What you are describing in your dog sounds like she has colitis.
Let me explain what this is:
With colitis, dogs tend to have more frequent bowel movements, a sense of urgency, 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 smear to look for Campylobacter
- a fecal culture (sent out to a lab) to check for Clostridium or other unusual bacteria. This test takes 3-4 days.
Then, I would see how the dog responded to treatment as follows:
- 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 )
Now, as for what you can do for your dog. I suggest the following:
1. When she has an episode of straining and diarrhea, you should WITH-HOLD FOOD! Do not offer anything for 12 hours. This gives the intestines a chance to rest and heal. It sounds like your girl is taking care of this herself as she has not eaten much today.
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 hours if the diarrhea and straining 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.
6. Start Metamucil at 1 tsp per 10lbs body weight given twice to three times daily.
I'll give you links to further information:
So, my suggestion would be to try fasting today but giving lots of clear fluids. Tomorrow, I would suggest a bland diet with metamucil mixed into it.
In terms of preventing this problem, it is very helpful to have dogs prone to this on a bit of OAT bran (very important it is OAT bran and not wheat bran) in their food daily. For a dog this size, I would suggest 2-4 teaspoons daily, divided between her meals. Alternatively, you could just keep her on the metamucil long term.
Also, you may wish to consider a DAP (dog appeasing pheromone) diffuser to decrease stress if this has been a factor in the last few weeks. It contains a smell that calms dogs, but is not a drug and is perfectly safe. It has no odour to humans. Here is more about them:
If your gril is still having straining and having diarrhea tomorrow, or is vomiting, then a trip to your vet would be in order. Your vet may want to start her on metronidazole which is very quickly effective at helping to make dogs with colitis feel better.
I hope that helps you. If this has been helpful, please hit the green "Accept" button and leave feedback. I will still be here if you have further questions!