View Full Version : Could feeding raw possibly cause diarrhea?

19th October 2006, 09:54 PM
My two cavs (7 months/13# and 14 months/15#) have been battling with bouts of diarrhea which leads to blood in their stool. They've both had this several times recently. My vet has treated them with flagyl, which works great. But shortly after they finish the 10-14 day round of medicine, it comes back again.

We've eliminating the "poop eating" habit by exclusively leashing them when outside. Since that hasn't helped, the vet thinks that raw food may be the culprit and wants to see what happens if I eliminate it from their diet. Here's what they usually eat:
In the morning, they get Nature's Variety Raw (2 oz.) mixed with 1 teaspoon of non-fat plain yogurt, seameal, and 1/2 teaspoon of lipiderm.
In the evening, they get 1/3 cup of Nature's Variety kibble.
I rotate the protein source of the raw and kibble with in the Nature's Variety line.
They get a small raw baby carrot about twice a day, as a treat for "kenneling up."
He's also added some additional meds as he suspects they may have built a tolerance/resistance to the flagyl.
Doxycycline - 25mg 2x per day
PetoBismo - 3cc 4x per day
Flagyl 250 mg 2x per day
Hill's Prescription Diet canned W/D - give 1 Tbsp with the Doxycycline since that med is hard on the stomach. So now I'm supposed to give them kibble 2x a day in place of the raw patties. Has anyone else had a similar experience with raw...or even heard of it?

19th October 2006, 10:47 PM
Sure - raw food could certainly cause diarrhea in some animals. Some may be more sensitive and just not tolerate it. Just like some dogs don't tolerate some kibbles, etc.

have you done a fecal to rule out parasites? that's interesting he'd give more antibiotics, which can often cause increased GI upset.

19th October 2006, 11:02 PM
Thanks for reminding me about the fecal...I forgot to mention that the vet did fecals on both dogs the first several times they went through this. It was some kind of parasite-thing each time. I can't recall exactly, but it started with a C. I'll see if I can find it in my records.

19th October 2006, 11:21 PM
My vets did that doxy/flagyl combo on one of my cats that had some bug they could not find and which nothing on its own had helped. One told me that they don;t know why but sometimes using both just seems to get whatever it is that is bothering the animal. But I too have had animals with runs from taking antibiotics.

I'd maybe try a blander diet of one thing, too. If these are dogs that have some sort of digestive problem, feeding a mix of raw, kibble, Hills etc may of itself be aggravating things, I'd think. It's easier to see what is bothering the dog, if it is diet related, if you feed just one thing at a time then wait to see if eliminating the other things helps. If nothing changes after a week or two, then try feeding something else.

Cathy Moon
19th October 2006, 11:31 PM
Was it Coccidia or Clostridium?

If your pups are on antibiotics again, you might want to ask the vet about Benebac (spelling) it is beneficial bacteria to replace what is being killed off in the digestive tract. That made a huge difference in our pups when they went through similar illnesses. The vet gave it to us - it's a paste in a clicking measured syringe thingy. They loved it.

20th October 2006, 03:17 AM
Was it Coccidia or Clostridium?BINGO! It's coccidia. Thanks, Cathy! I'll ask about the benebac tomorrow. Does yogurt help with that? I've been giving the yogurt because I eat that when I'm on an antibiotic .

Karlin: I just started adding Hills to their diet when I went to the vet yesterday. So now their diet consists of Nature's Variety kibble, lipiderm, and a dollop of yogurt. And they get a heaping tablespoon of Hills W/D with their meds 2x a day. Is that too much? The only things I can remove are the lipiderm and yogurt. I added the yogurt cause they've been on and off antibiotics for so long. What do you think?

Thanks for everyone's advice!

Cathy Moon
20th October 2006, 03:47 AM
Some dogs are sensitive to dairy.

Maybe if you get the Benebac you can remove the yogurt for awhile. Then when you reintroduce it after they recover, you'll be able to determine how their tummies get along with it.

20th October 2006, 04:19 AM
Brady had coccida for probably about 2 months (on and off again) Everytime he was give Albon (not sure if that's a generic name or not) First it was on a liquid of it then on pills. But when I had to take him to emergency for pneumonia they said to try and find Marquis (a horse medication of some kind) I could not find it and I thought it was a little strange. So I just kept Brady on the Albon for a whole 20 days. Last test didn't come back with anything, but I still worry about it every once and a while. Does their poop look like it has mucus in it? Brady had that sometimes with it along with a little bit of blood as well. I was in tears the first time I saw the blood :'( I just had to be real good about picking up his poop when he was done. My boyfriends parents dog just got over giardia. Their vet said that he got it from mine, even though he had coccidia. I find that hard to believe since it'd different but he's over that so no worries. I'm sure everything will get better sometimes it just takes time.

20th October 2006, 06:09 AM
zack went through bloody diarrhea and three or four courses of flagyl. At first i thought whatever bacterium was causing the colitis was resistant to the flagyl, as your vet said, but later my vet explained that flagyl has anti-diarrheal effects independent of any antimicrobial activity,


so flagyl can result in improvement of diarrhea even if it's not caused by a germ susceptable to flagyl. This would explain why it clears up the symptoms but only as long as they are taking it. If the diarrhea is not being caused by a flagyl susceptable organism, then flagyl alone may not be able to stop the illness.

You could read up on Tylan or Tylosin on the net, and ask your vet about it. It's antidiarrheal too, and is a large farm animal antibiotic which can be (reportedly) safely taken long term, even indefinitely, for years, without harm, and has cleared up colitis for some dogs when nothing else did.

