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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16731
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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I have a 12 weeks old cocker spaniel with very loose stools

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I have a 12 weeks old cocker spaniel with very loose stools ..... he is still extremely happy and doesn't seem to be effected. The only change in diet was yesterday when he had a very small portion of cooked meat cut up for extra special training treats and he was out and about trying to eat leaves etc from the ground. Should I fast him for the rest of the day or until his stools return to normal. He has had no previous symptoms. Thank you.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am very sorry to hear about Blue's loose stools, but pleased to hear that he is feeling well otherwise. If he is bright, alert and playful with a normal appetite then I am less concerned.
Diarrhea in a younger dog can be from several causes. Common ones are a quick change in diet, too many treats, especially fatty or spicy treats, eatings things they should not such as things found in the yard, toy pieces or garbage, viral, or bacterial, or parasitic infections. 
More serious causes include a dietary allergy or sensitivity, or a full or partial gastrointestinal obstruction.
At this point we can try some things at home but he may need to see a veterinarian if he isn't coming along well or is developing other symptoms.
I would not feed him any food for 8-12 hours.
This should help stop gut spasms and restore normal gut motility.
In a couple hours small amounts of water, clear broth or ice cubes given frequently are fine as he needs fluids after all that he has lost with loose stools.
You can give him pedialyte to replace electrolytes too but Gatorade is much too high in sugar which can make his intestinal irritation worse.
Today even with the fast you can start Kao-pectate at 0.5ml per kilogram or 1 tablespoon per 7-8 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 things are going well 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. If you are seeing any blood or mucous in his stools add 1 tablespoon of canned pumpkin to each meal as fiber helps soothe an irritated colon. Your other option is to purchase Hills i/d prescription diet from your veterinarian to feed him if you don't want to cook.
You can also add probiotics like Fortiflora or Proviable to his food daily to replace good bacteria. The gut bacteria are often abnormal once they have diarrhea and until the balance is normal again the diarrhea may not clear.
Feed several small meals a day. Once he feels better (no loose stools for 48 to 72 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 him back.
Whether his stools firm up or not I highly recommend that you submit several fresh stool samples to your family veterinarian to check for gastrointestinal parasites, as they are very common in young puppies and can lead to intermittent loose stools.
If Blue's diarrhea is continuing with no improvement, he begins vomiting and feeling poorly though, especially if he isn't current on his vaccines, it would be best that he see a veterinarian as anything you give him orally will just come back up worsening his dehydration.
If he has a tense painful abdomen, becomes very lethargic, begins vomiting or runs a fever greater than 103.5F then he really must be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Best of luck with your little one, please let me know should you have any further questions.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello Dr. Kara,

Thank you for your help and advice. Blue is fully vaccinated and wormed so I will do what you suggest and not feed him any food for 8 - 12 hours in the hope that will help. He doesn't seem to be in any stress at the moment i.e no tense or painful abdomen although I'm sure missing his next few meals will be surely missed by Blue as his appetite is huge !!

Thank you once again

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Terrific, I am glad to hear that he is fully vaccinated and wormed.
I know missing meals will be tough on you both, but it should help his loose stools. And then the bland diet will soothe his irritated intestinal tract further.
There are some unusual parasites that aren't covered even with the common broad spectrum wormers we use, so I always recommend checking stool samples too.
Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns.