Worried about EPI
Willow got pretty bad diarrhea last night. She whined at about 4am in her crate, very softly, but I heard it--and I let her out and took her outside, and she ran to the back of the yard and had pretty loud diarrhea. Did it again after breakfast at around 8:00am, during her morning walk around 9:30am (several times; the last time it was hardly diarrhea, just watery junk) and then again on her evening walk around 6:15pm (back to a fairly large quantity of gross puddly diarrhea). Besides the 4am wake-up call, none of these bouts of diarrhea were emergencies.
My first thought was she just ate something bad--I caught her eating some cat poop after our walk yesterday, and I also noticed she was chewing up and eating sticks, and I wondered if maybe the cut-up hot dogs I use for her special treats were maybe rancid (I threw them away today). I'm generally strict about not feeding her table scraps but I guess I did give her a little spoonful of yogurt yesterday in her Kong, which I hadn't ever done before.
The interwebz says I should not have fed her today (oops). I gave her her regular breakfast, but then after reading up some I fed her boiled chicken + rice for dinner. She seems to be pretty normal otherwise--no vomiting, active, doesn't appear lethargic, and her appetite is still really good.
SO anyway I've now learned about EPI and how common this is in GSDs, and it's got me pretty freaked out. I of course will take her to the vet if her diarrhea does not go away after another day or two or if she shows other symptoms. But I guess my question for you all is, for those of you whose dogs have EPI, was it a sudden onset of diarrhea or something that occurred gradually?
She has had bouts of diarrhea before since I got her 2 months ago, but I always assumed those were stress-related: she had diarrhea for about 1.5 days right after I got her, and she had diarrhea for about 1.5 days after her spay. None of those were bad enough that she ever had an accident or woke me up in the middle of the night. Otherwise her stools tend to be on the soft side and lighter-colored, I guess, but sometimes they look dark and hard and healthier. It's really a crapshoot (pardon the pun).
She has not lost any weight to the best of my knowledge though I haven't weighed her since the spay. She was 66 pounds when I got her and 67 pounds when she got spayed. She is 3 years, 2 months old.
Sorry if this is an oft-discussed topic on here; I searched through some old threads but wasn't quite seeing the info I was hoping for (mostly about how quickly the symptoms of EPI typically progress).