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Discussion Starter #1
I wasn't sure which other forum to put this in, because I am really lost as to why this is happening....warning - its a long post!

Our pup has started doing something I have never seen before - she is vomiting, once a day, at 6am. It has been three mornings now, and she wakes up EXACTLY at 6am, vomits, then goes back to sleep till we get up around 7:30/8am. We have also been having an odd issue with having a soft poop around dinner time, and sometimes at lunch...

I am utterly confused, and just can't figure it out! This is the ONLY time she vomits, she is perfectly happy the rest of the day. She is eating, drinking, walking, playing and sleeping normally. She has a normal poop in the morning, usually doesn't go at lunch, or has a slightly soft poop, but then at dinner time, it'll be one or two VERY soft poops. Not quite diarrhea, but definitely not the normal consistency.

She started having soft daytime bowel movements a few days earlier, and we thought that she was sensitive to something in her treats, so we stopped giving them, and they definitely started to firm up, so we thought it was fine, but then this vomiting and soft pooping started.

Here is what we think we have ruled out:

- Food intolerance. She has been on basically the same food since before we got her, so for a couple of months now. She was originally on science diet puppy, and we switched her to science diet large breed puppy about a month ago (the only difference in ingredients is that this one doesn't have rice, and does have a supplement for joint health). This has started only very recently, so I don't think its the food, unless she has developed an intolerance issue - is that possible? Although removing the treats improved it slightly, there is only one common ingredient between the treats and the food, and that is rosemary extract. She doesn't get any other food or treats at all right now.
- Anxiety. She shows no behaviour cues for anxiety - and we don't think she is vomiting for attention, because there is no whining or barking before it happens, and once we removed the now-vomit-splatterd blanket, she just goes back to sleep! She also has no more reason to be anxious on walks later in the day than in the morning, and it doesn't seem to make a difference if we are having a "good" walk (not much dragging, not many corrections) or a "bratty" walk (where she is getting a lot of corrections for pulling, picking stuff up, etc).
- Throwing up an object - there is nothing IN her vomit - it is just a little foam, because there is nothing in her stomach
- Blockage or bloat - she is eating and drinking normally, not vomiting otherwise, is happy and playful, and in no pain. Her stomach is not distended, hot or tight, and she is happy to have us manipulate her stomach without whimpering or whining. She is also having completely normal poops in the am, so I am 99% sure it isn't this issue.
- Parasitic issue - the issue isn't constant enough for this. She has been de-wormed, obviously, and is eating properly, isn't excessively thirsty, and is gaining a few pounds a week as she should be. She also isn't doing any itching or dragging her butt.

I am almost out of ideas!! The only things left that I can think of are that maybe she is getting indigestion, and that is leading to the soft stool - we already leave her for 30-40mins after eating before she walks, but today I started slow-feeding her, giving her a few kibbles at a time, then more, so that she isn't gulping the whole bowl at once.

I am also wondering if maybe she is vomiting because of hunger, or a fast metabolism and an empty stomach? She gets fed around 8am, 1:30pm, and then at 6pm, and we are feeding her according to the manufacturer guidelines for her weight. But I was thinking that maybe her stomach is working so fast as she is an active, growing puppy, that when we hit 6am (about 12 hours since her last feeding) she is reacting to having nothing in her stomach...We are going to try feeding her a little around 10:30 tonight, an hour before her bedtime pee, to see if that helps.

Any other ideas? Are softer day time stools normal for puppies? I have had plenty of experience dealing with acute vomiting & diarrhea, but I have never had it happen where she just throws up once a day, and is otherwise totally fine...
 

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The vomit is from hunger, try giving her a snack before bed. Depending on how old she is, she may need 4 smaller meals a day. The soft stool may be from overfeeding food and treats so try cutting back a little bit to see if it improves. This same thing happens with my puppy. Good luck :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The vomit is from hunger, try giving her a snack before bed. The soft stool may be from overfeeding food and treats so try cutting back a little bit to see if it improves. This same thing happens to my dog when he's overfed.
That's what I thought may be happening - she is definitely not being overfed, given the amount of excercise we do, we have actually been concerned about UNDERfeeding! In general, she doesn't get treats, as we don't treat-train...we keep them for times when she is being introduced to new situations that she is very unsure of (like going down the stairs...she couldn't figure it out until we put a treat at the bottom!!) and maybe give one a day for good behavior....
 

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I think you are on the right track adjusting feeding schedule. The rice in the first food could have been helping to firm up the stool.

It is possible that the soft poop and stomach issue could be early giardia or coccidia..
>(where she is getting a lot of corrections for pulling, picking stuff up, etc). <


Best , oldhounddog
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
To add to this, I took her in for a weigh today (we weigh her weekly) and this is the first week that she hasn't actually really gained a lot of weight. I think this is just because she is losing all the puppy belly fat and gaining height and length, but I definitely think that it is time to up the food!

