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Author Topic: Thoughts on Colostrum  (Read 712 times)

MonasWeim

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Thoughts on Colostrum
« on: February 16, 2018, 12:40:03 PM »

Choking up a bit already just typing this which is very odd for me but at one point in my life this group was all that kept me and my boy going and although we have been away for a while we have never forgotten how you all helped us. Ok so for those of you that remember us from waaaaaaay back (about 8 years ago) Riley is now TEN!!! Yes ten! When I came to you guys a long long time ago Jo and her team of angels got us through the hardest of times when I was on the verge of putting him to sleep because the vets were of no help with diagnosis and there seemed to be no hope. Riley my Weim had SRMA and without this group in it's original format we would not have got through the two years of hell we experienced but we're now back with a question because I know you guys are the best of the best when it comes to immune issues. Ok so here it goes.

Sadly after a horrific last week (think Texas chain saw massacre bloodbath and you're on the right track....) with the boy (again for the millionth time in a decade I thought I was going to lose him) with a really bad nasal infection on the go I am now awaiting his test results for Aspergillosis. Now I know the prognosis if positive is not good and at the grand old age of ten I will not put him through anything invasive as stress is his main trigger for his immune problems but his current condition is not my issue - my question is: Has anyone used Colostrum to help dogs with over active immune issues? Is it safe and does it do as all the info says it does? A lot of info I've read says on the one hand it's good for boosting the immune system (obviously not what I would want!) but also good for dogs with overactive immune systems so which is it? At the moment I've just started him on a better senior food as he has lost so much weight and I feel we're at a point in his tenth year that we need to change the daily nutrition and routine to keep him as healthy as poss into old age. He currently has Evening Primrose/Vit E as he has done since Jo first suggested it, is on antibiotics and anti-inflammatories for the nasal issues at the moment. I am looking for a good probiotic that will only do good, a good strong but natural antifungal (or combination of items) and also Colostrum advice. Any thoughts lovely people?
Forever grateful
Simona & Riley
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BrookeR

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Re: Thoughts on Colostrum
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2018, 09:02:51 PM »

Sorry to hear you that and Riley have been having a hard time. It is an emotional roller coaster having a dog with an immune disorder. I have had so many ups and downs with my girl but will keep fighting for her to be as healthy and comfortable as she can be. As you would be the same, that’s why this forum is so great. Everybody understands the feeling and wants to help eachother.

I looked into using colostrum some time back for my staffy Pepper. But in the end we decided we weren’t comfortable and felt the immune stimulating aspect of it was too big of a risk.
Pepper is extremely sensitive and allergic to many things, so that was another factor to worry about.

I found jean Dodds book canine nutrigenomics a good read if you haven’t already read it. Pepper is on Protexin probiotics but I have been trying to find a higher quality one but that’s all that seems to be available here in australia. Jean talks about higher quality probiotics available in the states.

I have just had a phone consult with a holistic vet specialist in Sydney. They also specialise in Chinese medicine amongst other things. I discussed with them natural remedies and supplements, probiotics, digestive enzymes etc that we may be able to use going forward to try and get pepper in optimum health. Also to try help prevent cancer and some drug free options to help her joints. I am waiting for them to send me through the notes and their suggestions. Pepper will be 11 this year, so like you I am trying to get her in the best shape I can via use of supplements etc.
When I mentioned finding a better quality probiotic the specialist suggested giving pepper things to help her body better absorb and make optimum use of the probiotic. Rather than change probiotics. She suggested slippery elm and was going to come back to me with digestive enzymes and some other options.
I will let you know if they come back with anything else that may also be useful for you and Riley.
Best of luck
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Brooke with
Pepper, the English Staffy (IMPA since Dec 2014)
NSW Australia

Jo CIMDA

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Re: Thoughts on Colostrum
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2018, 11:00:18 PM »

Hello Simona - and Riley!

It is lovely to hear from you and to know that Riley is now 10 years old! 

I can't answer your question about using colostrum as a health aid in a dog that has autoimmune problems but I have emailed my friend who is a vet and I hope she will come back to me soon with some useful information.  Her dog is due to whelp a litter so there might be a delay in her replying.  I have always considered it unwise to boost immunity if the dog has a predisposition to AI disease, but wait and see what my friend says. 

This makes interesting reading from a human website:

http://www.pemphigus.org/handling-prednisones-side-effects-naturally-2/

Leaky gut is linked to AI disease in humans and you may want to do some research in this area.  I do think the right diet can make a difference but it has to be tailored to the individual.  BrookeR has kindly made some good suggestions about probiotics etc.

