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VetTechErin, Licensed Vet Tech
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 681
Experience:  Published author in veterinary medical journals and on the Veterinary Information Network with a focus in toxicology
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I just recently moved apartments (as in Sunday night)

Customer Question

Hi Jane. I just recently moved apartments (as in Sunday night) and while my dog ate his breakfast yesterday morning, he did not eat last night or this morning. When we walked this morning I noticed his stool was loose and then right before I left for work he had diarrhea that looked like white/yellow foam. Not very much. Is this stress? Or something else. I also gave him his Heartguard yesterday morning.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  VetTechErin replied 2 years ago.
Hi there!
My name is ***** ***** I would be happy to help you with your question about your dog.
Did Otis completely turn away his food, or did he nibble at it a little? Can you entice him with treats?
Is he drinking?
How long had he been without his heartgard prior to his dose?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He nibbled at it both last night and this morning. And he is drinking some water. I would say his last dose of HeartGuard was about six weeks ago.
Expert:  VetTechErin replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for answering those for me!
signs of tummy upset (vomiting, unwillingness to eat, diarrhea) are all very non-specific signs. This means that almost ANY disease process can cause them. This makes diagnosis hard without a bit of diagnostic testing at the vet clinic (radiographs, blood work, urinalysis, fecal analysis). Even then, we might not discover anything too different, as dogs can get bugs like the tummy flu. Something like stress definitely can even cause them to be a little bit off their game.
So what we tend to try and do if differentiate between signs that require an immediate trip to the vet, and something mild enough that you can give it a go to try to manage at home before heading into the clinic.
Since Otis is showing a bit of nibbling, that tells me he may still have interest in eating, but his tummy might not feel well. Since he's also still drinking, if you want to try and manage him at home and see if he improves (if he managed to contract an intestinal parasite in the time frame since his last Heartworm tablet, he could be getting rid of some worms), you certainly could. If he improves throughout today and starts to eat, he might not need to go in.
Keep in mind that if he starts to decline, if he grows very lethargic, if he seems particularly warm to the touch, if he starts to show signs of vomiting or profuse diarrhea, if he's straining to defecate, panting heavily, or growing restless/agitated, he will need to go into the clinic for immediate evaluation. If this happens overnight, you will be headed in for the emergency clinic, which can be expensive. If this is not something you are able to manage financially if it does occur, you will want to get him into the clinic today for an exam.
Plain Pepcid AC/famotidine is often used in veterinary medicine at a dose of 5 milligrams per ten pounds of body weight to help soothe overproduction of bile and tummy irritation. You can try a bland diet of boiled chicken breast and cooked white rice to help soothe the diarrhea. If you are able to entice him to eat this way, you can slowly switch him back to his normal diet in 2-3 days. giving him a little bit of yogurt daily for the next couple of days might not be amiss, just to help promote healthy balance of natural/normal gut bacteria.
Yellow diarrhea (which is usually an indication of bile) that has become foamy can be an indication of parasites or bacterial imbalances in the stool, so a nice halfway measure that doesn't have you immediately dragging him into the clinic would be to take in a stool sample from the next time he goes potty. This is usually done very cheaply, and if he has parasites or bacteria, the vet can make sure that the Heartgard covers the parasite or that he contracted or get him on the appropriate tummy antibiotics if he does have an imbalance. This will spare you the entire trip to the clinic, but is always a good place to start, so it has been ruled out as a cause if he starts to decline.
Since stress can cause the body to do several things, this is something that he very well may bounce back from. Giving him a day to check to see if he improves is okay so long as he's stable.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that moving houses tends to kick up a lot of things that can be dangerous for dogs, such as swallowing foreign bodies, pills that may have slid under furniture, etc. Because of this, we don't want to dally too long before heading into the clinic. The addition of other signs into the mix can be an indication or something more serious, and he's within the time frame of a blockage if he ingested something when you were moving. so if he gets worse instead of getting better, he's earned himself a trip to the vet.
If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to hit "reply" to get back with me! Otherwise, I hope he starts bouncing back quickly!