Puppy with diarrhea

(45 Posts)
FreddoBaggyMac Tue 21-Aug-12 17:57:05

Hi. We adopted a seven week old puppy from the RSPCA on Saturday, she's a crossbreed (a bit of lab and a bit of collie we think!) She's completely lovely and seems very healthy, energetic and inquisitive, our only problem is that she is that she has diarrhea and we're unsure what to do about it. She poos approx eight times a day and while it's not totally liquid it's much runnier than I'd expect (sorry if TMI!!)

The problem seemed to begin at the RSPCA kennels, and they were feeding her a mix of Chappy and pedigree chum puppy food. This didn't seem to be improving things so I've switched her onto James Wellbeloved Puppy dried food. She's been on that for two days and things do seem to have improved but only very slightly. I've also ordered pro kolin which will hopefully arrive tomorrow to try.

Just wondering if anyone can give me any further advice on what to do? Sould I stick with the James Wellbeloved dried food or try something else? Any advice much appreciated x

FreddoBaggyMac Tue 21-Aug-12 18:46:53

Have been reading up a bit more and have seen a recommendation to replace her food with scrambled eggs with no milk and a spoonful of sugar added. I'm planning on doing this tomorrow but just wondering how much I should give her? She's a medium sized puppy, seven weeks old. Was thinking of giving her three servings of 1 scrambled egg with a teaspoon of sugar for tomorrow's meals and then perhaps mixing a bit of the dried food in the following day if things seem to improve? Does this sound a resonable plan?? Any advice much appreciated (please?!)

PeriPathetic Tue 21-Aug-12 18:51:42

7 weeks is very young shock

Have you taken her to a vet yet? She needs checking over. My pup had this when we first got her and it turned out to be some intestinal parasite, the name of which escapes me atm.

sanityawol Tue 21-Aug-12 18:53:37

Hi there - I'm no expert, so I'm sure that others will have better advice.

If puppy is only 7 weeks old has she been wormed and had jabs?

Putting myself in your situation, I would stick with one type of food for the time being. She will only have been weaned very recently so she may take some time to adjust to a new food. I would also be speaking to my own vet and getting her checked over if I had concerns. To me, 7 weeks seems very young to have been rehomed (although I have never looked at a rescue puppy so have no experience of this).

Is it possible that she's just a bit 'loose' while she adapts to new food?

midori1999 Tue 21-Aug-12 18:56:55

Don't change her food again, it is likely to just upset her tummy more. Pedigree can give some puppies the runs, as can a change of home and any sudden change in food. Food changes should be done very gradually over a few days.

Personally, I think a 7 week old puppy with diarrhoea needs to see a vet, it can lead to dehydration very fast and although from what you have said it doesn't sound overly serious, it's not worth the risk, particularly as worms or something more sinister may be the cause.

PeriPathetic Tue 21-Aug-12 19:00:15

Coccidiosis was what my girl had. www.ehow.com/about_5093282_causes-puppy-diarrhea.html

I hope it's one of the other reasons listed on that page, but I'd definitely take her to your vet. So much diarrhea in one so young would be very worrying to me.

I'm not even going to go there re rehoming at 7 weeks. And RSPCA. Bah.

LemarchandsBox Tue 21-Aug-12 19:03:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

vnmum Tue 21-Aug-12 19:16:21

I am quite shocked at an Animal welfare charity rehoming a puppy at 7 weeks. But it is the RSPCA so I am not surprised.
She will only have recently been weaned and the food they've been feeding her is shite (I know they've got costs to meet). A change in diet should be done over a few days of gradually mixing the new food with the old.

Don't change her food again, James wellbeloved is ok.

The change of environment and the stress of a new home can trigger diarrhoea but if she is going as often as you say and it has been happening for a few days I would take her to the vet.

A bland diet of scrambled egg, chicken and rice can sometimes help to settle the stomach. With older dogs I would say to starve for 24 hrs but that isn't really suitable for a puppy so young.

My concern at this stage would be dehydration or the possibility of worm infestation or infection.

Is there any blood or mucous in the stools?

FreddoBaggyMac Tue 21-Aug-12 19:40:16

Thanks so much for your responses, really appreciate it.

The RSPCA took her in at 6 weeks because she wasn't wanted, guess they thought she might be better off with us than at their kennels so I can't blame them too much. They rarely have puppies at their kennels so were by no means experts in what to do with her.We went in expecting to get an older dog so have been reading everything I can about puppies over the past week to try and get clued up. Really appreciate advice from you all.

There has been no blood or mucus in her stools (would have had her to vet immediately if there'd been blood). Yes she has had her first set of jabs (next ones due in a week and a half) and she was wormed on 13/8 with milbemax. She's eating really well and looks healthy and is certainly very perky and full of beans!

