We've had our 4yr old male Donozo since he was 9 weeks old from a very reputable breeder with many years experience. We love our Donozo and love our breeder, she has been great and supportive. Our breeder guaranteed his health and offered to exchange him or give us another dog and has even financially reimbursed us because we didn't want another dog, we love him. So please know I understand some dogs just have a condition and it doesn't reflect negatively on the breeder. Having said that, this is what I'm seeking guidance on.
Soon after we brought him home at 9wks old, within a couple weeks, he started developing explosive diarrhea, bloating, and gas. He would also regurgitate his food a few times then re-eat it. We tried numerous foods for more than a year recommended by the local pet boutique, raw food, probiotic for 30 days, antibiotics, blood work and stool tests. When he was a year old we put him on Royal Canin Rx dry food Hydrolyzed Hypoallergenic food that immediately took care of the diarrhea but he continued to regurgitate his food after eating and then he would re-eat it. We were so happy to find resolution to the diarrhea that we finally gave up looking for a cause to the regurgitation. He would often vomit when he got excited, after running around outside, barking at strangers, or eating too fast. We tried the funny bowls that made him eat around obstacles to slow him down. I was happy if he only threw up 1-2 times a day instead of 6-12. On average he would throw up 2-4 times a day, usually after eating.
In July of this year he stopped being able to keep anything down and over 11 days he went from 54 pounds to 40. We spent almost $4000 between numerous vet visits, emergency room visits, follow up visits, fluids, IV, medicines, overnight stay to rehab his health, and tests including an inconclusive flora scope. We had numerous diagnosis and speculations over the 11 days from gastritis, pancreatitis, esophagitis, hernia, sphincter problem, and mega-esophagus. He does have a mega-esophagus and sphincter problem and we still are not sure if he has a sliding hernia, but they are treating him as such and the surgeon was pretty convinced that he has had it since young which has caused him to regurgitate his food for almost 3 years (so angry at the vet that couldn't figure this out for so long). Not sure what flared him up so bad, but we were finally able to get him to keep food down after the 11th day with medication (Cisapride and Prilosec) and canned Hills i/d food. And I put fluids under his skin for another ten days after that.
I just discontinued the Prilosec this week because he developed diarrhea last week and immediately upon discontinuing Prilosec his stools went normal again. He is still taking Cisapride 3 times a day to help the esophagus work properly (we tried Reglen initially then again just a few weeks ago, but it doesn't seem to help and it's too bad since it's only a fraction of the price) and he is still eating Hills i/d canned food. The canned food solely because of the sliding hernia and mega esophagus, and the i/d food because of the previous explosive diarrhea problem that led us to feed him the Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Rx food. We have been feeding him 3 cans a day and he still hasn't gained any weight, he is still only 40 pounds after 2 1/2 months, so I just emailed my new vet (one we changed to during all these problems) to ask her about increasing his food intake to at least 4 cans daily. This makes me cringe because I am spending $80/month on medication and $225/month on i/d canned food. The 4 cans daily will increase his food costs to $300. Which is more than my personal grocery budget.
We love him and will do whatever we need to do to keep him happy and healthy, but wondering if anyone else out there has had any experience with sliding hernias, mega-esophagus, and/or hydrolyzed diet food alternatives.
I'd like to try a different food to save me some money (the i/d costs $30 for 12 cans). The surgeon told me he would have to stay on canned food because of the hernia and mega-esophagus. So I guess I'm looking for an alternative to the prescription food.
Last edited by JenniferG; 11-15-2013 at 02:10 AM.
"What we once enjoyed and deeply loved, we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes a part of us." Helen Keller
RIP Wellie, Bella, Winston & Roxie
Could you use the dry and do what we do for puppies? Mix 1 cup of food to 1 and 1/2 cups of water and let it soak till all the water is gone. I dont know if that would be any cheaper for you the the can stuff.
I dont know much about mega-esophagus or the food allergies since my crew doesnt have alot of issue with food (thank goodness) but I know Courtney at the carolina pet pantry is one of the best when it comes to finding a food that might work as well as what your trying. She has alot of rescues that have issues with food http://www.carolinapetpantry.com hear is there website and I am sure if you call her or send her a email she will be able to help with mor ideas then I can
So sorry to hear about your dog! I've heard of megaesophagus in canines before but not specifically with hernia. I was reading about bloat risk of EBs and the elevated food bowl when I chanced on the vertical feeder that is supposed to help with megaesophagus problems. I have no experience on megaesophagus personally but maybe this will help:
As far as the cost of wet food... it might be cheaper for you to make your own wet food using the BARF or PMR model and a good meat grinder.
I got Bullied and loving it!
Bella "Bullie" Rose, adopted on July 24, 2011
Hi there, I have no experience with this, but I would be very curious to see how Donozo would do on a home cooked diet. Have you ever tried that? Home cooked is so similar to canned, and it is more natural ingredient wise, and you also have control of what is in it.
Oh and we would love to see pictures of Donozo too!
I have no experience with this problem but my sister had a doberman who had a surgery to remove a foreign object. The surgeon she had, somehow made a mistake in that surgery, requiring her to have further surgery-thus causing severe scar tissue to form. She was prescribed the canned prescription diet, as she could not hold her food down, and normal food could not pass thru-due to scar tissue..she would vomit.To make a long story short-it became so $. Changed her food, and put all in a blender and made it very fine, used a slow feeder and she managed just as well, as on prescription. She could only keep extremely finely blended food down. And yogurt. So sorry to hear about your much loved baby.
“It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough,all the components of my heart will be dog,and I will become as generous and loving as they are"
I have no experience with this either, but can't he have 1/2 caned mixed with 1/2 kibble? Also there is a chair that is made to help with mega-esophagus, I think it's called a Bailey chair? Not sure but maybe you can Google it. Sorry for your baby, and I hope you get some help with him.
Have a Great Bully Day.
Member of The Bulldog Club of America, The Bulldog Club of Texas and French Bulldog Club of America.
Bully hugs from - BeBe, Hazel, Lucy Lu, JLO, Hillary, Henri & Katie
Here is a picture of Donozo when he was in ad out of the hospital. He is with my daughter who he adores, he is technically her dog.
Here is one of him eating from a spoon.
His favorite sleeping position.
Donozo with Lucy the Chihuahua
Traceylynne172. I'll give her a call. We tried the kibble soaking a few times with the other hard prescription food he was on for so long, it didn't work, at least I failed at it.
Thank you @anatess and @Davidh . We tried something similar to the Bailey Chair but it doesn't help because of the dysfunctional sphincter and/or hernia. In fact he hates it so much that he starts to fight it and it makes his hernia worse. Such a pain. I'm wondering if I get him on a diet that he isn't intolerant to, then maybe I can try blending it in water again. I should probably research foods.
The vet reminded me today that the GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disease) causes acid and that the acid will keep him from absorbing nutrition which might be why he isn't gaining any weight. Have to find a resolution to all this! Poor baby.