Friday, August 1, 2014

Slippery Elm + Digestive Problems

(Disclaimer: I am not a veterinarian and I highly recommend consulting with your veterinarian before starting any treatment on your dogs - conventional or holistic. Many human medications are extremely toxic to pets and holistic medicines can also cause problems if not administered appropriately. The following information documents my own personal experience only.)

Charlie had a rough week since we got home from camping last weekend. At first I thought she was just tired out from too much activity.

But then she had diarrhea. And then she wouldn't eat her dinner. She had no energy.

Not eating is a HUGE red flag for me because Charlie loves to eat. Thursday's breakfast was picked over and by dinnertime, she would only eat the broccoli pieces.

Later that evening I found vomit in the yard containing her entire breakfast; it was not digested at all.

The previous weekend she had spent so much time in a new body of water and had been chewing on rotten tree roots (slimy & black), perhaps she picked up some weird bacteria and got her digestive system out of whack. Charlie has been known to have a touchy digestive system, but her previous almost-daily vomiting had completely stopped when we switched to a fresh/raw diet over 6 months ago.

Since I've enrolled in my Clinical Pet Nutritionist program and my first assignment consists of a book on Natural/Holistic remedies for common ailments, I quickly looked up her symptoms to figure out what to do.

After reading ahead a few chapters, I found what I was looking for and headed to our local health store - Wausau Wellness Center. I presented my list and showed the store owner my book; she knew exactly what I needed.

A few minutes later I left the store armed with Slippery Elm powder, Nux vomica 30C and some probiotics. I started Charlie on the Nux vomica 30C when I got home since you're supposed to administer that without food and then the next morning I gave her the Slippery Elm powder and a capsule of the probiotics in her breakfast (to be taken with food).

Amazingly she seems almost completely back to normal by this evening - after just one dose! I'm amazed. And since my book recommends giving dogs a regular probiotic, Charlie and I are going to start taking these regularly from now on. You heard that right - we're both taking the same supplement.

I highly recommend that you talk to a holistic vet or an expert at your local health food store to find out what home remedies you may be able to use for yourself or your pet... you might be surprised!


  1. Dogs can pick up anything just like us! We try so hard with Barry but he still gets little snacks from the sidewalk (pizza, chicken wings, donuts, hamburgers) - he smells first what my eyes see later.

    Barry hasn't had diarrhea since we switched his food to better quality and started giving him probiotics (in the form of Kefir). It truly seems to help so much! A good diet with regular dose of Kefir and he's been amazing. I've heard some good things about slippery elm. We may look into that as well.

    1. I totally agree! It's so hard to keep them from ingesting crap. When the days get shorter, I always worry about walking Charlie in the dark/near dusk since I can't always see what she's grabbing from the sidewalk. One time I saw a chicken leg bone (probably from KFC) just as she snatched it up into her mouth. I immediately yanked her mouth open and reached in to grab it, just in time. They sure do keep us on our toes!
      Glad to hear Barry is doing well on a high quality diet. It's the one thing that is repeated in almost every chapter of my Pet Nutrition books... improve the diet first!

  2. Just watch out for giardia! Our dogs have each gotten it on two separate occasions...we think we know where they got it from (the field near our house). Explosive diarrhea and dehydration are the symptoms, and its a parasite you can pick up from drinking yucky water or being in an infected area that lives in their stomach so they had to each have antibiotics to kill it off. Ziva's case was sooo bad that she had to have a sub-cutanious (I think I spelled it right) injection of fluid placed under her skin.
    Super sucks!!
    Glad your remedy worked for Charlie and that is was just a bacteria issue. :-)

    1. I was worried about giardia! I also had to look up Blastomycosis, which is prevalent in our area. Luckily her symptoms didn't match either of those and she recovered quickly. Unfortunately it's hard to keep them from drinking contaminated water all the time!