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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19778
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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I have a 12 year old Old English Sheepdog who has had

Customer Question

I have a 12 year old Old English Sheepdog who has had chronic diarrhea since we rescued her at the age of 14 months. We've usually been able to clear it up with Tylan powder or
Metronidazole, We took her to the local vet school when we first had her and after numerous tests, drugs, and various dog foods they came up with nothing to explain the problem. However, the problem was only periodic and we usually got it under control with the aforementioned drugs. When I was in the hospital in June my daughter took her to a GI specialists. Again, dozens of tests and they determined it was stress related. The diarrhea has not stopped since then. Granted I was in the hospital four times and was finally diagnosed with cancer. Can she sense this and that is why the diarrhea has not stopped in all these months? She has lost 20 pounds and is nothing but fur and bones. I again have tried numerous meds. and dog foods to no avail. Any suggestions.
She seems happy, runs and plays with our other dog and does all the things she's always done.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 year ago.

Hello. I'm sorry to hear about your dog.

I don't think this is just stress related. My guess would be that she has some degree of IBD (inflammatory bowel disease). This can be auto-immune or food allergy related. I'm sure they tried a hypoallergenic diet. If that didn't work, then it's likely auto-immune. To treat, we use steroids (Prednisone). This, along with Tylan or Metronidazole will typically clear it up.

If the diarrhea is not clearing up with Pred and Metronidazole, then I would start to worry about a mass in the abdomen. A colo-rectal tumor or small intestinal tumor can be the cause. These can be tough to diagnose. They don't always show up on x-rays or ultrasound. Most are diagnosed at the time of surgery. That is an option for you if you want answers. Treatment with surgery and chemo can then sometimes get these guys back to a good quality of life. It's not curative, but it can help.

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She's been on Prednisone, Metronideazole and Tylan and still the problem persists. I think she's been on every kind of dog good possible. Most recently Hill's for stomach distress, before that a new one of Hills for dogs with stress and before that a vegan diet.
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 year ago.

If she's been on the meds and the signs still persist, then I would do an exploratory surgery to get biopsies. That's the best way to finally get an answer and then some targeted treatment vs a shotgun approach.