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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19748
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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My dog Brewer, black lab., has been sick since the day I

Customer Question

My dog Brewer, black lab., has been sick since the day I adopted him from the local shelter, at 11 months. At times his diarrhea and vomiting have been so bad, I thought he had been poisoned. I have tried everything, and settled on a raw diet which he seemed to do well with until recently.
He has only gone 21 days, since I've had him, without these symptoms. He has been to 2 different vets. but with little help.
He gets 4 small meals a day, the first, a can of soft food with probiotics and enzymes and diatomaceous earth for parasites. Recently I removed chicken from his diet thinking it was a long term intolerance and had to take him off raw diet. He is getting small helping of Nutrisca and Paul Newman's organic. He truly loves to eat!
He seems to vomit in the early morning hours but this last week he has had diarrhea in the house a couple times, something he has never done. He has not lost any weight, yet, looks great and plays and exercises well. This morning he is more lethargic after a round of vomiting and diarrhea last night and this morning. I have tried the chicken and rice. homemade, he does okay for awhile. I'm at my wits end. I've tried everything and I simply can't afford large vet bills with a lot of tests and exploration. I've also tried Imodium and Pepcid rounds which helped little. He does not seem to be in pain but it's hard to tell really. Thank you in advance.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 year ago.

Hello. I'm sorry for the long wait. I just logged on and saw this.

This is almost certainly to be some type of food allergy or IBD (inflammatory bowel disease). These are hard to diagnose, and kind of troublesome to manage as well. To make the diagnosis, you really need intestinal biopsy samples. This can be done surgically if you would like to know for sure. If that's not an option, I'll try to give you a plan going forward.

First, I would switch to a hypo-allergenic diet. Hill's Z/D or Purina HA are options.

If that's not an option, then I would go with a novel protein diet. Here is a nice link on how to do a novel protein diet challenge:

I would give that at least 2-3 months to see if it makes a difference. This means no other supplements or medications or treats. You can only feed the special diet. There will be setbacks, but you have to stick with it.

If that doesn't work, then I would assume IBD and put him on a steroid- Prednisone. I would also use a chronic antibiotic in the gut- Tylan powder sprinkled on the food. Here's a write up on IBD in pets:

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions