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Dog diarrhea problems.

Species: Dog
Breed: Golden
Age: Less than 3 mon
Hi Dr,

This is an update to a previous question.

Max is over 10 wks old now (July 2, 2010). I've had him since 8 wks.

Several days after coming home his stools began to become watery. The clinic took a fecal sample (negative) and put him on 5 days metro (which was successful). 2 days after the metro he relapsed. The clinic put him on another 5 days metro and another fecal sample (negative but for 1 mite egg). Same story.

He poops about 4-6 times a day. Some are normal (with a dry shell), some are loose (long sausage string with no shell or moist outer coating, occasionally the end part is soft but always shaped). None are pure liquid.

Hes on Iams. He only eats Iams. Hes an indoor dog.

He has not been given a dose of fendbendazole. The clinic wants to prescribe a 3rd dose of metronidazole and put him on hills i/d for the time being.

Aside from the loose stools, he's grown from 10.6 lbs to over 18 lbs in the 2.5 weeks he's been with me. He's extremely active/inquisitive. Appetite is healthy and water is normal. Pee is regular.

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh, sorry to hear that Max is still having issues with diarrhea!

I am pleased, however to hear that he is gaining weight at a good rate. This is probably a sign that there is nothing terribly serious going on.

I think your vet's plan is a reasonable one. He responded to metronidazole before, but perhaps he was not on a long enough course. Are they going longer this time? It is possible that he has a bacteria such as clostridium or salmonella that needs a longer course of antibiotics in order to clear up.

In my opinion Iams is a great food...but I do think it is a good idea to put him on i/d for a while. I/d is really easy on a dog's digestive tract and it will help cut down on any inflammation that's there.

Have you talked to your vet about doing a diarrhea panel at the lab? I think we talked about that last time - They can send a stool sample to do some DNA tests to look for unusual parasites or bacteria. In my practice it costs about $150. It's a little pricey but in the long run if it gives us an answer then it's worthwhile to do it!

It sounds like you are on the right track. I have had a number of cases like this in puppies and they almost always get back to normal but it can take some time.

Let me know if you have more concerns regarding your question. I'm heading out of the office shortly, so if I don't answer right away I'll check in on you later.

Dr. Marie.

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Customer reply:


Unfortunately I have a pet sitter during the day so I get an incomplete picture.

Having watched him all weekend, he has about 5-6 stools solid stools a day. But sometimes one of them has a trailer of a tea spoon full of semi-translucent brown liquid with the consistency of beef gravy.

Recall he's been tested twice for parasites and dewormed once. I havent asked the vet about diahrea dna.Been on 10 days of metronidazole a week ago. Healthy appetite, water and activity level.

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

It definitely doesn't sound normal to me. This is a case where I would be running a diarrhea panel. There are some parasites that are hard to pick up on a fecal exam and need special medications to get rid of...for example coccidia or whipworms.

It's kind of frustrating that he's been on metronidazole for 10 days now and still has soft stools. Did you change his food to the i/d? If not, this is definitely a good idea.

Another thing I have done with some dogs with problems like this is a short course of a medication called tylosin which is another type of antibiotic that often helps when we don't know what is going on.

I hope he is feeling better soon!

Dr. Marie.

Customer reply:

The soft stools, ironically, seem to have resolved themselves into normal hard stools. Its just I noticed today that bit of liquid. It stuck it my mind because 3 weeks ago I saw it and that's what launched the whole thing.

I will switch to i/d and recommend the diahrea panel to the vet. Does he have to have a loose stool for it to be effective or can a hard stool do?

Customer reply:

The fact that over the weekend he poos so often (large in the morning, small through the day), is that relevant? Or is it just opportunity?

For today it was:
7am good,
9am small good,
1130am small good but 1 tsp liquid,
4pm small good,
630pm small good

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Well I'm glad to hear that he is having some normal stools! There are different types of diarrhea panels, but I do believe most of them are best to run on diarrhea. You will have to have your vet check with the lab that they use to determine what is best.

I am wondering why he has so many stools. It will be interesting to see if this changes once he is on the i/d.

Let me know how things work out!

Dr. Marie.

Customer reply:

He's on one week metro and one week I/d. Is one week I/d dangerous for an 11 week old dog. Does it harm his growth? Will he always have short legs or nose or will he catch up once the food improves?

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

It definitely won't hurt him to be on i/d for even a couple of months if need be (but hopefully he won't have to be.)

If Max has a short nose and legs it's likely just the way he is and not related to his food at all.

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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.