First, I do want to note that with Poppy being so young and already having sticky gums (an early stage dehydration sign), we do need to tread with care. It is quite possible that her signs have been caused by bacteria from those puddles, irritation from the sea water (less likely if a week ago though), or a combination of both upsetting her good gut bacterial balance. Though at her age, we'd also have to be wary of unrelated bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, parasites/protozoa infections, and general dietary indiscretions
With all this in mind, we'd want to start supportive care for her to reduce these loose stools and try to keep her hydrated. To start, we’d want to start her on an easily digestible diet like cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, or meat baby food (as long as its garlic/onion free). There are also OTC vet diets that can be used (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity) too.The aim of these diets is that they will be better tolerated/absorbed by the compromised gut. Therefore, it should get more nutrients in and result in less GI upset and less diarrhea. Further to this, you can also add fiber (ie canned pumpkin, weetabix, 0.25 tsp Benefibre mixed into a bit of canned food) to these meals to bulk up her stools quicker. As long as improvement is being seen, I usually advise that the diet be continued until her signs are settled, and that they are then slowly weaned back to their normal diet.
Since dehydration is a risk for Poppy, we need to keep an eye on her hydration. To check this and ensure she’s not becoming dehydrated, there are a few things you can test. Further to checking for gum moisture, you will want to make sure her eyes are not looking sunken and that she doesn’t have a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a good video HERE (http://www.ehow.com/video_12232503_dog-dehydrated.html). If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, then that would be our cue to have her seen before this becomes an additional issue for her (especially as it is often dehydration that makes them feel unwell).
Finally, since there hasn’t been any blood in those stools, you can consider trying a pet safe anti-diarrheal. As I am sure you appreciate, these would not be a cure if the cause were infectious; but it can still be of benefit. It will reduce diarrhea load, allow the body to absorb more water/nutrients, and soothe the upset gut. In regards ***** ***** options for your wee one, the one we most commonly use is Kaolin/Kaopectate (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/kaolin-and-pectin-kapectolin-k-p). This is available OTC at most pharmacies. Otherwise, Propectalin, Canikur, Fast Balance, and Protexin Pro-Fiber (which is available OTC at vets, pet stores, and even Amazon) would be another option. All will slow diarrhea and those last ones have the added bonus of providing support to the delicate good GI bacteria (which is ideal if she has had an imbalance). So, these can be used as a short-term means of soothing this upset GI.
Overall, a wide range of agents could trigger the GI upset we are seeing. Therefore, in her case, we’d want to start supportive care to settle her stomach. If she is starting to feel poorly with this, appears any more dehydrated already, or doesn’t respond to the above within 12-24 hours; then we'd want to get her vet involved. They can assess her hydration, test a stool sample, make sure there is nothing in her stomach that shouldn't be there or any sinister viruses present. Depending on their findings, her vet can treat her with injectable antibiotics +/- anti-protozoals if needed to settle her stomach, and get her back feeling like herself.
Please take care,
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