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Puppy with diarrhea.

Species: Dog
Breed: Old English Sheepdog
Age: Less than 3 mon
Hi Dr. Marie
I have a 10 week old OES pup, male. He is in good weight, healthy coat, clear eyes, normal appetite and activity levels.
I bred this puppy so have been with him since birth. He has been healthy and normal thus far.
In the last week or so, he has developed a condition where he will have a normal bowel movement at first and then within minutes (sometimes immediately) will pass very watery, projectile feces.
He has been on the same diet (Blue Buffalo Longevity puppy formula) since starting on solid food. I am still soaking his kibble in water for a bit to make it somewhat mushy.
I had not observed any diarrhea issues in any of the other pups at anytime and as of yesterday, have not heard from any of their new owners that they are having any problems.
All pups have now had clear fecal exams and were dewormed with Nemex 2 at 3 and 5 weeks of age. (no worms were ever passed)
I have been involved in this breed for nearly 30 yrs (breeding, showing, herding, etc) and have certainly seen my share of intestinal issues but this is the first time I have seen one bowel movement go from perfect to projectile in the same elimination.
Would love to get your thoughts...?

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi Amy,

I bet Gunnar is a gorgeous little guy. OES puppies are so adorable. I'm sorry to hear that he is having issues with diarrhea. It is definitely a little bit unusual to have a bowel movement go from normal to projectile in the same session. I can't say that that means anything in particular. But, I can say that projectile diarrhea in a puppy is definitely not something normal.

If this were my case I would likely be repeating a fecal exam. Even though the fecal exam was negative there may be something there that is difficult to pick up. It could be something like giardia or coccidia and these parasites need special medication to be treated. They will not go away with regular dewormers. If it is giardia or coccidia the other pups may or may not be affected.

It sounds like he is still bright and happy which makes something serious like parvovirus much less likely.

It is unlikely to be related to his food if he has been on the same food all along. The only exception to this would be if he got into something he shouldn't have, or if someone gave him a new type of treat or table food. This could cause some temporary diarrhea.

It would be very rare to see things like food allergies or food intolerances at this young age. By far the most common causes of diarrhea in puppies are parasites and viruses.

If this were my case and the fecal exam didn't show anything unusual then I likely would be putting Gunnar on a course of metronidazole. Metronidazole kills giardia. (Often we can't see giardia on a fecal exam). Metronidazole also has properties that help with inflammation in the intestines.

If this keeps up it does sound like a vet visit is necessary. I don't give puppies with diarrhea more than a day or two before recommending a vet visit as they can very easily get dehydrated.

I hope things are better 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. 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.

Customer reply:

Thanks Dr. Marie. I am going to take him to the vet to repeat the fecal. Another breeder suggested that he might be drinking too much water after eating and that coupled with the water soaked kibble might be the culprit. I am trying dry food today and tomorrow morning to see if I have different results with him. I have a stash of Flagil for dog show emergencies. This is OK to give to a young pup? if he wasn't having enough issues in the poop department, he decided that a glass christmas ornament would make a nice snack. I estimate that he ingested about half of a 3" bauble before I found him in the off-limits living room. I have fed him 3 slices of bread (approx. 5 total grams of fiber) which I have used before with a dog who ate chicken bones.

I have to assume that the glass is not a good thing to there anything else I should feed him now? (I have heard of cotton balls with peanut butter, Metamucil and some other crazier remedies. And what should I be looking for as far as symptoms as to when/if he needs to be seen by my vet?

Thank you!!



Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

No, drinking too much water or using water soaked kibble is definitely not going to cause diarrhea.

I can't legally discuss dosages online. Plus, you shouldn't give any medication without it being prescribed by a vet first.

Sorry to hear about the glass ornament. The bread is a good idea. But if he ate an inch and a half of glass I would actually recommend an emergency visit. The vet may simply prescribe a medication called sucralfate (which actually could help with the diarrhea as well) but if enough glass was ingested, surgery may be necessary!

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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.

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