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I have posted before, that Tallulah had been on a real downer, with peripheral neuropathy, laryngeal paralysis and hypothyroid. I had noted that from when she was a puppy (and pointed out to our vet), that she had been passing out semi digested food, mucus (which was in fact undigested fats !!!!).
Even my other red coat Barkley had issues too, which a lovely Polish vet who was working at the emergency services a few months ago noted and linked this to a blood test result which wasn't quite normal. He suggested there might be a pancreatic issue with him.
Having noted just now many people here constantly post that their dogs have digestive issues, regardless of whether they are fed dry food, or raw food, it makes me wonder quite what is going wrong.
Well, to cut a long story short, after the Polish vet flagged up the possibility that Barkley might have a pancreatic problem, I put both him and Tallulah on digestive enzymes, and a new type which has become available, specifically designed for dogs.
The results have been startling to say the least..... for the first time since being a puppy, Barkley has gained weight. He has always been a real bag of bones and a poor eater, but now he has a lovely covering and his bowl is regularly licked clean..... BUT THE BIG ONE IS TALLULAH. In fact what I am going to do here is copy an exchange between myself and Tallulah's vet at Cambridge just so that you can see what has happened. It is really something quite unexpected, because the prognosis for her was said to be very poor, and that I should be expecting the worse. No cure. The chances of her going on another year was most unlikely.
Something very unexpected is happening. Since the other matter where I
added digestive enzymes to Tally's diet, this dog has become amazingly
fit! Today was another step up. For example, squirrel chases at every
opportunity, constant flat out running for just over an hour. I can't
remember the last time I saw this dog so darned fit. It was probably over
a year ago she was tearing up the fields quite like this. Her laryngeal issue was audible, but not to the point where it was causing her any distress or restricting her abilities. Today was quite warm here for November, as it may have been in Cambridge. Towards the end of the run,she was even flying over the wooden railings in the park with room to spare!
I have also been reducing her thyroxin. First of all down to 500mcgs, and for a week now down to 400mcgs. When should she be blood tested to see whether it would be possible to bring her down further?
This website has the details of the digestive enzyme product I am giving
I have also increased the amount of krill oil she gets to 2000iu per day. The krill oil contains astaxanthin as the anti oxidant
I was expecting her to have deteriorated significantly by now. You would NOT recognise her as the same dog you saw earlier this year. I am more than amazed.
I'm delighted to hear such news - as you say, quite unexpected!
After changing the thyroxine dose you should wait 4 weeks before testing. I
would advise testing the trough and peak levels (i.e. immediately before a
dose is due (trough) and 4-6hours after a dose (peak)).
I look forward to hearing how she does and would be very grateful if you
could ask your vet to forward the results to me.
Many thank and all best wishes,
Perhaps other owners whose dogs are suffering recurrent digestive issues might like to try the same thing? even bloaters? having seen the results I am getting here, had I known this some years ago, I would have tried it with my bloating dog. I did everything I could for that dog and it was because of him that I ended up doing a lot of research into the pet food industry.
If you do try the krill and digestive enzymes, please can you let me know what the outcome is? Tally has been on krill for 9 months now, and the digestive enzymes for a month. A friend of mine has also been giving this to her poorly Doberman and is suddenly finding that he too has lots more energy.
Fran that sounds fantastic! Please keep updating how it is going with this enzyme. Mercola is a great website, I am on their email list and I believe they are local to my area. It is the one is the US right? Illinois? I love their articles on everything related to diet and vaccinations.
Yep I just looked them up and they are actually located about 20 minutes from where I live. Would it not be cool to have her for your vet? I know Dr. Becker is a doctor but is she a vet? LOL I am not even sure. But I love her videos.
Oh boy would I like her as my dogs vet, and I would like Mercola himself, or a member of his team as my doctor too. Believe you me, they have saved my life, as well as the dog. I just can't believe the change in Tallulah, her facial expressions, everything looks like my dog again. Last night I was doing some knitting (something I haven't done for years) and I had to laugh because she picked up the ball of wool and started throwing it around. I really haven't seen my girl sooooo happy in a long time. It is just wonderful. More than I could ever have hoped for. I wish I had known these things with my old guys. Something else - yes - I am also going to start taking digestive enzymes to see if they improve my health !
Please let me know how it goes for you too then. Good luck.
Thanks for the important info, Tracy.
Hi Cornelia, Tracy is spot on. It depends on whether Tallulah is truly hypothyroid (destruction of the gland) or euthyroid, which means there is a primary illness which is causing the thyroid to become sluggish. Ben, her vet at Cambridge was unable to ascertain which way round it was because she was already being supplemented by the time she reached him. Unfortunately the local vet was not pulling the whole picture together, which is sadly so often the case (in human conditions too - believe you me).
I am just about to post up a couple of video's which were sent to Ben yesterday. As they say, seeing is believing. Just before she went on those enzymes, she was deteriorating to the extent that I thought the end was in sight. She had slowed right down, trotting rather than running, kept stopping and checking her legs. I had to stop the ball game because the rasping from her laryngeal paralysis had reached the stage where she was almost collapsing through lack of oxygen,. Yes, you can still here the rasping, but believe me, this is 50% down on what it had been. I thought adding things into her diet may have stood a chance of stopping the progression of the illness at best BUT for there to be a reversal has left me totally - well I just can't the right word to describe my feelings. I am just sooooooo grateful. Hopefully this information going back to Cambridge will go towards helping some other poor soul who is suffering.
