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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm hoping on getting some insight on a problem I'm having with my 9 month old puppy. Let me preface by saying I have been to the vet fairly recently addressing this problem. But, additional experience and input may be helpful or give me more ideas to discuss with the vet. All animals in my house are up to date on worm medicine and vaccines. It's a long read, sorry!

We got an adorable brown German Sheprador named Tikka back in October. We took her home at close to 7 weeks old. The week we took her home, she had diarrhea right off the bat. I was feeding her Purina Puppy Chow as that's what the people we got her from claimed to have been feeding her. It was watery, mucusy and frequent. The first week we had her it seemed to be new home stress related. We did all her normal checkups , shots, de-wormer, etc. The vet put her on a round on miconazole to firm up her poo. We put her on Taste of The Wild Puppy soon thereafter in case it was the Puppy Chow.

I have a very regular schedule where I go to work around 7:30, come home for lunch from 12:15-12:45, and come home after 5. M-F. Weekends are different but we don't leave anyone at home more then 4-5 hours. Knowing she was so small, I was able to get a family member to let her out potty at 10:30 and 3:00, or thereabouts. She was still having diarrhea accidents in her kennel during these time frames about 3-4 times a week. I do realize that at that age, they can't always hold their bowels or bladder for more then an hour or two. I was hoping that as she aged she would grow out of it. I know she didn't want to poo in her kennel as she would whine at night so I could let her out. Instead of me just waking up to find a surprise.

As time went on, the frequency of accidents reduced to about once a week and would sometimes skip a week. At around 4 months she had a particularly bad bout while some family was visiting. When my family had come to my house they found she had messed earlier in the morning. Nothing was out of routine up to that point. At their urging, we swapped her to Beneful Puppy thinking maybe her TOTW was too "rich" and was bothering her. It made it worse. Her frequency of accidents shot back up to 3-4 times a week, or more. After a month, we went back to TOTW.
She also has a bad habit of eating poo in the yard. With it being winter at the time it was a little harder to clean it up as much as we like. We bought corophagia tablets and fed them to both dogs. She went for about 4 weeks without an accident, and then it increased to once a week to every other week again. We swapped her to Blue Buffalo limited ingredient sensitive puppy while continuing to feed them the corphagia supplements. I also began using a training collar to deter her from eating poo. This was a last resort since she was STILL eating it regularly even with the supplements. Calling her off wasn't working. and by the time I got the cat moved away from the door and the door open to yell at her, she was on to something else. I needed immediate feedback the second she touched a poo.

We got her spayed about 4 weeks ago, and I brought everything up to the vet again. He told me to keep doing what I was doing. Then she had a poo accident at the vets office after her spay! She got sent home with antibiotics and a digestive enzyme powder. At the time, the vet and my husband was thinking it was stress related again. After her round of antibiotics and healing up, she had another accident two weeks ago, and again today. The last two times there was nothing out of routine that happened that could have stressed her out. No thunder storms, no UPS man knocking on the door, kids are still in school so she can't be hearing them outside. And she is now broken of eating poo. No poo breath or poo burps when she comes inside, lol.

I just don't get it. I keep going back and forth between thinking it's food sensitivities or maybe cyclic giardia. But since she took antibiotics shortly after a bout of the poos that should have taken care of it?? Is it stress?? Even though she's had the same routine in the 7 months we've had her? I don't think it's a "holding it" issue either. At 9 months old she should theoretically be holding it for 6-8 hours at a time. She's never left for more then 4-5.

TLDR: My Puppy has had intermittent recurring diarrhea spells for her whole life. 3 food swaps, de-wormer, and antibiotics later I'm at square one. Ideas? Food recommendations? It's hard to find limited ingredient puppy or sensitive tummy puppy, so would it be a good idea to swap her to adult food 3 months early?

ETA: I forgot to mention now her diarrhea is just very soft poo with no shape. No watery, No mucus. No blood. Her energy levels have always been normal too. She's always been kind of lazy, but is always willing to run and play too.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
So The frequency is seems to have increased as Tikka has had another episode today. Came home for lunch to find a messy surprise inside her kennel. Last nights poo was perfectly normal. She also had an upset tummy Sat and puked once... No change in routine or foods. She's going to the vet tomorrow though! Has anyone on here experienced this sort of thing? I'm at a total loss as to what's happening to my dog. I feel bad for her! And, I'm getting sick of cleaning up poo TBH.
 

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Are there any stagnant pools of water or puddles that the pup might be getting into? Those can be a breeding ground for nasty bacteria. If it was food related I would be expecting it to happen on a more regular basis rather than the randomness that it is now...There are some bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, so it may be a recurring infection, too, that the antibiotics didn't clean up.

