyceride”. In the “Medical Uses” section I found this sentence; “MCT supplementation with a low-fat diet has been described as the cornerstone of treatment for primary intestinal lymphangiectasia (Waldmann’s disease).” That basically sealed the deal for me. So I did more research and most of my findings found that coconut oil was indeed safe for dogs. This is just my personal experience and another thing I did was immediately decreased her meds. Going back to the Wikipedia on Lymphangiectasia, it also states; “In dogs, fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) should be supplemented.” Using those vitamins as a basis, I carefully chose what food was going to give my dog that were high in those particular vitamins, adding each ingredient slowly, gaging her reactions and watching the results of her stools. I wholehearted agree with you that not all foods work for dogs and in fact, I had to scale back on the sweet potatoes and re-add white potatoes because I thought her stool was too soft. I have most of those vitamins covered naturally by the food I am feeding her and with the coconut oil servings, I am having great luck so far. Our goal is to get her on the lowest dosage of meds we can and ultimately, off medication altogether. I really hopes this helps and wish you all the best!!

      • Hershey's Mom

        Btw, I do want to mention that I have read Louie’s Mom section about MCTs and Coconut Oil and like I said, I wholeheartedly agree that what works for one dog may not necessarily work for another. But I only know what’s working for Hershey and I know that I have done my own research as well. I have two Portuguese Water who are littermates (actual brother and sister) and only Hershey has this disease. Only your dog can tell you what’s working! Do whatever IS working and you as a dog owner know your dog better than anyone else.

        • Thank you. How much coconut oil are you giving? What other food is your dog eating? Currently until under control, mine is on tilapia, reg potato and sweet potato, spirulina and bone meal. I give her B2 injections monthly. She rechecks labs in two weeks.

          • Hershey's Mom

            We were already feeding her Royal Canin Vegetarian kibble, then started her on the “white diet” which was gluten free white rice, white potatoes, egg whites and cottage cheese. I first started by slowly adding each ingredients and then later I also added sweet potaotes, then tempeh and a few days ago I just added kale! Everything is steamed with the exception of using a rice cooker for the rice. She gets four small meals a day as to not aggravate and overwhelm her stomach. As for the coconut oil, I’m using the Nutive Organic Virgin Coconut Oil (Cold-Pressed & Pure White and Not Refined). I started with 1/4 TSP A DAY FOR ONE WEEK adding another 1/4 tsp each week. It’s important to start off slow and with small amounts. I have included some links as to the brands I am using as well as some info about coconut oil for dogs.

            For her meds, she was on 50mg of Prednisone once a day which we decreased from 17.5mg and now down to 12.5mg. She was also on 100mg of Cyclosporene (Atopica) and 10mg of Famotodine TWICE a day but we got both of those meds down to once a day. Our vet was very reluctant about decreasing her meds but we were adamant and had faith in trying a new food diet. This is what’s working for my dog so far and we are going to try to decrease her Prednisone even more soon.

            Originally my dogs grew up eating Duck and Potato kibble for 7 years as both of my dogs were allergic to chicken. When Hershey started showing early signs of CIL, we switched to other brands of Duck kibble to no avail. Hershey reacted severely to all duck kibble we could find. We eventually were recommended to Purina Vet HA kibble mixed with Royal Canin Gastrointestinal canned wet food which we didn’t find any improvement with her albumin levels. We were limited since everything seems to have chicken in it. We ended up with the Royal Canin Vegetarian minus the wet food and the only reason we are still using it is because we have a large bag left of it and it does have protein anyways. My other dog is still on Duck and Bartlett Pear kibble. Another thing is that Louie’s mom mentioned and that I agree with is that although we do know that too much fat is unhealthy for dogs with CIL, some healthy fat is necessary because nutrients and vitamins need fat to be carried into the bloodstream. Hershey gets some fat not only from the coconut only but a little from the tempeh food as well.

            This is my dog’s personal journey so far and I am very appreciative to Louie’s Mom and for her website and for bringing awareness to this CIL. The information, support and help is amazing! Special thanks to Louie’s Mom! Hope this helps and like everyone else here, only you know what’s best for your dog and trust that your dog will tell you what’s working! Best of luck!!

            http://dogingtonpost.com/benefits-of-coconut-oil-for-dogs/#.Uw1CfmCYb4h

            http://www.noblebean.ca/products.html

    • Louie's Mom

      Duck is very fatty; I would avoid feeding that as a protein source. The use of MCT is an old-school tactic that some vets have not gotten away from even though the theory behind its use is pretty thoroughly debunked at this point. However, all these dogs are different. It made Louie very sick when I insisted on trying it, but some dogs may tolerate some fats, including MCT or coconut oil (coconut is one type of MCT) more than others. If your dog is tolerating it that is a good thing, because fats are important contributors to nutrition and dogs do need at least some fat in the diet.
      I don’t suggest anyone try this right off the bat, because I really have seen this sicken more dogs than not, but like I always say, we sometimes need to experiment to figure out what works and if you aren’t having success anyway, you might as well try different things.

      • What about fish oil? I wondered since many use it for inflammation in their dogs, how dogs with IL react, any advice? For the past three weeks I have been feeding her boiled tilapia, white and sweet potato, adding in small amt of spirulina, bone meal and a spoonful of Natural Balance venison and sweet potato canned. It has low fat (4%) although has in it, canola and salmon oil. So far, my dog has turned the corner in her overall appearance with this and no sign of effusion again right now. Thank GOD! Any advice is appreciated!
        Carol

        • Amy

          I’m glad to hear your dog has turned the corner! Just so you know, Natural Balance venison and sweet potato isn’t really 4% fat – that number is with the moisture included. There’s a calculator at balanceIt.com that gives you the true fat percentage, without the moisture. According to that calculator, it’s actually 34% fat. You’re only feeding her a spoonful, so it’s probably okay, but there are other canned dog foods out there that are much lower in fat.

  • Abby's mom

    PS Slippery elm I see you all are using and this is in a rx med Denmarin. My dog didn’t do well on this so again, it seems what works for one doesn’t work for all. Her liver enzymes actually increased being on this med significantly.

  • Phyllis

    I have a 6 yr old German Shephard, Luc who we have struggled with loose, bowel movements and weight going from “kinda skinny” to downright emaciated since puppyhood. The vets put him on prednisone and all sorts of other meds for diarrhea. At his lowest point last November(at about 61 lbs) the decision to biopsy his bowel was made. The diagnosis was lymphangietasia. Our vet had never seen it in a German Shepherd.. she told us the ONLY food on the market to save him was Royal Canin-low fat gastro blend (the only brand of food they carried **a tad suspect if you ask me**). He did not get better, we were about to make the decision to euthanize, when a co-worker suggested I meet with a local naturopathic vet. She is VERY old school and told us that he also had become toxic from all the “junk” we put in him (flea meds, vaccinations, meds for diarreha, steroids and unpronouncable ingredients in manufactured food)
    At first I was a tad upset… we had done everything to save poor Luc, how could she say that?
    She weaned him of the prenisone and took him off everything but a basic diarrhea suppressant only to be used when his stools were really loose and only until it subsided.
    His diet is now as follows:
    4c Boneless, skinless Breast of chicken
    6c Pasta
    2 tbs Yogurt
    1/2 c sweet potato
    1/2 c mashed peas (mashed cause peas go in and out of a dog in exactly the same form if you dont mash them)

    We add 1/2 tsp of calcium citrate, half tsp of kelp, and give him 1 tsp of hyauluronic acid and 2 tsp of collidal silver as well.
    He gets this food divided into two meals.

    I dont know if that helps anyone else but I would say that Luc is at about 80% of his ideal weight and is happy energetic and in pretty good general shape.

    It has taken six months to get here.
    The rebound was slow but steady improvement.

    We are now trying to find the simplest form of commercial food as the chicken is quite expensive and my husband may be loosing his job.. so we need to find a cheaper alternative to the meat/protien.
    Any ideas?

    Phyllis
    PS thanks for this forum… I don’t feel so alone in this disease <3

    • Mandy

      Check out Raynes. They have food specific to dogs with intestinal diseases, including CIL. Their website is http://www.raynenutrition.com/Default.asp
      Go to the therapeutic diets.

    • Amy

      Phyllis, would lean ground turkey be any cheaper? That’s what I feed my dog because I can crumble it up with my hands instead of spending all that time slicing and dicing. And I’ve started buying it from Cosco to get a better deal than the grocery store. But I’ve never compared pricing with chicken. If you’re buying the chicken packaged as boneless and skinless, that’s definitely the most expensive way to go. It would be cheaper to buy it with the skin and bones and remove them yourself, although that’s a lot more work. When you say you’re looking for “commercial food”, do you mean “commercial dog food”? I thought your dog couldn’t tolerate commercial dog food. Anyway, Science Diet also makes a gastro intestinal low-fat food, which is SD I/D, but I don’t know if your dog would respond any better to that than the Royal Canin.

  • anne

    Hello everyone,
    I have had a sick Kandie (yorkie) for 6 weeks. I have had blood work done 4 times and have had every test done on her poop.
    The Vet wanted to do a surgery taking out a piece of her intestines and sending it to the lab. She is 10 years old and has always been healthy.
    She has been on steroids also for 6 weeks and weening her off of them now.,
    I have been told they suspect Lymphangiectasia. her protein is very low and am told she has to be leaking this from her intestines.
    I have a friend that lost a 7 year old a month ago. I am very nervous. I have canned food from the vet, it does not look very good. I would like to make her meals.
    I also have a very sick husband so my mind is just overwhelmed at this point.
    I need help in all that she can eat. what I can give her for treats.
    I have her on a probiotic. I need a formula for a 10 pound female yorkie.
    Any help would be appreciated. I am simply overwhelmed before Kandie got sick. At first I thought stress with her daddy being sick.
    Anne

    • Amy

      Some vets don’t recommend doing a biopsy because it is hard on the dog’s system. Instead, they just trust that if your dog responds to an ultra low-fat diet and prednisone, then it must be lymphangiectasia. But the decision is yours. Anyway, to start, you can just feed your dog a diet of tilapia and potatoes. You don’t need to worry so much in the beginning if she’s getting all her vitamins and minerals. Just see if she responds well to that diet first. Then you can decide after a month or two if you want to keep cooking for her and add supplements, such as a diet and supplements from http://www.balanceit.com or try another dog food such as Science Diet I/D low-fat. What kind of dog food did your vet give you? Has your dog been responding to the steroids? You said her protein is very low, but has it gotten any higher since the first test?

    • Hershey's Mom

      Hi Anne, I just wanted to let you know that you’ve come to a very supportive forum here with thanks to Louie’s Mom. To make sure, you might want to first verify if indeed your dog does have lymphangiectasia. I wrote back in Feb and I thought that perhaps it’s time to do an update of my dog Hershey. Let me clarify that this is what my dog’s personal experience is and that each dog is different. Back in January, I started my dog on a “white diet”. Royal Canin Vegetarian Kibble, Gluten-free white rice, white potatoes (with skin on), egg whites and low-fat cottage cheese. During the month of Jan and Feb, I added these ingredients one at a time, slowly testing her reaction to each food. I also added sweet potato, Tempeh and slowly added small tsps of coconut oil. During the first month and at the end of Feb., she gained 4lbs and her albumin levels went up from 14 points to 20 points. Second month from Feb to March, I added Kale and still slowly increased her coconut tsp servings. We were able to drop the Cyclosporene medication altogether and further decrease the Prednisone medication. All of her hair started to grow back all over her body. Near the end of March, she gained another 4lbs and her albumin level went back to the normal range at 29 points. Her energy level is back to normal and high and she’s happy. As of right now we are still weaning her slowly off of Prednisone. She is now down from 50mg to 7.5mg.

      This is her servings. Keep in mind she gets 4 MEALS A DAY and she started off at 36lbs.

      1/4 cup of Royal Canin Vegetarian Dry Kibble
      1/4 cup of Gluten Free White Rice (Cooked by a Rice cooker)
      2 tbsp. of Tempeh (I use “Noble Bean Tempeh 3 Grain with Soy” or “Noble Bean Tempeh Sea Veggies”)(Steamed and finely chopped/food processor)
      2 tbsp. of White Potato (Steamed and Mashed)
      2 tbsp. of Sweet Potato (Steamed and Mashed)
      1 tbsp. of Kale (Steamed and Finely Chopped)
      1/2 Egg Whites (Extra Large, Hardboiled, Yolks removed, chopped in pieces)
      1 tbsp. LOW FAT Cottage Cheese (Gay Lea Nordica Brand)
      1/2 tsp of coconut oil (Nutiva Brand)

      I hope this helps. Remember, each dog is different as well as their reactions to food and coconut oil. Also serving sizes are different. Coconut oil is optional and if you use it, you must start off slowly in small amounts. Please see my previous posts and here is a link on how to start off your dog slowly on coconut oil. If you use Tempeh, get a good brand from your local organic food store in the refrigerated section. Do your research and learn what a good, fermented Tempeh should look like.

      Here is the link to giving coconut oil to your dog.

      http://dogingtonpost.com/benefits-of-coconut-oil-for-dogs/#.Uw1CfmCYb4h

      I hope you find all the help you need on this website and forum.
      For any other questions please email me at hergan@yahoo.ca

      • I am not in the group but replying from my email. I am not sure how to get into the group again
        I have no idea what Temeph is but I can see where I can find it.
        The vet gave me hypoallergenic soft canned food. Also the kibble. This is when she first had diareah. He put her on steroids also
        After 4 bloodwork being done, he gave me the low fat food for over the week end this has been my time researching. I am clueless
        I so appreciate this help I have found a place here that sells Honest Kitchen was going to try this with her. Adding cod, talapia, tuna and Quinoa I cooked today
        I cannot find my coconut oil since getting home from Florida. I am giving her probiotics
        What my fear is, is either feeding to much or not enough
        Having a husband sick does not help my stress level. Thanks so much. I am so happy I found you all.
        Tomorrow she goes for blood work to check her B12.

  • All, reading posts. I have spent the $250 for a nutritionist to come up with a food for Abby, sho has treated many dogs with IL successfully. I thought I would share since all of us don’t have the money to spend and maybe it will help some of you.
    Dogs with this disease do not do well on rice generally, brown or white, chicken, turkey. With that said, this UT vet clinic/school is the leading in the country along with A & M and I trust them. I have the best internist I could ask for and had she not been so caring this long, Abby wouldn’t be here.
    Abby is taking PRednisone 5 mg and cannot seem to tolerate the recommended dosage which is 10-15mg so we are stuck with it. She has also not tolerated most meds and I am trying Chlorambucil right now purchasing it through Diamondback Pharmacy in Texas who was 1/3 cheaper than anyone I could find and recommended by UT because of that. She gets B12 injections I give her every 3-4 weeks. I give her one ALIGN, only that because the parts per billion matters in what a canine can tolerate and the generic is NOT the same if you look at the ingredients. I also give her 1/2 generic Pepcid twice a day.
    Now for the diet: THIS MAKES ONE WEEK’S WORTH:
    INATURAL BALANCE IT CANINE- 8 TABLESPOONS from the Balance IT website or you can call 1-888-346-6362. It cost $53.00 but lasts a long, long time. Dogs don’t like the taste of this sometimes so you have to work your way up over a week or two sometimes, mine is picky and didn’t even notice!
    Morton iodized salt- 1/2 TEASPOON
    Canola oil- 1 TABLESPOON
    Quinoa, uncooked- 3 3/4 cups (you will cook according to package but measure this amount and then enough water to cook fully). I buy organic and rinse thoroughly before cooking
    NOW Calcium Carbonate Powder- 2 TEASPOONS. Cost is $5.00 for a large bottle, order from amazon.com
    Kangaroo meat, raw weight, ordered from mypetgroceronline.com. Cost was $34.00 for two pounds which should last a month if you have a dog around my dogs’ weight- 13 lbs, otherwise will last less. Looks like hamburger, comes in frozen sealed pouch with dry ice.Cook this in pan like low grill and add NOTHING, keep all the drippings for flavor.
    One thing to note, when you prepare the kangaroo and quinoa, cool. Do not add nutritional supplements when hot as this affects the nutritional content. Add the ingredients together and I put in small freezer bags and take a few out for the next day putting it in the fridge. I then microwave for 10 second, enough to get the chill out but not cook it.
    I feed her 3-4 times per day 1/2 cup so she gets 1 1/2 cups- 2 cups per day.

  • PS, Abby is a 13 lb Jack Russell. She did not tolerate coconut oil, canola oil is the fat the nutritionist has her on.
    I will let you know how she’s doing in two weeks, if she does well on this diet or has to be tweaked. I have notifed her losing weight and had to transition over a week’s timeframe from the tilapia, sweet potato and white potato flakes, spirulina and bone meal. She also couldn’t tolerate actual white potatoes, only the flakes.

    • Louies Mom

      Losing weight in the beginning of treatment can sometimes be a good sign, if they’ve been retaining fluid in the abdomen and extremities. Many of us watched in horror as our dogs became sickeningly thin, not realizing that fluid retention had been masking that. Hopefully she will stabilize and start to put weight on again. I’ll be interested in seeing how she does on the new diet! Fingers crossed!

  • Jennifer Damien's mom

    Hi,

    My 7 year old pitbull Damie was diagnosed with CIL about 6 weeks ago. After the initial flare up and getting it under control, we are now combatting a second flare up. I am literally at my wits end. He’s extremely bloated again, has horrible watery stool, is losing muscle mass and is making my outlook on this whole disease very grim. The vet originally put him on RC high protein low fat. He eventually did not like the food. I tried to get creative and make up a diet for him which has consisted of boneless skinless chicken breasts, brown rice, cooked carrots, and either low fat cottage cheese or fat free greek yogurt and an enzymatic powder that helps break down the food and makes the body absorb the nutrients quicker. After a few weeks, we’re back to square one again. Except this time not only is his stool like water but it is full of the rice, like his stomach isn’t digesting any of it. Right now, cost is a huge factor for me. My husband is sick and I am the only income. We also just recently rescued another pitbull off the streets that is heartworm positive. Between Damie’s care and her care, I am broke. I need help developing a diet that will be the most beneficial for him but also cost effective for us. My little boy is breaking my heart right now and any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated at this point. there is so little information out there in regards to this disease. I don’t want him to lose his battle cause it’s going to break my heart if he does….