Will book her into the vets tomorrrow morning, but just wondering would you recommend giving her scrambled eggs or the James Wellbeloved dried food first thing tomorrow? I did make the food change over a few days and as I say she does seem to be pooing slightly less often than she was when she first arrived.

Champneys Tue 21-Aug-12 20:33:43

Plsin boiled chicken and rice, small portions 3 times daily should sort her out.

or plain boiled chicken and boiled potatoes. do this for 2 or 3 days until poo is more firm. it is never quite as firm as an adult dog anyway at this age.

then gradually add a little bit of her james wellbeloved.

has she been wormed? need worming every 2 weeks at this age.

Champneys Tue 21-Aug-12 20:36:08

sorry re read your last post and see she was wormed on 13th.

FreddoBaggyMac Tue 21-Aug-12 20:41:19

Thanks Champneys. Yes wormed on 13/8 with milbemax, have been advised that she's next due for worming 13/9, should I go with this or worm her again earlier?

Do you think it's necessary that we take her to the vet? Will of course go if it's necessary, but at the same time have already spent a lot on her this month and don't want to go if the vet is going to give me the advice you've just given for a fee!

Sausagedog27 Tue 21-Aug-12 21:07:16

Yes go to the vets! When our dog was a pup she had a poorly tum and the runs- took her to the vet and she ended up on a drip as she was dehydrated. She recovered really well- thought it was a bug, but it was the dehydration that was the worry.

Changing food- you are not meant to just change it, I always was told that you should mix up old and new and gradually wean on to new stuff. Hopefully it's something as simple as that op, rather than anything bad, but do go to vets tomorrow.

FreddoBaggyMac Tue 21-Aug-12 21:17:10

Thanks Sausage, will go to the vets! I suppose it will be good to get her properly checked over and my mind will not be at rest if we do otherwise!!

Champneys Tue 21-Aug-12 21:44:07

How runny is runny. watery or just loose? no blood? mucus (my pup had this and vet said that some mucus is fine)
Is it formed in anyway. squiggly worms or a cow pat?

FreddoBaggyMac Tue 21-Aug-12 22:21:04

Cow pat is a pretty good description! No blood or mucus. I'd say it's usually just loose and ocassionally a bit watery. She tends to go 2-3 times after each meal (3 meals a day) but only in smallish amounts. I think that's the most description I can give smile

Champneys Tue 21-Aug-12 22:30:46

I would try the boiled rice and chick first. See if that binds her up tomorrow during the day. Less frequent and more wormlike as in squiggles or firmer. If you dont see cow pat by afternoon, just slightly firmer then carry on. If it is still the same as today, then see the vet.

New home can have unsettling on the tummy. You need to try that before you sail off to the vet at great expense. He sounds very chirpy and bright and busy so as there is no sickness lethargy or general malaise, I think you need to give yourself a chance to cure it yourself tomorrow. You are right the vet will charge the earth and may just advise you the same as here.

midori1999 Tue 21-Aug-12 22:36:07

Please see a vet, even a vet cannot advise you properly over an internet forum, let alone 'laypeople'. She needs to see a vet and be checked over, young puppies can go downhill very fast.

Once again, I strongly advise against changing her food again without the advice of a vet.

There's nothing wrong with a puppy going to it's new home at 7 weeks, even it is leaving it's litter, let alone if it's leaving kennels to go to a home where it will be socialised. I'm rather hmm about it if the RSPCA were aware the puppy was ill when you took it (if it was ill then). You may want to ring them for advice, seeing as you've only had the puppy for a few days then they may arrange for you to see their vet free of charge. Otherwise, you should speak to your insurance company.

midori1999 Tue 21-Aug-12 22:39:31

You need to try that before you sail off to the vet at great expense

With respect, unless you are a vet (I am assuming by your posts that you are not) then you shouldn't be advising what someone should do with a sick dog, particularly a puppy that is very young.

OP, just take it to the vet. What's the cost of a consultation? £30??? If you're really that worried about the cost then ring them for advice, if they can advise you on the phone, it will be free. However, any new puppy should have a full check up ASAP once in it's new home anyway and the RSPCA should have advised you of this.

Champneys Tue 21-Aug-12 22:43:13

here we go. hmm

Champneys Tue 21-Aug-12 22:46:40

midori. With all due respect. the vet appointment may not be until 5 or 6 tomorrow.

I did not say HO NOT take it the the vet ffs. I said try this in the morning. The pup will need feeding it the morning. try boiled chick and rice. If the stool is still cow pat, by the afternoon then go to the vet. OK with you?

