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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 8909
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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I took my 1 in a half year old pointer into the vet last

Customer Question

I took my 1 in a half year old pointer into the vet last friday due to having diarrhea. They prescribed her Metronidazole 250mg tablet giving half a tab every 12 hours for 8 days. Her stool seemed to harden for the last few days but now last night and this morning she had two looser stools somewhat like ice cream like...eww and greenish. She is eating normal, playing normal, drinking normal and all. The only other thing I've noticed along with this recent diarrhea is her hacking a little more after drinking water or playing with her brother like crazy. Should I be worried?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 2 months ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help you today.

I'm sorry for this concern for Bella but glad to hear that she's otherwise acting like her normal self.

I do have a few additional questions to ask first if you don't mind:

1. Was a stool sample checked for internal parasites?

2. Did you change her diet in addition to giving her the Metronidazole?

3. How much does she weigh?

There may be a slight delay after I receive your answers since I have to type up a response to you. Thanks for your patience. Deb

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
they did do a fecal exam and reported that just some abnormal bacteria was found. I was giving her rice with some organic chicken broth poured on it. I also added some canned pumpkin for one feeding. She weighs 27lbs.
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 2 months ago.

Thanks for the answers to my questions.

The greenish color which you're seeing simply reflects increased transit time and an irritated intestinal tract and nothing more serious than this.

As you probably already know, there can be a number of different reasons why a dog can develop diarrhea which range from dietary indiscretion to Inflammatory Bowel Disease to viral/bacterial infections to a foreign body...just to name a few examples.

1. However, when I'm presented with a patient who appeared to respond to Metronidazole (an excellent choice for diarrhea issues) but then whose stools become loose again, then I want to rule out internal parasites as the cause even though a fecal has been negative.

Repeated studies have proven that stool samples are not always positive when these parasites are present since eggs are not shed in every sample. So, a positive is a positive but a negative is not necessarily a negative, if that makes sense.

If this were my case, I'd worm with both Metronidazole 250 mg twice a day (a higher dose which should target Giardia) and Panacur (Fenbendazole) which is going to take care of not only giardia but whipworms, hookworms and roundworms as well.

Given that the other dog may also be exposed to the same internal parasites as Bella (even though he may not be symptomatic at this time), I'd worm them both.

2. I would discontinue the pumpkin since the additional fiber may be contributing to the looser stool issues; I tend to use it for constipated patients, not those with diarrhea.

3. I would add a daily, canine formulated probiotic such as Forti Flora which may be available at local pet/grain stores, at your vet's office or can be purchased online (shipped overnight).

4. I'd feed a bland diet of 1 part boiled, skinless, boneless chicken breast and 4 parts 20-minute white rice (organic is fine but it should be white rice, not brown). Feed smaller meals through the day, 3-4 rather than 1-2 and no kibble.

I'm not sure what to make of the hacking that she's doing after drinking water or playing with her brother. I wouldn't consider this to be associated with her looser stool issues unless she ate something which irritated her throat and was something which might cause intestinal irritation.

Most patients with looser stools issues will respond to the above treatment protocol; however, additional testing is occasionally necessary to determine if something else may be going on such as problems with the pancreas or low B12 levels or even IBD.

I hope this helps. Deb

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