View Full Version : Amoxitabs & Flagyl for Intermittent Diarrhea?

15th June 2006, 04:43 PM

My new pup (7mos.), Grace has been having problems with loose stools and diarrhea - it isn't constant but more intermittent. I put her on Lamb and Rice kibble and her stools got a lot better, but then there was one that was back to the messy gunky stage with what looked like some blood. Well I freaked and grabbed up the sample and ran it to the vet.

They checked it for worms and it was negative (I thought it might be Giardia) and then the vet told her assistant that she was putting Grace on antibiotics (she wanted to do that earlier but I resisted). I never saw the vet in person as she was in surgery but her assistant ran back and forth with messages. I had been calling her and maybe overreacting about the diarrhea.

It has been going on for about 5 weeks now but it does seem to be getting less frequent. I don't know whether I led the vet to believe it was a lot more than it was but now I think she's overreacted. I gave Grace the first day's dosage of both meds and a couple of hours after the last one of two Grace seemed very lethargic uncharacteristically sleeping for twelve hours. I couldn't get her to perk up and it really scared me. She's better this morning but I'm afraid to keep her on the meds.

I feel like I should wait to see if things get worse before I put her on such an extreme regimen or at the very most cut the pills in half. She's only 11 pounds and she was on two 100 mg of the amoxitab and two halves of a 250 flagyl. I'm not a vet but my gut reaction after seeing Grace's reaction is to wait and see and if she seems to need it put her on half the dose. I'd really appreciate any comments, advice, etc.

Thanks, Ann and Grace

15th June 2006, 07:19 PM
If the problem is not constant I would most definately get a second opinon from another vet. Putting her on all those meds seems really extreme for something that almost all pups go through. If she has loose stools for days on end I would be more concerned, but if it's just an intermittent issue then I would try and treat her via diet. Just like in humans, overuse of antibiotics can be a bad thing.

When my Chester was a pup he would have loose stools a couple times a week and a couple of tablespoons of canned, unspiced pumpkin in his food worked wonders. Pumpkin is a natural fiber that firms up the stool PLUS it's naturally sweet and most dogs love it! I also fed him chicken and rice dry food and that really seemed to keep his stools firm.

Also keep in mind that when a dog deficates the anal sacs are normally expressed and the secretion from the anal glands is a brownish liquid. I notice this secretion on Chester's stools from time to time and it looks a little brown and slimy. Perhaps the bloody-looking stuff you saw was just that secretion...

Anyway...that's my 2 cents. I'm not happy about the vet prescribing those meds without even examining your pup persoanlly and so I would feel better if you got a second opinion.

Best of luck to you! Let us know how it all turns out.

15th June 2006, 07:50 PM
Have you tried a probiotic instead of an antibiotic? No treats and no chippies, rawhides, etc... I have a dog that had a reaction to a coating on the chews she used to have. Sandy

Cathy T
16th June 2006, 02:37 AM
I had problems with Jake having loose stools for almost the first year and a half of his life. I am feeding CA Natural chicken and rice to both of mine along with a spoonful of canned pumpkin as well as other supplements (a probiotic and enzyme among others). It's been a couple of years now since we've had any diahrrea problems. To get the intial problem cleared up I fed him boiled chicken and rice or canned science diet i/d food from my vets. No treats, no chews. The change is diet is what finally worked for us. If we have any flare up they immediately get only the i/d and we're usually fine the next day.

16th June 2006, 06:26 AM
my experience with this is that unless a stool culture is positive, vets don't know what's causing diarrhea. They treat with meds and wait and see what happens. Flagyl is actually not just an antibiotic but also an anti-diarrheal medication, so if the dog improves on the Flagyl, there's no way to know if it was because the antibiotic properties killed bacteria, or if the dog just got better because of the antidiarrheal properties.

I think you said in your other post that deworming was tried. In my case, deworming cured my dog of the chronic intermittent diarrhea, bloody diarrhea and vomiting, but only one of 5 vets even considered trying deworming. The other vets were trying antibiotics without success.

