Hello, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with Jud today.
If Jud has developed diarrhea, then we do need to be concerned and do need to consider a range of causes. The most common reasons for a dog his age to show these signs are dietary indiscretion (eating something he shouldn’t have), viral infections (ie parvo, distemper, etc), intestinal parasitism (GI worms but also protozoa like coccidia, giardia, cryptosporidia), toxins, foreign bodies, and bacterial gastroenteritis. If he isn't a mischievous wee soul, then hopefully we can put worries like toxins and foreign bodies (which we' d want to address as soon as possible) lower on our list of concerns.
So, if we can put those concerns lower on our list, then you can try and settle his stomach at home. To start, it would be ideal to consider offering small meals of a light/easily digestible diet. So, instead of puppy kibble for the moment consider putting him on a easily digestible option like rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk), or meat baby food (as long as its garlic/onion powder free). As well, there are also veterinary prescription diets that can be used in cases of gastroenteritis, (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity). The easily digestible diet tends to be better tolerated and absorbed by the compromised gut. And if a infectious agent is wrecking havoc on the GI, then we want to be making his ability to gain nutrients as easy as possible for the gut. If you try this and he is settling, then do keep him on the light diet for at least a week and then slowly wean him back to his normal diet over another week.
Now diarrhea can easily dehydrate young animals, since they do not have the body resources of an adult dog (and this is what makes them feel poorly when they have diarrhea). Therefore we need to make sure he is drinking as well as possible. As well, you do need to keep a close eye on his hydration. If you are concerned that he is become dehydrated, then you do want to check his hydration. When checking a pet's hydration status, 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 he is showing those dehydration signs at this point, that is our cue to have his to the vet since oral rehydration may not be enough to get him back on track.
That said, as long has he doesn't experience vomiting, you can encourage himto drink (ie using fresh water or low sodium chicken broth) or even syringe feed him pedialyte (pr pediatric rehydration solution) if necessary. A typical maintenance rate for hydration in an animal is 48 milliliters per kilogram of body weight per day. This value will give you the total he needs for the day (though doesn’t take into account diarrhea losses, so you need to add those to your total too) and is a good starting point to give you an idea of his daily requirement. If he vomits when you given pedialyte, I would discontinue this as a therapy. (since we don’t want any vomiting because of our intervention).
Furthermore, just in case he isn't up to date on his worming then you might consider treating him now. Ideally, you will want to use a good quality broad spectrum wormer (ie Drontal, Panacur, Milbemax, etc). These are available at your vet's over the counter but you will need an idea of his weight (so you know what dose you need).
Finally, as long as you are seeing no blood or black feces, you can consider trying him today on a dog safe anti-diarrheals. As I am sure you appreciate, these would not be a cure if his diarrhea is being caused by an infectious agent (ie bacteria will require antibiotics, parasites or protozoa will require anti-parasitic treatment, etc). Still it can slow the diarrhea to aid the body to absorb more water/nutrients then it would have if the diarrhea were unchecked. Furthermore, these treatments will coat the GI and could just settle the GI upset. In regards ***** ***** options for your wee one, the one we most commonly use in dogs is Kaolin/Kaopectate (More Info/Dose) or PeptoBismol (More Info/Dose - do note that if you use this we can see this medication cause incidental black feces) available from your local pharmacy. Furthermore, Protexin Pro-Fiber (which is available OTC at vet practices; example) would be another option. All will slow diarrhea and the Pro-Fiber has the bonus of providing support to the delicate good bacteria of the GI. So, you can consider trying these as a short term means of trying to soothe his upset GI.
If you initiate these treatments and do not see improvement over the next 12- 24 hours (especially since he is quite young) or he is appearing dehydrated, then I would advise following up with his vet so that they can address possible causes of this diarrhea. If you do need him seen, then do consider taking a fecal sample with you. The vet will be able to assess the diarrhea and pinpoint the cause for it. Based on those findings, the vet can cover Jud with an antibiotics if bacterial agents are suspected or specific treatment for any suspect protozoa, and aid in getting him back to his normal self.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
Hi - thanks for the above. Re the peptobismol - we used that once before on our older dog. What would be the dosage for a puppy of 12 weeks - at his first set of jabs a week ago yesterday he weighed just under 5kg
OOOPs sorry - missed that - thanks very much
We'll try the bland diet and maybe the pepto bismol and see how he goes over the next 24 hours