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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15678
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 sheltie has had diarea -3 days. I was out of town days

Customer Question

My sheltie has had diarea for 2-3 days. I was out of town for 9 days but had a great dog sitter. Her appetite was normal until tonight and she is not interested in eating. Stools have gone from soft to liquid and now a componation of both, but very loose.
Her diet is usually Hills wd canned and dry food (mostly canned). Any suggestions and should she be seen by a vet?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 4 months 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 your lass has gone off food, we do need to tread with care. This is because while the diarrhea alone could have been a dietary indiscretion, if we have persistent signs and now appetite loss, then we'd have to be more wary of a brewing bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, parasites/protozoa infections, or secondary to systemic issues if she is an older lass.

With this all in mind, as long as she can keep water down, we can try some home supportive care to see if we can settle her stomach so that she may eat for you. To start, if she hasn’t just vomited (since otherwise we’d need to rest her stomach for a few hours first), then you can consider treating her with an antacid. Common pet safe OTC ones we can use include Pepcid (More Info/Dose @, or Zantac (More Info/Dose @ Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before offering food to allow absorption. Of course, do check with her vet before use if she has any known health issues or is on any medications you didn’t mention.

Once that has had time to absorb and she is steadier on her stomach, you can try the W/D (as it is high and fiber and great for reducing diarrhea loads) or consider starting her on a light/easily digestible diet. Examples you can use are cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, or meat baby food (as long as its garlic/onion free). The aim of these diets is that they will be better tolerated/absorbed by the compromised gut. Therefore, it should get more nutrients in and result in less GI upset and diarrhea. And if you do use these, you can add in fiber (ie canned pumpkin, all bran) to help bulk up her stools quicker. As long as improvement is being seen, I usually advise that the diet be continued until her signs are settled, and that they are then slowly weaned back to their normal diet.

Furthermore, as long as you have not seen blood in those stools, you can consider trying a pet safe anti-diarrheal. As I am sure you appreciate, these would not be a cure if the cause were infectious; but it can still be of benefit. It will reduce diarrhea load, allow the body to absorb more water/nutrients, and soothe the upset gut. In regards ***** ***** options for your wee one, the one we most commonly use is Kaolin/Kaopectate (More Info/Dose @ This is available OTC at most pharmacies. Otherwise, Propectalin, Canikur, Fast Balance, and Protexin Pro-Fiber (which is available OTC at vets, pet stores, and even Amazon) would be another option. All will slow diarrhea and those last ones have the added bonus of providing support to the delicate good GI bacteria. So, these can be used as a short-term means of soothing this upset GI.

Overall, a wide range of agents could trigger the GI upset we are seeing but with the progression of signs we do need to tread with care. Therefore, in her case, we’d want to start supportive care to settle her stomach, see if we can get her eating, and reduce her diarrhea. Though if she cannot keep that or water down, appears dehydrated already, or doesn’t respond to the above within 12-24 hours; then we'd want to get her vet involved. They can assess her hydration, test a stool sample, make sure there is nothing in her stomach that shouldn't be there or any sinister viruses present. Depending on their findings, her vet can treat her with injectable anti-nausea medication, appetite stimulants, +/- antibiotics to settle her stomach, and get her back feeling like herself.

Please take care,

Dr. B.


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