View Full Version : Diarrhea woes

25th April 2006, 07:39 PM
Hi everyone,
Riley has been with us for 2 months now (he's already 19 weeks old), unfortunately for the last month he has had diarrhea on and off. He was given Metronidazole (Flagyl) the first time it happened and we have done 3 refills since then. He always responds well to the tablets and the diarrhea resolves after the first dose. But after the last dose in about 2 days, the diarrhea is back.
Riley has not had any vomiting or loss of appetite, nor change in activity or water intake. He seems just fine otherwise. We have been feeding Canidae All Stages kibble with steamed rice, a teaspoon of pumpkin puree, and a little boiled chicken twice a day. His treats are boiled, toasted chicken pieces and some treats called "Luv a Bones" made from turkey, cranberries and squash. He also gets "bully sticks" for chew treats.
So now I have to cut out all treats and gradually switch over to the food the vet gave us, Eukanuba nutritional intestinal formula, and give him only this for 3 weeks. He's not going to like the change. :yuk: Plus i was given the dewormer Panacure to give him for 3 days. Even though he has had 3 negative fecal tests and there are no parasites that they could find. I guess the Panacure is for possible whipworms, supposedly they don't come out in the stool.
Poor little guy, he has been through quite a bit in such a short time! Does this situation ring familiar with anyone? I've heard that puppies can often have diarrhea problems. Is there anything toy wise that maybe i can give him for chewing and keeping him busy? He's a real chewer and prefers toys he can eat, but i have to find alternatives for now.
I welcome all suggestions and stories. Thanks.

25th April 2006, 09:04 PM
I had a dog that did this same thing :sl*p: He has a sensitivity to "something". We put him on Simple food solutions by Wellness and noticed his coat came in nicer and he has no more loose stool.
The only negative issue I've ever had with canidae all stage is that it has a lot of ingredients. Canidae now makes a chicken and rice formula all stages ( I guess someone in the head office listened ) Sandy

25th April 2006, 09:25 PM
have you tried feeding foods like a little whole wheat bread or brown rice or banana ... I've heard these foods can harden the stools for a pup ... sometimes mine has loose-ish stools and if I feed a little bit of carb, it seems to do the trick.

25th April 2006, 10:19 PM
My opinion is you are feeding him a lot of different things and all those different things are contributing to the problem, as much as he is probably enjoying this smorgasbord. :). Cut out all the treats. All of them, really! Cut out the Canidae too and feed only boiled chicken and rice. Cut the pumpkin for now as well. Keep him on that for a week and see how he does -- just boiled rice and chicken, only at his regular feeding times. He doesn't need the treats at all.

If the diarrhea settles, you can try introducing a bit of a bland dry food or if you prefer just work with a bland dry food as Woodhaven notes. I like chicken and rice though myself as there are *no* other additives and it is truly bland and simple.

If you want to offer treats give a tiny bit of the boiled chicken but just put away all the other things til you see if you can get some control of his digestive system. :)

25th April 2006, 10:21 PM
PS check the threads for Zack by Judy in the health section. She had a similar problem -- chicken and rice is just as calming for dogs as all those expensive special diets.

For chewing -- rope toys, nylabones, hard rubber toys -- just nothing that is also a food chew. My dogs really like toilet roll cores and papaer towel cores too for shredding and chewing.

The reason they sometimes try wormer and flagyl etc is to clear any bugs that may be there. I had this approach work for one of my cats when she was young and had chronic liquid diarrhea to the extent that I didn't know if I could keep her. Two successive rounds of wormer plus falgyl and some other pill knocked whatever it was out and she has been fine since, for 7 years.

One other aside -- can you move your very cute pic to an avatar rather than a sig? I prefer no signature pictures as there's avatar space instead and that seems to be a happier choice for everyone. There's instructions at the top of the generla News section on how to resize an avatar to the right maximum (or any other size) and you just paste the URL into your profile under 'avatar'. Thanks! :)

26th April 2006, 08:57 AM
what a cute picture of riley.

your story sounds a lot like mine and zacks. in zack's case he had negative stool samples (X3) and three courses of Flagyl where each time the Flagyl stopped the symptoms but they came back.

i learned that Flagyl has anti-diarrheal properties independent of its antimicrobial effects, so just because it helps with the symptoms doesn't necessarily mean it gets at the cause.

i also learned that for various things like Giardia and certain parasites or worms, you can't reliably say they aren't there unless you do 3 to 5 days of consecutive stool samples. Just one stool sample is not a reliable way to determine a negative result. Zack's were each about a week apart, not consecutive.

