Help me nail down the root to my dog's diarrhea!
March 17, 2010 10:10 AM   Subscribe

How can I get rid of my puppy's diarrhea?

Flash back three weeks ago. My puppy had bad diarrhea and I couldn't harden up her stool to save my life. It was almost uncontrollable for her, so luckily I was home when it was at its worst. Towards the end of the week I noticed a little blood in her stool so I took her to the vet.

The parasite test came back negative so he assumed she ate something funny or had an intestinal infection and put her on Amforol and Flagyl for a week. The blood went away but she still had a runny stool. I was concerned about this so I called again and he has put her on another round of Amforol for the week. She is 2.5 days in and the stool is no better. She also really hasn't had much food during this time, she just doesn't want to eat. She is an 8.5 month old 70lb. American Bulldog, so she usually eats quite a bit.

For a little background, I haven't changed her food or done anything different. I probably gave her a couple rawhide bones during this time but that's it. She has a really sensitive stomach so I already have to buy a specialized food for her (California Natural). Anything else and she has bad gas and soft stools as well.

I am concerned now because a friend will be watching her for a week so I'd like to nail this down! Any help or suggestions are appreciated.
posted by jwfree to Pets & Animals (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Have you tried Bene Bac? It's beneficial bacteria and it's what finally got rid of my kitten's diarrhea after weeks and weeks of vet visits and special food.

I've found it at both Petsmart and Petco stores. Two doses fixed up my kitty.
posted by MexicanYenta at 10:16 AM on March 17, 2010

Mixing cooked white rice with her food might help. You can just pick up a pint or so from the local Chinese restaurant (I find this method easier than cooking rice myself!).
posted by Oriole Adams at 10:16 AM on March 17, 2010 [3 favorites]

One of my dogs was like this as a pup. I was working at a vet clinic at the time. I temporarily changed her diet to Science Diet Z/D (allergen free). Diarrhea cleared up instantly. Also used for another of my pups, and worked like a charm. After a month or 2 on Z/D, I switched to the normal diet that I feed them (rice, beef, veggies, and yogurt).
posted by bolognius maximus at 10:22 AM on March 17, 2010

When my pup had diarrhea, my vet recommended I feed him plain chicken and rice until it cleared up. It did the trick for me. I'd probably cut back on the rawhide bones until she's feeling better too.
posted by curie at 10:22 AM on March 17, 2010

You could start with simple white rice and chicken for a few days. I've also had luck with adding a few spoonfuls of canned pumpkin in my dogs' food to help firm up loose stools. Just make sure it's 100% pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling.
posted by cecic at 10:24 AM on March 17, 2010

Yogurt for good intestinal flora, a little canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) for fiber. The combo plus dogfood smells unholy, keep your head away from the bowl.

I would actually try offering snacks of straight yogurt along with mixing a blop of it in the food.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:24 AM on March 17, 2010

Bloody stool and puppy would have me extremely concerned about parvo. Does she have a fever?

If that's been ruled out and her stomach is just hoses from the meds I'd only feed her white rice and yogurt (live and plain). If that doesn't stop her up in 24 - 36 hours I'd be back at the vets.

Dogs.can get giardia btw.
posted by fshgrl at 10:29 AM on March 17, 2010

Definitely lay off the rawhide. Some dogs can't handle it when they're otherwise perfectly healthy -- if your furbaby already has an infection, etc., then rawhide is only going to make things that much worse.

nth-ing plain chicken and rice, and probiotics (Bene Bac isn't the only one, and if you can't find them in your pet store, ask your vet).
posted by somanyamys at 10:30 AM on March 17, 2010

Had similar problems with a dog that had extensive prior damage due to

I would switch food (as that's most likely the problem) to first Science Diet i/d, which will give your pup time to heal up a bit and establish some good intestinal flora, and then either feed rice-and-chicken or switch to a "basic" diet like Wellness Simple Solutions. I wouldn't go throwing probiotics at her right off because those can conflict with what's already there.

