Open Discussion on CIL


Here’s a place where owners can discuss their problems and experiences with their CIL dogs, and ask questions of one another.
Please feel free use this post for your general comments and questions about CIL.


Keywords:  Canine Intestinal Lymphangiectasia, lymphangiectasia dogs, PLE dogs.

172 comments to Open Discussion on CIL

  • Louie

    Feel free to place any comments or questions on CIL here.

    • Davina

      Hi everyone, this is all new and overwhelming to me as I only took my dog to the vets 11 days ago with a bloated abdomen and diarreah. They took some bloods sent me home with antibiotcs and told me to come back the next day. The next day they told me his protein was only 13 (normal is 23-40) they told me to come back 3 days later (christmas eve)and they would do an xray of his intestines. When I took him back his protein was down to 7 and he was even more bloated. They immediatley referred him to specialist hispital where he was kept in for 5 days. We are awaiting the results of a biopsy to rule out lymphoma but the vets said they believe he has CIL. He is on pred, metranizadole and cobalin injections. I have also put him on iams light which the vet recommended. He is a yorkie x chihuahua and has always been quite cobby until the last few months as he is quite big for his breed he is 4 years old and used to weigh 8kg, he is now down to 4 kg and it breaks my heart to feel his bones sticking out. I don’t have any prior knowledge of this condition except what I have recently read online and any advice would be so gratefully welcomed. He is such an amazing little dog, he has the most endearing temperament inspite being cruelly treated for the first 6 months of his life. I just want him to have a good life ahead of him as 4 is no age for a dog to die. Any advice please?

      • Lesia

        Omg,,,please have faith. My teacup yorkie, Meeka, has been sick since Nov of 2013. I’ve been on this site looking for answers etc. I tried every type of dog food homemade and raw, her proteins were so low, she was on 5 different meds and having her belly drained every 5-7 days. I have seen our vet on a weekly basis as well as a specialist. The meds were not helping her at all and I took her off all of them. The last time she was drained was August 1st. A few weeks ago on a Thursday I was trying to figure out whether I was going to get her drained on the Friday or the a miracle that Friday she seemed like her belly went down. I didn’t know if it was just me being hopeful or what, but like within 3 days, her belly went down all by itself and it was like she was healed. Today is August 22nd and she is still doing fantastic!
        Although I tried a diet of chicken, rice (I put a little chicken boullion in the water) potatoes, carrots, green beans, and bricholli ALL boiled in the past, I figured I would try it again. She has been eating about a cup and a half at 5:30–6:00. Pm everyday. I don’t know how exactly this all happened, but she is now a healthy dog! My vet said it’s a miricle of the century. We are going to give it a few more weeks to recheck all her levels. But as of today, she is great! This was my story can’t say it would help for anyone else, but maybe it will. Good luck and just keep trying. It took 9 months.

    • Stella's Mom

      My 12-year-old shepherd mix was tentatively diagnosed with CIL in mid November. After unsuccessful treatment with several low fat diets (turkey breast and white potato, Royal Canin GI low fat, Purina HA) and prednisone, my internal medicine vet also thinks Stella has IBD. Her protein and albumin levels are very low and she has lost all muscle tone. We are now trying a chicken breast and white rice diet. She has also been on Metamucil and fish oil pills. Has anyone else used Metamucil? Has chicken and rice worked for anyone?

      • Davina

        Hi, i’m so sorry that your poor little dog has been so ill. Like you my dog was diagnosed with CIL and IBD. Sadly he died on 1st Feb as his poor little body had been through so much as he contracted kennel cough at the vets and passed away in his sleep. At the lowest his protein (albumin) was 7 and we tried every diet. After trying loads the vets tried him on tinned original chappie and he gained weight really well and had no diarreah, his protein went up to 18 and he got some physical strength back (if it hadn’t been for the kennel cough he would of made a recovery). I hope this information helps you. I still miss him so much, but if I can help others then at least some good came from him having this horrible illness. Good luck x

        • Stella's Mom

          Thank you for your response Davina. I am so sorry to hear about your dog. I live in the US and I don’t think that food is available. I will look into ordering online. Stella has gone from 19.5 kg to 14.7 kg. We are trying everything our vet suggests. Since the protein in the tinned chappie seems to be fish, I am going to ask my vet if I can switch to fish and rice, instead of chicken. I feel like I am slowly losing the battle. Thanks again.

          • davina

            I feel for you so much, when my Basil was ill I felt so desperate as he was wasting away infront of me. But don’t ever lose faith because you have to stay strong and not let this illness beat you. Sorry as i’m in the UK I did not consider that you couldn’t get chappie easily in the US. Chappie is quite bland and easy to digest and in the 2-3 weeks he was eating it he did not have 1 bout of diarreah. Alot of people recommended chicken breast but when I tried that he had terrible diarreah and ended back in the vets hospital on a drip. You could ask your vet to look at the ingredients and advise you whether there are any similar products avaliable in the US. Good luck with everything and try not to get too stressed out. My Basil died but I don’t think it is very common. He had been through alot in his 4 and a half years, he spent the first 6 months of his life on a puppy farm and when I got him he was underweight and in poor health as he had a terrible start in his life. But just have faith that your dog will be fine. There is a solution out there and if you stay strong you will find it xx

      • Lesia

        Omg,,,please have faith. My teacup yorkie, Meeka, has been sick since Nov of 2013. I’ve been on this site looking for answers etc. I tried every type of dog food homemade and raw, her proteins were so low, she was on 5 different meds and having her belly drained every 5-7 days. I have seen our vet on a weekly basis as well as a specialist. The meds were not helping her at all and I took her off all of them. The last time she was drained was August 1st. A few weeks ago on a Thursday I was trying to figure out whether I was going to get her drained on the Friday or the a miracle that Friday she seemed like her belly went down. I didn’t know if it was just me being hopeful or what, but like within 3 days, her belly went down all by itself and it was like she was healed. Today is August 22nd and she is still doing fantastic!
        Although I tried a diet of chicken, rice (I put a little chicken boullion in the water) potatoes, carrots, green beans, and bricholli ALL boiled in the past, I figured I would try it again. She has been eating about a cup and a half at 5:30–6:00. Pm everyday. I don’t know how exactly this all happened, but she is now a healthy dog! My vet said it’s a miricle of the century. We are going to give it a few more weeks to recheck all her levels. But as of today, she is great! This was my story can’t say it would help for anyone else, but maybe it will. Good luck and just keep trying. It took 9 months.

  • Mandy

    Did Louie’s triglycerides ever go really high during all his treatments? Finny’s blood work is still good except for the triglycerides. She seems ok but is still on meds. No loose stools, no vomiting.

  • Louie

    Not that I can recall. Anyone else see high triglycerides in their CIL dogs? Glad she seems to be doing okay!

  • Anya Harriet Connolly

    Hi Toby is ill again. His lymphagniectasia has flared up agai n but had a seisure this morninvg. Is this a symptom

  • Louie

    I’ve not seen anything that would point to seizures as part of the list of CIL symptoms. Suggest you talk to your vet about it. As for his CIL, has he gotten into anything unusual recently? Sometimes they get into things or get a chewy and have a few rough days but all they need is a strict return to their regular CIL diet. Other than that, I don’t know what to suggest except to take a look at what you are feeding and maybe tweak the diet a bit with a little potato flakes or something similar that would add carbs but not fat or protein. Hope Toby starts feeling better again soon.

  • Amy

    Hi, My yorkie Abigail is a 10 year old female that was diagnosed with
    CIL about 9 months ago. We see a wonderful internal medicine vet and also a vet nutritionist. She takes prednisone by mouth 2x a day. Diet was Purina HA, then Quinoa and cottage cheese with supplements of BalanceIt,safflower oil and flaxseed, now blue crab and sweet potato- no supplements yet. Albumin keeps fluctuating. Most times down alittle
    each 2-3 weeks. I have read dogs with CIL do not do well with fat or fiber in the diet. She is skinny as can be and we cannot put weight on her. Nutritionist suggested culturelle- human probiotic and coconut oil for the future- once she is stabilized. I dont feel she is absorbing the prednisone by mouth and am going to speak to Internal Med. doctor at next visit- is it really necessary and if so can it be injected. Both doctors feel if this diet does not work they want to try a drug called budesonide. I am very concerned about her. I see sweet potato in her poop. Does that mean she isnt absorbing the food? I have read all that is written, there is so much to try, I dont know where to start. Also, I would not put my girl through surgery to obtain a intestinal sample. My doctors were ok with that because they would treat her the same anyway. Should I put her through that. I heard it is iffy if they do not get the right area of intestine. Thanks for listening.

    • Linda (Squeekers Mom)

      Hi Amy,
      I have an 11 year old yorkie that was diagnosed with CIL on 6/1/10. We have had many ups and downs. As far as the Pred not being absorbed, it probably is but maybe not helping like it should. Squeekers started out on Pred but every time we tried to reduce her dose her ALB would go down. She was put on Budesonide. She did well for over a year but then developed a bleeding ulcer. She is now on Azathioprine. She is also on Cyclosporine. She was put on Cyclosporine right from the start.
      As far as food, Squeekers never really got her appetite back. She is syringe fed Royal Canin low fat canned food. She has also been fed Pasta and Baked Tilapia. Any kind of Potato would pass through her undigested.
      I hope this will help. Hang in there. Yorkies are tough little dogs.

  • Amanda (Libby's Mom)

    Recently my 5 month old German Shepherd, Libby was diagnosed with Giardia after she became dangerously thin. German Shepherds are a thinner bread of dog and Libby is very active so we thought she was only thin because of this. However, after getting her tested she was diagnosed with Giardia and cured. However, immediately following her recovery her appetite returned and she began to eat as much as a normal puppy. Unfortunately, her tummy kept getting rounder and rounder but she was not gaining weight or growing in any other way. Last Thursday (12/20) we took her to the vet who informed us that her hard, round belly was not normal. The vet tapped her and removed 2 liters of protein-infused liquid from her belly and took a blood and stool sample. The results came back and we learned that her body does not absorb protein and she is also Anemic. We are from Sacramento, CA and were informed that Libby needs to see an Internal Specialist at UC Davis Veterinary. Although we do not know for sure if Libby has CIL, I have been doing a lot of research, and after discovering this blog and further websites about the condition, I believe she was born with it. Since our appointment for the specialist is not for awhile, we have been feeding her chicken, rice, and eggs only as we have not gotten a firm diagnoses. Any thoughts on what else we could or should be feeding her, and any tips on how to care for her before she is diagnosed for sure? We love her to death and are willing to care for her as long as we are able if CIL is the case. Thank you! 🙂

  • Chelsey

    Hi, I’m Chelsey, Louie’s Mom may remember Lily and I. Lily was diagnosed July of 2011. I’m replying to Anya’s comment. Lily had a seizure about 6 months ago. It only happened once but it was really scary and after rushing her to the Vet we realized her albumin had dropped drastically. I wonder if that’s what happened to your dog? Take care.

  • MJ

    Hi Anya and Chelsey. My dog (a Maltese) had several strokes before she was diagnosed with lymphagiectasia two years ago. Her blood was clotting as a result of very low albumin and one or more clots reached her brain causing the strokes. She’s on a blood thinner now, Plavix, in addition to a low dose of prednisone. At the time I didn’t know if she was having seizures or strokes or something else. A neurologist diagnosed the strokes and luckily sought assistance from an internal medicine specialist who diagnosed my dog with CIL. I hope the information helps.

  • Marshall's Mommy

    Does anyone else have good and bad days with this disease? Yesterday Marshall did great and ate all his food and now today he’ll barely eat. I got him medicine for nausea and a supplement that you can make a gravy out of to entice them to eat but he’ll still only eat half of his food at most. Still diarrhea even when he does eat all of his food.
    His vet seems to think it might be his whole lymphatic system but that’s almost impossible to diagnose so we can’t be sure.
    I guess I’m just getting really down. I do not want to give up but I’m trying everything I can and nothing seems to be helping. He can barely walk up the stairs now and all he does is lay down because he barely has any muscle mass left.

    • Davina

      Hi, I understand exactly how you feel. Basil (yorkie x chihuahua) has lost nearly a kilo since before christmas and his eating fluctuates. He is on Iams light complete dry food (I live in the UK, don’t knos if you have it in the US), and he hasn’t been interested in eating it until last week when I poured hot kettle water on it and left it to soften and cool down for 15 minutes, and he seems to prefer that alot more. His pred (steroids) were increased from half a tablet to 2 but it hasn’t increased his appetite as much as I hoped. It’s so frustrating because he still wants to eat food but can only eat low fat food which he dosn’t like so it is catch 22 as he is losing weight. All I can advise is keep trying, all we can do is our best. Good luck, I really hope your little furbaby gets well and gains some muscle x

      • Marshall's Mommy

        Thanks Davina. I hope your Basil gets better too. I got a referral from our general vet to a specialist in a university about 2 hours away. Hopefully I’ll be able to make an appt for soon. Marshall seems to like the rabbit and nupro gold supplement. He eats it (most days) and he has a stool, but he’s still losing protein. I can tell because if I take him off the diuretic to just once a day he accumulates a lot of fluid. He also has just about no muscle on his legs now and falls over all the time. Last night my husband had to carry him up the stairs. I feel like no matter what the diet right now, he won’t be able to absorb protein if we don’t get the right meds in him.

