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Dr.Fiona, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience:  Small animal medicine and surgery - 16 years experience in BC, California and Ontario
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Hi. I have a female Border Collie, about 4 years old, with

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Hi. I have a female Border Collie, about 4 years old, with a chronic condition:

1-She won't eat,
2 -She has quite soft stools, similar viscosity to pourable yogurt.
3. Without half a tab of 20mg Famotidine acid reducer, she will usually become nauseous and then regurgitate her last meal. If she does so, the food looks to be relatively undigested, and not very wet, as I would expect with normal stomach fluids.
4. She hates the smell of Iams dry pellets or oatmeal in the morning, and will only eat her favorite meal of cottage cheese on occaision.
5. She has missed one or more meals a day for almost 3 weeks.

The local vets don't have much of an idea, they are suggesting chronic colitis.

I want to cure the source, not treat the symptoms. He then suggests endoscopy.

When I made the appt, with another vet for this, at the last minute, the second vet said no, not endoscopy, colonoscopy-which requires an overnite stay, multiple enemas, general anesthesia, and no guarantees.
Aloha Bill,

Welcome to Just Answer! I can understand how frustrated you and your dog must be with this condition! I would like to try to help you but need a bit more information in order to better assist you.

When did this problem start?

How many times a day does she usually defecate?

Does she have mucus and/or blood on her stools?

Are her stools jelly like in consistency?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.


Hi! I stepped away, after waiting half an hour. I know you're busy


1. This problem started a couple of years ago.

2. She usually defacates once a day, maybe two.

3. No she does not usually have mucous or blood in her stools, though blood did appear one time after several days of diarrhea. She has been treated at least 4 times in the past 12 months for diarrhea, I think caused by the local rat drinking from their outdoor water dish, which is freshly filled every morning and left overnight only rarely


4. Her stools are not jelly like, a step down in viscosity: pourable yogurt.


I hope you can give us a clue. Since she won't eat without her medicine, and it has stopped her vomiting, I think that is a clue.

Yes, that is helpful about the famotidine...

What medications has she been given for the diarrhea?




Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
still here...


With what you are describing, I am very suspicious that your Border collie may have Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), which is a problem that can cause long term problems with vomiting and/or diarrhea as you are describing. It can only be diagnosed with certainty by taking a biopsy of the intestines or stomach. However, there are some things you can try to see if they help before having to do the biopsy...



IBD is not something that can be "cured" - the dog will have it for life, but with treatment most dogs can be controlled to minimize their flare-ups.


IBD is a bit like an allergic reaction that happens INSIDE the body, in the intestines. If you think of what happens to people’s skin when they have a reaction to poison ivy, that is the same kind of thing that happens to the lining of the intestine with IBD! What is causing the reaction is an allergy to the PROTEIN in the food. It could be to any protein in the food – chicken or turkey or beef or lamb or tuna, ANYTHING that the dog has had before.

Because it is hard to know WHAT your dog might be allergic to, you may wish to discuss with your vet changing the food so she is on some different protein sources. If she has been eating poultry, then switching to something that does NOT contain poultry is a good idea. This could be fish, seafood, or anything else novel (rabbit, venison, duck, etc).

In order to know that she cannot be allergic to it, the protein has to be one that she has never had before!

There is nothing magical about any one protein source, it just has to be something that she has not had before. So, you have to check ALL the foods she has previously eaten and make a list of all the proteins she has been exposed to. Then you have to find a food that has NONE of those in it.

If you wished to try making your own food, I can give you instructions on how to get a recipe for FREE. The site, , has a section where you can get custom balanced recipes easily for your adult pets. Simply choose a recipe and use a protein that your dog has not had before, that you can readily obtain (rabbit, duck, venison, etc).


You can put in the promotional code HOMEMADE at checkout and the recipe will be free.



When you get to the payment/invoice type window, zero out the bottles of supplements (if you're going to buy them elsewhere), put the promo code in, and hit the "apply" button next to it. Then your invoice will recalculate and go down to zero if you only have one recipe there. You can continue on through the process without entering any payment info from there, and it will take you to the recipe for the pet you entered.




Finally, all home recipes for dogs need supplementation with essential fatty acids, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamins, and minerals. The amounts of these are totally dependent on the animal and the base diet. There is no universal "supplement" that covers everything appropriately.

Another option would be a "hydrolyzed" protein food. These are available only through a vet. The idea with this is that the protein is broken down so that the immune system can no longer recognize it. So, to the immune system it is no longer a protein, and (theoretically) the body cannot become allergic to it. These are fairly new in veterinary medicine (just a few years old) and so far, I have not had dogs become allergic to it, so I am crossing my fingers!

Your vet would have a number of different brands of prescription foods that have these “hypoallergenic” diets containing hydrolyzed protein. You could contact your veterinarian to try one. There are prescription foods that your vet could provide that serve this purpose.

One of these is Royal Canin HP food:

When I see dogs with IBD, I often put them on medication and change the food. The food change can take 8- 12 weeks before it helps the patient, so in the meantime, I use medications. I usually treat with an antibiotic/anti-inflammatory called Metronidazole (Flagyl) . It is very helpful for most dogs. If they do not respond to that, then I might treat with Prednisone.

Here is more about metronidazole:

Here is more about prednisone:

Here is more about IBD:


The other thing that I wanted to mention is that if your dog were my patient, I would put her on a probiotic. They are very safe and help a lot of dogs! It just helps to promote the growth of "good" bacteria and reduce the "bad" bacteria in a natural and safe way.

You can use FortiFlora products which are available from your veterinarian, or you can use Culturelle which is available at pharmacies in the USA. For the Culturelle, a 40 - 60lb dog would get 1-2 capsules daily sprinkled on her food.

Here are links:

I hope that these ideas help you to help your dog!

If this has been helpful, please "Accept" my answer and leave feedback.

If you need more information, just click on reply and I will still be here to provide it!

The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would strongly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.


Dr.Fiona and 3 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Thanks so much for the thoughful analysis and complete reply.


Now I am worried: how do I save the reply for future use?


Just printing it will lose all the active links...