    • Mandy

      Check out http://www.raynenutrition.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=RC002

      This is the wet food (there is also a kibble) – it is specifically for dogs with CIL.

    • Amy

      Jennifer, I’m sorry to hear about your pitbull. It’s common for dogs with this disease to not be able to handle rice, so stop feeding him rice. Switch to potato instead. Both russet and sweet potato are tolerated well. Also, your dog probably needs medications like prednisone and azathioprine. It’s rare that this disease can be managed with diet alone, especially at the first onset. When your vet prescribed RC low-fat, didn’t they prescribe medications too? Is there someone in your family who can help you with one more vet bill, just to get this under control?

    • It is a very expensive disease I spent 15k to save my girl in 18months. The dog needs meds but rd id or rayne food are the best along with chicken that kept my dog going when she was on 15pills a day . Good luck.

  • Jennifer Damien's mom

    I currently have him on Prednisone and Lasix to help with the amount of fluid he is retaining. The first time he blew up even his back legs swelled. This time it hasn’t got that far yet. I will stop the rice and switch to potatoes and see if that helps more. I checked the link for the Rayne foods and for the amount that I would have to feed a dog his size, it’s much too costly. I need alternatives that I can make myself at home. Also, do you feed larger quantities of food to your dogs because of this disease? He seriously acts like he’s starving when we feed him. To the point that we are feeding him by fork now because he gulps everything down and I don’t want to have to worry about bloat. I am so glad I came across this blog. I have been sitting here at work this morning crying because I literally feel helpless at his point. He’s losing muscle mass like crazy. Pits are extremely muscular dogs and he’s to the point that his hip bones are protruding. I understand that some owners lose their battle with disease but I want to make sure I have exhausted everything before I say enough is enough.

    • Amy

      I think the diet you have him on should be fine once you switch to potato because everything you’re feeding him is low fat. But some dogs with IBD and CIL don’t tolerate chicken, so you can also try switching to tilapia fish. Tilapia is recommended for this disease along with buffalo sirloin or kangaroo meat, but those are harder to find and more expensive. I also prefer tilapia because I can break it apart with my hands, rather than slicing and dicing. Once your dog is stablized, you should add supplements (like from BalanceIt.com), but you don’t need to worry about that yet. Prednisone is an appetite stimulate, so that could be why your dog is so hungry. Also, I think others have found that their dog needed more food with this disease. Mine needed more food just to regain the weight she had lost, but once she stablized she started to get too fat, so I decreased her food back to more normal portions. She’s now on a very low dosage of prednisone, so she’s not so ravenous.

      • Amy

        You might also call your vet and ask him/her about azathioprine, which is very often prescribed for this disease.

      • Jennifer Damien's Mom

        I switched him to 95% fat free turkey, white potatoes, and quinoa. This will be his second day on the diet. Stool has still not improved and he has vomited twice in the last two days. How long before I should see an improvement? I appreciate the help so much! I feel like I’m going crazy!

        • karen

          i hope hes on meds too cause thats what will give improvement. make sure you are giving him tums daily to settle stomach and for calcium

  • Jennifer Damien's Mom

    He’s on Prednisone 10mg daily and lasix 40mg daily. Should I do tums or Pepto? I also read that Pepto will help calm the stomach? I was giving him 1% fat cottage cheese with his meals but since the vomiting started I just cut it back to the carbs and protein.

    • Jennifer Damien's Mom

      Sorry Lasix is 40 mg 2x daily.

    • karen

      my bichon would not eat her food if i added pepto so i just crushed tums into the food or broke it in half and gave it with some yogurt . when my dog started swelling the hospital drained the fluid from her abdomen and it never came back, instead of staying on lasix

    • Chelseas mom

      Jennifer-

      I have to add to the comments of how important it is for these dogs to NOT get regular food. Husbands often think its being over dramatized or vets trying to make money. These disease can be very difficult to manage and when they get regular food it is very painful for them afterwards and yes, it can ultimately take their life!

      Also I feel Tums better than pepto because they lose calcium with this disease, so it replaces calcium and soothes tummy. I add pepcid sometimes for a flare up. My Chelsea has now made it 3 years after almost losing her and I am one of the lucky ones but this is a forever disease that must always be managed.

    • Rayne food kanagoo and kangaroo treats kept her alive and she gobbled it they deliver it right to the house and she ate two tubs a day

    • I posted the diet the Nutrition Service set for my dog. You can substitute baked Tilapia rather than kangaroo if you need to but it was much more expensive than the kangaroo. It’s nutrionally balanced. Quite honestly, I looked at the posts here for a long time and followed some so you need to be careful and turn to what a professional says and I made it as clear as I could above. Dogs with this disease do NOT do well on poultry whether chicken or turkey. If you don’t want to order the frozen kangaroo meat which lasts me about a month per lb and comes in two lb packages, use tilapia. You will have to get a supplement though to balance the other nutrients they need otherwise your dogs health will go downhill as mine did, without the Balance IT. Please look at the recipe, it will truly help. It has saved my dog. Also, the vets who specialize in this don’t recommend Lasix for dogs with this disease. Prednisone is the drug of choice or Budesonide which is a similar compound of Pred but more expensive. Also, dogs don’t tolerate yogurt, dairy, get Align or for half price, get the Walgreens version and give 1/2 a day to be sure you’re not giving a higher probiotic/billion than they can tolerate along with 1/2 Pepcid twice a day, over the counter. I’m a medical professional so I’m trying to help!

      • Jennifer Damien's Mom

        Thank you for your reply. It saddens me to say that Saturday morning, I helped my boy cross over to the rainbow bridge. The last week he steadily went downhill. He was so weak that he could hardly walk. His tummy bloated and the rest of him skin and bones. I appreciate everyone’s help. It was a very difficult choice for me to make but he just wasn’t responding to anything in the end I chose to show him compassion. May God bless you all during your journey’s with this devastating disease and thank you for taking the time to try and help my “Meemo”.

  • Jennifer Damien's Mom

    My vet stressed to me that if we can get his protein levels up, his body with absorb the fluid in his abdomen. First bout after about a week of treatment it was completely gone. My biggest enemy in this whole situation actually is my husband. He refuses to follow anything that I tell him. Example….Damien can’t have ANY regular dogfood…Well because his appetite is way stronger than usual due to the Prednisone, I’ll get home from work and he’ll tell me…Well I gave him a handful of dog food because he acted like he wasn’t getting enough. It feels like for every ounce of progress and effort I make, he does something to counteract it.

    • Mandy

      Have the vet talk to him. My vet pulled no punches with my husband. It was a choice of having her around or killing her. Period. Give her food she’s not supposed to have and it will kill her.

    • Louies Mom

      I can’t stress this strongly enough– what your husband is doing is going to kill your dog. PLEASE find a way to convince your husband to stop giving regular foods. Your dog will actually be better off being euthanized than being left to suffer through the slow wasting that will continue to happen if he isn’t fed correctly.

      • Jennifer Damien's Mom

        I just told him this morning that he’s going to be the one that ends up killing him. I’m going to go back to the RC LF GI canned food. Just had the vet’s office fax the script to Petsmart and I’ll pick it up on the way home. I figure go back to what originally worked and just go from there. I appreciate all of the help!!

    • Amy

      Maybe you should get a bag of RC GI low-fat kibble, or Science Diet I/D low-fat kibble for your husband to give a handful of once in a while. It would at least be better than giving him regular kibble. But I agree with Mandy that a no-fat sweet potato chew treat would be best.

      • Yes I agree even r d low fat my dog loved

      • Jennifer Damien's Mom

        I’m going to buy the RC GI LF canned and kibble and mix them. That way hopefully it will hold him a little longer. I think that I’m also going to buy some sweet potatoes and mash them and add some in with each feeding and hopefully his stool will firm up quickly. Plus if I get the kibble also, like you said, my husband will be able to give him a handful in between feedings. Keep your fingers crossed! Thanks!

  • Mandy

    We have low fat, low sodium turkey for snacks. And once in a while she gets a dried sweet potato to chew on. No fat in it at all (we buy organic dried sweet potato chews).

  • Chelseas mom

    also to be clear I use Pepcid, NOT pepto to add to the Tums. That wasn’t a typo : ) Check with your vet, I think they would prefer the Pepcid and Tums combo, but make sure its a vet that is familiar with the disease.Good luck!

    • Jennifer Damien's Mom

      Pepcid chewables? Also he’s about 60 lbs. I feed him 2X a day. Should I do one tablet before each meal?

  • Jennifer Damien's Mom

    Damien was hospitalized yesterday. His abdomen was so bloated the hair on his sides was sticking straight out. They have him on IV protein. He’s due to come home tomorrow night. Hopefully, this will help get this back under control. They did an abdominal ultrasound on him. All his organs are in perfect condition with the exception of the bowel. It appeared to be extremely thickened. The vet wants him to remain on RC GI LF for the rest of his life including daily Prednisone and antibiotics.I asked her about cooking food. She said with his case being so extreme she recommends only giving him eggs, pasta, tuna or salmon. She doesn’t want him to have any fat. For all those that had issues with rice, she said that pasta actually is the best carb to use and if you are going to use potatoes definitely use sweet over white. Say a prayer that we can get this under control and keep him stable from here on out. Thanks!

    • An antibiotic is for infection and will not help this disease unless there is an active infection? Most dogs don’t tolerate eggs with this disease, egg whites only are given yolks are considered toxic, and even then most don’t do well. I posted the diet the nutritionist recommended and the vets for this disease above, please look at it. You have to have the proper vitamin/ mineral balance, it’s essential with this disease. No pasta, QUINOA. My dog went downhill on just tilapia, sweet and white potato, alot of the stuff folks have suggested. I turned to the professional as I’m a medical professional myself. If you want to save your dog, see the recipe above PLEASE

    • How is he? My vet said the IV’s don’t work, it just come back when they are released so is unnecessary expense or i would have done it. You shouldn’t give egg yolk, only whites and some dogs like mine didn’t tolerate that. She also went downhill on Kangaroo meat I purchased, tilapia loins, quinoa……

      I hope he is doing better.

  • Jennifer Damien's Mom

    Thank you very much for your condolences. It truly broke our hearts. He was in the hospital on the protein pump for two days. They wanted to keep him for a 3rd but the bill was already up to $1000.00 and I couldn’t do anymore. I could see that he had improved over the two days. The fluid had redistributed from his abdomen and was in his face and neck which the vet had said was a good sign. He was absolutely exhausted when we brought him home. Because of the abuse that Damien suffered before we took him in, he had developed horrible separation anxiety. I could tell that the two days he spent there was very taxing on him. He was jumpy and edgy. As the week progressed he started to steadily go back downhill. We followed the prescription diet and tried to get every extra ounce of protein in him we possibly could but to no avail it wasn’t helping. He had literally became a walking skeleton with a huge bloated belly. He started to become so weak that he could no longer jump up on the bed or couch without assitance. The diahrea was out of control to the point he even was having accidents in the middle of the night, once while he was sleeping on the bed. He didn’t even realize he was going to the bathroom. I’m tearing up as I am writing this because I am so heart broken that I couldn’t do more to help him and because of the nightmare that this disease is. I literally thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for stopping and giving me advice and checking up on his progress. I can’t even begin to explain what a special boy he was. He brought us much joy, laughter, and love in the four short years that we had him.I had never owned a pit bull before and I was truly one of those people that stereotype the breed from the stories I’ve heard. Damie opened my eyes and my heart to a breed that is so wrongly judged, mistreated, abused, and neglected. He made me see the true heart of the breed and from this point on I will do whatever I can to advocate for them. 7 months ago I rescued a female blue nose pit that is only a little over a year old. She had been bred twice already, lived her entire life at the end of a rope, was full of intestinal parasites and heartworm positive. I took her in with the intention of getting her health on track, having her spayed and adopting her out. Since Damie’s passing, I have decided to keep her. She’s a very special girl and has helped ease some of the loss we have suffered. She has been given Damie’s food bowl and his place next to me on the bed. I know he’s looking down and thanking me for giving him the best four years of his life and wanting me to leave my heart open to do it for another dog in need. I will never forget my boy or the heartbreak he caused me in his final weeks. I give everyone credit on this blog. You all truly show what being a faithful pet owner is about. Fighting with everything you have until there is no more fight left. Doing so much more than a lot of people would. Good people knowing it’s their responsibility to do whatever it takes for the health and well being of our faithful companions. There should be more people like this in the world. It would be a much better place to live in. Prayers, peace and love to everyone here. I hope all your digs fully recover and maintain their health.

    • Oh Jennifer, I’m tearing as I read your heartbreak, going through the end stage as well right now with Abby. The one thing I do know for you and I, we have given it our all. I too have spend well over 12k on her treatment in the past year and a half and at some point as with cancers, their bodies make the decision for us. I know it broke your heart to let him go but I believe the kindest thing we can do is let go when we know they are suffering and they go to sleep. My vet assures me they feel nothing, just drift off like we do when we are anesthetized. You saves this dog’s life and gave him everything you had and he knew he was loved.
      I will do the same very shortly, tearfully, prayerfully.
      My vet said the UT College is going to most likely start a research of this disease as they are seeing more and more of it, so little is known. One day perhaps, though ours are gone, there will be some answers.
      Hugs to you. He knew he was loved and thats is what matters.

  • Mo (Gertie's mom)

    My Staffordshire Bull Terrier use to struggle with obesity, three years ago I got really disciplined and got her down to breed standard weight. How I wish for those days now. She has lost 20% of her good weight and was diagnosed with PLE (protein loss entropathy) one month ago with suspected lymphangiectasia possibly combined with IBD. Vet opted for no endoscopy since we would have had to wean her off the prednisone to do it. She has responded well to a combination of prednisone, azathioprine and flagyl – all now being weaned down. Subsequent blood tests have shown her albumin and globulin levels have crept just back inside normal range, we will re-test in 2 weeks. Unfortunately her stool has not solidified and while her weight is holding steady she is not gaining back any lost weight. Internist had her on chicken, rice and cottage cheese to stabilize her and after reading this blog and with the blessing of the internal specialist I’ve switched her to potato, tilapia and cottage cheese. I realize ultimately she will need a balancer – we’re compensating temporarily with a multi-vitamin and tums.
    My questions …
    has anybody tried The Honest Kitchen’s Zeal formula?
    http://www.thehonestkitchen.com/dog-food/zeal

    Or Urban Wolf dry mix? Like THK Preference you add your own protein source and the recipe provides a low fat (4%) option – thinking I would add extra potato to hope for potential weight gain/maintenance.
    It’s a Canadian product that has literally saved our other Stafford who has IBD. 8 months of diarrhea, tried countless vet prescribed diets all to no avail and within 3 days Urban Wolf solved her poop issues.

    • Amy

      Hi Mo. I’m sorry you’re having to go through this, but it’s very encouraging that your dog’s albumin level is up. I think you can probably skip the cottage cheese, which might help firm up her stool. You can also try the product recommended on this web site, Perfect Form. I’m sorry, I can’t answer your question about Zeal. I tried to feed my dog Honest Kitchen food and she wouldn’t touch it, so I have her on a balanceIt diet. And although I never needed anything else to firm up my dog’s stool, I did need to use Perfect Form for my cat, and it worked very well with her.

  • Mo (Gertie's mom)

    Oops, meant to include Urban Wolf link
    http://www.urbanwolf.cc

  • Abbys mom

    My little Abby lost her battle today. There are no words…..

    • Jennifer Damien's Mom

      I’m so sorry and I know how you feel. She’s with my Damie now. They can keep each other company until we get there. Hugs to you and I am so very sorry!

    • Hershey's Mom

      For Abby’s mom and Damien’s mom, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of both your beloved pets. May the joy and beautiful memories they brought to your lives help you find eventual healing and peace. ((Hugs))

  • Mandy

    I’m so sorry about Abby. My heart is breaking at another loss to this dreadful disease. She knew you loved her.

  • Abby's mom

    Thank you.

    • Drugstore Dog

      Dear Abby’s Mom, I was looking for something regarding my Brittany’s PLE and IL, and came across this thread. I followed your posts, and want you to know that I am so sorry for you and all you have been through with your sweet dog. It’s clear that you were everything to her and gave her the very best care possible. We, too, have been going to UTK Vet Clinic for treatment for the last 4 months, and so far, they (along with our personal vet) have saved my girl’s life. We have been doing z/D and kangaroo now for 4 months, and are in the middle of tapering prednisone, which has caused severe side effects. But my girl is improving and feeling better, for which I am so grateful. I realize that this will most likely not always be the case for her, so we cherish these moments of good news and improvement, all while I secretly dread the day we may hear that this disease is taking her life. She developed chylous effusion with the initial dietary plan, so we had to cut her fat intake. The next step was quinoa and kangaroo for 1/2 of her diet and z/D for the other half. The quinoa did not agree with her, and neither did the dry z/D. We determined that she also has an intolerance for any increase in fiber, which triggers diarrhea. So, I bumped the z/D up to 2 cans a day plus kangaroo only, to get the daily fat intake low enough to help improve the lymphatic drainage and ultimately the chylous effusion. It worked, and now we are back to 3 cans of z/D daily with just a couple of ounces of kangaroo to help with her meds. Nutrition Services at UT have been very helpful through all this, and I cannot say enough good things about our primary veterinarian there. I want you to know that I am so sorry for you loss. You are right…there are no words that make it any better. Wishing you the best in the days to come.

  • Mireya

    Like everyone else, I too understand the frustration and fear that goes along with this very complicated condition. My big English Lab who was once a solid 90-95 lbs is down to 75-80lbs. This is an improvement from his lowest of 70ls where he was skin and bones and was loosing his fur of malnourishment. I noticed his condition start in October of 2013 when after 3 days of diarrhea he didn’t improve. Took him to the vet who thought it was a stomach parasite and gave him antibiotics and put him on a bland chicken and rice formula. As you can imagine it didn’t work. Took him back after the course of antibiotics, by now it had been two weeks with diarrhea and no improvement. Back to the vet we go. More antibiotics were given. NO blood tests, no other exams done. After that course of antibiotics failed I was beyond scared seeing my poor boy drop weight fast. It all changed one night when I noticed he was really having a hard time breathing and his belly was bloated. I thought it might be bloat. I called the emergency vet number since it was on a Sunday night. During the call my boy tried to stand up and collapsed. I was beyond terrified. Drove him to the emergency vet and they ran blood tests and x-rays and they had him stabilised. Made an appointment the next day to have a recommended vet see him. It’s now December. After ultrasounds and x-rays and blood work done, the vet put him on a prescription diet and many drugs. Everything seemed to help for the first week. His stools firmed but soon after his stools became less solid until we were back start. Finally paid to have a radiologist read his x-rays and they are the ones that were able to diagnose his condition through process of elimination. It is now January 2014 when we finally have an idea of what course of treatment to start. Mostly meds and as strict low fat high protein diet. It was through my own extended and obsessive research that i came to similar conclusions as Louis Mom. Poultry, fat BAD!

