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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15924
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My bichon 15 lb female ate turkey and developed diahrea

Customer Question

My bichon 15 lb female ate turkey and developed diahrea called vet the assistant said to give her peoto bismol and not give her anything but water for a couple of days she is haiving blood and mucus in her stoil will sh wont ear does drink moves around not real lethargic..what do I give her??
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am very sorry to hear about your girl's loose stools with a little blood and mucous after eating some turkey.

Of course anyone would be concerned about blood in the stool.

The important factor in all of this is how your girl feels. Since she seems to feel great otherwise and isn't vomiting then that is a good sign.

There is a condition in dogs called hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. These dogs have profuse dark, jelly-clot like, bloody diarrhea. They are very sick dogs and get dehydrated quickly so they need immediate care. Thus if she seems lethargic and/or begins vomiting an emergency veterinary visit is best.

But colitis or inflammation of the large intestine (which causes bleeding and mucous in the stool), can be due to stress, a change in diet, parasites, a viral or bacterial infection, inflammatory bowel disease or even a food allergy. Rarely a mass in the colon can be the cause, or exposure to anticoagulant rodenticides. Another possibility is an anal gland infection. These are scent glands that are located just inside the rectum and an infection can cause a bloody discharge, though should not cause loose stools.

A raw, irritated colon can take a few days to heal. Because we know this started after eating turkey that may be the inciting factor. The bleeding should clear completely with treatment over the next 2 to 3 days. If not she should be checked by her regular veterinarian and her anal glands should be checked. Well worth checking at least a couple fresh stool samples too as parasite eggs/cysts can be a source of colitis too and are shed intermittently, thus we don't see them with every stool and they may be picked up on the second sample or third test if the first is negative.

Since she still feels well now though we can try some things at home.

I know that you gave Pepto, and that helps sometimes with diarrhea but it has a salicylate in it (some class of drugs as aspirin) and for some dogs that can cause stomach upset. I'll give some different recommendations.

Because her appetite is off she may have some stomach upset and reflux and intestinal cramping that can go along with her bloody, mucoid stools.

To try and settle her stomach today you can try either:

1) Pepcid-ac (famotidine) at a dose of one half of a 10mg tablet per 10 to 20 pounds of body weight every 12 hours.

OR

2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at a dose of one quarter of a 20mg tablet per 10 to 20 pounds of body weight every 24 hours.

These will reduce stomach acid and should help if this is related to simple nausea and gastrointestinal irritation. They can be given for several days if necessary.

I would not feed her any food for 12 hours after the acid reducers are started. This should help stop gut spasms and restore normal gut motility. Small amounts of water or ice cubes given frequently are fine as she needs fluids after all that she has lost with bloody stools. You can give her pedialyte to replace electrolytes too but Gatorade is much too high in sugar which can make her colon irritation worse.

Today even with the fast you can start Kao-pectate (or any generic kaolin and pectin formula) at a dose of 1ml per pound or 1 tablespoon per 15 pounds of body weight every 6 to 8 hours. This is quite safe and will coat her irritated gi tract as well as absorbing bacterial toxins. You can use it for several days until her stools look normal. You can find kao-pectate at the drug store. I like the kao-pectate formulation with kaolin and pectin better then Pepto Bismol because as I mentioned has Pepto has salicylates which are in the same family as aspirin, and can further irritate the intestines.

If she has a tense painful abdomen, continues to have diarrhea with no improvement after being on kao pectate for 24 hours, becomes very lethargic, begins vomiting or runs a fever greater than 103.5F then she really must be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. Make sure to take a fresh stool sample with you when you go.

After her food fast start a bland diet of 1/3 boiled, lean hamburger (or boiled, white skinless chicken), all fats and juices drained off the meat, mixed with 2/3 boiled, plain white rice. Feed several small meals a day. You might wish to add 1-2 tablespoon of canned pumpkin (not pie filling, just plain pumpkin) to each meal as fiber helps soothe an irritated colon. I recommend adding probiotics like Fortiflora, Proviable or Benebac to her meals daily to re-establish normal gut bacteria levels too.

Once she feels better (no bloody diarrhea for 48 hours) start mixing in her regular dog food very slowly. Less bland more regular with each day. It should take a week or so to convert her back.

If your pup is vomiting and feeling poorly though it would be best that she see a veterinarian now as anything you give orally will just come back up worsening her dehydration.

Best of luck with your pup, please let me know if you have any further questions.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.
Hi Shirley Allore,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Kara
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I wanted to check in and see if you had any further questions after reading my response. If you do please feel free to respond with them. If not and you found my information helpful please remember to rate my response positively so I may receive credit for my work thank you, ***** *****