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Ask Dr. Louis Gotthelf Your Own Question
Dr. Louis Gotthelf
Dr. Louis Gotthelf, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2438
Experience:  35 years owning a dog and cat hospital and a Pet Skin and Ear Clinic
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I have a 1 year old Shih Tzu (8.6lbs). The dogs father was

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I have a 1 year old Shih Tzu (8.6lbs). The dogs father was 3.5 lbs, the mother was 9 lbs. He has had diarrhea off and on since he was a puppy. We took him to a Vet about 6 months ago and he was put on a special diet, (Royal Canin Veterinary diet, Gastro Intestinal Low fat). His diarrhea stopped for about one week, he had diarrhea for one day and then another week he would be okay. This cycle went on for months. In February, the Vet asked for a fecal sample. The result of the fecal sample was that he had Coccidia in his system. The Vet put him on a 10 day regiment of Albon (2.4cc each day). Our dog had soft stool during the treatment time. 5 days after stopping the medication, the Vet wanted a new fecal sample, which we provided. The results came back that there were even more Coccidia in his system. The Vet put him on a 21 day regiment with Albon starting 3/13/2013. We have finished the 3 weeks now. I took him back to the Vet 4/2/13. Now the Vet said she is not that worried about the Coccidia issue. I wonder why we just had the dog treated for a Coccidia problem, if it is not a problem. She feels that there is something else wrong. I agree that there could be something else wrong, but shouldn’t we rid the dog of the Coccidia problem before going on? The vet wants a special fecal test now to see if there is something else that shows up in the dogs system. I feel that something may be wrong and the dog cannot rid his system of the Coccidia, but I know there are drugs that can kill the Coccidia and not just prevent it from multiplying. The Vet also wants to do 2 different blood test. Something called a health check and GI Panel W/Spec cPL. The fecal test is, fecal-Ova/Parasite w/Giardia AG. The Vet has mentioned GI, pancreatic, liver, and cancer, but nothing has been check yet. I guess I just can’t get passed the issue of Coccidia still being there. If Coccidia causes diarrhea and my dog has diarrhea, why wouldn’t we just get rid of the Coccidia first and then move on to other issues if the diarrhea does not subside?
Hi. I'm Dr. Gotthelf. I have been a vet for 35 years and I would like to use my experience to help you with your pet's medical problem.

Albon is not a good drug for coccidia. There is a newer, better 2 day treatment called PONAZURIL that really works well. I have been using it for about 5 years and I rarely see a puppy return with coccidia. Chronic coccidia damages the cells that line the intestine, so the puppy cannot absorb he food as well and it leads to a loose stool.

I would assume that the puppy is still eating well and not vomiting.

If the pup is having chronic diarrhea, then ask about a deworming with PANACUR. That will get giardia and most of the worms in the intestines, including whipworms, even if the fecal samples do not show that.

We often see another type of chronic diarrhea caused by something called enteropathogenic E.coli. That can be treated with a drug called Baytril for 2 weeks.

A diet change to either a very bland diet (cottage cheese, rice, eggs,, etc) or a special hypoallergenic diet may help firm up the stool, especially if this puppy has a food sensitivity, which is not uncommon in young animals.

The tests that your vet wants to run are to check for other bacteria as the cause of the intestinal upset and to check the pancreas. Those tests may be needed later, but I would suggest trying the recommended treatments first.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The dog has been on a strict chicken and rice diet for 2 weeks now. I am thinking I need to get a new vet since the vet we have now refused to listen to my concerns about the coccidian. How do I find a vet that will treat my dog with the drug you suggest without making multiple trips to different doctors? Also, his fecal samples only showed coccidian, no giardia or anything else yet. Do you think I am right to have a vet get rid of the coccidian before any other test are given? I am worried about finding a vet that will treat him with PONAZURIL. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you

There is nothing wrong with calling other vets and asking if they have ponazuril and if they would treat your dog. I get "interviewed" all the time by prospective clients.
Dr. Louis Gotthelf and other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your help, but I cannot find any doctor in the Pittsburgh area that uses or will use this drug. I have no idea what to do now.