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My 5 lb 4 year old maltese has had diarrhea for 4 days. It…

My 5 lb 4...

My 5 lb 4 year old maltese has had diarrhea for 4 days. It started as yellow liquid. I gave him kaopectate and it slowly turned his feces a darker color and now is thicker but still runny. He's eating some (homemade rice, peas, carrots and boiled chicken.) Not a big appetite and is drinking water. He wakes me up every 2 hours at night to go out. What is going on

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

Tango

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Answered in 20 minutes by:
3/24/2018
Scott Perry
Scott Perry, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2,514
Experience: DVM
Verified

Hello. My name is***** and I am a veterinarian that can answer your question. I understand Tango is having diarrhea. You treated with a home cooked diet and kaopectate, which firmed it a little, but the feces are still runny. Is all that a correct summary of the situation?

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Customer reply replied 29 days ago
He's had all his shots
Customer reply replied 29 days ago
He strains a lot but not a lot comes out and he did throw up clear foam the first day.

The straining is caused by inflammation in the colon. This is otherwise known as large intestine diarrhea and straining is quite common. Other things that are occasionally observed are mucus and sometimes blood in the stool. The cause for large intestine diarrhea can be many, but intestinal parasites and food intolerance / allergies are the most common. If it has not been checked yet, a fecal exam to rule out parasites should be performed. This may give you the answer. If that comes back clean then the focus should go towards ruling out a food intolerance or allergy. I like that you have already switched the food. I would recommend at this point to make it a single ingredient such as boiled chicken. This is safe to feed as a sole ingredient for the next 3-5 days. Continuing to give kaopectate is helpful. You may also want to consider adding fiber to the diet to help bulk the stool. Adding Metamucil or canned pumpkin can assist with that.

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Vomiting can occur in 30% of cases with large intestine inflammation. However, there could also be small intestine or stomach inflammation if vomiting continues. Parasites can cause vomiting and there are other internal organ causes as well, so that will be important to monitor.

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Does that help to answer your question?

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Just checking in. Are we still connected?

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Customer reply replied 29 days ago
Somewhat. Most of this I was aware of. Since we have reg. vet checks I'm not convinced of the parasite theory. He could have come across something in the yard. However the ground here has been covered with snow. The diet info offered up is helpful. I wasn't aware of the Metamucil addition. I will single out the boiled chicken for now it's his fav. Do you suggest sticking with light or dark meat?
Customer reply replied 29 days ago
Also no blood has been seen in his stool.

Light meat is recommended over dark. If the regular vet checks consisted of a fecal exam and they were normal then you can confidently move on from the parasite possibility. That is just one differential, but food allergies / intolerance or inflammatory bowel disease (if there is small intestine involvement as well) are all possibilities.

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Ultimately, you have exhausted the over-the-counter remedies available with the kaopectate, bland food diet with a single ingredient, and added fiber. Probiotics could also be considered and should help. If the diarrhea persists, then prescription treatment will be necessary. Metronidazole will likely be given and that usually resolves the diarrhea.

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Does that help to give more information to answer your question?

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Customer reply replied 29 days ago
Thank you so much. Good bye!

You are most welcome. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I am here to help. Take care!

Scott Perry
Scott Perry, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2,514
Experience: DVM
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