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Dr.Fiona
Dr.Fiona, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience:  16 years experience as a companion animal veterinarian in British Columbia, California and Ontario
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My 11 year old poodle mix has had bloody diarrhea since ...

Customer Question

My 11 year old poodle mix has had bloody diarrhea since 1:00 this afternoon. When she has a BM, it is all bloody. I took her to the vet at 4:30 and he gave her IV fluid and 2 injections, famotadine and metaclopramide. He also recommended that I try giving her a small amount of chicken and rice to see if she wants to eat. Since 5:30, she has had 6 more bouts of the bloody diarrhea, vomitted twice (clear mucus), drank a small amount of water and would not eat the chicken and rice when offered. She was very active in the vets office, to the point of trying to get away from the vet. She was not running a tempature. She is not herself, but she is still parking at people when they come to the door. The vet wants me to bring "Annie" back in the morning if she is not any better. We can not identify anything she has ate or drank that would make her this sick. She also has had no accentidents that we are aware of.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 6 years ago.

Hi thereCustomer

Poor Annie! I would like to try to help you and her, but need a bit more information please.

How much does she weigh (is she teacup, toy, miniature or standard)?

Is the stool mucoid (jelly like) or just a pool of blood?

Does she strain and posture with very little coming out sometimes?

Did your vet send you home with any medication?

Fiona

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Reply to Dr.Fiona's Post: Thank you for your response. Annie weighed 25 pounds today at the vet. When she goes, it is a pool of blood. She is not straining. Over the course of the past hour or so, she is not going as much. She just throw up again, and that is mucoid. Would the IV fluids make her sick, by having to try to digest them.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Dr. Fiona, The doctor did not send home any meds. Also, since she had fluids by the vet around 5:00 pm, should I be concerned regarding her not drinking water. Also, she is posturing when she has a BM, but she is not straining to go.
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 6 years ago.

Ok, thanks for that further information - sorry about the delay there (I had to go upstairs to put my kids to bed).

The IV fluids would definitely NOT make her sick. I am so relieved that she had some as otherwise she would be severely dehydrated by now.

Can you please lift Annie's lip above her canine tooth and check her gum colour? Is is a nice bubble gum pink like yours, or is it lighter or darker?

Are her gums moist or sticky and dry?

Fiona

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Reply to Dr.Fiona's Post: Dr. Fiona,
Her gums are bubble gum pink but they are dry and sticky. About 5 minutes ago she took a good long drink of water. I am hoping she is able to keep it down.
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 6 years ago.

Ok, pink is good! PHEW ! Don't let her drink too much at one sitting. I am working on your reply and will be back shortly!

 

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hi Dr. Fiona,
I have not heard back from you and just wanted to check and make sure we are still on line with each other. I am in Florida and we have has some very bad thunder storms tonight.
Thanks,
Tammie
I last heard from you at 9:05.
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 6 years ago.

I'm so sorry! My computer froze! I had to call in the big guns (my husband) to fix it. It seems ok now, so sorry for the delay!!

 

Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 6 years ago.

Tammie,

Apologies again for leaving you hanging! How is your baby? Has she kept the water down? Any further diarrhea? With what you are describing my main 2 concerns are that she has either colitis or hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. I will explain a bit more about each, and what you can do about them.

1. With colitis, dogs tend to have more frequent bowel movements, a sense of urgency, sometimes straining, and mucus and even blood on the stools. The stools often start out a bit soft, or pudding like and become gelatinous, shiny and mucoid as it progresses. The colon normally makes mucus to help the stool to pass along, so when it is inflamed it makes a lot of mucus, and also can have erosions that lead to bleeding.

Colitis could be caused by a large number of different things. Examples are stress, dietary indiscretion (eating something she shouldn't have), bacterial and viral infections, and parasites.

If a dog with no history of stress were to come in to my hospital, and we didn't have to consider money (so I could do all the tests I would want to do!) I would start with a physical exam and then a number of tests:

- fecal analysis to rule out hookworms, whipworms and coccidia http://www.petplace.com/dogs/intestinal-parasites-in-dogs/page1.aspx

- an ELISA test for Giardia. Giardia used to be hard to diagnose, but this test is fast and easy and accurate.

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

- a fecal culture (sent out to a lab) to check for Clostridium or other unusual bacteria. This test takes 3-4 days.

- fibre trial - I would start the dog on metamucil. I usually suggest 1 tsp per 10 lbs body weight given 2 or 3 times a day. Do this for at least one week.

- medication trial:

I would try metronidazole (http://www.petplace.com/dogs/metronidazole-flagyl-toxicity-in-dogs/page1.aspx) as a first line treatment but there are a number other drugs that can be helpful too:

Panacur (fenbendazole, http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/fenbendazole-panacur/page1.aspx) ,

Tylosin (http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/tylosin-tylan/page1.aspx )

and even steroids (prednisone http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/prednisone-prednisolone/page1.aspx )

I'll give you a link to further information about colitis:

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=677

http://www.dogsworldwide.com/articles/infofile/if_bpn10.htm

2. The other thing that I am worried about is called HGE - hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. This is a problem that tends to occur in small breed dogs, often when they are much younger than your girl (2-4 years is most common). It comes on very suddenly, with vomiting, diarrhea and even frank blood in the stools.

