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Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29956
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:

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