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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 23021
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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Hi my dog is 7 &1/2 years old, a golden retriever. Up until

Customer Question

Hi my dog is 7 &1/2 years old, a golden retriever. Up until just ov3r 3 weeks ago we fed her dried dog food mainly. sometimes she would have leftovers from our meals,in place of her usual dinner. This would be say up to 5 ties a week.
About three weeks ago and actually long before that she showed little interest in the dried food unless we added ketchup or gravy or something to it. We didn't do this all the time as we wanted just to give her a bit of variety. She was having different flavours of dried food. Then as I said about 3 weeks ago she simply refused to eat the dried food with or without ketchup/gravy etc. So a friend suggested giving her tinned food and biscuits.
She has loved it but I don't know if this is connected hence me asking, after a week on the new food she had a very upset tummy. This then settles but a week later the same thing except this time she is having accidents in the house and she has also peed in the house which she never does and she has not been left alone for hours either. Is it the change in food or stomach problems?
Look forward to your advice, many thanks Angie
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.

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

First, I do want to warn you that if you do use gravy in her foods, do make sure not to use the powdered gravy mixes. They are much too high in salt to use for dogs and can actually cause electrolyte imbalances if used often.

Now can you confirm that she is having diarrhea while on the wet food?
What does it look like? Color? Consistency? Any blood or mucus?

Did her urinary accident look to be a normal volume, color, and odor?

Any vomiting?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes is diarrhea which is brown consistency loose but not entirely liquid in that it leaves a flat circle if that makes sense.

The urine seemed normal and no vomiting. She does see to be wimpering now too maybe in pain? But then she does perk up and enjoyed her walk last night.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you Angela,

Now your initial history of her becoming reluctant to eat her dry diet but able to eat wet food does make me a wee bit concerned about whether she has some oral or dental discomfort. The reason is because often dogs don't go off their long term accepted food without reason. And since it was a diet that she had been on for the long term, we'd not expect it to cause our GI issues. So, this is something to keep in the back of our minds and consider having checked for her.

Now in regards ***** ***** current diarrhea, it is quite possible that the wet diet is our culprit. We do see dogs suffer with diarrhea when diets have been abruptly changed and when diets do not agree with the dog's good GI bacteria. It is worth noting that wet diets will be much richer then what she is used to and therefore both are potentially our culprits here. As well, we can also see gas with this, which can cause gut pain and may be why she whimpers at the moment. Of course, this all said, we cannot totally exclude potential opportunistic infectious causes (ie bacteria, protozoal, parasites, viruses, etc) but they would be a wee bit less likely here at this stage.

In regards ***** ***** here, we have a few options. You could consider putting her back onto her regular dry but soaking the kibble in water. This would soften it and if she is resistant to her dry due to having a sore mouth this would confirm that suspicion but also get around it. Otherwise, for dogs with diarrhea, we will usually put them onto a light diet. Examples of an easily digestible diet include cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, scrambled egg, or meat baby food (as long as its free from garlic or onion powder).. There are also veterinary prescription diets that can be used in cases of gastroenteritis (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity). The easily digestible diet will be better tolerated and absorbed by the compromised gut and should get some nutrients in and result in less diarrhea. Also feed this as small frequent meals to further decrease the volume of diarrhea she is producing. If this is just dietary upset, then we would expect this to help settle her. As long as improvement is being seen, I usually advise that the diet be continued until the diarrhea is settled, and that they are then slowly weaned back to their normal diet over a week

Otherwise, to support the GI microflora (those good bacteria that live in the gut) to address the diarrhea and possible gas, you can use a pre-pro-biotic supports for her. Examples of OTC options that work well for dogs are Fortiflora (More Info) or Pro-Kolin Enterogenic (More Info). Further to this, you can consider trying her today on a dog safe anti-diarrheals. As I am sure you appreciate, these would not be a cure if her diarrhea is being caused by an infectious agent (ie bacteria will require antibiotics, parasites or protozoa will require anti-parasitic treatment, etc). Still it can slow the diarrhea to aid the body to absorb more water/nutrients then it would have if the diarrhea were unchecked. Furthermore, these treatments will coat the GI and could just settle the GI upset. In regards ***** ***** options for your wee one, the one we most commonly use in dogs is Kaolin/Kaopectate (More Info/Dose) or PeptoBismol (More Info/Dose) available from your local pharmacy. Furthermore, Protexin Pro-Fiber (which is available OTC at vet practices; example) would be another option. All will slow diarrhea and the Pro-Fiber has the bonus of providing support to the delicate good bacteria of the GI. So, you can consider trying these as a short term means of trying to soothe her upset GI.

Overall, with her history, we would be most suspicious that the new wet diet is our trigger for her diarrhea. Therefore, the above supportive care would be indicated for her. Otherwise, in regards ***** ***** one urinary accident is difficult to appreciate the significance of. It may be that the gut pain or need to pass feces triggered her accident. And if the urine appears normal, I would just advise monitoring that at this stage. Further to all of this, while you do try the above supportive care, I would advise keeping an eye on her mouth. If she is struggling with dry food, then we'd want to consider having her mouth and teeth checked (some vet practices do offer free nurse dental checks) to just make sure there isn't something amiss that needs to be addressed before she will go back to her dry kibble.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.


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