Chaucer had digestive problems almost from day one. He never had a normal stool; he could never gain weight. In the beginning, I wrote it off as food changes. Then I wrote it off as, “Oh just something about that food.” My vet at the time assured me that my puppy was healthy, and I didn’t have anything to worry about. By the time I had tried 2 or 3 different types of food, I started to realize that something was wrong, regardless of what the vet said.
At his lowest point, and the time that I truly thought I was going to lose him, he weighed only 42 pounds. My vet had me try elimination diets, he tried different medications, and while we played these guessing games, my dog got sicker. I finally took Chaucer to a specialist and he was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD).
The specialist recommend Science Diet ZD and long term steroid (prednisone) therapy. The one thing I absolutely 100% rock solid refused to do was put him on long term prednisone therapy. I didn’t want to fix the immediate problem, only to lose him to organ failure in a year or two.
Various food choices based on his diagnoses had varying effects, but even with the best stools he had had, he still wasn’t thriving.
Then I discovered Seacure. I do not exaggerate when I say that this supplement was a miracle for Chaucer. I saw a difference in Chaucer almost immediately after giving him his first dose of Seacure. His stools were firmer, he had more energy, and he started to gain weight.
However, the slightest upset in his diet would still cause him to crash…. My father fed him a piece of sausage one day, and in the fallout he lost 8 pounds, and it took me 2 months to get him stabilized again. The Seacure would lessen the time and severity of his “downswings” but they were still a reality we were fighting against.
Then I met the vet I use now. He suggested that we run a food-allergy panel (SPOT test) on Chaucer to help us determine exactly what foods he was allergic to, and on that basis, I switched his diet to California Natural. I kept him on the Seacure, and I attribute his “recovery” to both of these.
Chaucer weighs a very healthy 76 pounds today. He can have treats and bones, both things that were off-limits for most of his life. I no longer have to be as vigilant about everything that goes into his mouth. I can give him a piece of whatever I am eating if I want to. Until you have a dog that absolutely cannot have treats, you can’t possibly know how good it feels be able to give your dog a treat when he performs a command. Yes, I do still keep an eye on what he’s eating, because the possibility of another flare-up is very real…but for now, things are looking good.
My advice to anyone who suspects their Weimaraner may have IBD:
- Find a vet that will LISTEN to you, not just gloss over your concerns and observations. No one knows your dog better than you, not even your vet. If you think this is food allergy related (and it very often is), have the SPOT test done. It isn’t definitive, but it was the turning point for Chaucer and I highly recommend it.
- Put the dog on Seacure. Whether this is allergy related or not, Seacure will help. If you can calm the dog’s system down long enough for it to stabilize, the dog will be “almost normal.” I recommend keeping a bottle of Seacure on hand to give if the dog gets ahold of something that might be a danger.
- If you don’t want to run the SPOT test, you need to put the dog on an elimination diet. Fast him, then start him on just rice and chicken. Then slowly add in other ingredients. Watch him closely, see how he is affected by the new ingredients. I know this sounds sick, but if you go this route, I recommend keeping a “food and poop journal” to help you be even more aware about what is going in and coming out of your dog.
- If you want to simply try changing dog foods (But again, how do you know what he is allergic to unless you run the test or do the elimination?) I recommend California Natural. It’s a limited ingredient food, and most dogs with food allergies can tolerate it.
- Stay away from rich, fatty foods, and stop giving treats, at least until you have this under control.