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Rollo - has diarrhoea AGAIN...please despair....

(43 Posts)
Solo2 Fri 29-Jul-11 20:14:09

I really need support/advice/answers sad...This is the fourth bout. Its happened within 24 hrs of coming off a 3 week course of antibiotics. He's been totally fine on the vet's prescription diet for 3 weeks. He's eaten NOTHING else, except maybe the odd bit of moss/ grass/leaf/soil/cement - but only in tiny amounts. He doesn't go off lead out and about, only in his own lawned patch of garden. So it CAN'T be something he's eaten.

I CAN'T do this anymore. I'm facing another night awake in the garden, hosing it down and scooping up liquid poo....My DCs are NOT OK. DS2 is in tears - torn between worrying I'll rehome Rollo - yet desperately wanting him to go as he's destroying our lives. DS1 is withdrawn and, having been sick yesterday (migraine I think/ thought) but fine since, now has a swollen gland in his throat....I CAN'T cope with a sick child and a sick dog who both need me. I can't cope with the dog. I really can't.

I'm already having to neglect the DCs and have just made their supper 3 hrs later than normal, after a mad dash to the vets. Just finished the working week and have further work to do (run own business) and loads of domestic tasks and instead I'm in the garden scooping up and hosing foul smelling poo.

The vet has taken blood samples to look for what's going on in Rollo's pancreas. He's prescribed MORE of the same antibiotics but each tablet is double the previous dose and Rollo is refusing to eat them. I've resorted to putting some in cheese as the only way to get him to eat one, even though he's not had cheese for months now and it'll probably worsen the diarrhoea - though it looks like none of this is food related anyway....

So I need a short-term survival plan and a long term solution. How do I get through the next 48+hrs with no sleep at all and fulfil the DCS need and the dog's needs and the cats (obviously can't fulfill any of my own but it's the DCs I'm most worried about, especially DS2 who has Asperger's traits and who is getting incredibly distressed both by the situationand by observing my own distress?

Then...we'll get blood test results sometime next week. What might we expect? Any vets on here? I know you can't diagnose but what's it looking like from the history here...golden retriever puppy - now aged 6 months old - totally fine for first 4+ months...then gets 4 lots of increasingly severe diarrhoea, although poo samples all check out as fine and he acts healthy between bouts and is still putting on weight. EVERY time he comes off antibiotics and no matter what bland food he's been fine on, he gets further diarrhoea. I could chart the poo consistency from yesterday - his first full day antiobiotics free...started hard and 'sandy' nuggets...progressed to wetter but normal fully formed poo and ended up more and more liquid diarrhoea now....

If his condition relates to anatomical problems, can anything be done? Would he need an operation? Lifelong tablets? Will he always keep getting diarrhoea? What kind of life might he have is he can NEVER walk off lead (unless I suppose he can get used to a muzzle that prevents him eating anything when out and about). What kind of life can we as a family have with a dog like this? We can't enjoy him at all if he gets recurrent diarrhoea...

I'm trying to think rationally but feel despair really, which I know may sound OTT but my life circumstances (solo mum of twins, running own f/t business and with some current financial worries as business drops off) mean that the implications of recurrent sleepless nights on top of any I get anyway with DCs when they're ill, plus extra work during day time in garden hosing/ scooping etc...well it just feels impossible tonight...wimpy though that may sound.

Please help...

Tuggy Fri 29-Jul-11 20:24:05

have you tried a food change to something like James Wellbeloved which is good for dogs with possible allergies?

I had exact same thing as you (actually had a thread about it too!) and ended up finding a different food (fish4puppies) which had her poos PERFECT. i nearly cried with relief! But it was a tough sleepless time with the permenant diarreaoh in full force I totally feel your pain.

Please hang in their for little rollos sake, if he has a sore tummy (lets face it who enjoys having the shits?) he'll be feeling so sorry for himself. please dont give up on him or rehome him he may end up in a rescue centre/pound one day sad good luck and sending positive thoughts!

alp Fri 29-Jul-11 20:37:28

Solo - I am so sad to hear this news sad after such a positive report back after hold I thought these episodes were behind you.

