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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20225
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My 15 y.o. dog has had diarrhea since yesterday afternoon.

Customer Question

My 15 y.o. dog has had diarrhea since yesterday afternoon. I gave her azulfidine, prescribed for her 2 years ago - 2 doses yesterday – but it's almost 3 a.m. and she just had another bout. I can take her to the vets tomorrow a.m., but don't know if I should so anything in the meantime. I also have a dose of Flagyl (for her) or another of azulfidine, or some Pepto Bismol. What do you suggest?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.
Now if she has had diarrhea again, the best treatment options is actually the Pepto Bismol. We don't want to give either antibiotic here as a few doses since doing so raises the risk of bacterial resistance and could lead to her developing a difficult to cure diarrhea. So, the best approach just now is slowing the diarrhea and supportive care until her vet examines her feces and dispenses a whole course of treatment to clear the infectious agent completely.
In regards ***** ***** Pepto you can give 2 teaspoons (10 ml total) per 10-pounds daily ( split this total into 2-4 doses). Further to this, do consider putting her on a light/easily digestible diet. Examples would be cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, or scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk). There are also veterinary prescription diets that can be used in cases of gastroenteritis (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity). The aim of the easily digestible diet is that it will be better tolerated and absorbed by the compromised gut. Therefore, it should get more nutrients in and result in less GI upset and diarrhea. As long as improvement is being seen, I usually advise that the diet be continued until the GI upset is settled, and that they are then slowly weaned back to their normal diet over a week.
Since all of her signs are going to risk dehydration developing, we need to keep an eye on her hydration. To check her hydration status to make sure they are not becoming dehydrated there are a few things we can test. One is whether the eyes appear sunken, if the gums are tacky instead of wet/moist, and whether she has a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a wee video on this HERE (http://www.ehow.com/video_12232503_dog-dehydrated.html). If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, then you do want to have her seen by the vet before this becomes an additional issue for her . (since it is often the dehydration that starts to tap their energy level, depresses them, and makes them feel weak and ill).
If you are concerned that she is becoming dehydrated, you can try and encourage her to drink by offering fresh water or even low-sodium chicken broth. Furthermore, you can offer rehydration solutions like Pedialyte. Pedialyte is nice (though aim for a flavorless one) because it will get some of those lost electrolytes back into her as well. Furthermore, a typical maintenance rate for hydration in an animal is 48mls per kilogram of weight a day. Of course, her requirement will be higher since we'd have to also consider how much fluid is being lost via her diarrhea and add that in. And of course, if she were to vomit when you offered fluids via syringe, you would need to stop (since we'd not want to cause vomiting with our intervention).
Overall, GI upset of this nature can be triggered by a wide range of agents and 2 doses of different antibiotics will only trigger resistance instead of helping here. Therefore, we'd want to consider supportive care to settle her until her vet is open. They will be able to assess her hydration, make sure there are no sinister lumps or bumps or things that shouldn't be in her stomach. As well, a fecal sample would be another consideration to see if the cause can be isolated so that you can target treatment for her. Depending on the exam findings, your vet can treat her with an injectable antibiotics, probiotics, or stronger anti-diarrheals if need be to address this for her, settle her signs and get her back to eating for you.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
Dr. B.
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