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Randomly Occurring Loose Stool?


Roo
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Hello! About a month ago, Eli had a horrible case of "gastroenteritis" - went to the vet, spent a lot, got him some anti-upset stomach meds, and he was fine. The vet chalked it up to something random. Fast forward to today - he wakes me up at 5 am, having pooped and peed in his crate. Take him outside and he poops three more times - pretty loose each time. He hasn't thrown up yet like he did the last time, but he's acting like he's not feeling well. I'm still paying off the last bill for this (and the euthanasia of my pet rat at the same time) so I really can't bring him back to the vet for a stay. I still have a little of the sensitive stomach food left - should I feed him his normal amount of that? Should I feed him a few small meals throughout the day? Should I give him water and see if he can hold that down first? What in the world could be causing these monthly upset stomach happenings? They didn't start until I switched his food to the green bag, but his poops have been perfectly solid since we switched foods. (also eta) Should I switch food again to the Costco brand and see if that eliminates these monthly upsets?

 

Should I call the vet when they open and tell them what's going on? See if they'll let me get just the pills that they gave me last time that calmed his tummy down?

 

ETA: This may sound strange, but could it be on conjunction with the full moon? Last time this happened, it was two or three days after the full moon. This time, it's been about 4 days since the full moon. Am I nuts, or is that a possibility?

Edited by Roo

Mom of bridge babies Regis and Dusty.

Wrote a book about shelter dogs!

I sell things on Etsy!

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Guest BrindleBabes

Roo, I'm having a similar problem. Yesterday Grace had blow-out diarrhea (in the car -- and she tried to tell me!) and then Tess had blood in her stool. One or the other has had diarrhea once a month for the past few months, which they rarely had before. They seem perfectly healthy otherwise.

 

The last two times my vet called in a script for metronidazole and recently gave me packets of Panacur (for deworming). I will e-mail her this AM to find out which way to go. In the meantime I'm giving them a small amount of Hills i/d canned with water (similar to cooking up turkey and rice).

 

Be sure you've checked to see if anything you've fed him isn't on a pet food recall list. The first time they got sick I had given them Happy Hips chicken jerky treats, which were made in China. Not on the list, but the vet said absolutely NO treats from China, but especially no jerky.

 

It's frustrating, because I can't pin it down. My only thought this time is I gave them their monthly Iverheart Max tab on Tuesday.

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Oh no! As sorry as I am to hear about your girls, it's nice to know I'm not alone.

 

Eli had metronidazole last time this happened and it cleared him up, but they never gave him a dewormer (and if they did, they didn't tell me). I'm planning to give him a little bit of the i/d I have on hand (not sure the brand - they sell it in the vet's office) and call the vet after classes this morning to request the meds. I'll ask about Panacur as well - thanks for mentioning that! I've never seen wormies in his poo, but hey - I might just not be looking hard enough?

 

The only thing that I feed him other than his food is a buddy biscuit that I got at Target. I picked them up a couple weeks after his first incident, when he was all cleared up, and he gets one a day at night right before bed. I had him on other treats that upset his tummy.. Maybe he just has a bad reaction to any and all treats? I'll switch back to giving him a handful of dog food before bed.

 

I think I'm going to switch to the Costco brand of food as well. Since none of this started until the month after I switched him to Iams, I'm suspicious....

Mom of bridge babies Regis and Dusty.

Wrote a book about shelter dogs!

I sell things on Etsy!

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Guest BrindleBabes

I've had my girls for six years and this is a new thing. Sometimes I wonder if all these meds (vaccines, heartworm, flea & tick, dewormers, glucosamine ...) aren't finally getting the best of them.

 

The panacur I received came in three packets. The vet said even though their fecals were negative, they could still have something ...

 

Good luck -- and let us know how Eli does.

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often dogs will need more than one round of flagyl/metronidazole which is a WONDER drug when it comes to cleaning up guts. (most likely that's what your vet prescribed) CALL him/her and let him know exactly what is going on and ask if he needs another round of meds. some bacteria might (most likely) is present. as to food, bland old fashioned white rice and 20% boiled ground chop meat until he totally clears up. he'll be getting more than enough water in the rice and you will notice that his drinking is reduced. then, after nearly a week of firm stools reintroduce food...1/4 cup at a time- to tolerance(green bag). dogs can survive a really long time on rice alone, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. i NEVER buy the $$$ sensitive stomach kibble- it's rice in my house. costco is great and will take the open bag back for a full refund. no matter what the blend, my dogs do not do well on kirkland kibble.