    But since no two cases are alike, the hunt for the perfect combination of food became my obsession. Lots of trial and error. He is now on THK base formula (which he isn’t exactly fond of) but he will eat it as long as I mix in talapia with the broth it is cooked in and some quinoa. He’s recovering from his last remission and improvements are apparently visible. His fur is growing back in nicely, his stools are solid although not as firm as I’d like yet and he has energy and spunk at 9 years of age. Best of all, this is being managed without any prescription aide. I’m sure our struggles aren’t over yet, but for now, I can breath a little easier. I’ve spent nights crying and frustrated. Please hang in there. Diet w will be the best medicine, but until then, do as the vets advise. DO NOT be afraid to question the vet either. It’s a partnership that needs to happen. The vets care but no one will love your baby more that you will so learn as much as you can and contribute to the conversation and treatment plan. I find that in a pinch I can also use Natural balance canned Limited ingredient formula of duck and potato as a substitute for talapia as well as Natural balance food roll of Duck and potato. Best of luck and prayer to you all still trying to figure this craziness out. I know my post is long winded, but when I was first learning about this condition, it was this site that gave me the most usable information as well as support.

    • Amy

      Congratulations on being on the road to recovery (or at least management)! It’s too bad they didn’t do a blood test sooner because that would have shown the low albumin level. And I’m surprised too since vets typically like to charge lots of money for lots of tests. Anyway, I think it would be better if you used one of the prescription gastrointestinal low-fat dog foods as a backup, like Science Diet I/D or Royal Canin, instead of Natural Balance. In particular, the food rolls have a lot of sugar in them. But other than that it looks like you’re doing everything right. And you’re very lucky he’s improving without any meds – especially Prednisone. And, yes, you’re correct that this site definitely has the most usable information on the disease. Wishing you continued improvement!

  • Bailey's Mom

    Hi Mireya,

    My vet explained to me that a lot of the time these dogs will have formed but soft stool due to the food having low fiber. She suggested adding a little bit of sweet potato or pumpkin to help firm it up. It may be a nice change. She also said I could add Metamucil (just a dash) to help add fiber. Of course talk to your vet before adding any powdered fiber just to be sure they agree. Hope your baby continues to recover!

  • Hershey's Mom

    Hi Mireya,

    I haven’t posted here for a while and while it is always ad to hear of our pets’ battles with this disease and sadder even to those pets’ who have lost, I wanted to tell you and everyone here not to give up hope for a full recovery. I have been very blessed with my dog as for some time now she has made a full recovery and is completely off all meds and back to being very healthy. I give credit to Louie’s mom and this forum, lots of credit to the second opinion of a vet who we happened to cross paths with and largely to my own research. Do not give up hope that this disease can be treatable or kept at bay and without meds. Every dog is unique and special so stick to whatever works!

  • Kristen

    Can anyone tell me how long they waited before they seen the benefits of oral cyclosporine? My malteae has severe cil. She started the meds 2 weeks ago

    • Bailey's Mom

      Hi Kristen,

      Bailey was not on cyclosporine, but as far as symptoms….he was given hetastarch and within 24 hours all his abdominal fluid was gone. It took 3-4 months for his levels to come back up to normal. He’s now almost 8
      Months since diagnosis and his levels have been normal for 4 months with no relapsing of abdominal bloating. It takes time and all pups respond differently. Bailey took budesonide and flagyl so I have no experience with cyclosporine. Hopefully you see improvement soon! Best of luck!

  • Cat

    Hydrolized? Or regular protein?

  • Beans' Mom

    Hi,

    Does anyone on this site have any experience with a pup diagnosed with BOTH PLE and PLN? Beans’ is losing a significant amount of protein in her urine (possibly Kidney Disease) in addition to low protein levels in her blood from the Lymphangiectasia.

    My vet doesn’t have a lot of experience dealing with both at once, and medicating her has been difficult. Apparently Pred. makes the protein buildup in urine worse? Budesonide hasn’t been tested much on PLN so switching may be dangerous…

    Also food has been challenging- she was doing REALLY well on the Hill’s Low Fat canned food for the past few weeks but now that the kidney function comes into play she needs to be on a diet both low in fat (for PLE) and low in protein (for PLN). Hills makes a hypoallerginic food that is a middle ground (1.5gms higher in fat than the Low Fat she was doing well on)…but the minute I tried to integrate it into her diet she started to swell in the abdomen. :/

    Hoping to find someone who has experience dealing with both!

    Thanks everyone!

    -Laine

    • Hershey's Mom

      Hi Laine, I don’t know if this helps but besides the homemade food I make for my dog, she is also eating Royal Canon Vegetarian kibble!

      • karen

        where are you located

        • Beans' Mom

          Hi Karen,

          I’m in NYC (Beans has an appt with the head of internal medicine at the Animal Medical Center on Thursday). The specialist she was seeing before, who didn’t have much information on treating both PLE & PLN at once, was in Fairfax, VA (I grew up in the DC area and Beans spends a lot of time down there).

          Have any thoughts?

          Thanks,
          Laine

          • karen

            well the top internist is in morris cty nj and he saved my pearl , he knows exactly which drugs to use and is on top of ple and lymph ,,,, I would make the trip

          • Beans' Mom

            Hi Karen,

            Morris County isn’t too far by car! Do you have a name?

            I’m willing to try anything at this point :/

            -Laine

    • Squeekers Mom

      Hi Beans Mom Laine,
      My little Squeekers was diagnosed with CIL secondary to IBD 4 1/2 years ago. Then 2 1/2 years ago she was diagnosed with PLN. It is a challenge especially with diet. PLE needs high protein diet and PLN needs low protein diet. Squeekers is doing good on Royal Canin LF can food. As far as meds, she is on Azathioprine, Tylan, Atopica for PLE and for her PLN she is on Enalapril. Benazapril worked for her PLN for 2 years then she started to lose protein in her urine again. The Enalapril is bringing her UPC back down from 8.9 to 1.9 in about 6 months.
      I hope this helps.

      • Beans' Mom

        Hi Squeekers Mom,

        Thank you, thank you, thank you for your reply! Beans protein in her urine was at 20 the last time it was checked- which obviously caused a great deal of concern. She’s only been on Benazapril for 4 days but I’m glad to know that it worked for Squeekers for some time and hope it does the same for little Beans. She only takes Pred. for now for the Lymphangiectasia. Before the PLN diagnoses I wanted to try to get her switched to Budesonide. Do you know why Squeekers takes Azathioprine/Tylan/Atopica as opposed to Prednisone/Flagyl or Budesonide/Cyclosporine? Since these meds are effective for Squeekers I’m going to ask my doc about these meds.

        How does Squeekers feel most of the time? Is she a happy energetic dog? I worry that Beans will always be lethargic and sick and that makes me quite sad.

        As far as food is concerned- I’m having the same problem low protein and low fat. She likes the Hills Low Fat and her tummy was doing well on it…I made the mistake of listening to the vet and trying for something with lower protein…and now she’s starting to have diarrhea. Have you ever changed Squeekers food? Or has he been on the Royal Canin LF for 4 1/2 years?

        Thanks so much for your insight! Looking forward to hearing back.

        -Laine

        • Squeekers Mom

          Squeekers started on Pred. Every time we tried to lower her dose her Albumin (protein) dropped. We put her on Budesonide and she did well for awhile. Then she ended up in an emergency clinic with a swollen liver. Budesonide is supposed to be safer than Pred but it didn’t agree with Squeekers. She was put on Azathioprine and tolerates it well. Atopica is Cyclosporine. Tylan is safer, according to her IM Vet, than flagyl (Metoclopramide) for long term use. As far as food, Squeekers was on a homemade diet but when she ended up in the ER clinic she wasn’t eating. I put her on the can RC LF. She has a chicken intolerance and the protein in the can LF is Pork. She hates it. I have to syringe feed her. I didn’t change her food after PLN was diagnosed.
          Squeekers is going to be 13 yrs old next month. She barks at the TV, rubs her face on the carpet after dinner and spins in circles acting silly. It is a challenge but Squeekers is proof remission is possible. Her first UPC was 14. We got it down to .15 with Benazapril.

          • Beans' Mom

            Thank you Squeekers Mom- I think that’s what’s happening with Beans & the Pred. They lowered her dose this past week and immediately her stomach has blown up like a balloon. Poor thing.That, and the change in food. Can’t be a good combo.

            I’m sorry to hear that you are having to syringe feed her but I’m happy to know that her body is receptive and reacting well to the food.

            I have hope thanks to your story and I’m going to take the tips you gave me on medicine to the doctor later this week!

            Warm wishes to both you and Squeekers!

            -Laine

  • Squeekers Mom

    Wishing you and Beans the best. I don’t go on this site that much but will check for updates on Beans. Squeekers is a 6 pound little Yorkie. What is Beans?
    Sending big hugs and will keep you both in my prayers.

    Linda and Squeekers

  • Odie's Mom

    Hi everyone, my 5 year old Yorkie, Odie, was diagnosed with CIL about a week ago. He had fluid in his lungs and abdomen so his doctor put him on lasix for 2 weeks and prednisone 2 x day for 2 weeks, the prednisone will be lowered to 1 a day if his blood work shows improvement. He also prescribed the RC gastro Low fat. He doesn’t like the food and this website has been such a help and so informative! I didn’t realize there was so much more we can do to help him feel better. I was hoping to get some help with recipe ideas, I see a few but would love to hear some more details of ingredients and mixtures :)

    Also, I’d love to hear suggestions of the best probiotics and enzymes for him.
    Thanks in advance!!

    • Amy

      If he doesn’t like RC, you can try Science Diet I/D. If he doesn’t like that, then you can try cooking for him, although it’s obviously not as convenient. Potato and tilapia are a good place to start. Ingredients to avoid are rice and chicken. Anything else that’s very low in fat should be okay, but you really don’t have to get too fancy. A lot of people want to add veggies, but they’re really not necessary. Once you get him stabilized, you should start adding some type of vitamin and mineral supplement that’s balanced for dogs. I like the recipes and supplements from http://www.balanceIt.com because you can get both from one web site, so it’s easy.

    • Drugstore Dog

      We found that with the lymphangiectasia, the fluid around the lungs is chylous fluid, which is typically lymphatic fluid which travels back to the pleural space via the thoracic duct. The veterinarians at the university told us that Lasix usually does not help this, and the only thing that would prevent this and lead to improvement would be an extremely low fat diet. To do this, we had nutrition services come up with a diet, which would be specific to fit each animal. In our case, we went from strictly eating Hill’s z/D, to eating only half of the day’s calories with z/D and half of the calories were kangaroo meat and quinoa. Quinoa is high in protein and carbohydrates and hardly any fat. Kangaroo meat is <2% fat. You need to stay under 6-7% fat content in the diet to improve this type of pleural effusion. Speak to your vet about the possibility of chylous effusion as the type of pleurisy. With cutting the fat intake, it took about 6 weeks to determine that the fluid was no longer present in the pleural space. We did have to eliminate the quinoa because it turned out that too much grain or fiber also caused diarrhea and as critically sick as she was, we could not afford diarrhea from another cause. Hope this helps a little!

    • Drugstore Dog

      One other note, we were referred to purchase the low fat diets from mypetgrocer.com, which is Rayne Nutrition’s outlet and the university veterinary schools typically work with them on diets. You may want to talk to your vet about this as well. I mention them only because they are the ONLY source of some of these low fat foods for veterinary use only.

  • Jasper Dog

    Hi everyone – apologies for my lengthy msg but its my first post and so wanted to give a bit of background…..

    My 7 year old chocolate labrador Jasper was recently diagnosed with Lymphangieactasia 3 months ago. It first presented as he was having trouble breathing due to fluid in his chest (not abdomen). Up until this point he was showing no other symptoms. He was initially diagnosed with PLE and treated with Cyclosporine, predisone etc but he rapidly continued to deteriorate (dropping from 36kg to 22kg), bloody diarrhoea, low protein levels, low electrolyte levels etc… he was at deaths doors. He was hospitalised for 3 weeks and the vets in Sydney did an amazing job to bring him back from the edge. however his protein levels still remained low and so we took the decision to operate and do a full stomach, intestinal biopsy and he was diagnosed with primary Lymphangiectasa. He survived all this and bounced back again only to suddenly take another turn for the worse… we hospitalised him again for a week but the vets where unable to stabilise his protein (even with regular plasma infusions etc) and he has now been sent home to us to spend his last few days with us. The vets decided to take him off his meds to give his body a rest and also as he was proving refractory to treatment. he’s the most amazing dog in the world and i don’t want to give up on him and am not ready to – i know he can pull through this. i keep reading that the diet is key but he is proving to stubborn to eat any of the food the vets recommend and he’s wasting away. He’ll eat chicken all day but i have stopped that immediately (having read above) and also stopped his MCT. He’s never refused food EVER! He’s normally a glutton and would eat his own weight in food given half the chance… i came across your site and need some advice on a home made diet. Obviously Kangaroo meat is in no short supply here and he is delighted to get his chops on it! i am mixing this with boiled egg white, cod fillets and sweet potato. (about 50% sweet potato, 1 boiled egg white, 25% cod fillet & 25% kangaroo meat). He’s only started on this today but wolfed it down :-). I just want to ask your advice on whether this is a sensible diet? Its the only thing he has eaten with gusto since he’s been sick – is there anything else that i should add that would be beneficial? Any help or advice would be hugely appreciated…

    • Drugstore Dog

      I am so sorry you are going through this disease with your sweet dog. My 10 yr old French Brittany female was diagnosed with Severe Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Lymphangiectasia in June 2014 after biopsy. We immediately worked with Nutrition Services at the university to come up with a diet that she liked, which consisted of half Hill’s z/d and half kangaroo meat and quinoa. We quickly learned that she also had a gluten tolerance issue so had to stop the quinoa. We increased the z/d only to wind up with pleural effusion, which was actually chylous effusion (pleural effusion containing chylous fluid due to the lymphangiectasia), so we had to decrease the z/d in order to decrease the amount of fat in her diet. Then, kangaroo was unavailable! She was doing SO well, and once we could no longer get the frozen muscle meat, we found a source of frozen ground kangaroo, but unfortunately, my girl began to have loose stools with this. As we tapered her steroids, and at the same time going through the dietary changes, in November, she began to have good stools in the morning and looser stools in the evenings. Nutrition Services felt that the kangaroo was the culprit, but I felt it was the fat content in the z/d, however, she would not eat any of the lower fat diets. Low fat is key with lymphangiectasia. With increasing inflammation, although the vets switched her to injectable dexamethasone, she developed an aversion to her food, although she was extremely hungry. I could not feed her other things because of the risk of worse harm. We are not sure what was the trigger…we believe that she ate a roll from the countertop after Thanksgiving, but her flare occurred over a week later. We learned she had also developed Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency too requiring the addition of digestive enzymes. Veterinarians believe it was a combination of the holiday visitors (stress), the bite of food she stole, the tapering prednisone, and the poorer source of kangaroo meat. When she would no longer eat her prescribed food, and they told me to stop the kangaroo due to the protein being a likely cause, we scheduled her for an esophageal tube placement for me to administer meds and blended non-fat food. Unfortunately, with the lymphangiectasia and the inflamed intestines, my sweet girl could no longer absorb fat and therefore had a loss of clotting factors, specifically Vitamin K. She developed a slow GI bleed, and within days had a fast GI bleed before anyone could realize how severe things had become. We rushed her to the emergency where she was found to be in shock. She was in ICU for 18 hours, and we thought she was showing signs of improvement after receiving hetastarch, a blood transfusion, then plasma, and a thoracentesis to remove 3rd space fluids (again chyle), but then she had a few agonal breaths and just stopped breathing. The fluid overload from all that was given to her to try to stabilize her blood pressure, was more than her weak body could handle. We are broken hearted, and of course, second guessing decisions we made. I believe that had she been hospitalized before the rube placement, and given plasma that it would have taken us down a different road, but the vet assures me that it would not have changed the course of her disease. I think that the cod fillets are supposed to be a wonderful source of protein, and mostly a novel protein too. We were told to use potato flakes, since the sweet potato tend to be higher fiber, so if the sweet potato causes diarrhea, this may be an option. I think it would probably be okay to use the eggs too, because low cholesterol goes with the lymphangiectasia, and the goal is to increase it too. Kangaroo is great as long as it is muscle meat. I think you are on track with a good diet, and I hope that he improves all on his own with this diet. I would also suggest feeding him several small meals a day to make digestion easier for him and to make absorption of proteins and fats easier on his GI tract. Best of wishes to you both. This is a horrible illness to fight, and just so sorry so many dear animals have this.

    • Hershey's Mom

      Hi Jasper Dog, I think so far you’re off on a good start! After weaning my dog off of all meds, (the longest weaning was the Prednisone) but she has been meds free for some time now. This spring will mark 1 year without any meds or problems. I’ve already posted what I feed my dog in previous posts but I’ve changed her rice feeding decreasing to 2 tbsps. of white rice (gluten free) and increasing 1/4 cup of white potato, 2 tbps sweet potato along with kale, egg whites, tempeh, low fat cottage cheese, dry vegetarian kibble and coconut oil. But she also gets FOUR feedings a day in smaller portions so her stomach is not aggravated. You will have to read back in my previous posts about coconut oil as some dogs don’t do well with it and I know someone else one here was using another oil and it seems to work well. Others have used rabbit with success which is something I am considering just for a change of protein from Tempeh. But to date… my dog continues to do extremely well has not gotten back on any meds ever. The white rice gluten-free I buy here in Canada is actually made in Australia I believe. I think it’s made by Sunrice and it says gluten-free on the bag but I don’t have the packaging as I always transfer my rice into another container. You have to experiment with what works for your dog specifically. Each dog is unique and responds differently. I have two dogs and they are littermates and although her brother does not have lymphangiectasia, I feed him the same diet and he’s happy too!! Hope this helps and good luck! You came to a great site here!

