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Angel
Angel, Own/Op Natural Dog Care & Behavior
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 57
Experience:  25 yrs training exp. Large Breed Behavior Spec. Nutritional support for liver/special needs dogs
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Eating dirt subsequent to gallbladder removal.

Customer Question

my Scottish Terrier has been eating dirt of any kind he find. He had his gallbladder removed 2 months ago. Is this Pica and if so what is he lacking in vitamins or minerals that might be causing this. He is currently not taking a multivitamin. He is also having tummy trouble. His appetitie is ravenous. He is currently on a therapeutic diet low in fat because of not having any gallbladder. The dirt eating is extreme.
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Angel replied 11 years ago.
What are you currently feeding?
Expert:  Angel replied 11 years ago.
Excessive dirt eating is a pica, but in this case could be life threatening due to the volume of dirt being consumed. The dirt can be compacted in the stomach and intestines causing other problems.

I would crate the dog if you can, and only let him outside supervised.

Dirt eating is an indication that there is an iron deficiency or some other mineral dificiency.

does your dog have anemia?   Dogs develop this pica when they have an iron deficiency.

Did his latest bloodwork show a low RBC (red blood count) If you are not familiar with bloodwork, call your vet and ask if your dog has anemia.   Ask for a copy of the bloodwork so you can provide us with more information.

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Angel's Post: Hill's Prescription Diet Canine W/D. The vet recommended this because it is supposedly low in fat and easy to digest by the liver. His liver now needs to take over all the extra duties the gallbladder did. I forgot to mention in the original question that he has Addison's Disease as well and takes .5 mgs. of oral Pred a day because of this. Every month when he gets his DOCP injection for his Addison's they draw blood
for an ALP test to see what his numbers are. They have been high 3327 in June. The number was going down since his surgery, until June when it went up 600 points. At that time they cut his oral Pred from 1mg. a day to the .5mgs. I mentioned before. The only thing they can think of that might have caused the spike in his ALP was the Pred. I have a medical background and in my heart and brain I think it's more than just the Pred. My vet conferred with a vet in Boston and one in New York City and they told me to start him on 50 mgs. of Vitamin E a day, 2 tablespoons of Missing Link at dinner and 225 mgs. of Sam-E a day. So far, no change we still love dirt. At the time of his surgery, they biopsied his liver and found just changes consistent with being over-Predded in the past.
I'm very concerned with the fact that his ALP spiked all of a sudden when it was going down. He had been on 1mg. of Pred since his surgery and his ALP had been going down slowly but, still going down. That is why I am questioning if it,s the Pred they're focusing on or is it something else. Between that and the dirt-eating, It's got to be something else, I know it. Anything you can offer since you're dealing with liver involvement in your dog as well will be greatly appreciated.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Angel's Post: Scotty's last CBC showed normal responses in all areas.
Expert:  Angel replied 11 years ago.
One of the first things I changed for Apollo was his DIET. SD kibble is very difficult for them to digest. I know preparing food will mean more work, but it really turned Apollo around. You can prepare a diet that will be easier for him to digest, and that will help tremendously. Even the CANNED Science Diet is better than the dry.

But let me address the ALP for a moment, the pred most certainly will cause a sudden spike in the ALP.   Reducing it will help, but it will take a while for the liver to recoup.

Your pooch need iron rich foods, or a very good supplement I use IRON VITE-B (intended for pups) on Apollo's homecooked food.

APollo used to eat dirt too when he was on SD. He hasn't since he is on home-cooked/raw foods.
I also use PROZYME sprinkled on all of his food to help him with digestion.

I would also add MILK THISTLE (Now FOOD brand) to his regiment.   There is one 'all inclusive' supplement that I have recommended to many others: K-9 Liquid Health Fido Nutrients, that I use as a 'convenient vitamin supplement' when I am in a hurry (who isn't).   You can review the ingredients to be sure it would not interfere with his conditions.

Also... the vitamin e should be d-alpha type to be easily assimiliated.

Let me post this so you can read it and I will continue
Expert:  Angel replied 11 years ago.
Milk Thistle is one supplement that Apollo has been on for the past two and one half years. It helps the liver recover from insult, (even pred related) and SUPER MILK THISTLE has a different composition that helps when ALKP and liver enzymes are very high.   The brand of super milk thistle recommended is ENZYMATIC THERAPY.

You can give 100-300mg twice a day according to my vet.

A note on the Sam-e. this needs to be enterically coated and should be given on an empty stomach or two hours after a meal.   Otherwise it will not be effective.   I use JARROW brand sam-e from a source where I trust the 'inventory freshness' of the product.

See if you can increase his iron through diet (home cooked liver) or add some Iron Vite-B (I got mine online) or CANINE RED CELL.

I think he is 'starving' for minerals and iron and knows that dirt contains these elements. I had to physically remove all plants/pot from the patio and restrict APollo's outside activities until I got a handle on this.

A liver cleansing diet of FISH (COD), sweet potatoes or white potatoes and green beans, carrots, peas or any number of other pureed veggies will provide the nutrition he needs and low in fat. I am sure you can add almost any low fat protein source and it will be better than dry kibble. Be careful of SODIUM in foods since this can cause other problems (kidney).