Don't twist my posts. thank you

I am quite sure the OP would know if her pup deteriorated or became physically unwell that she would take him straight there.

midori1999 Tue 21-Aug-12 23:02:03

No, actually, it is not OK with me. IMO it is poor advice. The puppy already has the runs, changing it's food again, for the third time in not many more days, may make it more ill. There is no reason the OP can't get veterinary advice on the phone first thing in morning. All for free. Not that the cost should come into it, of course.

All the more important the puppy see a vet as it's background it uncertain.

I say this as someone more experienced than the average person with young puppies and of course, the puppy will more than likely be fine regardless of what the OP does, but there is a chance it may not and I strongly feel veterinary advice should be sought and that self treatment is not a good idea.

midori1999 Tue 21-Aug-12 23:02:35

I will say it again, young puppies can go downhill very fast.

Champneys Tue 21-Aug-12 23:09:44

I am sure the OP will read both our posts as well as those of others and on other internet sites and will make her decision accordingly. You are insinuating that she is stupid.

And I will say it again too.


I too have an awful lot of experience with pups. I am not a vet. Dont claim to be one. Just saying what one can do to see if it improves in a short space of time.

happygardening Wed 22-Aug-12 09:15:15

On a different note the OP was advised to worm the puppy in 1 month is this right? I too have a new hooligan puppy from a very very reputable breeder and we've been advised fortnightly till 12 weeks. Who is correct?

LemarchandsBox Wed 22-Aug-12 10:07:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

vnmum Wed 22-Aug-12 10:48:13

OP, were her stools runny when you first brought her home or did it start after a few days of her being with you? If it is the former, then I would ring the RSPCA and they may well let you see their vet or offer to cover some of the cost of seeing your own as the time frame would indicate the puppy was ill when rehomed.

How many days has she actually had the diarrheoa for? If you adopted her on saturday and she has had it since then, then today will be the 4th day. I would definately at least ring the vet for advise and seriously consider taking her in. I know it might seem an extra expense, that is why I suggested phoning the rspca shelter first to see if they can help, but 3 -4 days of poos as sloppy as you describe can soon lead to dehydration in a puppy so young.

I am presuming she came with free insurance, but check the small print to see if there is an initial exclusion period before you rely on that.

With regards to the worming, Milbemax is indicated in puppies from 2 weeks of age at an interval of 2-4 weeks during the nursing period. As your puppy is now weaned, that will probably be the reason they have said to worm her after 4 weeks. Different anthelmintics have different schedules and different vets will have differing views on the worming frequency.

If you gently pull the skin up on the scruff of her neck, does it immediately go back down or does it stay up for a few seconds or more?

Please let us know how you get on

Champneys Wed 22-Aug-12 12:25:27

happy - I was told every 2 weeks.

Champneys Wed 22-Aug-12 12:27:41

LeMarch - nobody has said don't see the vet. I certainly did not say do not see the vet today. If you read my posts, you will see that *if no change, with breakfast and lunch today, see the vet today.

FFS - can people not read> It is in capitals as well hmm

LemarchandsBox Wed 22-Aug-12 15:25:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FreddoBaggyMac Wed 22-Aug-12 15:31:23

Thanks so much everyone, I really appreciate all your advice. Champneys I found your advice really helpful, and of course I realise you weren't telling me not to go to the vet and just offering advice on different options.

We gave her the James Wellbeloved food first thing and were all ready to go out and buy chicken to boil AND take her to the vets, but her first poo of the morning was fine... so solid I could actually pick it up (using a poo bag of course!!) Poos since then have shown a definate improvement on yesterday, most have been solid enough to pick up with poo bag. She's still going in small amounts every 2 hours though (but only once between about 9pm and 7am) but I'm thinking that this might not be too unusual for a puppy of this age (if they're anything like babies anyway!)??? So our decision is to stick with the same food for now and see how things go. I have the vet's number ready though should things start to go downhill.

Does anyone know how much poo is normal for a seven week old puppy? Is going every couple of hours and once overnight a lot more than I should be expecting? as I say her poos are now ranging between 'cow pat' style and solid (like you'd expect in a fully grown dog only about a tenth of the size!)

Thanks for the idea re speaking to the RSPCA vet vnmum, it's much further away than the vets we're planning on using (which has been recommended by a friend) but is worth thinking about.

The skin on the scruff of her neck goes straight back down when pulled, she doesn't seem dehydrated at all, and she's the very OPPOSITE of lethargic smile

Thanks once again for all your very helpful advice (did not expect to cause contention in the pets section of mumsnet!!) Any more comments (particularly on how much she should be pooing) would be much appreciated.

