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Hey all, I just joined the forum after looking for a place to find answers. So here we go. Sorry it's long...:redface:

My dog, Captain, is a 70 lb lab mix. We got him from a family online who said they were moving and couldn't take him with. He was about 12 weeks at 14 lbs. He was eating puppy chow and had diarrhea. Assuming it was from the stress of a new home, I dealt with it for a while. We took him to Banfield Pet Hospital (in Petsmart) for his year. After doing initial testing and fecal and heart worm negative, he was put into their system. Over the next few months he didn't want to eat his food and still had pooping issues on and off (nothing was ever really solid) so I tried Iams Puppy food and it still wasn't getting better. He was going in the house when he was knew it was bad. From many fecal exams since the vet kept thinking it was worms, everything always came up negative. Someone mentioned Blue Buffalo food for its natural ingredients. Thinking it was a food allergy (Banfield wrote it off when I asked about it) I switched the food. What an improvement! He was finally eating his food and his diarrhea stopped. Around once or twice a month he would get a bout of diarrhea that would last a few days and it would clear itself up. The few times he didn't, I'd take him to the vet to see if they could offer any other solution, and they'd give him fortiflora or sucralfate and eventually it would clear up. Around october of last year, they got a new vet and I took captain in for his usual check up. I explained his issues and she told me to put him on the blue buffalo wilderness, that it was supposed to be better than the regular. So I did. A lovely dent in the bank account each month, but his pooping was perfect. When my contract with banfield ran out (thank god) I switched to a different vet in town. His check up was normal.
Back in March I visited a friend in New Hampshire (I'm in Tennessee) and she mentioned getting Captain elk antlers to chew on since he had jaws of steel and destroys everything. I brought a big one back with me, he loved it. Had it about an hour at most, and threw up. (I read online they can give dogs stomach issues having too much at once) I took it away and the fact he was getting to the marrow of the bone and demolishing it after the second time a week later, I threw it away. Ever since then, which was mid march, he had diarrhea issues on and off. He doesn't get table scraps except for a little cheese from time to time, licking out an empty cereal bowl or rice mixed in his food.
At the end of March I took him to our vet, she thought he may have giardia since we live in an apartment complex and so many people don't pick up after their dogs. He was put on Metronidazole and Panacur and he wasn't really getting better. He then also started straining to pee and it was dark. I took him back, brought samples of both, said nothing was wrong in the pee, just concentrated so she gave me a 5 day antibiotic and we drew blood to see if his pancreas and liver were ok and gave him an IV since they thought he was dehydrated. Blood results came back normal. His urine situation slightly improved, he wasn't straining as much but still concentrated. I made sure he always had water and was going out around every 3 hours.
Took him back to the vet, this is now last week with a different vet at the same place, brought in a fecal sample, and he said he saw some kind of allergy enzyme or something in his fecal? I told him he was on the blue buffalo wilderness since it was the only thing keeping his poop solid for so long. He told me to stop, gave me a big bag of Hills Prescription z/d diet, and gave him a prescription for prednisone. He thought if its a food allergy the z/d would fix it and as we ween him off the prednisone, nothing should change and his stools would be normal. If they get worse as we ween him off, then it's an immune response to his bowels and he'd have to stay on a dose of prednisone for the rest of his life. It's now been about four days, I know I shouldn't expect to see results, but he eats more now based with daily serving on the bag for being at 70 lbs and he is pooping way less and still diarrhea. He also is drinking a lot more and peeing a river every hour (thankfully it's clear/almost clear at least) Vet said he'd be peeing more so I haven't been too concerned. But he seems much more tired than usual. He's a 1.5 yr old lab. He usually goes crazy every time he sees someone. He's much calmer than usual, sleeping a lot more it seems. Usually when I walk in the door, when he is out of his crate, he greets me at the door all excited. Tonight it concerned me when he didn't even get up.
He loves his food, takes the medicine fine, his usual scratching has seemed to slow down (which makes me think it may be an allergy) but his lack of extreme energy and complete diarrhea concerns me.

Please has anyone gone through anything similar? I've just explored so many options. As soon as something seems to be fine, it's like something has to go wrong. If you've experienced anything like this, what did you try? What seemed to work? What am I missing??

Thanks so much!
Katee
 

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I think you are dealing with 2 different issues. One, food sensitivity. For now, I'd try putting him on maybe a boiled chicken (boneless/skinless) and rice diet with a couple of tablespoons of pure canned pumpkin added in. Feed him 3 small meals a day for a couple of days and see if the diarrhea stops. Then I would put him on a grain free, alternative protein food, and leave him on it. Use his kibble for treats. Overfeeding will cause diarrhea as will adding in something different. Make sure you are NOT giving him any chicken/yam treats made in China. MOST of those treats are, even if it says USA company. Read the fine print. Those treats have been known to cause problems (especially kidney/bladder). My dogs used to get those treats until one got diarrhea really bad. Then I found out about the thousands of dogs that have died/gotten sick from them, and stopped feeding them. The diarrhea cleared up.

I'd also have him tested for Lyme and Lepto. Those tests are pretty cheap. But both are common diseases in NH.
 
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