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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 18137
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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my labradore has yellow stools which look like cowpats.she

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my labradore bitch has yellow stools which look like cowpats.she has been given protexin pro kolin and has had faecal analysis foe Salmonella and Campilobacter(which were O.K) she has had 2 packs of Hills prescription diet for Gastrointestinal Health. this is not dirrhoea,there have beem no accidents, and she still goes at the normal time, but she is very hungry and wanting food all the time, but she is losing weight fast, and I dont seem to be getting anywhere. please can you help
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I'd like to help with your concerns about Sal's loose yellow stools, weight loss and increased appetite.
I am glad to hear that she has had stool samples checked to make sure that parasites aren't part of her problem. It also sounds like she has had a fecal culture to check for abnormal bacteria such as clostridia and salmonella. Those are important things to rule out.
Because she is losing weight we need to look at problems digesting and absorbing her food.
If her diarrhea appears to be small intestinal in origin (loose stools with no mucous and no increase in urgency or frequency) it is possible that she has a food allergy/sensitivity or inflammatory bowel disease, or a protein losing enteropathy and that she needs a different, low residue, easy to digest food or a hypoallergenic food to be able to properly digest and absorb her food and not have loose stools. 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. If she does well she can eat these foods for life as they are balanced.
Dogs with food allergies can benefit from Hills z/d or Purina Veterinary Diets HA.
Dogs with inflammatory bowel disease will worsen with stressful situations. There may be times when she will need medications too, such as metronidazole or even steroids if that is her diagnosis, but I have found that a consistent, easy to digest diet is very helpful for long term control.
There are other possibilities too.
Addison's disease, which is a poorly functioning adrenal gland, can lead to chronic diarrhea and vomiting. These dogs cannot handle stress at all because their adrenal gland doesn't produce cortisone when stressed and their electrolytes can be off too if their adrenal gland isn't controlling that normally either. We see vomiting, diarrhea and sometimes trembling or physical collapse in severely affected dogs. Testing is an ACTH response test to check adrenal gland function and checking electrolyte levels. Treatment is steroid replacement therapy and electrolyte replacement.
Pancreatic insufficiency is another possibility. These dogs have a pancreas that produces a decreased amount of digestive enzymes, and the amount produced can wax and wane in some cases, especially early in the disease process. Because they are not digesting their food they cannot absorb it and thus they lose weight and are always hungry. We can test for this disease by running a blood test called a TLI which checks for digestive enzymes. Treatment is replacement of digestive enzymes at each meal. An easier to digest food would be expected to create less problems with digestion and as such less diarrhea.
Kidney and liver disease can cause loose stools too, but I would expect her to be vomiting, drinking more water and sicker in general.
If her blood tests are normal the next step would be an abdominal ultrasound to look at her organs and intestines to evaluate her for any abnormalities and collect aspirates of anything that looks abnormal. Another option is endoscopy or an exploratory surgery to collect biopsies of any abnormal organs and her intestinal tract.
In short because this has been a longer term problem for her then diagnostics need to be done. They can be as simple as fecal checks and cultures (which have been done), as well as a complete blood count and biochemistry profile to assess general health, and blood tests to look at pancreatic function and adrenal gland function. Or they can be more invasive such as biopsies of her gastrointestinal tract to look for inflammatory bowel disease or infiltrative cancers such as lymphoma.
In the meantime trying low residue diets and adding probiotics may help.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

sal normally has a diet of waimwrights turkey and rice which is discribed as Hypo Allergenic on the bag,so will this not be suitable for the future?

Thanks for the question.
Over the counter foods may be labeled hypoallergenic but they are unlikely to truly be so.
The trouble with "limited ingredient", "hypoallergenic" or "low allergy" pet store brands is that the same machinery is used on multiple lots of food without sterilization cleaning in between. So for example even if a food says it has salmon and rice if the previous batch had beef and corn then you will get traces of those ingredients in your bag of food. Not a big deal if your dog isn't allergic to those ingredients but a waste of money thinking that the food was hypoallergenic, and not good for your dog if those happen to be allergens for your dog.
The veterinary brand true hypoallergenic foods are more expensive because it isn't cheap to thoroughly remove all traces of a previous food mixture from the machines used to process food or to hydrolyze the proteins in the food. And the only ingredients in that food, even at a trace level, are what is listed on the bag.
The other trouble is that turkey and rice can be what she is allergic to. There are no magic ingredients. Prescription foods are hydrolyzed, or broken down so the body cannot recognize the allergen, or use very unusual ingredients that the dog cannot have been exposed to in the past. They cannot develop an allergy to something they have never been exposed to.