View Full Version : Frustrated my cavalier still got diarreah costing me a fortune! Help

22nd January 2012, 09:04 AM
Hi there

I have a 4 month old cavalier king Charles spaniel.

Shes wormed every 2 weeks had all her inoculations and been fleed etc

But she's getting diarreah off and on. She's been dragging her bottom on the floor and each time I took her to the vets she's had blocked anal glands which they empty

Iv had to take her twice to do this in 4 weeks.

The vet said it might be her diet iv been feeding her barking heads dry food with cooked chicken for training treats and burns chew sticks for a treat (one a day) which are just chicken and rice and nothing else, also she has a rice chew stick which she chews on over the week

shes a very fussy eater!! she would not eat raw food it just ends up going off.

Im going round in circles.

The only other thing she occasionally does is eat a small amount of wet cat food before I have chance to stop her

Help :-(

22nd January 2012, 11:40 AM
Hi and welcome. What a frustrating problem!

It would be unusual for puppies to have blocked anal glands. Her diet sounds quite good for the average puppy. I'd think the tummy problems are one issue and the anal glands, another. A lot of puppies have diarrhea -- and it does need to be watched as it can become quite severe and then fatal very quickly.

Has the vet considered food intolerances /allergies? Chicken is VERY often a source of problems, as is beef -- as well as various grains in food or treats, or dairy products. I'd try changing the protein source to domething less common -- Burns will have alternatives for example as it is quite a good food -- and get rid of the chicken entirely and see if she imporves. You have to give time to diet to improve the issue -- several weeks on a change. Also the cat food, because it is quite rich and high in protein, could be a culprit. Because this breed are prone to obesity and will eat ANYTHING, if you have cats you will need to move dishes to where dogs cannot access them. I feed my cats on a counter.

Have you spoken to the puppy's breeder? A good, responsible health focused breeder, who has done the proper testing before breeding, is definitely going to both want to know you are having problems and will likely have advice that in many cases will be better than a vet when it comes to nutrition and puppy problems. If your puppy came from someplace you are not sure of; a backyard breeder (eg someone who just decided to breed their pet); an online puppy supplier or pet shop; a breeder who doesn't health test properly (eg using a cardiologist, doing MRIs, eye and hip tests etc) then you may be dealing with a much bigger and potentially, lifelong health issue because such breeders are not placing breed or puppy health foremost, but income from puppy sales (sadly true of the majority of people who breed dogs). Their puppies can have poor health due to poor whelping environment and poor breeding practice.

Some puppies have gastric issues on and off their first year and then suddenly it seems to settle -- it is a really common issue. But you do not want a puppy with ongoing runs -- this can be a serious health risk and very debilitating to your pup.

I am sure others may have some ideas too.

BTW your pup is quite young -- if only recently wormed, these meds DO cause the runs for a few days in some dogs. Flea remedies should not generally do so. She doesn't need to be constantly wormed EVERY two weeks (and shouldn't!) -- is that really what you are doing (as opposed to having wormed twice initially, two weeks apart) -- that is very excessive as you are putting chemicals thru her system. If she has been wormed *every* two weeks since you got her then that may be your problem right there -- especially if you are using pet-store bought rather than vet-supplied wormers.

If the anal glands constantly block then this may be a physical problem that is going to become more serious.

22nd January 2012, 11:54 AM
Thank you so much for your quick reply really appreciate it

Iv tried burns she just won't touch it ;-(

As for cat food I feed then in another room but husband etc leave the door open occasionally which she then eats any that is there. I can't feed on a counter as my cat old and can't jump up

As for diarreah it comes and goes if it was diet related wouldn't it be all the time?

I found like a piece of something in her poo,it looks like a flat tube thing????

Worming when iv said iv wormed her every fortnightly iv only had her about 8 weeks and she's had different types if worming treatments which are: 2 doses of flee/lung wormer on the neck as she was riddled with flees from the breeder she then had wormer for the other types of worms, once when I first had her then only recently. I was concerned about worms due to her diarreah and my children. All worming treatments from the vets and the vet is the one who gave it to her.

She had firm poo last night but then had sloppy poo 3 times this morning(shed only eaten her dried food) husband said shed been chewing on a stick yesterday????

What do you think?

22nd January 2012, 12:23 PM
I have had Bella for 6 weeks and in that time she has had Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis twice. She has a very sensitive stomach. There is acute (lasts a few days) and chronic (keeps happening) I have been instructed by my vet to give her cooked chicken and rice when she has it. She had antibiotic both times as well. Maybe try cooked chicken and rice and see how she goes.

Karlin - I was unaware that chicken was a problem. Are you talking about raw chicken or cooked chicken or both?

22nd January 2012, 01:09 PM
Chicken is one of the most common things that cause food allergies. BUt not that many dogs get allergies. So it isn;t a 'problem' unless a dog has suspected food allergies and then is one of the first things to eliminate in a diet. If a dog is having recurrent problems with diarrhea I'd definitely try some other diet than chicken.

On eating -- an alternative food doesn't necessarily have to be Bruns. Also puppies often will refuse to eat something new -- it may need to be gradually introduced by replacing part of a meal and slowly increasing: or you may just need to take the steps for a finicky eater who has decided to control the meal process (search for finicky eater and you'll get the Library post on managing this). Too many people find they have accidentally let their puppy control meals and it is a very common problem.

Has your vet done other parasite tests such as for giardia? If she came from the breeder with all these issues :( then I'd test for giardia as well and you may need to explore other potentially more serious issues. But first I'd test for giardia and get another protein source besides chicken.

