Help! Puppy with chronic stomach issues
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Thread: Help! Puppy with chronic stomach issues

  1. #1
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    Help! Puppy with chronic stomach issues

    Hi. I'm experienced dog owner who's never experienced this. I have a lab puppy-16 weeks old who's had chronic diarrhea since he's come home at 8 weeks. I first went the traditional route of rice and then pumpkin. It helped a little bit but he quickly started turning his nose up. Also, clearly rice doesn't have the nutrients puppies need. He's been tested for all the parasites and went through a round of panacur as a precaution. The vet has had him on metronidazole virtually his entire life.I have confidence in my vet but that makes me very nervous. I give him a probiotic (Flora Flora) in his food daily. Problem is, even on his poop is is formed but very soft. Off the meds, his poop totally loose. I've been researching and have seen some articles on EPI, but he doesn't seem to fit the bill because his weight gain is terrific and his coat looks great. Oh-and I read that bone broth is great for stomach issues, so I've even made that!

    I've switched him from Fromms Puppy Gold to Canidae All Life Stages Lamb because it's a blander food with fewer ingredients. That hasn't helped and there I worry that again-he's not getting the puppy nutrition he needs (although the Life Stages is supposed to be complete for puppies).

    Any thoughts? I don't know where to go next. Sorry for the long post.

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    Senior Member sydneynicole's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Puppy with chronic stomach issues

    How much are you feeding him? My first thought is always that the dog could be being overfed. My next thought would be to try a food with relatively low protein/fat levels. I'm not familiar with the exact foods you listed so I'm not sure what the fat/protein levels are. While typically you want high protein and relatively high fat for puppies, if it's upsetting his stomach, you may want to find a puppy or all life stages food with lower levels. All life stages foods will give him the nutrients he needs to grow, so no need to worry about that, especially since Labs are medium-large breed dogs, not giant breeds.
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    Re: Help! Puppy with chronic stomach issues

    He's getting fed the amount recommended on the bag-which is approximately 4 cups daily broken into three meals. The belly issues started from the minute he got home. This pup has never had a normal, hard poop. They're rarely even formed. He's currently on an all life stage food which has 23 % protein-so not that high.

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    Re: Help! Puppy with chronic stomach issues

    I would buy a raw mix for puppies and switch to Raw (https://primalpooch.com/en-us/raw-dog-food-suppliers/) for two weeks and see if that changes things. Raw fed dogs typically have very firm stools. It isn't cheap but could get things going right for you.

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    Re: Help! Puppy with chronic stomach issues

    Both foods list chicken in their ingredients. It is rare but some dogs do not tolerate chicken. You could try feeding him an animal protein he has not had before and see if it makes a difference.

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    Senior Member Jen2010's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Puppy with chronic stomach issues

    We had the exact same issue with our first puppy. We eventually went with the vet's recommendation of putting her on a prescription food that was very low fat. It worked! Of course I didn't want to keep paying for prescription food so after about 5-6 months of her stomach being good, I started trying some other foods to see if anything worked. We founds a venison (low fat) kibble that worked for her without making her stools runny again. We very gradually switched her over fully to that food. Then a year or so later we ended up putting her on raw food and she's been good with any food we've tried ever since.
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    Re: Help! Puppy with chronic stomach issues

    The recommended amounts on the bag are just that, recommendations. Your pup might need less food.

    Since he's had loose stools since he got home, do you know if he had problems at the breeder's? If he didn't, and they were feeding something other than the foods you mentioned, then I would go back to whatever they were giving him (even if it's a food you'd never otherwise feed) to see if that makes a difference.
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    Re: Help! Puppy with chronic stomach issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Jen2010 View Post
    We had the exact same issue with our first puppy. We eventually went with the vet's recommendation of putting her on a prescription food that was very low fat. It worked! Of course I didn't want to keep paying for prescription food so after about 5-6 months of her stomach being good, I started trying some other foods to see if anything worked. We founds a venison (low fat) kibble that worked for her without making her stools runny again. We very gradually switched her over fully to that food. Then a year or so later we ended up putting her on raw food and she's been good with any food we've tried ever since.
    Please be cautious. Recent recall of Hills Science diet, makers of Prescription dog food. Please read this:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/scien...=.b46e35dedd29

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    Re: Help! Puppy with chronic stomach issues

    Thanks so much. I actually did have him on the Hills prescription diet but it really didn't make a difference. (not the recalled canned-the dry). Which kibble did you try that worked? I'm thinking of transitioning him to Wellness. I have four dogs and going on a raw food diet would be tough to manage.

