We are the proud owners of a three-year-old (four in June) Tamaskan bitch and an eight-year-old collie cross bitch. Our problem lies with Willow, the Tamaskan. As is common with Arctic breeds she has a very sensitive digestive system and when she was a young adult she was fed Burns Venison and Brown Rice with very little disruption to her digestion. Unfortunately a couple of years ago we had difficulty sourcing that particular type and slowly introduced her onto Burns Chicken and Brown Rice. She had the occasional upset if she happened to scavenge but, within a couple of days, back to her usual self.
Early January this year she had a bout of chronic diarrhoea with liquid faeces evacuated under pressure! A campylobacter infection was positive from stool sample and treated with antibiotics. She was on Royal Canin Chicken and Rice sensitive for the duration. Three consecutive days stool samples after the antibiotics were clear.
Now, however, she has had diarrhoea for almost four weeks. She also came into season at the same time and the first couple of weeks she had very loose stools progressing to liquid (as described above). Her season has been slightly different too in that at no point has it become copious as previous but more just drips.
We initially fed her Royal Canin Chicken and Rice with the vet prescribing Pro-kolin with no improvement. If anything it became slightly worse with what looked like undigested fat among the liquid. A blood sample to check her pancreatic function came back normal. By now we had progressed onto boiled rice and chicken which we prepared ourselves, again with no improvement to the consistency. She eventually took a dislike to the boiled rice and would pick the chicken out. She has lost about a kilo of weight in a week on top of the weight she had already lost. She is currently about 19.6kg.
Vet is now thinking about a small bowel biopsy for a definitive diagnosis but a further blood test for biochemical levels showed that her blood protein and albumin levels as very low but there is no infection present. Quite rightly the vet does not want to biopsy her while her bloods are like this. Started on Prednisolone (5mg three tablets, twice daily) five days ago and feeding her, on the vet's advice, on boiled chicken and some Burns Chicken and Brown Rice. After the first 24 hours she produced her first solid poo in almost a month. The elation was short-lived however and we then went from cow pat consistency to liquid again today. Follow up appointment with vet in two days.
We are really very worried and she is very subdued and depressed. She has never lost her appetite although she would leave the boiled rice. We would be extremely grateful to hear from anyone whose had a dog with similar symptoms and what did they do? Should we change her diet completely (obviously would have to be introduced over time). Could she have developed an allergy to chicken? That seems to have been the only constant through all of this
The collie cross throughout this has been on her usual diet of Burns Chicken and Brown Rice and has no problems. She was tested for campylobacter during the first episode and she was clear.
Andrina Robertson, by email