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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20618
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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Our 4 year old Cav has severe liver disease. We have had her

Customer Question

Our 4 year old Cav has severe liver disease. We have had her on Hepatic dog food, milk thistle and sam-e for several months now. Also, she has been on a low dose (2.5 mg of prednisone) to assist in her eating. Our vet is closed for the weekend and nearest is 40 miles away. She has had severe runny diarrhea for two days with blood this morning. She is not interested in eating this am.
We would your comments. Thank you,
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

What does her diarrhea look like? Any black material?

How much blood did you see? A spoonful, more or less?

Are her gums pink or pale/white?

Any retching, gagging, or vomiting?

What foods have you tried tempting her with?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Very watery mustard color with no black material. Less than half a tea spoon and only in portions of poop.Gums are pink. No other symptoms. Tempting with boiled chicken breast, canned freedom grain free (small amounts) and dried pumpkin.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

First, I am glad to hear it was just a small amount of blood. In that case, this is just likely due to the colon being irritated from the diarrhea itself. So, reducing her loose stools should halt that as well.

Now considering her health in general, we do need to tread with care. We can see GI signs associated with progressing liver disease, secondary to steroid use, and due to opportunistic infections taking advantage of her stressed immune system (both from her current condition and the immune dampening effects of the steroids).

To start, to try to reduce the diarrhea for the short term, you can consider trying a pet safe anti-diarrheal. As I am sure you appreciate, these would not be a cure if the cause were infectious; but it can still be of benefit. It will reduce diarrhea load, allow the body to absorb more water/nutrients, and soothe the upset gut. In regards ***** ***** options for your wee one, the one we most commonly use is Kaolin/Kaopectate (More Info/Dose @ This is available OTC at most pharmacies (Do avoid Imodium or Pepto Bismol with her). Otherwise, Propectalin, Canikur, Fast Balance, and Protexin Pro-Fiber (which is available OTC at vets, pet stores, and even Amazon) would be another option. All will slow diarrhea and those last ones have the added bonus of providing support to the delicate good GI bacteria. So, these can be used as a short-term means of soothing this upset GI.

Now the anti-diarrheals do coat the stomach and are often enough to soothe the nausea that puts our diarrhea dogs off food. Still, if she is quite nauseous and unsettled, we can also consider treating her with an antacid. Common pet safe OTC ones we can use include Pepcid (More Info/Dose @ or Zantac (More Info/Dose @ Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before offering food to allow absorption. Of course, do check with her vet before use if she has any known health issues or is on any medications you didn’t mention.

Once that has had time to absorb and she is steadier on her stomach, you can resume tempting her to eat. The chicken and pumpkin are fine to conrtinue. As well, we can also feed cooked white rice with boiled white fish, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, or meat baby food (as long as its garlic/onion free). The aim of these diets is that they will be better tolerated/absorbed by the compromised gut. Therefore, it should get more nutrients in and result in less GI upset and diarrhea. And whichever you choose, you can also add canned pumpkin or all bran to the diet to further firm up her stools.

Overall, if the volume of blood was that little , then we likely have secondary gut irritation from this diarrhea. Therefore, we can start the above now to slow the diarrhea, settle her stomach, and get her back to eating for us. Of course, if she doesn't settle with these, passes more blood, or is appearing dehydrated, then we'd need to consider a trek to have her seen by the vet. They can assess her hydration, rule out injection and start treatment (ie fluids, antibiotics, injectable anti-nausea medication, etc) to just nip this in the bud and get her back on track.

Please take care,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. *Please make sure to rate my service afterwards, as this is the only way I receive credit for helping you today. Thank you! : )

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.


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