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Discussion Starter #41 (Edited)
I had a reassuring meeting with Poppy's vet today. We were able to use the open barn at the surgery to talk, which made it rather more relaxed - the last visit was in the car park in pouring rain! Poppy has been suffering from diarrhoea on and off for the last few weeks, and I wanted advice on dealing with that as well as a general where-are-we-and-where-do-we-go-from-here discussion. He says that she is remarkably well, and that dogs with her level of disease can live happily and comfortably for several years - as she is already 11 that would mean a near normal life span. He's given me several months supply of Metrobactin with advice on using it only when absolutely necessary, and reassured me that I can use the OTC digestive paste as required. I think I may look for a good pre and pro-biotic for her - not kefir, because of its alcohol content, but other recommendations gratefully received!

Next appointment in three months, so she is definitely not considered to be on the danger list!
 

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I had to put Pogo on antibiotics, and the vet prescribed Purina Calming Care probiotic to try to reduce the gut upset. I don't know if this is the best product or just the one he had on hand
 

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Discussion Starter #43
Thanks - did it help Pogo? I have been reading up about probiotics and am now suffering from TMI. What with too little and too much but in the wrong place causing similar symptoms, all the different strains and what they can and can't do, and the general ineffectiveness of many of the products my brain is reeling... I know the only time I tried the capsules myself I felt a lot worse!

Vet recommended fibre, especially good old pumpkin, so perhaps I should start with what I already have in the cupboard...
 

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I had missed this original post, but this latest update has a lightness to it that made me so happy for you and Poppy. Sounds like you have some idea of where things are at and have what you need to keep her comfortable. Hoping you get a couple more years together. Hugs to you all.
 

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I’ve been following Poppy’s journey. Sad to hear her condition is chronic but happy she’s currently living well.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
And after a dose of Metrobac she did a nice firm poo first thing this morning! The second one of the day is the real proof of improvement, but even one is a good start.

Anyone else find themselves jotting down number and consistency of dog poo in their online calendar...?!
 

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I keep a smile log :) I discovered last year that sometimes the only indication I have of how Mia is feeling is how much she smiles. When Mia feels good, I get many long, happy, smiles -- sometimes mischievous grins as she runs off with a toy hoping that I'll follow. But when Mia feels under the weather, she smiles less, and less broadly. It can be a subtle change, but the only indication I'll get.

So I keep a smile log, which I suppose is a kind of poo log, but not yet a lou log, which is a different kind of poo log.
 

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A smile log? That’s amazing. It’s proof how expressive poodle’s faces can be!

I make a weekly note with the details of each day on my phone for Lacey since I’ve brought her home. It includes times she: pees, poops and their size and firmness, meal amount and any special notes, walks and distance, grooming stuff like brushing/nails/face trim/baths/etc medications, or anything out of the ordinary like throwing up.

I’m kind of anal and am into lists and notes so I can keep track of things. I think that’s important to do with a puppy, but I’ll probably continue doing it for the rest of her life. It’s a great way to ensure things are running smoothly and to have details for the vet if they aren’t.
 

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Discussion Starter #51
I have found it particularly useful to be able to make a summary log of what I have observed to give to the vet during these upset times. Usually there would be plenty of time to take a detailed history (and even for that notes of dates and times are invaluable), but when the rain is dripping down your neck and you cannot accompany your dog into the examination room a written summary of all the things you want the vet to know is very helpful. And for that I need to be able to refer back to the notes I have made over the preceding weeks... It is a valuable habit to keep up, I think.
 
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fjm. I'm thrilled to read your latest update that Poppy has several more years living happy.

Yes, poop quality is a daily discussion in our house with notes taken when things are out of whack. You're right - I keep notes on my google calendar. It's easy to look back and see trends and gather data for the vet.
 
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Thanks - did it help Pogo? I have been reading up about probiotics and am now suffering from TMI. What with too little and too much but in the wrong place causing similar symptoms, all the different strains and what they can and can't do, and the general ineffectiveness of many of the products my brain is reeling... I know the only time I tried the capsules myself I felt a lot worse!

Vet recommended fibre, especially good old pumpkin, so perhaps I should start with what I already have in the cupboard...
So happy to hear that your vet gave you an optimistic prognosis, instead of just stating the diagnosis.
Sasha loves good old canned pumpkin ~ 1-2 tsp. added to morning portion of kibble+ some water. Hope that Poppy will find it a tasty addition to her food.
We’ve been giving Sasha 1-2 tsp. of fat-free, Greek yogurt, at bed-time. She loves it.
However, reading about comparative benefits between yougurt and kefir, I found out the following: there over 30 different strains of good bacteria contained in kefir along with vitamin B complex, vitamin A, D and K as well as calcium, phosphorus and magnesium minerals.
Yogurt contains transient bacteria, which will not repopulate the digestive tract, but the active, growing, living cultures in kefir will.
I never knew about alcohol in kefir. Reading your post, I went back to the net. I found the following explanation by one of the creameries ( Green Valley), making lactose-free and how they insure that their kefir does not contain alcohol. Alcohol is created through the fermentation of yeast. Traditionally, kefir was made with kefir grains, a blend of yeasts and cultures, which would result in a beverage with low alcohol levels. To this day, in some areas in Europe, this is a common practice. Since we do not want alcohol in our Kefir, we use a blend of cultures that only contain live active cultures. Our kefir is therefore free of alcohol.
So, you might have an option, though lactose-free kefir costs more. But that’s a personal preference.
Regarding the probiotics, reading through the unbelievable amount of conflicting information on the net gave me a headache, so I stopped for a while. But recently, I stumbled on the following article: 6 Best Probiotics for Dogs With Diarrhea and Allergies Rated
I almost gave up reading, when the following probiotic caught my eye: VetriScience Laboratories Probiotic Everyday Dogs Bite-Sized Soft Chews.
We already use the anti-anxiety product by this company: Vetri Science Composure Pro chews. It’s the only product that helps our dog with her separation anxiety.
So, we are thinking about getting their probiotic 1/daily + supplement it with lactose-free, low fat, kefir or continue w/Greek-style, plain, fat-free yogurt.

