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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16750
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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In the last two weeks my 11 year old border collie has lost

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In the last two weeks my 11 year old border collie has lost his appetite , his bowel movements are " squishy " and he has become unusually lethargic and apathetic .
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 3 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I'm sorry to hear that your older fellow Tyke has lost his appetite and is having loose stools.
The important factor in all of this is how he is feeling. Because he is lethargic and seems apathetic I am more concerned. If he isn't improving quickly with my recommendations he should see his veterinarian soon.
Loose stools can be due to stress, a change in diet, parasites, a viral or bacterial infection, internal organ failing and increased waste build up, pancreatic insufficiency, inflammatory bowel disease or even an infiltrative intestinal cancer. Rarely at his age would we see a food allergy, but it is possible.
In young dogs gastrointestinal parasites are a more common problem but even at his age checking a stool sample for parasites, as well as giving him a course of a broad spectrum worm medication like Panacur (fenbendazole) is recommended. Well worth checking at least a couple fresh stool samples too as parasite eggs/cysts are shed intermittently and they may be picked up on the second sample or third test if the first is negative.
A raw, irritated intestinal tract can take a few days to heal. Do you know if he got into anything that may have started all of this?
Because his appetite is off and he may have some stomach upset and reflux that can go along with her loose stools.
To try and settle his stomach today you can try either:
1) Pepcid-ac (famotidine) at one 10mg tablet per 9 to 18 kilograms of body weight every 12 hours.
OR
2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at one 10mg tablet per 9 to 18 kilograms of body weight every 24 hours.
These will reduce stomach acid and should help if this is related to simple nausea and gastrointestinal irritation. They can be used several days if necessary.
I would not offer him any food for 12 to 24 hours after the acid reducers are started. This should help stop gut spasms and restore normal gut motility. Small amounts of water or ice cubes given frequently are fine as he needs fluids after all that she has lost with loose stools. You can give him pedialyte to replace electrolytes too.
Today even with the fast you can start Kao-pectate at 2mls per kilogram or 1 tablespoon per 7 kilograms of body weight every 6 to 8 hours. This is quite safe and will coat his irritated gastrointestinal tract as well as absorbing bacterial toxins. You can use it for several days until his stools look normal. You can find kao-pectate at the drug store.
If he has a tense painful abdomen, starts vomiting, his stools aren't firming up at all after being on kao pectate for 24 hours, he becomes very lethargic, or runs a fever greater than 39.7C then he really must be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. Make sure to take a fresh stool sample with you when you go.
After his food fast start a bland diet of 1/3 boiled, lean hamburger (or boiled, white, skinless chicken), all fats and juices drained off the meat, mixed with 2/3 boiled, plain white rice. Feed several small meals a day. You might wish to add 2 tablespoons of canned pumpkin (not pie filling, just pumpkin) to each meal if you are seeing any mucous or blood in his stool as fiber helps soothe an irritated colon.
Once he feels better (no loose diarrhea for 48 hours) start mixing in his regular dog food very slowly. Less bland more regular with each day. It should take a week or so to convert his back.
If he is vomiting though it would be best that he see a veterinarian now as anything you give him orally will just come back up worsening his dehydration.
Best of luck with your fellow, please let me know if you have any further questions.
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