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Hi-our just 12 year old Hav was dx about 2 years ago with Cushing's. He has taken Vetoryl and done well. Over the past 9 nine months his appetite has been decreasing and he has lost significant weight. About a month ago he had an endoscopy and they found a lot of inflammation. Everything else is normal. Vet started him on Atopica and very little improvement. Now as a last ditch effort trying Prednisone but still he really won't eat. Eats very small amounts every day. Have offered him every dog food imaginable as well as chop meat, steak, chicken. Anyone have any suggestions or experience with this? thank you.
 

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Boo is 19, and had a history of treatment for intestinal inflammation. Currently, inflammation is controlled with 2.5 mg of Prednisone,every other day, and a B12 tablet, 3 times a week. Often IBD dogs have low B12, which can decrease appetite among other things. It is a simple blood test but not every veterinarian does it.

Boo eats a prescription home cooked diet from a company called JustFoodForDogs. The protein source is lamb. Boo is a picky eater but will usually eat this food. His weight fluctuates between 11.8 to 12.3 pounds. Blood panels from last month were completely normal.

Prednisone has worked for him. However, it was carefully titrated to find the lowest effective dose. He has been taking it for more than two years.
 

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Boo is 19, and had a history of treatment for intestinal inflammation. Currently, inflammation is controlled with 2.5 mg of Prednisone,every other day, and a B12 tablet, 3 times a week. Often IBD dogs have low B12, which can decrease appetite among other things. It is a simple blood test but not every veterinarian does it.

Boo eats a prescription home cooked diet from a company called JustFoodForDogs. The protein source is lamb. Boo is a picky eater but will usually eat this food. His weight fluctuates between 11.8 to 12.3 pounds. Blood panels from last month were completely normal.

Prednisone has worked for him. However, it was carefully titrated to find the lowest effective dose. He has been taking it for more than two years.
Ellie is in a similar situation. She has Cushings, IBD (endoscopy) AND lymphangiectasia (clogging of the lymphatic ducts which absorb fats). She goes on strike regularly and refuses to eat the various prescription diets. For now, we're still in the early stages, she too eats JustFoodforDogs. But she wants variety!!! So for the moment she gets JFFD venison, chicken and rice and fish and sweet potato. Is Boo willing to eat only the lamb? Is there a reason you've limited him to this?
 

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Hi-our just 12 year old Hav was dx about 2 years ago with Cushing's. He has taken Vetoryl and done well. Over the past 9 nine months his appetite has been decreasing and he has lost significant weight. About a month ago he had an endoscopy and they found a lot of inflammation. Everything else is normal. Vet started him on Atopica and very little improvement. Now as a last ditch effort trying Prednisone but still he really won't eat. Eats very small amounts every day. Have offered him every dog food imaginable as well as chop meat, steak, chicken. Anyone have any suggestions or experience with this? thank you.
When they did the endoscopy did they check for lymphangiectasia (clogging of the lymphatic ducts which absorb fats). If he has this, it prevents proper nutrient absorption which could make him lose weight. He could also feel nauseous or have acid reflux, all of which would reduce his interest in food.
 

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Ellie is in a similar situation. She has Cushings, IBD (endoscopy) AND lymphangiectasia (clogging of the lymphatic ducts which absorb fats). She goes on strike regularly and refuses to eat the various prescription diets. For now, we're still in the early stages, she too eats JustFoodforDogs. But she wants variety!!! So for the moment she gets JFFD venison, chicken and rice and fish and sweet potato. Is Boo willing to eat only the lamb? Is there a reason you've limited him to this?
Boo has eaten other formulas. However, he seems to like the lamb the best. Plus, we have him on the kidney formula, since he is 19. We want to preserve kidney function, as his blood pressure medication does raise creatinine levels. So far, he still is only Stage 1.

In younger years, I also used to mix up the protein sources. However, now, we just stick with lamb.
 

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Boo is 19, and had a history of treatment for intestinal inflammation. Currently, inflammation is controlled with 2.5 mg of Prednisone,every other day, and a B12 tablet, 3 times a week. Often IBD dogs have low B12, which can decrease appetite among other things. It is a simple blood test but not every veterinarian does it.

