Welcome! I am Dr. Altman, a licensed veterinarian and happy to answer your questions today.
So sorry Odin is having such difficulties!
Is there any blood or mucus in the stools?
it looks like mucus in some of the stool but not every time
Are they semi-formed or always soft, cow piled form? Normal brown color or lighter/ darker?
most are semi formed, but even when he was regular on the medication he would still push out cow pile form and its almost always light brown
What is the anti-diarrhea medication you are given for Odin?
small amounts of cow pile stuff
essential pet anti diarrhea liquid
It is not a medication such as metronidazole, a probiotic, or tylan?
no kaolin and pectin
and he is on nutro-source food that has a probiotic in it
The top reasons that dogs will have these chronic diarrhea issues can be 1.) Pancreatic insufficiency meaning that the pancreas is not producing the enzymes needed to digest the food and therefore the stool is loose. There is a test for this but it is pricey. It can rule this in/ out easily though, called tli/ folate/ cobalamin test
I took him to the vet and they said that everything was fine.
2.) Food allergies, which is tested by putting on a prescription food for allergies that the protein is broken down beyond what the body recognizes as those proteins. These foods are hill's z/d and royal canin h/p diet. They MUST only be on this food and nothing else for a 2 week period to rule this in/ out
I understand but these are specific tests that you cannot know without ordering them specifically. There is no way your vet can diagnose this without doing this test
what could they do even if he does have this diagnosis?
3.) Inflammatory bowel disease which can begin in a dog of 6 months old or older. This is only diagnosed by endoscopy and biopsies taken and typically is only done when all other avenues have been taken because cost is often a factor
There are supplements that are given to treat this condition
There is an oral supplement and an injection that is given weekly to every 4 weeks depending on the need.
The oral supplement is pricey but it really can make a big difference in these cases to limit the loose stool and help start forming regular feces again
will he get better or will he alway have this problem?
Depending on the cause, he likely will always have this problem but all are treatable once a diagnosis is made
I have a dog with food allergies
She is on the royal canin h/p diet and does really pretty well on it
Does have the occasional flare ups but as long as she is on the food her stools are moderately formed
does that come in puppy food?
No it is a hypoallergenic diet to rule in/ out food allergies. If after 2 weeks he is having normal stools that helps give a diagnosis
It is also a pricey diagnosis because the food is prescription and he cannot have anything else but the food during the trial
because the anti-diarrhea meds work and sound way less expensive than all the tests. The vet said if it keeps working than to continue giving him the medication. How much is the food?
It will vary depending on the area you live in and markup
For my dog cost is about $80/month
Since the treatment you mentioned is herbal there is no problem using that longterm if it continues to be effective
is there any way to get this food over the counter or does it absolutely have to be prescription?
It is only with a prescription
Your vet can script it to petsmart who does carry it but they will not sell it without a prescription
Because the meds last me about a month because I only have to put a teaspoon in every time I feed him, and he is an easy keeper
Well if it does continue to work it is an option that should be considered...
Definitely because money is tight right now and it doesn't sound like it can be fixed without a lot of tests and/ or food. I was contemplating calling the breeder I got him from and asking if he had any problems with this in the past
It definitely would be something to ask but most breeders will tell you no never before...
I do understand the tight budget, if I didn't own my clinic I might not be able to afford my dog's food!
I hope that they would tell me, because I'm getting his sister (same parents different litter) in the next 6 months as first pick, and I hope that there isn't anything wrong with her! They are Mennonites from montana, do puppies from mennonite breeders usually have health problems? I noticed after I got odin that there seems to be a lot of mennonite breeders
I have not heard that regarding these breeders in particular
Unfortunately some breeds are more prone to problems then others. Although this is not a large problem I see with this breed, more hip dysplasia and skin problems
I don't mean it in a discriminatory, just curious if there was a connection, if there was I would look for a puppy elsewhere. But Odin has really strong hips and we give him skin and coat supplemental treats.
There are definitely some great breeders out there, I just tend to hear a lot of the defensive responses or that this has never happened before in our litters...
I guess the question will be how they handle the phone call of your concerns...
That can really shed some light on how they handle these types of questions
oh gotcha, well hopefully its just in Odin and won't be in his sister. could this change when he gets older? at like a year or older when he hits maturity? kind of like changing hormones?
I have seen this resolve with maturity in some cases yes
Some enzymes change with hormones (in humans, I'm a CNA) but I wasn't sure if it could change in dogs. but as for now, I think that I will keep him on the medication, and see if it changes when he reaches maturity. He isn't fixed yet, and I was going to wait until he is 1 year or 15 months so he is fully developed. would fixing him help?
It is unlikely neutering him will change the stool consistency, no
okay. Well then I will keep him on the meds and hopefully the problem will resolve itself after he reaches maturity. If not i'll have him texted as soon as I can afford it.
Can I assist with any additional questions this evening?
Thank you for your help! :)
You are very welcome
Believe me, I understand how frustrating this can be
Well we have him on the diarrhea meds and his stool is solid. The breeder said she never had this problem with him. Or Odin's parents.but I went into my kitchen last night and there was blood in his food and water dishes and he was making a heeving sound like he was choking or had something in his nose.
Yes there must have been something choking him or a cut on his gums cause it only happened once and the vet again said he was perfectly find. is cobalamin hereditary? because I contacted the breeder and she was very surprised. neither of Odins parents had/ or has a problem with loose stool, so maybe he just has a sensitive stomach?
Will continuing him on the anti-diarrhea medication hurt him in the long run?
okay, we figured out that his collar was a little to tight so that might have been choking him a little bit. and He'll be 1 year old on 1/1/14 so we'll try and taper him off when he turns 1 hopefully that will help him and give him a chance to gain weight and mature.