Tommy was on prednisone from the regular vet and the gastro-intestinal specialist from the local veterinary college... after ruling out EVERYTHING under the sun, they were absolutely positive that he had IBD. We put him through an endoscopy too, and they saw so much blood in his gastro tract that they were sure the biopsy results would prove IBD... but nope, nothing.
We tried everything - from various drugs at vet #1, to various other antibiotics at vet #2, and prednisone from the emerg vet and the specialist they called in. The pred took away a lot of the symptoms and allowed him to eat, but not for long, as soon as he'd be weaned off it he'd be ill again. He had so many other issues which we now know were due to the original problem and the various drugs - urinary infections, crystals, ear infections, severe pneumonia... you name it, this poor doggy had it. That's on top of vomiting multiple times daily, and plain just refusing to eat (and that started as an 8 week old puppy - a PUPPY refusing to eat!!). We went through various elimination diets, special foods, single protein foods, raw, etc etc... nothing worked.
I finally found the holistic vet, and wow - the questions she was asking, from whether his breath smelled bad to whether his paws were cold and what times of the year he seemed to be worse, it was absolutely amazing. She determined that his condition was related to one of his 'chi's'... now, whether you believe in that stuff or not, it basically boiled down to the fact that while nothing in particular was 'broken', his system just wasn't working right. It wasn't just one thing, it was the way his various insides worked - or didn't work - together.
We started on some supplements, all natural but super strong stuff, enzymes and probiotics and chinese herbs. We did acupuncture too, a few aggressive rounds in a row trying to get ahead of the illness and help his immune system gain some strength. I kid you not, we saw some results the very next morning after his first acupuncture - he got up in the morning and had a drink of water (he NEVER drank water before, he spent days and days at a time at the vet's before just to get hydrated by IV). We did acupuncture a few times a week for a couple of weeks, then a few weeks off, then on again, and then started weaning him off of that. He still gets acupuncture when we notice the symptoms worsening again, but now we're down to about once every couple of months. The goal is to get him strong enough to only need acupuncture maybe a couple of times a year as a booster for his system.
It's been just over a year since the last time he was hospitalized. I cannot believe the change in my doggy... and I tell you, everybody who was telling me to have him put down is completely mind-boggled over the difference now. My regular vet is amazed!
I know this was really long - sorry! I just can't stop once I start talking about this because I can't believe my Tommy is still here. My husband worked overseas while Tommy was ill, and I made him come home because I couldn't bear to have him put to sleep alone, that's how bad it was. And now he's a happy, healthy dog over 2 years old.
I'll stop lecturing now, LOL - if you have any questions, feel free to holler! Hopefully some of this might be some help, I know how frustrating it is to see your dog suffer while people tell you there's nothing really wrong.