Oh, Digestion! You Bubbly Rascal!

Who doesn’t love talking about digestion? Vomit, gas, diarrhea? Yes, please! I tend to think of digestion as a kind of Mary Poppins after years of LSD abuse. Unpredictable, prone to outbursts, colorful, nearly entirely mysterious, yet totally necessary and still unyielding in its magical workings.

Amee using telepathy to get me to pull out the baby GasEx
Amee using telepathy to get me to pull out the baby GasEx

For my friends, this is old news. To most, perhaps new news. From my early days in fostering, I was known for taking the difficult-to-adopt cases. When I really entered the rescue/shelter environment, I began taking on difficult health cases. As well as being known as the ‘shark whisperer’. Apparently I have a way with angry little dogs. Yes! Give me your sick and your angry! (bashing head against table) This is probably due to me really being an angry little canine wrapped in human skin. (Shhh. We’re keeping secrets.)

One of my fosters, who of course stole my heart and became one of my four-legged kids, had such a medical case. She has IBD-Irritable Bowel Disease. Surprisingly, there is little known about what causes IBD. At least what I’ve found in my research, talks, and journeys. There is much more known about how to treat the symptoms. How very American of us.

Amee’s case presented very oddly. She came to us severely malnourished and nearly starved to death. Just skin and bones. After a whole lot of experimenting, I discovered there was almost no off-the-shelf dog food that worked for her. Nearly all the dry food seemed to suck what little moisture her body was holding in–out. The wet food made her gas worse. Which brings us to our original problem. And why she was so thin. For Amee it was not painful to eat, but painful and costly to process food. What a bummer.

Now, Amee’s diet is mainly cooked by yours truly. Chicken, potatoes, pumpkin, fish, tuna. With some occasional bready snacks, as she is a total carb lover. I realize that not everyone has time to cook for themselves, much less another, but we do occasionally have luck with the freeze-dried foods. Really, anything that doesn’t have tons of extra ‘stuff’ in it.

But our IBD ‘gift’ is FOREVER. So we treat it very carefully and specifically.

Cerenia is a godsend. When I see the attacks coming, we hit it with this first. I think of vomiting as a type of seizure–you have one and the other symptoms are harder to stop. (Not all vomit, mind you. The consequences for her are very specific. And I believe of IBD cases.)

Mylicon drops for babies (simethicone) for gas. When her gas is coming, it announces itself. From like, across the room. Bubble, bubble, gurgle. Make no mistake, bad gas is incredibly PAINFUL. You don’t have to buy from Amazon. Pop down to your local pharmacy. And you don’t have to use Mylicon. There are a few makers of the baby formula. I use this one because it comes in liquid form and I can get the right dosage from the dropper for my 10pound pup.

Probiotics to aid in digestion.

Firm Up! Pumpkin supplement to aid good poopies and moving the shit through the pipes. This stuff is seriously awesome. A really good example of a simple solution (pumpkin/apple) working its magic.

An occasional metronidazole (Flagyl) when our vet says. We’re at a pretty low dosage of 12mg a week. It gives those pesky over-excited GI bacteria a good talking-to. (<–science)

And occasional Pepcid AC for immediate acid reflux. We don’t do this one daily. Even though our doctor suggested it. In Amee’s case, addressing the gas and emetic (vomit) behavior is more important.

*A lot of the same links (and a few more details) can be found on the products page for meds and supplements. Happy pooping!


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