I have no advice to give but send lots of will, determination and hugs.

slinkyboo Fri 29-Jul-11 20:39:19

I've followed your story, Solo, including your desperately stressful attempt to go on your holiday etc.
I just wanted to say that nobody would judge you for a second if you let the breeders take him back, which I think was an option. There is only so much a person can do. You and your DCs must come first.
Having said that, I truly hope that someone, maybe a vet, can offer a miracle solution for you and Rollo sad

kid Fri 29-Jul-11 21:44:55

Does anyone live near you who could offer some practical help?

I think if you can hang on until the test results come back, you will at least know what you are dealing with.

My pup (1 year old!) had diarrhoea today and it ended up all down his fur so he had to be bathed and i even cut his fur! I'd hate to have to be dealing with that constantly so I can sympathise with you on how difficult it must be to cope with it constantly.

I really hope things work out for you all. I find it easier to cope with things as and when they happen. Try not to worry about the future right now, just get through the night, the day, the week and see what happens. Good luck x

Solo2 Fri 29-Jul-11 22:00:42

Thanks. No one who can help and even the dog trainer is away on holiday. DS1 now seems to be getting v ill - swollen one-sided gland in throat and want/need to sit up with him. Have rushed down and cleaned up more foul smelling diarrhoea with kitchen roll and hosed it down. Have now left kitchen doors open to garden so Rollo can go in an out alone but am slightly scared about lack of security (no other internal connecting doors lock) but expect I'll be awake all night anyway so would hear any intruders. Rollo may well bark in any case just cos he's afraid of the dark and may not go out alone - so may have to clean kitchen floor too...

Yes, will wait for further test results but what if nothing of note comes back and I'm no further forward? I'm pretty sure it's NOT food related as he's had beautiful hard poos for 3 weeks till coming off antibiotics and every food we've tried has had the same result till he comes off medication.

Worried now about DS1...AND DS2 who went to sleep crying.

Any vets on here tonight who might have further ideas/ advice?

DogsBestFriend Fri 29-Jul-11 22:11:31

Don't know what to say, Solo, I wish you were near me and I'd take him in to give you a break lovey.

Try pm-ing vets Joolyjoolyjoo or alice15, also Bella32, who's a former vet nurse? There are other vets on here, sorry mind has gone blank, will come back when I think of names.

BeerTricksPotter Fri 29-Jul-11 22:12:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BeerTricksPotter Fri 29-Jul-11 22:12:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

daisydotandgertie Fri 29-Jul-11 22:14:32

Solo - I'm so sorry he's ill again. You must be desperately worried.

I remember from one of your previous threads that he also had problems with ears and a rash. Have they gone? Does he smell 'doggy'?

Logically, I can't see how it can be an anatomical problem if it's 'cured' by antibiotics. Antibiotics can't fix an anatomical problem. They can sometimes mask another problem though. And he's had a lot of them in his very short life.

Why don't you think it's food related?

I'd really consider changing his food. I know I keep banging on about it, and I know the vet has put him on that chicken and tapioca based food - but it still contains quite a lot of common allergens. Get him off anything with maize, wheat, rice, chicken and onto a fish or pork and potato food.

It can't possibly make anything worse, and could just change everything.

One of my girls can't process wheat or maize and everytime she does she gets a mammoth infection of the anal glands, an ear infection and scurfy, smelly skin. A change of food has kept her clear of all that ever since.

Another couple of dogs I know have had similar problems to Rollo and both have been sorted by a complete change of diet.

Whereabouts are you roughly?

mycatsaysach Fri 29-Jul-11 22:17:50

how old is he? did you say 4 months - 2 of my friends have had this problem with their with a retriever another with a golden lab - no answers i am afraid but they both grew out of this when they were a year old.
both had loads of vets appts change of diets etc - i think the gr may have even had an op to see if there was a stomach obstruction.
they are both fine now.

EvenLessNarkyPuffin Fri 29-Jul-11 22:25:10

OK, totally odd sounding question, does the diarrhea have jelly like stuff in it? Does it smell like rotting seaweed on the beach?

lankyesme Fri 29-Jul-11 22:29:12

Procolin is great as is Supadog Sensitive. My greyhound had similar tummy issues in addition to his normal hypersensitivity, and it was a plant he had been eating in the garden, I noticed you said moss etc had been consumed?

MotherJack Fri 29-Jul-11 22:36:06

My OldBoy was allergic to chicken. The results of him eating it were horrific. He had all manner of gastric problems, but when I found the right diet, it was generally great. I don't know the relationship between allergens and antibiotics. Hopefully one of the vets can advise.

