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My 4 month puppy is having black tarry loose stool. Brielle.

Customer Question
My 4 month puppy...

My 4 month puppy is having black tarry loose stool

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the dog's name?

Brielle

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Brielle?

Ys she came to us with a very disruptive GI and we have lots of diarrhea and we have had it under control and all of a sudden today it was just tarry and thick

Submitted: 5 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 6 minutes by:
11/20/2017
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 5 months ago
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18,150
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Thank you
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Ok then why I ask ha!!
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 5 months ago

I'm sorry to hear about your pup Brielle that has had loose stools since she came to you and now has black tarry stools. Dark/black liquid or tarry stools usually indicate digested blood in the stool.

Diarrhea can be caused by a primary viral, bacterial or protozoan infection, or eating something that irritates the gastrointestinal tract, inflammatory bowel disease or a severe case of parasites, an obstruction or twisting of the bowel leading to intestinal wall damage, internal organ failure or cancer.

The danger with blood in the stool is that means the intestine is raw and a raw intestine more easily allows bacteria into the abdominal cavity itself and can lead to peritonitis. The darker color of her stool indicates the blood is in her stool is from farther forward in the intestinal tract.

Can you check her temperature for me? Normal dog temp is 102F. A fever is >103.5F.

Can you also check her mucous membrane (gum) color? They should be bubblegum pink and if you press on them they should blanche then return to pink in less than 2 seconds. They should also be moist not sticky. If they are sticky that means she is dehydrated.

If her color is fine and she doesn't have a fever or a subnormal temperature (less than 99F) then she is more stable than a dog with a high fever or a low temperature, but I still would recommend an emergency examination tonight given her symptoms and the length of time that she's been sick.

If she has a fever, her mucous membranes aren't pink, and when you press on her abdomen it seems very tense or painful I would be more even concerned. These are signs of a blockage, pancreatitis (inflammation of her pancreas causing increased enzyme production, usually related to a high fat meal) or possibly a viral infection. These are emergency situations and she needs to be seen immediately.

If she cannot be examined tonight do not try to feed her any more tonight. Fast her for at least 12 hours. This may stop gut spasms and help restore normal motility. Right now hydration is important because of the diarrhea and possible bleeding so make sure she's drinking well. It's a good idea to offer pedialyte too in a few hours to replace electrolytes. If she won't drink on her own you will need to dribble it in with a syringe (2 to 3 teaspoons at a time). If this goes well (no vomiting) then in 12 hours you can try a bland diet.

If she is vomiting then she needs to see a veterinarian for more diagnostics (bloodwork and radiographs and/or an ultrasound of her abdomen)

To make a bland diet boil hamburger (or chicken) chunks, drain off all fat, and mix 50:50 with plain boiled white rice. Feed 2 tablespoons initially. If she handles that well then feed her 1/4 cup of the mixture a couple hours later. If she handles that fine then feed her 4 meals of this mixture daily until she is feeling herself (usually in 2 to 3 days) and the diarrhea is resolved. Once she is eating well for a few days with no diarrhea start mixing in her regular food and slowly (over 7 to 10 days) convert her back to her regular diet by adding more of her regular food and less of the bland diet each day. If she starts vomiting, runs a fever, has a painful abdomen or stops eating she needs a veterinary examination.

You can also give her Kao-pectate to coat her intestinal tract and absorb bacterial toxins at 1/2ml per pound every 8-12 hours or 1/2 tablespoon per 15 pounds of dog every 8-12 hours. This should help stop the diarrhea and coat her intestinal tract.

If she starts vomiting , has increasing amounts of frank blood or dark tarry stools (suggesting digested blood), has a painful/tense abdomen or a fever (anything greater than 103.5F) or below normal temperature then she needs to see a veterinarian as soon as possible as this suggests more serious disease that can't be treated at home.

Either way I would suggest submitting several fresh stool samples to her veterinarian to check for gastrointestinal parasites.

Parasites are a common cause of loose stools in young dogs and parasite eggs/cysts are shed intermittently. They may be picked up on the second sample or third test if the first is negative.

Please reply back to this post with any further questions.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 5 months ago

Sorry about the offer of a phone call. That is an automatic, site generated offer that many licensed veterinarians are unable to offer. Many states/province licensing boards do not allow veterinarians to communicate via phone calls, unless they have previously physically examined a pet. The states and Province I am licensed in have that restriction. I could lose my license for doing so. If you would like you can reply and ask any follow-up questions regarding my response and I will be happy to respond to them here.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Thank you her temp I am unable to take we are traveling. Her gums are bubblegum pink and blanche and back to bubblegum pink. She has a good appetite and I have been giving her smart water. My puppy to be honest if I amy be direct came from poor breeding and she took an adverse reaction to her last vaccine and she burst out into hives and blisters. AN over growth of yeast. We do have her on antifungal supplements.
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 5 months ago

Thank you for the additional information. She sounds pretty stable if her color is good and she is eating well.

It sounds like your little one has had a rough start to life and has an immune system that isn't functioning as well as we would hope. I would be very concerned that she has a heavy parasite load with that history, in particular hookworms would be a concern.

A bland diet would be great, and I would recommend the bland diet I described above too to try to soothe her gut. I would add probiotics to it as well. Fortiflora, Proviable and Benebac are all good formulations.

Then submit several fresh stool samples to her veterinarian to look for parasites and atypical bacteria (for example salmonella, or clostridium).

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