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Hello, I’m reaching out to anyone with experience managing IBD in their vizsla. I have a 9 year old bitch who is undergoing steroid treatment currently, but we are struggling to get her to respond to these meds. Anyone out there got any experience of this? Any help greatly appreciated.

Worse case scenario this is lymphoma. Absolutely devastated by this prospect.

Lyndsey
 

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I don't have any personal experience with IBD in dogs. Most owners wind up taking their dog to a internist, to get any improvement.
 

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Hello!! We are currently working on the same issue with our vizsla. Our vet had put him on Tylan and B12 injections and Science Diet z/d. The kibble really upset his symptoms to the point where he was pooping water. I had tried to "doctor'" this issue on my own and had his symptoms subside but he still couldn't gain weight. Now we are seeing an integrative holistic vet and he has improved sooooo much. Best advice I can give is find a holistic vet. Seriously has been a game changer for my boy. I feel for you so much because it's heartbreaking to watch them suffer. Please let me know if you have any questions! This forum has also been a huge help and resource for us.
 

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Just want to add, I drive almost 2hrs one way to see the holistic vet but it's totally worth it!
 

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Hi,

My 6 year old vizsla has suffered with GI issues for a year now. Last fall, out of nowhere, he developed diarrhea had a acute pancreatitis. He recovered from the pancreatitis but small bowel diarrhea continued for a long time...he was put on Royal Canine diet low fat food, but that didn't help, we switched to Z/D Hill's and he did ok on that and gained weight but several months later got pancreatitis again. At that point I switched him to homemade food (chicken, potato, green beans) using the vet nutritionist company balanceit. He improved again but still has mild small bowel diarrhea and he is losing weight. He is on Tylan, B12 injection, probiotic. My vet thinks he is not absorbing his food well and he may have IBS. My vet just referred me to an internal medicine specialist who I see on Monday. Can you tell me what your holistic vet recommended, I would like to consult with a holistic vet as well. I am in Georgia. On another note when we switched to homemade food, his alkphos (liver enzyme) which had always been slightly elevated and then was five times above the normal limit returned to normal. It has been a very rough year for my boy and I am so glad to have found this forum. I am hopeful we will get to the bottom of his GI problems and turn this around for good!
 

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Hi ahostet! Sounds like exactly what Harper has gone through. My heart goes out to you!! One of the first things our holistic vet did was take Harper off dry kibble. He was on Science Diet z/d. He was pooping water and severely underweight. Our ultimate goal is all human foods, but need to heal the gut first. She has him on Science Diet i/d low fat with pumpkin added in and prescribed Great Saus Coptis (chinese herb) along with meds to reduce acid and meds to help heal the erosion from the acid. We are now adding in cooked chicken and rice. Next will be some veggies, it a longgg process lol. I feel like is there is soooo much I could explain to you. Feel free to private message me. If you want to do some research, our vet practices Tradional Chinese Veterinary Medicine and also integrative med. Very interesting. It's all about treating the problem not just the GI symptoms. Any way I can help please please let me know!
 

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Ugh same with my girl. 10 yo female developed diarrhea out of the blue seemingly about 2 1/2 months ago now. Vet has been treating as a pancreas issue. Similar to others in this thread. Just finished the B12 injections. He tried steroids also but she did not handle them well. Newest issue is severe fluid retention in her abdomen. She has lost a lot of muscle. Glad I thought to look here. I will share all I can but have no solution at this point.
 

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Same problems with my 10 yo girl. Any updates from anyone? My vets last shot is enzymes then it’s off to an internal specialist I guess.
 

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I am sorry to hear about your girl, these GI issues are so frustrating and worrisome. Given the fluid retention issue I would get an appointment with an internal medicine specialist as soon as possible and keep working with your vet until you can get in to see one. It is my understanding that one possible cause for fluid retention is if the dog is losing protein form the GI tract (protein losing enteropathy), and the muscle wasting will result. There are a lot of possible causes of chronic diarrhea from pancreatitis to parasites to IBD all of which she should be evaluated for. I agree that an integrative approach is best, getting to the root cause of these issues is imperative not just treating the symptoms and of course proper diet and nutrition are key. Very best to you and your girl. If you have any specific questions feel free to private message me.
 

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So if I can sum this up … the town vet, started with worming in September. After they didn’t work, they did bloodwork in October (complete GI/pancreatic profile. They also started her on weekly B12 injections (which we went back for weekly). She had some more bloodwork done in early November. Meanwhile she continued to degrade. and her stools were still just a watery mess. She was losing protein; they just weren’t sure why. They did also try her on an enzyme powder and an oral steroid. After a week on that she developed blood in the stool and they stopped the steroid. Her conditioned continued to slide.

The town vet (a very small shop) sent me to a bigger vet in a university town about an hour away. Belle had los a lot of weight and become extremely bloated. Her rear legs were swollen too. Stating her weight at this point is useless as it was measuring all water. She was skin and bones.

The new vet did a lot of bloodwork (which I can share to anyone who may want it) as well as an ultrasound. The bloodwork revealed various low levels that showed she was not absorbing protein (which the local vet suspected as well). The ultrasound revealed very thick and blocked intestinal walls. They started her on twice a week B12 shots, steroid (dexamethason) shots everyday, and leukeran pills every other day. I gave her the shots myself. At that first appointment I asked the vet for her chances of recovery and he put them at 30%-40%.

She was too weak and sick for any anesthesia for a biopsy. Further, the anesthesia and recovery stay drove the cost of all of that testing up several thousand. Their recommendation was the meds and also a diet switch to Royal Canid vegetarian.

At her second visit to the new vet , she had lost all the fluid and started to gain her weight back. She weighed 44.6 (her normal weight is 50-51). Her attitude and energy levels are what I would consider back to normal. She has some sort of IBD resulting in a loss of protein. The combination of steroids and the leukeran has been the key. There are a number of papers online about this combination and also the protein losing condition in dogs and some even specific to vixslas.

We go back to the new vet in 6 weeks. She continues on the steroids and leukeran at the same rate. The B12 is now once a month. She probably will remain on meds the rest of her life. That’s the concerning part. However they are also very encouraged by her progress and said that with time the dosage can more than likely be adjusted down.

I wanted to post this update to offer my experience out to anyone who may benefit from it. For any specific details, please feel free to ask.
 
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