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Long term case of Diarrhea

1888 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  LeoRose
Some Background: I adopted a six year old(ish) Coonhound (Holly) around 3 mo ago. Everything settled in// adjusted well. She had an emergency pyometra (knock on wood everything went well) in November and recovered well from it. The medicine for her recovery stopped 1 week post-op. Literally the day we removed her cone( 2 weeks post-op), she began to have diarrhea. It has been a month of varying forms of diarrhea//loose stool//mucus. I have visited an established vet, but there has been no luck. Vet checked her palpated her stomach and took blood, but found nothing. Behavior (eating, walking, sleeping, etc.) has remained the same since I have adopted her.

Food: I originally fed her Blue Buffalo Life Protection for about a month and a half. Started to transition her to Kirkland dog food, which went well for about two weeks. Holly then began to have diarrhea. I also provide wet food every now and then as I am trying to put more weight on her. I have tried a fast, chicken//rice diet//removing the kibble// removing the wet food// hills ID digestive wet food// Purina probiotics. Nothing seems to consistently change the stool at all.

After about two weeks(trying different methods listed above), the vet prescribed Metronidazole. This stopped Holly鈥檚 diarrhea for about a week. I am now giving Holly fiber and probiotics. This firms up her stool a-little, but quickly turns back to diarrhea//loose stool. Mucus is still present.

My last thought is possibly the food that she is eating, but there seemed to be some time when she was doing fine from her kibble. I realize stress//change can cause diarrhea, but cannot see the different signs. Maybe post-surgery stress? Holly gets adequate exercise and, before diarrhea, had a good daily routine. I was wondering if anyone has had experience with this. Any information is extremely appreciated. Thank you.

Rough Timeline:
Oct - Nov: Blue Life Protection for 1 month (Chicken)
Nov 3.5-weeks(ish): Kirkland (With Grain, Chicken)
Dec 10 First case of diarrhea:
Dec 10 - 16: Tried fast//chicken rice
Dec 16: Started ID for One Week no change (provided from vet to try)
Probiotics from Dec 16 till now
Dec 23: Started antibiotics//Back to kirkland
Worked for 5 days(Antibiotics) + 2 (off) until DEC 30.
On Dec 30, Holly got scared by an off-leash dog that chased after her(she was on -leash). Knock on wood, everything was fine, but Holly was shaken up. The next stool was diarrhea.
Dec 30: Started Fiber//Probiotics still in use//Kirkland still in use
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You didn't mention if your vet tested for parasites...if not, that's the place to start. Some worms you can see in the stool, but most you can't. Giardia and coccidia are also very common causes of diarrhea and she could have picked them up almost anywhere. If her fecal test is clear...here are some suggestions.

After LOTS of trial and error with our Cavalier who had diarrhea for months (lots of vet work, tested negative for pancreatitis, EPI, parasites etc.)...here's what worked for us (don't try it all at once...make gradual changes):

-Raw diet: This is just what works for him, I know this is not feasible for many people, and that's okay. But, I would try a dry food that is chicken free at least...Fromm and Nutrisource are good ones, with many flavor options. My opinion would be to steer clear of Blue Buffalo and Hill's due to many recalls. Also cut out the wet food for now, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to add warm water to her food...if she's having lots of diarrhea, she is probably at least mildly dehydrated.

-A really good, multi-strain probiotic: Fortiflora by Purina is only one strain, and while it might be helpful in mild cases, its probably not enough to restore the gut balance. We have been using this one: Gut Guard: For Dogs With Irritated, Leaky Guts with good results, but there are many formulated for dogs with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria.

-Slippery Elm: an herb that comes in powder (capsule) form, protects and heals the digestive tract. You can find this at a health-food store, or online...maybe even a grocery store's vitamin/supplement section. I really think this has been the biggest help in healing our dog...we give a half capsule for each meal on his food, but for a big dog you can give a whole one.

-Canned, plain pumpkin: about a tablespoon with each meal. This can help form the stool by adding a bit of fiber.

-If at all possible, try to avoid any more antibiotics. Metronidazole can help in the short term, but almost always the diarrhea comes back, usually worse. It upsets the balance of bacteria that keep digestion running smoothly. Our dog got pneumonia, so we had to use antibiotics, and that is what started his diarrhea too.

Once you settle on a routine, try to not change anything for at least a few weeks to let her system calm down...I know it's tempting to keep trying things to stop the runs, but that can just irritate her gut more. One more thought...check the amount you are feeding her. Some dogs can only handle a certain amount of food per meal, and even a little too much gives them the runs. If she's thin and you have upped her food to try and compensate, that could cause diarrhea. I have 50lb and 65lb dogs who eat 1 cup each per meal, and that is enough to keep them at a healthy weight. Some dogs need more, but most moderately active house pets need less than you think, especially if they're eating a good quality food. I'd not worry too much about her gaining weight yet (unless she's literally emaciated) and focus on getting her tummy on the right track. Once that is under control, you can very gradually increase her portions and the weight will come.

I know how you feel...it is frustrating to feel helpless when your dog is not well and you don't know what's wrong. But, there is hope!! Our little guy has had very consistent, firm stools for about 3-4 months now, and he's finally starting to gain weight! This is after about 6 months of mucousy, sometimes bloody, watery stools...accidents at night in the house, and many, many butt baths (he has long hair 馃槴), and no firm diagnosis from the vet. Good luck with your girl!
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It might be worth while to check for exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.
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