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Can Raw Diet Reverse Borderline PLE?

ShannonW

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Hi All,

My name is Shannon and I'm a clinical Pet Nutritionist. I have client that came to me for help (4/2023) with their 8 year old CKC, adopted in February of this year with chronic watery stools and occasional vomiting. Bruno came from a breeding situation where from 1/22 - 2/23 he received 17 doses of "dewormer", 6 annual vaccines, 12 months of parasite protection, & 12 doses of Ivermectin. Within the 30 days he was in the rescue, he received anesthesia, antibiotics & pain meds for neuter/dental & 2 rounds of antibiotics & steroids for an ear infection + 4 more vaccines & prescribed Pimobendin 5 mg for Grade 3 Heart murmur. He was on Purina Pro Plan, over weight at 18.6 lbs, his coat was dull with dander, anemic & he wasn't eating much. From April to may, we slowly transitioned him from kibble to canned to Viva Raw, introduced probiotics and omega 3 fatty acids & detoxed his liver. By early June, BEAM is good. He is eagerly eating the raw diet, full of energy, his coat had improved, weight was decreasing slowly, poops were solid & healthy & vomiting has subsided. In early August he was taken to his regular vet for jaw muscle pain, & was tested for MMM. The test came back negative but steroids were recommended any way. His weight had leveled out and was stable at 16.5 lbs consistently for last 3 weigh ins. Within a couple days, jaw pain subsided and the owner never started the steroid but had already scheduled an appointment with an Internal Medicine specialist on 9/6 that she decided to keep in the hopes of completely ruling out MMM. At the 9/6 IM appointment, they did an ultrasound and bloodwork & with the absence of pain, ruled out MMM, no further testing necessary. However, at this appointment, he had now been diagnosed with borderline PLE based on past symptoms from before June, /weight loss which was intentional & decreasing RBC, Albumin, total protein & thickening of the intestinal wall. Also diagnosed with stage 1 Kidney disease & a small bladder stone that "will pass on its own". PLE being the biggest concern at this time.

My question is, since Bruno currently has no PLE symptoms, has improved so much in the last 6 months, his weight has stabilized at an average weight for his breed & is in a much better physical & emotional condition, is it possible for a lower fat raw diet to be helpful in reducing the advancement of PLE? Or is a low fat vegetarian kibble diet as prescribed by the IM doctor his only hope for controlling this dis-ease. I cannot wrap my head around that but I also do not want him to decline and there is not a lot of information on raw diets for PLE as most dogs will already have been experiencing symptoms upon diagnosis. I appreciate any input you may have. I have attached a compiled list of his last 3 diagnostics. 2 different vets, 2 different normal ranges.
 

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Dr. Jeff

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Hey Shannon!

Welcome to HA! and thanks for your work with Bruno and for making your first post.
is it possible for a lower fat raw diet to be helpful in reducing the advancement of PLE?
Great question!! Yes, a raw diet is helpful both before and once symptoms start.

The Raw Feeding Veterinary Society is a great source of info:


Please ask more questions in this thread as they arise.

The HA! 101 course Dr. Marnin Forman's (an internist), and many of the other member resource webinars, might be helpful.

IMHO, the most important thing is learning to apply the overall approach of energy balancing and happiness in every pet you work with regardless of diagnosis.





 

ShannonW

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Thank You so much for the resources! I will read and reach out with any additional questions.
I truly believe in the power of a raw diet & natural medicine to balance the body and remedy dis-ease or I wouldn't be able to do what I do. Sometimes I think the struggle with conventional medicine pushing fear & guilt gets to me. Thank you for pointing that out and reminding me to stay focused. Much appreciated.
 

Dr. Jeff

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Dr. Jean Hofve

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Great job with this dog! Since he has no symptoms and does not have PLE according to current evidence, don't treat him for it!

That said, if he's not still getting pre- and pro-biotics and digestive enzymes, those could be very helpful and prevent future digestive problems.

He's doing great, I'd recommend to keep going as is.
 

ShannonW

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Thank You Dr. Hofve for your feedback! I definitely feel he should be on digestive enzymes as well, His veterinarian disagreed stating "He doesn't have EPI" :rolleyes: so I'm choosing my battles wisely, holding firm on the lower fat raw diet & probiotics. For now.
He's on several supplements at the moment, recommended by a few different sources...
  1. Amin Avast for Kidney Support (Owner order upon 9/6 diagnosis)
  2. VetriScience Cardio Strength (rec. by rescue)
  3. Pimobendin 5 mg (prescribed by vet for gr. 3/6 murmur)
  4. Adored Beast Roots Soil & Sea (rec. by me)
  5. Now Folate B9 400mg (rec. by IM vet at 9/6 visit)
  6. Prana Pets Parasite Free, 2 weeks (rec. by me to avoid another chemical dewormer as recommended by IM vet at 9/6 visit)
I'd like her to add Four Leaf Rover Digest after she done with the Prana Pets parasite detox. Not because they won't mix well but because I feel he's on enough at the moment. If you have any thoughts on all of this, I would appreciate it.

Thank You,
Shannon
 

Dr. Jean Hofve

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For sure we don't want to overdo the supplements! But digestive enzymes are so good for so many reasons. I take them all the time, as we (and dogs!) age, we don't digest as well. There's absolutely no harm to using them and potentially lots of benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties. Now, there's nothing wrong with the Digest supplement, but it's got a lot of stuff in it. I'd be more inclined to use a simpler digestive enzyme like Prozyme, unless you have a reason to want all the plant extracts.