        • Davina

          Hi Marshalls Mommy, sadly little basil passed away in his sleep last week. I am so shocked and heartbroken because the day before he died I took him to the specialist referral hospital as he had a bed cough and fell over as he was walking into the kitchen. The specialist wasn’t concerned and just said he had picked up kennel cough whilst he had been in the vets. He took Basils blood and his protein had gone up to 18 and he had gained a little bit of weight and his bloated abdomen had slightly reduced, wheras on christmas eve his protein was only 7. The day he died he was so sprightly and full of energy and the next morning at 5 am i went downstairs to feed him and he was lying in a sleeping position and when i called his name he didn’t moved, as i looked at his face his eyes were open and i could see they had no soul left in them, my poor angel was gone. when i phoned the vet he thought maybe basil had had a blood clot or something as the internal damage had gone too far even though he seemed to be improving. I just hope that anyone with a dog suffering this horrible illness dosn’t have to go through this so please make sure you talk to the vet about prescribing blood thinners as basil was on steroids, immuno supressants and anti-biotics when he died. But the vet told me when the protein levels are low the increase of a clot rises. I did everything i could to save him, even took out a bank loan as the vets vame to nearly £4000, but i would of sold my house and cut off my arms and legs if it would have got my sweet little basil beter, I hope no one has to go through what i’ve been through, please enjoy every moment with your beautiful dog because when they are gone you miss them so much x

          • RABLUEYES

            It hurts when you hear your dog has CIL,there are days when you feel you lost the battle with the disease. My sweet Honey(Yorkshire terrier) has this from 2009. It is a member of our family,it is ill, but is here with us,we love her and can`t imagine life without her.It is a cruel disease with a lot of relapses and pain for this little souls. I cry when I red all the sad storys about so many dogs with CIL. I am so sorry for Louie and others how past away!

          • Glenda Sorger

            Hi Davina, I know this is a very late response, but I was very surprised by the total protein numbers you mentioned in your post. A normal TP reading should be between 5.2 and 7.8. 18 would be terribly high, possibly indicating dehydration, blood cancer or bone marrow cancer. Did you mean that the readings were possibly .7 and 1.8?

  • yorkie mom

    hi: do you have your dog with cil vaccinated? im a little worried that it might be harmful.

  • Davina

    RIP Basil 26.08.2008 – 01.02.2013. Basil sadly passed away in his sleep after his battle with IBD and CIL, he will be missed so much and life will never be the same without my beautiful little best friend x

  • Louie's Mom

    I’m so sorry to hear of little Basil’s passing. I hate this disease so much 🙁

  • Rebecca

    Hi Everyone,

    After a few trips and several tests at the vet, they’ve diagnosed our little 2-1/2 year old Nala, beagle, with CIL. We were told it was organ failure or cancer at first, then cancer, then finally CIL. We’re absolutely devastated to hear she was not healthy, let alone a disease that seems to have not a very good outlook almost everywhere you turn on the internet. We’re waiting on her biopsy results to confirm.

    My brother, Nala’s primary caretaker, is a struggling college student, and I’m sure you all know just how expensive the trips to the vet can get. We’re asking if people could help us spread this link around:

    Any advice would also be greatly appreciated! Nala’s also a small beagle. Her parents were AKC prize winning dogs, but she looks to be a mini beagle to us. We’re not sure what the exact term for her is. Still, she’s always been energetic, and even when she started bloating (we thought it was fat), she still had quite the energy and appetite.

    Thanks for any help in advance!

  • Karen (Abbey's mom)

    Abbey is a miniature dachshund. Her symptoms started in December and she has been diagnosed with IBD and is not yet stable. Her albumin continues to drop. Last test was 1.7. We know 1.5 is dangerous, but wonder how low others have seen before stabalizing. She is on cyclosporin, but still adjusting to makes her sick. Also prednione and tyloin. We are not giving up hope, but are very worried. She is not yet 4 and is so precious to us.

  • Jodi

    Hello. Sergio the Doberman was NOT diagnosed with CIL. After lack of diagnosis and thoroughly searching the internet, we decided to treat for this & see how it goes. It went well. Sergi presented with severe abdominal distension, and episodes of vomitting bile & diarrhea. We rushed to the vet with pale gums & labored breathing. After all the false diagnoses, and attempting to treat for this, we did multiple chest & abdomen fluid removals until it was under control. Sergio ONLY eats Wellness Core Reduced fat and gets Mother Hubbard Veggin’ treats. Also okay, rice, carrots and sweet potato. That is all. Anything else makes symptoms return. He take courses of prenisone & Lasix (water pill) when I observe symptoms starting such as labored breathing. I am a Licensed vet Tech and monitor all of this myself and my vet approves. Stress and being cold also increase his symptoms. We have managed this for 4 years now. Sergio is 10 and everyone thinks he is a puppy! he is very active and although slightly thin, is at a great body condition. The food is expensive and worth every penny. I had no luck with the MCT oil which other people use as a supplement for fat but Sergio does not tolerate it well.

  • Bari


    I just lost my 10 yr. old dog Buckeye to CIL. Just months ago he was so robust and happy and puppylike. I thought he would be with me for several more years. My heart goes out to all of you who are dealing with this disease. Most of you seem to be more fortunate managing it than we were. For us, it was 6 weeks from his very first symptom (vomiting after eating), to his passing. He was diagnosed positively with CIL by biopsy. We tried everything under the sun to get food into him once he lost his appetite. One by one he tried and rejected every single low-fat food option we could desperately think of and gathered from the support forums. The prescription diet and other lowfat dog foods were a complete nonstarter. We just could not get enough useful nourishment into his body; what we could coax him to eat, did not boost his strength. With his body failing from lack of nourishment, the medicines did not have time to get things under control and stabilize him. He developed fluids in chest and abdomen which we had drained twice hoping the medicines could still work. He had constant labored breathing either from pain or from fluids, and eventually could not stand. That was the day we knew the battle had been lost for us.

    Buck is the second dog I had vaccinated later in life (my first girl, Kati, at 7 yrs. old, Buckeye at 10 yrs. old) who then developed a sudden autoimmune disorder within 3 months of vaccination and subsequently rapidly died of an autoimmune disorder. Kati was lost to autoimmune hemolytic anemia – there is an acknowledged correlation with vaccination and this disease that I did not learn about until after she passed. At his senior wellness check when he was vaccinated last December, the vet remarked about how remarkably healthy Buckeye was for his age, in much better shape than most dogs she sees of his size and age. She then lectured me about all his vaccinations not being up to date and the danger to his health from NOT vaccinating. I really didn’t want to introduce those things into his senior body but I conceded to the pressure and also pondered the fact that no kennel would take him without proof of vaccinations, (I wanted to try to go on a vacation), so he got it all, as recommended. Then in 3 months he wasted away to nothing in front of us, suffered badly as I inflicted a long list of CIL treatment on him that obviously made him feel more miserable, and was gone from our lives. The guilt I have that I, his friend and caretaker, inflicted an unecessary, untimely and miserable end on him with a bad health care decision, is unbearable.

    Does anyone else feel there was a correlation between vaccination and the sudden appearance of CIL in their previously healthy dog?

    • Louies Mom

      I am without doubt that Louie’s many health problems can be traced to his second and last rabies vaccination. We have a companion blog which I started a long time ago and you can read more about that and the details of what we went though with him here:

      I’m so very sorry for the loss of your sweet Bucky. Sometimes no matter how hard we try there is simply nothing we can do for them. I know the loss hurts deeply, but you did what you felt was right for him always, and you did everything you could to help him. I hope that gives you some comfort.

      • Davina

        Since Basil died 01/02/2013 I have been so unhappy and spent endless hours wondering why my beautiful little boy died at just 4 1/2 years old. Like Buckeye, he had also been robust up until just a short time before he passed away.
        Although there is nothing wrong with analysing what caused this horrible illness (as I believe knowledge is power), please don’t beat yourself up about what you may have done wrong, because anything you did was because you loved and cared for your dog. My heart is broken since losing Basil who was my best friend and love of my life. But at least I know he had a loving home with warmth and hapiness. So many dogs don’t have that and end their lives being gassed/euthanised in a pound, or are just left outside on a chain or in a kennel like a prisoner. Please be happy for the amazing 10 years you shared with Buckeye.
        Also Louies mum, so sad to hear about sweet little louies passing.
        Sending lots of love and hugs to the both of you xx

        • Louies Mom

          Yes, and you know we did everything for them because we were told, by professionals, that it was the right thing to do. I spent a good bit of those early post-diagnosis days blaming myself, but that did nothing but make me feel worse about the situation. We all know we are doing the very best we can with the information we have available to us. None of us would intentionally do anything that would cause harm.

        • Bari


          Thank you for your kind response. I am so sorry about the loss of your sweet boy Basil at such a young age. I feel deeply for your loss. Thank you for helping me to appreciate the time I had with Buckeye. With the loss so overwhelming, it is harder to focus on the happiness I was able to give him in his life, than the fact that I was unable to save him, or even offer him much relief as this illness destroyed his body right in front of me. He depended on me for his well being and I couldn’t help him.

          They truly are the loves of our life and the hole they leave is so enormous, I am gasping for air like I have been socked in the stomach, and weeping constantly. I feel very disoriented, and like I can still somehow just wake up from this bad dream and have him back with me.

          Thank you for understanding, and may your heart heal with time too.

          • Davina

            Hi Bari
            I do understand how you feel and I understand that your mind is going to be plagued with “what if’s” because the pain is so raw and happened so suddenly. I have been through all the self doubting and regret. 6 months before he died I changed him from having dry food avaliable (unlimited) to canned food (as i had 3 male dogs and one of the others was timmed and wasn’t eating as the other dog was being dominant over food). At this stage Basil was slightly overweight, but because I was controlling their diet Basil lost weight. So when he first became ill he was alot leaner than he used to be. I now wonder if he hadn’t of lost the weight in the first place if his body would of had more chance of fighting the cil because he was so paifully thin before he died, that he looked like he had been starved to death. 5 weeks before he died, his albumin levels were 0.7 (dangerously low), the day before he died they were upto 1.8 as 2 weeks before he died we managed to find a diet that he could hold down and his abdominal swelling had reduced. But I felt like the internal damage had already been done, and cried myself to sleep every night as I felt like I had caused him to die.
            Although me initially cutting his food down didn’t help, like you I didn’t know that my actions could of contributed to his death.
            I gave Basil the best home I could and I loved him with all my heart. He wouldn’t want me to be sad. Everytime I used to cry Basil used to comfort me and lick my tears away. He loved me unconditionally and knew that I loved him to. I got him at 6 months old, I rescued him from a puppy mill where he was kept in horrendous conditions. I gave him love and he used to follow me around everywhere.
            Please don’t punish yourself Bari. What happened to Buckeye was horrendous. But Buckeye would of known how much you loved him (dogs are so intuitive), if he could talk to you now, I know that he would tell you not to be sad and thank you for the happy life and loving home you gave him. If I could take your pain away I could, but no one can and nothing in the world can bring your dog back. I know how hard it is but you have to except that he’s gone, but you will always have your memories in your heart and no one can take them away. Buckeye isn’t in pain anymore, he is at peace, I know it has left so much hurt behind, but use his death to guide you and make sure you appreciate your own life and live the rest of your life to make Buckeye proud x

          • Bari

            Davina, there are many, many parallels in what we went through.Thank you for sharing because it does help me see that we were battling a huge disease and doing the best we could for our babies, desperately trying everything, and desperately wondering what we could have changed. It wasn’t a failure. It was the disease.

            When Buckeye first started showing symptoms he was lean too. I never thought he was fat but the vet had scolded me the previous year about his not having a waist. I had put him on a diet. When he became ill he was beautifully trim. And that meant he had few reserves to sustain him through 6 weeks of virtually not eating, which is what we dealt with, and what we lost him to, even though his albumin improved from .8 at the beginning to 2.1 at the end. The fluids, for him, never went away. He always felt too sick and nauseas to stick with any low-fat food long enough to get enough calories into his body. He was emaciated at the end it was almost like his body was losing its connective tissue too. I too am replaying over and over in my head how I could have fed him differently and had a different outcome. I wasted a lot of critical time trying to get the prescription dog food into him early on, food he wouldn’t even look at, as the vet had enforced how critical it was not to let him eat his normal dog food any more. I tried to find the lowest fat off the shelf dog food – spent endless money on all different kinds, he wouldn’t even look at them. I went to home cooked exclusively, and every day was tears and feeling defeated as he rejected one attempt after the other. I could never get him to eat rice or barley or oatmeal or tapioca or potatoes or sweet potatoes or anything that would put enough calories into him if he only ate it. It was meat or nothing. And then it would be a few days of great success with a type of low fat meat – canned tuna, baked fish, turkey, boiled gr. lean beef – we would feel like dancing – and then rejection of that food and he would not go back to it because eating anything made him feel lousy, and I would be terrified and desperate to find him something he would eat and not get sick on. In the end we were trying to sustain him on 99% fat free turkey deli meat and baby carrots, the only two things he didn’t completely reject most days. The fear and grief of losing the battle were happening daily, well ahead of actually losing him.

            On his last day, when he couldn’t stand, was struggling to breathe and in pain and we knew we had finally lost, we offered him hot dogs and watched him eat them with great enthusiasm. It was heartbreaking that he had starved to death because he wouldn’t eat what he needed to eat. We knew hot dogs would have made his body sicker had he been allowed to eat something like that, but in the end, withholding appetizing foods from him that he would have enjoyed and actually ingested, won us nothing. I am saddened by that.