Has your vet don't any blood tests or fecal tests? How did those turn out?

I would also be getting a second opinion from a different vet. I feel like multiple food swaps, having in accident right there in the office, and being unable to make it stop are worth a little more time than "keep doing what you're doing", because obviously that isn't working, either!
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I replied and it disappeared. I'm not sure what happened. So if it shows up again sorry for double posting!


The only stagnant water she had access to was rain & snow water, and dead leaves that would collect in a kiddie pool in our back yard. We got rid of that months ago. The only other things she can eat in our yard is grass, crabapples that fall from the neighbor's tree, various weeds none of which I know of to be toxic, and dog poo. I broke her for grazing on old poo, but I did just recently catch her having a sample straight from the source while my other dog was going. *Shudders*. She shares a water dish with the other dog and the cat. She does not have access to the cat's litter box. No other animals in my house are presenting with any gastrointestinal distress. She also has no access to household chemicals, or toxic house plants or anything like that.

When the vet told me to keep doing what I was doing, she was accident free for almost 4 weeks following her last food change. It was while she was in their care overnight she had an accident. Probably why they concluded it was stress beings she was in a new environment with strange people and just had major surgery (spay). She was sent home with antibiotics and a probiotic enzyme powder. We have not had any blood or stool testing up to this point. I am guessing they thought antibiotics would have taken care of it. I am bringing her in along with a stool sample today however.
 

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Crabapples are a possible catalyst. If she eats a couple of those, that could certainly cause diarrhea, especially if they've been on the ground for a while.

And really, the vet didn't suggest a stool sample when the dog presented with frequent diarrhea? I find that a little....odd. I know the diarrhea was happening once a week so she may have thought it was just something your pup got into, but still...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The other dog eats them(crab apples) like they are going out of style... and has suffered no ill effects. But, maybe she's just sensitive. When we brought her in for the spay and talked about it, her poo was fine for like 4 weeks. Both me and the vet were thinking it was taken care of until the poo at the office. I suppose they could have taken a sample right then? But with the stress of being in a new place overnight and having major surgery, they must have thought it was stress related, I suppose. They are doing a sample today though, and have sent her home with de-wormer and antibiotics. I also got extra antibiotics just in case it comes back as soon as she's finished to cover any kind of cyclic parasite sort of thing. And the other dog is getting a round of de-wormer in case he's got them and she is infecting herself through eating his poo. If this doesn't fix it then it's food sensitivity or something more serious like some kind of pancreatic immune disorder. The vet doesn't seem to think it's the latter though because she's so young. He's guessing it's most likely related to indiscriminate eating (poo?) or maybe a possible food sensitivity. In the event it turns out to be food related does anyone have any suggestions? We are thinking of trying science diet sensitive stomachs next. Also, when she came in for her shots and discussed with the vet in the past, I never was prepared with a fresh(or otherwise) sample, AND her poo was always firmed up by then. Another possible reason they never suggested it? Not sure... I'm hoping to find something conclusive out today.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Update: Fecal test came back negative... We'll see if the antibiotics and de-wormer take care of anything that could be in there that didn't show up on the test... In the mean time if anyone has dogs with sensitive stomachs & has any food suggestions that would be greatly appreciated. If the antibiotics don't work we'll start working through different dog foods again in hopes of something she can handle long term!
 

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Not uncommon with the wolf hybrid pups I rescue (Not a professional rescue, I spend my own money to get them out of unsuitable homes or second class pet shops.) I have yet to get one that doesn't clear up in a week with a proper, grain free diet and being fed pumpkin, yogurt and a bit of honey twice a day for a week. I've also never found one that didn't love the mixture.

1 TBS pumpkin, 1 tsp plain yogurt, 1/4 tsp honey per 10 lbs of dog. feed twice per day, 15 minutes before regular meal. Expect "cow patty" stools the first day to day and a half then, firming up after that.
 

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Thanks for your reply. These bouts of the runs only seem to last 24 hours. By the time I get to do anything she's already firmed back up and will hit me randomly a few days to a few weeks later. I can't even predict when it might happen to give her a preventive pumpkin and yogurt treatment. If these antibiotics don't fix her up permanently, maybe increased fiber & probiotics may be a good thing. Are there any consequences to feeding them things like pumpkin long term? She was on grain free before. It made no difference.
 

