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Puppy has diarrhea.

Species: Dog
Breed: German SHepard/Lab
Age: 6-12 months
i just aquired a 7 month old german shepard/lab mix (already 60 lbs) a week ago and the owner told me they have been feeding him blue buffalo chicken and rice puppy formula since 3 months. the problem is that he needs to use the bath every 2 to 3 hours and it is pure diareha everytime with lots of gas. i simply do not have the time to take the dog out every 2 hours like this as i am a busy professional. i also notice that he drinks lots and lots of water all the time so i am thinking he is dehydrated because of all this. he seems to be healthy otherwise. i do not know why he is reacting to the dog food this way if this is what they have been feeding him already. so my question is what do i do? do i change the puppy formula to adult and get another brand and mix with what i already have? i have also been reading that rice or wheat could be to blame so do i get a brand that has none of these with maybe high fiber instead? i have also heard that iams is a good brand to get the stool more solid.

thanks for any advice someone could give as it is getting out of control with feces being spread everywhere in the house and yard with the dog jumping up on people and it has been really hard to deal with so far.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for an excellent question Chris.

It is definitely not normal for a dog to have to go to the bathroom as often as this.

When a young dog has diarrhea, the first thing I think of is parasites. Has he had proper deworming? If not you can purchase a decent dewormer over the counter. Use it every 2 weeks for 3 treatments. If the problem is due to roundworms then you will likely notice some long skinny worms come out in the stool within a day or two of giving the medicine.

But, there are some parasites that need prescription medicine in order to clear up. These include giardia and coccidia. For this reason, I would highly advise taking a poop sample to your vet and having them run some lab tests to determine if there are other parasites there and then give you the appropriate medication to get rid of them.

With all of that being said, there is a possibility that there is a connection to food. I am currently writing a bunch of articles about some of the misconceptions out there in regards to nutrition. There are so many so called premium foods out there that aren't necessarily any better than others. (You can find my articles here, but I am just starting the series right now - Canine Nutrition Articles. I have seen several dogs on premium foods like Orijen, Fromm and Blue Buffalo that have all kinds of digestive problems. Often when we switch the food they do really well. Yes, Iams is a food I often recommend. (It gets a bad reputation online, but this article explains why. I also like Science Diet and Royal Canin. A puppy formulation of any of these foods will be just fine.

I think changing the food is a good idea, but I have to repeat that I am really suspicious that there is a medical issue here. Parasites are the most likely but there are others. So, feel free to try the dewormer and food change but I would definitely recommend a vet visit. They'll do a fecal exam for parasites and they may dispense some medication called metronidazole which will help with the inflammation in the bowel and also treats other things (such as certain bacteria) which cause diarrhea.

I hope things firm up soon!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.