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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 33311
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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9 year old golden retriever started to suffer from loose bowel

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9 year old golden retriever started to suffer from loose bowel recently - can be fine for a few weeks then it comes back - her diet has been dog meal until this started - have starved her for 24 hrs then worked on chicken then chicken with rice and introducing meal at night but last night loose attacks came back
Christine, there are quite a few differential diagnoses for recurrent diarrhea in dogs. A methodical approach to diagnosing the etiology is often necessary. I'll approach these patients in this manner but not necessarily in the order I've posted:1) Presumptively treat for occult gastrointestinal parasites with over the counter fenbendazole (Panacur) daily for 7 consecutive days. Fenbendazole is an effective and safe drug for addressing all of the nematodes (roundworms, hookworms, whipworms) as well as the protozoan Giardia. 2) See how a hypoallergenic food trial affects your golden. Food intolerance/allergy is addressed with prescription hypoallergenic diets. These special foods contain just one novel (rabbit, duck, e.g.) animal protein or proteins that have been chemically altered (hydrolyzed) to the point that herimmune system doesn't "see" anything to be allergic to. The over the counter hypoallergenic foods too often contain proteins not listed on the label - soy is a common one - and these proteins would confound our evaluation of the efficacy of the hypoallergenic diet. The prescription foods are available from her vet. There are many novel protein foods and a prototypical hydrolyzed protein food is Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d ultra (a hydrolyzed protein diet is my preference because it avoids the possibility of my patient being intolerant to even a novel protein). A positive response is usually seen within a few weeks if we’ve eliminated the offending food allergen. Food intolerance can arise at any age and even after our patient has been eating the same food for quite some time.3) Have a gastrointestinal diagnostic panel of blood and urine tests performed. The panel should include testing for exocrine pancreatitic insufficiency (a lack of digestive enzymes produced by the pancreas) - the TLI blood test; testing for pancreatitis - the specCPL blood test; and serum folate and vitamin B12 levels which can indicate malabsorption syndromes.4) Have an ultrasound of her abdomen performed. This imaging is particularly sensitive in detecting changes in the gastrointestinal tract itself - inflammation and neoplasia (cancer).5) Scoping and biopsy of the gastrointestinal tract is performed when the above hasn't defined the diagnosis.Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
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Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience.