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Puppy with diarrhea

Species: Dog
Breed: Australian Shepherd
Age: 3-6 months
My 14 week old Aussie, Max, had a pretty sudden case of diarrhea, today. I took him for a walk at lunch, and I felt some resistance on the leash. When I looked back, he had had diarrhea all over the side walk. There was some substance to it, it was not pure liquid, the color was a typical brown with no noticeable blood or mucus, but definitely not his "norm". I've emailed photos of the stool for reference.

We usually give him some kind of chewing bone in the evening as a treat, and I was wondering if it could be as simple as the raw hide upsetting his stomach? He acts fine. Has tons of energy, and is happy as ever to see us.

I'm obviously worried about him, as he is incredibly precious to me, and I'm afraid I might have freaked myself out with reading the possible causes of puppy diarrhea. I had planned to withhold food, but wanted to know if a vet visit is needed.

He is up to date on his shots, has been dewormed twice, and eats Fromm's puppy food twice a day.

I appreciate your help!


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sorry to hear that your puppy has diarrhea. The good news is that despite what you read online most cases of diarrhea in puppies are not serious.

Given that your puppy has just had a new treat, this certainly may be the culprit. It's probably not a bad idea to withhold food for 12 hrs to give him a chance to recover.

As long as he is bright and happy I'm not worried. But, if he gets lethargic and seems really unwell then a vet visit is a good idea. I'd also recommend seeing the vet if things get much worse or if he hasn't improved in 48 hours.

One added point. Although many people swear by Fromm I have seen a lot of dogs who seem to get diarrhea when they're fed this food. I think it can be a little too rich for some dogs. I would switch at this point but if this is a regular occurrence a change may be a good idea.

Hope things look 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.

Customer reply:

I figured I might be over-reacting, but I'll definitely watch him closely just to be safe! You've eased my anxiety quite a bit.

Do you have any suggestions on dog food? He is excellently bred, and I want to give him the best chance at a long and healthy life!


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

You're very welcome!

My views on food are not popular online. I am a fan of foods like Iams, Royal Canin and Hill's Science diet. These foods tend to get a bad rap online, but having seen many many pets over the last two decades, these seem to be consistent foods that healthy pets eat.

That said, if you were set on going with an organic or other type of specialty food, the best advice I can give is to ask for your vet's recommendation.



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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.