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Did any of these dogs with problems recently take heartworm meds? Heartgard Plus contains a flavoring ingredient that reliably triggers soft poop in both my dogs--to the point where I delay a day or so giving the chewables if the weather is going to be bad on the 1st. Oh--speaking of which...I wasn't paying attention to the calendar. Pills are due.

 

(Roo--when you mentioned full moon, that's when I thought of heartworm meds.)

Edited by KF_in_Georgia

15060353021_97558ce7da.jpg
Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

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I decided to leave him at the vet today, as he was still vomiting when it was time for me to leave for a class I couldn't miss. They called me to tell me that he threw up once more, but hasn't done anything since (this was 3 hours ago). They're going to send him home with metronidazole (again). They said that the fecal test revealed a "buildup of bad bacteria". Whatever that means...

 

I've developed a theory for why this is happening. When I first brought him home in May, I fed him Nutro Sensitive Stomach. He did okay on it, but had pudding-poos (never had an accident, though, and was never in a rush to poop). I decided that these poos weren't good, so I slowly switched him to Iams - he went full Iams on September 4th. His poops were instantly perfect and I thought, "Yes, I've solved the problem." Fast forward a month. On October 3rd, he had his first diarrhea-vomiting episode. I rushed him to the vet, where he quickly racked up a $400 bill but recovered perfectly well. I weaned him back onto the Iams off the i/d they had me feeding him (after an appropriate amount of time and at the vet's suggestion). Fast forward another month. Today, November 2nd, he had his second diarrhea-vomiting episode. Now, here's my theory. With the Nutro, his body was expelling the "bad bacteria" on a daily basis, thus the squishy poos. But they didn't have a chance to build up, so he never had diarrhea-vomiting episodes. Now, on the Iams, he has really good poos, but the "bad bacteria" is allowed to hang out in his gut and builds up over a month's time to the point where it makes him sick. Does this sound like a possibility?

 

I feel kind of like I'm at my wit's end here. How do you solve a problem that the vet doesn't even have a cause for? I can't fathom having this as a monthly occurrence - I've felt sick since this morning, and only partly because the smell of it all was kind of toxic :puke I'll freely admit to curling up in the fetal position in bed when I got home from class and just crying, because I feel like I'm doing something wrong that's making him sick.

Mom of bridge babies Regis and Dusty.

Wrote a book about shelter dogs!

I sell things on Etsy!

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Guest FinnsMom

There are a couple of things you can try giving him to make his poos a little more solid. You can try a bit of pumpkin (not the pie filling), or oatmeal. We had pudding poo as well, I tried pumpkin but that just made it worse, so no pumpkin for my guy, so now I mix a bit of oatmeal in with each his meals and while his poos aren't 100% I would consider them about 96 ... which is A LOT better than what they were. I had read about the oatmeal in another thread here and thought I'd give it a try. He will not get food now without the oatmeal it has made that much of a difference.

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Some dogs do well on the Costco (Kirkland) foods, but others do not. They're good foods, and not expensive, but they aren't wonder-foods. (Short term, my dogs have done well on them. But within about six weeks, both dogs had dried out, ugly coats.)

 

See if your vet will keep Eli on a maintenance dose of metronidazole. My Sam takes half a pill every other day because stopping the pills triggers a disaster within four days. (I kept info on a calendar: started pills here, stopped pills here, Sam exploded here. I had two months of that info plotted on the calendar. The vet took one look at it and okayed a maintenance dose.) Occasionally, Sam gets stressed (car rides) or just gets out of whack and he'll start with the soft poop. I just go ahead and give him the half pill, even if it's not his day for it, and things generally settle down. Two consecutive days of soft poop, and I step the metronidazole up to one pill a day, then we go back to a half pill every other day.

 

Metronidazole is wonderful, but there's a potential side effect known as metronidazole toxicity. This generally manifests as nervous system trouble, and usually clears up when the meds are stopped. My vet thinks the risk is low on the dose that Sam is on, but if Sam suddenly starts having coordination issues or head-tilts or something, we'll stop the metronidazole immediately. But it's been the only thing that has worked on my old boy, and he can't afford large weight losses from diarrhea.

 

There's a similar med--without bad side effects--called Tylan (tylosine). It can be taken long-term, but it didn't help with Sam.

 

Also, thinking Sam's problem might be worms, we gave him Panacur three times even though the fecal exams were negative. Panacur had no impact on Sam's diarrhea: the infamous Poop Calendar made that clear.

