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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5035
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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My 9 year old Doberman has had diarrhea and weight loss. We

Customer Question

My 9 year old Doberman has had diarrhea and weight loss. We thought it was from her food at first and switched brands but it has continued. She had always had weight issues. Gains too much, then loses too much, it's been a constant battle. Other than the weight issue and diarrhea she is acting normal. No change in energy or personality. But the diarrhea smells really bad and she cannot hold it at all. If she has to go in the middle of the night we have to listen for her rustling around in her kennel. If we don't hear her she will have an explosive accident. Her appetite is good. I have another dog, a 4 year old jack rustle/chihuahua mix and he has no symptoms at all (other
Than starting to gain weight because my son is giving him the same amount of food as her and he will eat it all- that we are working on and plan on buying him different food). As I mentioned her weight issues it has seemed that she would lose weight in the cooler seasons (we live in SE GA and it's a hot climate) so when it is cooler out she is more active and runs and plays more - In the hotter long summer months she tends to be more lazy and gains weight.
A little more background - the dogs are mostly outside dogs kind of on accident. The older dog has always preferred to be outside and when we have tried in the to have her inside with us she can only handle short periods of time. Then she gets very restless and goes to the door to go back outside, if she is tired she will go to her kennel (which is in our master bedroom with us). when we got the younger dog we had him inside as a puppy, but once the two of them bonded he wants to be with her 90% of the time. He will tolerate a little snuggling inside on the couch, but after a half hour or so he too will either go to his kennel or to the door to get outside with his big sister. So they spend the days outside and sleep inside with us in their kennels. Thy were kennel trained as puppies and their kennels are their safe places/beds. When it's bedtime they both come in and go straight to their beds. I have forgotten to shut the doors before and they will just go to sleep (have woken up on occasion to what I call a puppy party (dogs sleeping on couch and trash everywhere) this hasn't happened recently so I don't think her symptoms are from eating any trash (at least not inside)
I know I need to get her into the vet, but I truly do not have the funds right now. Any ideas on possible culprits and things I could try in the mean time.
Oh their current food is Taste of the Wild Sierra mountain formula with roasted lamb.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 month ago.

Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.

Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 month ago.

Hi, Tiffany. Thanks for your question.

First things first, I would deal with your Dobergal, Roxy's, issue before you make any food switchings for the JRT. The main reason being that if she gets into his food there is likely going to be more of a blowout.

When was the last time that she had a fecal exam performed?
Is she on monthly heartworm prevention year round? If so, what type are you using?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
She is on heart worm prevention, not sure brand - my husband takes care of that - and It has been a while since a fecal exam. I know I need to get a fecal exam and full work up and will get her into the vet when I can afford to, which will likely be after the first of the year.In the mean time, any suggestions on what to do and likely culprits. It has been going on for about 2 months now. I thought it could have been stress related as we had to evacuate for hurricane Matthew and we're all in a hotel together - which was also filled with other dogs - which she doesn't love. She's a creature of habit, basically only knows her world - which is our back yard & home. She did really well emotionally while we were there but while in was walking her to potty I saw her have what started as a normal stool and
Then turned into the explosive diarrhea.So any ideas on what would cause diarrhea without other symptoms (no change in appetite, energy, personality).I swear the dog is the dog version of me, clumsy, steps on people's feet, (running family joke). I also have IBS and we've been wondering if we both have it (more joking than serious).I know there can't be a definitive diagnosis without an exam and labs, but just some ideas would be helpful until we can do that.Oh and I will wait on changing his food, she is the alpha dog and kind of a witch sometimes so we already feed them
Separately but I don't want to stress her out by having her think he's getting something special she isn't getting.We don't give them table food, so it can't be that. The only other thing she eats is a nightly milk bone on her way into bed. That was an accident too, the big box was left open inside by the back door one day and now she sticks her head in and grabs one on her way into bed. Poor little fella can't reach so I get his for him. It's just too cute that she doesn't take more than one and doesn't take one on her way out in the morning. Just one small treat at bedtime. I've looked at the stool and to
The naked eye you can't see anything in it obvious. It usually has an almost muddy consistency.
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 month ago.

I understand your financial bind and, of course, my recommendation will be an exam. My inquiring was to be able to give you the most thorough answer regardless of the limitations for vet care right now. You had asked "Any ideas on culprits?" and, for that, I must have the information you've now provided. That said, without knowing what the name is ***** ***** heartworm prevention it's a bit difficult to determine what type of intestinal parasite might be to blame, if this could be part of the issue. Hookworms and roundworms are covered by most, but whipworms aren't and, if present, they could certainly be contributing to a rapid weight loss and diarrhea.

Stress can certainly play a role and we can't rule out the potential of a bacterial issue just yet either, but a course of antibiotics might be most effective in approach after a fecal is performed in the future.

IBD is possible in dogs but we usually see chronic problems for them in weight loss and diarrhea and not a "come and go" weight loss and weight gain with seasons. Something to consider, however, might be a sensitivity to her food, as well.

If you have not already tried a change in diet, I would give this a try. Since we don't know if IBD, parasites, bacteria or a food sensitivity might be to blame, I would try a bland diet but use some novel ingredients. If she were my own pet, I would give her a solid 7-10 days (no milk bones or other kibble!) of boiled ground turkey and quinoa or canned pumpkin. If this is parasitic or bacterial, it's unlikely to improve greatly. If its IBD or a diet sensitivity, she may see a complete resolution of symptoms.

Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 month ago.

Checking in. How is Roxy feeling?