I sincerely hope that Riley doesn't have aspergillosis.  There are other causes of rhinitis.  One of my girls had erythema multiforme and this was accompanied with a thick nasal discharge.  This was treated with essential fatty acids and after a few months of treatment it cleared up.

Recently a member of CIMDA posted this information.

"For information I bought a machine called saline plus to help with  her rhinitis. She has been using it four months now and the results are really good. She has far fewer reverse sneezing episodes and less mucous discharge. Touch wood she has also been infection free. I would certainly recommend it to any owners whose dogs may have respiratory problems." https://www.salinplus.com/


I have just got a reply from my vet friend:

Colostrum will balance the immune system and is perfectly safe for dogs
with autoimmune disease.  I started taking it daily myself a few years ago,
and since then I have not only never had the flu, I've really never had a
cold.  I get mine from New Zealand because all the cows are grass fed and
not on antibiotics and growth hormone.


She goes on to say:

This is a good article on aspergillosis. http://
veterinarymedicine.dvm360.com/when-consider-aspergillosis-dogs   

Rhinoscopy and cranial X-rays are advisable if cancer is suspected.  If he
wants a supplement for nasal carcinoma turmeric would be a good choice.
Treatment is radiation, I've worked with two cases in Beardies recently one
has done really well with intensity modulated radiation therapy,

http://www.vetcancergroup.com/services/radiation-therapy/intensity-modulated-radiation-therapy--imrt-.html



 I do hope the outcome is good for Riley. He is a tough cookie.   Please let us know how things go.

All the best

Jo
 
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MonasWeim

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Re: Thoughts on Colostrum
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2018, 08:59:31 PM »

Hi Jo! Thank you! As always you are a godsend - is there no end to your knowledge??!
I didn't reply sooner as (apart from our house having this wretched flu for three weeks straight - I should have taken Colostrum!!!) the vet and I have been testing Riley for everything under the sun. The 9th and final test came back today and again is negative so we are still totally in the dark as to what is actually going on with him and the vet is as usual scratching her head so we are to finish his antibiotics, keep him calm and warm and "see how he goes"  - and that will be nearly £3000 thank you very much.......  groan....
Still he comes out of the vet wagging his tail with an odd shaved patch on his chest and sporting a lovely pink sparkly pressure bandage on his skinny little leg whilst weeing up anything that stands still. He will always be a medical mystery, I just haven't quite managed to accept that yet heeehee! xx
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Jo CIMDA

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Re: Thoughts on Colostrum
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2018, 09:37:10 AM »

Hi Simona

Real flu is dreadful and I am not surprised it has taken a few weeks to even surface.  I hope you are feeling much better. 

It is so difficult to know the right way to go when the tests come back negative but I tend to turn those results about and see the positive, and say at least it isn't cancer etc...............

The only thing to do is to treat speculatively with whatever might do good and not do harm.  Dogs like Riley teach us all so much.  I look forward to the next update.

Jo
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MonasWeim

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Re: Thoughts on Colostrum
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2018, 02:22:34 PM »

We have tested blood, urine, snot, poo, scanned his heart given him a month of antibiotics and a month of pain killers. We have tested for everything from anaemia to aspergillosis (including blood clotting problems and coombes test) and the only thing we have come back with is a slight heart murmur and some high levels of Strep up his nose. Like you say you it's great that things come back negative but then how did he get so sick so quickly if nothing is wrong (literally he collapsed twice two consecutive days and I had to carry him into the house, I honestly thought that was it) - we still have white gums, lethargy and generally not himself along with the usual nasal probs he's had for three years so I guess we just take it day by day and treat for whatever symptoms show up next but as you know it's very frustrating when you pay an awful lot of money and spend an awful lot of time at the vet stressing out only for them to have no idea what's going on after a month! I get a little annoyed at the vet as she keeps saying "well he is ten now so he will be slowing down and want to do less and less" but he was doing great before that one Wednesday a month ago (playing, jumping around, eating and generally being his cheeky self) it wasn't a gradual illness it was  like a light switch flicked off within an hour and he was suddenly not himself to the point where we actually looked at internal injuries first in case he has fallen or hurt himself. All very odd.   
I have Sinisitus now so I can sympathise with Rileys nose pain!

Thinking about using Colloidal Silver for his nose so looking for a good probiotic - any suggestions?   xx
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Catherine

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Re: Thoughts on Colostrum
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2018, 12:07:46 PM »

It is more than frustrating when you can not get a diagnosis, but I think there is still a lot that has to be documented, not only with dogs, but humans too and that is why vets do not always have the answers. Meanwhile you will have to continue playing detective! I expect you have tested his thyroid. Could the collapses have been a type of seizure? Sometimes the dog has a mild one that does not involve losing consciousness. The Strep could be making him lethargic.

