& welcome. I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
Now when we see a dog like Bramble show internmittent diarrhea, we do have to consider a range of causes (just as with people). The most common reasons dog to show these signs are dietary indiscretion (eating something she shouldn’t have), viral infections (ie parvo, distemper, etc), inflammatory conditions (ie IBD), toxins, intestinal parasitism, cancers, and a bacterial gastroenteritis. If she 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 foreign body and toxin concerns lower on our list, then you can try and settle her stomach at home. Now if she has had a fussy appetite and diarrhea, it would be ideal to see if we can get her onto a light/easily digestible diet. Examples include boiled chicken with rice, boiled white fish and rice, scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk), or cottage cheese with rice. 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 her ability to gain nutrients as easy as possible gut. You want to offer small frequent meals, as this will also aid in decreasing diarrhea load. It she does settle on this diet, then we'd want to keep her on it least a week and then slowly weaned back to their normal diet over another week.
Just to note in regards ***** ***** poor appetite, if she won't eat a light diet you may need to consider syringe feeding her if it has been a week. To do so, we will often use diets like Hill's A/D (LINK), Royal Canin Recovery (LINK), or Clinicare Canine/Feline Liquid Diet (LINK). But in a pinch of the weekend, you can water down pate style puppy food to feed if need be.
As well, since abnormal feces and appetite loss often leads to abnormally high levels of fluid loss, you need to keep a close eye on her hydration. If you are concerned that she is become dehydrated, then you do want to check her 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 she has a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters , you can find a wee video on this HERE. If she is showing those dehydration signs at this point, that is our cue to have her to the vet since oral rehydration may not be enough to get her back on track.
Otherwise, we do want to keep her hydrated in the face of this diarrhea. To do this, we'd want to encourage Bramble to keep drinking. Fresh water should always be available and low sodium chicken broth can be offered to tempt her. Ice chips are fine if that is all she will have. Since you plan to have her see the vet in the morning, you can just offer these but if we needed to maintain her hydration longer then we can usuall do so via syringe feeding her pedialyte (pr pediatric rehydration solution) or Lectaid (available OTC from your vets). The nice thing about these two is that they will provide hydration as well as the electrolytes that she will be losing in her diarrhea. A typical maintenance rate in an animal is 48 millilitres per kilogram of body weight per day. This value will give you the total she needs day (though doesn’t take into account diarrhea losses which you can add to this total) and is a good starting point to give you an idea of her daily requirement. If she vomits you given pedialyte, I would discontinue this as a therapy. (since we don’t want vomiting because of our intervention).
Furthermore, there are some anti-diarrheals that can be used in dogs to slow things down gut. As I am sure you appreciate, these would not be a cure (since cures would depend on the culprit and might include antibiotics or anti-parasitics, etc.) but would slow the diarrhea to aid the body potentially absorb more water/nutrients then it would have if the diarrhea were unchecked. In regards ***** ***** options the one we most commonly use in dogs is Kaolin/Kaopectate (More Info/Dose) or PeptoBismol (More Info/Dose) 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. And these can help reduce general GI upset if this is the reason behind her poor appetite as well.
Overall, when we see diarrhea in a dog, there are a range of issues we must consider. Since your vet isn't open just now, I would suggest a trial on a light diet while monitoring her hydration. (You don't need to starve her first if she hasn't been eating properly week and isn't vomiting). If you initiate these treatments and do not see improvement or she is appearing dehydrated, then I would advise following up with her vet when they open. If possible, do consider bringing a fresh fecal sample with you so that the vet can assess the feces and advise you on which differential is to blame 's diarrhea. Depending on their findings, they can dispense the appropriate treatment (ie antibiotic if bacterial agents, anti-parasitics or worms, etc) to get her back to her normal self.
I hope this information is helpful.
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All the best,
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