I sure hope this answers your question. If not please let me know!
Angel, Own/Op Natural Dog Care & Behavior
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 57
Experience: 25 yrs training exp. Large Breed Behavior Spec. Nutritional support for liver/special needs dogs
Angel and 2 other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Angel's Post: He is on the soft version of Hill's diet. Where do I get the IRON VITE-B, PROZYME, MILK THISTLE (food brand?) and the K-9 Liquid Heakth Fido Nutrients? Also, because of his gallbladder being gone, he has to have a low-fat diet. What kind of home-cooked foods would that entail? As well as incorporating iron-rich foods?
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Where do you get you Same-E from?
Expert:  Angel replied 11 years ago.
I get my supplement from www.iherb.com    The Sam-e I get is JARROWs brand, this is also where I get all of my supplements for Apollo.

Now resources for the IRON VITE-B , Prozyme and CANINE Red cell vary.

Since I am always looking for the best price, I will let you know where I got my last order.

Angel, Own/Op Natural Dog Care & Behavior
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 57
Experience: 25 yrs training exp. Large Breed Behavior Spec. Nutritional support for liver/special needs dogs
Angel and 2 other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
I don't know what happened but, all of a sudden it said I wasn't registered anymore. I don,t know what i did. Could you please list each supplement you give Apollo like this

Sma-e - Company or on-line address
Expert:  Angel replied 11 years ago.
The Iron-vite-B and other doggie supplements I get from   wwww.lambriarvetsupply.com

and the prozyme I think I got from www.entirelypets.com   there are many others.

Did I get everything???
Angel, Own/Op Natural Dog Care & Behavior
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 57
Experience: 25 yrs training exp. Large Breed Behavior Spec. Nutritional support for liver/special needs dogs
Angel and 2 other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Angel's Post: Could you possibly give me an example of when you give the supplements, like Apollo gets what with breakfast lunch and dinner? I have been sending you bonuses but, I don't know if you have been getting them. Can you tell me if you
have or if you haven't, how do I correct it? The reason I asked about the schedule is because he takes Ursadial medicine and need to show my vet, so he can see if any wouls intereact.
Expert:  Angel replied 11 years ago.
The sam-e I get from www.iherb.com (jarrow brand or NOW FOODS brand) and remember this needs to be taken on an empty stomach and one hour before a meal, OR two hours after.

The Iron-vite-B and other doggie supplements I get from   wwww.lambriarvetsupply.com

and the prozyme I think I got from www.entirelypets.com   there are many others.

Did I get everything???

The suggestions I have made have been discussed with my vet and she totally approvals and in fact usually asks ME what I am giving APollo to improve his health as much as I have. I guess all the research I have done has paid off.

good health to you and your dog!
Expert:  Angel replied 11 years ago.
There shouldn't be any problem with urosodiol and any of the supplements I have listed.   

I don't know if I am getting the bonuses yet, I wanted to answer all of your questions as best I could based on my vast experience!

Just let me know.
Expert:  Angel replied 11 years ago.
Interaction with this drug may occur with the following:

antacids that contain aluminum (Alucaps, olaids)
cholesterol lowering medications (Lopid, evacor, Questran)

that is from a website for humans.
http://www.gicare.com/pated/ursodiol.htm

So I think you are good to go!!
Angel, Own/Op Natural Dog Care & Behavior
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 57
Experience: 25 yrs training exp. Large Breed Behavior Spec. Nutritional support for liver/special needs dogs
Angel and 2 other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
I was wondering if you could give me a rough idea of when you give your dog his supplements, like what he gets at breakfast, etc. In other words how do you break them down?
Expert:  Angel replied 11 years ago.
Gosh.. I thought my post went through supplying that information.

Usually one hour before his first meal he gets his sam-e.   We wait an hour... go for a walk, etc.

Breakfast with K-9 supplemental liquid, vit E and a number of the supplements. I add all the 'liquids' to his food. Do this a little at a time for the first few days. And only start with one liquid. (just good to order all at once to save on shipping).

K-9 liquid is the most complete. Please review the ingredients so you are sure there isn't any problems with what is 'in' the product.

The diet change is something your vet may not agree with.   I have three vets, and my allopathic vet wanted him on SD L/D and Apollo would not eat it.   SO I had to find something else. Again I am not a vet, but I do have a dog that wasn't eating so I had to find something he would eat.   Dr. Dodds a liver expert in Garden Grove CA IS an expert and has a recommended diet for liver dogs. This worked for us.

I also feed smaller meals (up to four a day) with 'some' of each on his food. Based on the needs of your dogs and your schedule you can add any of the supplements to any of the meals.

Apollo gets his last sam-e before bed. I also use probiotics (acidolphilus) to control the flora in his tummy.

Prozyme is added directly to the food. This helps break down fats, proteins and carbs in the diet.

Missing LInk has most of the same types of supplement, but Apollo could not have any of the kelp or yeast, so I have to find 'individual products.

I sure hope I answered everything.



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