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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16896
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My chihuahua has had diarrhea ranging from yellows to now

Customer Question

My chihuahua has had diarrhea ranging from yellows brown to now bright yellow, scooting in obvious discomfort, she's lethargic, shivering (rarely does that) and the base of her tail looks swollen.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: Might not be related but she's also limping, in an almost waddle. Usually very active, she's right along with her Akita mix brother in their walks. She always has a huge appetite, but now she's curled in a ball by herself
JA: OK got it. Last thing — Dog Veterinarians generally expect a deposit of about $19 to help with your type of question (you only pay if satisfied). Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am very sorry to hear about your little one's loose stools for the last few days, swollen base of her tail, and shivering.

Her shivering likely indicates abdominal pain and her electrolyte balance being off from her diarrhea.

Her swollen base of her tail is probably secondary to her scooting/licking herself.

Of course anyone would be concerned about loose stools for multiple days. Diarrhea can be due to stress, an abrupt change in diet, too many treats, parasites, a viral or bacterial infection, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, or even a food allergy.

Rarely a mass in the intestinal tract, poor pancreatic function or liver disease can be the cause due to poor ability to digest her food.

Do you know if she got into anything that may have started all of this?

Diarrhea should begin to clear with treatment over the next 3 or so days. If not she should be checked by her regular veterinarian. Well worth checking at least a couple fresh stool samples too as parasite eggs/cysts are shed intermittently and they may be picked up on the second sample or third test if the first is negative.

If his appetite is off and her stomach is gurgling she may have some stomach upset and reflux that can go along with loose stools.

To try and settle her stomach today you can give either:

1) Pepcid-ac (famotidine) at a dose of one quarter of a 10mg tablet per 5 to 10 pounds of body weight every 12 hours.

OR

2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at a dose of one quarter of a 20mg tablet per 10 to 20 pounds of body weight every 24 hours.

These will reduce stomach acid and should help if this is related to simple nausea and gastrointestinal irritation. They can be given for several days if necessary.

I would not feed her any food for 24 hours after the acid reducers are started. This should help stop gut spasms and restore normal gut motility.

Small amounts of water or ice cubes given frequently are fine as she needs fluids after all that she has lost with loose stools. You can give him pedialyte to replace electrolytes too but Gatorade is much too high in sugar.

Today even with the fast you can start Kao-pectate at 1ml per pound or 1/2 tablespoon per 7-8 pounds of body weight every 6 to 8 hours. This is quite safe and will coat his irritated gastrointestinal tract as well as absorbing bacterial toxins. You can use it for several days until his stools look normal. You can find kao-pectate at the drug store. I like the kao-pectate formulation with kaolin and pectin better then Pepto Bismol as Pepto has salicylates which are in the same family as aspirin, and can further irritate the intestines.

If she has a tense painful abdomen, continues to have diarrhea with no improvement after being on kao pectate for 24 hours, becomes very lethargic, begins vomiting or runs a fever greater than 103.5F then she really must be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. Make sure to take a fresh stool sample with you when you go.

After her food fast start a bland diet of 1/3 boiled, lean hamburger (or boiled, white skinless chicken), all fats drained off the meat, mixed with 2/3 boiled, plain white rice. Feed several small meals a day. You might wish to add 1-2 tablespoons of canned pumpkin to each meal if you see blood or mucous as fiber helps soothe an irritated colon.

You can add probiotics to her meals daily (like Fortiflora or Proviable) to replace normal gut bacteria.

Once she feels better (no diarrhea for 48 hours) start mixing in her regular dog food very slowly. Less bland more regular with each day. It should take a week or so to convert her back.

If your pup is vomiting and feeling poorly though it would be best that she see a veterinarian now as anything you give her orally will just come back up worsening her dehydration.

Best of luck with your pup, please let me know if you have any further questions.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Kara