    • Amy

      I agree you’re on the right track. You can use tilapia too. I understand your vet taking him off all his meds, but I would at least keep him on Prednisone. It’s the one drug that all CIL dogs seem to need when they’re still so very sick.

    • Louie's mom

      I agree this sounds like a sensible approach but I also agree with Amy; get him back on the prednisone. Louie did well without meds because he also had Cushing’s disease which basically meant his body was producing prednisone on its own. I don’t know if he would have ever been med free without having that disease on top of this one, but I still do believe diet is key to long-term stability. In the beginning you need to give him every fighting chance. It sounds like your vets have given up on him and so you might see another vet to get him back on the pred. Hope he turns the corner, it’s great that he has an appetite for the new foods!

      • chelsea's mom

        Hershey’s and louie’s moms are right. Keep the pred! My Chelsea is now 10 (English Bull dog) and going on 4 years with the disease. She is on a very light dose (5mg- she weighs 44lbs), every other day. I had weaned her off multiple times early on concerned that pred for life would be bad, but always ended up back on. The Internist specialist says that the light every other day dosage will not harm her for life. I still get blood tests every 6 months to be sure all looks good. Good luck!!

  • Elie

    My dog Bonhomme has been diagnosed with Lymphangiectasia two months ago. Over the last two weeks he has had diarrhea despite treatment with pred, aziatropine, metrodinasole and atopica. During the last three days his appetite has decreased to the point where he does not want to eat. My vet thinks his intestine is fibrosed which prevents him form getting food nutrients, but I do not see the link between that and appetite loss. He has lost a lot of his weight, currently 14lbs compared to his normal weight of 25lbs. We try to propose new protein sources, all low fat, but he is not interested in any, which is scary. I am curious if any of you have experienced this situation and found a solution?

    • Hershey's Mom

      Hi Elie,

      Have u tried a white diet? U can try each ingredient one by one to see if there is a positive reaction. Like white potatoes, egg whites,cottage cheese, gluten free white rice, talipia… if u read previous posts there are many suggestions here! Good luck!

    • Drugstore Dog

      Elie, my Brittany Spaniel was diagnosed after endoscopy and biopsy, back in June of 2014, and at the time of diagnosis (diagnosis was Protein Losing Enteropathy of Inflammatory Bowel Disease with secondary Intestinal Lymphangiectasia), my girl had lost 16 pounds within just 2-3weeks, in spite of eating. She was placed on Prednisone 40mg daily, which had its own side effects, and then within a couple of months, the vet at UT Veterinary Clinic in Knoxville, put her on Mycophenolate as well. Other meds, were metronidazole and famotidine. Maddie gradually improved over the next 5 months, with a few episodes of diarrhea which were resolved with increasing the metronidazole dose from twice daily to three times daily for a few days each time. After 3- months of high dose prednisone, Maddie’s liver enzymes went out the roof, and we had to begin a taper. Each decrease in dose caused mild diarrhea, but she adjusted well each time, until we got down to 10mg in December. The plan was to switch Maddie to chlorambucil, which is actually a chemo drug. She was going to need much more immunosuppression than we could do with prednisone because the side effects of the prednisone were going to kill her if we did not get her dose lower. We felt we were on the right track, but the poor girl started losing her appetite for the only foods she could eat. She had been eating kangaroo meat and the Hill’s z/d since diagnosis, but the nutritionist believed that she had developed an aversion to the kangaroo. So, she would hardly eat for about 10 days, lost all the weight she had regained and even more, and I couldn’t get her meds down her without upsetting her, so the vet at UT performed an esophagostomy, which was a hole in the side of her neck to place a tube for me to feed her liquified food through the tube and also give her meds. I was reassured that this was the only way, or she would die. Poor Maddie had tried so hard to get better and she wanted to get better. This is such a horrible disease. She was severely anemic due to a slow GI bleed, most likely caused by her inability to absorb fats. The next day, she had a horrific GI bleed about midnight, and when we got to emergency, she was in shock, and near death. She was in ICU for 18 hrs before she passed away, and in the end, it was the fluid overload required to stabilize her that her body couldn’t’ handle. After she died, I was told by our personal vet as well as the vet at UTK, that they could tell me then, that they believe that my girl may have developed intestinal lymphoma, and that they believe that had she pulled through, the road ahead of her would have been extremely difficult, only to wind up again in the same situation because this horrible disease, waxes and wanes and the least stress can trigger a relapse. As much as I dreaded her having chlorambucil, I was hopeful that it would improve her inflammation and the lymphangiectasia, so that may be an option for you to talk to your vet about. So sorry that you are going through this. The loss of appetite makes this disease so difficult to treat. Prednisone seems to help this, but much more difficult once it is tapered to lower doses.

  • Spot's Mom

    Spot was diagnosed with CIL in November 2014. Albumin is stable at 2.4 on 2.5mg Prednisone every other day and 5 mg on opposite days. We feed a homemade diet of 7% turkey, quinoa and squash. He doesn’t tolerate potatoes or rice. We were able to get his weight up back up to 17.8 pounds but he is now down to 16.2 over the last 4-5 months. Stool is well formed. I’m at a loss for why he is losing weight now. Any ideas or suggestions?

    • Spot's Mom

      Incidentally, we used to include fish oil (he has a heart condition) and sweet potato but during one bout of loose stools we cut out a bunch of things intending to slowly add stuff back in. Just yesterday I restarted the fish oil (with no adverse effect so far) so I’m thinking I need to try the sweet potato too.

  • Spot's Family

    Would love to get ideas on high calorie things we could try adding to Spot’s diet. Sweet potatoes used to provide a lot of calories for him (in addition to quinoa, squash and turkey) but lately sweet potatoes seems to be effecting his stool unfavorably. He doesn’t do well on rice or potatoes. Thankfully he has a good appetite but he can’t tolerate big helpings and I don’t have the opportunity to feed him more than three times a day.

    • Amy

      Fat is 9 calories per gram and carbs are only 4 calories per gram, so low-fat high-calorie foods is sort of an oxymoron. But there’s certainly plenty of other grains you can try feeding him like barley, oatmeal, quinoa, and couscous. I’ve fed my dogs all those things, except oatmeal, and she did fine on all of them. The only thing she can’t eat is rice.

  • Belle

    Hi all.

    My little Belle is a 13 years old Brussels Griffon. She was diagnosed about 5 years ago and the wonderful help I received from Louie’s mom’s site was instrumental in getting her stable after she was first diagnosed. We live in Australia and I found there was a real lack of information about how to treat this awful illness.

    The magic formula for us was a mix of Royal canin low fat, kangaroo meat and potato. We made sure she never ate chicken again. She remained on a very low (every other day dose) of pred. She occasionally had little bouts of diarrhoea and due to this she got put on tynol 8 months ago. She did so well that we weaned her off the pred. Now she has suddenly (in our eyes) deteriorated and her protein and albumen levels have dropped. Vomiting, loose stools, weight loss and, oh dear! the most terrible gas you’ve ever been unlucky enough to come across. The vet has ordered her back on pred five days ago and we are back tomorrow to see whether things have improved, but I am most concerned about the fact that her appetite is very poor. For quite some weeks she had picked royal canin out of her food and she now flatly refuses it and her kangaroo. We’ve only been able to get her to have it by adding in one teaspoon of tinned salmon which seems to flavour it enough to get her eating something at least. I know very well that this is not ideal but I don’t think we can get even her tablet into her without it at the moment.

    I have some questions that I would love some views on:
    If she doesn’t eat the royal canin, will she get enough nutrition by having a protein source and potato?
    if a dog reacts badly to chicken (which is why we eliminated it) can turkey be tried instead?
    I see people mention egg white, how do you prepare that for your dogs?

    My vet is already rather pessimistic because of her age, but she has been so well that I will not give up without a fight.

    • Hershey's Mom

      Hi Belle, both of my dogs are allergic to chicken and only the one has lymphangiectasia. I boil my eggs and take out the yolk and feed it to them that way. They both like your dog, eventually did not like the Royal Canin low fat but they do the Royal Canin Vegetarian.

      I have posted on here quite a bit in the past and not so much now because I guess my dog is now healthy and it has been more than a year. Both of the dogs are now 8 years old.

      I will mention something that I don’t think I have mentioned before and that was Louie’s Mom’s comment about, “how much fat is too much fat?” I really found that helpful. I do know that there is a certain amount of “good” fat needed in foods as it helps to carry and transport necessary vitamins from food to the blood stream and throughout the body. That is why I personally added a medium chain triglyceride (MCT) to my dog’s diet. Actually for both my dogs. This was recommended another vet who’s dog also had the disease and that we were lucky to cross paths with at work. He wasn’t even our vet! You can find all the information on my previous posts (but if you do read my previous posts please read from the beginning!) As well, everything both my dogs eat are practically all vegan with protein and vitamin sources and all of it is gluten free even the rice.

      I wish you the best of care and love for your dog. Wishing your precious Belle a speedy recovery.

    • Amy

      She’ll be okay eating a protein source and potato for a while, but once she’s stabilized you should add supplements, like from http://www.balanceIt.com so she gets all the vitamins and minerals she needs.
      Yes, I believe I read that dogs who are allergic to chicken aren’t necessarily allergic to turkey, so you can try that.
      Have you also tried feeding her Science Diet I/D low-fat? She might like that.

  • Baxter's Cheerleader

    I just wanted to leave a message for you, to thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Last October my Yorkie was diagnosed with this terrible disease. The veterinarian tried many different things, but mostly we were sitting stagnant all along watching my beloved friend slowly die. I found your website and took my fur babies future life into my own hands. I followed your advice to a T ordering The Honest Kitchen Preference and all the supplements you suggested, as well as the potato flakes. One month after starting it he had a follow up with the vet and she actually cried and asked how in the world we did it…. I simply said “Louie the Love Muffins Mommy saved him.” I truly mean that, he went from 13 lbs to 6 in a short period. He couldn’t tolerate ANYTHING and had bloody stools if he tried. They aspirated 700 MLs of fluid off his tiny body and told us to prepare for his death. I couldn’t accept that and started researching when I found your site. You saved him and for this I am forever grateful! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience! He is now averaging about 10 lbs and has had solid stools for 8 months. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

    💜 Baxter’s Cheerleader

  • Pat

    I need some advice please. My 10 yr old CKC Spaniel, Molly, was diagnosed with CIL three months ago. She is down to 12 lbs and is nothing but bones. We took her off Prednisone four days ago as she had gotten worse and had blood stools. That has cleared since taking off the Prednisone. She is back to a mix of watery/solid stool once a day. Her intestines have quieted down as well – not much rumbling now. She is back to taking stairs and wagging her tail. She seems to be feeling somewhat better with all the other meds she is on, but she is very finicky about what she will eat. Anything she eats for a day or two, she won’t eat again. She refuses all canned prescription dog food – chicken, venison, duck, white fish, low fat, hypo-allergenic. She has eaten but now refuses, baked chicken, chicken and rice, sweet potato, lean beef, dry cheerios (she couldn’t get enough of those for two days). At vet’s suggestion, we have offered her milk and chicken broth to no avail. Everything very low or non-fat. She wants tasty food like chicken casserole with broccoli and stuffing! yikes!!! And pumkin donuts seem to be all she barks and pesters for. She did eats two tblspoons of low fat cottage cheese this morning. We just need her to eat, but need to keep the fats away.
    I will try the recipe you suggest, but am wondering if you added the butter to the mix. Also, how much fat is too much fat? How much Spirulina is suggested for a 12-13 lb dog?
    Thank you so much for your help – I don’t want my Molly Girl to suffer.

    • Linda Campbell

      My beloved French Brittany was diagnosed with IBD, and CIL, seven months before she passed away from this horrible disease. One month before she passed away, I asked her GI vet to check her digestive enzymes because she had developed an inappetance for her diet. A veterinarian nutritionist designed her diet and made changes on occasion for the perfect combination of protein, fat and carbohydrate, because she had developed chylous effusion on three different occasions due to too much fat in her diet. We were feeding her a combination of ground kangaroo meat, quinoa and 1/2 of her diet was prescription Hill’s z/d, after trying 8 other combinations. The quinoa had to be removed after 2 weeks, because we learned she was also gluten intolerant. Then, after who knows what, whether a food indiscretion of which we were unaware (difficult to think this because we watched her constantly), or the anxiety of guests in our home Thanksgiving, or who knows, she had a horrific relapse, beginning with diarrhea and weight loss. She had just reached almost perfect lab values and back to her desired weight! Within 2 weeks, her labs were the worst they had ever been, she would not eat anything, although I feel certain she would have eaten a pimento cheese sandwich out of my hand the way she sat and stared at me. She was hungry, but her inappetance for the food she was given, kept her from eating, and unfortunately, just a cracker could have sent her into relapse. Poor poor girl. Which leads me to what we did… we waited too long to do this, but had we done this sooner, I think she may have been able to rally back. The GI vet at the university recommended to place an esophageal tube, which is a tube that goes through the neck, into the esophagus toward the stomach. I would have blended her food and pushed the food and her meds through the tube so she could get nutrition and build her protein level. Unfortunately, she was anemic when they placed the tube, and although they gave her an iron infusion, it turned out she was unable to make Vitamin K due to her inability to absorb fat–all from the relapse and inflammation of the IBD and CIL. About 24 hours after the tube placement, she had a horrible GI bleed, a fast bleed, then went into shock, and then spend 18 hours in intensive care, where she received blood and plasma, and meds that had her bouncing back, and improving. She actually died from fluid overload because the fluid that was required to replace her blood volume and stabilize her blood pressure, also wound up accumulating in her 3rd space, and she couldn’t breathe. They tried to remove the fluid from her chest cavity, but the fluid kept shifting. And, please know, that I would never have put her through any of this, had we not all thought that she would get better. It all depended on those 2-3 days, how she would improve, and I initially felt that the road back to feeling good would be too hard for her and was prepared to let her go, but when she improved with the blood and plasma, I really thought she would bounce back, like she had before. I tell you all this, because when you get to the point that they refuse to eat, because sadly we cannot reason with them to get them to eat, you may have to do something like the e-tube to quickly get that protein level back up, or prepare yourself for these events than can occur. My heart goes out to you, because I have been there, and almost a year later now, I still cry every time I think about this awful disease. Some are fortunate enough to find the right combination of things and some even go into remission. My girl was headed in the right direction, then just suddenly, things changed. One other though, our GI vet told me that she may have developed intestinal lymphoma because of the horrific way she presented in the end. I tell myself that it was a blessing for her sake. She lifted her head and looked around the room, about 30 minutes before we were to see her after her last blood transfusion. Then just fell over and after a few agonal breaths, she died. She saved me from making that awful decision for her. So much more than a dog to me, she was my child. I’m sure than the people on this forum, must feel the same to go to the lengths we do to help our beloved animals. Best to you and your sweet Molly.

    • Pat

      It’s been awhile since I last posted about my Molly girl. I am so sorry to say she passed away on Nov 16. The Leukeran did not help her. She held her weight, but her labs continued to drop and she continued with diarrhea whether she ate or not. She was such a trooper though. She tried to stay semi-active and even made her way up and down stairs, but it was obvious she was suffering. We tried several diets and as always, she would eat it once or twice and then refuse it. She gave up on everything. It broke my heart, but we had to put her to sleep. I didn’t realize how sick she was until when stopped breathing in my arms, she didn’t go limp. She was already so weak. I still love her to pieces and miss her so much. The busyness of the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons with travels helped me get through, but now the house is quiet and the loss of her is overwhelming at times. Thank you to all who responded to my questions. I will be praying that your babies will improve and do better than my Molly. Hang in there and keep up the fight for them. God bless you.

  • Pat

    Dear Linda,

    I am sorry I did not see your reply sooner. I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet Brittany. I agonize over what she and you went through. It’s heartbreaking that we try so hard to save our little ones, but as you say, we cannot reason with them. I don’t know what else to try at this point. Molly, too, jumped back unexpectedly with pretty good lab results and had gained weight a couple weeks ago. The vet convinced me to take Molly off all meds for a few days to see how she would do. It’s not been good. I am feeding her Hill’s a/d through a syringe, but have to hold her mouth down so she will swollow. She refuses everything she has eaten before, but like your little one, she just stares at me for food. She stands in the kitchen and just looks at me. It breaks my heart. However, she did eat several small bites of a grilled cheese sandwich (I know it’s not good for her, but she is desperate), and a few bites this morning of a Weight Watcher cheese stick. I just never know. Last week we started her on Leukeran twice a week, but I think that has brought her down. I don’t think she has much longer to go and honestly, I don’t know how much longer I can do this – it kills me everything she turns away from food. I’m just praying she doesn’t linger long and goes peacefully in her sleep. My heart just aches. Thank you for sharing your heartache and mine.

    • Amy

      Pat, I think that’s crazy that your vet told you to take your dog off all meds when she only started to improve a couple weeks ago. My vet gradually reduced my dog’s Prednisone over a period of several MONTHS. And why are you feeding your dog Hills a/d? Hills a/d is very high in fat. You should be feeding your dog Hills i/d Low-fat. My dog, too, would refuse anything she’d eaten before, but still stare at me saying, “what else you got?” With the medication and the right food, her appetite came back fairly quickly. Your dog may still have a chance if you stop feeding her cheese and start giving her the right kind of food and meds. My heart aches for you too.

    • Mandy

      Pat, my dog Finny has been on three medications for almost 4 years: prednisone, atopica, and metranidazol. She rotates them over three days (pred. one day, metranidazol, day two, and ataopica day three). She eats ground turkey and Rayne kangaroo kibble (Rayne food is made specifically for dogs with these diseases and requires the approval of your vet.) She was diagnosed in January of 2012, but had been sick for several weeks. She gets 1/4 of a pepcid whenever she seems to have a tummy issue – she turns away from food. When she does this, the pepcid takes about 30 minutes to an hour to work and then she is eating normally again. I can’t say she hasn’t had a bout with diarrhea or vomiting in that 4 years, but each time it has not been due to a relapse but to a viral thing – this we know because each time her brother is sick as well. Finny does not get anything else but sliced no sodium added turkey as a treat. We went through different foods but what she is on now has worked for a long time. Honestly, I hate this disease, but please don’t give up. I was lucky to have a vet that believed we could treat this and give her many years. But please know that you have to be really vigilant and not let your baby have any fatty foods. And Louie’s mom was incredibly helpful. I hope your baby Molly starts to recover. Blessings!

