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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 32832
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My boxer is 5 I inherited her from my son. She is happy here

Customer Question

My boxer is 5 I inherited her from my son. She is happy here and well looked after, long walk each day etc. Diet is a dried glutent free chicken and rice and I add a scoop of a natural salmon sometime chicken no additives) just to make it more appetising. She eats her food well first thing in the morning and then teatime. However, every 3/4 days I make her breakfast and she just sniffs it and goes and lies in her bed. She is sick either bringing the food up or bile. At the end of the day she usually eats again and is fine. Sometimes during this day she walks around as though she is troubled then lies down and then gets up again. Can you help me. The vet a few months ago told me to put her on Wellbeloved. It is very expensive but besides that she ate it but had diarrhea and this is a problem when you are out (picking it up) the vet gave me some tablets to help but they didn;t. I can't afford the guessing game we seem to be playing with the vet.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
Although Kloe's symptoms are somewhat nonspecific, there's reason enough to suspect either a primary gastrointestinal disorder or a disorder elsewhere but that causes GI distress. The difficulty, lies, however, in clarifying what that disorder may be without methodical testing by a willing vet.

You might begin conservatively with presumptive worming for occult GI parasites with an over the counter product containing either pyrantel pamoate or fenbendazole. A food intolerance should be considered - chicken can be a potent allergen to a food intolerant dog. Food intolerance/allergy is addressed with prescription hypoallergenic diets. These special foods contain just one novel (rabbit, duck, e.g.) animal protein or proteins that have been chemically altered (hydrolyzed) to the point that Kloe's immune system doesn't "see" anything to be allergic to. The over the counter hypoallergenic foods too often contain proteins not listed on the label - soy is a common one - and these proteins would confound our evaluation of the efficacy of the hypoallergenic diet. The prescription foods are available from her vet. There are many novel protein foods and a prototypical hydrolyzed protein food is Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d ultra. A positive response is usually seen within a few weeks if we’ve eliminated the offending food allergen.

Diagnostic testing in the form of a gastrointestinal panel of blood/urine tests should include a TLI blood test for exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (a lack of digestive enzymes produced by the pancreas) and a specCPL blood test to identify an underlying pancreatitis.This panel will also look for disorders outside the GI tract involving the liver and kidneys - both of which will affect the gut.

I regre that I can't be more specific for you with my running these tests as well. For now, I would initiate an over the counter antacid such as famotidine (Pepcid) at a dose of 0.2mg/kb twice daily or omeprazole (Prilosec) at 20mg daily. Either should provide Kloe relief from any acid reflux I expect that she may be experiencing at this time.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.