I would caution you about letting them give him an antibiotic called sulfasalazine (it has a different brand name) because a common side effect of it is damage to the tear production of the eyes and it can sometimes be irreversible, sometimes after just one dose though usually after long term use.

Of the three antibiotics zack was given, i have the best feeling about Tylan or Tylosin--like flagyl, it also has a antidiarrheal properties. I know a couple of other people who liked the results of it, where all else failed. But in zack's case, i am pretty sure it was the deworming that got rid of the diarrhea. He continued to have occasional loose stool and usually had soft stool. Changing him to just kibble has resulted in normal firm stool.

But all in all, i think the first thing to do is put the dog on the simplest possible diet with no treats and no digestable chew toys, and wait a couple of weeks and see if the symptoms really go away.

i feel for you. I hated giving Zack antibiotics. Keep in mind that if you start a prescription and don't finish it, in some cases there is a risk of allowing the stronger bacteria to multiply, resulting in a more serious antibiotic resistent illness, but the problem is, we dont' even know if bacteria are involved. it's a crapshoot. (bad pun :roll: )

16th June 2006, 06:31 PM
Thanks so much to all of you who kindly responded to my post. :) After that one day on the meds and her pretty intense lethargy I decided to stop the meds. Yes, I was a little concerned about stopping but the not stopping caused more concern and I had to choose.

She has been fine ever since and her stools have been firm and it has been over 48 hrs since the meds. I think one person I really have to thank for her change in bowels is the pet food store owner who recommended the lamb and rice. She said that many dogs are allergic to the corn base in most kibble and since this food has rice and oatmeal as fillers it should do the trick. Well, I'm hoping it will and that the diarrhea doesn't flare up again.

A question to Zack's mother: Do you think that just two pills (one days dose) of the antibiotics could cause problems with bacteria? :shock: I sure hope not.

Again, thanks so much out there. I'm really happy to have found you all.

Our Best, Ann & Grace

Cathy T
17th June 2006, 12:27 AM
Glad to hear things have "firmed" up ;) I think a lot of time we just have to go with what our gut tells us. Once I switched foods and got mine on CA Natural....we've had no problems. What a relief! It used to be an embarrasment to walk them....you know what I mean??? How do you pick THAT up?!

17th June 2006, 04:38 AM
Glad to hear things have "firmed" up ;) I think a lot of time we just have to go with what our gut tells us. Once I switched foods and got mine on CA Natural....we've had no problems. What a relief! It used to be an embarrasment to walk them....you know what I mean??? How do you pick THAT up?!

Amen! there i was, trying to pull up the grass with my mutt mitt clean up bag, it was pathetic, pulling up permanently smeared grass by the roots, trying to leave the lawn poop free. :? Free at last, free at last!! :D

17th June 2006, 05:06 AM
A question to Zack's mother: Do you think that just two pills (one days dose) of the antibiotics could cause problems with bacteria? :shock: I sure hope not.

Ann, i don't think there was any harm, one reason being that for all we know, there aren't any bacteria in the first place. Maybe the symptom cleared up because Flagyl has independent antidiarrheal properties. Flagyl usually works immediately to stop the symptoms, that's what my vet told me and she was right, i was amaze, happily. Unfortunately in Zack's case the diarrhea returned after a few days. You have Grace on gentle food so hopefully that will make the difference. I didn't start figuring out the diet until a few weeks later.

But even if there were bacteria, i don't think there was much harm in stopping the antibiotics. Theoretically, if there are bacteria and if there are any left, then the stronger ones would be the ones that were left when you stopped, in theory. but they may be bacteria that her immune system can keep in check anyway. by the way, did she encounter any stressors before the onset of the diarrhea, in her life? Zack experienced coming to a brand new home. it seems that may have lowered his resistence and let the parasites or worms thrive.

If she did have susceptable bacteria, i think the odds are that no harm was done. People stop their prescriptions without finishing them all the time and do OK.

Zack was on two antibiotics, one of which was Flagyl and it was his 4th course of Flagyl in 4 weeks. the other was sulfasalazine during week 4 of symptoms. I took him off both of them about half way through because i didn't believe they were having any influence on his illness. like Cathy said, you have to listen to your gut.