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I sympathize! Our Rosie has the most sensitive stomach of any dog I've ever known. I did try her on Science Diet Sensitive Stomach but was never really comfortable because I know it doesn't have the best ratings. But after transitioning her it was the only thing she could tolerate. I finally have her on a different food after trying several "good" foods gradually like you're supposed to but every time she'd get diarrhea. Augh, it's so frustrating! A pet food store owner suggested Nature's Balance grain free chicken. Finally she tolerates something else!
Honestly though, the thing that really did the trick was a supplement our dog groomer recommended The Honest Kitchen Perfect Form. This stuff is amazing. Rosie rarely has diarrhea anymore. Thank goodness. And yes I had tried several different things such as pumpkin (which worked for a long time but then stopped working rather spectacularly, eww), probiotic powders, yogurt, really anything I could think of or that anyone suggested. Perfect Form did it for us. I even give it to our 6 month old puppy Gracie because according to the company it's "for all ages".
Good luck! I hope you find the answer for you guys. Even though I was doing all I could think of I felt like such a bad dog mom..
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hey thanks! I'll look into the Proper Form stuff as my next plan of attack. I'm hoping the antibiotics and de-wormer heal her up for good, but I have a feeling we'll be back to food sensitivities and/ or indiscriminate eating. I took a walk through the back yard last night to see if there was anything that I could be missing. All normal back yard type stuff. The crab-apples I referred to earlier are long gone until fall. No old ones anymore either. I did a google search of toxic weeds and found it was either flowers you grow on purpose or things that don't grow in Wyoming, or things that live near a body of water. Nothing that was growing in my back yard. :confused:
 

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Thanks for your reply. These bouts of the runs only seem to last 24 hours. By the time I get to do anything she's already firmed back up and will hit me randomly a few days to a few weeks later. I can't even predict when it might happen to give her a preventive pumpkin and yogurt treatment. If these antibiotics don't fix her up permanently, maybe increased fiber & probiotics may be a good thing. Are there any consequences to feeding them things like pumpkin long term? She was on grain free before. It made no difference.
No problem, I feed it as a treat to my adults as well, they like it and, the nutrition, fiber and probiotics don't hurt them, well except more or less pumpkin colored stools for the first one after eating it. :) With antibiotics, I'd be feeding at least the yogurt, that stuff kill good and bad bacteria both, putting the good back a bit may help.

Ask your vet but, yogurt and pumpkin should be fine in small doses, not as a main meal of course.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
@Co-Jack Yes, They did a fecal test and it came back negative for any organisms. We are actually on her 2nd round of antibiotics, and she is still having soft stool while she is on them. The vet gave her 3 rounds in case if it's a cyclic giardia thing, since the diarrhea comes in waves every few weeks. I am beginning to think it's a food problem. I actually looked at all the ingredients in all the foods she's been on to see if there was something common with all 3 she's been on so far. . She's been on Taste of the Wild Puppy, Beneful Puppy (made it way worse) and Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Puppy... All I can find in common is that the Protein, Fat, and Fiber Content are similar in all 3. Ingredients are all pretty different other then common vitamins and minerals that are added. So it's on to her 4th food swap. I'm a little afraid she's going to have to become an outside pup when we're not at home just so she can have a place to go poo when she cant hold it.
 

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Shot in the dark, because I've dealt with on and off diarrhea with my pup for a year, did over 1k worth of testing and treatment, probiotics, antibiotics, enzymes, etc.... Could your pup possibly be eating mushrooms outside? (I'm pretty certain at this point this is what plagued him).

Also, because you specifically have a GSD... Did your vet rule out any potential problems with her pancreas? Pancreatic insufficiency is unfortunately very common in the breed.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
While we get mushrooms in the summer my other dog was eating them last year with no Ill effect. We got Tikka in October and I just saw the first mushroom in the park this year. So that's most likely not it. Good suggestions though! The vet did mention pancreatic problems. He did say its uncommon in young dogs. So I hope that's not it! She has normal appetite and energy levels for a dog her age too.
 

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I just looked into pancreatic insufficiency symptoms and a few seemingly key things dont add up. Namely weight loss and pale stool. She has gained weight normally as she gets older. She's about 60lbs, and is not losing. Also her poo is always normal poo color.
 

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That's good. Oh well, just threw out my thoughts. My vet and my breeder (also a vet) chalked it down to sensitive GI and both said it would get better with maturity, and it did. Between the 1-1.5 year mark (where we are now, basically), there has been a lot more consistency. He's not on anything (not even probiotics) right now. And I give him all sorts of treats and chews. I still watch him, but so far so good... of course, I probably jinxed it by posting this :D
 

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I just looked into pancreatic insufficiency symptoms and a few seemingly key things dont add up. Namely weight loss and pale stool. She has gained weight normally as she gets older. She's about 60lbs, and is not losing. Also her poo is always normal poo color.

*thought I posted the above, and I just saved it as a draft. Still learning this forum, lol. Oops*

Anyways that gives me hope. I wonder If the switch off of puppy food will help anyways. Usually lower protien and fat.
 
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