    • Drugstore Dog

      Pat,
      Thanks for your reply. As a pharmacist, I do agree that it makes no sense to take her off all meds, especially the prednisone, other than the concern of additive side effects with the Leukeran. This is probably why she has lost her appetite for the food she should be eating. Even a taper will decrease the appetite once you get below 10mg daily, so stopping cold turkey would cause a decrease in appetite and possibly an Addison’s crisis. I think that many veterinarians have little experience with IBD and CIL, and they really do not know what to do. Especially these horrific cases that will not go into remission. At this point, it is best if they refer the pet/owner to a specialist, or at the least, they should contact the closest veterinary school for advice/consultation on how to treat the disease based on the symptoms and labwork. High dose prednisone should be tapered, sometimes quickly if the dog has developed liver damage/failure, but still tapered. Were Molly’s liver enzymes extremely high? What dose of prednisone was she on? The Leukeran was going to be our next step had Maddie not had the GI bleed. It would have been a last resort for her because she was no longer absorbing the prednisone and I was giving her dexamethasone injections at the end. I’m sure that Molly is very hungry, but has inappetence due to the abruptly discontinued prednisone and the addition of Leukeran. The GI specialist typically use either high dose prednisone only or a high dose prednisone with an immunosuppresant, like mycophenolate or azathioprine, then taper the prednisone once the symptoms began to improve and the protein levels increase. to normal. When this doesn’t work, then the chlorambucil (Leukeran) can be turned to, which can often be a life saver and work really well. I also agree that she should be on an extremely low fat diet. Does she ever groan or seem to have labored breathing? This is a sign that the fat is not being absorbed, and almost any fat can cause lacteal overload, leading to lymph loss into the thoracic duct and into the pleural space surrounding the lungs. If this is the case, the veterinarian can remove the fluid surrounding the lungs to make the animal more comfortable and help them breathe better, then the diet should be less than 2 grams of fat daily. Dietary control of fat must be a permanent treatment of this disease. I so so understand how hard it is to not feed her the cheese or something she wants, but cheese is high in fat, and no it is not a good idea at all to feed this to a dog with CIL. And, I tell you this, because I made this mistake. I have beaten up myself so many times, emotionally, for giving in and giving her some bites of food those last 2 -3 days, when I could not get her to eat. She refused absolutely everything we did to try to make her prescribed food taste better. She ate one roll, and things turned terribly bad for her. I don’t know how easy it would be for you to go to a GI specialist, but that would be the very best thing to do at this point, and to get her medication straightened out as well as a high protein, low fat diet. If she won’t eat, then then esophageal tube may be an option for your Molly. Unless the vet is sure that she can improve, I would not do it though. And, not all nutritionists know what to do either…the last diet my dog was prescribed was to give her part cat food z/d with potatoes flakes, because the cat food was higher protein. But, it also had too much fat. I wish I had known enough then to correct her on this. I look back and there were so many steps we missed before diagnosis, and several things we should have done differently. She would have done well with the kangaroo meat and potato flakes, I think, as long as she was on prednisone. The specialist did tell me, after Maddie died, that she believed that Maddie may have developed intestinal lymphoma due to the horrific nature of her relapse. It was horrible. I am so very sorry for all you are going through. I have lived through this nightmare, and hope to never again. If I can help in any way, please let me know!!

      • Hershey's Mom

        Hi Pat,
        I am sorry to hear of the difficulties you are going through with your dog. When I first joined this forum, I went through all the comments and read the various different food that others were giving their dogs, followed the advice of two vets by first starting my dog on a “white” diet and along with my own research into lymphangiectasia for both dogs and humans alike, I added other foods. I also added an MCT oil (medium chain triglyceride) which helps to aid in allowing vitamins from food be carried to the bloodstream. I hope you can find a solution soon.

        • Pat

          It’s been awhile since I last posted about my Molly girl. I am so sorry to say she passed away on Nov 16. The Leukeran did not help her. She held her weight, but her labs continued to drop and she continued with diarrhea whether she ate or not. She was such a trooper though. She tried to stay semi-active and even made her way up and down stairs, but it was obvious she was suffering. We tried several diets and as always, she would eat it once or twice and then refuse it. She gave up on everything. It broke my heart, but we had to put her to sleep. I didn’t realize how sick she was until when stopped breathing in my arms, she didn’t go limp. She was already so weak. I still love her to pieces and miss her so much. The busyness of the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons with travels helped me get through, but now the house is quiet and the loss of her is overwhelming at times. Thank you to all who responded to my questions. I will be praying that your babies will improve and do better than my Molly. Hang in there and keep up the fight for them. God bless you.

          • Drugstore Dog

            Oh gosh, Pat, I’m so sorry. This disease is just so awful and so pitiful for our beloved dogs. There isn’t anything that makes it any better either, other than to know that they no longer are suffering and having to go through it all. It seems so unfair. About 6 months after Maddie passed away, and 6 months of tears and heartache, I realized that as I get older I cannot wait years between dogs anymore, so I decided to rescue this time rather than get a puppy. I think Maddie would have liked that idea. I did not want to “replace” my girl, but love the Brittanys, so we rescued a boy who is a different color. He needed us and we needed him. I think Maddie would have loved him, and he would have loved her! I still cry everytime I look at her picture or her videos and miss her as much as anyone could ever miss a loved dog who was an enormous part of our family and every minute of our day. She even went to work with me, so she is missed by everyone who knew her. Our new boy is about 4 yrs old and he was neglected or abused and has some issues, so helping him keeps us busy and helps us deal with our grief. I feel certain that Maddie would have wanted us to love this fellow too. He isn’t her and he is much different, but I know she would approve. There is light after this disease, eventually, but it does take time after all you have been through with the meals and meds and you have to take the time to be good to yourself and grieve. Someday, you can take all that love and help and love another great dog. With great grief, there is great love! Remember that always and know that your sweet girl loved you so much!

  • Nicole

    Hi everyone. My beloved 9 yr old yorkie has just had bloodwork done showing low proteins and high white blood cells. We believe he has this disease as his sister from same litter has it, who has responded wonderfully so far to Rx food and prednisone. My trouble is we can’t afford the biopsy to confirm and the vet doesn’t seem to want to give us a steroid without the expensive testing. He had lost 3 lbs in about 2 weeks, has watery stools, and is often refusing food. He ate the Hills Rx food once, but now refuses it. Any advice of what we can do from here is extremely appreciated. He has always been such a strong and spunky guy, this is heartbreaking. We feel lucky that at least he started out around 17 lbs—never fat, he’s just larger. Thank you so much!!!

    • Mandy

      My Yorkie never had the biopsy. She was close to death at the time and the vet said she would never survive it. Instead he used the blood tests (which had results consistent with CIL – no indication) and ultrasound results (along with the persistent diarrhea, vomiting, and weight loss). There is a distinctive pattern of the intestinal area in a dog with CIL on the ultrasound. Maybe find another vet?

    • Mandy

      My Yorkie never had the biopsy. She was close to death at the time and the vet said she would never survive it. Instead he used the blood tests (which had results consistent with CIL) and ultrasound results (along with the persistent diarrhea, vomiting, and weight loss). There is a distinctive pattern of the intestinal area in a dog with CIL on the ultrasound. Maybe find another vet?

      • Nicole

        Thank you Mandy. He had an X-ray but no ultrasound. I think we will have results faxed to another vet in the morning. My brothers dog never had biopsy either—said he will bring Bailee’s sisters bloodwork and paperwork and come with us–should have thought of this earlier. Hoping he feels like eating something decent for him later. The appetite seems to come in waves throughput the day. This is an amazing group here.

        • chelsea's mom

          My Chelsea never had a biopsy either, although she did have the ultrasound. Go to another vet but need to find someone who understands this disease! We had an internist who was a specialist. With the littermate having it and the symptoms they should hopefully proceed . you have to get that metrodiazole down. You can’t stick it all the way to back of throat? Hold mouth and blow in his nose? Good luck!!

      • Nicole

        Do you mind my asking if u remember around what the ultrasound ran you? The 2 main specialty places near me want about $4K–to do biopsy and endo–just to confirm. Wondering if I can ask for ultrasound to try and take your path instead. Thx Mandy!!

        • Belle's mum

          Hi there. I live in Australia and 5 years ago our darling little Brussels Griffen was diagnosed. She was at deaths door but the information I learnt here is the reason why she is still a happy feisty 13 year old. Our vet now takes her story to conferences and she is his pride and joy as she is ours.

          Belle also developed bleeding on her initial high dose of steroid. She couldn’t eat and was only a little over 2 kg. the vet dropped her dose and I then did everything possible to find a way for the low fat diet to work for her. What I learnt is you have to be fanatical about low fat. I do understand the begging pleading eyes and the feeling that eating anything is better than nothing but that’s how the spiral perpetuates – then the meds are less effective and round and round you go.

          For us the magic formula was kangaroo meat and potato. We also used to give her the Royal Canin low fat gastro intestinal but about a year ago she began refusing it and there have been no ill effects of discontinuing it. Even though kangaroo is unbelievably lean I still double boil it to remove even any skerrick of fat.
          I’ve been there with the 3am bouts of diarrhoea and days when I thought she couldn’t possibly ever get well, so I just thought it would help to know that with patience and a fanatical approach to diet, even very ill dogs can revive,

          Incidentally Belle was diagnosed by ultrasound and test results alone – she was too sick for biopsy. She has had two bouts over the time she’s been in remission and on both occasions a temporary increase in pred got her back on board. I used to HATE that she has had to stay on pred (she is on a very low dose .5 every second day) but she has had so many good years that I think in her case, it has literally been a lifesaver.

          Good luck – Kerrie

        • Linda Campbell

          Regarding the cost of the endoscopy and biopsy, that quote is way too high. We had endoscopy which went down to the upper part of the small intestine, and the biopsy, although not full thickness, was 12 good samples. I was able to see the video of the endoscopy on the specialist’s iPad, and clearly could see the dilated lacteals and inflammation. This was at the University Vet School, and the costs of that day was about 1/3 of what you were quoted.

        • Mandy

          I honestly don’t remember how much the ultrasound cost. It was included in the cost of the hospital stay which was around $2,000. She was there was almost a week trying to stabilize her.

        • Linda Campbell

          Nicole, initially, I misunderstood your question, and just want to let you know that the cost of endoscopy and biopsy at the vet school was about $1200 which included anesthesia and a nutrition consult. Ultrasound was under $100 at our vet office.

          • chelsea's mom

            Chelsea’s ultrasound was $365

          • Nicole

            Ok, thank you for the frame of reference. We are in Pittsburgh, and there are 2 hospitals everyone is referred to–one is huge, and very fancy and technology-forward–therefore also super expensive. The other is able to compete with them some, but can keep prices inflated a good deal also. These dawn decisions are just so hard. We spent $3000 a few years ago for disc surgery on him and are thrilled with how he recovered from that–it’s just sad to not be able to put up that kind of cash again. Lord knows, just like all of you, we’d do it in a heartbeat if we could. We’re calling around tomorrow to beg our or any vet to give us prednisone—at least we’ll know we did all we feasibly could for our first baby.

    • Hi Nicole,

      In addition to finding another vet ASAP, I would also run out and buy some instant potato and begin cutting the fat content of his food using this. If you can’t get the medicine started you might at least be able to address his diet, that is if he is still eating at all. Pepcid (famotidine) can help with his appetite if he is not. I hope you get him into treatment soon; time is not your friend with this disease untreated.

      • Nicole

        Thanks so much!! You mean instant potato flakes in the script food, or whatever were cooking him? Our vet said he can have lean hamburger, but I’m wondering about that now too–I’ve been blotting the fat out of it much as possible too. I did just go and grab some ground turkey and sweet potato–I think he might eat that. My husband got a dose of metro in him thankfully. This is his 12th day on it….

        • Yes, the idea would be to cut back the amount (percentage) of fat in whatever you’re giving as much as possible. Adding the potatoes (and a bit of water, too) to his food does this because there is no fat in it. So if you give him, say, an ounce of food that’s 8% fat and add an ounce of potato, it becomes a meal that’s 4% fat. I can’t stress how much fat is the enemy in this disease and how important it is to limit it drastically, especially in the early days. Hope this helps. I think the turkey and sweet potato is probably good, too. Sweet potato also has zero fat.

          • Nicole

            Wonderful, thank you! He just ate a small amount of sweet potato and ground turkey–wouldn’t touch it with Pro-b powder on it, but ate some without from my hand. Main goal tomorrow is to find a vet who will allow us to start prednisone.

          • Nicole

            Oh! One other thing for now–what dose of Pepcid do you think would be appropriate? He’s at about 14-15 lbs right now. Thank u!!

        • Amy

          I don’t think feeding ground hamburger is a good idea until your dog is more stable. Go with the most lean ingredients you can find, like tilapia fish. Once your dog is stable, then try adding lean ground turkey or hamburger. After you brown the meat and blot it, boil it in a pot of water to really get all the fat off. That’s what my vet instructed and that’s how I’ve been feeding my dog for a couple years and she’s been doing great. But I would stick with fish for now.

          • Nicole

            Ok, thank you. He’s never been interested in fish of any kind, but lord knows I’ll try. I think I read tilapia and cod are both good? He’s naturally being very picky right now. Hoping that changes soon so we can more good things in him!

          • Drugstore Dog

            The key is to feed him “novel” proteins, which are less commonly used proteins and those that the animal has possibly never eaten. They recommend to reserve kangaroo, ostrich and rabbit for the last resort because when all other protein sources fail, you still have these to go to. Of course, pork, lamb, beef and chicken are the most common ones used in dog foods, and they are most commonly eaten people foods that are shared with our dogs. So, go to something that he has not had before, because it is possible that beef is an allergen. Chicken seems to be the most frequent protein allergen, but some do well on chicken and low fat diets. We ordered frozen ground kangaroo meat. I wish we had switched to ostrich or rabbit once he had diarrhea with the pred taper. Chicken was in the canned food we used as well, so chicken may have been the culprit all along. Rabbit is supposed to be one that has very little risk of allergy so less risk of triggering IBD or CIL flair ups.

          • Nicole

            Ok. Yes, his vet said she is treating as IBD/CIL, We think the continued metro has made improvements so far. Thank you for the tip of upping it some for excessive loose stools–I didn’t consider that before. He’s prob only going once every other day or more right now–and it’s pretty loose, not water anymore thankfully, but not good yet either. We have someone getting us some venison right now, and I’m looking into the kangaroo as I’m not familiar with it, but see it everywhere on this site. Never dreamed I’d be trying to purchase kangaroo meat as vegetarian of 20 years, lol!! Anything for my baby though. Thx for the help friends!!!

          • Amy

            I’m so glad you’ve started him on the prednisone. It should not only help with the inflammation, but increase his appetite too. I don’t remember anyone here ever saying it made their dog worse. If kangaroo or rabbit is too hard to find, you can look for bison/buffalo sirloin (not ground). I was able to find it fairly easily, but I had to go to a specialty market for it. My dog did very well on the bison sirloin as well as tilapia.

          • Nicole

            Ok thank you! I have a suspicion he will be into buffalo/bison, excellent idea :). I think our vet is just worried about prescribing without an official diagnosis as we couldn’t afford the biopsy/endoscopy. With his littermate suffering the same symptoms in recent months, and responding wonderfully to prednisone and diet, I just have a very hard time believing it is something different altogether. She did initially think pancreatitis, but ruled that out after X-ray and bloodwork. I know it’s impossible, but it really seems like after 2 hours on prednisone he’s already being more active.

          • Nicole

            Wow. I’m not even sure what to think right now. We’ve been doing the adapted diet for a week and he’s been in prednisone for about 24 hours and is A DIFFERENT DOG!!! has anyone else experienced a turn around like this?? I mean he’s not at 100% to where he was, but I’d be willing to say maybe 60-70% almost. Is this possibly just an initial steroid kick to the system or something. Within hours of first dose he was waking us up in the wee hours of night crying for food–prior to just laying on the couch lethargic the day before. I’m almost scared this seems too good to be true! His bark even sounds stronger!

          • Mandy Bennett

            When Finny was first put on prednisone she did the same thing. She literally dug cans out of the trash can to lick any food out of them that might be left in in the can. When we brought her home from the vet, she was all skin and bones (6 lbs., down from 14). She was starving to death. Once she was on the steroids, her body was crying out for nourishment.

          • Nicole

            Thanks Mandy. You’ve been so helpful to us :) any ideas about we can expect over next few days? Does this continue–or will we see a lull in improvement or something maybe? So hard not to be overjoyed right now at the difference!!!

          • Mandy Bennett

            Here is the food Finny and her brother, Jasper, are on:
            http://www.raynenutrition.com/v/vspfiles/assets/images/template/rc002-5%20RC302-5.pdf

            You’ll notice that it is for dogs with PLE and CIL. This is just a suggestion to check out. It is better than any of the others we tried.

          • Nicole

            Wondering about using different kinds of jerky for treats? It seems the only bad thing in them would be the high sodium—are these safe for our puppies in tiny amounts or no? Thank you all again–over and over and over!!!

          • Louies Mom

            Hi Nicole. I was in a bit of a hurry when I wrote the last reply, but I wanted to add that it’s so very important to not feed anything other than a strict, low fat, high protein diet. I’m realizing that my older posts about feeding have gotten a little bit buried so I’m going to go back and repost a few things so that everyone can see them more easily. Hopefully there will be some additional things here about feeding that will help.

            Diet is a critical part of the recovery. The prednisone is helpful to get the inflammation under control, and a great appetite stimulant and I’m very glad you are seeing changes so quickly. Over the long haul, dietary changes will be critical to maintaining a good remission. Even the smallest things can set these dogs into a relapse of the disease. Look for some additional posts on diet to come to the top soon.

          • Louie's mom

            I wouldn’t give any treats at all.

