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Puppy with persistent diarrhea

(15 Posts)
ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Sun 24-Jul-11 23:36:46

To answer the obvious advice: Yes, I've taken her to the vet twice in the last week (Tuesday and Friday), and will be taking her again this week.

The reason I'm writing is not to get a diagnosis over the internet, as that would be foolish, but to have specific things to ask the vet to rule out and/or test for.

So: my lab puppy is 5 1/2 months old. She has had persistent diarrhea for over 3 weeks now. Apart from her poops, she is fine: lovely and sprightly and playful as always. The last time she had a bout of diarrhea lasting several days, a three-day treatment of "good" bacteria cleared her up right away. This time around, the bacteria treatment did zilch, so the vet has given me white gloopy stuff she jokingly calls "plaster" and appears to contain kaolin to coat and freeze her intestines. I am giving this stuff to her 3 times a day. I was also told to give the puppy no food for 24 hours, then give her special easy-to-digest kibble in tiny doses spread out in five portions over the course of the day.

This I have done, but still no better. Poop is yellow, the consistency of soup, and often has mucus and several drops of blood in it.

I am tearing my hair out, as nothing seems to be having any effect. It seems to me at this point that this is probably something more than just some crap she ate outside that disagreed with her.

Any ideas of what it could possibly be that I can specifically ask my vet about? Many thanks.

MotherJack Sun 24-Jul-11 23:51:00

Have you come across Midori? She understands the potentially sensitive gut of the lab and with her wealth of experience may be able to help you.

hephaestus Mon 25-Jul-11 08:26:08

What is she being fed?

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Mon 25-Jul-11 08:36:15

I've been feeding her Science Diet for puppies, and now Eukanabia for sensitive digestion. Dry kibble.

She gets little pieces of cooked chicken breast as treats for training.

mymumdom Mon 25-Jul-11 08:38:08

I agree, what is she being fed? Also has she been wormed?
It sounds like chronic colitis to me. Most of my clients with dogs with sensitive guts, clear up nicely on Burns food.

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Mon 25-Jul-11 08:41:07

Yes she's been wormed.

mymumdom What causes chronic colitis, what are the tell-tale symptoms, and how is it best treated?

mymumdom Mon 25-Jul-11 08:43:23

I was a Hills girl for years but am no longer a fan.
Look it up on here

Eukanuba sensitive stomach doesn't fare much better, I'm afraid.

Seriously, it's worth giving Burns a go. And I'd stop the chicken bit for now as well.
Might be worth sending a poo sample off to make sure she's not got something parasitic going on.

mymumdom Mon 25-Jul-11 08:54:19

A colitis is inflammation of the lower bowel. Has she messed in the house at all?
To be fair, 3 weeks isn't really long enough for it to be called chronic yet, but it's going on longer than you'd expect. So don't go googling chronic colitis and freaking yourself out just yet!
It's probably been caused by her snaffling something she shouldn't have, in most dogs this should sort itself out. For some reason in your dog, it hasn't.
What was she wormed with?
If you can afford it, I'd probably ask for a faecal sample to be checked. There is a chance that she may have a parasite causing this diarrhoea and it's good to rule this out.
But then I'd switch foods, Burns is great for dogs with colitis because it has a high fibre content which can help with diarrhoes.
Talk to your vet about all this but I do think he/she should start looking beyond probiotics in your dog.

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Mon 25-Jul-11 09:11:28

No, no messes in the house. But she does wake me up once or twice in the middle of the night asking to go out and relieve herself (...she's a very good puppy!).

Am at work now so I don't have the worming tablets to hand.

Yes, I'm going to insist on a fecal sample.

Unfortunately I don't have access to Burns food (am not in the UK), but as I understand it I should look for food that has no corn in it, not too much grain, and high fibre, is that right?