Unless he's had an echocardiogram, I don't know why he is being treated for heart issues. Oftentimes murmurs, even loud ones, are what they call "innocent." Meaning there's turbulence in the blood that sounds bad but isn't doing any harm. If the murmur IS pathological, it needs to be diagnosed precisely to prescribe the appropriate treatment, not just throw any old cardiac drug at it. Since I have a serious heart condition myself that is tricky to manage, it irks me when I see this kind of thing. (The VetriScience product is fine, no harm there.)

Not sure what the folate is for. I don't see any symptoms of deficiency in your description. A balanced B complex might be better if something like that is really indicated.

Others are fine and make sense.

Well, I guess I am pretty opinionated today, must have had more than enough coffee! ;-) Hope others chime in!
 

ShannonW

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Thank You so much, I could not agree more. I would personally prefer Bruno be on the Digestive Enzymes than one of the other supplements, most notably the folate. I'm trying not to overwhelm him & as of yesterday, Bruno gained a 1/2 lb & BEAM is great!

I prefer Digest for older dogs because of its organotherapeutic constituents, "like supports like" & I thought the broccoli sprouts and nettle leaf would be good bladder support for that tiny oxalate stone we're waiting for him to pass. He started the Digest today.

The IM specialist does not appear to have a firm reason for diagnosing PLE but wants to make sure she covers all the bases...
1. Panacur, incase it's caused by parasites. O opted for herbal dewormer
2. 400 mg Folic Acid incase he is deficient, folate was 8.9 on ACTH stim test done in June
3. Vegetarian diet, Low protein, Low Fat, novel protein diet in case its being caused by kidney disease, lymphangiectasia, or food allergies, "Highly recommend discontinuing raw diet & transitioning to Purina HA Vegetarian."
4. Pimobendin incase his grade 3 heart murmur is causing it
5. Possible Steroid therapy incase it's caused by IBD, "If diarrhea returns"

Unfortunately, There is very little I can say so I truly appreciate your opinion. I was thinking the same things but am bound by law to keep my mouth shut. I'm here to educate & offer support, nutritionally, herbaly, emotionally or otherwise. ?
 

Dr. Jean Hofve

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Lot of ifs there! In fact, *every* recommended treatment is based on an "if." Holy guacamole.

What is that lab's normal range for folate? At both Antech and Idexx, 8.9 µg/l is in the middle of normal.

Unless that bladder stone is far tinier than the lumen of the urethra at its narrowest point (which seems unlikely), it will bang around in there and cause serious damage to the bladder lining, or even lodge and block the urethra, which is a serious surgery. In an 18# dog, I am pretty concerned about letting an un-dissolvable CaOx stone sit there (and get bigger all the time). Plus there could be others too small to see on x-ray (<5mm).

I once catheterized a blocked cat, and immediately 3 little brown struvite stones rolled down the catheter. We put them in a cup and x-rayed the cup and the cat. Nothing else was visible in the bladder. But I had a feeling... opened the cat up and removed THIRTY more stones.

I am not that comfortable advising in this situation where it isn't even your dog, despite my apparently very big mouth... but gosh, a second opinion sure seems warranted! If not a cardio and GI and urology consult!

But I do have to congratulate someone. My personal record referral was a 4 month old kitten who had been given 7 rounds of metronidazolefor diarrhea), all unsuccessful. Gee, if it doesn't work like the first, five or six times, you still give more????? She came to me, one meal of raw ground turkey to repopulate the gut fixed it. She never looked back. But 17 doses of dewormer ought to be submitted to the Guiness Book!
 

ShannonW

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Texas A&M Fasting Folate range is 7.7 - 24.4 so on the low side but still WNL.
Of course, I would rather just increase his folate rich foods like kale, spinach, eggs & liver vs using Folic acid which often remains unmetabolized in the body and can cause stomach upset. I just feel like this poor dog has been through enough. It feels like her veterinarians are still trying to find a diagnosis for symptoms he hasn't had since June despite his tremendous physical improvements.

His bloodwork still indicates something is going on as the RBCs, TP & Albumin are slightly down but BEAM remains good. I suspect it's vaccine related as the BW was pretty normal until O vet started a new DHLPP protocol saying, "Did not get proper DHLPP intake protocol when picked up by rescue in fall" Things started to go down hill for Bruno after that. Of course, the raw diet will always be blamed but he received A LOT of vaccines in a short amount of time for an 8 year old dog.
Breeder: DHPPL-C5 10/2/22
Bordetella 10/2/22
3Yr Rabies 11/23/22
Rescue: Bordetella 1/29/23
Veterinarian: DHLPP 3/29/23
DHLPP 4/17/23

Holy Cow! That's a crazy amount of stones! I did advise her to seek a second opinion about the stone. I felt it was something important that was listed as an after thought on the report. We'll see what happens.

I was completely shocked by the amount of dewormers this dog has been given in the last 2 years! It's as if the breeder was giving Strongid & Ivermectin monthly with the parasite protection, which I have never seen before. I'm not surprised he would have chronic diarrhea for months.

Thank You for your input.
Shannon
 

Dr. Christina

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You are definitely challenged by what you are able to suggest to people. Maybe appeal to their common sense for some things, like vegetarian diet. Also, we have a lot of resources you could quote to anyone on different topics.

If they really want health, suggest they take the 101 course and begin to follow those suggestions. You may want to find holistic vets for your clients. (and you can become an affiliate at Holistic Actions if you are sending people here).

Dr. Christina
 

ShannonW

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Thank you Dr. Christina.
I, (& common sense) have won the battle against the vegetarian diet at the moment. I’m sure the battle with be fought again after the next recheck. I definitely have the information and resources on HA in my arsenal and it’s super helpful to have so much in one place!

We found a holistic vet for Bruno but the appointment is not till the end of November. Im still working on the idea of a phone consultation.

Thank you for the suggestion! I will definitely look into that.

Shannon
 

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