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smanimalvet, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 1111
Experience:  Practicing vet with focus on advanced medicine and surgery.
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My dog has stomach issues... always has. She is a 2.5 year

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My dog has stomach issues... always has. She is a 2.5 year old mutt-agree ;)
Because there has yet to be a food on the market that works for her longer than 6months before all her symptoms return (vomiting, gas pain, diarrhea, constant need to eat grass, bloating up- seeminly putting on weight but it's just gas, etc) she is now on a home cooked diet. I refuse to have my dog on a daily regimen of vet approved Zantac, Pepto Bismol & Gas X but after 6 months that is where we end up.
This new diet has only been going on for a week. I've done my homework and know how many calories she needs to injest daily (approx 700-750) and I measure out her portions that consist of a protien, starch, veggie. I supplament with fish oil and a multi-vitamin. The first 5 days of this diet had me thinking we finally found something that will work for her! However, these last 2 days the gas is back and she is constantly grazing for grass and has even vomited 2x on both days. There are so many factors that could cause this new stomach upset that I don't know where to begin to figure it all out. Here are the details:
1- we've been feeding her 2x a day a burger patty that consists of 3lbs of 80% beef, 1 cup quinoa, sauteed spinach with peas, 5 carrots, half cucumber and a lil bit of dry basil and parmiggiano reggiano... All mixed and baked
2- they are measured out and weight per portion to be within her caloric needs
3- in the morning her meal is supplamented with the fish oil and multi-vitamin- both are new items for her
4- beef & quinoa are new foods for her- so that could also be it.

Tonight I will make a basic boiled chicken breast with potato, carrots & green beans. I blend her veggies and add them to the chicken & potatos, which are boiled then mashed up.

Help! I love my dog and will do anything to get her out of the chronic pain she deals with. On paper I'm doing all the right things... I'm running out of ideas.
Thank you!
Hi There-

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am really sorry to hear about Bianca's dietary issues.

Before I begin, I have to address one thing. Chronic use of Pepto Bismol in dogs is really not recommended. This has to do with the Aspirin that is in Pepto and its ability to cause bleeding issues in dogs. Often, we recommend some safer medications such as Metronidazole for chronic diarrhea. It also has anti-inflammatory effects on the intestines and can reduce intestinal discomfort.

I am strongly suspicious that Bianca has a food allergy. Typically, these food allergies are to the protein source but we have also seen it with starch sources. The other problem I see is that there has been so many food changes. With food trials, it is extremely important to give a diet change 2 months to have an effect. This is the time it takes to get old antigens out of the system, reduce intestinal inflammation, and get the new food on board. Rapid changing of the diets can cause many of the symptoms that you are seeing. I would also make sure that she is receiving no treats, outside food supplements, or flavored heartworm tablets. All of these can cause serious issues.

Personally, I have no problem with homemade diets when formulated by a veterinary nutritionist. It is easy to put ingredients together and think that you are supplementing all that is needed but it is very easy to forget important vitamins and minerals. We also know that, perhaps more important than the amounts of these things, is the ratios of amounts with respect to each other. There are many online sources that can work with you can help formulate a diet. It would likely be best to stick with a solitary protein and solitary starch source such as venison or duck and potato.

There are many prescription diets that can help with this. It sounds like you have tried a number of them. I will tell you that the most recent convention in Las Vegas discussed that many of these "hypoallergenic foods" really are not as good as previously suspected. They recommended trying Iams KO. Again, you have to feed just this diet and no other foods, including all treats, rawhides, etc.

Beyond a food allergy, we also have to worry about a developing case of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Most often a hypoallergenic diet will help to treat this but many require long term medical intervention to get 100% reduction in clinical signs. Unfortunately, the only way to diagnose this is often with biopsies of the intestines. Most veterinarians will perform a medical trial first.

I hope that helps. I know that these cases can be frustrating. Sometimes, it is best to start over from scratch and either formulate a diet with a veterinarian;s help or go back and try another veterinary diet.

Dr. B
smanimalvet and 6 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am already aware of all this information. Not that you could know that


I have yet to find a vet nutritionist so if you have a recommendation in the Princeton, NJ area I would very much appreciate it. My vet has talked in depth about the possiblities of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. They have also discussed Pancreatitis and Chrones disease. They are not nearly as keen on the homemade diet and continue to push the Rx brands they have at their office (not happy about that).


For now I will continue with the chicken and potato combo and cross my fingers that a longer term study will help her.

I'm sure you can imagine how heartbreaking it is to watch your "baby" in such pain.

Thank you for the very quick response.

Believe me, we know how hard this is. As vets, we often get so involved in these kinds of cases that we take it as a personal fault when we cannot fix them and it sound s like you have already done so much. I'm sorry I couldn't offer a lot of new information. I will really try to give you some more help now.

Medications you might try:



Fortiflora or a like probiotic

Budesonide (safer than prednisone)

Dietary additives:

Fiber (in the form of 100% canned pumpkin or Metamucil): it can sometimes really help with the gas production

Sweet Potato: You might find that this works better than actually potatoes

I feel that raw diets can be useful in many situations as long as they are balanced appropriately. As vets, we need to start to accept some of these alternative treatments and diets...they can be quite valuable.

For nutritionists, you can try the following:

Online Resources (these websites link you to already formed diets or will consult with you for a fee...all are recommended by veterinary nutritionists): (this site also sells homemade diet additives to get the nutrition balance)

For veterinary nutritionists, I found the following in New Jersey. Unfortunately, I am not too familiar with the state but I think New Brunswick is close???

Sarah Ralston (New Brunswick)

Laura Eirmann (Paramus)

Lisa Weeth (Tinton Falls)

I hope that helps!

Dr. B

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

This is very very helpful and appreciated!

Thank you!