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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 22277
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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Our 3 and a half year old cocker spaniel, Lottie has has

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Our 3 and a half year old cocker spaniel, Lottie has has diarrhoea since the early hours of yesterday morning. It was very smelly, substantial and dark brown. She was then sick once and it was quite solid. (The only time she has vomited). We were coming home from holiday and we stopped every couple years few hours where she vacated her bowels again, by this time it was watery. She hadn’t eaten since the night before. She was given cheese, sausages, chicken wing meat and skin (deboned) and her regular food by members of the family. 19 hours after being fed I gave her some boiled chicken, which she eagerly ate. She has been given ice cubes to keep her hydrated. She has continued to have diarrhoea throughout the night and is now lethargic but still alert (barking and running to check out any noises). We are so worried please can you tell us what is the best course of action for us now. Do we continue with boiled chicken or do we starve her for a while. She doesn’t normally get food the way she did on Friday night. Thank you. My email is***@******.*** I have written this on my Mums iPad.
Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. This sounds like it might be serious. I'll let the Veterinarian know what's going on ASAP. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Lottie?
Customer: She does suffer from a bilious tummy and has to be fed twice a day as otherwise she is sick.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Have you seen any blood or black stool with this diarrhea?

Are her gums pink or white/pale? Moist or sticky?

If you press on her belly, any tensing, tenderness, discomfort, or pain?

Could she have eaten anything harmful (ie bones, toys, plants, chemicals, human meds, etc)?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you for getting back to me.
No blood or black stool.
Gums are pink and moist.
No issue with pressing her belly.
She pulled a toy to pieces but we believe that we got all of that as she never swallows toys bits. She spits it out and we find it everywhere.

Hello again,

Now I am very glad to hear that she hasn't those urgent signs and isn't the kind of dog to ingest anything she tears up (since otherwise partial blockages would be a concern with Lottie). That said, it does sound like we have a significant lower GI upset and that it is inflaming the colon leading to secondary nausea (which not only will cause diarrhea but appetite loss as we have here). With regards ***** ***** causes, our top suspects would be a brewing bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, parasites/protozoa infections, or dietary indiscretion.

With this all in mind, we can try some home supportive care. Now given this situation, I'd not starve her since but plan to use small meals. The boiled chicken is perfect but you can add rice or pasta to bulk up the diet a bit. As well, fiber (ie canned pumpkin, all bran) and OTC probiotics (ie Benebac, Fortiflora) can be added to these meals to firm those loose stools quicker and support digestion. As well, if she is very runny, we can also try a pet safe anti-diarrheal. As I am sure you appreciate, these would not be a cure for infectious issues; 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, 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 (all 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 probiotics added in. So, these can be used as a short-term means of soothing her upset GI.

Furthermore, since we don't want Lottie to become dehydrated, we'll want to keep an eye on her hydration. Further to checking for gum moisture, do make sure she doesn’t have sunken eyes 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, if we see any more nausea or that appetite is quite reduced, we can also consider an antacid for her. Examples of OTC pet safe antacid we use in dogs include Pepcid (More Info/Dose @http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/famotidine-pepcid), Zantac (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/ranitidine-hcl-zantac), or Milk of Magnesia 0.5tsp every 8-12 hours). Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before food to allow absorption. Of course, do double check with your vet if she has a known health issues or is on any medications you haven't mentioned. We may not need that if she will take the light diet, but just in case.

Overall, her signs do raise a few concerns here. Therefore, we’d want to start supportive care to settle her stomach. As well, if she hasn't been wormed in the past month that too would be a base to cover here. Of course is she doesn’t respond to the above within 12-24 hours; then we'd want to get her vet to assess her, test a stool sample and potentially start antibiotics to nip this in the bud.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you for your help

You are very welcome, my dear. :)

Have a lovely day,

Dr. B.

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