Author Topic: Bland Diet Help  (Read 2371 times)

Offline cerulean.blue

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Bland Diet Help
« on: September 10, 2013, 08:40:12 PM »
My diabetic dog, Piper, has been very sick recently. After going through a lot of different diagnoses, 3 vets, and one human doctor, we think she may have a bleeding gastric ulcer. She is on Prilosec (20 mg in AM), Doxycycline (300 mg in AM), B12 Methyl (5000 mcg AM & PM), Iron (100 mg PM), and Pepcid (20 mg in PM, if needed). I had her on a bland diet of chicken, rice, and baby food mush for about a week, because she wasn't eating, then I slowly transitioned her back to her normal dog food. She was only eating the normal dog food for two days when she started having diarrhea and vomiting blood. That led to the vet starting treatment for the ulcer and putting her back on a bland diet. The problem I'm having is that she's lost 4 lbs in the last week. This morning I calculated the calories for the bland diet and it was only about half the calories she was getting with her regular dog food. I reformulated the bland diet so that the calories were closer to what she'd be getting with her regular dog food. My dad gave the new quantities to her tonight, but said that it was a lot of food, and it took her a long time to eat it. I had tried to keep the chicken and rice down and add baby food so she'd still get the calories without the bulk, but I guess it didn't work. Does anyone have any suggestions on anything else I can give her to get calories into her, so I can cut back on the bulky food? Keep in mind that she does have diabetes, so I have to work around that too.

Offline Blue Steel Rats

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Re: Bland Diet Help
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2013, 03:21:45 PM »
What type of diabetes does Piper have? Type 1 diabetes, or Type 2 diabetes? There's a difference.  Also, is she on any form of insulin? Is she on any other diabetes medications? How old is she and when was she diagnosed with diabetes as well as the suspected bleeding gastric ulcer? What tests were done to confirm the diabetes? Did the vomiting and diarrhea start gradually or did it seem to hit suddenly? What color is her diarrhea? Is it possible she could have gotten a bad (contaminated) bag of dog food? 

I would suggest feeding Piper twice a day instead of just once a day. Divide the larger meal into two smaller meals and feed her in the morning and again in the evening. This way she's not "overwhelmed" with the amount of food, and she'll still be getting adequate caloric intake. Make sure to adjust (if necessary) any of her diabetes medication(s), and monitor her blood glucose levels closely for a while.  Keep track of her HbA1c levels, too (should be checked 4 x a year).

Deb ~~((((8:>

Offline HowlsOfAngels

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Re: Bland Diet Help
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2013, 05:48:59 PM »
Take this with a grain of salt as I'm not sure any of this is useful, but I would like to help.

When I first took on some pups at maybe a month of age I fed them this slurry for two months before I let them eat dry kibble (they were very plump and active). My older dog also had to be on this slurry when she had persistent stomach trouble. It is very easy to digest, high in calories, and could be made bland depending on the dilution.

I used a personal sized blender to make a kibble smoothie, one-fourth to half of the dogs kibble ration, covered with water, then blended until smooth (add more water than you'd think you'd need). I'd spoon this into the dog's bowl and prepare some Esbilac 2nd Step in the same blender, then mix them both together. After that I'd blend chicken, cooked rice (sometimes the rice caused problems), watered down and added it to the mix. Prepare small amounts, feed small amounts, and don't store it for longer than a few hours in the fridge as it goes bad very quickly.

I always spread out meals and feed two to three times a day when one of my dogs is having trouble and would recommend that you do the same.

None of my pups had trouble with this and, even though at the time my older dog couldn't keep down a single dry kibble, my older dog kept this slurry down very well.
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Offline cerulean.blue

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Re: Bland Diet Help
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2013, 06:12:29 PM »
Piper is 11 years old. She has been diabetic for almost a year (diagnosed 9/18/12). It was diagnosed after she started having accidents in the house. We thought she had a UTI, but urinalysis showed glucose, and blood test confirmed diabetes. The type of diabetes that occurs in dogs is more similar to Type 1 diabetes in humans, where they lose the ability to produce insulin. She is on Novolin N insulin (with R added when needed), and does eat two meals a day and gets two insulin shots, 12 hours apart. I monitor her blood glucose (BG) at home with an animal validated meter that has also been checked against my vet's. Except for a few infections, and then this recent illness, her diabetes has been fairly well regulated.

