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What’s up with Bella Beagle?

by Clare Mansell

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.

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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.

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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!

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8 comments

Nancy December 2, 2015 - 11:21 am

GI problems in dogs are awful. Just a couple of things we have done with our dog who is now 13 – a pound rescue and has cost me $$$ for vet treatments. Callie has had problems with pancreatitis and we have saved her 3 times from certain death with meds and IV. She now gets NO treats – and she is permanently on a gastro diet – some soft and some hard. Peeing inside began this summer and I nearly lost my mind. She is now on a drug that helps regulate her electrolytes – Aventi and also one to help control her peeing Propalin. Also at 7 she became a senior so we routinely do a panel of blood work. I wonder though with the arrival of Alice, if there is some jealousy… Good luck Clare. And tell me why they like the rug for the mess – vomit, diarrhea, pee – it never lands on a vinyl floor….

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claremansell@mac.com December 3, 2015 - 8:16 am

The jealousy thing has been suggested before. It did begin before Alice was born, but I think dogs recognise when a human is pregnant and know what is to come! 🙂

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carole spencer December 2, 2015 - 12:02 pm

Clare, how often do you feed Bella? When we adopted Jake he had problems with his digestive system. Took him to Cambridge and they diagnosed a small pancreas and so we feed him 3x daily now.
The other thing that occurs to me is that he cannot tolerate red meat, he doesn’t produce the enzymes so he is fed Burns Fish and Brown Rice supplemented with fresh vegetables and fruit.
The other thing that occurs to me is canine cognitive dysfunction. I had a poodle that started to poop and wee in the house but had until then been scrupulously clean.
Just some ideas Clare, food for thought!

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claremansell@mac.com December 3, 2015 - 8:15 am

We feed her twice a day. I think the idea of some meats being better than others is something we need to explore. I was talking to Jim last night and we are going to try and keep a diary of exactly what she eats and when the accidents occur

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Anderson_Eleanor December 3, 2015 - 7:57 am

Poor you! Does sound like a combination of behavioural and physiological.
We only have one room with carpet downstairs and if jasper ever gets caught short, that’s where he heads for! There was once a chronic bought of diarrhoea that he managed to deposit all over my childhood edition of monopoly. That was not nice. The monopoly set did not survive.
Re spot cleaning my carpet cleaning man once said never use anything like vanish, 1001 etc. They put residue onto the carpet which subsequently attracts more dirt. Just dilute some old fashioned soap flakes and clean with that. And flush with loads of water. Such a bloody faff though. Get jim a carpet cleaner for Xmas and get him on it ?

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claremansell@mac.com December 3, 2015 - 8:14 am

We actually have a carpet cleaner but I can’t really get it out daily. Interesting about the pros take on spot cleaners though. I need to get some soap flakes!

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jane December 3, 2015 - 9:39 am

Hi Clare, not what you need with a young baby! When my dogs get upset tummies I always put them on chicken and rice. Seems to do the trick. My sister also had problems with soiling at night and now she never feeds her dog after 4,30pm so she has time to go out before bed time. She also restricts their diet with no treats unless they are the same type of dog food. Hope this helps.

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claremansell@mac.com December 3, 2015 - 11:03 am

Some good suggestions Jane. We are very careful about what treats we give her now and have discovered Tribal which are very high quality, with no extra rubbish. I think feeding them earlier is also a good suggestion.

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