Well, sad to say, my blood tests revealed nothing conclusive about the cause of my intermittent and ongoing stomach troubles. So, no simple fix of adding some digestive enzymes. As for the diet change back to my Artisan Senior, things were going great until they weren’t, but it might not be the food’s fault.
I’m what the veterinary community refers to as an indiscriminate eater, meaning quite simply that I’ll eat stuff I probably shouldn’t. The latest was a cluster of tasty little wild mushrooms I found in the yard. T thinks this might have set off my latest round of diarrhea, but the jury is still out on that. The ‘shroom scarfing was a few days ago and since my bowels are in turmoil again today, she’s now looking elsewhere. There was a digestive supplement added around the same time as the fungi, so T is removing that to see if it helps.
Treating health conditions in us four-leggeds is a bit like a jigsaw puzzle. You put in a piece to see if it helps to complete the picture, and if it doesn’t, you try another piece. T is pretty convinced that my issues have to do with diet and food sensitivities, so it might be a long process to find out just what is causing the problem.
There’s a thing called Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) that sounds a lot like what I’ve been experiencing. It can be caused and then triggered by a multitude of things and can often be managed with diet. There are a bunch of tests they could do to find out just what I have, but since a treatment option for many of the likely suspects is diet, we’re trying that first. The next step after removing the new supplement is what’s called an “elimination diet”. We pull anything potentially irritating out, like grains and common proteins, feed me buffalo or kangaroo or another unusual protein, and if that sorts things we slowly reintroduce other foods until, well, you know, we hit the “jackpot”.
In the meantime, my energy goes up and down with the state of my intestines, as do my sleep patterns. Tuesday night, I was up the stairs and out of the house multiple times, making me rather unpopular with my peeps. Wednesday I slept through the night (happier peeps), but things went all nasty after I was up and had breakfast. It’s a roller coaster ride! But not the fun theme-park kind.
To make matters worse for all of us, human and canine, we’re packing up to head south for the winter. My “little problem” is an inconvenience here on the farm but a full-blown nuisance on the road. Maybe the desert sunshine will resolve my issue. I’m sure looking forward to trying that treatment. Can’t hurt, right? And will definitely be good for my other old dog ailments. But, more about those another time. A guy can only whine so much before he loses a sympathetic audience.
Right now, while my bowels are taking a break, I need to pack my bags for a winter in the desert. Let’s see … freshly washed beds ✔, jacket for those chilly evenings by the fire ✔, favourite treats (even if I can’t have any right now) ✔, bandana for special occasions ✔, shampoo (if I must) ✔, harness for desert walking ✔, and my new chariot for those extra-long desert walks ✔.
We should be on the road next time you hear from me. In the meantime, wish me luck with my diet experimentation!