Thanks - did it help Pogo? I have been reading up about probiotics and am now suffering from TMI. What with too little and too much but in the wrong place causing similar symptoms, all the different strains and what they can and can't do, and the general ineffectiveness of many of the products my brain is reeling... I know the only time I tried the capsules myself I felt a lot worse!

Vet recommended fibre, especially good old pumpkin, so perhaps I should start with what I already have in the cupboard...
So happy to hear that vet gave you an optimistic prognosis.
Regarding the probiotics, reading through the unbelievable amount of conflicting information on the net is giving me a headache. We’ve been feeding Sasha with 1-2 tsps. of fat free, plain, Greek yogurt, before bed time. She absolutely loves it! We also add ~ 1 tbsp. of pumpkin to her morning kibble, and she fell in love with good old pumpkin.
I grew up drinking kefir, but
 

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I have found it particularly useful to be able to make a summary log of what I have observed to give to the vet during these upset times. Usually there would be plenty of time to take a detailed history (and even for that notes of dates and times are invaluable), but when the rain is dripping down your neck and you cannot accompany your dog into the examination room a written summary of all the things you want the vet to know is very helpful. And for that I need to be able to refer back to the notes I have made over the preceding weeks... It is a valuable habit to keep up, I think.
I’m probably the worst, detail oriented record keeper: each feeding- which food and /or medicine/supplement;
each poo/pee/walk, when how much, what consistency; each grooming - any issues, each sebaceous cyst, sebaceous adenoma, is drawn on the picture diagram, provided by vet. Then, if there is any pattern or issues, it’s easier to notice, as well, as provide the summary to the vet. As the fur baby gets older, there is higher probability of various issues. This way, it’s easier to share with vet when did a symptom(s) began, how long the growth had been there, or any behavioral clues, like licking paws, scratching the hot spot, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #55
I bet your vet appreciates your careful record keeping Mick, especially at the moment, when they are having to take a history out of doors and examine the dog without the owner present. It is hard to concentrate when a cold wind is whipping round and rain trickling down the back of your neck, which is the sort of weather we have been having for the past month! Another big advantage of tracking changes is that it enables you to see improvements s well as declines - Poppy went from walking a hundred yards to a mile and a half, in tiny increments each day The day I was able to log a total of 2.5 miles in two walks, with her still bouncy and happy as we got back to the car, was a very reassuring one.

That is interesting about the kefir - I was looking at home made, but might now look at what is available online. Fortunately Poppy loves pumpkin - she will happily lick it off the spoon. It can be quite difficult to find canned pumpkin here in the UK but a can goes a very long way frozen in tiny servings, and I still have several from the half dozen a friend grabbed for me when they briefly appeared in her local supermarket. And again, it is possible to buy it online, or be more economical and microwave a butternut squash. My sisters (we are bubbling for 24 hours - it has been lovely!) giggled at Poppy's supper dish, a smorgasbord of canned hepatic food, cooked chicken, pumpkin and a squeeze of digestive paste, which looks exactly like chocolate sauce! On extra special occasions I add a sprinkling of tiny home made treats, just to complete the knickerbocker glory effect.
 
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fjm, I have a poop calendar for my cat Walter Grey, he has Megacolon to say he has difficulty passing stool is an understatement so I have to keep track so I can up medications if needed.
 

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Fjm, across the pond, we can buy frozen squash in the freezer section of the grocery store. Usually it’s small cubes appropriate to mash easily. Perhaps you have this product?
 
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I’m probably the worst, detail oriented record keeper: each feeding- which food and /or medicine/supplement;
each poo/pee/walk, when how much, what consistency; each grooming - any issues, each sebaceous cyst, sebaceous adenoma, is drawn on the picture diagram, provided by vet. Then, if there is any pattern or issues, it’s easier to notice, as well, as provide the summary to the vet. As the fur baby gets older, there is higher probability of various issues. This way, it’s easier to share with vet when did a symptom(s) began, how long the growth had been there, or any behavioral clues, like licking paws, scratching the hot spot, etc.
FJM,
Here, canned pumpkin is in abundance around Thanksgiving and it’s cheaper, so we get couple of cans each shopping trip. Sense expiry date is at least a way, we cumulate enough to last till next season. A 14oz jar, refrigerated, once opened, and covered w/pet food cover, goes for close to 2 week. About kefir, if goat kefir is available tans affordable, it’s the best for both people and dogs. Though I suspect, the taste is an acquired one.
Now comes the hard part. I must apologize to you and everyone, who read about VetriScience Probiotic. I checked on Amazon and on VetriScience website, and found discrepancy regarding the quantity of probiotic strains and price in the above mentioned VetriScience probiotic for dogs. The article stated that it had 9 strains of probiotics. But when checked, the ingredients label states only one strain. Also, the article was written in 2019, and listed the price of $10.99 on Amazon. Current price is $15.99 for Prime members.
Please, accept my apology for misleading you.
 

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Discussion Starter #59
Probiotics really do seem to be a minefield! In the UK the trick to buying canned pumpkin seems to be to live somewhere with a lot of US ex-pats, or have a friend who does, and to remember to check the supermarkets around Thanksgiving time - it is not a holiday here, of course, so I rely on PF to remind me.

I have never seen frozen squash here - I can buy fresh prepared butternut and sweet potato, or if I am feeling a tad more energetic a sweet potato scrubbed, pierced and microwaved is a good substitute.
 
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