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Hello everyone! I am hoping to gain some insight from fellow dog owners who may have experienced what we are going through right now. I love my vet but she is offering to de extensive testing and prescription dog food, one of which has already not worked. The more I read about this issue, the more it appears that these extensive tests often turn up fine and your back at square one. I will give some background and I apologize for the lengthiness..

To begin with, he eats 3x/day and we have always gone by the recommended amounts on the bag.
We brought Harbor home at 8 weeks and love the breeder. She insisted we keep him on Royal Canin Large Breed Puppy for initial period and also Nuvet Wafers, which we did and had no problems for the first few weeks we had him home. After having no issues with stool, one of his tests came back positive for Giardia around 10-11 weeks, which was treated with antibiotics(metronidazole + a powder for his food). Again, we never noticed runny stools before this so we didn't see much difference but obviously wanted to treat the Giardia. Around 12 weeks, we noticed his stool was getting runnier but it was not uncontrollable and there were no changes in his personality or appetite. We continued with regular vet visits and at 14 weeks, I mentioned his stool was very back and forth - some soft but also some runny/mucus-like. Again no change in appetite or personality. He went back on just the metronidazole and his stools were normal, but the second he finished the metro, it returned to runny diarrhea. At 16 weeks, the vet concluded it is likely a sensitive GI tract as she sees it a lot in doodles. She sent us home with another round of Metro + powder for food and also Gastrointestinal food by Royal Canin. At this point I started reading further into foods and learned that Royal Canin does not have the best ingredients but obviously is favored by vets. I explained to the vet that I wanted to go through the meds and if that does not fix it, then we would start switching food. Of course, he was fine while cycling the metro + powder, but then his stool went right back to literally water. I grew concerned about the current Royal Canin food he was on and opted to switch cold turkey to the GI specialty food (also Royal Canin) we got from the vet. I figured for him to be s******* water, I did not want to keep him on the current food - bad idea. He had the GI food in the morning and that afternoon he was vomiting and of course, uncontrollable diarrhea. After this, I mixed his old food with the GI food and added some pumpkin but I ordered Fromm Large Breed Puppy as this is what our other dogs have been on and LOVE. For two days he had a mix of his old food, specialty GI food and pumpkin but his WATER diarrhea continued. The vomiting was a brief hour spell and that was it. On Monday night (three nights ago), we came home after he had been in his crate for only three hours (he goes for much longer), and he had diarrhea all over his crate. He has never gone in his crate and hasn't even gone in the house since around 10 weeks. I was at my breaking point and I boiled chicken breasts + plain white rice. Tuesday he ate that with a little pumpkin and he didn't poop until that evening and it was some solid and also mucus-like. Yesterday I mixed the chicken, rice, pumpkin and a 1/4 cup of Fromm Large Breed Puppy (I was worried he as not getting nutrients from just chicken and rice). He again went all day and had combo stool last night. This morning before eating, he had mud-like stool and it was a fair amount.
So I have now spent the morning trying to figure out the best next steps for our little guy. Again he is full of energy, growing, full appetite, coat looks great, no evident itching or licking... just does not make sense. We have a ten year old Swiss Mountain Dog and six year old French Bulldog that are up to date with everything and not having any issues but they do share a water bowl (we try to separate but they take off running and end up in each others' bowls). The vet is all about trying to fix with food on our own but says her next steps would be full diarrhea and GI screening. She said she also has one more prescription food she would like to try and/or putting him on a full month of metro antibiotics. I would have done the extensive screening from the start if he were actually acting sick but outside of the two uncontrollable diarrhea episodes, we are just dealing with runny stools outside. He sprints around the house barking and scarfs down food with no issues. I am also apprehensive to start the meds again as yes, they help, but I feel they're just temporarily masking what is really going on. I want to figure out the issue, not just stop the diarrhea.
Any insight and/or advice would be greatly appreciated. Based on everything else I am reading, I am wanting to try to push through this as we transition to Fromm + pumpkin and hope that in addition to maturity takes its course.
Thank you all very much!
 

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