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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18946
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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My 6 month old puppy has been having diarrhea week now.. He

Customer Question

my 6 month old puppy has been having diarrhea for a week now..
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: He is a 6 month old lab and he's had bouts of diarrhea on and off since I've had him. He seems to do okay on a food and then after a few weeks he gets diarrhea again so I put him back on chicken and rice until it clears. This is the third food I've tried that this has happened. And this time the diarrhea has gotten worse, not better.
JA: OK got it. Last thing — Pet Specialists generally expect a deposit of about $19 to help with your type of question (you only pay if satisfied). Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 9 months ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.

Are you gradually switching him over when you try new foods?

Has a fecal test been performed?

when was his last deworming?

What antibiotics if any have been tried?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I did the second time I switched his food. The first time, I didn't know I was supposed to do that. Most recently, before his diarrhea started this time, the only change in his food was that it went from Nutro limited ingredient Lamb & rice puppy food to the same thing, but large breed puppy food (it was all that was available) and a few days later was when it started. He has also had trouble putting on/keeping up his weight. He's 6 months old and barely weighs 40 lb. He was given Panacure for parasites on 12/23 and Metronidazole the same time. I have been putting pumpkin in his food and giving him a digestive support probiotic once a day as well. I am at a loss because I want to help him digest his food to get his stool solid so I know I should feed him less but I also want to help him put on weight which would requite me to feed him more.. Other than this, everything is normal. His energy level is the same and he has a normal appetite.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
He had a fecal test performed the last vet appointment and they said they didn't see any signs of parasites but that he may have some colitis since there was some mucus on the test.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 9 months ago.

Thanks for the additional information. It is helpful.

Lamb and rice are pretty common food ingredients. I'd do one more food switch to a unique protein that the dog hasn't had before such as limitd ingredient venison and sweet potato. This should help if it is an allergy. However, he will not be able to have any other foods or treats. Instead of canned pumpkin, try metamucil just on the off chance pumpkin is affecting him. I actually don't feel food is the issue but it won't hurt to switch and see. Read more on allergy conditions here:

http://www.vcahospitals.com/main/pet-health-information/article/animal-health/allergy-general-in-dogs/428

Often with allergy conditons, a dog will have ear infections, a poor coat, and hair loss in addition to gastrointestinal issues. Cyclic instances of diarrhea like you describe are often the result of protozoan infections like giardia and coccidia. Now the problem with protozoan infections is that they are spread by cysts in the stool that are only shed intermittently so they dont' always show up in stool. They are spread in the stool. Thus all stool in the yard has to be cleaned up as soon after being deposited. In addition, rain washes the cysts into standing water like puddles. The dog sheds them and later drinks from the puddles and becomes reinfected again even if treatment is provided. So all feces need to be cleaned and standing water cleared as well.

Now it sounds like your vet tried treating for giardia with the metronidazole but if the fecal matter was in the yard or there was standing water, he could become reinfected. Coccidia is treated with a different antibiotic so talk to your vet about retreatment and possibly treating for coccidia as well. Here are some sites on those infections.

http://www.petplace.com/dogs/giardia-in-dogs/page1.aspx

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=2&cat=1622&articleid=727

Another thing that should be mentioned is that irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is often cyclic as well with reoccurance every few weeks. Read more on this including various treatment options that some try on the following site. Now this site has multiple pages so be sure to look over them all by clicking on the various pages.

http://veterinarycalendar.dvm360.com/chronic-large-bowel-diarrhea-dogs-whats-new-proceedings-0

Most adult male labs are between 65-85 pounds. At 6 months of age, I would expect him to be about 50 pounds but if he is from working stock, he might be a little less than that. Feeding him a highly digestible food would also be advised and having less filler in the food would let you feed less food by volume but might allow him to gain a little weight since there wouldn't be as much filler. He should also produce less stool as well.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.

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Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 9 months ago.
Hi Amanda,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Denver. How is everything going?
Jane Lefler