The Proof is in the Pooping

Back in 2017 and 2018, many of Logan’s posts were about his health. As much as he didn’t want to be, he was that old guy complaining about what hurt and how much, his failing health occupied a lot of his thoughts and energy. I vowed I’d never be that guy because I was going to stay healthy until the day I dropped. Well …

I wrote about my suspected Cushing’s Disease back in January, but other than that, I’ve pretty much avoided all things health in my blog posts. I wasn’t in denial exactly, but I was doing my best to ignore the changes to my physical being as the months and years passed by.

Feeling the heat, but hiking like a boss in the Cypress Hills in September.

And then I hit a wall. It happened in October when we were up north visiting T’s mom. With everything going on in the family, I didn’t want to add to the troubles, so I kept my not-feeling-so-well to myself … until I couldn’t. There’s just no hiding diarrhea when you’re on the end of a leash. And as much as I tried to disguise it, T and Nollind noticed my loss of energy and spark.

I started feeling tired for no reason.

T thought it was food related or possibly a reaction to one of the supplements I was on. There’d been a couple of new things added in the summer and also some diet changes. I’d feel a little better for a day or two and then not again. This carried on throughout our time at G-Ma’s and into the first weeks of being home. And then it got worse, a lot worse.

Even my ears are wonky!

Diarrhea in dogs is always a concern, but when it can’t be stopped and starts including blood, it’s time for a trip to the vet. So, off we went to the Strathmore Veterinary Clinic. My new vet is Dr. Alle and I think she’s just the dog’s butt (if “the cat’s ass” is a good thing, well…) Many animal health professionals say to fast a dog with diarrhea, but Alle thinks it just adds stress and pulls energy from an already challenged system. Her instructions were to feed me many small meals (five or six) each day. Since fasting hits the top spot of things I never want to do, Alle instantly became my FAVOURITE-VET-EVER, in spite of the rectal exam.

On the plus side … appetite still good.

They pulled some blood for testing and put me on some antibiotics and probiotics to deal with the nasty bacteria that had set up in my digestive system. I’ve been on this medication before, back in the desert when Logan drank from a puddle that should have had a warning sign reading “drink at your peril!” and, as before, it helped immediately. What a relief for all of us to not have the four-trip-outside-in-a-night thing happening. But, I still didn’t feel terrific and a few days after starting the medication, the diarrhea was back.

The antibiotic had me feeling a lot better almost immediately.

The bloodwork came back showing that I’m a very healthy guy for my age. Nothing of great concern. Which was terrific, but didn’t explain my digestive system in turmoil. So I was back at the clinic this past Wednesday for another blood draw, this time to be tested specifically for pancreatic issues. The symptoms fit, but we won’t know for sure until late next week.

The suspected disease is called Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) and impacts a dog’s ability to digest fats, carbohydrates, and proteins (aka everything I eat). The good news is that the addition of digestive enzymes should solve the problem. Alternately, the issue that could cause my symptoms is something even the vet says in a whisper because nobody, absolutely nobody, wants to say the “C” word.

Until the test results are in next week, T is doing what she can to manage my troubled GI-tract. It’s a delicate balance and online sources reveal a variety of solutions. Since I did well on a low-fat, raw diet from a Calgary company called Artisan until a change was made in midsummer, T’s gone back to that to see how I do, and has also been giving me a little tripe which is rich in natural enzymes.

The proof will be in the pooping. Full scatological report next time.

2 thoughts on “The Proof is in the Pooping

  1. Sad to hear of your digestive troubles Little Man. I’m rooting for the EPI diagnosis if there has to be one. In meanwhile, reassuring to know Dr. T is on the job doing her best to keep you as comfy as possible. 🐾🤗❤️

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    1. Thanks for cheering me on. Sadly, it’s not good new on the EPI diagnosis, so my mysterious tummy troubles continue. I hear T has a new plan (doesn’t she always?) so I’ll just kick back and hope for good things.
      Chico 🐾

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