Thank you, Mandy.
First, I have to note that if we have chronic diarrhea that is not responsive to Immodium (which is just going to slow diarrhea), then this suggests that we have a more serious issue then a dietary indiscretion or benign GI upset. So, this won't be related to cat food at this point. Instead, we’d have to be wary of bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, parasites, protozoa, or persistent diarrhea secondary to an ongoing systemic issue (ie metabolic diseases, organ dysfunction, or even a tumor).
Now in regards ***** ***** at this point, it sounds like we are going to need to be more aggressive with pinpoint the cause of his signs so that we can target treatment. Therefore, it’d be ideal to have a check with his local vet or at least consider submitting a stool sample for analysis. This way you can pinpoint the cause and treat this effectively to get it settled for him.
Otherwise, instead of Immodium, I would suggest some alternative supportive care at home. In fact, you would be best to use a kaolin based anti-diarrheal in combination with a dog specific probiotic. These are OTC at most vets, pet stores, and even Amazon. Examples are Protexin Pro-Fiber, Propectalin, Canikur, or Fast Balance. All will slow diarrhea but also the probiotics will help normalize the good bacteria in the gut to decrease the diarrhea load but also the gas.
Furthermore, another measure we can use to reduce the gas and odor would be to mix activated charcoal into his food. This is also an over the counter option and comes in granule form (ie BCK granules), capsule form (which you can even use the human preparations of activated charcoal for gas from your local health food stores), or even in special dog biscuits that are available again at those aforementioned locations.
Further to these, when we have diarrhea in dogs, we do often use light/easily digestible diets. Examples would be cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, cottage cheese, or scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk). There are also veterinary prescription diets that can be used (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity). The aim of the easily digestible diet is that it will be better tolerated and absorbed by the compromised gut. Therefore, it should get more nutrients in and result in less GI upset and diarrhea. As long as improvement is being seen, I usually advise that the diet be continued until the diarrhea is settled, and that they are then slowly weaned back to their normal diet over a week.
Since diarrhea can quickly dehydrate a dog, we need to keep an eye on his hydration. Especially since dehydration is often what makes them feel unwell. To check his hydration status to make sure he is not becoming dehydrated there are a few things we can test. One is whether the eyes appear sunken, if the gums are tacky instead of wet/moist, and whether he has a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a wee video on this HERE. If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, since he is young, then you do want to have him seen by the vet before this becomes an additional issue.
Finally, while diarrhea is rarely caused by worms in adult dogs, if he has not been wormed recently that would be another base to cover. If you do, it would be ideal to use a broad spectrum good quality product (ie Milbemax, Drontal, Panacur). Though I'd note if you have a choice, then Panacur may be our best option since it does have some effect against some protozoa as well.
Overall, we do have a range of considerations for Kane's signs. With the duration of this diarrhea, the cat food isn't likely an issue. Otherwise, I suspect the odor, his appetite increase, and any worsening of his back leg issues (since he will likely have lost muscle mass with this) are side effects of this diarrhea. Therefore, in your lad's case, you can start the above further supportive care but we'd want to be thinking about having at least a stool sample analysed. Since once we know the root cause for this, we can treat accordingly (ie antibiotics, anti-protozoal medication, etc) to settle this for him before it can progress to weight loss, weakness, and dehydration.
I hope this information is helpful.
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All the best,
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