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dogs: my 6 year..Nothing in their environment or diet has changed.

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I have two dogs who...
I have two dogs who have both been having recurrent diarrhea for a few months now. This is extremely unusual for them, I believe this is the first time my 6 year old pug has ever had diarrhea in her life. Nothing in their environment or diet has changed. The dogs are on sentinel, so parasites seem unlikely, but I've taken stool samples to the vet periodically, just to hear they are negative. Feeding home cooked chicken and rice seems to clear them both up, but every time I try to mix their normal food (Evo) back in, they start to get diarrhea again. The vets only suggestion after taking the dogs in recently for an exam was to try a different food in case they both developed a sensitivity to the Evo. I just purchased Natural BaXXXXX XXXXXmited ingredient fish and sweet potato, and have only given a few pellets added to the chicken and rice at two feedings, and already one of the dogs has diarrhea again. They never seem to feel ill and have maintained great appetite and energy, but the recent vet visit revealed they both lost weight since their annual exam at the end of March. Any advice on what to try next would be greatly appreciated.
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 1 hour by:
6/23/2010
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Rick DVM, Veterinarian replied 8 years ago
Dr. Rick DVM
Dr. Rick DVM, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 539
Experience: Chief of Medicine, 10+ Years experience in Small Animal Veterinary Field
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Thanks for your question, my name isXXXXX and hopefully I can be of some assistance.

 

I'm sorry to hear that your dogs are not feeling well, but hopefully there is an underlying reason that can be easily treated.


While there are many causes for chronic diarrhea, the most common to affect multiple dogs in a household are infectious, such as viral, bacterial or parasite diseases. Other causes for these symptoms, especially in older dogs include inflammatory bowel disease, neoplasia, pancreatitis, foreign body obstruction, and many others.

It seems unlikely to me that both of your dogs would develop a food allergy at the same time, and at a later age when they have likely been on the same diet for many years without issue. Food allergies are usually diagnosed when dogs are younger due to gastrointestinal as well as skin problems. What is more likely in my mind is some kind of infectious disease, either parasite, viral, or bacterial.


Although you have had several stool samples floated for parasites, I would recommend dropping off a fecal sample at your vet to send to an outside lab for what is called a "Diarrhea Panel". This is run by Idexx laboratories and screens for the common viral, bacterial, and parasite causes of chronic diarrhea that are sometimes difficult to find on a standard fecal float. It is a test that provides a lot of accurate information, and is well worth the cost for analysis.

 

Although it is much more helpful to know exactly what is being treated, if your veterinarian has not prescribed an empirical (trial) course of antibiotics and deworming medications for the chronic diarrhea that your dogs are experiencing then this also may be a consideration, and one I think is warranted at this point since your dogs have experienced diarrhea for about 2 months. Both metronidazole and tylosin are prescription antibiotic drugs that are commonly used to treat protozoan and bacterial causes of chronic diarrhea, and Panacur or Drontal are dewormers that are used to treat most parasite infections.

 

You may also consider a probiotic, which you can find over-the-counter at any pharmacy or through your veterinarian. In some circumstances, these can help to repopulate the GI tract with commensal (helpful) bacteria that can sometimes become unbalanced during episodes of gastrointestinal inflammation.

 

Please ACCEPT my answer so that I am compensated for my time.


I wish you both the best, XXXXX XXXXX hope they are feeling better soon and that this answer was helpful.

Positive feedback is much appreciated.

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Thanks for the information. Iwill ask my vet about sending samples out for the more comprehensive testing. Out of curiosity, does the fact that they both have normal stools while on a diet of home cooked chicken and rice either support or negate the idea that a parasite is the likely cause?
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Rick DVM, Veterinarian replied 8 years ago

It's hard to know whether the bland diet itself is helping, or whether they would be having chronic intermittent diarrhea regardless of the diet they were on. Again, for 2 dogs, of different ages, from different litters, to have problems with food allergies/intolerance at the same time just seems highly unlikely.

 

I hope this additional information was helpful.

 

Please hit the ACCEPT button so that I am compensated for my time.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Rick DVM, Veterinarian replied 8 years ago
Please ACCEPT my answer so that I am compensated for my time.
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