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3yo lab keeps getting diarrhoea - change diet?

(8 Posts)
ThickBlackSmoke Thu 16-Mar-17 16:41:06

Our lab has always been "loose" when it comes to his bottom. He's a typical lab - given the chance he'll eat poo (any variety) and any litter / crumbs / whatever he can find. But because he is prone to diarrhoea we've always been careful about not giving him treats/snacks. He's well trained, was easy to train because he's so greedy, but because of his loose ish bum we've always just used his kibble as rewards.

He's had a few episodes over the years where he's had sickness and bad diarrhoea and I've starved him for 24-48 hours and then he has settled. When he was young and I gave him rice his poos looked like pancakes. So I've learnt starvation works best.

Anyway. If he has a swim in the river or a drink of a muddy puddle I can pretty much predict diarrhoea. But the past few weeks he seems to be having episodes of diarrhoea but without any apparent reason.

He is shut in the kitchen at night and this morning I came down to a pool of shit again and decided something needs to change. So I've been to the farm store where I buy his kibble and bought the same brand that he's had all his life but today I've bought the sensitive variety. The shopkeeper told me to introduce it gradually. Fingers crossed then!

But I just wondered if there were any words of advice out there?

dementedpixie Thu 16-Mar-17 17:34:28

What food does he have? Does it have a high meat content and no grains as dogs can be sensitive to them?

CatsDogsandDC Thu 16-Mar-17 20:03:24

Definitely try a grain free dry food. I have a dog who always gets diarrhoea if he has grains. Good brands to try are James Wellbeloved, Arden Grange, Wagg sensitive and Pooch and Mutt. I currently feed a combination of Wagg (cheap) and Pooch and Mutt (good quality, salmon and potato based).

I find wet food (unless baked by me from high quality ingredients and I'm only prepared to do that as on occasional treat) tends to give 2 out of 3 of my dogs the trots.

You could also try adding probiotics to his feed because he probably has a gut imbalance.

Absolutely no titbits and try to avoid him picking up random stuff and drinking dirty water. Not easy with a lab and might be worth only letting him off the lead in a muzzle - he will soon get used to it.

In terms of treatment for an episode, I also find starving for 12 hours with only water is a good solution. The current wisdom is to feed boiled chicken and rice but my dog can only digest this after his gut has had a break. I'd also suggest you lay in a kaolin based stomach treatment like this. They are relatively cheap and are what a vet would give your dog. Basically they are a bland stomach liner and help to settle everything down. You give one segment of the syringe each time so they last pretty well.

ThickBlackSmoke Thu 16-Mar-17 21:15:34

Thanks for that.

I'll integrate the new Sensitive Feed 'gradually' as instructed.

I just don't know why the diarrhoea is becoming more regular. I suppose they can develop intolerances as they get older?

He's so happy and not unwell, there's just so much of it to clear up shock

dementedpixie Thu 16-Mar-17 21:59:05

What's in the new food?

SparklingRaspberry Fri 17-Mar-17 21:12:21

Always feed a raw diet. You can't get anything better!

Thewolfsjustapuppy Sat 18-Mar-17 07:56:55

My first step would be to improve the diet to no grain (preferably raw). Would you be open to trying a herbal remedy? I use slippery elm powder that I just get from our local health food shop, it really helps our pup when she has a bad tummy which, thankfully, is rare.
slippery elm

LostInTheTriangle Sat 18-Mar-17 08:13:59

Evolution dog food from Pets at Home has changed our life!
I have a 5 year old Black Lab with similar issues and prior to having a child, I fed her raw, but the hassle and ick of it put me off. After much trial and error, we discovered Evolution, it's high protein and grain free, there's always a coupon to be had so it works out about £30 for a massive bag and gives her firm poo. A first with dry food.
She's a rescue who had been fed "slops" before I got her at 9 months. Pets at Home do a money back guarantee, so you can buy a small bag first and if it doesn't suit (but it will!) you can get refunded.
Mine couldn't tolerate James Wellbeloved or Millies Wolfheart, often recommended here. Both more expensive.
For treats I slice up Asda pork cocktail sausages. Freeze them sliced in bags so good to go each day.

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