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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 16908
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Hi my parsons terrier has been straining to go to the toilet

Resolved Question:

Hi my parsons terrier has been straining to go to the toilet and when she does manage it it is watery with mucus and a little blood. She's panting and trembling. She's otherwise active and alert and still quite feisty. taking water not sure on food.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 3 years ago.
Hello, my name isXXXXX and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am very sorry to hear about your girl having bloody, watery diarrhea. Of course anyone would be concerned about blood in the stool. The fresher it appears the closer the source is to her rectum.

Her panting and trembling may be due to abdominal cramping from her diarrhea.
The important factor in all of this is how she is feeling. If she feels great otherwise and is active, bright and alert then that is a good sign.

There is a condition in dogs called hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. These dogs have profuse dark, jelly-clot like, bloody diarrhea. They are very sick dogs and get dehydrated quickly so they need immediate care. Thus if she seems lethargic and/or begins vomiting an emergency veterinary visit is best.

But bloody diarrhea is usually due to colitis, or inflammation of the large intestine, which can be due to stress, a change in diet, parasites, inflammatory bowel disease or even a food allergy. Rarely a mass in the colon can be the cause.
Do you know if she got into anything that may have started all of this such as table food, new treats, something outside?

If she is feeling well I am less concerned but her diarrhea should clear completely over the next 2 to 3 days. If not she should be checked by her regular veterinarian. 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.

If she still feels well now though we can try some things at home.
If her appetite is off and her stomach is gurgling she may have some stomach upset and reflux that can go along with her bloody stools.
To try and settle her stomach today you can try either:
1) Pepcid-ac (famotidine) at one half of a 10mg tablet per 10 to 20 pounds of body weight every 12 hours.
OR
2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at one half of a 10mg tablet per 10 to 20 pounds of body weight every 24 hours.
These will reduce stomach acid and should help if this is related to simple nausea and gastrointestinal irritation.

I would not feed her any food for 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 she needs fluids after all that she has lost with bloody, loose stools. You can give her pedialyte to replace electrolytes too but Gatorade is much too high in sugar which can make her colon irritation worse.

Today even with the food fast you can start Kao-pectate at 1ml per pound or 1 tablespoon per 15 pounds of body weight every 6 to 8 hours. This is quite safe and will coat her irritated gastrointestinal tract as well as absorbing bacterial toxins. You can use it for several days until her stools look normal. You can find kao-pectate at the drug store.

If she has a tense painful abdomen, continues to have loose stools with no improvement after being on kao pectate for 24 hours, becomes very lethargic, begins vomiting, has very pale or white gum and tongue color rather then the normal bubble gum pink color, or runs a fever greater than 103.5F then she really must be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Make sure to take a fresh stool sample with you when you go if you decide that she needs a veterinary visit.

After her 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 1 to 2 tablespoon(s) of canned pumpkin to each meal as fiber helps soothe an irritated colon.

Once she feels better (no bloody diarrhea for 48 hours) start mixing in her regular dog food very slowly. Less bland more regular with each day. It should take a week or so to convert her back.

If she is vomiting and feeling poorly though it would be best that she see a veterinarian now as anything you give her orally will just come back up worsening her dehydration.

Best of luck with your little one, please let me know if you have any further questions.
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