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petdrz., Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7146
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience in caring for dogs and cats.
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Hello, I adopted my rescue dog approximately 10 days ago on

Customer Question

Hello, I adopted my rescue dog approximately 10 days ago on a Friday, on the third (Sunday) day I had her I found worms in her stool and took her to the emergency vet where she was diagnosed with tapeworms. She was given a Drontal tablet on Sunday and they sent her stool sample to the lab to check for other parasites (stool sample came back negative). Monday she was fine and Tuesday she began suffering from diarrhea. On Thursday she had an appointment with her regular vet and he prescribed a medication to help with the diarrhea and told us to come back two weeks from her initial diagnosis of the tapeworms, so that would be this Friday since the vet isn't open on weekends. This morning she had very gooey loose stools and I am concerned she is going to start having diarrhea again. She is still on the anti-diarrhea medicine so I don't know how this is possible. Please, any advice would be well received since I'm positive my vet is sick of hearing from me. Thank you.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  petdrz. replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thanks for trusting me to help you and Megan today. I'm a veterinarian with over 25 years experience and would be happy to work with you but need a bit more information in order to better assist you if you don't mind.

Can you tell me the name of the anti-diarrhea medicine that you are using?

Were the stools this morning as bad as the original diarrhea? Was there mucus in the stool? Was there blood in the stool?

How is Megan acting? Does she have a good appetite? Is she lethargic?

Thanks and I will respond further after you reply. There may be a slight delay while I formulate and type a thorough response.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello, I believe it was called Metronidazole. She acts fine, tons of energy with a really good appetite. The stools were not as bad as the diarrhea but they are familiar to the ones she had just prior to her diarrhea, which is why I would like to nip it in the bud if possible. The stools came out formed but when I went to pick them up they were gooey and very sticky. I did not see any mucus or blood in these stools but she has had mucus in her stools from a few days ago.

Expert:  petdrz. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for the reply.

What it sounds like you are describing is colitis or inflammation of the large bowel. The signs can be very intermittent and would explain why she was improving and then it returned. The signs with this condition can vary in severity, from normal stools to mushy to very soft, all even within one day at times. Seeing mucus or blood is not unusual as well. There can be a sense of urgency to move their bowels and many of the pets will strain when having a BM, which to the owner can almost look like they are constipated. Many pets with colitis have GI discomfort and some will even vomit.


Colitis can have many causes including intestinal parasites, dietary indiscretion, food allergies or intolerances, metabolic disturbances from internal organ malfunctions, viruses, toxins, cancer or even stress. In her case, it was probably a combination of the stress of a new household coupled with the tapeworm. It can take a few weeks for the inflammation in the colon to resolve, but metronidazole is usually very effective at helping. It is not uncommon at all for there to be an occasional "flare up" during this recovery process, but they are not usually as bad as the original (untreated) episode and if they do occur should become less frequent an more intermittent as well as less severe.


If she is an adult (or close to it) a 12 hr fast will not hurt her and will let her gut calm down today. Continue to offer small amounts of water at a time. When you do begin feeding her again after the fast, you will want to offer frequent, small meals of something very digestible for her as you have been. These would include items like boiled hamburger or chicken and rice or pasta. No sauces or gravies, but a little non greasy broth would be OK. If the stools improve, I would continue that for a few days and then slowly wean her back onto her normal food and feeding schedule.


If the stools do become very runny again or if she is having urgency or GI discomfort, I would ask you vet about adding the over the counter medication called Immodium for a few days. It is safe to use this medication for short periods in some cases, along with the metronidazole, but I would check with your vet first as some breeds can be sensitive to it. Chances are good that symptoms will resolve on their own today as that is the nature if this condition.



I hope this is helpful. My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions. Kindly rate me when you are done. Thank you for allowing me to assist you.

Dr Z


Customer: replied 2 years ago.

One more quick question: So you do not think it is a recurrence of the tapeworms? This is very important to me because I feel like I can deal with tummy troubles but when its a beast like a parasite it makes me nervous, especially with other dogs around the house. Should I ask my vet to give me more Metronidazole?- she has one more pill left. Will she be ok to have the second dose of Drontal on Friday?


Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX been very helpful. I may even subscribe given my habit of asking one million questions.

Expert:  petdrz. replied 2 years ago.

Drontal is pretty effective and usually does the trick. If the adult tapeworm was killed, you likely would not have seen it pass as it is usually "digested" before it dies. It could not be recurrence of the tapeworm as the life cycle of the tapeworm requires an intermediate host which means that she can't directly re-infect herself or others in the house. The only way any dog can get infected is by ingesting a flea or a rabbit carrying the tapeworm larvae.
Here is a link with more information about tapeworms LINK HERE

Having had a tapeworm however does lead to inflammation and irritation in the gut and that can take a few weeks to calm down. Giving another dose of drontal would not hurt. I would ask you vet about continuing the metronidazole for another week or two. In most cases, 14 days is enough, but in some cases, we will use it a little longer if the symptoms are still present.

petdrz., Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7146
Experience: Over 30 years of experience in caring for dogs and cats.
petdrz. and 4 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  petdrz. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you kindly for the positive rating. It is truly appreciated.

I hope Megan's stools are consistently back to normal soon.
Expert:  petdrz. replied 2 years ago.
Hi Lauren,

Just wondering how things are coming along with Megan? Are her stool better?


Dr Z
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

They are definitely more solid. Still kind of on the soft side but she is still on the Metronidazole. I'm kind of scared to take her off but I suppose I will have to eventually.

Expert:  petdrz. replied 2 years ago.
Some dogs end up needing chronic Metronidazole, but let's give her the benefit of the doubt and see what happens after she is on the medication for a few weeks to a month at least.

Please keep me posted as to how things progress for her.

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