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.
- 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:
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:
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!