  • Nicole

    Just wanted to add that he’s starting his second week on metrodiazole, and just today I am unable to hide a dose in anything. I even tried putting it in his mouth twice and gently holding his snout closed. He just waits me out and spits it out. I’ve only been able to get in him today lite turkey and 3 tiny bites of scrambled eggs (prob not best, I know–but some protein?). Ugh. This is all I can think about round the clock :(

    • Linda Campbell

      I had the same problem of not being able to hide the pills. Metronidazole tastes absolutely horrible! It is one of the worst and most bitter tasting, and without being able to use the good foods to disguise the pill, it is a real real problem. We were able to get our girl to wolf down the metronidazole by putting it in the kangaroo meat at first, but then she got smart and would not go for it. Then we made little treat balls out of her canned z/d food to administer pills, and that worked for about 3 months. Then when we went from 40mg prednisone down to 30mg, she continued to take the meds, 30mg to 20mg, she took the meds, but when we dropped to 15mg prednisone, she began to develop issues with her food and began to not want the food. I wasn’t as concerned about her eating as I was begin able to give her meds. Finally, in a state of desperation, I crushed the metronidazole, and dissolved it in water. Then I drew it up in an oral syringe, and basically squirted it down the back of her throat. She hated this, and I cried every time I had to do it. My goal was to get it far enough back that the meds would go down and she wouldn’t taste it much. I did this for a couple of weeks until she began to eat again. Just thinking about this makes me cry! I’m so sorry for everyone that is going through this disease with their pets, because it really is a nightmare! I hope this helps..as a last resort, you can crush and dissolve to give it. Try to follow with a bite of food that she likes. Decreasing the prednisone typically leads to them not eating as well, if at all, unfortunately.

      • Amy

        My vet never prescribed metronidazole for my dog and I guess I should be very grateful for that! I only needed to give my dog prednisone and azathioprine and she rebounded very quickly with just those two medications and an ultra low-fat diet.

        • Nicole

          Hi Amy–

          Yeah, I’m wondering about that because I see so many dogs here still on the metro—it was given to us before we knew what he had–thinking it was just a general GI Infection, but we stayed on it for a few days longer now since it has anti-inflammatory properties. His litter-mate that has this disease though was not kept on it, just the prednisone…so I guess we’ll see what our vet thinks about that. I’m torn worrying that she doesn’t know a ton about the very detailed specifics of this. Oh–and now he won’t touch anything with Pro-B powder on it. My husband got some in him by dissolving it in water soaked with some very lean London broil. He’s going crazy wanting steak still–I’m praying it’s ok–I chose a very low fat cut of meat, grilled it, then still blotted anything I could off it. It seems like any meat/protein with little or fat is ok?

          • Amy

            London broil is about the lowest fat beef you can buy, but I would stick to tilapia or turkey breast (not ground turkey) until your dog is more stable – if he’ll eat it. If not, I realize the London broil may be your only option. Buffalo meat is also very low fat.

          • Nicole

            Ok thank you. Do you mean like the lite higher quality lunch meat kind, or should I cook an actual turkey breast? It’s so worrisome trying to be sure you’re doing the right thing. Thanks again!!

          • Mandy

            I use ground turkey breast (99% fat free) mixed with the Rayne Kangaroo and sweet potato kibble. I use 99% fat free lunch turkey for treats.

          • Nicole

            Thanks Mandy!!

          • Amy

            I meant actual turkey breast (lunchmeat is too high in salt) because a lot of dogs don’t do well with chicken breast, but I think that’s mostly dogs with IBD and CIL. My dog tolerates chicken breast just fine because she doesn’t have IBD.

          • Mandy

            You can get natural turkey breast sliced into pieces that is all natural with no salt added that is really low in salt. That is what we get. It is 99% fat free as well. We get it at Sprout’s market and I think it is Boarshead brand (they have all kinds, but the specific one we use is all natural). We also use the low sodium Trader Joe’s turkey breast. This is usually for treats not their meals.

  • I couldn’t remember the dose so I googled it. This is what I found: 0.25 to 0.5 mg per pound (0.5 to 1.0 mg/kg) every 12 to 24 hours.

    I hope it all helps and that you can get him to a vet who’s willing to try the prednisone!

    • Nicole

      I can’t even tell you how comforting and helpful all this–were not stopping until we find a vet to try prednisone. I am a little scared now reading how Mandy’s dog reacted to it, and needed another drug to pair with it, but we’ve gotta try. It does make us feel a lot better that his litter-mate has responded so wonderfully to just Rx diet and prednisone. I don’t even think they continued the metrodiazole with her, and boy, she bounced back quick. Trying not to get my hopes up as I know he could certainly respond differently-, but being they share DNA makes me feel better. Thank u!!

  • Hershey's Mom

    Hi Everyone,
    I just wanted to share with you all how my dog made her way to recovery from this disease… Our vet wasn’t familiar with this disease so we kept trying all forms of medications and running tests even though my dog Hershey was showing no real signs of improvement. It so happened that my husband Mike and I had chance meeting at work with a client, Dr. Tom, who just happened to be a vet AND had a dog named Luther with the same disease. He passed along his email and I wanted to share with you a few emails he sent to us. These emails were a lifesaver for our dog and we are forever grateful we met him. It is my hope that this helps someone here.

    First email from Dr. Tom:

    “Hi Mike,

    Anyway, the major goal in treating intestinal lymphangiectasia is to decrease the enteric loss of plasma proteins so that normal plasma protein levels can be restored and edema and effusions controlled( means fluid loss).
    This is accomplished with dietary manipulation and anti-inflammatory therapy.
    You may recall me saying to you that Luther my Rottie was controlled on Iams Low residue dry dog food and from time to time 5 mg tablet of Prednisone and periodically Flagyl(metronidazole)
    250mg tablet once or twice a day until his diarrhea had stopped. He was on this regime for five years before he died at 101/2 years.
    The ideal diet contains minimal fat and provides an ample quantity of high-biologic quality protein; ie. Prescription Diet r/d (Hill’s Pet) or a homemade diet consisting of one part low-fat cottage cheese or yogurt as the protein source and three parts rice or potatoes as the carbohydrate source. Supplement diets with fat soluble vitamins.(A,D, and E).
    Medium chain triglycerides can be added to the diet to replace the calories lost by restriction of conventional fat. Go to your Vet and see what he sells over the counter for medium chain triglycerides.
    If you try either of these diets bring in slowly doing it in 20% increments over five days. Gives the stomach and intestines time to adjust to the new diet.
    Start reducing the Pred slowly over the next one to three weeks from daily to every other day use. Many patients achieve a remission of months to years in duration with combined dietary and anti-inflammatory therapy.
    Hope this helps Mike. Please keep me posted.
    Dr.Tom
    P.S. Stop the other drugs would be my suggestion !”

    Second email from Dr. Tom:

    “Mike,
    A couple of other footnotes: Luther never had to go back on Pred again after he was stabilized.
    Flagyl was given only as needed ie. when he had bouts of diarrhea. Usually two to three days worth and that was all it took. A side effect with long term daily use is neurological signs namely incordination leading to seizures. This, I have only seen once in practice when a dog had been on the drug for four weeks.
    The prednisone your dog has been on should slowly be weaned off over as I said one to three weeks. All change that to wean her off over three weeks. Continue to half the dosage for two weeks and then go alternate days until she is off it.
    Luther went from 45 pounds to 90 pounds in one year and looked great following the regime that I have outlined for you. Any questions email me and please let me know that you have received these two emails. Good luck!
    Dr.Tom”

    Third email from Dr. Tom regarding Prednisone dosage:

    “Hi Mike,
    Using the dosage of 1-2mg/kg,PO,q24hr and for your 40lb dog which is 18kg. I would be giving 1/2 of the 50 mg tablet once a day until a clinical response should be noted within 1-2 weeks. After 2 weeks of remission, taper the dosage over an additional 4week period to the lowest effective alternate-day dosage(usually about 0.25-0.5 mg/kg. Therapy may be discontinued on a trial basis after 8-12weeks of remission; however, continuous therapy is required in many cases to prevent relapse.
    Any questions let me know. I am currently practicing in Minden and living at the cottage with no internet. However, my wife can keep me in touch with you if there is a need.
    Hugs to Hershey,
    Dr.Tom”

  • Nicole

    Thank you for sharing Hershey’s Mom. I am definetley going to use this in my battle plan to convince my vet (hopefully tomorrow, naturally she’s not in today) we need to try this. We are basically at a loss with no other options. You folks here have been just amazing. So glad I stumbled on this site.

    • Hershey's Mom

      Hi Nicole, something you can change right now is the food. If you take the time to go through the previous comments on here, you will find different to very similar foods that various people are using. As well, for my 40lb dog, she was on 25mg of Prednisone until we slowly weaned her off of it completely. Wishing you and your dog the best recovery!

      • Nicole

        Thanks guys. We have been trying hills id food, other low fat high protein meats, and sweet potato so far, and some turkey. He seems to want or refuse something different each day. His protein level was at 2 from bloodwork done on Wednesday. With the diet he’s done a bit better with less diarrhea and less vomitting. The vet wasn’t in today, but tomorrow we are going to tell her we will sign a release or whatever for the prednisone. His littermate has responded wonderfully to the diet and steroid, we have to believe with shared Dna he will too. We did end up getting the metrodiazole and some Pepcid in him which I think made slight improvement in his appetite this evening. I also ordered powder spirulina online as I couldn’t find any form of it locally. Thank you so much for the continued support and encouragement. It’s truly everything right now. I come back here to pick myself up after crying over him refusing meds, foods, etc. best support group in the world!!

    • Amy

      Like so many others here, my dog was too sick to endure a biopsy and my vet prescribed medication based on symptoms alone. I think it’s completely unreasonable that your vet is insisting on one. My dog never even had an ultrasound. An albumin level of 1.4 and bad diarrhea was all my vet needed to see to put her on prednisone right away.

  • Nicole

    Sorry, I keep thinking of new questions–does it sound typical for a dog to have to be on metrodiazole alone for about 2 weeks before starting the prednisone? Our vet said the pred is a “last ditch effort” and we need to be sure there’s no parasite there first. I’m just trying to make sure we aren’t waiting too long to start prednisone. 2 weeks would be Thursday—, and we got his bloodwork back confirming his proteins were at a 2, and white blood cells were very high. Thanks friends!!

    • Mandy

      IMHO, don’t wait. If they’ve already done lab work for parasites, they can stop the prednisone. The sooner they get the inflammation under control the sooner your baby will start to feel better. Even with all the meds Finny was on, it still took weeks before she was anywhere near normal. And prednisone was not the last ditch effort – it was the primary effort along with the metronidazole. The cyclosporin didn’t get added til it was clear the the prednisone wasn’t going to work by itself. That being said, diet is key!

    • Louie's mom

      I agree with Mandy. Some vets really don’t seem to understand how time-critical it is to get the inflammation under control. I believe these vets are operating under the old assumption that CIL is impossible to treat or manage and that there’s no point. If I were you I would be trying to get him to a teaching hospital or an veterinary internal medicine specialist.

      Why don’t you try this link? http://find.vetspecialists.com/ Search for an internal medicine for small animals. Make an appointment today for as soon as possible, even if you have to drive for an hour to get there.

    • Amy

      I agree with everyone else – prednisone is not a last ditch effort. My vet started my dog on it immediately.

  • Mandy

    All dogs are different but it seems to me basic treatment is the same for most CIL dogs. Honestly, I feel the “stamp my feet and throw a fit” part of me coming out.

  • Mandy

    I am really curious about the littermate also having the disease. That is the first thing I asked my vet when Finny was diagnosed and he didn’t seem to think it was genetic in this case. But Jasper has chronic pancreatitis – it is not caused by high fat diet (he’s been on the same diet Finny is on) but is stress induced. Is CIL a genetic thing in Yorkies? (I know it can me in Wheaton Terriers).

    • Louie's mom

      IMO it is obviously a genetic thing in Yorkies, as they are well known to have a disproportionate number of CIL cases in the breed. Any time you have a large number in one breed, there simply has to be a genetic component.

      • Amy

        Louie’s mom, I never noticed that there’s more yorkies posting here – that’s so interesting, but I haven’t kept track of the details the way you have. I have noticed practically every breed under the sun has posted here – big dogs, small dogs, male and female. This disease does not seem to discriminate.

        • Louie's mom

          I’ve been reading that it’s hereditary in Yorkies ever since I first started researching the disease. We see a lot of it here in Bostons, too, but I don’t think they’ve established a link there (yet).

          Here are a few links that mention it for Yorkies:

          http://pets.thenest.com/lymphangiectasia-yorkie-dogs-12246.html
          http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2013/05/20/lymphangiectasia.aspx
          http://www.goldenrayyorkies.com/PLE.html
          http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_intestinal_lymphangiectasia.htmlhttps://en.wikivet.net/Lymphangiectasia

          Whenever I see a Yorkie owner posting here, I’m never surprised :( Love the breed, but would never own one because I could not take another heartache of CIL.

          What I really don’t understand are the Norwegian Lundehund breeders, since every single dog in that breed succumbs to this disease. How could you breed a dog with a 100% chance of developing that condition? It’s insane.

          • Nicole

            Hi Louie’s mom–I’m looking for another quick but if advice. You may remember my Bailey ‘s littermate has this disease, and we believe he has the same testing showed a protein level of 2 and high white blood cells. I’ve finally gotten an appt for tomorrow to try and get vet to start prednisone. In the last 4-5 days, he has only thrown up twice, had one formed BM, and one watery, nothing else. He’s urinating regularly. I’m struggling here because my husband doesn’t want to wait one more day and wants me to get some medication from his littermate. I just don’t know about this. I know it’s technically unethical–would you do this in my shoes? Feeling desperate :( I don’t know if he’s just responding a little to the improved diet–he’s eating 2-3 very small meals a day and been on metrodiazole 2 weeks tomorrow. Thank you for suggesting Pepcid, we feel that’s helped him as well. Thank you for your thoughts.

    • Nicole

      Hi Mandy–

      I’ve read a lot of studies over the last few days, and def saw in a few of them that they believe there’s genetic correlation. It seems pretty wild to me that within 2 months of each other–these 2 dogs /littermates develop almost identical symptoms. My brother who has the littermate, had been a godsend so far guiding me initially with diet and good reading to educate myself. One study I read said something like almost 50% of yorkies will have this disease manifest in them over the course of their lives. I love my baby boy like a human child—but knowing what I know now, as much as I adore the breed, don’t think I could ever have another either. It’s just more heartache every day. My poor 4 yr old daughter–who just lost her live-in gramma and is still recovering from that, keeps asking me if Santa can bring Bailey magic medicine to make her “brother” all better. We’re trying baby, I keep telling her. :(

  • peter

    My Makita was put on Pred right away, and a pretty high dose at that. In my case, she had gained over 15lbs of fluid and was having trouble breathing – the Pred was needed to combat the edema and ascites. Each dog presents differently with different issues and in varying degrees of acuteness. In my case, if we hadnt gotten the swelling down, she would have died from congestive heart failure.

    As for the endoscopy/biopsy, she was too sick to have survived the procedure. Ultrasound and testing provided the confirmation. Ultrasound was $350

    • Nicole

      Thanks Peter. We’re going to demand prednisone soon as we can get vet to contact us back. She’s back in on Thursday–though I’ve requested the staff have her call me sooner, I don’t know if she will. Anyway, Thursday will make 2 weeks solid on the metrodiazole which she wanted him to complete before prednisone as well. I have to say, it may be fluke, but we think we see slight improvement with the diet, Pepcid, and probiotic in these last couple days. I’m wondering though about his bowel movements. The vet told me previously not to worry he was constipated on the metrodiazole, but he’s had one mostly solid small bm, and one bout of watery stool on Sunday, and that’s it. He’s also vomitted only twice since Friday—hoping it’s the changes we made helping so far.

      • Nicole

        So we just came back from the vet, armed with prednisone and more metrodiazole. She made me sign a waiver stating this route is my choice–and says that we can either wait and see if he continues to be stable or improve on the metro, or start the prednisone. She says there’s a risk the prednisone could make him much worse, and that’s a decision we need to make. Just so unsure of what to do here. Do we wait, or not waste time and get the steroid in him. His weight has stayed the same this last week, but she thinks that’s because there does seem to be a small amount of fluid in him. I’m tending to think the stability we’re seeing is just due to the diet. I don’t know–were so stuck. Any thoughts are very appreciated.

        • Louie's mom

          Does the vet tell you why she thinks the prednisone could cause a problem? If she suspects Cushing’s disease, I can understand this, but the diagnostics for Cushing’s are very different, as are the majority of symptoms. It could also be a problem if she suspects pancreatitis, which is a very serious disorder sometimes thought to be linked with steroid use.

          My Louie turned out to have Cushing’s as well as CIL, and we never gave him steroids, HOWEVER, having Cushing’s essentially meant he was making plenty of steroid on his own and wouldn’t need it. I think the worry over pancreatitis is a more reasonable one, but she needs to tell you that, and there are tests for pancreatitis that she should be conducting and sharing with you, as well, if that’s what she thinks.

          • Louie's mom

            Because IF he has pancreatitis, he needs treatment for that ASAP.

          • Drugstore Dog

            If the CIL is not primary, and there is Idiopathic Pancreatic Insufficiency, this is actually good news. This can be treated with Pancreatic Enzymes, digestive enzymes, which can help correct some things alone. This is important to find out and treat, but it means the pathways are different, which means the long term outcome can be much better.

          • Nicole

            No, she had never said Cushing’s, and suspected pancreatitis before bloodwork, then ruled it out. We made the decision to start prednisone today after signing a waiver saying we refused further testing and understand the possible consequences. We are also continuing metrodiazole. It’s o my been about 3 hours, and I know it’s probably impossible, but I swear he’s already more lively. We’re not religious folks really, but we are sticking with this decision now and putting it in gods hands I guess. Praying prednisone is our answer.

          • Drugstore Dog

            The prednisone is going to make him very hungry! I am curious as to WHY you had to sign a waiver that you will do no more testing? What about lab work? How will you know if his protein and cholesterol levels improve or if the prednisone is causing problems without lab work?

