Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I'm sorry to hear about your pup's loose stools today.
Diarrhea can be due to stress, a change in diet, parasites, inflammatory bowel disease or even a food allergy. It can also be related to metabolic organ disease (such kidney or liver disease) due to organ wastes irritating the gut or a mass in the intestinal tract.
How is she feeling otherwise?
Do you know if she got into anything that may have started all of this?
If she is feeling relatively well otherwise I am less concerned. If not she should be checked by her regular veterinarian if she's not bouncing back quickly with the suggestions that I give you.
Well worth checking at least a couple fresh stool samples too as parasites are a common cause of loose stools in dogs and parasite eggs/cysts are shed intermittently. They may be picked up on the second sample or third test even if the first is negative.
If she still feels well now though we can try some things at home.
I don't normally recommend using Imodium or Lomotil in dogs as it works by slowing the gastrointestinal tract down so that water in the stool can be reabsorbed. It is a narcotic and can lead to sedation and in some dogs can stop normal gut movements entirely. If the diarrhea is related to a bacterial toxin the Imodium allows more toxin to be absorbed.
If her appetite is off and if stomach is gurgling she may have some stomach upset and reflux that can go along with her loose stools. To try and settle her stomach today you can try either:
1) Pepcid-ac (famotidine) at a dose of one 10mg tablet per 20 to 40 pounds of body weight every 12 hours.
2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at a dose of one half of a 20mg tablet per 20 to 40 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 need be. If her appetite seems fine then you can skip this step.
I would not feed her any food for 24 hours. 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 diarrhea. You can give her pedialyte to replace electrolytes too but Gatorade is much too high in sugar which can make her intestinal irritation worse.
Today even with the fast you can start Kao-pectate at 1/2ml per pound of body weight or 1/2 of a tablespoon per 15 pounds of body weight every 8-12 hours. This will coat her irritated gastrointestinal 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.
If she has a tense painful abdomen, continues to have diarrhea with no improvement after being on kao pectate for 24 to 48 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 to 2 tablespoon(s) of canned pumpkin to each meal if you are seeing mucous in her stool as fiber helps soothe an irritated colon.
You can also add probiotics to her bland diet mix to replace the good bacteria lost with diarrhea. Good brand name products include Fortiflora, Proviable, or Benebac. They can be found online or at pet stores.
Once she feels better (no 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 she begins vomiting and feeling poorly though it would be best that she see a veterinarian now as anything you give her orally will just come back up worsening her dehydration.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
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