      • Bari

        Thank you Louies Mom. I will check out the link. I know that autoimmune hemolytic anemia is correlated to vaccination; and so is the rabies-vaccine induced ischemic disorder that Louie suffered from in addition to his CIL. My vet will not acknowledge that his recent vaccinations could have caused Buck’s autoimmune system to go haywire and suddenly attack his body in this manner. Because the diagnosis for Buckeye was Primary lymphangiectasia (not secondary to IBD) which is usually identified in dogs at a young age, her belief is that he “had it all along” and that it had just must have never been a problem for him until out of the blue and fatally, at the age of 10. (This was a dog who virtually never had a GI upset or too-soft stool in his life). So yes I’m having a hard time buying it.

        I was so sad to hear that Louie had passed. I appreciated all you had done with the Louie the LoveMuffin blog which is helping so many others. You have helped improve lives and surely saved some lives with all the information you have shared. Thank you.

        • Louies Mom

          I believe that even with the genetically predisposed ones, sometimes it takes a weakening of the immune system for it to come out. So your vet and you could both be right. It is a shame your vet won’t acknowledge that, but this is why it is so important to work for better research into these issues. In addition to the work I’m trying to do on CIL, I strongly support the work of the Rabies Challenge Fund (

          • Bari

            I have just donated to the Rabies challenge fund, and will continue to do so in Buck & Kati’s memory. I have asked my FB friends to consider donating as well.

      • YorkieMom13

        Little Man had vaccination in July 2012 – just the 5-in-1 (bordatella, corona, etc). He had a rabies vaccination in October 2010, and was due for one in October 2013. My veterinarian actually said NOT to vaccinate for at least 6 months, if ever again. He actually suggested that he would just write a note that Little Man is unable to receive vaccinations relating to an immune dysfunction.

        Just another reason I am in support of my vet. He seems to actually WANT to help my dog, not make a dollar off of him. He gives him free B12 shots, free antibiotic shots, free subQ fluids, etc. Each time Little Man goes in to see the doctor, he paws at him and the vet holds him for the entire visit. Maybe it’s just this vet has a soft spot for Little Man, but I truly believe he will do what is best for him, and won’t give up on fighting for him – that is invaluable, and certainly worth more than any specialist who thinks “hospice care” is his only option because he won’t tolerate endoscopy and biopsy!

  • Louie's Mom

    I think this sense of despair and helplessness is pretty common with this disease, particularly among those who can’t find successful treatments. I might want to write a blog post about this so we can explore these feelings more deeply. Could be helpful to those of us who suffer with issues of conscience related to things we feel we could have, should have done differently (but of course hindsight is 20/20). Just want to say I love all of you for caring enough to even have these feelings to begin with. So many would just discard a sick dog without further thought.

    • Michael Carroll

      Louis Mom, I have a yorkie named Minnie. Minnie is 9 yrs old. Minnie has had hemolytic anemia from vac approx. 5yrs ago. No more problems, no more vac. She has been dia. with cil at LSU in BR la. Approx. 3 yrs ago. Have had the same problems many of the owners have had. Just wanted to share some things I am doing that may help. I have been using rc lf canned food and Minnie has been doing great, no problems until rc changed formula. I have been adding Glutagenics by Metagenics to her food at the rate of 2 small teaspoonfuls per can. This has L glutamine, to help the lining of the intestine, licorice root, and aloe leaf. I also add one tablet, crushed up, of glycoflex 3, jarrow intestinal flora- 1 tsp., and 1tsp. of just barley organic powder. Hope this help some readers. God bless. Michael

  • Juliette

    Hello all, I hav a 1.5 year old male. Chihuahua Named Caesar. On may 3rd (Friday) we brought him to the vet because about 5 days before his stomach swole up I searched an searched the net and found nothing. Anyway Friday morning when we woke up we noticed that under his skin near his penis and testicles had even more swelling and we now know it is fluid. The vet tools stool sample to check for worms and then blood to check it. He then came backs nd told us that our Caesar has low protein in his blood. He then started telling us about this disease also saying that He ruled out liver disease bc the blood test results were good on his liver. He also said down thing about his kidneys. Up until a week ago our Caesar was very healthy never vomited or had loose stools. He said since we Sot have a lot of money to run a lot of tests that we were going to grey it as this. Yesterday he was fine but today we could pick him up without him crying; if we touch his belly he bites us bc it hurts he also looks like he had a lot more fluid by his penis and there was something like a red patch that I could get a good look at bc he won’t let us. But after I left for work my husband tended to him and says that he is now laying down which he wasn’t before bc his stomach was hurting him. I did call the vet today but he said bc he can’t see him he doesn’t know If he will be okay and it breaks my heart bc I wish I could do everything for him. He has him on a antibiotic and a steroid don’t have the bottles with me bc I’m at work and petscription dog food again not sure of the name. I am so glad to have found this website as there isn’t much about this disease out there on the web. After reading through a lot of this page and other pages on this site I’m going to have a long talk with the vet possibly even another vet or two. I need my baby to get better and I just would like to say thank you all the information on this page seems to be very helpful. Is the pain in his belly normal with this? Any information will help thank you.

  • Michael Carroll

    Minnie meds- I forgot to tell you folks that Minnie is also taking 1/4 tab of a 10 mg pepcid and one small tab of pulsatilla daily in am. I dissolve each tab separately in a little water, then draw the meds in a syringe and give them to her. She has adjusted to the new royal canin and doing fine. God bless Michael

  • Maddie's Mom

    My English Bulldog Maddie was diagnosed with CIL in January 2013. Once on the proper diet she did very well and began gaining weight. As we lowered her prednisone dosage she emerged from the drug fog and returned to the loving and playful dog that we love so much. Recently her stools became soft and I switched to potatoes after reading the article posted on this website and things normalized in this area. However, I’m also noticing that Maddie is urinating more frequently and drinking more. These were the initial behaviors I noticed last fall when the CIL symptoms first began to appear. I am worried that this changes means she is coming out of remission and I do not have a sense of how this disease comes and goes. My questions: 1) is the increased frequency and amount urination a sign that the CIL is coming back? 2) if CIL returns can it be “managed” into remission again? 3) If yes, what are the actions to take? Other than the urination Maddie’s weight and energy levels are good although I detect a slight decrease in both. Her diet consists of 1 potato per meal, ¼ cup pumpkin, 1/2 can Hills low fad i/d and a small amount of chopped up wheat grass. I try to feed her 3x per day, but my schedule does not always allow this. If she gets only two meals I increase the amount of Hills. Maddie is taking 2.5 mg of prednisone 2X per day. Any insight would be appreciated. I am contacting her vet at Washington State University but I wanted the “mom’s” input too.

    • sophie's mom

      My Italian Greyhound was diagnosed recently. So far has been easy getting weight back on her and controlling diarrhea. The main problem is the urinary issues. My vet doesn’t think it is disease related. However I seem to be seeing a relationship between fat in the diet and amount of water consumption. I am very curious to know how many people are experiencing the same urination problems.

  • Sheryl

    I have a 3 year old Great Dane that has been dx with CIL. I’ve been reading everything about this illness and noticed that it affects mostly small dogs. My dog’s name is Homey, he’s a beautiful Merle dane. He walks into a room and everyone comments about him.
    I think what’s kills me the most is that he’s only 3, I guess that being said the only thing that matters is he is sick and I have to do my best to keep him as healthy as possible. Great Danes are thin and very lean, so when he began losing weight it was very noticeable.
    He is taking pred., and eating a lowfat id dogfood that I mix with rice and white fish. I’ve also tried extra lean turkey, (he loved it) but with that being animal protein I’m not sure if that is a good idea. The vet wants him to only eat the dog food, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.
    I’ll keep doing my very best to get the weight on him. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know.

  • Sheyl

    How is homey? Hope he is getting better!

  • Glenda Sorger

    Hi everyone, I need some help here – my dog, Daisy, is a female spayed Brittany that has just gotten a diagnosis of CIL and IBD. She’s had bloodwork, an abdominal ultrasound and just a week ago, abdominal exploratory surgery to confirm my vet’s suspicions. She expected the CIL diagnosis (based on the results of the ultrasound) but was a bit surprised by the indication of IBD, as well. Here’s my big problem: Daisy has no symptoms of either disease, which is really distressing, since now they want to change her diet, put her on high-dose steroids, etc. This dog has done really well eating Orijen Adult dog food, mixed with a bit of boiled chicken, with no-salt green beans added, due to the fact that she was so overweight when we got her in Feb. of 2011. Since that time, she has lost 8 lbs, which was intentional, on my part, and just prior to her blood test that showed low protein of 4.1, my vet thought she was looking incredible and believed that 3 more lbs of lost weight would be perfect. The only reason I’d taken her in was because of a neck injury, and to get some bloodwork done, so that she could get her teeth cleaned. From everything I’ve read about these two diseases, there are very clear symptoms, mainly of either vomiting or diarrhea, neither of which she has. I’m sure you all understand why I’m so frustrated. My husband is very anxious, as well, about what we should do. We are so reluctant to start all these meds and change her diet, when the dog shows that nothing is wrong. HELP!!!

  • YorkieMom13

    Hello –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Donovan's Mom

      Here is the information comparing RC LF and RC Hypo that Royal Canin sent me. Hope it helps. I would definitely question the vet about diet and maybe about how much medication he is taking. Is he a specialist? Seems like even specialists differ in treatment. Wouldn’t hesitate to get second opinion quickly.

      Guaranteed Analysis RC LF Dry Can
      Protein %Min 20.5 6.0
      Fat %Min 5.0 1.0
      Fiber %Min 3.6 2.5
      Moisture %Min 10.0 76.0

      Guaranteed Analysis RC Hypo Dry
      Protein %Min 19.0
      Fat %Min 17.0
      Fiber %Min 3.1
      Moisture %Min 10.0

      • YorkieMom13

        My vet is not a specialist, but he does consult on our case with a specialist in California.

        I will inquire about Royal Canin Hypo HP vs Royal Canin Low Fat when I speak to him first thing Monday morning. Thank you!

    • Sophie's mom

      Maybe you could try purina ha. There is way too much fat in the royal canin. When Sophie was diagnosed I fed her ground turkey, egg noodles, egg whites until she was stabilized. Another thing I found odd is that he had you stop metronidazole. Sophie still takes 2 x daily and will for rest of life.

  • Louie's Mom

    It’s important to bear in mind that these foods treat different conditions. If CIL is truly secondary to IBS, hypoallergenic might be exactly what you need. If CIL is primary, that’s too much fat.

    Also, not sure if it is still the same, but the last time I looked at them the DRY RC LF contained chicken as a protein, where the canned did not. Since some dogs respond poorly to chicken, that’s another reason to try the canned before giving up on the food.

    • YorkieMom13

      That’s what I’m concerned with…leading up to this, we started supplementing his dry dog food with boiled and shredded chicken breast. The vet was concerned that the chicken may have been the cause of the symptoms, however the Hypo HP is made with chicken liver! He consulted with a specialist in California (we’re on the east coast) regarding the diet, and Royal Canin HP was the specialist suggestion.

      VET/DVM: I really don’t want to change vets for a variety of reasons – including but not limited to the fact that this vet is willing to take the time to call me after hours, talk with me about my dog’s progress, and also because he’s cost conscious. I am a student and don’t have endless amounts of money to spend on my dog, but that doesn’t mean I love him any less. The fact that my current vet is willing to work through and troubleshoot issues with me is a HUGE benefit. I’m honestly not sure how much a specialist would charge or where to even find one that could be as willing to work with me to find the right method for getting my guy on the mend.

      MEDS: We are only giving famotidine 2.5mg once daily at this point, no other medications. We will try to resume prednisone, and if unsuccessful will switch to budesonide and begin another round of metronidazole.

      DIET/FOOD: We’ve only been using the Royal Canin Hypo HP for about 2 weeks, so the vet said he would like to see him eat a significant amount of the food and see how he responds, because we don’t know what is causing his imbalance at this point. (Endoscopy is expensive!!!) I will raise the question of the Royal Canin Low Fat to the vet and see what he thinks. To be honest, we are about halfway through our 7 lb. bag of Royal Canin Hypo HP. He actually seemed excited when we first started to feed it to him, so I was hopeful. But with his recent vomiting episode, he hasn’t been feeling too hot, so no food x 1.5 days. Vet said he isn’t as concerned about food intake since he hasn’t been feeling well, but is most concerned about fluid intake, which has been adequate, great amounts of water and urine! 🙂

      So thankful I’ve found this site. I definitely need all the advice I can get! 🙂 Thanks so much!

      • Donovan's Mom

        Only you know your dog. I only suggest that CIL isn’t easy to treat (I wasn’t given much hope BY THE SPECIALIST). I just know that if IL is Primary the low fat would REALLY beneficial. Donovan’s swelling went down (without draining) within 2 weeks). He still had diarrhea and that is why I added the potatoes, peas and carrots, ginger and fiber as well as giving him a pre and pro biotic. That did the trick and now he has been picture perfect for over 4 months. I have not gone back to that specialist but if I had to I would. Try the RC LF. You can even add tilapia (although it has enough protein) and try the potatoes, etc. It might take time but it was worth my fooling around with the diet. There are also other diets on this site that people have used with success. Every case is different but all have one thing in common if primary and that is diet must be low fat. Since your vet isn’t a specialist he may not know the different analysis if he hasn’t researched it or had other patients. He may be glad to see the difference in the two. He certainly shouldn’t have any objections to you at least trying it. Good luck.

