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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19634
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 dog has had diarrhea hours now and is not getting any

Customer Question

My dog has had diarrhea for 24 hours now and is not getting any better. We have had him sleeping in his crate (large) tonight for obvious reasons. I just got up to take him out and he is having difficulty using his back legs. Once out he had diarrhea again. Should we get him in to the vet straight away or wait until am. He is now starting to pant quite heavily off and on
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
Does he just seem weak with his back legs?
What does the diarrhea look like? Any blood or mucus?
Any vomiting?
Can he keep water down?
Are his gums nice and pink (not white/pale)? Moist or sticky?
If you press on his belly, does he have any tensing, tenderness, discomfort, or pain?
Could he have eaten anything he should not have (ie bones, stones, socks, toys, plants, chemicals, human meds, etc)?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Weak in back legs only. Projectile diarrhea brown clear. I have not pressed on tummy. Vomited yesterday morning.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Tummy not tender gums fine
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Holding up back right leg
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you,
First, if he is showing back end weakness after having projectile diarrhea then this could be related to general GI discomfort or a sign of weakness secondary to the loss of nutrition/fluids that this will be impacting his wee body. Now just like babies, pups can have diarrhea due to a range of causes. Specifically, we can see diarrhea due to bacteria, viruses, parasites (worms but also protozoa like Giardia, Coccidia, Cryptosporidia, etc), toxins, and general dietary indiscretions type causes.
Now to start, if he has not vomited today, then we can put him on a light/easily digestible diet. Examples we can use would be cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, scrambled egg, cottage cheese, or meat baby food (as long as its free from garlic or onion powder). 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 easily digestible diet will be better tolerated and absorbed by the compromised gut and should get some nutrients in and result in less diarrhea. Also feed this as small frequent meals to further decrease the volume of diarrhea he is producing. As long as improvement is being seen, I usually advise that the diet be continued until the diarrhea is settled, and that they are then slowly weaned back to their normal diet over a week.
Furthermore, since Alfred is having profuse diarrhea and has weakness, it is important to monitor his hydration. Any signs of dehydration and we'd want him seen urgently. To check his 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 he 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 these signs already, then you do want to have him seen by the vet before makes him feel poorly. (since it is often the dehydration that starts to tap their energy level and actually makes them feel ill)
If you were concerned that he was becoming dehydrated, you can try and encourage him to drink but offering fresh water or even low-sodium chicken broth. If he isn’t amenable to these, you can syringe feed Pedialyte. Pedialyte is nice (though aim for a flavorless one) because it will get some of those lost electrolytes back into him as well. A typical maintenance rate for hydration in an animal is 48mls per kilogram of weight a day. If you do give syringe Pedialyte, this should obviously be divided up into multiple offerings through the day rather then all at once. This value will give you the total he needs for the day and is a good starting point to give you an idea of a dog's daily requirement. (we aren’t calculating losses, so you can add an equivalent volume to match how much diarrhea is being producing). Of course, if Alfred were to vomit any more when you have given Pedialyte, then therapy should be discontinued (since we don’t want vomiting because of our intervention).
Finally, since you did not report blood in his stool, you can consider trying him on a dog safe anti-diarrheal. As I am sure you appreciate, these would not be a cure if his diarrhea is being caused by an infectious agent (ie bacteria will require antibiotics, etc). Still it can slow the diarrhea to aid the body to absorb more water/nutrients then it would have if the diarrhea were unchecked. Furthermore, these treatments will coat the GI and could just settle the GI upset. In regards ***** ***** options for your wee one, the one we most commonly use in dogs is Kaolin/Kaopectate (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/kaolin-and-pectin-kapectolin-k-p) ) available from your local pharmacy. Furthermore, if we wanted to combine anti-diarrhea support with probiotics, then we can use Fast Balance, Propectalin or Protexin Pro-Fiber (which is available OTC at vet practices, pet stores, and even Amazon). All will slow diarrhea and last few have the bonus of providing support to the delicate good bacteria of the GI. So, you can consider trying these as a short term means of trying to soothe his upset GI.
Overall, there can be many triggers for GI upset of this nature. Still, if it is profuse and he is weak already, we need to tread with care since he won't have the body reserves of an adult. So, do check his hydration as your first step. If it is normal, you can start the above for him. Of course, if his signs do not settle within 12-24 hours (we don't want to leave this to linger), then it would be worth following up with his vet. They can examine him +/- test a fecal sample to pinpoint which issue is causing his signs. Depending on the vet's findings, they will be able to start him on appropriate treatment +/- give him fluids under the skin to help prevent any further weakness and settle this for him.
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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