15060353021_97558ce7da.jpg
Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

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He's home! And the vet tech reported that right before I got there, they had him out and he had a "nice firm stool" (and she added that he did two kicks and looked super proud of himself). The vet seemed to think I was nuts about the "schedule" I'd noticed - that this happens exactly a month apart from the previous incident. He also didn't seem to think I should get him off the Iams, even though none of these problems started until he was on the Iams. And, last but not least, he's convinced that Eli eats poop in the yard. Even though I've said numerous times that he only goes for walks and I watch him to be sure he doesn't eat poop while we're out. Pardon my small rant, but... I think I'm going to switch back to the Nutro that we were on before these problems and try adding in oatmeal to see if that helps with the smooshy stools.

Mom of bridge babies Regis and Dusty.

Wrote a book about shelter dogs!

I sell things on Etsy!

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Guest BrindleBabes

Did any of these dogs with problems recently take heartworm meds? Heartgard Plus contains a flavoring ingredient that reliably triggers soft poop in both my dogs--to the point where I delay a day or so giving the chewables if the weather is going to be bad on the 1st.

 

As a matter of fact, I noticed that one of my grrls had a bloody poop within two days of getting her monthly Iverhart Max. I checked the calendar and this has happened at least twice in the past three months. You might be on to something ...

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I'm still very confused about what's actually happening.

 

When we were at the vet, I was told (by the vet) that the cause of Eli's bacterial infection was that he was eating his own poop. He said Eli probably pooped in his crate occasionally and cleaned it up so that he didn't have to lay in it until the bacteria built up in his gut and made him sick. It gave him diarrhea, which he ate, and then he started vomiting. The vet said the solution to this was to give him really long walks at night and make him sleep with a muzzle that has a poop-guard. I've been doing this since Friday and everything seems to be going well. Eli hasn't pooped in his crate and he's sleeping through the night (though he isn't happy about the muzzle).

 

This afternoon, I got a call from the vet's office. I'm not sure who I was talking to (probably a vet tech?) but she said that the vet "forgot to mention" that I should be giving Eli a probiotic to prevent the "monthly diarrhea" we're seeing. It's not just diarrhea - it's a bacterial infection. Will giving him a probiotic really prevent a bacterial infection (I believe they said it was clostridia - or something similar - began with a c)? I asked if giving it to him if he didn't need it would hurt anything, and her answer was something along the lines of "You should be giving it to him no matter what."

 

....Then why did no one mention a probiotic either of the times I was there?

 

Does anyone here have experience with clostridia (or whatever?), a probiotic, or maybe just speaks "vet"? I'm so confused and could really use a logical explanation...

Mom of bridge babies Regis and Dusty.

Wrote a book about shelter dogs!

I sell things on Etsy!

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I keep thinking of questions about this... :lol

 

I want to try giving him some plain old yogurt for a while to see if that helps. What I'm really curious about is something the vet tech implied. She said that I'd be giving him the probiotic to counteract the diarrhea we're seeing. Well, we don't actually see diarrhea. He has it once a month in his crate, and he eats it and gets sick and I bring him to the vet. Other than that, he has perfect bouncy stools every day. Should I really give him a probiotic if his poops are looking this "good"?

 

I've got a couple of scenarios I'm thinking of trying and I'd love some feedback (or just a "Well, don't do that one cause [insert reason]).

 

Option 1: Change nothing. Keep feeding him the Iams he's on and making him wear a muzzle at night. See what happens.

Option 2: Add yogurt. Keep feeding him the Iams, add in yogurt (how much?), and continue making him wear a muzzle.

Option 3: Change food. Put him back on the Nutro Sensitive Stomach I had him on when he first came home. His poos were always pudding-like, but he never got a bacterial infection.

Option 4: Try a probiotic (but probably not the one the vet waned me to give him). Would he need it every day (like the vet tech implied) or would I reserve it for the times that his bowels get loose and give it to him then?

 

I'm really leaning towards Option 3 at this point. When he was on the Nutro, his poops were yellowy and puddingish, but they were regular, he never had accidents, and he never had a bacterial infection (I'm assuming the Nutro helped him eliminate some of the bacteria that the Iams has allowed to build up - these bacterial infections didn't start until he'd been eating Iams for a month, and they've been a monthly thing since then). If the pudding poo is still a problem, I could try to counteract them by giving him oatmeal with his meals. I'm getting low on this bag of Iams and need to pick my course of action pretty soon...haha

 

And also, can you tell I'm freaking out a bit? I know there has to be some sort of solution that will be easy on his tummy and reasonably easy on my wallet, but I'm just not sure what it is.

Mom of bridge babies Regis and Dusty.

Wrote a book about shelter dogs!

I sell things on Etsy!

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