She is just over 3 months, GSD/Pyrenees mix. She is currently getting 3.5 cups of food (guideline for a 25lb dog) and I am going to put her up to 4 cups (guideline for a 30lb dog). She is 29lbs and get a LOT of exercise throughout the day.

I have decided to switch from 1 cup morning and night and 1.5 midday, to 1 cup at each feeding, and add a feeding at 10:30ish...about an hour and a half before bedtime. I am also going to slow-feed her (a few kibbles in the bowl at a time) to try and stave off any gulping-related indigestion issues. I think that this should help regulate her metabolism a little more, which would solve both issues.

I was thinking about it, and realized that although I have always fed dogs 3x a day in the past, I was living a different lifestyle, so the feedings were more like 5am, noon, 6pm rather than 8am, 1pm, 6pm...which may explain why I hadn't encountered this issue.

It also makes more sense that this is a metabolism issue, because it has started fairly "out of the blue" - nothing external has changed, but maybe something internal has - her growing and requiring more food to compensate.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I think you are on the right track adjusting feeding schedule. The rice in the first food could have been helping to firm up the stool.

It is possible that the soft poop and stomach issue could be early giardia or coccidia..
>(where she is getting a lot of corrections for pulling, picking stuff up, etc). <


Best , oldhounddog
Like I said, I don't think it is the food because she has been on this food for just under a month, and this started last week. It also isn't consistent across all poops.

I also don't think that it is a medical issue, again, as I said, it is not consistent enough and there are no other symptoms of an intestinal medical issue.

Also - how would a correction for pulling create an intestinal infection? I can understand how it is more likely given that she is being a bit of a garbage dog - eating something that causes a problem, but how on earth is the pulling linked to her stomach?
 

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I think you are on the right track to feed more, smaller, meals and that she is likely just overly hungry in the AM

As for the soft poop- a vet check wouldn't hurt and is pretty cheap and simple to check for parasites (which is why oldhounddog highlighted "picking up stuff"-- pulling was only quoted to make a whole sentence) but if she's healthy, then it is likely the food. While not the worst of foods, I have found SD to lead to generally poor digestive health. Gas, soft poops etc. You also have to feed a lot of it compared to higher quality foods... more food (in volume) in = more out.

Oh, and just because something isn't consistent though doesn't mean its not a medical cause
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I think you are on the right track to feed more, smaller, meals and that she is likely just overly hungry in the AM

As for the soft poop- a vet check wouldn't hurt and is pretty cheap and simple to check for parasites (which is why oldhounddog highlighted "picking up stuff"-- pulling was only quoted to make a whole sentence) but if she's healthy, then it is likely the food. While not the worst of foods, I have found SD to lead to generally poor digestive health. Gas, soft poops etc. You also have to feed a lot of it compared to higher quality foods... more food (in volume) in = more out.

Oh, and just because something isn't consistent though doesn't mean its not a medical cause
I know that SD isn't ideal - we are planning to take her off it and switch to a limited ingredient organic food. However, it was what she was fed at the shelter, and I wanted to give her a chance to get used to the home, the new family, get housetrained, etc before making the switch. Bringing a young pup to a new environment and dealing with the initial bombardment of new rules and training can be a cause of digestive issues as it is - I prefer to let my animals settle in for a few months before making a switch of food. But yes, we are planning to change the diet once she is totally settled. It would be around about now, as she is now housetrained and relaxed, but now I am waiting until we figure this out, as I don't want to switch food on an upset tummy unless the food is definitely the reason for the upset tummy!

And yes, I know that a medical cause has not been 100% ruled out, but I just don't think that it is a parasitic issue. Its not just the consistency that makes me think this, but that the smell is unaffected from soft to hard stool, as is the color. There is no blood or mucous in the stool, and no apparent discomfort passing or after passing. There are no issues with bloating or tenderness in the stomach, and there is no obvious evidence of worms in the poop (yes, I checked. I also check for small items that she may have eaten, to make sure that she hasn't got stuff without my knowing, and that there is nothing bloody that may have caused a tear. Nothing has shown up yet, although she did poop out a popped balloon one time. For the record, I also check because sometimes she hoovers up a popcorn kernal, seed or cherry pit from the floor, and I check the time it takes to pass, to time her movements and make sure that everything is passing in a decent amount of time. I spend way too much time with a glove on my hand and an open poo bag in the other poking around to make sure all is well with her health!)

We are due at the vet in the next couple of weeks for the last round of boosters, so if it is not completely sorted before then, we will talk about it. However, for some reason, it is standard practice in this city to charge a "visit fee" of somewhere between $60-100 every time you show up...don't get me wrong, I have no issues spending money on my dog where necessary, but I would like to rule out other options first, especially as we have had her for about 6 weeks, and have probably spent about 2K and counting! Thanks to her, money is extremely tight this month, and I would rather rule out dietary issues first, especially as she appears to be in no pain, and is still eating/sleeping/pooping etc. It's not severe, so holding off a week or two until we are next there anyway shouldn't do any harm. Obviously if it got worse, or something changed, we would go right away.
 
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