A lot of people recommend canned pumpkin, have you tried that? It did not work for Zack, because apparently he had worms pretty badly, although they did not show up on three fecal exams, but deworming meds cured him overnight after over a month of useless antibiotics and anti-diarrheals and anti-emetics so, it seems to have been worms. So much for fecal exams.

The beneficial bacteria in Benebac is much more concentrated than in yogurt. It's many times stronger and more effective than yogurt. I think it's a really good suggestion to use when taking broad spectrum antibiotics.

i don't know if this would be of any use to you--Zack's poop on Innova Evo is much much much harder and more firm than on any other food, to the point where i've considered that it might be too hard. It's not dry though, it's moist but it DOES NOT SQUISH. :roll: It's hard, very solid at the core. Evo does give him flatulance, but that is eliminated by supplementing with digestive enzymes.

you sure have my sympathy, when zack had colitis it was one of the most stressful upsetting things i've ever had to deal with.

20th October 2006, 09:15 AM
Do you notice more diarrhea with a certain protein source? Also, how many hours apart are you feeding the kibble and raw? I've heard kibble can take up to 14 hours to digest (don't know if the exact hourage is true, but it takes quite a while) whereas raw only takes 2ish hours. This means if you feed them too close, the raw could be sitting with the kibble for way too long in the gut causing problems. Usually dogs are more liable to have loose stool with kibble than with raw, but this doesn't mean that your dogs don't have problems with the raw. I'm wondering if Cavaliers are sensitive to the loads of synthetic vitamins put in kibble. I would try going with all raw or all kibble and not switching the protein sources for a trial period to see how it goes.

Also, yogurt often can't deliver the bacteria to where they should be going (intestines). I think the bacteria are much more likely to hit the target location with a coated bacteria pill (acidophilus and the like).

20th October 2006, 03:04 PM
I thought Albon was for coccidia. Didn't know metronidazole could be used for it. Perhaps that is why it's not clearing up? Not to question your vet, though. But may be worth asking if they think he still has coccidia and might want to try albon? (Fenbendazole)

20th October 2006, 06:59 PM
Wow. I'm getting quite an education here. Thanks for all of the advice, tips and suggestions. I will mention the benebac, albon, tylan, marquis, etc. to my vet and see if he makes any changes.

Re: digestive enzymes
What do you suggest? Brand? Amount?

Re: switching from Nature's Variety to Evo
What's the difference, nutritionally speaking...er...writing?

Re: pumpkin
I can definitely try adding pumpkin, but should probably wait for everything to clear up before I add something, do you agree?

Re: current diet
I feed them at 8 AM and then at 3:30 PM. They'd get the raw (1/4 chicken patty) in the morning and kibble in the afternoon. Now they kibble for both meals, plus a heaping spoonful of Hills W/D with their meds hidden in it. I've given them NV chicken, lamb and beef kibble. Abby seemed to scratch a bit during the lamb phase, so I'll steer clear of lamb products to be safe. I have no idea what to feed them once we get this cleared up. Should I stay away from raw, which is what I think my vet is leaning towards?

Again, thanks so much for sharing your knowledge!

Cathy Moon
20th October 2006, 11:53 PM

My vet gives Tylan for Clostridium.

I don't know anything about digestive enzymes, so will leave that to an experienced member.

Evo is an excellent food; I feed my 3 Evo and their poops are firm. :) You'll need to change their food gradually, though. (I haven't tried Nature's Variety)

May want to hold off on the pumpkin until they recover.

If their vet is leaning towards staying away from raw, I'd do what the vet advises. The goal is to get them healthy! You can always try different foods in the future.

21st October 2006, 03:04 AM
Re: digestive enzymes
What do you suggest? Brand? Amount?

The kind of enzymes i've been giving zack are made by NaturVet. It's a white powder. I sprinkle a rounded or heaping 1/4 tsp over the Evo kibble. It stops the gas. If i don't put it on, the gas comes back. Zack didn't have gas before i started giving him Evo.

Re: switching from Nature's Variety to Evo
What's the difference, nutritionally speaking...er...writing?

You can look on their respective websites, they are great at publishing their ingredients and nutritional contents, very detailed. Natures Variety has a lot of variety. ! Evo kibble comes in either regular, which is a mixture of turky and chicken i think, and RM (Red Meat). Evo kibble is about 45% protein, no grains. Nature's Variety makes a 'no grain' kibble which is 42% protein--those are higher protein kibbles. The ones with grains are around 25% protein. Evo markets its kibble as similar to feeding raw.

How do your dogs like the frozen raw patties? I just started mixing some freeze dried raw patty with Zack's Evo, the brand is Stella and Chewy's, he really likes it.

Re: pumpkin
I can definitely try adding pumpkin, but should probably wait for everything to clear up before I add something, do you agree?

That's how i feel about it too, conservative. I only gave him a tiny bit when i tried it. The diarrhea continued. But people do recommend it for diarrhea and claim that it clears it up. Not for Zack though.

Hills ID diet didn't help Zack either, that's the one the vet sold me.

21st October 2006, 03:17 PM
Evo is high protein but its claims of being grain-free kind of annoy me. They have potato in them, which is starch just like grains! Without grain/starch, kibble doesn't stay together in those nice little pellets. That being said, I think Evo is a good food and the higher protein is great for most dogs.

If your dogs do better without raw, then by all means do what's best for them. If however, they don't do any better, then the raw wasn't the problem. Sounds like your timing was good with raw feeding, giving a good period to digest kibble.

I hope things clear up for your little guys soon!