I would not feed Science Diet i/d or z/d long-term based on past experience with them.
posted by SpecialK at 10:32 AM on March 17, 2010

Gah. Finishing thoughts, people wandering into my office, -- past problems with worms, badly scarred intestines, and the only thing I could get him to poop solid on was Wellness Simple. Both my dogs are on it now, and the one who was aggressive on a high-protein diet settled down too.
posted by SpecialK at 10:33 AM on March 17, 2010

You obviously need to fix the root cause, but I wanted to mention that dogs can be given Pepto Bismol for diarrhea.

I work part-time for a professional breeder, and at a certain age most large-breed puppies will have loose stools, just because of the volume of food that's passing through their system. Her vet advised giving them about 1t per puppy per day, when they weighted about 20lbs. For a bulldog the size of yours, I'd maybe try 1T and see if it helped.

It's peppermint flavor and the puppies always seemed to love it. She'd probably snarfle it up straight from the spoon.
posted by ErikaB at 10:38 AM on March 17, 2010

Flagyl seems to be a antibiotic, which often kills off the beneficial bacteria along with the good. I just went through this with my cat, who was on antibiotics for six weeks. We used the washing machine quite a bit during that time.

Giving him Forti-Flora and other probiotics from the vet didn't seem to help. But, after a while, about a week or so after he was done with his antibiotics, it cleared up, probably due to his gut getting back to normal. Of course, I'm talking about a cat, but also speaking from personal experience, my antibiotic side-effects don't fix itself after 2.5 days either.

Unless you don't trust your vet, it might just be an uncomfortable waiting period.
posted by jsmith77 at 10:56 AM on March 17, 2010

2nding canned pumpkin.
posted by spec80 at 11:50 AM on March 17, 2010

3rding the pumpkin. Works fantastic.
posted by finitejest at 11:55 AM on March 17, 2010

Response by poster: Looks like my PetSmart/PetCo stores around me only carry Bene Bac for birds. Anything I can add into her food, whether it be yogurt, pumpkin, or white rice I'm willing to try because at least she will eat her food then. It's at least worth trying and taking razdrez's advice of waiting through the "uncomfortable waiting period".

More suggestions welcome and I'll keep this updated with the progress.
posted by jwfree at 12:56 PM on March 17, 2010

I foster dogs and the young ones sometimes come with intestinal problems due to the pound or transport giving them rawhides. Temporarily stop giving your dog kibble. Buy some medium ground beef and fry it up in a pan. Cook some plain white rice. Mix the ground beef (don't drain the fat) with the cooked rice 50/50. Add some plain, pureed pumpkin (to increase fibre) and feed to your dog. At 70 lbs, I'd give her 5 cups a day (I was feeding 4 cups a day to a 50 lb. dog) You can add a dollop of yoghurt at each meal (bacteria helps their guts). After three days of eating this mix (or when you start to see an improvement in her poop, definitely by Day 5), start adding her kibble in slowly, over the course of a week.

Good luck!
posted by KathyK at 1:08 PM on March 17, 2010

Try Amazon for the Bene Bac. You can get this delivered in 1-2 days. In the meantime, just get some live yoghurt from Wholefoods or similar. N-thing to simplify her diet for a few days (boned chicken and rice, or lamb and rice are the least allergenic foods).
Looks like the canned pumpkin is also a good suggestion.
posted by Susurration at 1:35 PM on March 17, 2010

My dog has had a sensitive stomach since she was on a heavy course of anitbiotics last year. During the most recent episode the vet prescribed a probiotic (Proviable) and an intestinal anti-inflammatory, as well as about two weeks worth of canned bland food (half and half Science Diet K/D and Iam's Low Residue). Since then the situation has been much improved. I also asked the vet about feeding yogurt to settle her stomach and she advised against it, because of the possibility of the dog being lactose intolerant.
posted by periscope at 3:44 PM on March 17, 2010

Response by poster: I tried some bland wet dog food that was recommended along with a fiber supplement. That wasn't really working for her either.

It took a day but I remembered that I bought a wellness package long ago for her at PetSmart and called to schedule an appointment for a complete exam, which was 'free'. They found that she had whipworm, gave me some medicine, and it is already clearing up. Apparently it's an intestinal worm that definitely will cause irritation and diarrhea. She is 4-5 days out and her stool is pretty much back to normal.

Thanks everyone for the suggestions!
posted by jwfree at 10:39 PM on March 22, 2010

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