        • YorkieMom13

          How would we know the difference between primary and secondary (to IBD) when it comes to CIL?

          I’m going to discuss with my vet again today because little man hasn’t eaten for 2 days, and I’m not comfortable starting the prednisone again tomorrow. The vet said he would have liked to have him on prednisone for 4 weeks, (and he’s only been on for 3 weeks at this point) before switching to budesonide, but he will if he isn’t tolerating the prednisone.

          At this point, I think we are unsure if it’s primary or secondary CIL and that’s been the complication. He has stopped vomiting bile, and his stool yesterday was formed, so no more diarrhea. I’m hoping this has just been a hiccup in his road to recovery. He’s lethargic and hasn’t eaten for 2 days, but still gets excited when we say “treat” and ate a few of his moistened dry kibble just now.

          I’m hopeful that he’s just weak from lack of food intake. He continues to drink water and pee often, but no poop today.

          I’m going to ask the vet about medications and possible tilapia and potatoes to see if we can get his strength up at the very least. Maybe some information about primary vs secondary would help him decide if we need to switch to Royal Canin Low Fat instead.

          • Donovan's Mom

            I would mail you some RC LF if you want to try it. I purchased the largest bag available so I have plenty. If he eats it and gets better the you can either get it from your vet or ask another for a prescription. Then add potatoes, and anything else you think would help. He needs to eat. Is he still swelling up?

          • Louie's mom

            This is one of the things that makes CIL so hard to manage. When protein sensitivities from IBS are also involved, it can be a real challenge determining what foods are tolerated and what foods aren’t. I think many vets reach for the hypoallergenic foods first because it’s kind of an easy fix, if it works, but it may not be the answer. I don’t think it’s always clear from the diagnostic workups exactly what is primary, though the endoscopy/biopsy can give a much clearer picture of things than otherwise.

            Usually with a difficult case the best way to find out what the problem foods are is through an elimination diet, where you feed only a single carb and a single protein source, swapping out proteins until you find a protein that can be tolerated. Use low fat protein sources; there are lists of them on this site on the feeding threads.

  • YorkieMom13

    There are only 3 specialists in my area. Two aren’t open until Monday, and the third has an office staff that is beyond rude. They said a 6yr old dog who doesn’t tolerate anesthesia will be impossible to perform endoscopy on and they can’t offer me any advice but I can have my dog put in Thor care for hospice for $40/day! To be fair, these are the same people who said this is a dog that couldn’t have orthopedic surgery either, and yet my current vet was able to perform the surgery with careful monitoring.

    I’m not willing to give up on my dog. I’m hoping to call the other specialists on Monday. My vet studied at Auburn University and has staff that are doing research in GI and immunologic disease in dogs. They are extremely passionate about my little guy and I think that is incredibly important to me.

    They are not comfortable changing his diet at this point and are awaiting a call back from the specialist in California. His abdomen is not swelling and has been going down over the last 3 days. His breathing is normal, his gums are pink and moist and he stinks water. Still not eating but a few pieces of kibble and still no poop today. They want me to try wet or canned food but he seems uninterested in food at all.

    I’m more than a little distressed and I want to do the best I can for him, but I’m afraid my best isn’t good enough for him. 🙁

  • Louie's mom

    If his abdomen is going down, that is a very good sign. Sometimes they don’t eat simply because they don’t feel well, so perhaps as you see improvements here, he will begin to eat a bit more. I understand the distress and frustration, probably most of us have been there. I wish I had better words for comforting, but all I can say is that you have a lot of understanding company here and you are certainly in the right place to let it all out. We’re here to listen, if that’s what you need.

    • YorkieMom13

      Thanks Louie’s mom. It’s definitely been a roller coaster of emotions these past 3 weeks.

      My biggest worry is that I don’t want to give up if he’s still got any fight left in him. He’s eating some pieces of moistened kibble, by hand of course as he seems to weak to get up from where he lays.

      He’s been whimpering/yelping when I pick him up, so I listed to his chest, his lungs are clear and his heart rate is good, so no worry about fluid build up there. His breathing rate is great as well.

      His behavior could best be compared to the night he came back from hospitalization (post draining of abdomen fluid, and post plasma transfusion). His abdomen is almost completely gone now, and I would reckon his weight is damn near normal, he at least doesn’t look as bloated as he did a few days ago.

      I’m praying this is just his way of resting his stomach and intestines and returning back to himself. My vet office is awaiting a call back from the specialist, and my vet is out of office until Monday.

      Little Man is still drinking water and peeing. Just minimal food and no poop today.

      I am trying to be optimistic, and trying to keep up the good fight for him by keeping control of his diet and medications. We have actually asked the vet for consideration of a fresh venison and potato diet to see if that might be what gets him to eat and returns his albumin to normal and keeps him going.

      He has age on his side, but his small size and sensitivity to medications makes his treatment tricky. The vet expressed concern that he may not tolerate the budesonide well, so he wants to clarify with the specialist what would be the best combination therapy for him. But with Little Man being such a picky eater, I’m concerned that ANY dry food diet is going to be difficult to keep him on without medication therapy as well.

      I’m certainly hesitant and cautious and doing my research on things before doing any changes. Also, I don’t have the full list of his laboratory values, so there may be other reasons why the vet feels it is secondary CIL. I do know that his liver and kidney tests were completely normal, but in the initial blood work his WBC were high, his albumin was 1.0, and the second blood work was WBC normal and albumin 2.8, and the third set of blood work was WBC normal and albumin 1.0, so it seems protein absorption still remains to be a problem.

      If a dry food diet needs to be the base diet, and we supplement with tilapia or venison or duck (or whatever protein) and some kind of low fat carbohydrate, I would be fine with that. I’m just very hesitant to try any diet without consulting the vet first, because he may have more information that I have missed or forgotten.

      Also, with endoscopy being expensive, the vet said he wouldn’t proceed with it at this time as Little Man is unstable and needs to be more stable to process the anesthesia out of his system. He doesn’t tolerate anesthesia to begin with and usually requires overnight monitoring before finally coming out of the “woozies”.

      The vet just keeps saying let him rest, not to get his heart rate too high and minimize activity until he gets back to his baseline behavior. I’ve never been one for patience, but if nothing else, it seems with CIL I’m going to learn patience and quiet time!

      Back to snuggling with Little Man. 🙂

  • YorkieMom13

    Well today has been one of the worst days since his initial diagnosis. He was getting so weak and lethargic, and I have been shedding tears almost constantly. I truly thought I was putting him through more than his body could bear, and I thought I was facing my last hours with him.

    Thankfully we have been able to get him to eat 1/4 of a can of Royal Canin Hypo HP wet food, and we are taking it slow since he was having vomiting about 36 hours ago. He seems to be tolerating it well and even drank water and wanted to go out to pee!

    This little glimmer of hope I pray lasts and grows even brighter. I hope we are on a path to remission. Hoping the vet can provide some insight on Monday.

    • Donovan's Mom

      I am so sorry for all you are going through. I have been there before too. Just love him. You will know when it is time to let him go. Know in your heart you are doing all you can do. It is heartbreaking and I cry with you. You are a good mama.

      • YorkieMom13

        Thank you Donovan’s mom! I woke up at 3am, 4am, 5am and now at 6am. His stomach had been making that gurgling sound and it was worrying me that we were back where we started. He managed to go outside to pee and a few minutes later, poop. He ate another 3-4 spoons of wet food (he isn’t an early morning eater so no surprise) and drank some water before following me to bed and asking for a lift up to his favorite pillow.

        His poop was soft, light brown but formed! No diarrhea! I know that there are other things to watch for but each little thing just seems so much bigger when you know he’s fighting for his life.

        I’m so thankful for this website and you Mommas and Daddies who understand the ups and downs and twist and turns this disease creates in our lives. Here’s hoping today goes smoothly, we aren’t morning people so usually we wait until about 10am for his first feeding. Keep us in your prayers today – we will certainly be praying for all the canine children suffering through this difficult time and navigating treatment and prognosis of the disease.

        • Donovan's Mom

          I went to bed last night thinking about you and woke up thinking about you. I have had so many (usually older dogs) with end life diseases and know exactly what you are going through. I was wishing there was something I can do or say but I know there isn’t other than you aren’t alone. You are doing all you can and please never blame yourself no matter what happens. Sometimes life decides things beyond our control. That said I am glad you deem him worthy of fighting as long as there is hope. If he is eating and drinking, peeing and pooping and wagging his little tail there is hope. Hopefully today will be better and tomorrow you will get some more direction from your vet. I have four Yorkies and it was my youngest and most lively that has IL. I am very fortunate he is still going as there wasn’t much hope expressed by either of my vets. My daughter said that they just didn’t know me that well, ha. I know his must have been a straight forward case because he responded so quickly and has maintained for 4 months. I still live day to day know he will never be “cured” but at least he lives like he doesn’t know he is sick. No one that looks at him today would ever know. I am hoping that for your case too. It is hard but worth it even if it means saying goodbye just to know you tried everything you could. Again please don’t feel you have failed no matter what happens. This disease isn’t anyone’s fault. Love from my house to yours.

          • YorkieMom13

            Thank you so much. <3

            He managed to eat 2 or 3 bites of wet food. But then we went outside, and his poop was VERY light brown, and fatty looking. It smelled just like the wet food. It was also very soft, and would probably be considered diarrhea.

            My heart breaks seeing him so lethargic and so uninterested in things that use to be the highlight of his day.

            If I feed him wet food for the rest of his life, and he lives for a few more years, I'll be happy and so will he. I just hate not knowing what point is his breaking point…when he's had enough, I hope I will know and be able to give him the gift of peace, but to be honest, I hope I never have to make that choice.

            I used the Balance It calculator, and I am concerned about the amount of fat in his food, because the Royal Canin Low Fat diet has a similar amount of protein in it. I hope the vet can give me more insight as to why one is better than the other for this specific case. With his fatty poop this morning, I am even more concerned about his ability to process fats.

          • Donovan's Mom

            If it is or has been determined to be primary IL I would DEFINITELY feed the RC LF. Fat is the enemy. You could also add so fiber (benefiber) is what I use or the WalMart equate brand. It mixes in any food and has no taste. My little guy gets 1/8 tsp with every 1/4 cup of food morning and night mixed with just a small amount of potatoes, peas and carrots and I also give him 1/4 capsule of ginger with each meal. The ginger use to help with his nausea but I still give it to him as it adds flavor to his meals. The potatoes are a healing food (remember my grandmother use to make potato soup when we were sick) and we have used raw potatoes for burns etc. I think the best is to cook the potatoes with enough water to get them soft and then blend them and the water together in a blender or even just smash them up in the water. That way they get the benefit of all the potato not just what is left after boiling. I know people used instant potatoes but if you have time just fix enough for a week or so (a couple is enough). There may not be a magic fix until you try a few things but the ingredients I listed cannot hurt him at all. My vet was very glad to hear about my additions to the RC LF as he has other patients with the same problems. Like I said there isn’t a cure-all and I know you have tried so much already but if you get the RC LF try adding the other things if he still has loose stools. The RC LF got rid of Donovan’s swelling but he still had some periodic diarrhea. That is why I added the potatoes and the other. I was also worried about his folic acid being low (turned out it wasn’t) so I added the diced peas and carrots (frozen) which I also chopped up and added a tsp of to the potato-ginger mix. I still do it even though it probably isn’t necessary because he loves it. I have had to hand feed him at times because he didn’t want to pick it up (it’s messy) off the plate but he always eats all his food now. Anyway I wish you success and hope the vet is helpful tomorrow. I will keep you in my thoughts with best wishes.

  • YorkieMom13

    Perhaps it’s unrelated, but I’ve noticed Little Man’s abdomen is becoming hard and looks “clear” like the skin is taut. Also, I notice there is some dimpling over one spot on his abdomen. In addition to this – when I rub his belly, he gets a weird tremor/shake in his back end and legs and his legs stiffen and then he wants to get up and get away. Usually he loves getting his belly rubbed, but even if I just touch it he looks uncomfortable.

    Anyone else see this weird tremor with touching/rubbing the abdomen?

  • YorkieMom13

    Sorry for being out of discussions for a while, been a little hectic with work.

    GOOD NEWS – Little Man has the energy of a puppy it seems. He is very happy and eating Royal Canin Hypo Hydrolized Protein WET FOOD throughout the day.

    BAD NEWS – His abdomen has swollen again, but not to a point that it seems to be impairing his ability to get around or jump up on the couch/bed/etc.

    Our vet has been really receptive, but he still says he’s not convinced it could be primary CIL, and still believes it’s secondary, and that we need to give the Royal Canin Hypo HP a chance to see if it corrects. It seems that he eats it, his abdomen swells to a point and then stops.

    We do NOT have a definitive diagnosis, as a) cost of endoscopy is pretty high for me – though the vet said he would do it free if he thought it would help but also b) that Little Man won’t be able to withstand anesthesia until he’s stable again.

    For now, we are taking it one day at a time and praying that his good behavior and attitude continue and that we see some progress with the belly swelling. Please keep Little Man and I in your thoughts and prayers this weekend.

    We will be thinking of all our little CIL supporters and friends who are struggling and we hope there is more progress on understanding the disease process.

