Catahoula With Ongoing Digestive Issues and Other Dog Health Issues

by Amanda
(Galveston, Texas, USA)

My 3 year old Catahoula, Alamo, developed IMHA at 6 months old, following the completion of his puppy shots.

The cause of the IMHA was determined to be idiopathic, and we almost lost him as his PCV count was 9 at it's lowest point.

Babesia was suspected, but all tests for numerous tick born diseases came back negative, and he was tested multiple times.

Only after giving him Imidocarb, did he start to make a recovery. After the second dose of Imidocarb, he rebounded quickly.

He was also on numerous antibiotics and prednisone. After he recovered, he was completely weaned off all medications. All this is just a background for you.

In the past 1 1/2 years, he started having really bad digestive issues.

Originally, diagnosed with giardia, was treated for it and got better for 5 months, then started having more digestive issues. Tests for standard parasites came back negative.

He goes through periods of vomiting and diarrhea, sometimes with blood in both. It seems as if now, all foods disagree with him, and it has made him very finicky. Chicken is the least offending protein, and so many foods have been tried, all with the same result.

Catahoulas are typically a very hardy breed, with few health problems. And it is well known that Catahoulas DO NOT SMELL. They do not have any kind of odor, but in the past year, he has developed ear issues, eye discharge, rashes between his toes etc.

Of course, numerous, numerous, numerous vet visits only to try "putting another band-aid" on it. By that I am am talking about another medication that simply helps the symptoms but doesn't cure the issue.

This whole process has caused me to shed many tears for him, and I know there has to be an answer. It is just not being diagnosed. I am in desperate need of help for him, as I feel this could lead to something worse.

It always seems like the situation is 1 step forward, 3 steps it is continually getting worse.

One more note... Recently I made him some homemade food so that I could start trying to eliminate possible food allergies. I made a small batch that was chicken, broccoli, and kale... With added calcium and supplementing vitamins. It did help, and his stool firmed up considerably and looked more normal... but just feeding this is not really balanced and healthy, and gets very expensive.

He is a very large Catahoula, but not at all overweight, weighing in at 105 lbs.

Please, do you have any insight?

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Apr 03, 2024
Same issues minus the auto immune
by: Cassi

I’ve had a Catahoula for the last year and she has the same issues. I don’t know it seems like she’s got food allergies but we change foods, but she always has these belts and diarrhea and throwing up and skin issues as far as like the toe thing she’s had the swollen pus like I don’t know I’m on the thought we thought it was a tick is what it looked like but it wasn’t she’s had, the smell coming off of her bottom she’s very gassy. She’s had acne all over her chin before she went into her first heat and it was bad and swollen and inflamed and painful. It’s like one issue after another with her and it’s sad because it seems like that we just literally put a Band-Aid on it like she said, and treat the symptoms of it but can’t figure out what the issue actually is .

Sep 24, 2019
Your Catahoula with IMHA and Other Immune/Digestive Health Issues.
by: Sandra

Hi Amanda,

Thank you for your complete account of the progression of Alamo's health issues.

Here's my first thought:

The source of your dog's problems, is answered in your first paragraph to me above. Here are your own words...

" Alamo, developed IMHA at 6 months old, following the completion of his puppy shots. "

Even among conventional veterinary circles, today there is agreement and mounting evidence of, the link between vaccines and the increasing incidence of autoimmune related health problems in dogs...IMHA (AIHA ) Canine Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia, being only one of many common problems.

So, in my opinion, this is where your dog's problems started. His puppy vacs sent his immune system into overdrive and triggered the attack on his own red blood cells.

Since then, for a variety of reasons, he has been given many other drugs and now, his immune system is having trouble identifying proteins and his gut microbiome is an inflammed mess. He is left with food intolerances, and the inability to properly digest and utilize food, while experiencing intermittent vomiting and diarrhea...and a raging yeast infection, judging by your description of how he smells, and all the other symptoms such as ear and eye discharge issues, rashes and itching etc. ( I'm sorry I accidentally deleted some of your description of symptoms ).

So, the question now to help him?

Well, it won't be easy, but it can be done. It will take commitment and effort on your part, and time. Lots of time!

I am very grateful that you have considered alternate diet ideas. This is always the first place to start.

Quite obviously, more drugs won't help, and in my opinion he will never be a candidate for vaccines ever again.

Holistically, a plan to help him recover would include a revised food plan, along with supplements to build his health and re balance his immune system.

I have lots to share in this regard, and so would love it if you would contact me on this page. I don't want you to give up and you're right Amanda, there are answers.

I would love to hear from you.


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