LemarchandsBox Wed 22-Aug-12 15:36:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FreddoBaggyMac Wed 22-Aug-12 15:39:48

PS. vnumum, yes her stools were runny when we brought her home, the RSPCA said they had substituted part of her food with chappy because she'd had a stomach upset (and apparently chappy is bland and good for bad tummies???? Looks and smells worse than the poo itself to me). Given that they knew about it and that she'd seen the vet there (and also as she's so well and bouncy in herself), that's why I wasn't overly concerned about it until yesterday.

FreddoBaggyMac Wed 22-Aug-12 15:42:32

Thanks Lemarch, our plans at the moment are to give it until friday morning (as things seem to be improving) and if we're not happy things are normal by then book her in at the vets... I'm not entirely sure what 'normal' is for a seven week old puppy, but it's helpful to know that yours went 4-5 times a day. Anyone else have experience of puupies this age so I can work out a rough average number?!

FreddoBaggyMac Wed 22-Aug-12 15:44:14

Also we're going back to the RSPCA vets next week anyway for her second vaccs so we will make sure she's checked over propely then (but will take her beforehand if any sign of things going downhill).

vnmum Wed 22-Aug-12 18:45:57

Glad things are firming up.

I have to say though, I think it is very bad form of the RSPCA to rehome her, especially with novice puppy owners like yourselves (no offence intended) knowing that she still had diarrheoa after a stomach upset. Realistically, I know their vet will have been treating her but how did they know it wouldn't get suddenly worse or wasn't an infection brewing. Just because she has had 1 vaccination does not make her immune from parvo and it could have turned into a very risky strategy on the part of the RSPCA, IMO.

I know you have no control over the RSPCA, OP, but if you do have to take her to your vets with regards to this, I would certainly ring the rspca and demand they pay for the treatment as they shouldn't have re homed her while still under treatment and if you have insurance it probably won't cover it because she had the condition when you took her home.

FreddoBaggyMac Wed 22-Aug-12 19:57:03

Thanks vnmum, you make some very good points. I'll certainly be mentioning to the RSPCA when we take her to get her 2nd vaccs next week (if not before!) What they did say to us was that 'She'd had a bit of a stomach upset' and they'd substituted part of her food with Chappy, so I was under the impression that it was all sorted out until we brought her home!

LemarchandsBox Wed 22-Aug-12 20:00:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

vnmum Wed 22-Aug-12 21:46:25

freddo just bear in mind that if she is still not right by the time her vacc is due, she may not be well enough to have it. If I were you, I would be tempted to speak to your own vet for advice on the suitability for vacc if she is not better by then. The rspca will not want to admit there was a problem so will vaccinate regardless.

lemarch I don't like the rspca. I have had dealings with them both work wise and personally and they have some very strange policies as far as i am concerned and are not so willing to help animals as they would have you believe. granted, my work dealings were 12 years ago but my personal ones were only a few years ago.

LemarchandsBox Wed 22-Aug-12 22:04:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Puppies poo a lot. I'd say the frequency you describe is about right - and you're lucky it's only once overnight! At 7 weeks, her insides are tiny, so can't hold much in the way of volume. She also doesn't have the muscle strength to keep it in for long.

LST Wed 22-Aug-12 22:17:57

My 7week old collie has/had diarrhoea.

We took him to a vet and he gave him a shot of anti-biotics and some oral tabs to take for 2 weeks. He's also been put on a diet of rice, pasta, fish and scrambled egg (and nicked cat food hmm)

He had his first proper solid poo today so it has worked wonders smile

I hope your puppy feels better soon!

LST Wed 22-Aug-12 22:20:58

And vnmum is right. You won't be able to take her for a vacc without her being 100% healthy.

LemarchandsBox Wed 22-Aug-12 22:32:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FreddoBaggyMac Thu 30-Aug-12 11:58:38

Hi everyone, just thought I'd give all you helpful people an update! Puppy is loads better (in fact I'm beginning to worry she's a bit 'blocked up' if anything!!) For the last week she's had nothing at all to eat apart from James Wellbeloved dried food mixed with smaller and smaller amounts of chicken and a bit of rice.

After the initial improvement I mentioned she did go a bit 'runny' again. We put it down to a few dried beef puppy reward things we gave her in the afternoon, so we've been really strict about giving her no 'junk' at all since then. Went with Champneys advice and gave her boiled chicken and rice for a day which seemed to really firm things up! Since then we've just used boiled chicken as rewards (which she's very happy about!) and she's now doing 4-5 small solid/ semi-solid poos a day which seems pretty normal for a 9 week old puppy.

We are still planning on using the RSPCA vet as we get a reduction in price for her 2nd vaccs (which are on Sat) and she'll be spayed free of charge so obviously would prefer to stay with them for now (but will suss things out on Saturday to see if I'm happy with them).

Thanks again everyone for all your help and advice xx

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