Could there be a circulation problem? Not something you want to hear but could it be a brain tumour? I presume with the nose problems over the years you have tried to cut back on anything he could be allergic to – sometimes it can be something as simple as a carpet that has been treated with chemicals when it is manufactured or the carpet cleaner that is used. Or it could be some type of grass. Have you kept a diary, does he have the nasal problems all year round?

Just trying to throw out some thoughts as I am, myself, experiencing not knowing what is wrong with my dog………

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Jo CIMDA

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Re: Thoughts on Colostrum
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2018, 02:17:35 PM »


Like you say you it's great that things come back negative but then how did he get so sick so quickly if nothing is wrong (literally he collapsed twice two consecutive days and I had to carry him into the house, I honestly thought that was it) - we still have white gums, lethargy and generally not himself along with the usual nasal probs he's had for three years so I guess we just take it day by day and treat for whatever symptoms show up next ............... but he was doing great before that one Wednesday a month ago (playing, jumping around, eating and generally being his cheeky self) it wasn't a gradual illness it was  like a light switch flicked off within an hour and he was suddenly not himself to the point where we actually looked at internal injuries first in case he has fallen or hurt himself. All very odd.   
I have Sinisitus now so I can sympathise with Rileys nose pain!

Thinking about using Colloidal Silver for his nose so looking for a good probiotic - any suggestions?   xx


Hi Simona

I do hope your sinusitis is a little easier.

I have extracted, from your post, the above text because I would like you to consider the following as a possible reason for Riley's sudden collapse.

Given that Riley is predisposed to autoimmunity and nothing obvious is showing up on the blood results, one of the possible causes for sudden collapse is Addison's disease.  Unless a vet is looking for Addison's they won't find it.   So below is information, taken from my seminar notes,  that might be useful.   Another possibility is polymyositis.  See this link:   
http://www.vetbook.org/wiki/dog/index.php/Polymyositis

or Myasthenia gravis:  http://vetspecialists.co.uk/factsheets/Neurology_Facts/Myasthenia_Gravis.html

I am not suggesting that Riley has any one of these disease but I feel they should be considered.

This is quite interesting:  https://veteriankey.com/canine-rhinitis/

I don't think you could do any harm by using Colloidal silver and it might just do some good.   https://www.regenerativenutrition.com/natural-supplements-cure-rhinitis.asp?

All the best
Jo


Primary Addison’s Disease (Hypoadrenocorticism)
The diagnosis of primary Addison’s disease is not complicated but some vets seem to have a reluctance even considering it in their differential diagnoses. It is often misdiagnosed as CRF (chronic renal failure), heart failure, gastrointestinal disease and even autoimmune haemolytic anaemia (AIHA) .  Many vets say “It won’t be Addison’s as we never see it”. Unless your vet is looking for Addison’s disease then it will not be diagnosed.  Addison’s disease is known as ‘The Great Pretender’. Many dogs are presented to their vet at least three times in the six months prior to diagnosis, and many are in an Addisonian crisis before it is identified.  Dogs have died waiting for the results of an ACTH test through lack of supportive care. 
The biggest hurdle can be to convince your vet to consider that it’s possible that your dog may have Addison’s disease and not to dismiss the notion without proving it and carrying out a thorough investigation and possibly an ACTH test. 
Even if your breed is known to be predisposed to Addison’s disease, it is important not to become too obsessive and suspect that your dog has Addison’s just because of a bout of diarrhoea or an episode of being a little off colour, but it is equally important to be aware of the tell-tale signs which could aid a diagnosis and maybe save your dog’s life.

Points to Consider When Identifying Primary Addison’s Disease:
Clinical signs:  Lethargy, depression, nervousness, weight loss, anorexia (no appetite), vomiting, weakness (particularly of the back legs), shaking or muscle tremors, limping, diarrhoea (with or without traces of blood), abdominal pain, dehydration, excessive thirst and urination, weak pulse, slow heart rate and abnormal heart rhythm, anaemia (pale gums) and collapse

If You Suspect Addison’s Disease
Have a Full Serum Biochemistry panel and a Complete Blood Count test done and ask your vet for a copy of the results for your own records.  Study the results yourself and note any abnormalities. If symptoms persist, have a further blood test done to see if there are any changes, but don’t leave it too long in between (a week or less) as deterioration seems to quicken in the last stages.  Keep all laboratory reports for comparison in the future. Blood testing is never a waste of money (in the long term it can save you money), and it provides a ‘bench mark’ on which to compare further tests.  Addison’s disease is progressive so a blood test is only valid at the time it was taken.  As the disease process progresses the values will change.