Unfortunately, after three weeks, he started vomiting every other day, and then he was given more meds and put on ID diet, but those didn't help.

The third vet i went to prescribed Dontral Plus, a deworming medication, to be taken at two week intervals. Since the first dose, he was cured, no more diarrhea or vomiting. On the same day i started giving him Tylan or Tylosin (from vet #2) which is an antibiotic for large animals like pigs, but for small animals it's given for anti-diarrheal effects. so maybe that helped. but i suspect the abrupt change was from deworming. I've heard this story from other people too, like with Karlin's cat.

A few days before the deworming, i started feeding him just boiled chicken and white rice, small servings a few times per day, and i continued that for about 2 weeks after he was better, and then added kibble, and eventually switched from chicken and rice to canned food, Natural Balance Duck and Potato. Several people said that was helpful to their dogs. He doesn't like it, he ate it for a while and then refused it, so i switched to natural balance Lamb formula which he seems to like better, canned and kibble.

Eventually i began testing him on a variety of different foods to see if he's ok with that, and he's been fine. I've been cautiously giving him some treats again too. Regretfully, when i put him on just chicken and rice, i stopped his beloved bully sticks and haven't started giving him those again because he can chew off bits of them now and i'm paranoid about him getting anything in his GI tract that might block it.

He does like nylabones, they are flavored. i would suggest getting several nylabones of different flavors and sizes, the variety may help him feel less deprived, and get the more durable ones to make sure he doesn't chew off pieces of it and swallow them, my daughter's dog can do that to the less durable kind.

i hope Riley will have a cure from the Panecure as Zack did from deworming. Even though he was dewormed before i got him, apparently worms or larvae or parasites or something can remain in their body, and it may or may not ever cause a problem but in some cases it can flare up and result in illness. The woman i got Zack from had sent me deworming and other medications right in the beginning as soon as i told her he had the diarrhea, but i followed my vet's advice instead which did not include deworming. I can't help thinking if i'd followed her instructions, Zack would've not had to be sick for a month and i would've saved a thousand dollars. It wasn't until my third vet that deworming was prescribed.

good luck! when are you going to give him the treatment?

26th April 2006, 11:39 AM
I agree with Karlin - you are feeding him far to many different thing no wonder has poor little tummy is churning it out the other end.

Woody had the same, we cut out all treats, and then put him on (after a few other trys on dry food) a sensitive dry food from the vet - first meal he had a firm stool, whenever he is eating something dodgy (bone at christmas) and had the runs we are straight back on this and it works. The other recommendation from the vet with plain boiled rice and chicken.

26th April 2006, 12:01 PM
Thanks, Judy; that's a nice summary of all you did. I didn't know that about the Flagyl having additional anti-diarrhea properties -- useful to know for people who may see it clear up then keep returning once the medication stops.

Some pups and kittens just seem to get diarrhea for a while too and it gradually disappears as they get a bit older. My three-legged cat Quincy was like this. Jaspar would have occasional soft stools, which he rarely has now. Obviously someone should be concerned and trying different optiosn for relief if this seems chronic rather than occasional but if the pup is generally doing well and fairly happy and the diarrhea is on and off I'd be working to find acceptable foods but not be overly worried about cause at this time. :)

Most good food manufacturers do a sensitive version of their foods which will be a lot less than those prescription diets from the vets. I have used Royal Canin's sensitive diet for both cats and dogs with good success for example. These tend to be blander with fewer ingredients. With dogs though the plain rice and chicken diet almost always seems to work and is good for getting a settled stomach before trying to find a good dry food -- in my opinion anywa of course :lol: -- I like to go with the non-fussy option to start and rice and chicken is a lot plainer (and usually more attractive to the dog) than any range of dried specialty diets.

