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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
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Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Our one year old labradoodle has diarrhea. It started a week

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Our one year old labradoodle has diarrhea. It started a week ago (a massive series of explosions) and is not as severe as it was (and his tools were nearly normal for a couple of days) but his stools are now runny again. We have bought some stool firmer and have been feeding him rice and chicken. Whilst the frequency has reduced to three times a day, the stools are again very liquid. Should we be worried? What can we do to stop the runs?
Thank you
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear that you have been battling loose stools with your pup for a week.
It will be important to describe what sort of loose stools he has to try and localize the problem. Loose stools with mucous or bright red blood point more towards large bowel diarrhea or colitis, whereas just watery stools with no mucous point more toward small bowel disease. Increased frequency points toward large bowel diarrhea, whereas more normal frequency and normal or increased amounts of stool point toward small bowel diarrhea.
Diarrhea can be due to stress, a quick change in diet, parasites, inflammatory bowel disease or even a food allergy. But though much less likely at this age, it can also be related to metabolic organ disease (such kidney or liver disease) due to organ wastes irritating the gut.
Ideally your pup would have stool samples checked to make sure that parasites aren't part of his problem. Puppies are more likely to have parasites as a cause of diarrhea and if he is going out into areas where he has eliminated he can be reinfesting himself with parasites. Make sure these stool checks are sent out to the laboratory as they can do a more thorough check for less common parasites. Perhaps worming him with a broad spectrum wormer like fenbendazole (Panacur) would be helpful.
Diarrhea can also lead to bacterial overgrowth in the gut. Probiotics such as Fortiflora or Benebac can help replace appropriate bacteria. Have you tried those?
If his appetite is off and his stomach is gurgling he may have some stomach upset and reflux that can go along with his loose stools.
To try and settle his stomach today you can try either:
1) Pepcid-ac (famotidine) at one 10mg tablet per 9 to 18 kilograms of body weight every 12 hours.
2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at one 10mg tablet per 9 to 18 kilograms of body weight every 24 hours.
These will reduce stomach acid and should help if this is related to simple nausea and gastrointestinal irritation.
If he seems to have a great appetite you can skip the acid reducer medication.
I would not feed him any food for 24 hours. This should help stop gut spasms and restore normal gut motility.
Small amounts of water or ice cubes given frequently are fine as he needs fluids after all that he has lost with diarrhea. You can give him pedialyte to replace electrolytes too but Gatorade is much too high in sugar which can make his intestinal irritation worse.
Today even with the fast you can start Kao-pectate at 2mls per kilogram or 1 tablespoon per 7 kilograms of body weight every 6 to 8 hours. This is quite safe and will coat his irritated gastrointestinal tract as well as absorbing bacterial toxins. You can use it for several days until his stools look normal. You can find kao-pectate at the drug store.
If he has a tense painful abdomen, his stool isn't firming after being on kao pectate and the probiotics for 24 to 48 hours, he becomes very lethargic, begins vomiting or runs a fever greater than 103.5F then he really must be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. Make sure to take a fresh stool sample with you when you go.
After his food fast start a bland diet of 1/3 boiled, lean hamburger (or boiled, white skinless chicken), all fats and juices drained off the meat, mixed with 2/3 boiled, plain white rice. Feed several small meals a day. You might wish to add 1 to 2 tablespoon(s) of canned pumpkin to each meal if you are seeing mucous in his stool as fiber helps soothe an irritated colon.
Once he feels better (no diarrhea for 48 hours) start mixing in his regular dog food very slowly, less bland more regular with each day. It should take a week or so to convert him back.
If he doesn't have parasites and this becomes a long term issue for him it is quite possible that he has developed a food allergy/sensitivity and that he needs a low residue, easy to digest food or a hypoallergenic food to be able to properly digest and absorb his food and not have loose stools.
At that point I highly recommend a trial of either Hills i/d or Purina Veterinary Diets EN. No treats, table food or edible chewies while he is on his food trial. Dogs with true food allergies rather then sensitivities can benefit from Hills z/d or Purina Veterinary Diets HA.
Best of luck with your fellow, please let me know if you have any further questions.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

When he had his first "explosion" we fasted him for 24 hours and then slowly reintroduced food, feeding him boiled chicken and boiled rice. We kept this up for 5 days. Yesterday, day 6, we reintroduced some of his dry food pellets into the rice/chicken. His dried food is Puppy Science Plan (large breed). We haven't given him treats. And, he still has an appetite!

So, question. Should we fast him again? Or, resort to rice/chicken again?

He was wormed on 24th July with Advocate.

Kao-pectate - is this what I would ask for at a UK pharmacy? How does this differ from Pepcid-ac (famotidine).

Thank you

Thanks for the clarifications.
If his appetite remains great skip the acid reducers entirely. They are only used to reduce stomach acid when we see reflux (and thus a decreased appetite) along with diarrhea. The acid reducers I mentioned do not work on the gut itself, and won't treat diarrhea, rather they reduce acid forming in the stomach and are used for nausea.
So his stools were firming up until the return to his regular diet?
In that case we either have parasites (which cause episodic diarrhea) or he is developing a sensitivity to something in his regular diet.
I would fast him again and pick up some Hills i/d diet from your veterinarian, which is a bland diet that is fully balanced. My concern with using the homemade bland diet too long is that it isn't fully balanced. I would also use a probiotic.
Kao-pectate is kaolin and pectin. I am sure that the pharmacy has some equivalent product even if they don't have kao-pectate. It works topically on the intestinal tract to absorb fluid and toxins and is not appreciably absorbed.
Advocate is a great product but there are some parasites it doesn't work against, like giardia. It is worth giving him a course of Panacur (fenbendazole) for 5 days for two treatments 3 weeks apart.
Once his stools are normal and he's been wormed you can try returning to his regular diet. If loose stools return I would look for a food that has a different protein base then Puppy Science Plan. Dogs usually are sensitive to a protein in the food. Though if you can find one with different carbohydrates (rice, wheat, corn) too that would be ideal, as some dogs do react to the carbohydrate. My own dog is allergic to wheat.
Let me know if you have any further questions.
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