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Dr.Fiona
Dr.Fiona, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience:  Small animal medicine and surgery - 16 years experience in BC, California and Ontario
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Our dog has had watery stools with blood. I was watery stool

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Our dog has had watery stools with blood. I was watery stools as of yesterday. today mixed with blood. Older dog 10 years old. gets issues when diet is changed or if he gets into something outside. We do not have allot of money to take him to the vet and run hundreds of dollars in tests. what do you recommend? In the past he has had this happen and it ran it's course after a week.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 4 years ago.

Hi there,

Welcome to Just Answer!





I would like to help you and your dog with this question, but need a bit more information in order to better assist you.

How much does he weigh?

Any vomiting?

Do you know what might have triggered this on this occasion?

Is he on any medications at all (particularly pain killers or things like aspirin)?

Is the blood bright red, or black?

Are the stools mucoid at all (jelly like)?

Fiona

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
dog weighs 100 pounds.
no vomiting
caught him drinking out of the down spout, stagnant water.
blood is bright red
stools are a little jelly like but are starting to get more solid.
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 4 years ago.

My answer is quite long, so please scroll down!



What you are describing in your 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. Certainly, drinking stagnant water that might have had bacteria or algae in it could have triggered this in your dog.




If a dog with no history of stress were to come in to my hospital, and we didn't have to consider money (so I could do all the tests I would want to do!) I would start with a physical exam and then a number of tests to rule out parasites and bacterial infections. I would treat accordingly.


They are as follows:

- fecal analysis to rule out hookworms, whipworms and coccidia

http://www.petplace.com/dogs/intestinal-parasites-in-dogs/page1.aspx

- an ELISA test for Giardia. Giardia used to be hard to diagnose, but this test is fast and easy and accurate.

http://www.petplace.com/dogs/giardia-in-dogs/page1.aspx

- a fecal smear to look for Campylobacter

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=2232

http://www.petplace.com/dogs/campylobacteriosis-in-dogs/page1.aspx

- a fecal culture (sent out to a lab) to check for Clostridium or other unusual bacteria. This test takes 3-4 days.

Then, if the dog were my patient, I would see how the dog responded to treatment as follows:

- fibre trial - I would start the dog on metamucil. I usually suggest 1 tsp per 10 lbs body weight given 2 or 3 times a day, OR 2 tablespoons twice daily per 10lbs body weight of Pumpkin. Do this for at least one week.



- medication trial:

I would try metronidazole (http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/metronidazole-flagyl/page1.aspx ) as a first line treatment but there are a number other drugs that can be helpful too:

Panacur (fenbendazole, http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/fenbendazole-panacur/page1.aspx) ,

Tylosin (http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/tylosin-tylan/page1.aspx )

and even steroids (prednisone http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/prednisone-prednisolone/page1.aspx )






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 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 unflavoured 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 to 2 cups an hour.


3. After 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 1/2 cup 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:

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=677

http://www.dogsworldwide.com/articles/infofile/if_bpn10.htm


In terms of preventing this problem, it is very helpful to have dogs prone to this on a bit of OAT bran (very important it is OAT bran and not wheat bran) in their food daily. For a dog this size, I would suggest 2-4 teaspoons daily, divided between his meals.


Alternatively, you may just wish to keep him on the Metamucil or canned pumpkin. Many people find that if they freeze a can of canned pumpkin in an ice cube tray, they can just add a cube to the dog's meals easily.


Also, you may wish to consider a DAP (dog appeasing pheromone) diffuser to decrease stress if this has been a factor in the last few weeks. It contains a smell that calms dogs, but is not a drug and is perfectly safe. It has no odour to humans.



Here is more about them:

http://www.healthypets.com/dapdogappher.html



Another option would be to give him a very safe anti-anxiety mixture called Composure Liquid from Vetri Science. It is composed of a protein extract from a milk product and a soy product plus a few other things. It seems to work great for dogs that are stressed.

http://www.vetriscience.com/composure-liquid.php
http://www.1800petmeds.com/Composure+Liquid-prod10809-10809.html


You can also find it on Ebay.




Another thing that you could try would be Rescue Remedy.
More about it here:
http://www.naturalcanine.com/html/rescue_remedy.html


http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=0+1306+1448&aid=1360


It is pretty widely available at health food stores. If you don't have one near you, here is a link:
http://www.gnc.com/sm-bach-flower-remedies-rescue-remedy--pi-2134400.html

I have found the results variable with Rescue remedy. Some dogs do seem more relaxed with Rescue Remedy, some don't seem to have any change with its use. But it is safe!


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 1 or 2 days.


More here about it, including dose:

http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/loperamide-imodium/page1.aspx







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 100lb dog would get 2 capsules daily sprinkled on his food.
Here are links:
http://www.dogbuffs.com/purina-fortiflora-probiotics-dogs-cats
www.culturelle.com


If your boy continues to have straining and is passing mucus, or begins vomiting again, or is 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.



If this has been helpful, please hit the green "Accept" button and leave feedback.




If you need more information, just click on reply and I will still be here to provide it!


The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would strongly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.


Fiona

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
This is kind of what I thought. He has had this in the past when we changed foods and when he has eaten something irregular. always lasts a week or two depending if I can get family members to stop feeding him for 24 hours. Just treated him for parasites last week so I am hopeful that this is not the issue. Will do what you recommended and hope for the best. Thank you for your time and attention to our dog.
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 4 years ago.

You are so very welcome!



If my answer was helpful in any way, please click on accept or your deposit stays with Just Answer and I am not given credit for trying to help you and your dog.


Best wishes,
Fiona

Dr.Fiona, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience: Small animal medicine and surgery - 16 years experience in BC, California and Ontario
Dr.Fiona and 2 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you

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