May issue

May issue
May issue

Friday, 29 July 2011

Help for a growly tum

My neighbour has two rescue Westies, both spayed bitches in their later years but still very active. Daisy has a very delicate digestive system and was the first on the scene, along with an Irish Wolfhound who died very young some years ago. I think she has scars from her previous environment: she is bossy and always ready to eat and steal from Mitzi if not watched. Despite this she is a nervous dog, absolutely hates thunderstorms. She has periodic bouts of what we think might be IBS and small deviations from her diet can sometimes trigger a wobbly tum or sheer stress.

She had one of those sessions this morning and has eaten grass. When her symptoms subside the “grazing” will stop. There were recently some stormy weather precursors a few days ago when she became a little agitated and showed signs of stress - in fact there was lightning across the English Channel in France late last night, which can be seen from Foxhills where we live in Ventnor on the Isle of Wight. It came to nought.

Her Vet has given her owner some tranquilisers in the past but they do have an adverse effect on her temperament so she is given nothing. Her owner needs to find out if there is a canine equivalent of the human drug Buscopan to relieve the cramps and rumblings and I would be very grateful if you could answer that question so that Daisy can look forward to a relatively pain-free last few years.

Joan Robson, Ventnor, Isle of Wight

Richard Allport, vet, advises...

Interestingly Buscopan is actually licensed for use in dogs, although officially for use as pain relief in urinary obstruction by injection. However, even if it is used for the relief of cramps in the abdomen it will only ever relieve symptoms, as opposed to preventing the problem from occurring. It seems pretty certain that anxiety and nervousness is a trigger for the condition – natural anxiety relieving remedies such as Kalm aid (an amino acid combination) and Skullcap and Valerian ( a herbal complex) will be likely to minimise the anxiety and therefore reduce the number of episodes.

Remedies to soothe and balance the digestive tract will help even more to reduce episodes. The herb Slippery Elm will do this, as will clay based supplements, including one I use regularly that rejoices in the simple brand name of ‘Clay’! A specific pet probiotic such as Lacto B should help even more to prevent symptoms occurring.


  1. Have you tried bran and/or probiotic yogurt?

  2. I would look more to ease her anxiety issues, which should then hopefully resolve her tummy issues.

    DAP, and Thundershirt are good for general anxiety, and a de-sensitisation CD (when used correctly) will help her with her fear of thunderstorms/weather. Once she is happier, and less stressed, her tummy should follow suit.