Last week I introduced you to Windsor, my patient with inflammatory bowel disease who had diarrhea and vomiting for over a year. Windsor started taking Standard Process Canine Enteric and Whole Body Support supplements in early April 2012, in addition to his home-cooked diet and his prescription medications. By the end of April, his stool was formed, he had more energy, and his blood protein levels were on the low end of normal. His veterinary internal medicine specialist suggested slowly decreasing the amount of prednisone he was taking. I visited Windsor again in June.
Guess what? He was running around and jumping like a typical Jack Russell Terrier! My mission at this visit was to examine Windsor and collect a blood sample to check his protein, liver, and kidney values. The exam was easy. He was no longer standing with his belly tucked up, and his eyes were bright and clear. When I tried to draw blood, he wanted no part of it! We tried lots of different things, like distracting him with chicken, taking him outside on the patio, placing him in his dog bed. Nothing worked. I was puzzled at first, because I had no trouble collecting a sample from him in April. Then I realized that he was feeling better, and with his increased strength, he could put up a fight! It was pretty clear we weren’t going to succeed with blood collection, so we went to Plan B. Windsor’s mom took him into the vet clinic to have the tests done (she told me they had trouble collecting blood too!).
Based on lab results through the summer and fall of 2012, we continued Windsor on his supplements and added L-glutamine (serves as an energy source for intestinal cells) to his regimen. In the spring of 2013, we saw some rising liver values in his lab report, so we added two supplements for liver support: Canine Hepatic Support and Protefood. Just this April, Windsor underwent anesthesia to have some skin growths removed and his teeth cleaned. I talked to his mom before the procedures, and she was understandably nervous. Happily, he came through it all just fine.
Windsor still takes prednisone but has been tapered down to a low dose. Aside from his Standard Process supplements, he also gets one tablespoon Metamucil (for fiber) dissolved in water with each meal, and one pepcid with his snack in the evening. Preparing his meals and sticking to the treatment plan is a lot of work, but his mom has a feeding/treatment schedule, and she has help from her parents during the day. Their daily team approach is the reason Windsor has done so well, there is no doubt in my mind.
Windsor’s case is a great reminder of how symptoms and quality of life can be improved when dealing with a chronic disease. He hasn’t been cured, but his gastrointestinal upset, low protein levels, and liver stress have been minimized. He’s a happy-go-lucky dog, and his family is thrilled to see him feeling better. Windsor is now 14 years old and is feeling better than he did two years ago. I call that success!
I want to hear from you! What issues does your dog or cat have that could be approached nutritionally?