Solo2 Mon 25-Jul-11 09:14:29

Op, you'll see from many of my posts that our golden retriever puppy (now almost 6 months old) has had 3 lots of diarrhoea bouts over a 4 week period and is now on 3 weeks of antibiotics (will finish in 4 days), and had 2 other lots of antibiotics previously also. He's also had various meds. like prokaolin and anti acid stuff. He's tried various vet prescribed diets, chicken, rice etc etc and is now exclusively on Royal Canin Sensitive Whitebait and Tapioca. He is not allowed to eat anything else whatsoever at all and this is v difficult, as he goes for anything and everything. I've fenced off a part of the garden lawn but he persists in eating grass, moss, earth, dandelion leaves, fallen rowan berries and any leaves and twigs he can drag between the fence net. I have become poo-obessed and begin to despair is his lovely hard brown nuggets get softer during any one day, as this was the precursor to full blown diarrhoea. At it's worst, it was yellowy and totally liquid, squirting in bubbles and would go on and on and on, usually all night with me standing out in the garden with rolls of kitchen roll and the hosepipe.

It's been so bad that I've seriously considered whether or not I can keep him at all - and this is from someone who waited 48 yrs to get a first puppy and wanted one SO much. family life and any sleep have been totally destroyed at times by Rollo's diarrhoea.

Anyway, he's now bene fine - on the above regime - for 2.5 weeks but I'm still massively panicky each time he poos at all. He's had 3 poo samples - all of which are normal and is up to date with worming. Nothing at all has been found and the thinking is that it's just a sensitive tummy which may be life long. This has major implications for life with a dog as it means I can't walk him off lead and need to keep hypervigilant as he walks even on lead to monitor the ground for what he eats. It also means that although i now have a 'safe' area of the gardne for him to run free, I can only really leav ehim alone there for short periods as he'll start to eat whatever he can on the lawn. I can no longer use treats for training so effectively most training has stopped.

I suppose it's possible he'll grow out of the tummy trouble but one vet early on said to give him anything and everything in the way of kitchen scraps as if you don't, dogs can become hyeprsensitive later in life. Now of course that's exactly what will happen, as I can't let him have anything else at all forever really.

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Mon 25-Jul-11 09:19:35

That's interesting Solo2. Sorry to hear about your experience. I completely symapthise with the poo panic.

Can I ask you how long you tested Rollo on different foods in order to work out which one would work for him? (as I hear that switching foods can itself cause diarrhea -- how do you tell if it's because of the switch, or because of the food itself?).

hephaestus Mon 25-Jul-11 09:40:47

Both the Science Diet and Eukanuba are full of potential allergens, very high grain content, no decent named protein source and probably hideously expensive too. I've said it before but I'll say it again - I trust my vet on anything but nutrition because they are too focused on expensive prescription foods with clever marketing that is usually entirely species inappropriate.

Is raw/BARF something you'd consider? If not, Fish4Dogs is excellent. I don't rate Burns or similar, 63% rice content is crazy.

Joolyjoolyjoo Mon 25-Jul-11 09:46:55

If the diarrhoea only started inthe last few weeks, I'd definitely take a sample for your vet to send to the lab. I have had a few cases of campylobacter in young pups that presented almost as a colitis, so best to rule it (and other things) out before going down the long road of trying different diets imo.

wildfig Mon 25-Jul-11 09:57:34

My puppy went through this too, and I totally share the pain about poo panic/inspections and hosing yellow slurry off the yard. We had faecal test after faecal test done, (checking for campylobacter and giardia, as well as various worms: all clear), antibiotics, kaolin, different hypoallergenic foods (Burns, JWB, Autarky, Fish4dogs, all with appropriately slow introduction times), probiotic yoghurt, even homeopathic remedies. Could it be an allergy? Red meat seemed to set off explosive, dark-red bloody diarrhoea for my puppy, which was a pain for sausage-based training, and for my other dog, who saw her mince treats vanish overnight.

In the end the vet decided it was an irritable bowel condition, and prescribed Hills WD to slow down digestive transit. I wasn't that keen on feeding Hills WD for life, so kept looking for something tolerable, and I've very, very gradually introduced a hypoallergenic low-protein chicken/rice kibble from a local farm supplier, that's now the bulk of the meal. He gets oily sardines, steamed white fish, eggs, veggies, etc for variation, as those don't seem to cause problems. It might be something your puppy grows out of; mine's now a strapping two year old, and seems better, although it doesn't stop him trying to steal steak.

Some people swear by a BARF diet for sorting out digestive problems. Do you have a big freezer?!

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Mon 25-Jul-11 10:16:06

I have no freezer at all, and cannot afford one... sad

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