            You really need a low fat diet with a novel protein. Depending on what types of foods he has eaten in the past will determine the direction to go, because you want to feed him something he has never had before. If he has had chicken and beef, you want to stay away from those protein sources. We fed 5-6 small meals a day to help with fat absorption, if you can do that, it will help. Your vet should have prescribed a hydrolyzed protein diet OR a novel protein diet, and definitely a low fat diet. The hydrolyzed protein is a smaller molecule that is easier to absorb in the inflamed gut, and will help to increase the protein level. Once inflammation is under control, either hydrolyzed or novel protein should be good diets, so the key is finding one that your dog likes. If you want to feed something like chicken, it should be hydrolyzed so that the digestive system does not recognize the chicken as being chicken. Here is some good information that might help explain this: http://www.2ndchance.info/homemadediets-novelproteinVsHydrozd.pdf

          • Nicole

            Thanks so much for the reading–that was very helpful. I wasn’t getting the novel protein part before. The waiver I signed was saying that I refused the biopsy/endoscopy and was choosing this treatment route as a last resort. She wasn’t comfortable prescribing the steroid with only bloodwork results to go on. We chose this as his littermate has it, and has responded really well to prednisone and diet, and we are just out of funds. She wanted us to know that if by some crazy chance it is something else, the prednisone could make him decline quickly. We felt we waited long enough trying only metrodiazole, and he couldn’t afford to lose much more weight. Thank you all for the meal advice. We’re going to try and work our way up to 3-4 small meals a day. And tomortow I’m going on an exotic meat hunt :) he doesn’t seem like he will accept anything in a can meant for a dog, so for now anyway, I’ve gotta find the people version. Hoping he changes his spoiled ways when his appetite returns some.

        • Drugstore Dog

          Nicole, one other thing about the prednisone. It is important to start high and come down. Starting at low doses and going up, is not the way to aggressively treat this disease. Trying to increase prednisone doses to get a grip on the inflammation will not be successful, and then when the higher dose prednisone is needed, it will not be of any value. It sounds like he needs the prednisone to decrease inflammation of the dilated lacteals and the swelling in the intestines, but there may be a way to not go as high with the steroids. Definitely continue the metronidazole, but ask about instead of high dose prednisone, ask about giving him 15mg or prednisone and mycophenolate, which is an immunosuppressant with a good safety profile compared to the others used. Then once he is stabilized and his appetite is good, hopefully you can gradually decrease the prednisone. The key will be with diet! Finding a protein, like kangaroo, ostrich or rabbit, wit potato flakes or quinoa (if no gluten allergy), and that may help. Even a bite of a cracker can trigger relapse so finding something he likes, and the prednisone will help that, is key to getting him into remission.

          • Nicole

            Thank u so much. She did start him on 15mg prednisone daily for 10 days, then cutting back to 7.5 for 10 days. We are also continuing the metrodiazole–he’s currently been doing 1/2 tab 2x daily. We’ve been trying so hard experimenting with diff types of protein, thus far all we can get him to accept is ground up bits of London broil–which I grill then squeeze any remaining fat I can out of it. It’s very difficult getting any carb into him–he accepted sweet potato once, and a tiny bit of pasta with potato on it also, but this is few and far between. I’ve gotten him to eat a few peas here and there too. We just gave first dose of prednisone and are holding our breaths we made the right choice.

          • Linda Campbell

            Nicole, the prednisone works fairly quickly, the FIRST time, but be prepared that if immunosuppression isn’t sufficient, when you begin to taper the prednisone, you may begin to see symptoms again, and you cannot go back up on the prednisone, or you will wind up in a situation where prednisone will not work for him, and that is your life-saving drug. It is critical that you stick strictly to the diet plan and no dietary indiscretions, and I really think you have to get him off of the beef. He really needs a prescription hydrolyzed protein right now, or I’m afraid that in less than a month, you are going to be right back to where you started. And, not knowing your vet, I’m not sure, but it really does seem that she is not very experienced with this disease and how important it is to be aggressive to get the animal into remission. This happened to us in the beginning and our personal vet put our dog on 10mg prednisone, which helped a little, but the diarrhea waxed and waned, as this disease will do, and once we decreased the pred, that’s when we wound up being referred to an internist. But, sadly, we wasted valuable time with our personal vet, whom we love! But, she just didn’t see where we were headed early enough because of lack of experience. My Brittany Spaniel was put on 40mg of prednisone, the maximum dose actually, for 17 weeks before we began to taper. And the prednisone takes a toll on their appearance, causes the sunken in temples in addition to the muscle wasting of the disease. Seventeen weeks may have been too long, because she wound up with outrageously high liver enzymes, so when we tapered, we had to taper quicker than we really should have, and quite possibly this quick taper was responsible for her relapse. I’m not saying your boy should be on a higher dose, because 15mg sounds appropriate for his weight. But it does concern me that you are going to begin a taper after 10 days without another immunosuppressant to continue with a low dose prednisone. Mycophenolate is being used, more and more in these dogs, and so many veterinarians are not familiar with this drug. Our personal vet was not familiar with the drug, while the GI internist uses it frequently. Our vet learned about mycophenolate through my girl’s treatment, and she now has several animals on the drug and all of those she is treating are doing very well, all because she learned to get on top of this quickly and treat aggressively early on. The beauty of mycophenolate is that it has a better safety profile than some of the other commonly used immunosuppressants. I also worry about your boy having a decreased appetite once you begin to decrease the prednisone. And initially hitting the inflammation hard with prednisone is really still the best way to get a grip on the protein loss, but once you decrease the prednisone, there needs to be something else in place as immunosuppressant to continue suppressing the inflammation, which will come back. You need a good 6 months of immunosuppressant before stopping. Also, I would ask about continuing the 15mg prednisone until you get him on a steady diet of the same thing every single meal, every day, with no changes going on. Everytime you make a change, he is likely to have inflammation because his intestines are being exposed to something different. Did your vet prescribe a commercial low fat/high protein diet? If not, I think it is very important that you find someone who knows about this disease…I know this is hard. I lived a nightmare for 12 months before my girl died from this disease.

          • Nicole

            Thank u for all this Linda. Yes, she prescribed hills id, but we have t been able to get him to eat it yet. He took a couple bites of the dry food last night for first time (we leave a small handful in his dish) and ate some of the canned only once, now refuses it. We’re trying desperately to establish a consistent food diet for him–so far, he’s doing well with 3 of the same meals in a row of buffalo meat and sweet potato. I’d be happy to continue making this for him, but would feel better if when his appetite is back, if we could get him on just the hills id, since I’m sure the nutrition in it is much more balanced. That being said, I don’t know–because I don’t want to change his diet up again and disturb his system as you mentioned. So after counting last night, I realized she only gave us enough medication for ten days anyway–so I will call before that runs out and ask her about not weaning so soon, and possibly adding the mycophenalate. My sincere thanks for being so detailed.

          • Amy

            Nicole, you can continue feeding your buffalo meat and sweet potato forever, using a recipe and supplements from balanceIt.com. I’m still cooking for my dog three years after her diagnosis. But it’s definitely more time-consuming and more effort.

          • Nicole

            Thanks again Amy. Is this the supplement you are referring to? They have quite a few products–I don’t want to buy the wrong thing…

            https://secure.balanceit.com/marketplace2.2/details.php?i=5&cc=

          • Amy

            Nicole, yes, that’s correct, but you can’t just buy it. You need a prescription from your vet. Then, you use the website to compile a balanced recipe based on the CIL diagnosis (it will be low-fat). You’ll choose sweet potato for your carb source and buffalo meat for your protein source. The recipe will tell you how much to mix in of each and also how much supplement to use.

  • Drugstore Dog

    With IBD & CIL, typically on endoscopy, the findings can be consistent with a pathogen, possibly colonized and unable to detect with biopsy. For that reason metronidazole is often given, not only to cover an pathogens, like a strain of Clostridium, but also because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Metronidazole has good anti-inflammatory activity, and sometimes just increasing from twice daily to 3 times daily can stop a diarrhea episode. So, even if no pathogen has been detected, the metronidazole has a place in treatment. We needed all the anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressant she could tolerate, and when I backed down to only one dose of metronidazole a day, the loose stools would start back. It is a mainstay of treatment until remission usually.

  • Nicole

    Hi again! So we’ve started prednisone today, and are now wondering if anyone can share thoughts about how often we should be feeding our guy. He’s a 14 lb yorkie–normally about 17lbs, but never fat, he’s just got a larger build. Right now we’re doing 2, sometimes (rarely) 3 very small meals a day–maybe a couple tablespoons of food. So far we’ve been trying to respond to him when he comes looking for food, as were so afraid he will get sick if we give too much. I guess we’re trying to determine what’s normal? Thank u all!!

    • Amy

      It’s not impossible that your dog is responding to the prednisone this quickly, in my opinion. My dog had a couple back injuries long before she ever had CIL and the prednisone was like a miracle drug. She would go from not being able to stand on her hind legs to pepping right up by the end of the day.
      I think 2 to 3 meals a day is fine.

    • Hershey's Mom

      Hi Nicole, I feed my dogs four times a day as it is easier on their stomaches. They both have high metabolisms so they burn through their food really quickly anyways and throw up on an empty stomach. But with dogs with CIL, it is easier on their stomach with smaller meal portions. I have littermates too and only the girl has Lymphangiectasia. If one of them doesn’t eat, I take up the food, put it in the fridge and try again in another hour and a half later. It happens to them sometimes. Hershey started off on a “white diet” bit now they get white potatoes, and half portion of sweet potatoes (compared to more white potatoes as I find that sweet potatoes makes their stool looser but they need the Vitamin A), gluten-free free white rice, Kale for Vitamin K, egg whites, cottage cheese, and some Royal Canon dry Vegetarian Kibble. Each meal gets a small serving of melted Coconut oIL and every morning with small serving of Omega-3 Fish Oil from Nutra Sea (Smokey Meat Flavour). Hope this helps!

      • Nicole

        Hi Hershey’s Mom,

        Thank u so much for the advice. Can you tell me a little about the coconut oil and fish oil? I feel like I read somewhere here someone say something like, “I’m weary of any vet recommending coconut oil right away..” Not sure if this is controversial or what? I’m just thinking any kind of fatty flavor we can give his food will spike his interest. He’s never been into fish and won’t look at tilapia sadly. I’ve found a local meat market that has a wide array of exotic meats, so I’m excited to go there tomorrow. Thank you so much–don’t know what I’d do without my newfound “Louie-family.” The hubs and I are talking all day, bouncing questions off each other, which usually ends in, “go ask a dog mom/dad on that site!” :)

        • Hershey's Mom

          I posted the link about coconut oil for dogs in my previous posts. http://www.dogingtonpost.com/benefits-of-coconut-oil-for-dogs/ The trick is start with low, tiny amounts and slowly work your way up. I also divide the dosage across all 4 meals. Some others didn’t have much luck with it. I use the coconut oil as it is a medium chain triglyceride so you can try another oil and if you take the time to read back through others posts about recommended foods you might find something that works. I would recommend trying one ingredient at time to see how your dog reacts. It takes a few days for their body to adjust to different food changes and you don’t want to bombard their stomach with all different things right away causing more stomach irritation. Remember that each time you introduce a new food, dogs work best with slow transitioning of the diet. Start small and work your way up and give some time for their bodies to adjust (unless there is a serious reaction like an allergy). I would first start with white potato and with low-fat cottage cheese for it’s protein. Maybe a tablespoon on top of the food. Try that for a few days. If your dog is on Pred, have lots of water on hand as well and keep the water fresh. The fish oil (smokey meat flavour) I have just added recently and the dosage is once a day so I give it in the morning. But like I said, any form of medium chain triglyceride is vitally important and has been proven also to work for humans with lymphangiectasia. This helps to transport and absorb vitamins to the body. Find one that works for your dog. My dogs love the coconut oil and others have used palm oil.
          http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-915-medium%20chain%20triglycerides%20(mcts).aspx?activeingredientid=915&activeingredientname=medium%20chain%20triglycerides%20(mcts)
          http://www.researchgate.net/publication/24434144_Evidence_for_Medium_Chain_Triglycerides_in_the_Treatment_of_Primary_Intestinal_Lymphangiectasia

    • Hershey's Mom

      Btw, my dogs are allergic to chicken. Anything chicken flavoured or hydrolzyed or whatever! They do not eat anything where it has the word chicken or poultry on it. I find that we saw results right away when we started the “white diet” of white potatoes, egg whites, low-fat cottage cheese and gluten free white rice. Everything else I added in slowly. I find that rice is a good binder and the white potatoes keep their stool firm but that being said, not all dogs do well with all foods. What may work for one, may not work for another! Good luck!

  • Drugstore Dog

    I have often wondered if a “balanced diet” really is what we want in these guys with CIL, because to have a balanced diet, there would be more fat in the diet. I really think that the nutritionist that designed my girl’s diet was focused more on balanced and novel protein, but really did not remove enough fat from her diet. They need enough to make Vitamin K, but really should stay below 6-7% fat in the diet. The fat seems to be responsible for the flare ups unless there is a gluten component involved.

    • Louie's mom

      I had that problem with the recipe I received from the nutritionist at UC Davis. It still contained far too much fat to treat the condition. Back then, the prevalent thinking was that these dogs wouldn’t survive long, anyway, and I believe there was little attention paid to dietary means for treating the disease, outside of the prescription diets. If the drugs didn’t work, they didn’t seem to have much hope.

      I’m not sure how far vet med has some since then, but I hope they are beginning to see the importance of dietary restriction of fat as a crucial arm of treatment. It certainly was for us.

      • Mandy Bennett

        My vet was on the fat elimination from the first day – the question was, how much fat could Finny tolerate. She was on the RC bison/potato food (it is low fat) but it wasn’t enough. While most of her numbers were good, her triglycerides were through the roof. Cutting back even more on the fat took care of that.

      • Linda Campbell

        I totally agree! They focus on the high protein, but the fat is not addressed as critically, and it really is critical to improving the inflammation and improving those dilated lacteals. I wonder if the veterinary nutritionist are even taught much about this, but rather focus more on skin allergies and balanced diets. This prompts me to investigate that further. Maddie was placed on z/D for felines, due to the higher protein. When I got home with this and researched it, I found that it also had higher fat. And we were in the middle of the most horrific relapse that led to her death. I feel confident that a minimal fat diet would have still allowed her to make Vitamin K, but would not have bombarded her system to the point that she could not absorb the fat. It is all biochemistry, and when something goes wrong, there are so many pathways and chemicals that MUST be addressed to get a grip on the downhill slide. The drugs are pretty much useless if they cannot be absorbed. That’s what happens when there is so much inflammation, total malabsorption. The diarrhea ensues, then even more malabsorption, and neither drugs or nutrients can be absorbed. Not only is there protein malabsorption, but there is protein leaking at the cellular level, back into the gut, and additional protein loss from the circulation. I asked many times about hospitalizing Maddie to administer IV Albumin, but apparently there has not been a canine Albumin produced that shows much improvement, and there is not much advantage to this over diet and meds. I think it really is probably one of the worst diseases for animals. With people, there is reasoning about what to eat and people can make themselves eat what is best for them, or even get TPN, but even TPN will not necessarily fix the problem…maybe a temporary reprieve from the inevitable, and it is outrageously expensive.

  • Nicole

    Hi friends,

    Wondering when exactly some of you began tapering prednisone. We know we’re not there yet, and it’s supposed to be when they are stabilized and doing well–but I’m just wondering how to know when that time will be. Should I expect him to get back to how he was before he got sick? Or should I expect a new normal as in, ” this is as good as it’s gonna get?” I’m sure this varies for each dog, but any insight is appreciated!! Oh–we also started cerenia last night. So far he hasn’t done his usual morning vommitting, so we’re hopeful about this drug? Anyone else been using this long-term?

    • Linda Campbell

      We waited a little too long to start tapering prednisone, and were at the maximum dose for about 17 weeks. Then, when her liver enzymes were out the roof, they had to taper quicker than we had planned. This is why it is so important to get the diet combination down, with less than 6% total fat, and not changing any foods very soon at the onset of all of this. You want to feed exactly the same thing every day, divided into several meals a day to prevent GI overload of fat. The only treats I would offer would be frozen green beans or carrots, but best to just give the kibble you are using as treats. No extra food, no changes at all! It’s so hard to understand that the least crumb of the wrong thing can trigger relapse and cost the dog his/her life, and I know this first hand. And there is no way to know what that wrong thing might be, so you have to stick strictly to the food that works. It is so so hard to find something they will eat, and is good for this disease, but imperative to their existence! So, I say all this because you really cannot decrease the prednisone until you have all these “ducks in a row”, so to speak. BECAUSE, once you begin to taper prednisone, his appetite will decrease for what he has been enjoying. You may have to let him skip a meal or two until he is hungry enough to eat, but never feed him other foods or human foods without discussing someone who can advise you because this is a critical point in the disease. Typically, you want to keep the dog on prednisone for about 6 months, tapering down to the lowest manageable dose. Again, this is why it is important to have that other immunosuppressant at work, like the mycophenolate, because as you taper the prednisone, you still have the mycophenolate working to suppress the inflammatory process. The dose should be cut by 1/3 when you begin to taper. Until you have the diet firmly in place, and another immunosuppressant, I worry that decreasing prednisone is going to lead to a relapse at this point. I would say minimum 6 weeks at the highest dose prescribed before tapering, but again, it is very scary to decrease prednisone when that’s the only immunosuppressant he is on, and when you taper prednisone, if there is a relapse, it is very hard to get a grip on the inflammation with prednisone again so soon. So, in a nutshell, I would talk to the vet about mycophenolate in addition to the pred for at least 4-6 weeks together before beginning a very slow taper in prednisone.

    • Amy

      I think my vet started tapering my dog after about three or four weeks. And then she continued to taper down every three weeks after that. It was about six months before we tried to taper it down to one pill every other day. But her albumin started to go down again so we concluded she’ll need a daily low-dose pill for the rest of her life. After about two years, we switched to budesonide. For a while I noticed I could skip a pill once in a while and she’d still be okay, but if I skip two days in a row, she loses her appetite (sometimes I would just forget to give it to her). This week I noticed that if I skip a pill just one day she loses her appetite. Other than that, she’s pretty much her same self that she was before this disease, but her case is fairly mild. She once got into my purse and ate a whole little bag of Hannukka gelt and she didn’t even relaps or show any symptoms at all. But I know some dogs would go into a complete tail spin from that.

      • Nicole

        Thanks Amy. Reading all these slightly different accounts is really helpful. We are approaching the 2 weeks in on prednisone mark, and I’m getting very nervous thinking about tapering.

        • Amy

          Don’t be. You should only taper by a small amount and keep testing his albumin along the way. The nice thing is that the blood tests get a lot cheaper once they know what they’re looking for.

