What are the top 5 things I wish someone would have told me when my dog was diagnosed with regurg?
THERE IS NO CURE FOR REGURG
Regurgitation seems like it would be easy to treat. Give a few pills and “poof.” Your dog is cured. But it doesn’t work that way.
Regurg is caused by one or more factors such as:
- Food allergy
- Bacterial overgrowth, usually caused by several rounds of antibiotics
- Hiatal hernia
- Internal inflammation
- Irritable bowel disease (IBD)
Medications can be given to your dog to help reduce the symptoms of regurgitation. And the meds work by:
- Reducing stomach acid
- Speed up motility through the gastrointestinal tract
- Reduce nausea/vomiting
While medications can help, unless you uncover the cause of the regurg, your dog will never get relief.
HYDROLYZED DOG FOOD
Food allergies can be treated with a hypoallergenic diet. This food contains homogenized protein that's broken down into tiny food particles. This makes the protein unrecognizable to the body and decreases the immune response. When the body stops overreacting, the body can heal.
Ingredient labels on hypoallergenic foods can have many surprises. They can contain allergens like corn starch or rice. These are very common food allergens for dogs. So why are these ingredients added to hypoallergenic food? It doesn't make sense to give your dog the ingredients that could cause an allergic reaction.
Think about it like this. Would you keep eating strawberries if you broke out in hives every time you ate them? Of course you wouldn’t!
Hydrolyzed food can help to reduce allergy symptoms. But it’s only a temporary fix until you determine which ingredient(s) your dog is allergic to.
DETERMINE FOOD ALLERGIES
When dealing with a dog with regurg, limiting ingredients in their diet is critical to their health.
Food allergens can cause several symptoms like:
- Skin irritation
- Inflammation/redness of skin
- Chronic internal inflammation
A dog suffering from regurgitation or IBD doesn’t have the luxury of time. Food trials, dermatology appointments, and skin analysis takes time to get answers.
If regurg and vomiting continue, even at 1-2 times a month, your dog is at risk of:
- Aspiration pneumonia
- Esophageal ulceration
- Throat (laryneal) collapse
- Nostril (nasophaygeal) collapse
A saliva food allergy test can provide a list of foods to avoid. And while some vets may argue about the accuracy of a saliva test, the other options aren’t better.
Dermatologists may say skin tests are the only way to show an allergen. But do you break out in a rash every time you eat something that doesn’t agree with you?
Blood tests can show that an allergen is present by displaying high levels of inflammation markers in the blood. But how does that prove what food ingredient to avoid?
A saliva test is less invasive. It doesn’t hurt the animal to swab for saliva. And the results give you an idea of foods to avoid so your dog can have fast relief of regurg symptoms.
I’ve used saliva tests for all my animals. My pets had noticeable health improvements with food changes recommended from their results.
Some vets may disagree with saliva allergy tests but it is worth looking into if you need answers. And some saliva allergy tests are developed by vets and paid for by insurance.
GUT HEALTH IS VERY IMPORTANT
If your dog is under a lot of stress or has taken antibiotics, it’s very likely your dog has a bacteria imbalance. And the sooner you can correct the gut flora, the happier and healthier your dog will be.
With the use of Animal Biome, you can test your dog’s stool for overgrowth of bad bacteria. Treatment is with a combination of pre/probiotics and fecal transplant capsules.
Each round of Animal Biome is for 30 days. It can take several rounds to correct the bacterial imbalance depending on severity. But with time and patience, your dog will be healthier.
The noticeable differences I saw with Animal Biome was that regurgitation decreased. My dog was able to tolerate different foods without vomiting. His fur became fuller and shinier. The redness disappeared from his skin and eyes. And his stools changed from diarrhea to normal, firm stool.
DON'T BLAME THE STOMACH
Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) is chronic inflammation of the intestinal tract. Most dogs with IBD have recurrent vomiting and/or diarrhea.
With IBD, something is causing the gastrointestinal tract to be inflamed. Usually this is a reaction to a specific food. As stated earlier in this discussion, if the allergen isn’t identified, there won’t be relief for your dog.
There are medications, like steroids, that help to reduce the inflammation. But steroids have side-effects when used in high doses and long durations.
When used for long periods of time, steroids can weaken the muscles making it harder to walk. They can cause hair loss. And they can cause liver complications like elevated liver enzymes.
While steroids can be a benefit, they should be used short-term to reduce inflammation. But decrease the dose as soon as possible for maintenance of IBD.
There are many factors to consider when treating a dog with regurgitation. Are there food allergies, IBD, or a bacterial imbalance? And what is the best way to treat? Not every medicine works for every dog, and medicines can only do so much.
So if your dog is still suffering from regurg, keep searching for answers. This blog uncovers many discussion points. You can talk to your vet and/or take some steps on your own.
While regurg is a frustrating disease, your dog deserves to know good health. Keep fighting, and feel free to reach out on Instagram if you have questions.