22nd January 2012, 01:16 PM
He mentioned gardia but not tested yet I think I need to rule that out as since we brought coco home I feel the breeder wasn't the best I mean she came home riddled in flees the food she gave me was the cheapest tinned dog food id ever seen.

When we picked her up she had loads of adult dogs that lived in a huge summer house outside but there was dog feaces everywhere in the yard

Can the vet just give anti antibiotics to coco to treat gardia instead if tests etc?

22nd January 2012, 01:19 PM
How do I stop my cavalier from being a picky eater?

Iv tried lots of foods besides burns she just doesn't touch them and has gone all day without eating :-(

What protein should I give her instead of chicken?

22nd January 2012, 02:48 PM
How do I stop my cavalier from being a picky eater?

Iv tried lots of foods besides burns she just doesn't touch them and has gone all day without eating :-(

What protein should I give her instead of chicken?

One way to stop a picky eater has been to keep feeding the same thing each day until she gets so hungry that she will eat it. That usually works if her underlying problem is not a health issue. But if you switch foods frequently in hopes of finding one she likes, she will get used to that and figure that she can wait for the next switch. But if she discovers that the food being offered is the same one every day, then when she gets hungry enough from her eating boycott, she will eat what is offered.

We have found that chicken usually is not a good choice for our cavaliers. We feed a mix of ground vegetables beef (chunks or ground) and either ground turkey meat or chicken gizzards. We supplement with chicken or beef hearts and calf liver, and commercial supplements. We try to tailor our cavaliers' diet to their health issues, primarily mitral valve disease.

22nd January 2012, 03:18 PM
Some puppies have gastric issues on and off their first year and then suddenly it seems to settle -- it is a really common issue. But you do not want a puppy with ongoing runs -- this can be a serious health risk and very debilitating to your pup.

I went through this with Lucky ... his problems were worse for the first year (bloody, mucousy diarrhea, despite fecal exams that all came back normal). My vet suspected stress colitis ... Not sure if that was the case, but I do tend to notice flare-ups during times that seem to be particularly stressful to him.

That said, Lucky's problems have decreased dramatically the last 1.5 years since he's been on a dehydrated raw/grain free diet. We initially started with frozen raw and he did great on that, but it didn't work for me because of limited freezer space and my own difficulty replenishing their food supply every week without fear of running out. I am in the US so our foods may be different, but I have Lucky on The Honest Kitchen's "Force" which is dehydrated grain free chicken with veggies (they also have "embark" which is gain free Turkey). They also have a supplement "Perfect Form" that I also think makes a difference. It's specifically formulated for dogs with digestive issues.

The difference since starting on raw truly was staggering. It used to be I could not walk Lucky for fear that he'd leave messy "evidence" on the neighbor's sidewalks. Now, his stool is perfectly firm.

In any case, I truly do understand your issue and how stressful it can be. Good luck.

22nd January 2012, 03:33 PM
There's a UK dehydrated raw that Nicki uses -- and has posted about I think.

There's no reason to use a raw diet though if a dog isn't interested or you don't want to feed raw. I don't though I give occasional raw. Day to day I like Nature's Diet in the UK and James Wellbeloved (they don't even do chcken or beef varieties), plus home cooked meals. Home feeding takes research to get a balanced nutritious diet.

If you search on finicky eaters on this site, you will get lots of information on managing them.

If you haven't insured your cavalier, I would immediately, though any gastric problems will now be excluded. The breed has other common and sometimes very costly genetic health issues and it is wise for any owner to be sure they have the money to properly care for their dog. Puppy visits are only the start of years of good vet care that does cost money.

I would have a giardia test done right away.

One of the issues in buying a puppy is to go with a well researched, health focused, properly health testing breeder (generally this will be a show breeder though in rare cases, may not be; and only a small portion of club breeders do proper testing though many will talk as if they do. Filtering out the liars and bluffers on both the show and non-show side takes a lot of work on the buyer's side). Such puppies generally will cost more but that in part is because such breeders spend far more on health programmes/testing and general welfare of their dogs. Puppies from poor breeders tend to be cheaper and people feel they are getting a good deal but very often the costs for dealing with health issues will far exceed the small amount saved. :(

Many of us do not realise this before buying and get taken in; that is why in part this site exists -- to help puppy buyers and cavalier owners to be more knowledgable about buying and caring for their dogs, do they don't get duped by poor breeders on health and other issues,

22nd January 2012, 06:27 PM
Oh gosh don't know what to say about the food problem.. Except feed her the same every day and when she gets hungry she will realise that's her food and she has to eat it... Sounds like your pup came from a bad breeder.. Get her insured ASAP to cover hereditary diseases if they occur!!!

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Kate H
22nd January 2012, 07:40 PM
Obviously you need to find the underlying cause of your puppy's problem, but in the meantime, an old remedy that helps to firm up stools and so lessen dehydration is to put a little of what in the UK we call cornflour - corn/maize ground to a fine white powder - on the food, or mix it with a little milk. Constant runs are uncomfortable for your puppy and serious dehydration can be life-threatening, so until your vet can find the cause, a little cornflour might help (and won't harm)!

Kate, Oliver and Aled

28th January 2012, 12:08 AM
I can vouch for the fact that Chicken causes allergy in some puppies ( my five month old kept getting diarrhea on and off even though she is on Royal Cain sensitive food, my vet kept telling me to put her on chicken and rice but i found that the chicken made her worse. I now feed her with boiled rice and some of the dried food and that seems to work, stress also seems to effect her. she will grow out of it I am assured, Her brother is not affected at all.