Chronic Diarrhea, Canine, “Balboa”

Case Study

Chronic Diarrhea, Canine, “Balboa”

  • September 29 2023
  • Case Studies


Keyword: Canine, gastrointestinal, diarrhea, photobiomodulation, laser therapy

Author(s): Dr. Chelsea Tripp, Veterinary Cancer Specialty Care at Bridge Animal Referral Center, Edmonds, WA.


Signalment: Canine, Doberman Pinscher, 14.5 yrs., M/N, “Balboa”.

History: The patient presented for chronic diarrhea and decreased appetite of approximately 1 year duration. Balboa is currently being treated for chronic hepatopathy and a nasal tumor with pulmonary metastasis. He has received both satraplatin chemotherapy and palliative radiation for control of his nasal tumor, both >6 mos. ago. Balboa's GI issues, including intermittent diarrhea, intermittent nausea, and reduced appetite have persisted despite discontinuation of chemotherapy and use of multiple GI support medications over several months.

Diagnostics and Exam Findings: Abdominal palpation revealed no pain, mass effect, organomegaly, or distension. Serum chemistries revealed mild elevations to ALP & ALT. Previous abdominal U/S with aspirates of the liver & spleen revealed no evidence of neoplasia.

Laser Treatment: Abdominal Disorders protocol setting (6165 total joules [~10J/cm²] at Max Tx setting, delivered at 15W CW over 7 minutes) delivered by treating the entire abdomen in contact with the LARGE contact treatment head.

Frequency of Treatment: Treatments were initially started twice weekly, then weaned to once weekly as the patient improved over a six-week period.

Other Treatments: Denamarin 425mg (1 PO SID), ursodiol 500mg (1 PO SID), gabapentin 100mg (1 PO SID), yunnan baiyao (1 PO BID), Ellevet (0.45ml PO BID), doxycycline 100mg (2 PO BID), Prilosec 20mg (1 PO SID), and Visbiome (1 PO BID). Entyce and ondansetron given previously were tapered and ultimately discontinued as the patient has improved.

Comments: Owners reported that stools were improved after just one treatment session and have remained improved (now soft & formed) throughout the initial six-week period. Appetite has been improved and the patient is eating well with no nausea/vomiting noted despite discontinuing Entyce and ondansetron, which were previously given as needed. Patient is now also receiving laser therapy for his chronic osteoarthritis.

Balboa 1