Huckleberry Slim

Huck won the Purina contest for Best in Discovery!
Huck won the Purina contest for Best in Discovery!

Adopted: January 31, 2014

Rainbow Bridge: June 22, 2015

Huck was adopted from American Black and Tan Coonhound rescue.  Melissa fell in love with a picture that his foster posted on Facebook and the rest was history!  Alex and Melissa drove to North Carolina the end of January 2014 to go pick up Huck and bring him home to Minnesota.

Huck’s Health Battles

Since adoption, Huck has fought many health battles.  We knew that something was wrong on our way home as he had major diarrhea from the night we picked him up until we got home.  We immediately brought in a stool sample to the vet when we got home and he was full of hookworms.  We treated him for the hookworms and his followup samples were all clear.

He soon began peeing his crate while we were gone and over night, which we knew was not normal for him.  We brought a urine sample into the vet (picture Melissa chasing Huck around the yard on glare ice with a gladware tupperware trying to get the sample).  He had a UTI and crystals.  We put him on meds and c/d food, which seemed to clear up his bladder issues.  One thing that we also noticed at this time was that he finally had semi formed poop for the first time since getting him.

Shortly after, we noticed that he was starting to loose hair in patches all over his body.  We took him back into the vet and they diagnosed him with demodex mange.  We were able to get him back stable by adding some fish oil to his meals twice a day.

We were still concerned as his poop was still very soft, orange and was massive.  After trying a few different foods we were able to get into contact with his former foster and decided to try the food that she had fed him when we know he was ok.  She fed Nature’s Domain Turkey and Sweet Potato, so off we went to Costco to get a membership and some food.  That along with some probiotics, fish oil, Pepcid and Reglan seemed to get him stable finally!

He was good for a few months and even gained weight to the point that we had to back off of his food a little, from 4.5 cups a day to 4 cups a day.

In November we noticed he was starting to get gassy (again) and have loose stools (still).  Then on the morning of November 18th, 2014 we noticed that there was some odd looking kibble in with the regular looking kibble.  We took a picture of it, stopped feeding the food and contacted Kirkland.  They were able to trace it back to the first bag off the line after some cat food was run.  So we had a bag of dog food mixed with cat food.   We ran out to Costco to return the bag and get a new one.  By that time he was very gassy and blowing up every night again.  We talked with the vet and we decided to put him back on Reglan (we had stopped because we were noticing some weird neurological type behaviors).

We started some digestive enzymes that the EPI people use to see if they would help him and we also backed him off onto bland food.  We are getting slightly cooked food from Woody’s pet deli.  We did Free Range Turkey for two weeks, then free range chicken for two weeks and now he has been on duck for two weeks.  We also started to add some marshmallow root and l-glutamine to his diet.

With this still not fully working we decided to run some tests to try to get some answers.  We ran TLI, PLI, Folate and Cobalamin.  All of his values came back in normal range, the cobalamin was closer to the lower end, though.  We decided to treat him for a bacterial overgrowth and started to give him Tylan powder on January 16, 2015.

He still has not bounced completely back from that episode and it is now the January 22, 2015.  We are taking him into the U of M today to try to figure out what may be causing all these episodes of gas, so we can prevent them in the future and help keep him comfortable.


  • Gas (bloating to the point of looking like he swallowed a balloon)
  • Loud stomach/intestine noises
  • Pacing and not able to get comfortable
  • Staring downwards at the floor
  • Licking anything and everything on the floor
  • Not wanting to stretch and wanting to curl up
  • Diarrhea – orange and lots of it
  • Burping
  • Weight loss (lost around 10lbs with this bought so far)

Meds and Supplements Done

  • Reglan
  • Pepcid – 20mg twice daily
  • Fish Oil – Pacific Coast Labs – 800 mg EPA, 600 mg DHA
  • Marshmallow Root – 500mg
  • L-Glutamine – 500mg
  • Probiotic – Vetri Science VETRI MEGA PROBIOTIC CAPSULES
  • Digestive Enzymes – Enzyme Diane 6x
  • Panacur
  • Metronidazole
  • Fennel, parsley and chamomile tea – 2T per meal
  • Gas-x – Extra strength with each meal
  • Tylan Powder – 1/4tsp twice daily

Foods Tried

  • Wellness Lamb
  • Canine Caviar Special Needs
  • Hills c/d
  • Natures Domain Turkey Sweet Potato (this is the food we had him stable on for a short bit)
  • Farmina Chicken grain-free
  • Woody’s cooked (turkey, chicken, duck)

Other Things Tried

  • Keeping him quiet in crate for an hour after eating
  • Exercising him after eating to keep things moving
  • Going to three smaller meals a day vs two larger meals a day
  • Elevating his bowl
  • Moving feeding times to see if it corresponded to eating time

