Cairn with Colitis – Caring for Critters!

Todays post is part of the Caring for Critters round robin.


Please be aware I am not a vet and I would always recommend that you discuss this with your vet. All I am doing is telling you about my experience. Be warned you may not want to read this post while eating as it will include such terms as ‘shooting out of both ends’ (well the first draft did)! So once we have all taken a moment to appreciate the alliteration attempt we will begin. Although I am not 100% sure where I will start… in fact I have already re-written this at least 3 times and now with one eye on the clock I am as concerned about finishing this as I was about starting.

I think the problem is is that Colitis is not an easy subject to write about. I don’t mean that as in it’s gut wrenching, painful, that you are fighting something aggressive like cancer more that it is just so…. random.

Google search the causes of Colitis and you will get a list as long as your arm; it can be related to stress, dietary issues, allergies, food in tolerances or some types of worms. It feels like pick a cause. So lets say you do, you chose dietary and decide to find out which types of food cause a reaction……… well I’m yet to see a definitive list.

Colitis makes no sense.

I have a Cairn that was horrendously ill when the dog food we buy him brought out a ‘new and improve’ recipe but yet he had no ill affects after stealing and consuming a large block of my dads best Stilton. We can’t predict what will make him ill, or when it will happen. So we just live day by day.

Advice from the Vet when Mity was first diagnosed was to buy him the cheapest food possible as generally they are the plane-est and this has apparently worked for him. I know other people buy prescription dog food and whether or not they have had success I cannot comment, but we have found the Chappie works wonders for him – so long as we pick the right flavour. Yep, accidentally grab the beef flavour (which my sister did once) and Mity will be ill for a week or more.

In the beginning the advice was to starve him when he had a flare up. 24 hours with no food and then slowly introduce boiled rice and minced chicken. However, recently the thought process has changed slightly and now the thought process is starving him agitates his bowels just as much. So if he is ill he switches back onto boiled rice and chicken or sometimes just rice – we have had him on this for months at a time waiting for everything to settle down. That’s another thing about this. There is no simple steps to get him better. He flares up (the runs) for almost no reason and settles down for the exact same unknown reason.

As I said it makes no sense.

To try and control the situation we carefully watch his diet. We have learnt that it isn’t worth giving the ‘occasional treat’ as the weeks of him being poorly just aren’t worth it. So over the years we have  list of foods and treats he can eat and we stick to that. Luckily my dog has developed an obsession with carrots and so we often use this for a treat. We stay away from anything rich, beef is a no and so is most forms of meat. In fact I can’t remember the last time he was given any fresh meat – he used to be ok with roast Chicken but even that caused problems last time he had some.

You may think that we have to be hard-hearted to not give in to his puppy eyes. Especially as since he is getting older he seems to always be wanting to be fed, but all you have to do is see him ill and you know it’s not worth it. I still remember one evening when he had it shooting out of both ends (and I mean shooting) he just sat there looking so sorry for himself, and so tiny.

I feel I should leave you with some words of wisdom, something ground breaking or just something more. But I’m afraid that I can’t. I think colitis is a very personal thing, specific to each dog, and all you can do is figure out what works for your dog and stick with it.

If your dog has Colitis and you want to discuss anything, any more details or just a good moan then you know where to find me.


And now I send you on your way to visit Leah at Let’s Go Dog and also remind you to visit the amazing lovely and wonderful Jodi at Heart Like a Dog where you can find links to everyone who has taken part in this round robin (I assure you their contributions are greater than mine!)

I need your get well wishes


I don’t reach out for help. I overshare like hell, but I don’t reach out and ask for help when I am struggling. I was worried that people wouldn’t care if I told them I was struggling or needed help. The few times I have taken the risk and reached out I have received (a metaphorical) slap in the face and it’s very much a case of once bitten, twice shy.


However today I am asking for your help.


I am worried about Mity. My quiet unassuming little guy isn’t well and I have no idea what is wrong with him. It started last week. He started bringing up undigested food. I was worried. Then he started with the runs. He has colitis so he is never ‘firm’ but this was kinda like water running through him, flouresent yellow water – try cleaning that up from the sidewalk! But he seemed fine in himself and so we tried some egg and bran flakes to try and firm him up. It seemed to be working until he brought up the egg whole and then went off his food.


Mity refusing food is a sign of something being wrong. He is food obsessed and lives for his food, he knows his routine and sticks to it.


–          Early morning walk. Back onto the parents bed for half a bonio. Get the other half when my mum  gets up and the two of them head downstairs for breakfast.

–          Lunchtime. Two more biscuits.

–          If anyone goes out. Onto the settee for a couple of biscuits (if we get our coats, he will get onto his settee and start hunting for his biscuits. He is generally quite disappointed if he is coming with us and so gets no biscuits.

–          Dinner time. Kibble. Dinner time is 6pm but Mity will begin reminding us that it is nearly dinner time from about 4pm.

–          Evening walk. Into bed for 3 biscuits. These three biscuits he will count and has been  known to get my dad back out of bed my dad has made an error and only given him two (true story!)


If we have a visitor turn up at the house while Mity is eating he isn’t sure what to do, but more often than not finishing his tea wins out.


When we give Mity a biscuit, he takes it an drops it onto the floor and leaves it, well it’s a vet visit.


I didn’t make it to the vets with him (I was painting my house) but the report back from my parents was that he was running low on Vitamin B(something) as a result of having the runs and sickness and this was making him feel a bit sorry for himself. He was given a couple of injections and was back to his old self.


Things were starting to pick up. He has been on antibiotics and rice and egg for a few days and we thought he was over it.


Then the runs came back. Then the sickness. Then last night the refusal to eat.


Mity is fine in himself. He is happy, playful and if you walked into our house you wouldn’t know he is poorly at all.


I don’t know what to do. We are calling the vets again today to see what they suggest. But we are all worried.


Please can I ask you to send a truck load of get well wishes his way. I hate to see him like this, even though he is ok in himself. I am worried the vets have missed something. I am worried he is very poorly and we haven’t noticed.


If anyone has any advice, tips, thought or spare wine please do leave them in the comments.


Thank you