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    Re: Help! Puppy with chronic stomach issues

    Honestly? I don't think the breeder has been straight forward with me which is really really disappointing because this is the second dog we've gotten from her. The food she had him on isn't one that's available to me here anyway.

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    Senior Member Jen2010's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Puppy with chronic stomach issues

    Thanks so much. I actually did have him on the Hills prescription diet but it really didn't make a difference. (not the recalled canned-the dry). Which kibble did you try that worked? I'm thinking of transitioning him to Wellness. I have four dogs and going on a raw food diet would be tough to manage.
    The kibble that eventually worked for us was Nutro Venison. https://www.nutro.com/natural-dog-fo...al-recipe.aspx It may not be the best food out there, but I was just happy that it worked.

    A lot of the time, the amount recommended on the bag is more than the dog needs. You could try giving slightly less and see how that goes too.
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    Senior Member sydneynicole's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Puppy with chronic stomach issues

    4 cups a day sounds like a lot to me. Definitely enough that I wouldn't see harm in cutting it by a half cup over the course of the day and see if it makes a difference. It would explain why despite trying different foods it doesn't make a difference. I've never had a dog who eats the amount recommended on the bag, including my active intact male. Worth playing around with. Labs overeat really easily as it is.
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    Re: Help! Puppy with chronic stomach issues

    I had a similar issue when my pup was ~16 weeks - 1 year old. He had great energy, coat, weight gain, musculature, etc. But he would go a week or more with good stool then have diarrhea. Hundreds of dollars spent on antibiotics, endosorb, dewormers, priobiotics, enzymes, fecal testing, etc. yielded nothing.

    I am in no way claiming that I know what's up with your pup or implying that our situations are the same. But for my pup, the two things that helped were Tylan (tylosin) and maturity. Till this day I have no idea why he was sensitive and why Tylan worked when endosorb, metro. and (another common antibiotic) didn't. But Tylan powder was like a miracle fix; firm poop the day after. So I would do a course of Tylan then taper off. When the diarrhea came back I'd do another course of Tylan and taper off. At some point he just didn't need it anymore.

    My dog, now 2 yrs old, has an 'average' gut I'd say. He only gets bad diarrhea with known triggers (ex. raw marrow bone (yet raw meat is okay)). But he can generally 'eat anything' and be fine. I don't hesitate when giving him all sorts of human and dog goodies. I've had him on high protein/high fat food all his life (Orijen, then Victor Ultra, then Victor Nutra). His food did not seem to be the issue for him. He is currently 75 lbs and gets 5 cups (total ~2300 kcals) a day. This is pretty much what he's gotten throughout his bowel issue days too.

    I think it also helps to talk to your breeder. Since I have a shepherd, my big concern was it being a pancreatic problem. But none of his littermates had this issue and my breeder was very knowledgeable about her lines and incidences of diseases. She was pretty certain it was not pancreatic, and it wasn't. My breeder is also a veterinarian, so I think that helped too. But I heard stories from clients with dogs from other litters who said they had similar experiences - puppies with diarrhea who cleared up with maturity.

    Regardless, best of luck with your pup!
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    Senior Member hanksimon's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Puppy with chronic stomach issues

    1. I know you said you were experienced, but I have to ask anyway:
    A. What was the food that the Breeder was feeding him?
    B. Before you switched foods, did the Breeder know of any diarrhea?
    C. How many days and "how" did you gradually switch from Food "A" to Food "B". [Fromms ==> Canidae] ? Or rice& chicken & pumpkin to Canidae?
    D. Including the Breeder and treats, how many different foods has the puppy been fed, and what is he currently fed in one day?

