Stomach Upset and Diarrhea

 

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We are on the road often, with exposure to many things that could cause sudden stomach-upset in our dogs.  Therefore, we keep the following supplement on-hand in case of an onset of diarrhea:

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Slippery Elm: Capsule form:  Give a ¼ capsule twice daily to small dogs, a ½ capsule twice daily to medium dogs, and one capsule once or twice daily for large dogs. Mix contents of capsule into your dog’s kibble, or mix with plain live-cultured yogurt, or pure pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)

Slippery elm is recommended for acute cases of diarrhea, as well as for conditions like colitis, stomach irritations, constipation, and coughing.

  • Diarrhea
    • Helps by reducing inflammation and lubricating the digestive tract with the help of the mucilage, or oily secretions that make up slippery elm
    • To read about other natural remedies to help with diarrhea, see information at bottom of post.
  • Constipation
    • It might seem strange that slippery elm can help two seemingly opposite conditions like diarrhea and constipation… but, because of this wonder-herb’s soothing, lubricating properties, Slippery Elm can help to relieve and even prevent constipation
  • Coughing
    • Kennel cough is always a concern since we are around hundreds of dogs from all over the country at dock diving events.  Much in the same way slippery elm reduces inflammation and lubricates the digestive tract, it works to help the upper respiratory system, making it of great benefit in easing discomforts from painful coughing associated with conditions like kennel cough.  (***Note: this is not a remedy for kennel cough.  Kennel cough is highly contagious and can be very aggressive.  If you feel as though your dog has been exposed to kennel cough, isolate your dog immediately, contact your veterinarian, and notify other people your dog may have had contact with.)
    • ALSO NOTE: In rare cases, a dog may be allergic to slippery elm and it shouldn’t be used in pregnant animals, otherwise the herb is generally safe

More natural remedies for diarrhea:

When this happens to our pups, and anything serious (like an obstruction) is a ruled out, we first pull their food for 12-24 hours. It allows their system to “reset” and have a break. It also lessens the chance that they will vomit/have more diarrhea. We make sure they are still drinking water (dehydration is a big concern with stomach issues) and check frequently to make sure their gums are still nice and pink (pale gums can be a sign of dehydration). Finally, we make up some sort of bland food to give them until they’ve recovered from their stomach upset.  ***PLEASE NOTE:  If at any time your dog is extremely lethargic, feverish, bloated, there is a large amount of blood in the stool or vomit, or you are concerned about him, seek veterinary care as soon as possible. But for those dogs who are experiencing simple diarrhea and vomiting, here are some steps you can take to help:

  • Fasting
    • Most animals will fast themselves when they have digestive disease and it’s a good idea to stop feeding your dog if he doesn’t fast himself. You can start with 6 to 12 hours of no food or water with most dogs. If your dog is very small and prone to hypoglycemia, you should give him tiny licks of honey or karo syrup each hour, or as needed, if he appears weak and trembly. After the fast, if the diarrhea has stopped or slowed, offer small sips of water (a few teaspoons in very small dogs and up to ½ to 1 cup in large dogs) every few hours. Be certain to use filtered or spring water. After six hours of water only, you may start some small amounts of food. Gradually increase the amounts of food over the next four to five days. In terms of amount, adjust based on your dog’s size and normal eating habits …all dogs are different.  The amount of ingredients in the recipes shared really are general – meaning it will completely depend on the size of your dog. Stick to the general ratios your dog normally eats (or trust your eye). When done feeding bland meals, also be sure to slowly re-introduce your dogs normal kibble by using the following as a guide:
      • Start by mixing 25% kibble with 75% bland mix. Slowly change the proportions over the next five to seven days by gradually increasing the amount of kibble, and decreasing the amount of bland mix. At the end of this transitioning process, you should be feeding 100% kibble.
  • Bland Food
    • Once your dog is reintroduced to food, a bland diet will help prevent a recurrence of diarrhea
      • There are a number of different combinations you can try, but the ingredients are the same
        • 100% canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling!!): Only pureed canned pumpkin here, nothing else added. It can help with diarrhea and will firm up soft/loose stool thanks to its high fiber content.
        • White rice: White rice is as bland as it gets, and it is also a source of soluble fiber. It absorbs water as it passes through the GI track, which will help harden stool and add bulk.
        • Plain live-cultured yogurt: Make sure that you have non-fat/low-fat PLAIN (not vanilla) live culture yogurt. Thanks to its natural probiotics, it can help restore the balance to your dog’s gut, and get all the good bacteria thriving.
        • Plain low-fat meat: Boiled chicken, with no salt or anything added, can add a little substance to your dog’s diet if they are ready for it. It’s a good protein source, and very bland.  If your dog has a chicken allergy, you can substitute boiled chicken with boiled lean ground beef, or boiled lamb.
      • The recipes:
        1. Plain Mash: This is a good basic mash for dogs that turn up their nose at canned pumpkin or yogurt. Make sure the chicken is plain and that you just boil it. The added water makes this easy to eat and has the added bonus of getting some much needed fluid into your pups system.
          • Ingredients:
            • boiled chicken, shredded
            • white rice
            • 1/2 cup or so of warm water
          • Directions: Boil chicken and cook white rice. Shred the chicken into the cooked white rice, and add roughly ½ cup of warm water. Mix thoroughly, and feed to your dog in place of its usual meals. You can also feed this in smaller quantities throughout the day which can be easier for their gut to handle.
        2. Sweet Mash:  For milder cases of soft stool, this tasty mash can help solidify things thanks to the pumpkin, while ensuring the balance of bacteria gets back on track with the yogurt.
          • Ingredients:
            • 2 tablespoons plain live cultured yogurt
            • 1/4 can canned pureed pure pumpkin
          • Directions: Mix up 2 tablespoons of plain live cultured yogurt with ¼ can pureed pumpkin, , and feed to your dog in place of its usual meals. You can also feed this in smaller quantities throughout the day which can be easier for their gut to handle.
        3. Mish-Mash Mash: This is pretty much all the ingredients mashed into one.
          • Ingredients: 
            • ¼-1/2 cup 100% Canned Pumpkin
            • ½ cup white rice
            • 1-2 tablespoons unflavored plain live culture yogurt
            • Plain boiled chicken, or other low-fat meat (no salt added)
            • ¼ cup warm water
          • Directions: Boil a chicken and cook ½ cup of white rice.  Thoroughly mix ¼ cup of canned pumpkin and 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt into the rice, and then add about ¼ -1/2 cup low fat boiled meat, torn into bits. Feed in place of regular meals
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Information taken from the following:

