Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I'm sorry to hear about your older pup's panting and loose stools.Panting can be a sign of poor oxygen exchange or over heating. But it can also be a sign of anxiety or pain. Since your fellow has diarrhea I suspect it is more related to abdominal discomfort.But please check the color of his mucous membranes (gums) and tongue? Are they Bubblegum pink, white or very pale pink?If they are nice an pink then poor oxygen exchange seems much less likely.Does he seem to have a swollen abdomen?Has he been drinking more that usual lately?It is possible that he ate something he that didn't agree with him which led to diarrhea but because he is an older fellow I do think you should keep a close eye
on him.Diarrhea can be due to stress, a change in diet, parasites, inflammatory bowel disease
or even a food allergy. But it can also be related to metabolic organ disease (such kidney or liver disease) due to organ wastes irritating the gut. Rarely a mass in the gastrointestinal tract can be the cause.A raw
, irritated intestine can take a few days to heal. Do you know if he got into anything that may have started all of this?Well worth checking at least a couple fresh stool samples too if he goes to parks or on walks as parasite eggs
/cysts are shed intermittently. That means that they may be picked up on the second sample or third test even if the first is negative.If he isn't lethargic and still has some appetite and hasn't vomited we can try some things at home.If his appetite is off and if his stomach
is gurgling he may have some stomach upset and reflux that can go along with loose stools.To try and settle his stomach today you can try either:1) Pepcid-ac (famotidine
) at a dose of one 10mg tablet per 20 to 40 pounds of body weight every 12 hours.OR2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at a dose of one half of a 20mg tablet per 20 to 40 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 need be.You can skip giving an acid reducer if his appetite is normal.I would not feed him any food for 24 hours. This should help stop gut spasms and restore normal gut motility. Small amounts of water or ice cubes given frequently are fine as he needs fluids after all that he has lost with diarrhea. You can give him pedialyte to replace electrolytes too, but Gatorade is much too high in sugar which can make his intestinal irritation worse.Today even with the fast you can start Kao-pectate at a dose of 1ml per pound of body weight or 1 tablespoon per 15 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.If he has a tense painful abdomen, continues to have diarrhea with no improvement after being on kao pectate for 24 to 48 hours, becomes very lethargic, begins vomiting or runs a fever greater than 103.5F then he 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 his food fast start a bland diet of 1/3 boiled, lean hamburger (or boiled, white, skinless chicken
), all fat drained off the meat, mixed with 2/3 boiled, plain white rice. Feed several small meals a day. You might wish to add 1 to 2 tablespoon(s) of canned pumpkin to each meal if you are seeing mucous in his stool as fiber helps soothe an irritated colon.Once he feels better (no diarrhea for 48 hours) start mixing in his regular dog food very slowly, less bland more regular with each day. It should take a week or so to convert him back. If he is vomiting and feeling poorly though it would be best that he see a veterinarian now as anything you give orally will just come back up worsening his dehydration.Please let me know if you have any further questions.