What We Know

  • What protein he eats doesn’t seem to matter
  • Grains and different fibers do seem to make the gas worse
  • Seems to do better on low fiber
  • Doesn’t seem to matter when we feed him or how often
  • Tends to be worse in the evening (by 7:30pm)
  • Seems to make a difference if we used the Digestive enzymes vs not

Update from U of M

01/22/2015 Visit

  • Did CBC and they found no significant abnormalities. A few values were off a bit as follows: MCHC was 37.6 with normal range 33.6 – 37.4, Platelet was 125 with normal range 129 – 395 and PCT was 0.12 with normal range .129 – .403.
  • Did Chemistry profile where they found Huck’s cholesterol was mildly decreased. Otherwise, there were no significant abnormalities. His cholesterol was 136 with normal range 143 – 373.
  • Did a Giardia and Cryptosporidium IFA, which was negative for both.

01/23/2015 Ultrasound Visit

  • Found Huck’s mesentric lymph nodes were rounded and enlongated. They took a FNA and sent it off for cytology. They cytology was hard to tell if it was a highly reactive node or lymphoma so a sample was sent off for PARR. The PARR came back showing reactive node.
  • Found Huck’s prostate was mildly enlarged and heterogenous, consistent with late neutering.
  • Found Huck’s adrenal glands measured small (4.7mm bilaterally, normal = 7mm). We took a baseline cortisol reading and it was 1.2. With this low value we decided to do the ACTH Stim test.

01/27/2015 ACTH Stim Test

  • They found Huck had a normal stim test so he does not have Addison’s.

They started Huck on Reglan and Gas-x for a week after the first visit along with his current Woody’s Pet Deli food. Then after a week we started Purina EN food. He started to have much more normal poop and a little more energy but still had gas. Then after another week we started low dose erithryomyocin, which he seemed to improve a bit for a week or so but on 02/23/2015 he started to become painful, bloated and burpy again. We also took him in to weigh him on 02/19/2015 and he has only gained half a pound since we started at the U of M on 01/22.

02/23/2015 Current Diet and Meds

  • 5 cups Purina EN + more for treats
  • Reglan with each meal
  • Gas-x super strength with each meal
  • Erythromyocin suspension with each meal

03/02/2015 Current Diet and Meds

  • 5 cups Purina EN + more for treats
  • Reglan with each meal
  • Gas-x super strength with each meal
  • Two 1mg Budesodine pills in the evening

03/11/2015 Check in after being on Budesodine

  • Still gassy and bloating
  • Pexy surgery along with exploratory and biopsies was suggested


  • Scheduled pre-surgical exam
  • Started weaning off of Budesodine (1mg for three days, then 1mg every other days for three days)

03/16/2015 Pre-Surgical Exam

  • Discussed the two options for the surgery and went with the one incision full open exploratory surgery in hopes of answers
  • As written on his discharge papers, “Huck did seem moderately uncomfortable with abdominal palpation and he burped several times during the exam”
  • Scheduled surgery for 3/24, so we can finish the taper of the Budesodine before surgery

Photos and Videos of Episodes

Huck bloating
Huck bloating
Huck's post hookworm treatment poop
Huck’s post hookworm treatment poop
Huck's stable poop
Huck’s stable poop
The picture of the two different kibbles in his bag of food.
The picture of the two different kibbles in his bag of food.
Huck finally laid down but still looks big and bloated.
Huck finally laid down but still looks big and bloated.


Huck once again starting to bloat and look large from all the gas.
Huck once again starting to bloat and look large from all the gas.
Huck when he isn't bloating for comparison.
Huck when he isn’t bloating for comparison.
Huck Bloating
Huck bloating on the left side
Huck Bloating
Huck with a bloated stomach
This was taken when Huck was stable for comparison.
This was taken when Huck was stable for comparison.
Huck bloating 3/10/15
Huck bloating 3/10/15
Huck bloating 3/14/15
Huck bloating 3/14/15

Huck’s Loud Stomach Noises

The loud noises start around :20 into the video.

Huck’s Gas/Pain Episodes

This shows one of Huck’s episodes where he doesn’t want to move much and is shivering in pain.  He also burps and farts when he stretches to relieve some of the gas.

Huck’s Bloating/Vomit Episode 01/24/2014

This shows one of Huck’s episodes where he is frantically licking anything and everything  he was bloated and we couldn’t get him to burp or fart much  then he started trying to throw up.  I thought he was twisting so we crated the Bassets, grabbed my purse and leashed Huck up to take him to the ER.  As soon as we got to the door he threw up his dinner everywhere.  He then finally calmed down and fell asleep in my lap.