The Tell-tale Signs When Looking at Blood Test Results
Routine Laboratory Abnormalities  -  Haematology & Biochemistry

Sodium/Potassium Ratio
Greater than 90% of Primary Addisonian cases will have low sodium (Na) and high potassium (K) values, with a ratio of less than 27.  (Na:K)
Prior to diagnosis, Addisonian dogs often show a ratio of less than 23. The low ratio alone is very suggestive, but not diagnostic, of Addison’s disease. Individual electrolyte concentrations can be more reliable.
As the disease progresses, the ratio will drop even further and the dog may collapse and become critically ill especially if stressed or excited.  Stress or excitement, to a dog with reduce adrenal function (even in one who has not exhibited typical, clinical signs of Addison’s disease), can cause the dog to collapse or even die suddenly.
When comparing laboratory results look for the following as these will indicate Addison’s disease.

INCREASED: 
High Potassium (K)
High Creatinine,
High Urea, (BUN – blood urea nitrogen; or SUN - serum urea nitrogen)
High Urea/creatinine ratio (Azotaemia)
Increased Eosinophils
Increased Lymphocytes
High Bilirubin -  in some cases
High Calcium (mild to moderate) – in some cases
ALT- ALP - AST (Mild to moderate increase of liver enzymes) – in some cases

DECREASED:
Low Sodium (Na)
Low Sodium/potassium ratio (K:Na ratio -  less than 27)
Note: Addisonian dogs often have a ratio of <23
Low Chloride  (80% of Addisonian dogs will have low chloride values)
Low Glucose – in some patients
Low Albumin (moderate to severe) – in some cases
Total white blood cell count (WBC) – in some cases
Red blood cell count (RBC or HCT)

Another possible difference between kidney disease and Addison’s may be seen in the white blood cells (eg., neutrophils, eosinophils, lymphocytes). When a dog is ill (but does not have Addison’s disease) he becomes stressed and this is often reflected in the white cells. The neutrophil numbers are expected to be high normal to increased, and the eosinophils and lymphocytes numbers are low normal to decreased. This is called ‘stress leucogram’ and is seen in both chronic and acute renal failure, but not in Addison’s disease.
 A dog with Addison’s disease may show a different white cell reading than would be expected in such an ill dog.  In fact there may even be reverse of what would normally be expected, known as ‘reverse stress leucogram’.

Reverse Stress Leucogram – may be seen in Addisonian dogs
Low normal numbers of neutrophils
Increased numbers lymphocytes and eosinophils

Electrocardiogram
•   Electrocardiogram  (ECG) is a very useful tool to detect various abnormalities of the heart resulting from high potassium levels in the blood.
Another very awkward differential is autoimmune haemolytic anaemia (AIHA).  I have known a few Beardies to be diagnosed with AIHA prior to being diagnosed with Addison’s disease. The usual treatment for AIHA had been implemented but the dog’s clinical signs did not improve, as expected, and clinical signs of Addison’s disease, remained. 
If this happens you should check for signs of Addison’s on previous blood test results to see if there were any undetected tell-tale results such as high potassium, low sodium.   These cases are further complicated because of the steroid treatment the dog will now be receiving for AIHA. A diagnostic ACTH test cannot be performed whilst a dog is on prednisolone, as it will interfere with the test results, so the dog’s medication would have to be changed to dexamethasone for at least 2-3 days before an ACTH test is performed.
Prompt diagnosis and treatment, or supportive treatment, is crucial to the outcome of an Addisonian crisis and must be treated as a true emergency if the dog is to survive.
Life Saving Support
From BSAVA Manual of Small Animal Endocrinology, Chapter 19 – Endocrine Emergencies
“Whenever a diagnosis of Addisonian crisis is likely, treatment should be initiated without delay.” 
“A tentative diagnosis of acute adrenocortical insufficiency can be made on the basis of the history and results of physical examination.”
“Since death from acute adrenocortical insufficiency is usually attributed to vascular collapse and shock, rapid correction of hypovolaemia is the first priority in treating this condition.”
1.   Restoring blood volume and
2.   Correcting imbalance of sodium and potassium levels and
3.   Treatment of life threatening cardiac arrhythmias
Within 1-2 hours, a saline only intravenous drip can restore correct hydration status, increase sodium levels and lower potassium levels which may be causing hyperkalaemic myocardial toxicity. In addition, other protocols may be used if myocardial toxicity is life threatening.
4.   Correct glucocorticoid deficiency
Dexamethasone is usually given as this has little or no effect on the measurement of endogenous cortisol concentrations and therefore does not interfere with the ACTH test

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