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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16536
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My dog keeps yelping and bitting the end of s tail. he is

Customer Question

My dog keeps yelping and bitting the end of his tail. he is parasite, bacteria, and worm free under vet care. he is almost 5 months old had an issue with his stool from solid to loose since hes been a pup. currently he is on royal canin puppy food and Ive been giving a half of cup of brown rice daily and it seems to help for a few days then gets a loose bowel inbetween..Hes definitely not bored and has a brother from same litter to play with and gets walked twice a day with training. My vet doesn't know why he is acting this way. My vet wants to put him on Hills prescription diet dog food and thinks its a bowel issue. Im concerned its more than just that. Can you give me an opionion on what to do or what may be causing this behavior?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.

Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear that your pup has intermittent loose stools, and yelps and bites the end of his tail.

Because he has loose stools and yelps before he bites his tail I am convinced that this is a pain response, and it is likely related to intestinal cramping.

If allowed to continue this may become a habit or turn into an obsessive/compulsive type behavior, so we do want to try to get a handle on this as quickly as possible.

I understand that he has had some testing done but it is worth doing a complete fecal panel to look for unusual parasites and bacteria to make sure that these aren't complicating things.

In a young dog, other than parasites and viral/bacterial infections, the most common causes of loose stools include pancreatic insufficiency or food allergies/sensitivities so I think your veterinarian is correct that a diet switch is in order, and a prescription hypoallergenic food makes sense.

If your pup tends to have voluminous stools that are greasy and he is having trouble gaining weight then testing for pancreatic insufficiency with a blood test called a TLI would be appropriate.

If your pup has created sores by his chewing those should be addressed with antibiotic therapy. In some cases we need to use anti-anxiety medication to break a habitual chewing cycle. In some dogs with obsessive behavior laser treatment of the lesions can be very helpful.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
If I start him on the sensitive dog food will he have to stay on it for life or will he adventually come off it?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
If I keep feeding him the royal canin will he adjust to it as he grows ? And the vet did do a panel of testing on the stool. He is actually gaining weight not loosing
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Is there something I can add to his royal canin that can help with the intestinal cramping other than switching to the prescription medicine?
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.

In most cases of food sensitivities/ allergies our goal is to clear the symptoms by taking away any allergens and letting the gut heal, and then introduce common proteins and carbohydrates one at a time and see if the pup reacts. By doing that we hope to identify sensitivities, so we know what to avoid, and then look for an over the counter food that doesn't have any ingredients he is sensitive to and can be fed safely.

Repeated exposure to a food allergen will not make him less sensitive, it will only further aggravate the allergy and worsen intestinal inflammation/cramping. Nothing we add to food can block the allergic reaction or cramping, we need to stop exposure to the allergen to stop the reaction.

If he isn't losing weight or having trouble gaining weight then pancreatic insufficiency is very unlikely. I am glad to hear that he has had fecal testing already done.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I switched over to hills I/d digestive care food. Been on it 2 days. My dog still has soft stool with a lot of mucus and is still chasing tail. How long should it take for him to adjust
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.

It can take several days to a week or so for a change to a low irritant diet to help. He should improve as his stools are firming up.

If he continues with soft stools and chasing his tail then it is time for a true hypoallergenic food trial, either Hills z/d or Purina Veterinary Diets HA would be my recommendations.