Feeding A Properly-Balanced Diet
My dog keeps getting colitis. Nothing seems to help her. It has been off and on for 7 yrs. now. Could you suggest a medication that would help? My dog is a poodle, weighs eleven pounds. She is eleven and a half years old. (acts like a puppy). She has been spayed. Her diet is chicken white meat only. I cook it for her. She never has a bowel movement without some blood. Also never acts like she is in pain. When there is a lot of blood. I take her to the veterinarian. They put her on medicine. It helps a little. She has had thousands of dollars worth of tests. All say the same: colitis. I’m afraid she is losing too much blood. Also she eats Prescription Diet little bites, chicken flavored, because of stones in her bladder yrs. ago. I’m told to keep her on this diet. Any suggestions at all would be of great help to me. Thank you, Yvonne.
Colitis is a common and multifactorial disease process. The number of causative factors alone puts it beyond the scope of today’s discussion, but Yvonne includes an important piece of information in the history of her pet’s condition: “Her diet is chicken white meat only.”
“Chicken white meat only” is not a proper balanced diet for dogs, cats, humans or any other species. Think about what wild animals eat. If they kill a prey creature they don’t pick out the white meat and leave the rest. Rather, they eat the entire creature, bones, liver, intestines, kidneys, everything. In addition, even most obligate carnivores will graze on some grass, berries or other vegetable sources of nutrients and micronutrients. By doing so, they will eat a fully balanced diet.
In addition, Yvonne feeds a Hill’s Prescription Diet for prevention of urinary bladder stones in dogs. We don’t know which one because “little bites” simply refers to the size of the food. That’s not important, however, because whatever food it is there are three crucial things to remember:
- All Hill’s Prescription Diets are complete, balanced diets, and,
- anything you add to or subtract from a diet has the same effect: it imbalances the diet, and,
- in the case of Prescription Diets, any form of supplementation will interfere with the diet’s ability to do its job of controlling the disease process.
Regarding Yvonne’s dog’s colitis I would recommend that her pet’s doctor consult with the Hill’s nutritional expert veterinarians who can advise the doctor on dietary ways to address the colitis while, at the same time, continuing to prevent the urinary bladder stones she has previously experienced.
While Yvonne says that “She has had thousands of dollars worth of tests,” if she hasn’t had a colon biopsy, that would be an important next step. Such biopsies are best performed by board-certified internists at a veterinary referral center or university veterinary hospital where they are equipped with endoscopy equipment that can aid the veterinarian in obtaining a biopsy non-invasively. Often a biopsy will allow a more specific diagnosis than simply “colitis” to be made, thus leading to specific treatment.
Yvonne, we hope this helps and we hope that you will keep us at MyPetsDoctor.com and our readers informed of your dog’s progress.
See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.