Judy I have always understood that bully sticks are quite a good chew treat -- the pieces do tend to digest down unlike rawhide. It is dried meat (so to speak!) rather than dried hide. I'd put the bully sticks back in but just monitor how he eats them. You might also try the much larger size which would be harder to gnaw off bits, I should think.

Cathy T
26th April 2006, 04:46 PM
There is an excellent article in Whole Dog Journal this month about giardia (parasite). It says that you need to have an antigen test done. It says that in-clinic tests aren't reliable. Interesting article. I can't post it because it's a really long article and can't be reprinted without permission.

28th April 2006, 03:42 PM
Thank you everyone for the tips and information. I gave Riley his last dose of the worming med. Panacure this morning. So far the diarrhea is better. He slept all the way through last night without having to go out, so that is definitely better. I will keep up the chicken and rice for a while longer, then try to see if i can give him some kibble.
I do appreciate all the help, that is why this board is so great! :D Hopefully we will have solved this round of health issues with Riley.


2nd May 2006, 05:08 AM
Hi Laura,

Buddy (6 months) had the same problem- inconsistent diarreah for about a month and a half. It started when I switched him (slowly) to Canidae. The Metronizodole worked but only kept the diarrhea at bay for a week or two at most. After a few weeks, he was also put on the Eukanuba low-res but then, after a week (was still on prescriptions), got sick again. At this point, we thought it could be a food allergy (the most common ones are to a type of protein, wheat). After a week on prescription allergy food (it is made of soy and looks and smells like Corn Pops!), I switched Buddy to California Natural Lamb and Rice Puppy with a tablepoon of pumpkin and he has been fine. I think the simpler formula of his current food keeps his tummy more settled. Also, it only has lamb protein and rice and a few vitamins (good for sensitive tummies!). I have slowly incorporated Bully Sticks back into his diet and have found a nice treat that is almost pure chicken (Pro-Treat Freeze Dried Chicken) and he has not had any problems :)

Good luck with Riley... I know how frustrating it is! Don't expect the vet to diagnose diarrhea- neither mine nor zack's (from what I read) were really diagnosed with anything except colitus. Keep Riley on the chicken and rice for a few more days and try the simpler food (lamb is supposed to be easier too on the stomach)- I think Natural Balance also makes a Duck and Sweet Potato Formula for allergy sufferers.

Let us know how it turns out!


2nd May 2006, 09:19 AM
natural balance has a duck and potato formula which several people have reported was well tolerated by their dogs. Zack was on it for a while, i was mixing the canned and dry versions together. Then one day he refused to eat it. He doesn't like duck and potato, but he did do fine on it. I switched to natural balance lamb and rice formula, canned and dry, and he's ok on that too, but i think he gets bored with stuff. Recently I gave him Wellness Lamb and sweet potato canned food mixed with Royal Canin dry food, i can't remember the name of the kind of Royal Canin it is, but it has a tri cavalier pictured on the bag and says it's for small dogs that are prone to obesity. The store where i got it had many choices of dry food but i don't think i saw a sensitive one. I was looking. I'd like to try that.

Zack has shown no signs of having any problems with different foods, digestion/diarrhea-wise. No matter what i feed him, the stool is the same, normal.

for the first time since early March, he had the worst diarrhea he's ever had Sunday before last, i got up in the morning and it was all over the kitchen. the poor little guy started with my mat that's in front of the sink, trying to use some kind of pad type thing, but apparently it kept coming and it was everywhere, took a long time to clean up. (i know he started on the mat because the firmer stool was on it. then, there was lots of not firm stool everywhere else).

I knew that it had to have been something he ate that he shouldn't have, i knew it wasn't the same as that other illness he had. Then, I found a greenie in the living room. I thought i had thrown them all away after the problems i'd learned of, of intestinal blockage that happens in some dogs, but he found one some place and it was partly eaten. I threw it away. A little later he vomited and there were a couple of good sized pieces of greenie in his vomit. then later, that afternoon, he had a loose stool outside, and there was some bright green stuff in it, not yellowish green but green green. Proof that greenies sure don't agree with him. i

t was a relief to me to have a simple explanation of why he had been sick, after the ordeal of his mystery illness when i first got him. He's been fine since that one day he had the diarrhea in the kitchen. I did give him just boiled chicken and rice for a couple of days, and gave him some tylan with it for a few days.

