Sunday, August 15, 2010

Border Terrier with Epilepsy, Fecal Incontinence, Acid Stomach

Q: My border terrier is 4 and she has recently started emitting a small hard ball of poop at night, or upon getting up in the morning, it falls out. I have done some online research and some sites pointed to gas as being the problem, others suggest having her checked for hemivertebrae. She has been seeking out grass to eat. We have also recently discovered that she may have a congenital disorder - a canine epilepsy. I wonder if the epilepsy like symptoms, and the fecal incontinence may both be symptoms of hemivertebrae. She has a vet appointment monday and I have asked the vet to express her anal glands which she has never had done. I wonder if I should also bring up the possibility of hemivertebrae. Any insight into her maladies would be greatly appreciated.

A: So sorry your border terrier is suffering with these health problems. Definitely work with your veterinarian to determine a diagnoses and inquire about possible spinal deformations such as hemivertebrae as well as potential neurological conditions. It sounds to me though that there are a couple of issues going on which could DEFINITELY be improved upon from a holistic standpoint. For instance, epileptic symptoms can be triggered by allergic reactions to dog food. Same with eating grass, anal gland problems and the gas/stool issue--food allergies and poor digestion can all cause these issues.

 Our holistic veterinary team could really help you to understand how what you are feeding might be dramatically impacting your dog's symptoms. For example, if your border terrier is eating any type of grains such as wheat, corn or rice (found in most commercial dog foods), this could be just one of the culprits. There are quite a few others however and without an indepth discussion, it would be hard for us to tell you exactly what to feed your border terrier. But, when dogs are eating grass, it is generally a sign of poor digestion and acid stomach. To combat this, you need to find a better food that works for your specific dog's needs. Potential problems with the food you are using? Grains, protein allergies (your dog may need a novel protein diet that excludes poultry for example), additives and depending upon what you are using, chemicals and byproducts. The diet is so important and unfortunately is often the last issue concerned in controlling neurological and unusual symptoms.

Be sure your border terrier is getting plenty of omegas in the diet and use Amazing Omegas to control the inflammation and provide neurological support. Gastro ULC is excellent for grass eating and definitely use a digestive enzyme such as Soothing Digestive Relief. as well as the Probiotic. Acupuncture can help if a neurological or veterbrae condition is diagnosed. Overall, there is a lot you can do to help your dog from a holistic standpoint, in addition to conventional veterinary care treatments. Get the tests done and a diagnoses, but there is so much you can do now without them just based on the symptoms you are describing.