Financial Support for Veterinary Care

If you have a fur-kid there may come a time when you will need to pay for a pretty hefty veterinary medical bill. If you have insurance for your 4-legged child, it can help cover some of the costs. But there may come a time when a a fur-child’s medical emergency or illness will exceed your financial resources. When this type of situation arises, often PAWrents are faced with a difficult choice. If you find yourself in a tough financial predicament, here are some resources you can reach out to for help.

  1. Boo tiki fund : Aims to keep animals in their forever homes by providing  crisis medical care when owners are unable to pay
  2. Credit Cards for Veterinary Care: Many veterinary hospitals do not take payment plans. One of these cards may be a solution if you are not able to afford the whole cost of treatment. Please note that your veterinarian must offer the service of accepting this type of payment.
  3. RedRover.org : provides support to help care for animals in life-threatening situations . They also provide assistance to victims of domestic violence to help them escape abusive environments with their pets. Additionally, they have a program that helps with disaster relief, criminal seizures, and hoarding cases.
  4. The Pet Fund : a national nonprofit dedicated to funding veterinary care for those who could not afford it.
  5. Harley’s Hope Foundation : Financial assistance is offered to assist with major or emergency veterinary care and behavioral or specialty training.
  6. Brown Dog Foundation : This organization is dedicated to helping families who find themselves in a temporary financial crisis at the same time their pet requires life-saving treatment or life-sustaining medications. They work with the clinic and the family to find the best, most affordable path to saving the animal and help bridge the gap of the veterinary bill.
  7. Shakespeare Animal Fund : helps elderly, disabled and those whose total income does not exceed the current poverty guidelines to obtain emergency pet care.
  8. The Onyx & Breezy Foundation : privately run nonprofit that started in memory of the founder’s dogs.  This foundation helps to provide emergency medical care to animals whose owners have fallen on hard times.
  9. Handicapped Pets Foundation : a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation dedicated to the health and well-being of elderly, disabled, and injured pets. They also donate mobility equipment to pets in need.
  10. Dog-Breed Specific Support : There are many associations that support specific dog breeds. Reach out to your local breed clubs for information on local, state and national groups involved in dog breed-specific veterinary care assistance programs. Below are a couple of examples:
  11. Disease Specific Support : There are groups that help with specific canine diseases. Below are just a few examples:
  12. Working Dogs / Service Dog Support : Some programs and organizations provide veterinary care assistance for service animals, such as:

Keep in mind the groups listed in this post are just suggested starting points to help PAWrents who find themselves in an emergency medical situation. There are many other local and national groups or organizations that may be able to assist, or who may be able to point you in the right direction. Even if the group or organization you contact cannot help, they may know of a low-cost vet clinic and/or possible solutions for financial assistance.

If you are looking for low-cost general veterinary care, Veterinary associations, veterinary schools, rescue organizations, and local animal shelters may be able to help you locate facilities and groups who offer low cost-spay/neuter and vaccinations.

Mother’s Day 2020

🐶The Snuggle is Real! 🐶

Being a mother doesn’t mean being related to someone by blood. It means loving someone unconditionally and with all of your heart.
🐾💛💚❤️💖💜💙🐾
To all the dog moms out there who traded beauty sleep for dark circles, salon cuts for ponytails, long showers for quick clean-ups, late night parties for late night potty walks, sleeping-in for early morning face-licking-wake-ups, pedicures for PAWdicures, and designer bags for poop bags …

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mothers Day to all the Mamas out there!