My Doggies Tummy
So, my dog has a very sensitive tummy. This morning I’ve been listening to her stomach play the musical squirting sounds and her constant running to the back door to be let outside. Our dog doesn’t make a sound 99% of the time, so I know something is up because I woke up to the sound of her stomach and I can hear it from the other side of the house.
So, here’s her stomach story – she’s a rescue from an amazing group that works with stray and unwanted dogs living on first nation reserves. All we know about her “history” is that she lived on a reserve for about her first month, then with a quarantine holding family until she was 8 weeks old, and then foster family until we fell in love with her. We do not know if she was fed regularly by people, if she was found with siblings, if she was beaten (although some of her fear reaction indicates that she may have been), or if she had her mother around. We really don’t know too much other then we love her to pieces and she’s amazing and not a day goes by now that she is not showered with love.
Anyways, she has a special tummy. We didn’t know it when we adopted her, but she had giardia – a not so fun stomach parasite. And unfortunately she was stuck with us, two first time puppy people, who had no idea it was a major illness. So, she’d get sick with diarrhea, we’d go to the vet, and then he suggested that probably through the course of the holding home, the foster home and our home, she was just not eating anything consistently. She probably had allergies and a new food would work better and to switch brands once her stomach calms down after giving her ground beef and rice for a few days. So, we went through a 3-4 week cycle where she would have sever diarrhea, then we’d put her on ground beef and rice and then change the brand of food we were feeding her. Then we’d repeat this cycle, each time choosing a more specialist food, which would inevitably be more expensive then the last. After the third round, we went back to the vet, convinced something more was wrong. Turns out I was right.
On the vet’s orders, I got to experience another fun part of new puppy responsibilities – collecting doggy diarrhea for testing. An interesting poop collecting adventure and a couple hundred dollars later, we discovered our poor puppy was suffering from giardia. So, a course of antibiotics and she should be fixed. Well, its can never be that easy, and it took a few courses of antibiotics and a few more weeks. But we got her stomach all fixed up.
Unfortunately, the long term result of this has been that at 4 years old, she still has the most sensitive stomach in the world. We have to be very careful with what we feed her. We never change her food, or she suffers the consequences. The monthly new bag of food requires a special mixing to ensure it doesn’t upset her stomach. Bones are an absolute no-no. People food doesn’t happen (with the exception of limited cheese bits which are her absolute favourite). Rawhide doesn’t work. The poor girl never gets much in the way of special treats because any sudden food changes will usually result in diarrhea. Since we are so cautious, this only happens about once a year now (thankfully).
As for today, thankfully, just a few hours later, my house has been spared any signs of doggy diarrhea and her stomach has stopped playing music. She has finally fallen asleep next to me on the couch and I’m now listening to the relaxing sound of doggy snores as I sit here typing.