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Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 29959
Experience:  UC Davis Graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
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Hello, my 10yo Cocker has been passing some looser stools than

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Hello, my 10yo Cocker has been passing some looser stools than usual, and some have been red. He has had a history of very soft, yellowish feces, so this doesn't concern me much, but the red, possibly blood does. I recently bought a jar of all natural peanut butter for him, and I'm wondering if this might be the cause?
Welcome! My name isXXXXX am a 2003 graduate from UC Davis, and currently a Medical Director of a veterinary hospital.

I am sorry to hear about this concern.

Yes, the peanut butter absolutely could be a primary cause.

My primary concerns for diarrhea with or without blood include:
- Dietary indiscretion (eating something you do not know about)
- Stomach or intestinal foreign body
- Something that was given to them (new food, new treat, human food)
- Intestinal parasitism (not just the worms, but the microscopic bugs like Giardia and Coccidia). They can cause vomiting also.
- Toxin exposure would be less likely, unless you have reason to suspect exposure to a chemical.
- Less commonly, endocrine diseases.
- Generally, in older pets, I am also concerned about organ disease (liver, kidneys) and cancer.

Red blood in the stool is known as hematochezia.
Hematochezia in Dogs

Common causes can include:
1. Straining to defecate due to constipation
2. Toxin exposure
3. Stress colitis (common when a dog is startled by loud noises, having strangers at the house, a change in routine)
4. Intestinal parasites (not necessarily worms, but the microscopic bugs like giardia or coccidia)
5. A bleeding polyp or tumor in the colon (large intestine)
6. Dietary indiscretion (ate something you do not know about)
7. A foreign body that is trying to move through small or large intestinal tract.
8. Bleeding disorder including if rat/mouse bait has been recently ingested.

Because he is 10 years old, I wanted to make sure you had the above information, so we don't assume that it is the peanut butter.

To help diarrhea you can give some pepto-bismol, but I strongly discourage using it repeatedly as it can cover up a more serious problem.

Pepto-Bismol or Kaopectate
You can give it every 8 hours. The average dose is 1ml per pound of body weight, and that is the TOTAL dose for the day. So, if a pet weighs 30 pounds, they would get a total of 30ml a day or 10ml every 8 hours. This is dosing for regular strength Pepto-Bismol. If you use maximum strength liquid, give half as much.

Also, definitely ask your vet about starting a veterinary probiotic. Can be great for supportive the intestinal bacterial flora.

I hope that information has been helpful.
Please remember to select Reply to Expert, if for any reason you need further clarification, have more questions, or were expecting a different type of answer. Prior to leaving a feedback rating, which I greatly appreciate so I am recognized by Justanswer for responding, my goal is to provide you the best answer possible.
Dr. Andy

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for the fast response,
He certainly tries to anything that interests him on walks, so a foreign object has been one of my concerns. However, since I upgraded his dog food a few months ago, I noticed that his somewhat loose stools became firmer. Actually a little too firm it seems, as he first movement of the day has occasionally been "folded" over and a little difficult to pass. This doesn't happen everyday, and I've also been giving him fish oil capsules lately for his skin, so I"m hoping the oil might help smooth things out?

He seems happy and healthy otherwise, but if this persists, is a vet appointment an urgent concern?


Well, my primary guidelines for an emergency visit would be:

- persistent vomiting or trying to vomit
- bad diarrhea or bloody diarrhea
- poor appetite that persists
- excessive panting to suggest nausea or pain
- bloated belly appearance or a tense belly

Hope that additional information helps. Definitely, reply to me if there is any other way I may assist you. I hope my responses have been satisfactory?
Dr. Andy
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