What you are describing in your Cocker-Doxie dog sounds like he may have colitis. This is an inflammation of the colon. With colitis, dogs tend to have some or all of these symptoms:
- more frequent bowel movements,
- a sense of urgency,
- sometimes straining, and
- mucus and even blood on the stools.
The stools often start out a bit soft, or pudding like and become gelatinous, shiny and mucoid as it progresses. The colon normally makes mucus to help the stool to pass along, so when it is inflamed it makes a lot of mucus, and also can have erosions that lead to bleeding.
Colitis could be caused by a large number of different things. Examples are stress, dietary indiscretion (eating something he shouldn't have), bacterial and viral infections, and parasites. In a sensitive dog, even a one-meal food change could trigger this.
With your boy, it could easily be triggered by getting into the garbage.
Now, in terms of what people can do at home for dogs that I have seen and diagnosed with colitis, I suggest the following:
1. When he has an episode of blood and / or diarrhea, you should WITH-HOLD FOOD!
Do not offer his regular food for 12- 24 hours. This gives the intestines a chance to rest and heal.
*****While he is off his regular food, you can start 2 tablespoons per 10lbs body weight of canned Pumpkin given twice daily. Be sure to use plain canned pumpkin and NOT pie filler!****
2. When he is fasting, he can have lots of clear fluids.
So, water is fine, but also he can have pedialyte, Gatorade, apple juice diluted 50:50 with water, or onion-free chicken or beef broth diluted 50:50 with water. Give the fluids in small amounts frequently. For a dog this size that means about 1/4 cup every 30 min.
For a little dog like yours, it is important that you *do* offer these fluids that have calories in them like pedialyte so that his blood sugar levels don't drop while he is fasting.
3. After 12-24 hours if the diarrhea has stopped, you can start your dog back on a bland diet.
For patients that I see, I recommend a mixture of 75% cooked white rice, and 25% low fat protein. For the protein you could use extra lean ground beef, boiled with the fat scooped off, or chicken breast boiled with fat scooped off or even scrambled egg cooked without fat in the microwave. Feed small frequent meals. For a dog this size, I would suggest 2-3 tablespoons every 3 to 4 hours.
4. After 1-2 days on the rice mix, you would gradually change your dog back to the normal diet and food.
So, on day 3, give the rice mixture, but bigger meals, spaced further apart. On day 4, mix a little tiny bit of the normal food in there, and decrease the frequency so it is down to 3 meals or so. And so on.
5. Keep your dog as quiet as possible - just out to relieve himself and back in.
I'll give you links to further information:
Another thing which I should mention is that in patients that I see, I quite often prescribe Imodium (loperamide) to help resolve diarrhea, as long as the dog is not a herding breed like a border collie . It is quickly effective, and I have people use it for 2 or 3 days.
More here about it, including dose:
The other thing that I wanted to mention is that if your boy were my patient, I would put him on a probiotic. They are very safe and help a lot of dogs! It just helps to promote the growth of "good" bacteria and reduce the "bad" bacteria in a natural and safe way. You can use FortiFlora products which are available from your veterinarian, or you can use Culturelle which is available at pharmacies in the USA. For the Culturelle, a 10 to 25lb dog would get 1 capsule daily sprinkled on his food.
Here are links:
If your boy continues to have straining and is passing mucus, or begins vomiting, or is increasingly lethargic, then a trip to your vet would be in order. Your vet may want to start him on metronidazole which is very quickly effective at helping to make dogs with colitis feel better.
I hope that helps you to help your little guy!