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My 13 year old Maltese has had diarrhea for 3 days. He is…

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My 13 year old...

My 13 year old Maltese has had diarrhea for 3 days. He is not acting ill. He started back on solid food this week following teeth removal at which time I had given him soft food. The stool is dark and has mucous.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is the Maltese's name?

Bogie

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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3/17/2018
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 4 months ago
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23,211
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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Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

By dark, is it dark brown or black? Any blood?

Is he on any treatment just now?

Are his gums pink or white/pale? Moist or sticky?

If you press on his belly, any tensing, tenderness, discomfort, or pain?

Could he have eaten anything harmful (ie bones, toys, plants, chemicals, human medications/drugs, etc)?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
the stool is dark, almost black. there is no visible blood. No belly tenderness, Gums look good. I don't think he ate anything other than dog food.
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 4 months ago

Hello again,

Now we do need to keep a close eye on this stool color. Assuming you haven't given anything that can change stool color (Pepto Bismol, activated charcoal) and he hasn't been eating dirt, we'd have to assume this is genuine. And while dark brown is not a worry black would be since its a sign of stomach bleeding (from ulcers, tumors, trauma to the gut). It could also be seen if he ingested a lot of blood post dental but you should have only seen that 1-2 days post tooth extraction. So, if you think this looks black at any point or his gums get pale; then we'd want him seen urgently.

Otherwise, loose stools of any color can be a feature of bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, parasites/protozoa infections, or dietary indiscretion. And with that in mind, we can start some supportive care for Bogie.

First, you can try an easily digestible diet like cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, or meat baby food (as long as its garlic/onion free). There are also OTC vet diets that can be used (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity) too. 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/diarrhea. Fiber (ie canned pumpkin) and OTC probiotics (ie Benebac, Fortiflora) can be added to these meals to firm those loose stools quicker and support digestion. And if he is very loose, we can also use a pet safe anti-diarrheal. As I am sure you appreciate, these would not be a cure for infectious issues; 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, the one we most commonly use is Kaolin/Kaopectate (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/kaolin-and-pectin-kapectolin-k-p)). This is available OTC at most pharmacies (avoid Pepto since we are monitoring stool color). Otherwise, Propectalin, Canikur, Fast Balance, and Protexin Pro-Fiber (all 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 his upset GI.

Overall, his signs do raise some concerns here. Therefore, we’d want to start the above supportive care and keep a close eye on him and his stools. If this doesnt' settle in 24 hours or you think it is black in color, then we'd want to get his vet ito assess him for the above +/- start treatment (ie gastroprotectants, antibiotics) to nip this in the bud.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 4 months ago
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. B.
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