    • Donovan's Mom

      Been wondering all week about him. Glad to hear he is at least eating. Please keep me posted.

      • YorkieMom13

        Another update on Little Man…he’s eating a combination of wet and dry Royal Canin Hypo HP. We started him back on 1/2mg of prednisone every other day and he seems to have a great appetite and more beefy than he’s had in MONTHS! He also has decreased swelling in his abdomen. I’m very cautious about being hopeful but I’m so proud of him for being such a fighter. He may have been down but I’m not counting him out, he’s going to be another CIL success story. This support group has been incredible because its helped me open up a dialogue with my vet. We email almost daily about Little Mans progress and prognosis and medication and I am so thankful to have so many people who care about him. We just have to stay positive that our little ones are able to beat this and come out on the other side stronger for everything they have been through.

        • Donovan's Mom

          You don’t know how happy I personally am to hear this. Wonderful news. Keep us updated with his progress. Best wishes from all my babies to your Little Man.

          • YorkieMom13

            Thank you. We appreciate it. 🙂 You have been so supportive troughut these past few weeks and I am so thankful that you took the time to check in with us. Sending love and prayer and positive energy from our house to yours.

  • YorkieMom13

    Little Man’s abdominal swelling is gone completely! I’m praying we’ve achieved remission but the vet would like to wait another week or so before re-checking his protein levels to ensure stability and not just a “fluke” day. Thank you all so much, for your thoughts, prayers and advice. We wouldn’t have come this far without you.
    And we certainly have to thank our vet who said Little Man could and would beat this. When we were losing hope, and considering saying goodbye, he advocated or him and said give me a few more days to see how he does. Now THAT’S a good vet! Plus he just has a soft spot for Yorkies that are snuggle bugs. 🙂

    We are off to yet another Royal Canin Hypo HP breakfast and maybe even a walk to the end of the street an back. He seems to want to resume his walks, he followed the mail man for 5 houses and the mail man brought him back to us. Nice guy. 🙂

  • YorkieMom13

    Hello ladies and gents!

    I’m back with good news and even better news.

    Little Man is still doing well. We are almost done with his dosing of metronidazole and continuing prednisone half mg every other day. He looks great and his behavior is at 95% of his usual. He seems to be a little lethargic on prednisone days.

    Ready for the better news?

    Our vet asked me to foster a little poodle mix who seems to be suffering from CIL also. The owners wanted to put this sweet little girl down, but our vet thinks she can be saved so we are nursing her back to health with food as well. She had no abdominal swelling just diarrhea and no appetite. Lucky he checked her albumin levels and fat levels. She seems to also have secondary CIL and shd gets along great with Little Man! We’re happy that we are able to help another little one beat this. We’re all really motivated now and doing really well. We have to spoon feed her still until she gets her strength up over the next few days. She didn’t have critical levels, apparently she was 1.8 and tolerating well. She just needs some food and some love to keep her going and hopefully the food will help her. She’s in 1.5mg of prednisone every day and also metronidazole for the diarrhea and some antibiotics for a mild infection.

    Wish us luck!!! 🙂

    • Donovan's Mom

      So very glad to hear your good news and even better news. Kudos to you for sticking with Little Man and blessings to you for taking in the other little sweetie. I’ll bet they will do even better together and you will have twice the love to enjoy. Sometimes there are happy endings. Love from our house to yours. Keep in touch.

    • YorkieMom13

      Well, good news and bad news.

      Our foster (we nicknamed her Lady Bug) has joined so many other CIL angels. We were doing really well and she even had a few days where she was able to eat on her own and the diarrhea had stopped, but unfortunately she became lethargic and when I took her to the vet for follow up, they decided they would do an ultrasound because her abdomen swelling hadn’t gone down. They found a mass that appeared to be strangling her bowels. We decided to let her go peacefully rather than struggle through a surgery that would likely be unsuccessful. The vet thinks that the mass had cut off blood supply to her bowel tissue for so long that it would be too much for her body to take in her immunocompromised state. We are comforted by the fact that she was not alone, she had people around her who loved her, and even Little Man was licking her cheek as if to say goodbye and comfort her.

      Little Man had blood work in September that said his albumin was still 1.0 and critical. The blood work we had this week says we are up to 3.4! I honestly think Lady Bug gave him just enough love and encouragement to heal, and he knew he wasn’t alone. We are thankful for her time with us, and for Little Man’s improvement in lab work. We continue with his prednisone every other day, and he’s still on a combination of wet and dry Royal Canin Hypo HP.

      We have had quite a bit of ups and lows unfortunately, and we are taking it one day at a time, but we know that without support from all angles (personal, professional, medical, spiritual, emotional, etc) that we aren’t going to accomplish anything.

      To date, we haven’t been brave enough to buy an entire case of Little Man’s wet food and are still buying only 3-4 cans at a time, but we did just buy a new bag of dry food only 3 months after starting him on this regimen. I am so thankful, so hopeful, and so joyful to see progress, to have the support of this board, to know that CIL is NOT a death sentence.

      Thank you all so very much.

      • Louie's mom

        I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet foster. It is never easy to let them go.

        Little Man’s progress sounds encouraging, though, that’s a nice jump in his bloodwork. I so understand that feeling of being afraid to buy a whole case of food at once. I had to order food through UC Davis Vet Med and would never buy more than the smallest amount I could. Hopefully he continues to do better.

        • YorkieMom13

          She had a different name when she came to us, but considering her family gave up on her, I couldn’t bear to have that name put on her ashes. Instead, she will always be our sweet Lady Bug and she will forever be a part of our family. I’m just so thankful to know we TRIED, that we gave her the opportunity to thrive, even if she couldn’t achieve remission or wellness, at least she had a few weeks where she had a companion, a family who wanted to snuggle her and keep her safe and promote her health. She loved just sitting out in the grass with the breeze blowing through her face.

          Thankfully the RC Hypo HP is in our local pet stores, so we don’t need to buy a case other than for convenience, but for now I think that buying one can at a time and having to make frequent food runs, reminds us that he’s still got a great appetite. 🙂

      • Donovan's Mom

        Sorry to hear about your foster. Thank you so much for giving Lady Bug a chance. You are a most generous loving family. So glad to hear about your Little Man. CIL is terrible, but sometimes it can be “lived” with. So happy for you.

        • YorkieMom13

          Our vet was kind enough to cover her expenses, he just couldn’t take her home in her fragile state and asked if we would. I’m just so thankful that we were able to give her a little bit of happiness and she was able to go peacefully. Hoping Little Man remembers to keep fighting this and if he never gives up, I won’t either.

  • Louie's Mom

    Such great news! Thanks for sticking with him and thanks especially for helping the new little one, too! This is such a puzzling disease sometimes and it sure feels good when you finally start to get a handle on what you need to do. Very happy for you!

    • Glenda Sorger

      I thought you would be interested to know about my dog, Daisy, and her recent diagnosis of both IBD and CIL – I think her case should be shared with everyone, because it is quite unusual.

      A couple of months ago, I took her in to the vet because she had hurt her back or neck, likely while playing ball. They took x-rays, but, of course, did not see anything, probably because it was a sprain or strain. Daisy was also going to have her teeth cleaned, which required a blood test, in advance, to make sure she was in good enough health to withstand the anesthesia. We got her blood test results back, which showed everything in the green, except one reading – the total protein level, but because it was just one test, they didn’t think much of it. Trends are the key here.

      Daisy is a spayed 7-yr old spayed Brittany, and was having occasional problems of having small accidents when she was very relaxed, so I took her back to the vet, a couple of weeks later, about that issue. They ran another blood test, which showed that her protein levels had dropped even further (these readings weren’t extremely low, but the first one was 4.1, then the second was 3.9), with Albumin being the problem at a reading of 1.8. This caught the attention of my vet, who thought that an abdominal ultrasound was in order, as she suspected that Daisy could possibly have CIL. That ultrasound definitely showed thickened areas of intestines, but as you know, a definitive diagnosis of either of this diseases cannot accurately be made without exploratory intestinal surgery. So, she underwent that surgery on September 5th, with a diagnosis of both CIL AND IBD having been confirmed. She is currently on a 20 mg daily does of Prednisone, split in half, every 12 hours. You would never know this dog has anything wrong at all. The bladder problem is unrelated, and she was started on Proin, but she couldn’t tolerate it, so we took her off of it, and we just make sure that she goes out extra often (which, let’s face it, you have to do with Prednisone, anyway), and she hasn’t had any further issues with this.

      Daisy’s doctor has never had any experience with a dog that has been diagnosed with CIL (or IBD) that does not have symptoms, so she consulted with other specialists to figure out the best way to treat her. Interestingly enough, our vet clinic does have another female Brittany with the same thing, but that dog was very sick when she was brought in, although my understanding is that she is doing very well now. As you know, it is particularly difficult to decide how to treat a dog with both conditions, since the generally-prescribed diets for each are opposing. Because my vet believed that the CIL was primary, she was Initially put on Royal Canin LF, but Daisy got diarrhea from that food. I had always had her on Orijen Adult dog food, mixed with boiled chicken and green beans, because she has a tendency to gain weight (I know, weird – right?), so my belief is that Daisy could not tolerate the barley in that food. So, they switched her to Royal Canin Hypo, and the diarrhea problem immediately stopped. She gets just the dry in the morning (which she actually likes), but I mix it with 99% fat-free ground turkey, butternut squash and green beans for her 2nd meal. In consideration of all this, my vet may have to change her position on which of these (CIL or IBD) is the primary problem. I think it is the IBD, but time will tell.

      Daisy had a follow-up appt on Friday, September 27th and had another blood test. Her doc called me on Monday to let me know that her readings are slowing improving, with her Albumin going from 1.8 to 2.3 in three weeks, so although it’s not huge, she is improving.

      I just thought this might be something that all would find interesting. I do recommend one thing, and that is that every dog get a blood test at least once, per year, if not twice. I think that we probably will get many more years with Daisy that some have gotten with their dogs, just simply due to catching this so early. Believe me, I have read everything that you and others on your website have gone through, and it’s just heartbreaking. I cried so much after hearing Daisy’s diagnosis, because I thought that she would immediately start having big problems. I am so thankful at how wrong I was, at least to this point. I hope you will all be interested in her progress, as I am with your babies!

  • Cyndi Snedden

    My Little Yorky Buddy was diagnosed today, and I was wondering , after reading all these comments, hasn’t anybody ever had the specialist insert a feeding tube? My specialist said that eating is the most important part of this battle. Buddy has not had any loose stools at all, he just simply will not eat anything. He is very nauseous from the meds. Please let me know if anyone out there has ever had experience with a feeding tube.

    • jodi

      Prednisone is a great medication for helping this disease and it should increase appetite ravenously. What medications are you using?

    • YorkieMom13

      Never was a feeding tube suggested to me. My vet just said to feed in small amounts, and if it persisted, they gave antinausea medication at the office and told me to give Pepcid (famotidine) over the counter to limit the over production of acid in the stomach which can cause nausea. They told me the amount to give based on my dog’s weight.

      Once the nausea subsided, he was able to eat on his own without me needing to give him as much Pepcid, so now he only gets the Pepcid maybe once every two weeks when he starts to seem a little nauseated.

  • Lilys mom

    I guess maybe the reason is because I think it’s difficult to get them to eat regularly again.

    Lily was diagnosed 2 years and 3 months ago so it’s been a while since I’ve dealt with the beginning issues of L. What are you feeding? I’ve never known of pred to make them nauseous. Maybe speak to your vet about adding in Pepcid to help with stomach upset. Lily took it for quite a few months along with her pred.

    Since I haven’t spoken to anyone in quite some time I thought I would give a quick update on Lily. It was a struggle with Lily for about a year until we found the magic combination. A homemade diet, small dose of pred, and small dose of azathiorpine rotated every other day. Of course we had a few glitches here and there with infections and things of that nature. But, our biggest struggle started in January of this year. Lilys body got overtaken by demodex mange. This is the type of mange that they get when their immune system is compromised. It has been a nightmare. The treatment for the mange doesn’t work because Lily has to take some sort of immunosuppressant whether it be pred or aza. So because of that it was almost impossible for her to fight off the infestation. We did dips which caused her to develop a seizure disorder, we did ivomec which caused her to have an allergic reaction. We gave her many different things to boost her immune system and eventually finally weened her off of the pred for 4 months straight. The mange was gone finally. And then it came back. As a last stich effort we tried the ivomec again under the home care of her vet and it worked this time. Thank God. She had a negative skin scrape last week, but we’ve had to add inte pred again as her albumin had dropped. Lily will probably never be free of the mange but were doing the best we possibly can to keep her around. And for a dog they told me would live 6 months – she’s done pretty darn good.
    We all have our ups and downs with this terrible disease, but sometimes it’s good to read that their is light at the end of your struggle. You just have to find what works for your dog.

    • YorkieMom13

      There really can be so many ups and downs with this disease. I think finding a supportive veterinarian is very important. I have considered switching vets based on concerns, but thankfully I stayed with him. He is supportive of trying to find what works – whatever that may be. Right now we have achieved stability, but he says if things aren’t going well, he’s still consulting with others regarding the treatment of CIL and how to manage it for the best outcomes for these dogs. My vet LISTENS to my concerns, checks, rechecks, reads and verifies and then gets back to me regarding whether or not it would work and WHY or WHY NOT. That is so important to feel heard and have my concerns addressed. Reminds me that not every vet is in it for the money, and for that I am thankful!

