What you are describing in Belle sounds like she may have colitis. This is an inflammation of the colon.
With colitis, dogs tend to have one or more of the following:
- more frequent bowel movements,
- a sense of urgency (which can lead to accidents in the house),
- 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. In a sensitive dog, even a one-meal food change could trigger this.
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 to rule out parasites and bacterial infections. I would treat accordingly.
They are as follows:
- fecal analysis to rule out hookworms, whipworms and coccidia
- 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, if the dog were my patient, I would see how the dog responded to treatment as follows:
- fibre trial - I would start the dog on Metamucil or canned pumpkin (not pie filler). I usually suggest 1 tsp per 10 lbs body weight given 2 or 3 times a day of Metamucil, or 2 tablespoons twice daily per 10lbs body weight of Pumpkin. Do this for at least one week.
- medication trial:
I would try metronidazole (http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/metronidazole-flagyl/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, in terms of what people can do at home for dogs that I have seen and diagnosed with colitis, I suggest the following:
1. When she has an episode of diarrhea and/or mucus + blood on the stool, you should WITH-HOLD FOOD! Do not offer her regular food for 24 hours. This gives the intestines a chance to rest and heal.
2. When she is fasting, she can have lots of clear fluids.
WAIT until it has been 4 hours since she last vomited, and then give only 1/4 cup every 30 min to be sure she is able to keep it down.
So, water is fine, but also she can have unflavoured pedialyte, Gatorade, apple juice diluted 50:50 with water, or onion free chicken or beef broth diluted 50:50 with water.
Give the fluids in small amounts frequently.
3. After 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.
6. When treating nausea and vomiting in patients that I see, I usually have them on something to block stomach acid production. The drug I usually reach for in dogs is famotidine, which is Pepcid. You can buy it at your local pharmacy.
Legally, I cannot prescribe medications for a dog that I have not seen!
However, I can tell you that in a 25 lb dog that I had examined, I would use 1 full 10mg tablet every 8 hours for 4 days. Then, I would drop to 1 full tablet every 12 hours for 3 days.
Here is more about famotidine, including dose:
If she were my patient, I would add in the Pepcid now to try to get her to stop vomiting.
I'll give you links to further information about colitis:
Another thing which I should mention is that in patients that I see, just like your vet I quite often prescribe Imodium (loperamide) to help resolve diarrhea, as long as the dog is not a herding breed like a border collie. It is quickly effective, and I have people use it for 1 or 2 days.
More here about it, including dose:
If your girl continues to pass blood or mucus, or continues vomiting, or develops anything that is brown or red in her vomitus, then you MUST go see an emergency veterinian tonight as she will get so dehydrated she could go into shock.
Otherwise, do see your vet as soon as they open so she can be treated!
Your vet may want to start her on metronidazole and anti-nausea medications which are 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.
If you need more information, just click on reply and I will still be here to provide it!
The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would strongly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.