    2. Pls list those answers, but what I'm trying to get at, is a puppy (and dogs in general) are sensitive to any change in diet, including a change of treats.
    Normally the suggestion is to try to wait at least two weeks before making any dietary changes, and to gradually change foods over the course of one or two additional weeks, very slowly reducing the currently food and adding a little of the target food.

    Sorry, if you have already tried that approach?

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    Poor puppers! Thats a long time to have diarrhea. Be very careful he’s getting lots of water to make up for all he’s losing.
    As another poster brought up, did you do the proper transition going between Fromm and Canidae? It typically takes a minimum of 7-10 days to properly switch and avoid loose stool.
    How long has he been on Canidae?
    What does he weigh? I agree 4 cups is a lot and would cut down (the chart on the bag is usually too high!) but I don’t feel this would cause diarrhea.
    My dog also had loose stool as a younger puppy and I switched her to grain free food and no more problems. She’s 4 1/2 now and super healthy.
    If it keeps up, I would try another Vet for a second opinion. Do you have any Vets in your area that are nutrition experts? Most Vets don’t study food and will just recommend something like Science Diet and/ or jump to put you on medicines and prescription food instead of something natural. Have you ever looked at the ingredients in Hills, Royal Canin or Purina prescription diets? &#x1f61e; Plus there is a recall on Hills, which you know about.
    Good luck to you both. I hope you figure it out soon.

  18. #16
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    Re: Help! Puppy with chronic stomach issues

    We had a similar experience, and found that supplementing kibble with cooked food made a very big difference. We had tried several premium kibble brands, and some were a bit better than others, but none really firmed up her stool. She was also not really putting on as much weight as I wanted her to.

    Now I give her kibble in the morning, and a homemade meal in the evening. I like giving a good quality kibble because it provides micro-nutrients that I don't want to think too hard about, and also because if I have to dump the pooch off at a friend's house or something for a day I don't need to worry about having to cook in advance.

    Again, this made a tremendous difference to our dog's overall health. One of my favourite recipes is below. As you can see, there's not much to it.

    Dave


    ---

    hamburger dog food recipe - makes 2-3 meals

    ingredients:

    1 large carrot
    1 potato or sweet potato
    1 lb (2 cups) lean hamburger
    1 egg

    dice and cook carrots and potatoes. Let cool or rinse with cold water. Extrude - basically mash it, but it does not need to be a paste.
    mix everything together and form into 2 or 4 patties - should be about 1/2 meat and 1/2 vegetables - you can also add a 1/4 cup of brown rice if you want to keep the protein down.
    cook in oven in a lightly greased foil container or casserole dish at 425 for 20-25 minutes or until a heat probe measures at least 160 - no need to flip. Cook a little longer if you want the patties to firm up.

    let cool and serve!

    If making a large quantity, freeze individual portions

    Note: you will want to supplement this with calcium and vitamin D. According to my research, I needed to add about 800mg calcium and 100 iu D3 (you can do the research for your dog - it depends on how much they are eating and note that dogs need less D3 than humans). I fortify with 1/2 tsp calcium powder (600 mg calcium) and 1/2 tbsp of Vitamin D/calcium liquid ( which in this case contains 100 iu vitamin D3 and 250 mg calcium).

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    Re: Help! Puppy with chronic stomach issues

    So sorry for the delay in getting back and I so appreciate all your responses. (my husband had hip replacement surgery so I've been kind of all consumed). In the meantime, the fasting bloodwork came back and Brody is Vitamin B12 deficient. Negative for EPI. So I'm giving him human grade B12 vitamins (Vet recommended it)-dosage 1000 mcg. It's been three weeks now and for about a week, things seemed better but they've taken a down turn over the last few days. I'm now thinking that he may have a chicken allergy and I'm thinking about transitioning him to a different protein.

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