All of this started last month when I noticed her BG was staying elevated. I took her into the vet, and the vet did a physical exam, but found no infections. A week later, I brought her back to the vet because her BG was higher than the meter could give me a reading for. I got antibiotics for a suspected UTI, but no urinalysis was done to confirm. I brought her back in the week after because her BG had not stabilized at al with the antibiotic treatmentl, so I didn't think it was a UTI. I had them run some blood work to check for concurrent conditions that may be complicating her diabetes. The next morning, she had a seizure (her BG was still high, so it was not from hypoglycemia), so I rushed her back to the vet. They took more blood and put a rush on it. They called me back later that night and told me that she was very anemic, had low platelets, and circulating nueated red blood cells. They told me to bring her back first thing in the morning for X-rays and ultrasound. She also refused any food that day and the day before (still gave her insulin at half her normal dose, and it didn't put a dent in her BG). The X-rays and ultrasound were clear, so the vet we saw that day (not her normal vet, but she had seen him once before and he was the owner of the clinic) told us that it was probably a problem with her bone marrow. He wanted to do blood transfusions that he said would pretty much just make her comfortable until we were ready to have her put to sleep. I went home and talked to my family, and we decided to have the local mobile vet come out to our house, review her test results, give her an exam, and see what he thought. The mobile vet said that he believed it was possible it was an infection. He gave her a shot of Iron, B12, and B Complex, and then started her on a high dose of prednisone (to hopefully stimulate her appetite) and doxycycline. She bounced back pretty quickly and we discontinued the prednisone (with the ok from the vet) after a few days. She was doing good, and I had transitioned her back to normal dog food (from a diet of chicken, brown rice, and baby food mush). During the transition back, I noticed her stomach seemed gurgly. I was giving her 20mg Pepcid twice a day with meals, but it wasn't helping. After just two days on her normal dog food, the diarrhea started (black, loose, and clumpy) and she vomited blood and stomach acid. We put her back on bland diet and took her to the vet. Given that before this whole ordeal she was on Meloxicam daily for several months (we stopped it when she first stopped eating), and the new symptoms of vomiting blood and diarrhea, her vet decided to treat her for a bleeding gastric ulcer. There was no other obvious source of bleeding. The vet did a rectal exam, took a stool sample, and checked her anal glands. Plus, we have the X-ray and ultrasound, which showed nothing.

It's not a bad bag of dog food. Our other dog is perfectly fine. In fact, he had blood work done at the same time as well, and his was all within normal range.

Anyways... I did some research early this morning and more calorie calculations, and I may have found a solution. We just have to see if her BG settles down again. If my new "formulation" doesn't work, I'm considering switching her to 4 small meals a day. She does seem to be doing much better today. Her stools are solid again, and she hasn't vomited. My boss's husband (who is a human doctor) had told me that it sounded like a bleeding ulcer way back after the X-rays and ultrasound, but at the time, the vets wanted to go after an infection instead. Looks like he may have been right the whole time.

ETA: The bulk of this post was in response to the first reply. HowlsofAngels, you posted just as I was about to. She doesn't seem to be able to handle her normal dry kibble right now. I think she's also a bit sensitive to the brown rice (blood sugar wise), which is one of the reasons I'm trying to keep the quantities of that down. I am considering feeding more than 2 meals a day if my new mix doesn't work. She had her first meal of it tonight, so we'll see how it goes... Thanks for the suggestion!

ETA again: Sorry for all the typos, I'm on my phone!
« Last Edit: September 11, 2013, 06:14:24 PM by cerulean.blue »

Offline A_STEW

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Re: Bland Diet Help
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2013, 12:09:10 AM »
Our stories sound very similar, I had a diabetic dog with a sensitive stomach, on Novolin twice a day. He would do the bland diet for at least a few days every month. For extra calories I would add some cooked egg and other proteins I knew he could handle. He had pancreatitis for over 6 years before becoming diabetic.  Throughout his older years, and especially after being diagnosed with diabetes at age 11, he couldn't handle kibble. It would flare up his stomach every single time. I finally resorted to giving him canned food. Merrick was the only brand he was able to tolerate, and he lived happily on it for the last two years of his life. Pepcid can be a life saver, it wasn't always enough for our guy, but it often took the edge off. I hope you find the solution for Piper, diabetes is tough enough without added stomach issues.

Offline cerulean.blue

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Re: Bland Diet Help
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2013, 09:24:05 AM »
Adding scrambled egg was one of the modifications I made. The Prilosec and bland diet seem to be settling her stomach. Hopefully it will heal quickly.

I just found a local feed store that sells all kinds of high quality food at decent prices. I'm going to talk to my family about switching both dogs to a better kibble once we're through with this ulcer. I'm not sure what it is about the dry food right now that's upsetting her stomach. Maybe it's too hard to digest, or one of the ingredients is irritating? Either way, I think bland may be the way to go for now, but Merrick does seem to be popular for dogs having eating issues. 

Was your dog fed more than twice a day because of his pancreatitis problems? I'm trying to find a little more information on balancing food and insulin in dogs fed more than twice a day, just in case we do need to change her to more smaller meals. The dog diabetes forum that I'm on has a few dogs that get extra meals, but it's going to take a lot of digging through threads to find what I need.

Offline A_STEW

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Re: Bland Diet Help
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2013, 09:34:05 AM »
We stuck to feeding him 2x a day because everyone in my house worked or was in school. His blood sugar was fairly stable and his diabetes remained well managed. I have no idea why Merrick worked, but it did.

Offline cerulean.blue

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Re: Bland Diet Help
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2013, 05:28:06 PM »
Well, the modifications I made seem to be working out. Her BG came down nicely. Now she's getting a mix of chicken, brown rice, baby food, and scrambled egg. Since I adjusted the quantities, she doesn't seem to be having a problem with the size of the meal, and is eating eagerly. :)