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Best Diet for Dog with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

by LeighAnne
(Kermit, TX)

My 13 year old female cocker mix, Molly, has been diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) for most of her life. In spite of the IBD, she continues to act like a puppy some days and I want her to be as good as she can be, for as long as I am blessed with her precious soul.

Some of her hx...she was officially diagnosed with IBD about age 6 by a western medicine vet. She has since been mostly controlled with prescription dog food, S/D ZD, and some limited protein foods - currently Nature's Balance venison and sweet potato. I also keep amoxicillin and centrine on hand for flare-ups.

She is currently doing OK with regards to stools but she remains very thin, coat is poor, and doesn't want to eat much of the time. I recently added l-glutamine 500 mg a day, digestive enzymes and probiotics after much research.

My vet is very traditional and I am just beginning to get a clue about traditional vet care and would love to find a holistic vet but there aren't any in my area...closest is 300 miles!

I have also stopped all vaccines. With all my research I have read a lot about the raw diets. I have recently changed my my cat to a cooked holistic diet mostly just to ease into the change to raw.

My question is...could I put Molly on either a cooked holistic diet or raw diet without causing her harm?

My vet says she needs the hydrolyzed proteins or novelty proteins, so if I tried a homemade or raw diet, I would have to use proteins such as chicken or Turkey that she has of course been exposed to in the first 6 years of her life.

Novelty meats in west Texas are hard to come by and not cheap!!! If leaving her on this LID is what is best for an IBD dog, then I will, but if there is something better I would love to try. I realize not all are created equal but do you think this is worth a try?

I greatly appreciate your expert opinion!

Thank You, Leigh Anne and Molly

Comments for Best Diet for Dog with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

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Nov 08, 2013
My Online Vet Response for: Best Diet for Dog with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

November 8, 2013

Hi Leigh Ann,
What a tough question you have asked regarding Molly! It is difficult to know ahead of time if attempting to transition her to a RAW diet, (far superior to the hydrolyzed proteins and limited ingredient diets she is on now) will be harmful to her.

At this time, she is 13 years old and has had IBD symptoms since she was 6. Therefore, she has been sick more than half her life. And from your description of her at this time, "doing OK with regards to stools but she remains very thin, coat is poor, and doesn't want to eat much of the time" she is in a very fragile state, and ANY changes may be harmful to her!

But if the rest of her system can be supported, as you have started to do with Glutamine, digestive enzymes,and probiotics that is a start! Thank goodness you have stopped vaccinating her! (Which may have triggered the IBD in the first place 7 years ago!)

I would also suggest you give her SQ injections of B-vitamins plus B-12 two times per week, (even a traditional veterinarian should have injectable B-vitamins!) The syringes will be slightly larger than insulin syringes with a fine needle so she should not mind it too much.

Add to her food: Mega C powder-- the smallest dose advised for her weight, and Immuplex (made by Standard Process) 1/2 capsule opened and sprinkled into her food TWO times daily, for her immune system. Start all of these BEFORE trying to add in any raw meat to her diet.

Also, have on hand Slippery Elm powder, for diarrhea. See Dr Richard Pitcairn's book, Natural Health for Dogs and Cats, for details on preparation and dosage. And she will need homeopathic remedies according to her symptoms as you transition her, and I can guide you along as needed.

I am not sure I have answered your question or not. I cannot tell you if changing her diet will harm her, but you need to try. Of course, if you had a holistic veterinarian 7 years ago, (or before) she may not even have IBD now!

Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

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DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Nov 10, 2013
by: Leigh Anne

Thank you so much Dr. Tillman for your advise and honest opinion. I have ordered your recommended supplements and will add those ASAP. I have some thinking to do but I appreciate your advise!!!

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