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I would like to help you and your dog, Bunny, with this question, but need a bit more information in order to better assist you.
When was she last totally normal?
When did she last eat?
Are her stools mucoid (jelly like)?
Is she defecating more often than normal?
Is she having any fecal accidents in the house?
My answer is quite long, so please scroll down!
What you are describing in Bunny sounds like she may have colitis. This is an inflammation of the colon. With colitis, dogs tend to have one or more of the following:
- more frequent bowel movements,
- a sense of urgency (which can lead to accidents in the house, like what you saw at the back door this morning),
- 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 she shouldn't have), bacterial and viral infections, and parasites.
In a sensitive dog, even a one-meal food change could trigger this. With Bunny, I would wonder if the steak might have been the culprit. 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.
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 she has an episode of diarrhea and/or mucus or blood on the stool, you should WITH-HOLD FOOD! Do not offer her regular food for 12 hours. This gives the intestines a chance to rest and heal.
*****While she is off her 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 she is fasting, she can have lots of clear fluids. So, water is fine, but also she 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 Bunny's size that means about 1/4 cup an hour.
3. After 12 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 herself 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 1/2 to 1 teaspoons daily, divided between her meals. Alternatively, you may just wish to keep her 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.
The other thing that I wanted to mention is that if your girl were my patient, I would put her 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 10lb dog would get 1/2 to 1 capsules daily sprinkled on her food. Here are links: http://www.dogbuffs.com/purina-fortiflora-probiotics-dogs-cats www.culturelle.com
If your girl continues to pass blood or mucus, or begins vomiting, or loses her appetite, then a call to your vet would be in order. Your vet may want to start her 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