Karlin, thanks for the encouragement to let Zack have his bully sticks again. He is soooo happy. i'm happy to see him enjoying those again, they were always his favorite thing.

Jackie, i'm so glad Buddy is doing better.

Laura, i hope that worm medicine helped, i hope Riley, and you, are feeling better.

Cathy T
2nd May 2006, 03:39 PM
I put Jake on CA Natural chicken and rice with a spoonful of pumpkin and that really seemed to clear him up. I was told that because CA Natural has so few ingredients it was good for dogs with allergies...and it was. Knock on wood...it's been absolutely ages since we've had a diahrea problem. I was just thinking about that this morning when I was picking up poop!

9th May 2006, 03:27 AM
My 9 month-old just had a couple bouts of really bad diarrhea (lots of blood/mucus in the stool as well) and my vet gave him anti-bios then put him on a high fiber prescription dog food. I gave him the high fiber exclusively for about a month and have been giving him 1/2 and 1/2 the high fiber and his regular puppy for for the last week and he seems to be doing fine. Vet said some dogs are prone to "colitis" from either eating something that their system reacts to (he's a little scavenger for sure) or stress. He doesn't seem to be a stressed out dog, so I'm hoping it was just something he ate or will grow out of.

9th May 2006, 06:47 AM
Hi Pseub
i'm in the los angeles area too.

i think my dog zack might be colitis prone, in the sense your vet was saying, meaning if he eats something he shouldn't, he will tend to get diarrhea. The last dog i had before this, a long time ago, never never never had diarrhea in my house in 13 years. Zack has it when i first got him, probably from too many worms in his GI tract, and has had only an isolated diarrhea now and then since the worm treatment. no bloody diarrhea since the beginning.

i have a question--when zack had colitis, a vet put him on ID diet, which was referred to as a "low residue" food. I thought low residue meant low fiber but am not sure. I would think high fiber might not be the best thing for colitis--but if it helps, that's great. And it's great if the antibiotics helped. They didn't help zack for more than a few days.

About puppy food--I've heard it could be too rich or too stimulating of growth such that bones grow out of proportion to other tissue. Might be worth looking into more.

9th May 2006, 06:49 AM
My friend who had two dogs who got diarrhea fairly often told me that her vet recommended giving nothing but rice and cottage cheese, and she says that it worked every time. I haven't tried it but thought i would pass it along.

9th May 2006, 01:43 PM
Hi Judy! Glad to know there are some other LA Cavalier people here. Are there any LA Cav groups or gatherings that you know about? We're not far at all from your neck of the woods, so if you'd ever like to get the pups together for a "play date", let me know.

When Byron had his bouts of diarrhea, I gave him just rice and boiled chicken for a few days at the vet's recommendation. When combined with the antibiotics, it really did seem to settle his system down quickly. And if I notice his stools getting a little loose now, I pull his food for a day or so and just give the white rice and it seems to clear him right up.

Cathy Moon
15th June 2006, 03:42 AM
India and Geordie both had many bouts of diarrhea when they were younger. They were treated with panacur and flagyl several times, but nothing seemed to last. Finally the vet cultured a stool sample and sent it to the university veterinary service where they found a clostridium infection that was producing toxins in their systems. Both pups were treated with Tylan, a powder that is used to treat farm animals. I had to put 1/16 of a teaspoon in their food everyday for at least 2 months. It finally did the trick!

After my pups had worms several times, the vet recommended taking them off Revolution (drops for all parasites) and putting them on Interceptor for worms (including heartworm) and Frontline for fleas, ticks, lice. We never had a problem with worms again!

Some bully sticks seem to have a brown coating on them, and my dogs get diarrhea from that. I only buy the lighter 'golden' colored bullies now.

Another cause of serious diarrhea - colitis - is from the pups eating acorns, twigs, bark mulch, etc. We moved recently to get away from oak trees.

California Natural lamb and rice -and- Innova Evo are two brands of food that agree with our 3 cavs.