I'm so sorry, Solo. You must be incredibly stressed out by it all. You say it looks like it's not his diet. What makes you say that?

EvenLessNarkyPuffin Fri 29-Jul-11 22:36:25

The things that worked for mine (most of the time) were:

Chappie original. Nothing else. Not a bit of biscuit or a scrap of bacon. Nada.

Monitoring around any outdoor (green) space. Eating plants/grass as a leisure activity doesn't help and he loves one in particular - something that looks like it should be growing in a pond.

Plenty of clean water changed regularly.

Food split into 4 meals.

Good daily walks.

Stopping food at the first sign of diarrhea. Giving it at least 24 hours without food. Then reintroducing it a very little at a time

BeerTricksPotter Fri 29-Jul-11 22:42:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

alice15 Fri 29-Jul-11 22:47:24

I think all vets see the occasional nightmare diarrhoea puppy like this - we had a lurcher with similar symptoms a few months back, who's fine now, eventually. Most of them do come right in the end, but it can be agony along the way.
If he started off normal and is normal while on antibiotics, then clearly his gut is able to produce normal faeces under some circumstances, which rules out a lot of possible causes. After this many antibiotics, the normal bacteria in his gut are going to be completely screwed up anyway, and the speed with which the diarrhoea returns when the abs stop makes me suspect that that's just a rebound sort of effect as the gut bacteria alter when the antibiotics stop, which may or may not have anything to do with the original underlying problem. The posters who say this could still be a food allergy are right; I had a dog of my own who had hideous recurrent diarrhoea that seemed to respond to antibiotics, for example, and yet with him I eventually found that it was a gluten intolerance. Rigorous testing for food allergies is not easy! It could still, alternatively, be an infectious problem, in spite of normal stool samples - some bugs are very hard to grow and best found with pooled samples accumulated over several days, for example. Or there are other possible causes too, such as pancreatic issues, as your vet said.
As others said, the breeder should be willing to take him back if need be, although that's not an easy decision, of course. The other possibility, maybe, is to seek specialist advice. Posters are always keen to recommend people seek a second opinion, which isn't always that helpful if the vet is doing their best trying to deal with a tricky problem, but it may be worth considering advice from a specialist. If he's insured, you could discuss with your vet whether they think a specialist would be wise - if so, you might want to go before you run out of money on the insurance. If he's not insured, a specialist may be too expensive, but in that case you could see if your vet has a tame specialist who they could phone for a bit of advice without it costing you anything. Most vets have access to a panel of experts whose arms we can twist for an expert view on difficult cases, and maybe your vet knows someone like that.
Hope this helps a bit. All anyone can do on the internet is make suggestions - diarrhoea can have so many different causes that there's no magic cure answer, I'm afraid.

chocolateyclur Fri 29-Jul-11 22:50:54

Chappie is good. As is burns.

Does a couple of tablespoons of arrowroot powder in his food help at all?

Pancakeflipper Fri 29-Jul-11 22:51:18

I cannot help but have read previous threads about Rollo and sending you supportive strength to get through the night and hoping the answer to Rollo's problem to be sorted ASAP.

alice15 Fri 29-Jul-11 22:53:10

PS. I can't think of any possible cause of these signs that could be cured by an operation, although biopsies of his intestine might be recommended as part of the diagnostic efforts. Infection (Giardia? Campylobacter?) or food intolerance are still the likeliest causes IMO. Once you get a diagnosis, tablets or diet are the likeliest options for treatment, depending on the cause, and it's still the most likely outcome that he'll be fine in the end, IMO.

ceres Sat 30-Jul-11 08:23:55

solo - have you tried slippery elm bark powder? i suggested it on a previous thread of yours as it has helped hugely with managing my staffies colitis. he now very rarely has a flare up, we mix the slippery elm 'gloop' in with his nature's harvest once a day.

slippery elm bark powder is cheap and is totally safe for dogs and humans. please have a google - there is loads of information out there about it, i found out about it through google when my staffie was first diagnosed.