      • Glenda Sorger (Daisy's mom)

        Yorkie Mom, boy I couldn’t agree more. The checking and re-checking, along with the frequent communication is so important! My vet does the same thing – thankfully, Daisy’s bloodwork is nearly normal now; she gets a blood test every two to three weeks, and each time, her albumin and total protein rise by about .2 – .3 – not a lot, but as my vet says, this is excellent, because she is showing steady improvement. Next visit is Nov. 14th (this will be just past the 8-week mark of treatment), and they believe that we will be able to cut back her dose of prednisone. I have to say, the more posts I read, the more I realize just how devastating CIL is to the small dogs. I do believe that because Daisy is a larger (47 – 50 lbs) dog, she has a definite advantage. When I look back to the summer, I do remember a few times (maybe 3) that she had diarrhea, but generally, she has shown no symptoms, although my vet did tell me that when she cut into Daisy intestines, lymph fluid just poured out. She said she had never seen intestines in that bad of shape, so we are both a bit befuddled by her lack of symptoms. I guess I shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth, but I would like to again emphasize the importance of a blood test, once or twice a year, even if you have a dog that isn’t sick. Pure happenstance that Daisy’s illness was discovered so soon. Of course, she will always have to stay on a special diet, and she does not get the same treats that she used to get (I believe that giving her pig ears may have set this disease process in motion), but she has adjusted very well to her food and her sweet potato (only) treats! Thanks to all for reading!

        • YorkieMom13

          I don’t know how bad my guy’s CIL is, or how advanced it was, but I do know that if he hadn’t had that appointment that Monday morning, we would have been in the office to put him down regardless. He was that bad unfortunately, but it got really bad over only a few days. We are just hoping to keep him on the right track and then start introducing some kind of treat, perhaps sweet potato.

          Hope Daisy continues on her path to wellness!

  • Lilys mom

    Yes, having a good vet is extremely important. We couldn’t ask for a better veterinarian for Lily. We didn’t care much for her internist, but luckily our vet is the only one who deals with her at this point. Our vet is awesome, she will come in even when she’s not suppose to be at work if Lily is sick, we even have her personal cell number. She has also kept Lily the one time we’ve been on vacation because we just didnt trust anyone else. She isn’t afraid to do the research and try new things. We’re almost like really good friends at this point!
    I agree that bigger dogs seem to be more at an advantage. Lily only weighs 7lbs so when she got ill loosing a pound or two was a huge deal. Where as in a bigger dog it’s not. If you find that magic combination, your golden it seems. Many people struggle to find it (heck, it took us 6 months). Lily is out miracle and we are thankful for her every single day.
    I also agree with getting blood test done regularly. We had always done yearly exams with our dogs even if they weren’t ill. But since Lily got sick, we now take our other two twice a year.

    • Glenda Sorger (Daisy's mom)

      Lily’s Mom – I don’t know, but it seems like the common thread with these vets that appear to really care (and try so hard to help) is that they are women veterinarians. I’ll probably get hate comments over saying that, but I do notice it, and not just with CIL patients. Like you, I am close with my vet, as well. Lately, we’re all about sharing Kale salad recipes. And, just recently, they’ve posted Daisy’s picture on their FB page with a caption that reads, “Meet Daisy Sorger!”, which was so nice of them! I simply LOVE my vet! And as often as Daisy is poked with needles, she is more than happy go there, every couple of weeks!

      • YorkieMom13

        Little Man’s vet is a male. He just seems to have a soft spot for him. I always chuckle because when I bring him in to the office, our vet will pick him up and hold him for the duration of the visit. No joke. He will talk to other people and carry him around the office like an accessory while we proceed with checking out and making appointments. Little Man used to shake and be really uncomfortable at the vet office, but thankfully he’s found two female vet techs and the doc and he stops shaking – once we even got a single tail wag out of him! I was stunned. It’s just nice to see that they go the extra mile to take care of him. The office staff always ask how he is, and they never try to just go petting him, they always ask first, because they know how skittish he can be, and they actually are trying to convince the office to order treats for him for when he comes in, since he can’t eat the regular ones in the office. They’re a sweet bunch! 🙂

    • YorkieMom13

      Lily’s Mom –
      We are hoping to be able to do one more 3 month visit, and then go to twice a year. It will be nice to be able to take a break from being at the vet office constantly!
      Our vet gave us his cell phone number as well. I think that’s a sign of a vet who truly cares and wants to be sure they’ve done everything possible. His wife is the office manager, and when we brought in Little Man the day we were picking up Lady Bug, she said “So this is the handsome man who has my husband up all night trying to figure out this puzzle?”. We live on the east coast, and the consult was with a vet who lives on the west coast, and thus late nights to be able to skype consult! Just happy to know I have a dedicated vet, even if I have doubted him from time to time.

      • Glenda (Daisy's mom)

        Hi, Yorkie Mom – Say, I was reading back through these posts and noticed that you are also feeding RC HP, which is what Daisy gets. Although she is doing just fine, her last blood test was actually down a couple of ticks on Albumin, and I am noticing that Daisy is drinking more water than the extra that the Prednisone would make her drink, which leads me to believe that she is probably losing protein again. I’m going to ask that my vet change her food to the Rayne Clinical Nutrition Kangaroo and Squash, as it is very low in fat (she cannot tolerate the RC LF). The RC HP is not low in fat, and rather than change Daisy’s medication, I want to try a low-fat approach to bring her numbers back up. She is due for another test, this week, but I’m preparing for a less that perfect reading. Is Little Man still doing well on the RC HP?

        • YorkieMom13


          Little Man is doing FANTASTIC on the royal canin hydrolized protein (RC HP). His number have been stable, he gets daily famotidine dosing, and a mixture of wet and dry RC HP. He has not had any additional weight loss, he’s completely off prednisone, and his hair is slowly starting to grow back.

          Behaviorally, he’s pretty much back to his old self and we are incredibly thankful he’s done so well. We won’t need repeat labs until July unless he becomes symptomatic again, and then more labs in December, and then we’ll go to once a year labs when he goes for his regular check up.

          My vet never explained why RC HP wold be a better option than the LF options, and cautioned against introducing venison or any other alternative meats, because we were unsure of the cause of Little Man’s disease. Vet says he’d like us to stick to just the food since he is stable, but if he relapses, that would be the time to try introducing those alternative proteins so that we don’t exhaust all of our options too quickly by creating a sensitivity early on in diagnosis.

          The only issue we have noticed now is that he has started chewing on strange objects – baseboards, paper, etc. Vet is hesitant to introduce any chewing toys and recommended we try Nyla bones that are not meat/protein/food based in any way so that we don’t potentially cause a sensitivity or relapse. Other than that, there hasn’t been anything to worry or be concerned about since we got him started on the HP.

          Hope this helps to answer your questions and I hope that Daisy is doing better now.

          • Glenda (Daisy's mom)

            Thanks, so much, YorkieMom – Daisy actually is doing just fine, but boy, I would love to get her off the pred. She ate part of an oven mitt, the other day (probably because it had some residue of a food smell on it). Although I’ve been able to keep her from gaining weight, it’s tough when all they care about it finding more food! I’m opposed to increasing her prednisone dose (for obvious reasons), but she has her next appt. on Thursday, so I should know, by Friday, where her readings are. Really appreciate the response, too!

  • Monica

    My charlie lost the battle to IBD and CIL.. He went to heaven tonight. He lived a short sweet life..

  • Angie Barnes

    Dear Dr,
    My yorkie is 13 yrs old and is losing protein in her intestines and has to be on a low fat diet.We are not sure if she has lymphangiectasia but, are treating her as if she does.
    She is currently on…
    1 mg pred once a day (last week it was twice a day)
    1/4 tab flagyl twice a day
    1/8 tsp Tylan twice a day
    A package FortiFlora sprinkled of her food once a day.(probiotic)
    Coconut oil drizzled on her food.

    Her Symptoms are…
    Swollen abdomen (which was drained last week.)
    Weight loss and loss of muscle mass.
    Six months ago she was 5 lbs 2oz. Last friday at the vet she was 4.11 but, that was before the drainage of protein from her abdomen,which was 4 oz.
    She is eating good, I mix white rice with Royal Canin Low Fat Gastro with water.
    My question is, seeing as she is on pred, she should be really thirsty, I’m having to give her water with a syringe. She has always loved water, now when I offer it she’ll only take one lick or turn her head.
    1. Does this mean the pred is not being absorbed?
    2. What do you think of the medicine prescribed, is there something better we could be doing?
    Thank you and any info is graciously appreciated 🙂

    • Donovan's Mom

      I too use RC LF for the basic food. I also add about a Tablespoon of Potatoes (boiled and whipped with the water that they are boiled), 1/4 capsule of ginger (for nausea), 1/4 tsp of fiber powder (Benefiber or equate), 1/2 Miraclezyme tablet which is a pre and pro biotic. He gets exactly 1/4 of Cup of his food mixed with the RC. He hasn’t been on any meds although I have Budesonide and Metronidazole on standby. Sorry I don’t know anything about the Prednisone but others on here will. Donovan was swollen and had lost weight with bouts of diarrhea. I put him on the food and he lost the fluid within 1 1/2 weeks. I added the other ingredients as he still had diarrhea occasionally and that stopped completely. I know I have been lucky it has worked right off the bat and surely hope the same for your baby.

  • Monica

    I am very sad to hear about Charlie, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Sloane

    Hi Friends,

    I seem to remember a post a while back about baking canned food for dog treats, but can’t find it anymore. I want to take Olive Anne’s Royal Canin LF canned food and bake it into little crunchy treats for her, but first want to make sure that this has been done before with success. Has anyone baked RC LF and used it as a treat for any length of time?


    • Donovan's Mom

      I just use the RC LF dry food as treats too.

      • Glenda (Daisy's mom)

        Hi Donovan’s mom – For treats, I just give Daisy the sweet potato treats that you can find in the store. The ones I buy are nothing more than sliced and dried sweet potato, and she absolutely loves them. No fat, no bother and 100% vet-approved!

  • max's mom

    HI everyone i need help i have a 5 yr old pit bull (staffi)who after a total of 4wk diarrea and weight loss and exploratory surgery with biopsy was diagnosed with cil he has never lost his apetite at all he is starving all the time just started therapy on 01/10/2014 prednisone 5mg and he was given purina om i mix a little of the purina en i dont know what else i could mix in with food to give him more protein please need ideas and i dont know if i give a second helping am i doing it rong how much fat is to much fat

    • sergios mom

      Royal Canin LF or Wellness Core reduced fat. NO table food, no treats unless it is monitored by you as anything FAT free which will not increase stress on the intestinal tract. ie: shredded carrot vs. whole carrot. They need VERY high protein to compensate for what they are losing to the disease. For my dog, ANY stress makes him sick (gas, diarrhea, fluid in the chest, abdomen); the cold, a delivery man, etc. I also don’t think that’s very much prednisone. I also have to feed more meals, more often, more quantity. He also get Mother Hubbard Veggin’ treats. Just saying what he gets, may not work for you… also, a website called but expensive. Good luck! Keep him warm !!!

    • Donovan's Mom

      My little guy (less than 6 lbs) has CIL too. He eats RC LF. After I started him on it he still had occasional bouts of diarrhea. I added potatoes (which I fix every couple of weeks and keep in a bowl in the refrigerator), 1/4 tsp of Benefiber or an equate brand) with each meal (he eats twice a day), and 1/4 of a 550 mg tablet of ginger for nausea with each meal. The potatoes I use are russet and I boil them in enough water to cover them and then whip them with the liquid and store. This diet has been successful for me for 9 months now. I never even had to put him on the Budesonide (yet) or Metronidazole. I know I might have to someday and I did have them filled but he has done so well I don’t have to add any extra protein or meds. Every baby is different and I’m sure you will find what works for you and your guy. Best of luck. Wishing you well.

  • sergios mom

    *** oops, NOT VERY MUCH PRESNISONE. I don’t know his body weight but my 70 lb. doberman, my vet told me less than 10 mg isn’t doing anything except wasting time & money. I give 20mg when he’s really sick & wean down to 10mg.

  • sergios mom

    A Max’s Mom – If your vet gave antibiotics post-surgery, you might want to do some probiotics too. I use Benebac. I did not have luck with adding fiber or MCT oil as you will find people mention.I use organic brown rice as a filler although I don’t think Sergio is digesting it. Keep a close eye on Max’s breathing! If it seems labored, he’ll need some water pills or to be drained.

  • max's mom

    thank you sergios mom and donovan’s mom i am devastated by the news so i am so glad i found this site i would not know where to begin max is still on antibiotic from surgery so adding a probiotic makes sense and he is 59lb he lost 8lb he is on prednison 5mg 2pills every 12hr and after 14 days it goes down to 2 every 12hr and so on do you think that sounds better. thank you again for your response.

    • sergios mom

      The 10 mg sounds better, you may save money using 20 mg tablets in halves. If you end up using it often you may need some pepcid prior. Long term prednisone use can also cause Cushings disease. But Sergio has had this since 2008 and he’s doing well. Definitely go get the other dog food & start doing a slow transition with rice to help since he already has diarrhea. You can always give some liquid pepto!!

