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.  

306 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.

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