        • Drugstore Dog

          Nicole, hope you don’t mind me commenting on this. I know the prednisone is very scary, but he really has not been on the prednisone very long. Any decrease/taper in dose should be based on the albumin, total protein and cholesterol values, and you should not be tapering prednisone until that is stable. If you believe that your vet does not understand this part of the treatment, I strongly suggest that you find a vet and even an internist if you are close to a vet school, so that your boy gets the very best treatment. We found that it was even less expensive to go to the university than to our personal vet, if you are concerned about expense. They go over absolutely all costs up front and make sure you are comfortable with everything suggested. I worried about hurting our vets feelings, but she was good enough to know what she did not know, and referred us to a specialist, and my dog would have died very soon had we not gotten her to the experts on this disease right away. Actually, we wasted too much time with our personal vet, thinking metronidazole and a low dose prednisone would correct the problem, and she was being under dosed, so it took much more to calm her diseased GI tract. I learned through the internist that vets in clinics, typically are not familiar with the dosing necessary to get this disease into remission. As a pharmacist, I was terrified of prednisone because of all the possible side effects and complications, but in the case of IBD, CIL, and EPI, it is necessary for survival. I still say, before you taper that prednisone, you need another immunosuppressant at work, such as mycophenolate (least side effects), cyclosporin or azathioprine, because once you begin to taper prednisone, his appetite may decrease, causing much stress for you that he is not eating. This often leads to owners wanting to change the diet, and then you are at a high risk of relapse. Again, the taper should only be 25-30% at the most when you decrease doses, and at each level staying at that dose for 2-4 weeks, making sure no relapses. I went through the worst of this disease with my girl, in the end she was in Critical Care because she could not absorb enough fat to make Vitamin K, and wound up with a fast GI bleed, and in shock. Her relapse went from normal labwork to the worst it had ever been with hypocalcemia, hypomagnesemia and a 9 pounds weight loss, in just 2 weeks, before she succumbed to this disease in intensive care. I firmly believe that the stress of Thanksgiving guests and a possible dietary indiscretion of eating a dinner roll is what triggered her downhill slide. (Make sure all Thanksgiving guests know not to feed him anything!!) We wound up placing an esophagus tube to feed and give meds, but it was too late because she was already losing blood. I wanted her to be hospitalized to receive blood and colloids, but even the university vets felt they could get it all under control by treating her out patient, keeping her calm at home, and switching her to chlorambucil, tylosin, injectable steroids, and pancreatic enzymes. Her heart was strong and everything else about her was extremely healthy, so we did everything possible to save her. She died from fluid overload from the IVs, blood and plasma that was given to her to stabilize her blood pressure. It was a nightmare that makes me cry every time I think about what she went through, rallying back to health, only to quickly relapse so bad. We did so much to get her better, and she worked so hard to get better! She was scheduled to start physical therapy, just 2 weeks after Christmas, to start building back her strength. Even with all that, there are some things I would have insisted on and would have done differently, and that’s why I share what I can, to try to help others going through this awful disease. I understand your fears, and hope this helps a little.

        • Drugstore Dog

          Nicole, just wondering how you all made it through the holidays and if you have started tapering the prednisone yet. Hope all is going well and you are seeing improvement.

          • Nicole

            Hi Amy!!
            Thanks so much for checking in! We are really happy with our little guy’s progress. He’s still not his crazy normal self–can’t do stairs anymore–but he is happy and has an appetite, and we can deal with that. About 2 weeks ago we tapered from 3 prednisone tabs a day, down to 2, and so far he seems to be doing really well with it. Our vet wants us taper down now to only 1 tab a day, but we’re not sure. We feel like it may be too fast, and would like to continue this dose for another couple weeks first. I guess we’ll cross that bridge soon. Any thoughts on this? How are you guys doing??

          • Amy

            Yes, it was Drugstore Dog (Linda) who checked in, not me, but I’m glad to hear your dog is doing well. My vet only tapered my dog’s prednisone down once every three or four weeks. Two weeks seems too fast to me, but I’m not a vet – it’s just my opinion based on my own experiences with my dog.

          • Nicole

            Hi again–it had been awhile and I just reread some of your previous advice, and feel good about decision of waiting to taper. Our vet also wanted us to make the initial taper from 3 a day down to only 1 day, and my husband and I both decided that was just too much at once. She has told us to go ahead and increase if what she suggests seems to not affect him well, so she’s supportive in that manner at least. I think we will def stay at his current dose for a few more weeks, then talk to her about the mycophenalate perhaps before we taper further. He does continue to take the metrodiazole daily, and we have been using spirulina powder and Balance IT vitamin supplement to his buffalo meat and potato diet. We feel we have come so far, and are not willing to risk his health by doing a drastic taper. We are so grateful for all the support from people like you–we truly didn’t believe we would have him for the holidays and I really believe it’s you all here who gave us the knowledge and support we needed to bring our baby back to health :)

          • Drugstore Dog

            Hi, Nicole, I’m not sure why, but my name for the site is Drugstore Dog, but my name is Linda. I think for some reason, my posts have been under both names…I must have done something wrong on signing in at some point. Anyway, I am a pharmacist, and had a dear dog with this horrible disease, so I was fortunate to be able to be very involved with decision making on my girl’s treatment and especially her drug therapy. I do think that the taper should be no more than 1/3 of the total dose, and that is pretty clear in the literature regarding prednisone tapers, and especially with CIL and IBD in dogs. So if you are tapering from the maximum starting dose of 40mg daily, to 30mg, to 20mg, to 15mg, etc. If you are starting at 20mg, then the next dose would be 15mg, then 10mg, then 7.5mg, etc. You want to taper slowly enough that the adrenal glands will have a chance to “wake back up” after being suppressed. Tapering too quickly can create a situation in which there isn’t even function of the adrenal glands and that is an entirely different problem that you don’t want to have to deal with. The goal is to hit the inflammation hard with the steroid initially to suppress the inflammatory response, get the protein, cholesterol and B12 levels within normal ranges. Then begin the gradual taper. It sounds like things are going well for you guys and you have found the right diet to help him. I definitely think that starting the mycophenolate would be extremely beneficial to start while he is beginning the prednisone taper, to maintain good immunosuppression. You could continue the mycophenolate for about 6 months and hopefully with the prednisone regimen, he can get into remission. That’s the long-term goal! Hang in there and Happy New Year!!

          • Nicole

            Thank you so much Linda, for the tapering advice and all your other help. I’m sorry–I think I was reading comments from the both of you, and forgot it was 2 different people when I came back a bit later to reply. I am so glad we followed our hearts and own research and did not taper to drastically. Happy Bew Year to you as well!

  • Linda Campbell

    One other thing, Nicole….when you DO begin to taper the prednisone, I would ask the vet about giving the metronidazole at least 3 times daily for several days after each taper. You shouldn’t taper any more often than every 2 weeks either, so the first week after each dose decrease, you would want to give the metronidazole three times daily for that week, then go back down to twice daily until the next dose decrease of prednisone. This way you will get extra antiinflammatory action from the metronidazole also.

  • Sasha's Mom

    Hello, everyone — this is an emergency, and I would so love to hear from you.

    Sasha is back at the vet overnight, and things are dire. What I would love to hear from you is What should I be asking for from the vet? The vet may give Sasha her third plasma transfusion in a month as well as meds for the diarrhea and fluids. Are there nutrients I should request? Anything out of the ordinary that you feel might help? Or even ordinary that we’re overlooking?

    Sasha is a 12-year-old Cairn mix who was 21 lbs when this all started in May, and today she is 10.1 lbs. She’s on Prednisone, Famotidine, Budesonide, Sucralfate, Amoxicillin and Metronidazole. She just had her second B12 injection Saturday. She’s had two courses of plasma to get her albumin up. She’s almost at normal levels for her protein but her muscle wasting is pretty bad. She can barely walk but is still making it to the puppy pads. She can’t get up from a laying down position. Last week, we took her off Sucralfate and an instance of diarrhea became a week of diarrhea with some vomiting and now we are in this situation of perhaps having to decide her fate. I really feel that this is Sasha’s last chance to stabilize; I can’t keep putting her through this.

    I’m grateful for any and all advice and thank you so very much.
    Cheryl

    • Linda Campbell

      If she is vomiting, I would ask the vet to check her pancreatic enzymes. It is highly possible that she has Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency. This would be a good thing, because it may be corrected with Pancrease (pancreatic enzymes).

  • Spot's family

    Thank you, as always, for your knowledge and help in dealing with this crazy disease.

    The thing we are struggling with right now with Spot is his weight. Albumin is at the low end of normal (exactly where it has been for 2 full years) but he has lost over 20% of his body weight in the last few months. His diet is largely the same and he is getting a third feeding a day (50% increase in food). His diet was not balanced because we had a very hard time finding a mix or supplement he could tolerate. For the last month, we have begun to introduce Nu-Vet supplement which is the first he could tolerate. (He is still only getting 50% of the daily dose but I’m continuing to increase and have seen improvements in some health factors but not weight.) Have others experienced anything like this (weight loss when albumin and poop are normal)?

  • Louies Mom

    We have a new space for our CIL discussions! Please join us at http://louiethelovemuffin.com/forum/.
    I hope everyone who participates here on a regular basis will take the time to join so that we can stand as a united force helping new owners cope with this disease.

    Thanks for being here!

  • meiska

    Hello
    Very interested to read all these posts.
    My dog is suspected to have IL but we cannot risk a biopsy because of the side effects, plus my vet does not think it will change the treatment. He takes 2.5 daily of predeslone. Byron my 9 year old labrador has had diahorea which starting when he was four. I have changed his diet to a low fat high protein, but like many people do not know what he may be reacting too. He eats things like chicken, beef and rabbit bur seems to get a reaction too them. So I change him around again.
    I have tried Hills ID wet food that gave him diahorea. So he has chappie canned complete and a home cooked diet, but its all so confusing as don’t know wether he need low protein or high. He has a blood test every 3 weeks and he his borderline low for protein. He seems to get a flare up once a month, so not sure if the fat builds up, despite my attempts to keep it as low as possible.
    I have been trying to managing this for about 18 months

    • Mandy

      Meiska, my Finny did not have a biopsy either. The blood work (particulalry the protein, albumin, and the calcium levels), her history with the diarrhea, and the ultrasound (there is a distinctive image of the intestines that shows up on ultrasound of dogs with CIL) basically confirmed CIL. It has been over 4 years since she was diagnosed. I buy Rayne Nutrition’s Kangaroo and sweet potato kibble and canned food. The fat content is very, very low – they have to get authorization from your vet to send it to you. This food is specifically for dogs with intestinal issues and for pancreatitis. She is also on prednisone, cyclosporin, and metronidazole (rotating them so she gets one of each every three days). The worst thing she has is an occasional tummy problem – I give her quarter or half of a pepcid and within a couple of hours she is ready to eat again. Honestly, this site is what helped me through the worst of the disease right at the beginning. The nice thing about the Rayne nutrition dog food is it is balanced the way it needs to be for dogs with these diseases. I was tempted to experiment with others but decided to not mess with something that has been working (I tried the Royal Canin low fat canned food which both dogs just basically refuse to eat).

      Has Byron had an ultrasound done?

  • meiska

    Hello Mandy,
    Thanks so much for your response. Byron’s had a bout of diarrhoea off and on for two weeks. I just do not know what to give him. The vet said try Pork ?? But it is so difficult to get low fat.
    Byron has had an ultrasound a year about 18 months ago, which did not show anything abnormal. They then tried to push me to get a biopsy but I resisted, and now it’s the only other option the vet says to get a diagnosis. Byron is nearly 9 so I do not want to put him through that.
    I live in the UK, so not sure if I can get that Raynes food, what is the canned food you mention?
    I just do know what to do. His total protein counts was 55, and at the last visit the vet prescribed prednisone 2.5 g every other day, which will not help control his stools. But I do not want him to stay on them for too long, is lymph nodes were enlarged visit to the vet.

    I was wondering whether to reduce the protein as initially I thought if he cant absorb it should I increase it. He’s having for breakfast 360g of chappie, for brunch 300 g of protein, consisting of either beef, chicken paired with sweet potato and greens. Then at 3pm he gets ½ tin of chappie and for supper same as brunch. I gave him several meals a day hoping it helps digestion.

    I am thinking should I now reduce the protein, and find a good base food and add a smaller bit of protein to that. Some people are using honest kitchen, or the one you suggest so I can ensure he gets a complete diet.

    What is pepcid, I do give him pepto-bismol
    Many thanks once again

    • Amy

      Hi Meiska. I don’t think we have “chappie” in this country, so I’m not familiar with that. I do think a home-cooked diet is best, so you can really control the fat content. Many dogs with CIL/IBD don’t do well with chicken, so you can try tilapia fish or some other very low fat fish. And that would be lower fat than either beef or pork. And then your dog can still get plenty of protein, which he needs, without the fat. I agree that a biopsy shouldn’t be necessary and it wouldn’t change the treatment. (My dog never had a biopsy either.) The prednisone will help with his stools because it will help him absorb the protein and stop leaking it out in his stool. I do think it’s odd that your vet prescribed 2.5 g every other day instead of 1.25 g everyday. You might ask him about that.

  • meiska

    Hello Amy
    Thanks for your response. I am not going to give him chicken, he will not eat fish after about a week, or has a flare up, so I am restricted to what to give him. I managed to get him some rabbit but that can be scarce, and after 3 or 4 meals he got loose. It seems he tolerates the protein for a week max, then has a flare up.

    I am wondering whether I need to reduce his protein but that is a major change around, as at the moment his diet is high in protein, but maybe too fatty, even though I try to buy meat with only 5% fat ratio.
    Thanks for the info re the prednisone, his dose has been gradually reduced from 5 g daily to 2.5 daily and just last week to 2.5 alternative days.
    I could give him 1.25 g a day which makes sense as he will have some protection daily, do you suspect leaving a day out leaves him vulnerable ?

    Chappie is a wet canned food, mainly consisting of fish and noted for being easy to digest. This as well gives him soft stools, but is the best of the bunch and I give it to him to ensure he has half of his diet complete. I am thinking of using honest kitchen base and adding my own protein to it, but at the moment as said not sure if he cannot tolerate too much protein. As you are more than aware the problem is a nightmare. Many thanks once again

    • Amy

      I’m sorry, I was wrong about the prednisone dosage. I should have looked at my dog’s bottle before I responded. My dog has 5 g pills, which I split in half for 2.5 g, and she was getting one everyday. A quarter pill would be too small a dosage to be effective. We tried switching to every other day, but then her albumin level went down. Now she gets a budesonide pill everyday. If I skip a day, she feels bad and won’t eat her breakfast the next morning.
      Go ahead and try the Honest Kitchen as Louie’s Mom had great success with that food.

  • Kerry

    I want to thank you for this page. I was at a extreme loss a few years ago, as to my little baby Maya, a prize winning show dog once upon a time, fell deathly ill. She was actually resuscitated by the vet clinic on her second day with them. We stood vigil by her every chance we got. Only being allowed to visit her for 15 minutes 3 times per day. This went on for months. Finally under control and several thousand of dollars. ( sounds insane I know, but she is not only my baby, but she was my moms dog and we kept her when mom passed away) , anyway, she was piton several medications, all of which II can not remember anymore. And royal canine gastrointestinal dog food. This was very well for about a year. When the condition occurred again. Now the vet was at a loss and the option for prescription food was no longer working. A lifetime of steroids and such was offered, as well as a final solution of putting her down. Neither of these were a solution in my eyes.
    Upon a lot of research brought me to the homemade diet I have made. When she was sick the vet had us making her dog food filled with supplements and vitamins as well as turkey and potatoes. I them came across a product called “the honest kitchen”. Sold in some pet supply stores. I use the base product. I mix it with potatoe (usually instant brand) and cooked ground turkey. Measurements are only by look. But our little Maya has perfect blood results. And has not had a reoccurrence in over 1-1/2 years. She is a old lady of 12. Has outlived her entire blood line. Including her puppies. I can only assume that this is because they all died from this illness. She was bred and showed before my mom had gotten her. But we do keep in touch with her breeder and update her. She is out little moo moo. She weighs 8 lbs. keeps her weight on well. When she was very ill she weighed 2.5 lbs. so honestly. Try this homemade mix. Adjust it as you get accustomed to it. Occasionally we throw in some chopped up green beans. Usually I go with 4 cups of potatoe and 1/2 cups honest kitchen, with 1/2 lb cooked ground turkey. I can freeze it and use as needed. Mind you her feedings are still 4-6 times a day. 1/2 cup each time.

  • Kerry

    As well. I refused a biopsy surgery to verify the disease. Maya again was maybe 3lbs when they wanted to do the procedure, as well the chance of the being put under anasthesia would have probably killed her as well.

  • Michele Fisher

    Hi my name is Michele. I’ve taken into my home a little 5 year old Yorkie named Louie. His owner was a client of mine at my grooming shop. She passed away and none of her family wanted him. I’d set up another wonderfulhome for him with one of my other clients when Louie started showing signs of weight loss and muscle deterioration, protein deficient blood later confirmed lumphangectasia. With the diagnosis it became apparent I couldn’t Place him another home. So I’m working on giving him a good quality of life. The Vets I’ve been working with have him on 1 MG of Dexamethasone once a day and a diet of potatoe flakes and canned salmon. He enjoys his 3 meals a day. And hasn’t had any abdominal fluid build up on this diet until my vet suggested slowly adding a commercial dog food back into his diet. Within 2 days he was starting to leak fluid in his abdomen again. It was suggested by someone that a homemade diets be better idea. But I want to make sure it’s well balanced. I’ve read a lot of conflicting info. Would you have any suggestions.

    • Amy

      Hi Michelle. First of all, salmon is very high in fat, so I’m surprised your yorkie did well on that. I think tilapia would be much better. Anyway, for balanced diets, go to http://www.balanceit.com. There, you can specify that you need a diet for “severe fat restriction” and it will give you different options. You’ll need to provide a fax number for the vet, so they can approve it. You’ll also need to buy a bottle of supplement powder to mix in to provide all the vitamins and minerals your dog needs. And the recipe will tell you exactly how much to put in of everything for a balanced diet.

  • Michele Fisher

    I read someone’s having problems with diarrhea, my dog also has had issues and my vet put him on tylan. He gets 1/16 teaspoon mixed with food twice daily. It solved my problems with diarrhea and my vet said he could be on it long-term.

  • Michele Fisher

    Amy thank you for the information. I will look into it today. I want to express my gratitude to the founder of this website and all the individuals that have posted encouragement, support and helpful information. This experience with Louie’s illness has been such an emotional blow to me on the heels of losing his original mom a dear client and friend. ♡♡♡

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