    • Donovan's Mom

      I too was devastated to hear the news. The “specialist” wasn’t very hopeful either. That is why I was so glad to find this site and learn all I could about the disease. It affects each dog differently so no diet is good for all. I use potatoes instead of rice as the potatoes just seem to help his stomach more. The RC LF is a blessing and I am very strict about him not getting anything else. NO ONE gives him anything unless I know about it and approve. That is important. I added them first, then the fiber and ginger. I too give him a pre and probiotic called Miraclezyme. You can break it up in their food and/or just give it to them as treats. He gets 1/2 tablet with each meal. Your baby would probably need a whole one each meal. Sounds like you are learning, as we all have, what works and what doesn’t for Max. I wish you every success and know you will find the right combination.

  • bonny

    my whippet has been having the problems associated with this desese,i have yet to have a sample taken to prove it because he has done better with hills rd kibble and water pills and because the only place to have it done is 300 miles away.what i am wondering is if anyone has found these symptoms to be from stress and lack of nutrition rather then actualy having the disese?he stoped eating his natural balance lid kibble(low fat high carb)when hubbys father died,there was a urine and blood sample tested,after a week of giving him other food both test were done again and the urine sample came back ok but the blood sample came back leaking protiens.

  • elsie

    Good day I have a puppy +/- 6 months old
    I had her at the vet on Thursday they gave me some medicine but she doesn’t want to eat she only drinks plenty water.
    Took het back on Sunday (yesterday) and they found that there is something wrong with her blood its black from behind what does that mean.
    The vet gave me some more medicines and Glutamine
    Question: what do glutamine do?

  • elsie

    Please help me.
    The vet also told me if she is not better I must bring her back to put her on a drip.
    I don’t know what to do?

  • Tanya

    Has anyone had any luck using Purina Veterinary Diets DCO Dual Fiber Control Dry Dog Food to aide with cil and diarrhea and weight gain?

    • Bailey's Mom

      Hi Tanya,

      I have heard of it. It seems like the majority are put on Royal Cain or Science Diet. My dog Bailey is on Iam’s Low Residue Intestinal Plus. He has to eat a lot of it to keep his weight up, but I usually just throw in some turkey breast. He’s gained the majority of his weight back and the diarrhea has subsided for the most part. Occasionally he’ll have short bouts of it, but nothing compared to when first diagnosed.

  • Jerry's Mum

    How much exercise do you all give your dogs?… Mine is a springer and is full of energy. I like to let him off the lead and wonder if anyone uses a muzzle to stop them eating things? Can eating wheat from the fields cause any issues? I would just like to know what others do. Thanks

    • Bailey's Mom

      My vet says to let Bailey exercise as much as he wants. He doesn’t tend to eat grass unless he’s not feeling well, so I usually let him run free. I’m very cautious about what could be in the yard though with it being summertime and cook out season. Just keep an eye on him and make a decision from there. I don’t think a muzzle is necessary unless you see him getting into things he shouldn’t.

  • Tonka's mom

    My 2 yr old silver lab was just diagnosed with CIL. What led us to seek treatment is her constant bloating in the abdomen. She has also always been a “picky eater”. She has been started on Prendisone and a special food (I believe it’s science diet). From the sounds of it we are lucky in that she is otherwise a happy, playful dog. She was responding well to treatment but over the past week her swelling has returned. I feel horrible because we were still giving her rawhide bones (her favorite). Our vet didn’t tell us that they were bad for her (so thankful I found that out from here). Also her doc gave us food (her prescribed kind) but this time it had chicken added which I guess can also be hard on her.

    Anyways, just wanted to say in thankful for finding this sight.


    • Donovan's Mom

      Glad to see you here. Hope your Tonka is doing well. You can read my previous posts but just wanted to tell you, the swelling is how I found out about Donovan’s problem too. He had bouts of diarrhea before for about a year (it would come and go). I was going to put him on Budesonide and Metronidazole but started him on RC LF. His swelling went down immediately. He still had occasional diarrhea so I added some potatoes, fiber powder and ginger to his food twice a day. He also gets a pre and pro biotic. The only treats he gets is pieces of his dry food. I am very strict about his diet. It’s been over a year and I still haven’t had to use his scripts. I hope you have success in getting your baby straightened out too. People here are very responsive if you have other questions and also are glad to share the diets they have found work for them. Good luck.

  • Sergio's Mom

    Hi All, I have been a member here about 6 years I believe. 1st I’m sorry, I can’t find the area to create a new post?
    Next: Sergio has had C.I.L. for 6 years now. We were doing great & I shared my protocol because it worked for us. Wellness Core reduced fat, Mother Hubbard Veggin’ treats, sweet potato, occ. carrot. That was all. I gave Lasix & Pred when I saw his symptoms come around which began with labored belly breathing. Recently he took a turn for the worse, the gas was the 1st sign. Turned into severe bloating & diarrhea.
    Lucky for me, the timing was right, I just started a new job. (I’m an L.V.T) (Licensed Vet Tech). There is a naturalistic vet @ my hospital. I mentioned my case to him & he gave me a new protocol.

    * Sweet potato diet ONLY. For 1 month.

    Well, he was getting so skinny, we only made it maybe 3 weeks. Sergio has extreme energy & he needs protein. So we added steamed white wish, cod or whiting I’ve been doing. I am feeding him 3x a day.

    He gets Probiotics, very specifically, “Sacharomyces boulardi by Jarrow formulas is the probiotic. and the enzyme is Enzyme plus by best for your

    Start with the seacure for now.”

    The quotes is what the Vet wrote. I tried the Seacure before. It stinks & he had diarrhea but that was before the sweet potato diet. The vet gave me the Seacure in a capsule and it was fine. Previously, mine was a tub of powder.

    So, I hope you’ve foudn this interesting. I call it my miracle.

    Eventually, the next step is to add 99% FF turkey & cooked egg.

    Feel free to try it. You may love the plan. I know it is saving Sergio for now !!!

  • Louies Mom

    We used to have a forum, not a blog, and it got too difficult trying to eliminate all the misinformation people would post there, plus they would argue, so we moved to this format.

    Back when that forum was active there was a poster who came around touting Seacure. Many of us tried it, none of us had success with it, a couple of dogs died shortly thereafter (I cannot say it was the Seacure but the timing was bad.) When I tried it for Louie, he worsened dramatically. Therefore I would caution you and others against trying it. I’ve never seen a CIL dog do well with it.

  • Tammy tucks mom

    Hi our dog Tuck was diagnosed with lymphangiectasia secondary to IBD three years this September. We have had our ups and downs with this disease but have basically been able to keep her a happy and heathy other wise with a home made diet and medications. Last night we woke to her not able to stand up when she tried to get up after a few minutes she was fine and got up as usual. The same thing happened this morning we are going to watch here today closely would like to wait until tomorrow to take her to our internal med doctor. Has anyone ever experienced this?

  • Walter's rescuers

    Hello. I just recently found this site. I am part of a rescue that has a 6.5 year old boston terrier named Walter who has been diagnosed with lymphangiectasia, IBD, PLE, and PLN. The symptoms started with fly-biting seizures, and then we noticed his albumin was dropping consistently over several weeks. Endoscopy diagnosed Lymphangiectasia and IBD. On first bloodwork (before the endoscopy) the albumin was 2.5, and has dropped down to 1.4 at the lowest. He has tried prednisone, cyclosporine, azathioprine, plus several other medications for high blood pressure, kidney disease, and phenobarbital for fly-biting seizures. Nothing is working. He has been on several different diets and is currently eating low fat kangaroo, potato, and squash from Rayne Clinical Nutrition (food is indicated for lymphangiectasia dogs). Walter has consistently poor appetite and is underweight. His albumin is currently 1.7 and has been dropping again over the last 4 weeks. We are at a loss of what to do. His Internal Medicine Specialist in NYC is very frustrated as well. Does anyone have advice of what medications may help? We have to be careful with steroids because of the concurrent kidney disease. Just searching for answers. It is so hard to watch this poor dog not feel well. He occasionally has 1 good day per week where he feels great, and the rest of the days are mediocre or poor, with shaking, lethargy, inappetance. Any advice is welcome. Thank you. Tara

    • Glenda (Daisy's mom)

      Hi Tara, say, I just wanted to let you know that my dog, Daisy, also has CIL and IBD, and the steroids really did not help her, either. She is also on the Rayne Clinical Nutrition Kangaroo and Sweet Potato dry, but she was not able to tolerate that food, given by itself. I ended up mixing that food 50/50 with Royal Canin HP. Because Daisy was unable to tolerate the Prednisone, my vet took her completely off of it, and her CIL and IBD are being controlled by diet alone. I am not recommending that you refrain from giving your dog those medications, but if they don’t work for him, what choice do you have? Have you tried Budesonide? A lot of folks seem to have good results with it. I suppose the situation is made much worse for your dog, given all of the other issues he’s saddled with, but you might ask you vet about the Budesonide. Good luck with Walter!

    • Lesia

      Omg…my teacup yorki, Meeka, had all the same issues since nov, 2013. She saw various specialists, was on all kind of meds. It was very, very difficult to find something that she would eat. I was ordereing kangaroo food that she finally did eat. I went a thru various foods from dry to wet to raw to homemade but one day she would eat it then stopped. Noticing that the meds were not helping just more and more difficult to give, I weened her off them. I was getting her belly drained cause her belly filled from losing so much protein anywhere from every 6-10 days…I thought I was just waiting for her to pass. It was a Wednesday and I was thinking if I should get her drained on Friday or Saturday. At the same time I was waiting on her food to arrive cause I was low so I made her boiled rice, chicken breast, carrots, potatoes, and bricholli…by the time Friday/Saturday came around she looked like her belly was getting smaller. I thought it was just me with wishful thinking. Within 3 days she looked like a different new dog like there was never anything wrong with her. She hasn’t been drained since August 1st. Her vet had no explanation just said keep doing what I was doing. He plans on getting her blood work done but wanted to give it a few weeks. Keep trying everything you can. She was sick for 9 months…hopefully she will stay healthy…I was at a loss just as you. Just keep trying. Good luck to you. Remember my Meeka was sick for 9 months and I didn’t think she would make it. I am from the lake geneva wi area and my vet is dr. Welch at Lakr geneva anomal hospital. I know he spoke to various vets that he knew in different states. If you vet wants to call him, maybe they can confer on things from what my vet know and yours. Again, good luck to you.

    • Donovan's Mom

      So sorry to hear about Walter. CIL and IBD both are diseases that seem to be hard to come up with a “fit-all” diet. My Donovan was sick off and on for 1 1/2 years before his belly finally became swollen and we had the diagnosis. He was put on Royal Canin LF and his swelling went down immediately. He still had occasional bouts of diarrhea so I added whipped potatoes, fiber powder and ginger to his diet as well as started him on a pre and pro biotic. He has been great ever since (diagnosed April 4, 2013) The specialist gave me a script for Budesonide and Metronidazole but I never had to use them. I think you just have to fool around and come up with a diet that works for your guy. I was lucky. I still live day to day because there is no cure but his albumin is normal and no more diarrhea or swelling. Sending best wishes and lots of puppy kisses to Walter. Good luck. He is lucky to have you.

    • Emma's Mom

      We have had incredible results with Tylan Powder and Atopica as a way to maintain Emma’s intestinal issues – When she was at her worst, she was also taking metronidazole, prednisone, simplicef – it was trial an error until we found the right combination – stay strong –

  • Walter's rescuers

    Thank you for the responses so far. I’m happy to hear what has worked for some of you. Keep them coming if anyone has other suggestions.
    The Internist is currently tapering him off the cyclosporine because it doesn’t seem to be doing anything. He is off the prednisone already. Not sure if we’re going to keep him on the azathioprine but it was only started 2 weeks ago. I’m hoping that we can control him on diet alone with minimal meds for the kidney disease. I’ve heard that people have had success with budesonide and will ask the Internist about it.
    I’ve read that a few people add potatoes to their dog’s food. Maybe we’ll try that. The biggest problem is his lack of appetite. It’s a struggle to get him to eat most of the time.

    He’s the sweetest dog and we’d love to get him healthier so that he can get adopted. He’s been with our rescue for almost 7 months now and has seen more specialists and regular vets than most dogs in their lifetime!

    • Donovan's Mom

      If you try the potatoes, whip them in their own water after boiling. He should love them, especially at first. You might also try adding peas and carrots (I use my Ninja to get them fine) and just add a Tablespoon or so to each meal. Ginger is also a good add because it helps the digestion and settles stomach (sort of like flat ginger ale which my baby wouldn’t touch). He likes the taste of the ginger in the potatoes. The fiber powder keeps everything moving through his system. The RC LF didn’t seem to have enough for him. Sincerely wish you well with this little guy.

    • Bailey's Mom

      I also use mashed pumpkin instead of potato (Bailey is not a huge fan of potato and will either snub the food or try to pick out what he wants). Helps with diarrhea, upset stomach and he devours his food. I also add a little fiber powder to keep stools firm. Currently Bailey is eating Iams Intestinal Plus Low Residue, however Royal Canin has gotten some of the best reviews. Bailey has now been weaned off the majority of meds. Down to 0.25mg of Budesonide every other day (Budensonide has less side effects than prednisone and is less harsh on their bodies!). He has a recheck at the end of the month and if all goes well, I think we’ll be able to take all meds out of the equation. It seems that once you find the best diet for the pup, you see some great improvements and get them into remission faster! Best of Luck for your little one!