Boo eats a prescription home cooked diet from a company called JustFoodForDogs. The protein source is lamb. Boo is a picky eater but will usually eat this food. His weight fluctuates between 11.8 to 12.3 pounds. Blood panels from last month were completely normal.

Prednisone has worked for him. However, it was carefully titrated to find the lowest effective dose. He has been taking it for more than two years.
May I ask you, given that you’ve obviously cared so well for Boo and he is living a happy, long life… what kind of diet have you had him on over the years? Have you always fed lamb based food, and what about grain free or grain inclusive? Have you fed kibble, freeze dried, or ? Has Boo always been pretty healthy until recent senior years? I know good healthy genes are probably at play for Boo, but diet can make such a difference too, and we feel the weight of making that important decision for our sweet girl, whose just 10 months old right now and transitioning from puppy food to adult.
 

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May I ask you, given that you’ve obviously cared so well for Boo and he is living a happy, long life… what kind of diet have you had him on over the years? Have you always fed lamb based food, and what about grain free or grain inclusive? Have you fed kibble, freeze dried, or ? Has Boo always been pretty healthy until recent senior years? I know good healthy genes are probably at play for Boo, but diet can make such a difference too, and we feel the weight of making that important decision for our sweet girl, whose just 10 months old right now and transitioning from puppy food to adult.
As an adult dog, until he turned thirteen or fourteen, Boo ate either Ziwi Peak air dried lamb or venison recipe or Stella and Chewy raw freeze dried patties (in all available protein sources). So, he was not restricted to a lamb diet until recent years. I never fed kibble or canned food. However, that was just my choice.

Boo does have a long history of elevated liver enzymes. He had a lot of liver work up over the years, including repeated ultrasounds and bile acids. However, he was only diagnosed with IBD at age 17. Essentially, he presented as a very healthy dog, but inconsistent eater, until the past few years. Around age 17 more age related problems began to pop up. Still. at present, he is completely stable with medication. he walks on his own, engages with his puzzle games, goes to the groomer twice a month, and alerts me, when he needs to potty. Blood work from September 2022 was completely normal, as what would be expected in a much younger dog.

I believe that a good diet and regular veterinary care does contribute to a better quality of life for our pets. I also followed a limited vaccination protocol, titer testing every year, which may have contributed to his overall health. Still, ultimately, I think he just got really lucky and got all the good genes from his forbears, inasmuch as his aging onset was delayed until he was 17-18 years old.
 

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I appreciate your sharing a bit more of Boo’s health and diet journey. The more information we can have, as we endeavour to raise happy healthy dogs, the better I think. Before getting a Havanes, we had a mix Bichon, Shitzhu, Yorkie and she lived to just before her 17th birthday, and old age only seemed to creep in at age 16, when medications became a part of her life too. We felt very blessed for all the years we had. With Ivy, we are trying to learn as much as we can about the breed and what might be best as far as diet etc. There has been so many changes in foods and the thinking around diet over the years. We have come across mixed messaging, and much contradictory research about healthy diets for dogs, and we really appreciate learning from other Hav owners what they have had good experiences with. Like you, we also believe good veterinary care and regular grooming, mixed with lots of love, can help ensure a healthy dog. Along with good genes, of course!😌
 

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I appreciate your sharing a bit more of Boo’s health and diet journey. The more information we can have, as we endeavour to raise happy healthy dogs, the better I think. Before getting a Havanes, we had a mix Bichon, Shitzhu, Yorkie and she lived to just before her 17th birthday, and old age only seemed to creep in at age 16, when medications became a part of her life too. We felt very blessed for all the years we had. With Ivy, we are trying to learn as much as we can about the breed and what might be best as far as diet etc. There has been so many changes in foods and the thinking around diet over the years. We have come across mixed messaging, and much contradictory research about healthy diets for dogs, and we really appreciate learning from other Hav owners what they have had good experiences with. Like you, we also believe good veterinary care and regular grooming, mixed with lots of love, can help ensure a healthy dog. Along with good genes, of course!😌
Pet Summits is currently doing a series on dog nutrition. They usually have lots of good information.

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