mymumdom Sat 30-Jul-11 08:52:01

Your vet has done all the right things, these diarrhoea cases can be a nightmare. As Alice above pointed out, his body CAN make proper faeces which is a positive thing.
I don't think anything you try is going to produce miraculous results overnight as his poor gut has had so much thrown at it. Any improvement is likely to be slow.
Can you contact the breeder and ask if there is any family history of any gut problems? It might be that there is a pup every few litters or so who has similar problems which might help.
Burns have a fantastic helpline, it would be worth giving them a call or using their live help but I would try changing his food and would try Burns first. I've had a number of diarrhoea dogs do well on it, and it's easily available and not expensive.
Does his diarrhoea settle if you starve him?
If so I'd try a protocol like the one detailed
If this doesn't work then off to a specialist with him.
I HTH a little

Idontsnore Sat 30-Jul-11 10:10:19

solo - no one would consider you a bad person if you decided to rehome - enough is enough and yhou deserve your life back. No one is benefitting form having Rollo. Sad and harsh as it may seem, I would seriously be considering a vet stay or dog going back to breeder (if this is an option)

Solo2 Sat 30-Jul-11 13:03:38

Many thanks everyone. Busy night and day so far with DS1 ill too. In answer to several poster's questions: Rollo is 6 months old and this is his 4th bout of diarrhoea. No matter what food he's on, he ALWAYS gets better once back on antibiotics. He's been on a non-meat/nonwheat food now for 5 weeks I think - Royal Canin Whitebait and Tapioca - and had perfect poos all along - UNTIL 24 hrs after coming off antibiotics. 3 days of poo sample showed nothing. The vet is now looing at pancreatic problems and took blood samples yesterday. He said something about the possibility of bacteria accumulating and hiding in the gut, I think???

How will Rollo ever come OFF antibiotics if each time he does, he gets ill again? If they're meanwhile destroying good flora in his gut, how will he overcome that issus too?

His diarrhoea is pure liquid but this time no blood or mucus - and yellowy ochre in colour (yellow at worst). They smell horrible with a fish like tang - but I guess that's the fact he's on fish diet now. He personally lost the rather strong doggy smell after 2 weeks of being better and had a more normal dog smell IYSWIM?

His ears and skin had cleared up and still look fine.

If it's campylobacter, why hasn't any vet mentioned this as something that still might be there?

Haven't tried arrowroot or elm powder as paranoid about anything other than the prescribed diet passing his lips.

I haven't got him insured, having had pets in the past (but not dogs) where I never insured nor needed to and assumed our pup would be the same. Will email the breeder later today and tell her what's been happening and ask if there's any sign of gut problems in the line. She may deny this of course even if there IS something.

Vets each time have v forcefully told me NOT to stop feeding Rollo although I have, against their advice, each time reduced food for 24 hrs. They also didn't give any more Prokaolin as they said it wouldn't be that helpful now.

So we're stuck in the house today with me going between DS1 - who seems better than last night - and Rollo in the garden/ kitchen. Can't do anything else at all. Have just fed twins. Need to be constantly checking that Rollo doesn't eat grass/leaves/moss and if there's more poo to clear up. None since last night, so far, which surely is a good sign, although it seems to occur later int he day/ in the night, after he's got more food in him.

have fed him about half the normal amount of food in little bits (Treat ball) so far). Admittedly, I used a small piece of chees to give antibiotics as he refused it using any other method and even them managed to extract bits of it (chopped up) from the cheese and spit them out till I'd finally managed to get all in him.

I really don't get a sense that this is food related. At the trainers, he accidentally stole her dog's food a few times, ate horse poo etc and she can't possibly be as hypervigilant as I am yet he still recovered fully, on the antibiotics. It really doesn't seem to make a difference what food he's on - just whether or not he's on antibiotics.

He's looking tired and a bit listless today so haven't done any walking him. I'll see how he is later (and DS1). When he's NOT got diarrhoea, I feel able to 'wait it out' till he's a fully formed adult and definitely commit to him for life. When he's ill - and largely because of my resultant lack of sleep and it taking me away from my DCs needs - then I think - I can't do this anymore.

I'll keep you posted on how things go. It's SO helpful to get all your support and advice smile

ditavonteesed Sat 30-Jul-11 14:32:10

have you looked into barf diet? I wouldnt like to recomend anything as I am vey far from an expert but I know a lot of people swear ny it for dogs with dodgy tums. there is loads of info on the net if you google it. I switched cherry to barf after her spay op, she was very ill, wouldnt eat and had liquid poo, it was only for a couple fo days though and obviously a reaction to the op, bnes are supposed to be very good for firming up.

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