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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
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Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
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My dog is having a bloody diarrhea after I changed her food

Customer Question

HI, My dog is having a bloody diarrhea after I changed her food The diarrhea lasts for 2-3 days till now. And she acts normal
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Fantuan
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Fantuan?
Customer: She never had diarrhea like this before. But I think she has a sensitive stomach. Every time I change food or feed too many treats she will have some diarrhea
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 8 months ago.

Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.

Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 8 months ago.

Is she having any vomiting?

Did you switch the food slowly or quickly? (how many days?)

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I feed her 1/4new food + 3/4 old food in the first two days.
She is also vomiting. I stopped feed her today and she started to poop blood
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 8 months ago.

I can give you some steps to take at home to help your companion’s stomach feel better. It often helps to give something to calm the stomach and a bland diet with higher fiber. This can help to reduce the instance of nausea/vomiting, avoid or address changes in the stool, etc. If you do not see a marked improvement from your pet or you see worsening of symptoms, they absolutely must be examined by a veterinarian.

The first step is to administer a dose of regular pepcid (famotidine) every 12-24 hours. You will want to give 0.5mg/pound of body weight (a 10# ***** would receive 5mg, a 5# ***** would receive 2.5mg, etc). For this, you can visit any human pharmacy and buy the OTC brand name Pepcid, or you can use the cheaper, off-brand “famotidine” that’s available. Either will be useful.

2 hours following a dose of famotidine, the time needed for the medication to begin working, you can offer a bland diet. To make this, you’ll combine white or brown rice, boneless, skinless chicken breast and sufficient water for cooking in a stock pot. Boil on medium until it turns to mush and the breast is easily flaked. To avoid more nausea, start with small amounts to begin with and offer the amount every 2-4 hours. A few teaspoons to start is typically sufficient and you can work your way up every 2-4 hours in incremental increases until you’re sure no vomiting will be seen. If your companion requires a more palatable food, try adding in pureed baby food in chicken, turkey and similar flavors. Avoid those that contain onion or garlic in the ingredient panel. Work up to feeding exclusively until at least 3 days following the resolution of the GI upset. After this, work on slowly switching back to the regular food that your companion typically eats.

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Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I have tried white rice + boiled chicken breast this morning. She vomited all of them out ~15mins after the meal. Then I gave her a little bit of cooked chicken breast and shes doing fine with that. Yesterday night she had bad diarrhea with a little blood in the stool. However she pooped blood twice today (like pure red stool). Her energy level dropped but her appetite is fair and still drinks water. I have prepared chicken breast + rice water for her, should I wait till tomorrow to feed her? Last time after I switched food she also had some blood in diarrhea (but not purely bloody) and it got better after having chicken breast + rice water.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Do you think chicken breast + pumpkin is a good thing to feed her with?
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 8 months ago.

You're going to need to start with the famotidine as mentioned in the instructions. It's imperative the vomiting be stopped before following up with food. It's the same type of approach we would make for a human if they were vomiting. Address the vomiting first, worry about food in the near future.

You can also use the chicken and pumpkin, if you prefer. Either should help to alleviate the diarrhea and should also help with the blood. If her symptoms continue, she needs to have medical treatment started at a veterinary facility with injectable meds.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Ok I will try that first.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Also I am very worried that if she is having an HGE.
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 8 months ago.

And she might. Typically this onsets spontaneously and not with a food change. You would not be wrong to seek veterinary assistance at any point with bloody stool and vomiting.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Do dogs with HGE have a good appetite? Looks like she still wants to eat anything I give her. Just her energy level is very low. I think it might be due to the bad diarrhea she had yesterday night and she did not sleep well? The diarrhea is gradually getting worse since I changed her food. It is from soft stool to bloody one. Sorry if I sound stupid but I am very worried about her. Since she didnt eat much, pooping blood looks very scary.
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 8 months ago.

Not typically, but they can at the onset of symptoms. We typically see vomiting and diarrhea with profound lethargy. Sometimes it takes 1-3 days for the symptoms to progress into full blown HGE.

Bloody defecation should always be scary to owners, just as it should if it were happening to us.

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