Over the last few weeks we’ve been having some trouble with our rescue dog Bella and having tried a few routes to resolve it, I thought I’d share the story here to see if we find any new ideas. I would just qualify that this might not be a story you want to read whilst eating… you have been warned!
First a bit of background… Bella joined our family in Cyprus where she had probably started life as a hunting dog, we think she is about seven years old, but we can’t be certain. Generally speaking Cypriots tend not to keep their hunting dogs in great conditions and it’s likely she didn’t eat the highest quality food for the first few months of her life. As a result Bella has fluctuated between eating anything and everything with admirable tolerance and having periods of time where her digestive system goes into meltdown.
The first time we experienced it was when she was about a year old when if she wasn’t let out of the house early enough in the morning she would pee on the stairs, we went crazy trying to solve it and eventually it just stopped on its own. Then a couple of years later in Scotland she suddenly started having trouble with her bowel movements and had blood in her stools. We tried the vets and a few types of medication and after a lot of going round in circles, we eventually resolved the problem ourselves by introducing a percentage of wet food into every meal we gave her.
Since then we haven’t had any many problems right up until about two months ago when out of the blue she started pooing in the house every morning. Again we tried changing her diet and we had a period of success when, after a suggestion from a veterinary nurse, we changed her over to gluten free food. In fact it was so successful that when one day we ran out of gluten free and I switched back to the old stuff, the problem occurred again immediately.
But sadly the story does not end there… Several weeks down the line, the gluten free solution seems not to be working. We took her to the vets who gave her antibiotics, an injection and a short course of special “gastrointestinal food”, this worked for a short period of time and then the problem of soiling the house (nearly always on carpet) started again and the poo is often runny with blood in it.
We have now started crating her at night which works a treat, but it begs the question of why if she can hold it in in the crate at night, can she not hold it in during the day? Is it behavioral, biological or a mix of both? Yesterday I watched her like a hawk and restricted her access to the rooms she favours with her “accidents” and we had no problems. Also apart from the digestive problems and some weight loss she seems absolutely fine in herself.
She’ll be going back to the vets again on Saturday (thank heavens for pet insurance!) to see what they suggest as a next move, but I’d be really interested to hear from anyone who has had a similar problem with their dog and how they solved it. Today someone suggested a chicken and rice diet to me and told me to get the vet to x-ray in case she has an obstruction as it’s a common problem with Beagles who eat rubbish that they shouldn’t.
All suggestions however obvious or strange would be much appreciated, we want Bella to get better, but personally I could also do without the continual clearing up of mess in places you really don’t want to find it… Oh and any suggestions for a good spot carpet cleaner also much appreciated!