Typically, the packed cell volume (PCV, hematocrit or HCT are other names for this) is 60% or higher. This is a blood test and is a measure of how very dehydrated and shocky dogs with this problem are.

Usually, HGE is treated aggressively in hospital with IV fluids, anti-nausea medication, antibiotics and gastric protectants. Dogs with this problem have difficulty absorbing the fluids that they take in by mouth (as evidenced by the diarrhea - the water is just coming out again), so we treat them by giving the fluid intravenously to allow the intestines to rest and heal.

In terms of what causes this, the short answer is we don't know. There are many theories - a virus, a bacteria, a food poisoning, a parasite, stress. The botXXXXX XXXXXne is that we really just don't know. Most dogs that have HGE never have another episode, however.

With hospitalization and treatment, most dogs do recover from HGE and have no lasting problems. It does, however, take several days of treatment and supportive care.

For more information, here are some links:

http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/23311.htm

http://www.sniksnak.com/doghealth/hge.html

http://vetmedicine.about.com/cs/dogdiseasesh/a/HGEindogs.htm

So, your vet would need to do some blood tests to know which of these problems was most likely in your girl.

Now as for what you can DO to help her feel better:

1. For tonight, you should WITH-HOLD FOOD! Do not offer anything solid at all overnight. This gives the intestines a chance to rest and heal.

2. When she is fasting, she can have lots of clear fluids. So, water is fine, but also she can have pedialyte, Gatorade, apple juice diluted 50:50 with water, or chicken or beef broth diluted 50:50 with water. Give the fluids in small amounts frequently. For a dog this size that means about 1/4 cup an hour.

3. After 12-24 hours if the diarrhea has stopped, you can start your dog back on a bland diet. For patients that I see, I recommend a mixture of 75% cooked white rice, and 25% low fat protein. For the protein you could use extra lean ground beef, boiled with the fat scooped off, or chicken breast boiled with fat scooped off or even scrambled egg cooked without fat in the microwave. Feed small frequent meals. For a dog this size, I would suggest 2-3 tablespoons every 3 to 4 hours.

4. After 1-2 days on the rice mix, you would gradually change your dog back to the normal diet and food. So, on day 3, give the rice mixture, but bigger meals, spaced further apart. On day 4, mix a little tiny bit of the normal food in there, and decrease the frequency so it is down to 3 meals or so. And so on.

5. Keep your dog as quiet as possible - just out to relieve herself and back in.

So, my suggestion would be to try fasting tonight but giving lots of clear fluids.

Definitely take her in to see your vet tomorrow morning so he can check her out and make sure her hydration is ok. He may want to do some blood tests like a hematocrit to see what may be going on.

I hope that helps you. If this has been helpful, please hit the green "Accept" button. I will still be here if you have further questions!

Fiona

 

Dr.Fiona, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience: 16 years experience as a companion animal veterinarian in British Columbia, California and Ontario
Dr.Fiona and 5 other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for the information Dr. Fiona,
I will be taking Annie back to the vet first thing in the morning.

She throw up the water about 20 minutes after she drank it. She has also had 4 more bouts of the bloody diarrhea. She is still walking around and letting me know when she needs to go outside.In the last little while she has been wanting to stay right by my side. She is really sick. What would be the signs that I need to take her to an emergency vet? If i had not taken her earlier today, I would have already taken her to the emergency vet.

Thanks for you help,
Tammie
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 6 years ago.

How many times has she vomited? what was in it?

 

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
She has trown up twice, one right after the other and it was clear mucus with white foam. She has not thrown up for the past hour but I was just outside with her and she had more bloody diarrhea. I am afraid we are in for a long night.
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 6 years ago.

Did she just vomit the one time after she drank?

I am starting to get very worried about Annie!

I do think it may be best to get her to an Emergency clinic as this sounds like a lot of fluid she is losing from both ends now! I am concerned because she is a small dog and it doesn't take much for her to get dehdyrated.

I wish I could reach into the computer and treat her myself! But this has been going on for many hours now and I think she needs IV fluids and antibiotics. If blood is going in to her intestinal tract, then bacteria in her intestinal tract can get into her blood stream. I think it's time to take her in!

((BIG HUGS)) I know you are worried about your baby! Take her to an emergency vet and they will get her started on treatment immediately!

Best wishes and please let me know how she does! Fiona

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for your concern and infomation. I will let you know how she does.
Tammie
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 6 years ago.
Tammie, please do! I am worried about her! DRive carefully! Fiona
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hi Dr. Fiona,
We just got back from the Emergency vet where Annie will be spending the night. They have diagnosed her with HGE. They have started her on fluids and treatment and hopefully she will be home by Monday. Thank you again for helping me with my sick "furry" child. Annie is an important member of our family and we want her to be healthy and happy for as long as we can possibly keep her that way.
Sincerely, XXXXX XXXXX Jacksonville, Florida
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 6 years ago.

Tammie,

PHEW! I"m so glad you took her in! As I described above for HGE, it needs pretty aggressive treatment in a hospital. I hope she has a smoooth recovery. I'm sure she will feel much better today with her IV fluids and medications. ((HUGS)) I know how worried about her you are. My fur-children are members of the family, too! Best wishes, Fiona

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