  • Emma's Mom

    Hi all –
    It has been a while since I have been here – our Emma has been doing incredibly well and appeared to be in remission – I feed her ground turkey and potato, 3x a day (she is always ravenous!) she is on atopical and tylan powder and has been in prefect health – weighing in at a whopping 37 lbs (25 lbs same time last year) – That’s the GREAT news – the bad new is that she is suffering with yeast infections in her ears and on her belly (which I am treating with medicated shampoo and ear drops and cleanser) and, just today, had a very deep umor removed from between the pad/toes on her right front paw (waiting on biopsy) Has anyone had experience with these secondary issues as a part of CIL? How have you managed through them – appreciate any insights that you can share – Thanks in advance –

  • Emma's Mom

    Biospy results are in – turns out that Emma has CPV (Canine Papiloma Virus) as a complication related to her CIL – She had an extremely deep and painful wart between her toes that there is no guarantee won’t re-occur – has anyone else had to deal with this? Really appreciate your thoughts – how much can this sweet thing endure?

  • Donovan's Mom

    Would like to know if anyone that has had to make a decision about vaccines, has gone ahead and given them. After two years of getting Donovan back to eating with gusto and for the past year not having any issues with his CIL, he is due for his regular exam and shots. I have almost decided not to give any more Rabies vaccines to him as he is inside all of the time and only out with me on a leash. The Distemper/Parvo combo is another matter. Trying to decide which risks outweigh the other. Anyone with experience in this? Hope all are doing well. Happy Holidays.

    • tara

      I would advise to ABSOLUTELY NOT give any vaccines! No dog with an autoimmune disease should receive vaccines, and a good vet should tell you this. In addition, there is plenty of evidence that one vaccine will provide immunity against distemper/parvo and rabies for 7 or more years. If you are concerned about whether he is protected or not, ask the vet to run a distemper/parvo titer test (blood test) to see if Donovan has enough antibodies against distemper and parvo to protect him if he were to come into contact with it. If you decide to give him vaccines, it is very likely that his CIL will worsen. Tara

      • Donovan's Mom

        Thank you for your reply. He has had his shots regularly and I honestly do believe his risk is minimal. I already have decided to never do Rabies again but didn’t know which the greater risk would be. My vet use to do titers but after the three year shot came out, he quit. I use to have all mine tested before any shots were given, of course there was never any for Rabies. My dogs are inside and only go out on a leash so exposure to anything is minimal. It just helps knowing someone else agrees that giving them would be dangerous. My little guy will be 8 in July and he is healthy and happy as a little dog can be. No one would know he has CIL just to look at him. I sure don’t want to go backwards. Thanks again.

    • Louie's mom

      I got a medical exemption for Louie so that he would not have to have any more shots. I’m about 95% convinced that his issues were triggered by his last rabies vaccination.

      • Donovan's Mom

        Thank you so much for your reply. I have already decided never to do the Rabies again. He is an inside dog, out on a leash with me only so his risk is minimal at best. I am still not too sure about which would be the greatest risk with the DAP doing it again or not. Did you keep doing the DAP? I am so worried and do not want to do anything to upset his system. He is healthy and no one would ever know he has CIL. Thanks for everything.

  • Amy Gunny's Mom

    By the way the Gentle Snackers are $6.95 through!!! I forgot to add that! I buy four bags a month with his food. Check it out!!!


  • Ember's Mon

    Anyone here have a dog doing well without being on prednisone treatment? Ember has been on it for a year now and she’s doing well with her CIL but wondering if it’s possible for CIL dogs to survive without it or replaced with something more holistic and not as damaging. She has improved the most with a change of diet but she did get bloated during exercise or times of stress when we tried doing once a month B12 injections. She does much better with weekly injections I’ve noticed.

    I’m also concerned about her rabies shot. She is overdue now by 5 months but my vet (holistic) wants to dose her with prednisone and give it to her anyway. I know the rabies vaccine is a horrible vaccine and I really don’t like the idea of having to give it.

    • Lily's mom

      Hi Ember’s mom, our Lily passed away from this disorder last year. But, I know this board isn’t very active do I wanted to reply to your post.
      Lily stayed on mostly pred for two years and eight months. During that time she developed demodex mange and was switched to azathiropine for a few months to allow us to treat the mange. She maintained a normal albumin level for 3 months, but then we had to resort back to pred because her albumin dropped.
      We tried some other supplements and we’re hopeful that the azathiropine would work, but she couldn’t maintain without pred. The diet also plays a great roll in the dosage of the drug I believe. Lily was just on a maintenance dose for a very long time (.5 ml every other day). Lily ultimately passed away from renal failure which was completely separate from CIL or the pred itself.
      As far as vaccinations go out vet never required Lily to receive another vaccine. She believed her immune system was far to compromised to receive one. Hope this helps.

    • Donovan's Mom

      First of all Donovan has never been on prednisone. We have been fortunate enough to not have to do meds at all. Secondly, I asked about vaccines and Louie’s mom told me that it WILL definitely affect his CIL as it is an immune issue. Depending on where you live and if your baby is inside and the risks you feel that she is exposed to, the main thing to worry about is if she bit someone and they made you quarantine her. I don’t know if Donovan would survive the two weeks. He has been “overdue” on all is vaccines for about 1 1/2 years but he is inside all the time unless he has to potty and then he goes out on a leash. If your baby is inside, not exposed and depending on how many years she has been vaccinated, you might want to keep the status quo. It is a risk either way, but I decided it was too risky for him to have the vaccines, especially since he was doing so well.

      • Ember's Mon

        Ember is currently on a maintenance dose of pred as well but it’s still effecting her overall attitude which is my main reason for wanting to take her off. She’s always on edge with the other dogs in the house since starting pred a year ago. She is on Four Marvels (anti inflammatory we were hoping would help us cut out pred), milk thistle for liver support, probiotics and melatonin to help with her hair growth as she has lost a lot of it due to the pred. She is still getting chicken and it makes me wonder if that was taken out of her diet and only given more low fat foods, she might be ok without it. She doesn’t have diarrhea or vomiting while eating it tho. The only things we have eliminated from her diet since diagnosis were duck and pork. She can eat beef, turkey, venison and sardines that she has been eating for the past 8 months.

        As far as vaccines, we are very active in dog sports. We are at a flyball tournament atleast once month and practice weekly. In Pennsylvania you can get a waiver for rabies which is required by law every 3 years but for the waiver you have to do it yearly. The vets logic is it is just easier to do it and get it over with. Even before Ember was diagnosed, I have always believed in a limited vaccination protocol. My husky has severe allergies and she is another one i would prefer never to vaccinate again. I like our current vet a lot but the idea because it’s easier just to vaccinate her doesn’t sit well with me.

        • Tara

          Why not get a distemper/parvo titer test to see if your dog even needs a vaccine? That way you will know if she is protected. No way would I vaccinate my CIL dog! If your vet thinks it’s easier to just vaccinate, then perhaps you need a new vet.

          • Ember's Mon

            I’m not giving her any vaccines anymore. My issue is rabies because it is required by law. The state of Pennsylvania doesn’t accept titers for rabies either. I have to get a waiver from a vet and submit it to the county. Apparently it’s a lot of work for ‘just one year’. Vet says its just easier to dose her with pred and give her the rabies vaccine which will hold me over for 3. I don’t like that logic. It’s hard to find a vet near me that supports/knows enough about raw in my area. This one was an hour away but I’m searching for a second opinion and another holistic vet. My local vet would probably do the waiver but will be no help with the raw diet and finding other ways to try and get her off pred.

          • Donovan's Mom

            I decided not to even do a titer, as I would not vaccinate even if the test said he would need it. You are so right about changing vets. We are the only ones who should make a decision about their health weighing all the advice.

        • Donovan's Mom

          The easy way out is not the way to take with a CIL dog. Assuming her CIL is primary, is it?, and not knowing the diet you have tried or other meds mentioned to you by your vet, there are other options to Prednisone. I had prescriptions for Budesonide and Metronidazole for Donovan but decided not to even start them without giving the diet a try. It wasn’t easy, but adding ingredients one at a time I came up with what worked for him (3 years, no meds). Knowing everyone is different, Donovan’s diet will not work for everyone but I will share. He eats NOTHING but Royal Canin LF dog food (no one is allowed to give him ANYTHING that I do not approve. He only weighs 5 1/2 pounds so he gets 1/4 cup of the RC LF twice a day. To that I add enough potatoes (boiled and mixed in their own water, nothing else), 1/4 tsp fiber powder and a pinch of ginger each day. It took about three weeks for him to get regular because he had diarrhea even after the swelling had gone down after starting the RC LF. He knows he is going to eat every bit of his two meals and does not get down (I feed him on my table) until he is finished. I also give him 1/2 of a Miraclezyme with his meal. Vitamins are a treat as well as plain RC LF. I will let him have a small pinch of turkey or chicken OCCASIONALLY. He is thriving and as far as getting vaccines, I would NOT. Your vet should not advise taking the easy way out (my opinion). If you think he is doing the best for your baby, fine, but I learned very fast that NO VET knows how to treat CIL for the long term. They can diagnose it easy enough, but I was told “Donovan may or may not respond to treatment”. That was by a Internal Medicine Specialist. They are just educated humans but do not know YOUR dog. It is a burden and scary to feel like you are going it alone but Louie’s page has a lot of recipes for CIL dogs. Prednisone is just not a good choice for long term. Too many side effects. Budesonide does not affect other parts of the body. Some say it doesn’t work as well, some say it is great. Again, it has to be your choice, your baby. I sincerely wish you good luck with your little one. Others will respond in time too. Hugs.

  • Ember's mom

    I’ve been told by our Internist (who we don’t go to for follow up, just the diagnosis and he didn’t know how to work with me to get us back on raw before just going straight to prescription diet which I wanted to use as a last resort) that prednisone would be needed for life due to the severity of her case. When I took her in, her belly was completely full of fluid and her albumin levels were critically low. I don’t have the exact number off hand right now what they were. I was never told if it was secondary or primary. I’m treating it as both right now to be safe.

    Her feeding is as follows: rotation of raw chicken (mostly legs, thighs or quarters), horse meat (yes, it is controversial but its a lean meat she does very well on that is very decently priced in my area), very occasional boneless beef, turkey necks, and sardines (just started these again, our vet said to be careful with them if fat is her issue but her coat is sooo dull and falling out, I’m giving it a try and see how it goes). Then on top of all that, because she only gets chicken livers occasionally, we keep things balanced with The Honest Kitchen Preference base mix.

    I know she has issues with: duck, white potatoes and we THINK pork. Pork was our main organ source (liver and kidney) for raw feeding before diagnosis and the main thing we removed from her diet and she’s improved greatly since.

    Her meds are listed above but she gets Four Marvels 2x/day, Probiotics 2x/day, Melatonin 1x/day at night, milk thistle 2x/day, 5mg prednisone 2x/week (Monday and Thursday) and B12 injections 1x/week. She is around 50lbs.

    I’ve been talking to our holistic vet on and off for months about removing her from pred. She’s starting fights with our other dogs, she couldn’t even grow the hair on her belly after her ultrasound back for 6 months until I put her on melatonin and her hair is back to basically falling out after I took her off so I just put her back on melatonin to help.

    We tried this summer when I ran out but her albumin went down a little so she had us go back on a maintenance dose.

    I am looking for another vet right now. I emailed about a holistic vet that’s actually local to me and he wants me to come in for a consultation. I just do not agree with giving her rabies. I know how bad that vaccine is.

    What is the easiest way to go about seeing if its primary or secondary? Should I give her pork and see if she can handle it? I know for a fact she can’t handle duck which I know is fatty but I thought chicken was higher in fat and I leave all the skin, etc on when feeding it and she doesn’t have any outward signs of issues like diarrhea or vomiting. Should I take her off chicken when taking her off pred? These are questions i’ll also be asking the vet but I’m not sure their knowledge with CIL. The vet is apparently a certified nutritionist so we will see.

    • jodee

      Why is the rabies vaccine bad?

    • I don’t know if you’ve read my post, it’s been probably a year now.

      My teacup yorkie’s belly started filling w fluid and all her levels were at the lowest. Tried all the food and she was on all the meds. It got to a point where she would not even take the meds anymore. I took her off all of them, not by the vets recommendation, but he was aware I did. We tried every kind of diet there was. Finally settled on boiled chicken, potatoes and or rice and a veggie, and 9 months of her being drained every 4 to 5 days faithfully, one day, literally, she looked better. Don’t know what happened nor do I care but she has fully recovered. She is a very very picky eater, gets her homemade food Dailey. I have tried to incorporate dry dog food, but it a hit and miss if she eats or likes it. I only give MADE IN THE USA only dog food and yes the high end kind, bison, lamb, duck, etc. Do not give up, keep trying. I was ready for mine to pass, but then she went into remission and has been health for at least a year.

    • I don’t know where you are located, but feel free to contact my vet in Lake Geneva WI, Dr. Welch., Lake Geneva Animal Hospital. He was great throughout this whole ordeal, he has had two other cases since us that I know have come out for the best.

  • Lily's mom

    Every single dog responds differently. I feed a raw diet to my other two dogs, but Lily did not do well on raw. We did a homemade diet formulated by a nutritionist. She was started out in RC LF, she went into remission on that food. But, was literally skin and bones. She could not gain weight on it. After we switched to homemade everything drastically changed. Lily stayed on pred like your pup, but after starting the homemade diet route she was never missing any hair, or having the issues you are with your pup. Lily tolerated the pork well in the RC LF canned (the dry RC LF is chicken based). In her homemade diet we did tilapia.