Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Inflammatory Bowel Disease ~ What is Working for Us

   In November of 2020, Pierre was diagnosed with IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease). Our vet did a complete physical exam, x-rays, and blood work to try and determine why Pierre has vomited small amounts of bile since he was a pup. In addition to throwing up, his stomach will make noises that could wake the dead! We know he is in pain but are helpless to make it stop. I’ve tried getting a nausea pill down his throat but it usually comes right back up. On several occasions, he has been extremely sick with vomiting and diarrhea. These tests were done as a result of his last major stomach episode. You can read more about it in our post, “Help, My Westie has IBD”.

*I am NOT a veterinarian and the opinions offered in this article are things that are working for my dog. Always seek the advice of your pet's vet before beginning any health routine. I am also an affiliate for Dr. Harvey's.

   Prior to this recent diagnosis, our veterinarian had put Pierre on a prescription diet for gastrointestinal issues ($80 a case) in December 2018. He did fine on it for almost two years before becoming sick in the fall of last year. Once it was determined he had IBD and couldn't have wheat/gluten we realized the food he was prescribed had wheat in the recipe, so the vet prescribed a hydrolyzed food. We ordered a case ($100) and began to transition him from the sensitive stomach to the hydrolyzed. That lasted two days. He refused to eat it and when he finally did eat, he promptly threw it up. I’ll be honest with you, the food looked horrible and was dry and incredibly unappetizing. We even went so far as to buy a can from our vet to compare with the case we ordered. Ugh! It was the same, and there was no way he was going to be fed that expensive chunky glob of chemicals and who knows what else so went back to boiled chicken and rice.

   One of the things that has bothered us about Pierre’s stomach issues is that it began happening around 3:00am. I’d tell my husband we could set our watches by it. From November to mid-December, the middle of the night episodes had us desperate for answers.

   I belong to a couple of Westie groups on Facebook and stomach issues are extremely common. It has always been a pet peeve of mine when someone’s dog is very ill and they seek advice from other pet parents. If your dog is sick, take them to the vet. Do not rely on the recommendation of strangers for medical issues. That being said, I wasn't asking medical advice, I was seeking other ideas that have worked from pet parents that have dogs with IBD. When a member said their Westie had the same symptoms, but their vet diagnosed it with Empty Stomach Syndrome. The solution was to feed the dog several meals throughout the day. I didn’t want to do that but it did get us to thinking…

   The boys eat at 7:00am and 5:00pm every day and have for years. They get a piece of chicken before bed but we are very careful what Pierre eats. Once we realized he got sick TEN hours after eating, it all began to make sense. If we fed him three smaller meals every EIGHT hours, his stomach would not become empty which triggers his IBD. We tried that successfully for a couple of weeks. Of course, we had to switch Bentley’s schedule because he would be upset if Pierre got an extra meal at night. That means they eat at 7:00am, 3:00pm, and 11:00pm. This has been our schedule since mid-December, and I am ready to share that part of the puzzle is working. The problem was that Pierre could not live on rice and chicken for an extended period of time without risking other health problems.

   If you are a regular reader, you know that I am an affiliate for Dr. Harvey’s and believe they offer the best food available. We decided that since we knew what his stomach triggers were as far as food was concerned and the eight hours feeding intervals was proving successful, it was time to transition him back to Canine Health. Bentley has thrived on it for over seven years and it is known as the “miracle” dog food. The difference between that gross prescription canned food and a bowl of Dr. Harvey’s is night and day. 

   If you are wondering, Pierre ate Dr. Harvey's for several years before he became ill in December 2018 and the vet prescribed him the first canned food. At the time, he was also consuming gluten in the form of table scraps (pizza crust, ice cream, cheese) so it wasn't the food causing the problem. I knew that but wanted to follow the vet's orders to see if it would help. After he got sick on the hydrolyzed food, it was time to go back on the all-natural food that I trust to be healthy and made with love and years of experience. Pierre has been eating Canine Health for the past two weeks and doing amazing! No stomach noises, he is sooooo excited at feeding time again, and his poops are textbook perfect. Just when we thought life couldn’t get any better, Dr. Harvey’s has done the impossible! They have developed a new food, ALLERGY.

Photo courtesy of Dr.Harvey's

   Allergy is help for itching and upset gut. I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am about trying this new formula. Both of the boys should benefit from the all-natural holistic complete food. It was developed for dogs with skin, stomach, and environmental sensitivities. Hello, welcome to the south where allergies are part of life! Bentley has always suffered from itchy armpits after being in the grass and "upset gut" should be Pierre’s middle name! I am happy to say we received a bag of both the new Allergy turkey and fish recipes for the boys. We will transition them over a couple of days since they are already eating Dr. Harvey’s it won’t be a problem.

   If your dog is experiencing itching, gut issues, or allergies, I suggest you join me and thousands of other pet parents in saying “Hallelujah” and thanks for hearing our pleas, Dr. Harvey by ordering a bag today. Save 10% with our new affiliate code in the ad below.


  1. we do 3 meals per day too, it makes a huge difference. and we agree with you, if a furfriend seems to be sick, ask the vet first and not google or fb-groups. they are good to share eyperiences and for tipps and tricks, but the first thing is to ask our vet when womething is wrong...

  2. We sure hope the new plan works for poor Pierre. It has to be so awful for him and for you all too with him being sick in the night and stuff. You need your sleep to keep that biking energy up! Paws crossed things work as you would like them to.

  3. We are VERY interested. I am a weekly, early morning vomiter, so Mom gives me an antacid pill and some chicken and rice at 5AM! Then breakfast, lunch, and dinner at reasonable hours. It helps, but is not 100%. We'll be following the Dr. Harvey's developments closely!

    Love and licks,

  4. That's good that Pierre is doing better and you finally found out what works for him.

  5. Pierre you are one lucky Westie to be loved and cared for so well...and of Course Bentley you are too
    Hugs Cecilia

  6. When our loved ones are sick, it's so very stressful! Hoping that Pierre is feeling much better soon.

  7. We're so happy you've found a way to help our buddy Pierre manage his IBD. XO

  8. Glad to hear Pierre is responding to your revised plan. Keep up the good work and give both dogs an extra ear rub from us.

  9. What a long road it has been for you and Pierre trying to figure this all out. I've never been impressed with those prescription diets so I'm glad to hear you have Pierre back on that great quality all-natural, food! I hope all continues to go better. ♥

  10. Well Bravo, that was some mighty fine detective work on your part and we're so glad that Pierre is doing better and enjoying meal time again!

  11. Dr. Harvey's to the rescue.... again! I'm so glad this is helping poor Pierre. It's amazing how complex their little digestive systems can be, and it's hard because they can't directly tell us what hurts. I look forward to the February update and the contest!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them


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