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Dr. Dan M.
Dr. Dan M., Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 1504
Experience:  10 years of experience as a veterinary surgeon
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Our labrador dog has acute Chrohns disease he is on steroids

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Our labrador dog has acute Chrohns disease he is on steroids etc. but the diarehea is severe and he is loosing weight rapidly. we have given him asn immodium tablet and this seems to have helped a bit. He is now rejecting chicken, rice and tuna, mixed with fat free wholewheat dog mixer. Do you please have any other ideas for diet. He is seven years old and a much loved member of our family.

Hi,

I am sorry Doja is unwell and has this diagnosis of inflammatroy bowel disease.

It can be difficult to control this problem and there are other possible treatments to help with the inflammation in the intestines such as different steroids (budesonide can have a more direct effect on the intestines) but also azathioprine affects the immune system and can have good effects in this kind of problem as can cyclosporin. But these drugs can have adverse side effects and would need careful discussion with your vet, so they could help with the longer term control of the diarrhoea.

Regarding diet, there are lots of prescription diets that are specifically designed for this problem and Hills i/d can be helpful, it comes in a wet and dry form, Royal canin Anallergen diet is minimally stimulatory to the intestines and so could be considered too. Regarding home made diets, the problem with them is that long term they aren't particulalry nutritious and foods such as the chicken and rice are good for gastrointestinal function and are easily digested, but long term Doja would lack important minerals and vitamins with these foods. You can try sweet potato, turkey, normal potatoes, white fish and low fat cottage cheese. Diet changes should be done slowly with such severe gastrointestinal disease.

I would definitely return to your vet and sicuss further medications for the condition and see if there is a prescription diet which is not only easily digestible but also nutritious.

Good luck and I hope you are able to stabilise Doja.

Best wishes

Dan Makin

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.


Thank you for your advice, have found low fat content food which he seems to be accepting, but he is still extreemly annorexic. can you recommend something thats high calorie to bulk him out or do we carry on. At the moment he seems to have more energy but now his genitals have swollen up!!! and his back leg, also apocket of fluid seems to be coming and going under his chin. Oh dear!!!

Hi,

Thats great you have found a tolerated diet.

This fluid issues requires further investigations. When there is inflammation in the intestines it can be severe enough for the body to lose proteins and when the levels of albumin fall, it can cause fluid to seep out of the cells causing oedema whihc may be what you are seeing around the scrotum and leg. This can easily be measured with a simple blood test at your vets. I would certainly get this assessed first before considering higher energy diets to promote weight gain. It may be that more control is needed for the intestinal inflammation whihc will in turn allow for better nutrient assimilation and weight gain.

Good luck and best wishes

Dan