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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 16189
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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My 1 year old Westie has had partly formed stools but the

Customer Question

My 1 year old Westie has had partly formed stools but the latter half of the stool has been soft. However on coming home today she had not long got out the door and sprayed watery diahorrea everywhere as I saw she had been sick in her crate. I'm assuming it's from the treats she's been getting during her last 3 days of training. As she didn't have an upset stomach before a few days ago.
I've pressed on her tummy and she's not wincing or making any noise and there's no blood in the stool so I assume it's not an obstruction. Do I need to go to the vet or shall I continue the way I know - take away any food and feed her chicken and rice in the morning?
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

First, I'd note that while overindulging on treatments could cause these signs, if she has been soft towards the end of her motions beforehand, then we'd also have to be wary of this being do to a bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, parasites/protozoa infections, general dietary indiscretions, and ingestion of harmful items (hopefully less likely).

With this all in mind, as long as she can keep water down, we can try some home supportive care to see if we can settle her stomach. To start, if she hasn’t just vomited (since otherwise we’d need to rest her stomach for a few hours first), then you can try an OTC pet safe antacid like Zantac (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/ranitidine-hcl-zantac), or Milk of Magnesia (0.25tsp every 12 hours). Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before offering food to allow absorption. Of course, do check with your vet before use if she has any known health issues or is on any medications you didn’t mention. As well, if you try this and find the nausea just too severe to keep it down, then that is usually a red flag that we need the local vet to bypass her mouth with injectable anti-vomiting medication.

After that has had time to absorb, we can start small meals of a light/easily digestible diet. Examples you can use are 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. When you offer these meals, give her 30 minutes after to settle. If she keeps the food down, you can give a bit more and so on. 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. You can also add fiber (ie weetabix, canned pumpkin or 0.25tsp of Benefibre mixed into a bit of canned food) to bulk her stools up 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, we need to keep a close 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 do find these dehydration signs, then that would be our cue to have her seen before this becomes an additional issue (especially as it is often dehydration that makes them feel unwell).

Finally, as long as you have not seen 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 this is 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, we most often use OTC Kaolin/Kaopectate (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/kaolin-and-pectin-kapectolin-k-p). Otherwise, Propectalin, Canikur, Fast Balance, and Protexin Pro-Fiber (all 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. So, these can be used as a short-term means of soothing this upset GI.

Overall, a wide range of agents could trigger the signs we are seeing. This could be due to too many treats but we do have some other concerns as well. Also we need to tread with care since Isla is so young and vulnerable to dehydration. Therefore, we’d want to start supportive care to settle her stomach. If she cannot keep that or water down at any point, appears dehydrated already, or doesn’t respond to the above within 12-24 hours (as she is young); then we'd want to get her vet involved. They can assess her hydration, rule out fever, make sure there is nothing in her stomach that shouldn't be there or any sinister viruses present. Depending on their findings, your vet can treat her with injectable anti-vomiting medication, fluids, +/- antibiotics to get her back feeling like herself.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Her stool only changed after she began training again and having those treats so we've stopped them. She's had them before but not for a while. But with young dogs you never know what they've eaten!!
She's only been sick once and hasn't been sick since and is cuddled up with my partner. Hopefully in a few hours I'll try her with a bland food and see if she keeps it down.
The diarrhea was what concerned me more. She's usually very playful and bouncy but she's just wanting to cuddle and sleep.
She is occasionally letting out a little groan but not when you press on her belly. I think it's just her though.
I think it is from the treats during training and she is keeping water down so I'll feed her bland food and if she's no better tomorrow I'll take her to the vet.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 months ago.

Absolutely, young dogs are notorious for picking up all sorts or even sticking their noses in things they should not. So, we often see gut upsets at this age. As well, if the treats are very rich and have inflamed her pancreas, that too could make her a bit tender in her belly. In any case, that sounds like a good plan of action if she has any more vomiting or if she continues with profuse diarrhea since we don't want to risk any dehydration or her feeling poorly with this.

Best wishes,

Dr. B.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
She hasn't been sick but she's just had another nasty dose of diarrhea which looks just like coloured water. She's holding water down but I'm worried it's coming out the other end?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 months ago.
Hi again,
If she is showing the aforementioned dehydration signs, then you will want her seen once her vet is open. Otherwise start the above to soothe her gut and start to slow the diarrhea for her.
Best wishes,
Dr. B
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Okay but she doesn't need to see an emergency vet? She can just go in the morning?
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
She had some scrambled egg only a little and was keen to eat it but only held it down around ten mins and was sick again
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 months ago.

Hi again,

It's not an emergency but if she cannot hold down food then we will need to rest her stomach until they are open in the morning. But if she stops keeping water down or keeps being sick, then having her seen as soon as possible would be ideal.

Dr. B

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