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Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30034
Experience:  UC Davis graduate, emphasis in dermatology, internal medicine, pain management
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My rat terrier, who is 10 years old and has always been healthy,

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My rat terrier, who is 10 years old and has always been healthy, has developed very loose stools in the past 4 days. He is otherwise healthy, is eating well and has plenty of energy and does not have a fever. I have very little extra income to spend at this time (3 kids in college and working 2 jobs!) Is there anything I could give my dog over the counter that would help the loose stools. I'm very tired of cleaning up these huge messes every day! Thanks.
Welcome! My name isXXXXX am a 2003 graduate, and currently a Medical Director of a veterinary hospital.

I am sorry to hear about this concern for Sammy.

My primary concerns for diarrhea with or without blood include:
- Dietary indiscretion (eating something you do not know about)
- Stomach or intestinal foreign body
- Something that was given to them (new food, new treat, human food)
- Intestinal parasitism (not just the worms, but the microscopic bugs like Giardia and Coccidia). They can cause vomiting also.
- Toxin exposure would be less likely, unless you have reason to suspect exposure to a chemical.
- Less commonly, endocrine diseases.
- Generally, in older pets, I am also concerned about organ disease (liver, kidneys) and cancer.

As you can see, the causes can be quite serious, especially for older pets.

A few options to help correct loose stools include:
1. Prescription medication like flagyl (metronidazole) is excellent:
Flagyl

If there is blood or mucous in the stool, to suggest colitis, than a vet may also consider Sulfasalazine:
Sulfasalazine

2. Adding some fiber to the diet.
Metamucil for Pets

Pumpkin for Pets (not pumpkin pie filler)

3. Various probiotics for the short-term or even sometimes long-term for chronic digestive problems:

Rx Biotics
- For this probiotic, you’ll need your vet to order it, or find a local vet who carries it.
Vetri-probiotic BD
Although not a sole treatment for diarrhea, another effective supportive supplement:
Rx Clay

A very popular choice:
Fortiflora
-above link for dogs, but you can select cat products as well.

4. A prescription diet like Science diet I/D, I/D low fat, W/D, or Royal Canin gastrointestinal can be useful.

5. A at-home bland diet:
Boiled boneless, skinless chicken breast OR low-fat cottage cheese
And
Cooked white rice
*Never add on salt, pepper, oils, butter to any of the above
*Ideally, give 1/3 chicken or cottage cheese, and 2/3 white rice

To help diarrhea you can give some pepto-bismol, but I strongly discourage using it repeatedly as it can cover up a more serious problem.
Pepto-Bismol or Kaopectate
You can give it every 8 hours. The average dose is 1ml per pound of body weight, and that is the TOTAL dose for the day. So, if a pet weighs 30 pounds, they would get a total of 30ml a day or 10ml every 8 hours. This is dosing for regular strength Pepto-Bismol. If you use maximum strength liquid, give half as much.

Remember, if persisting, a vet visit will be really important.

I hope that information has been helpful.
Please remember to select Reply to Expert, if for any reason you need further clarification, have more questions, or were expecting a different type of answer. Prior to leaving a feedback rating, which I greatly appreciate, my goal is to provide you the best answer possible.
Dr. Andy


Dr. Andy and 3 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Tina,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Sammy. How is everything going?

Dr. Andy