If I grossed you out with my headline, I’m sorry! Sadly, that’s what Windsor experienced. Windsor is a male Jack Russell Terrier, and I first met him in April 2012, when he was twelve years old. He had been experiencing diarrhea and low protein levels for over a year and was under the care of a veterinary internal medicine specialist. He had been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease, which was causing protein loss through his gut. He was eating a home-cooked diet, formulated by an animal nutritionist at Cornell University. He was taking at least 5 prescriptions but his condition was worsening, and the veterinary specialist wanted to add another powerful medication to further suppress his immune system.
When I examined Windsor, he was very quiet [certainly not typical for a JRT!] and held his belly tucked up. He really had very low energy and spent a lot of his time sleeping. I asked to review his diet, which consisted of tilapia and sweet potato. His mom admitted to me that she was having great difficulty getting him to eat the human multivitamins specified in the diet. This wasn’t surprising since these tablets are large and taste bad! She had tried crushing them and adding to his food and giving them whole wrapped in a treat, and neither one was working. She was rightly concerned about her boy, that despite all her efforts for more than a year, he was worsening. She felt strongly that she didn’t want to add another powerful immunosuppressant to his regimen when he was already taking so many drugs.
It was clear to me that there was a big hole in Windsor’s diet: namely the missing vitamin/mineral component. I suggested we keep everything the same in terms of his medication and tilapia/sweet potato, but that we add whole food supplements in a very palatable form. In my practice I use Standard Process Veterinary Formulas, and I prescribed Canine Enteric Support and Canine Whole Body Support for Windsor. For a dog his size, only 1/8 tsp of each powder was added to his diet twice daily. The early reports from Windsor’s mom were that she had no trouble getting him to eat his food with the whole food supplements added! Sweet Victory!
Three weeks after Windsor started on the Standard Process regimen, I visited him again. The results were promising: Windsor had more energy and his stools were formed for the first time in many months! I drew blood to test his protein, kidney, liver, and electrolyte levels. The next day, we had more good news when the lab results came back. Windsor’s albumin level (the blood protein we were tracking) was actually within the normal range! I reported these results to the veterinary internist, who recommended slowly decreasing his dose of prednisone while rechecking his protein levels monthly.
I have so much more to tell you about Windsor’s journey, and I’ll write more about him next week. In the meantime, if your interest has been piqued about Standard Process, take a look at the website and send me your questions or comments. If you’re interested in learning how whole food supplements may benefit your dog or cat (or horse, rabbit, ferret, etc.), I’m happy to send you a nutrition survey that will help us choose the right path for your animals.