I have known for about 20 years that it is advisable for dogs fed on dried food to receive digestive enzymes, as the cooking process destroys natural enzymes,but I am starting to think (as obviously Dr. Karen Becker is) that our raw fed dogs are eating food where the enzymes have become depleted from the time of slaughter to the dinner bowl. Also - a note to all raw feeders - be careful of the quality of the meat, because some of them were passing through Tallulah undigested. What was coming out the rear end looked just like what went in the top end. Indeed Becker says that some of the poor quality raw meats can be just as damming as many dry foods.
Hi Tracy. According to the Cambridge vets they checked her over for that and didn't find any need for her to have enzymes. It really does make me wonder though, because it was a Polish vet who was working in the emergency room when Barkley was treated for a gastric upset, who suggested that HE had a pancreatic problem and needed enzymes, and yet the other vets who had seen him and tested him that weekend, said there was nothing wrong with him - except an upset tummy! The Polish vet said that there was an abnormal trough in one of his results which flagged up the possibility, combined with some tarry looking stools. I do wonder if even at Cambridge level of veterinary medicine, they are still overlooking certain peaks and troughs in the blood results as being "unremarkable". Thank goodness though, that the Polish vet mentioned something which made me start to wonder about enzymes, and then Karen Becker speaking out on one of her video's which made me try them with Tallulah. Even today she has changed. Her coat is starting to develop a lovely sheen and soft look. Yes, you are right again Tracy, there is a link between hypothyroidism, peripheral neuropathy and LP, so I guess if one part of the endocrine system is collapsing, or not functioning as it should, then the whole lot starts to come down like a pack of cards in the end and what results is actually the canine form of metabolic syndrome.
Hi Sara, cold pressed food should be ok, as long as it has not been processed beyond freeze drying. I don't just think, but know from the research of Prof. Lustig at the Uni of California, that a lot of metabolic problems (obesity, diabetes etc) in humans is caused by heavily processed foods, particularly cabohydrate based. I am sure that ANY processing of food is altering the natural state, which in turn is altering the metabolism, and now the chickens are coming home to roost as it were. We are starting to see dogs failing and suffering just as the problems have become epidemic in humans. A friend of mien has just lost her husband who was diabetic and ended up loosing the use of his legs in the same way Tally was going. I think a lot of problems we are now seeing in our dogs are not just genetic alone, but genetic conditions being activated by malnutrition. I think we have got to get away from processed foods for us, and our pets on a daily basis. If we can't, then we need to at least supplement the diet with enzymes... but watch out - you might find your setter bouncing off the walls considering the energy my girl now has lol.
HI Cornelia. The interesting thing is that I did try various types of digestive enzymes before which had no impact on her at all. However I must say that they were one's which were on sale for humans. The one's I have used which have been specifically made for dogs are what have had such a dramatic effect. I am now wondering why she was unable to utilize her food previously. Was it because of the lack of guts and entrails in her diet? I am wondering why after all the extensive work done at Cambridge nothing was flagged up about her GI tract. Maybe this is something we just don't fully understand yet.
Yes, I agree with you 100% I had been saying there was a problem with her digestion since she was a puppy, and all I got from the vets was the usual "you need to feed this c^^p" chocked full of carbohydrates and salt. Believe you me, I tried everything with her, and still she suffered borborygmus ('singing guts') on an almost daily basis, then producing the undigested stool which was coated in what I now know were undigested fats.
However, I find it worrying that Tallulah is now my 4th Irish Red who has had these symptoms, before going on to develop conditions, including bloat. I do wonder if (and what) might be going on within the breed. All these dogs over the years have been fed various types of food, manufactured and raw. Things are being missed by the veterinary profession a bit too often for my liking.
Yes, they initially said she had IBD, but I was told that with my old Nalle dog too, and that wasn't the issue. They then go down the track of "oh well, we need to do bowel biopsy" etc and then nothing is found there either.
Next they point the finger at the food "well you aren't feeding a balanced diet, because its not kibbled, so you really do need to try this (amazing product which just happens to have been designed specifically for bowel issues - so why has nobody developed one of these miracle balanced kibbled diets from humans? - but that's another story). Serve it to dog - dog looks in the bowl and says "what the ..... is this?" and walks away. Dog will only eat it if there is nothing else on earth available... but in Nalle's case, he decided he would rather starve to death. He was hospitalised. Put on a drip whilst they tried to force him to accept their rotten prescription diet which was going to miraculously turn his issues around, which eventually it didn't, so they gave up and classed him as a psychological case and tried to put him on prozac !!!!
Like Tallulah, Nalle was eventually treated with thyroxin and then the problems stopped. He ate normally, started thriving, stopped having fits and became a totally different dog to the day he died BUT the worrying thing is - his overall symptoms were the same as Tallulah's, only the neuropathy and LP set in much later, from the age of 11. He died aged 13 after his legs went completely. Their breed lines very close indeed.
The interesting thing about diet is that the nutritionist at Cambridge checked her diet, along with all her test results and said the diet was great, and nothing else was needed...... well clearly it was. So it really makes me wonder what these veterinary nutritionists really know about the canine GI tract. Why do people like Dr. Karen Becker and Dr. Joseph Mercola (for humans) seem to be more on the ball? I think it is because they are far more open minded, are able to see beyond all the hype, propaganda etc and can think outside of the box !
One of the reasons I am going to try enzymes is that I had (have) coeliacs disease, absorption issues, and I too have ended up with other major endocrine issues which I think were a result of years of misdiagnosis which had malabsorption and/or malnutrition as the cause. I would be more than happy if I get just a portion of the energy back that Tally has now..... apart from when its cold outside - then I have trouble getting her out of bed - which is where she is as I am typing this.... lazy little minx. But at least I know she is only there now because she doesnt like the cold lol. I love her to bits.
Hi Fran, so great to read your blog and how Tullulah is getting so healthy and fit. Fantastic! cheers, Cheryl