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I have a 12 week old pup and my first of this breed, so very new to all the sensitivities. We got him home at 8 weeks, and within a few days he had kennel cough and was vomiting from the coughing. It was a Friday so the vet decided to err on the side of caution and treat him with antibiotics. He was on doxycycline for 10 days and recovered quickly. He had been having LOTS of poop during all of this, but it was mostly solid with an occasional soft stool. But a few days after ending the antibiotic the stool turned to liquid. I took him to the vet and they checked his stool and found higher than normal levels of campylobacter so they treated him with a shot of ampicillin and b-12, started him on a probiotic and metrodiazanole for the campy. They also had us change his food to science diet r/d which is high fiber and weight management food. He did AMAZING on the food, poops immediately went back to normal by the end of the first day of treatment. We were thrilled and kept him on that food for a few days. Because he was already having some issues with the blue wilderness grain free puppy food, we decided to switch to Acana red meats which was beef lamb and pork. We transitioned slowly from the science diet r/d to the new food, and about 4 days into it, the sloppy stools came back. They were formed, but hard to get a clean scoop off the grass. So the vet recommended going to science diet I/d thinking his belly just needs a rest and a digestive care food would help his belly heal. We finished up antibiotics a few days ago amd transitioned slowly to the digestive care food and we are now 2 days into that being his new food. Stools are still sloppy and formed but not able to cleanly scoop. He is still going several times a day as well...twice per feeding usually.
The vet had him rechecked yesterday and he has gained a few pounds in the last week which is good...the soft stools aren’t affecting his weight at this point which made me feel better. The fecal still showed a higher than normal level of bacteria but he feels like it could be due to the recent diet change and the antibiotics, so wants me to continue on with the new food for a few more days at least and see if it levels out. He said if it doesn’t firm up, he would like to treat him with a 10 day course of panacur and tylan just in case it’s giardia or a worm that’s just not showing up on the fecal smear.

I am hearing that this breed DOES have sensitive tummies, so I’m reaching out to see if anyone else has had a similar experience that May have some suggestions for next steps. I’m not a huge fan of science diet, but I also know sometimes the prescription diets are really beneficial for temporary upsets, so I’m trusting my vet here.

Any advice would be so appreciated. O’m Overwhelmed! I have had collies my entire life as puppies into adults and never experienced this kind of issue. So it’s new and worrisome to me to continue to not fix this issue!
 

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In 4 short weeks this baby has had two? hits from antibiotics and three diet changes.
So first I would try a short fast, followed by small frequent meals of rice and chicken or beef. The Acana singles might be a better choice for now. One protein instead of many. Add it slowly, and watch that you are not over feeding as that will cause loose stools.
 

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I agree! Acana Singles....and how much are you feeding?? Acana is a very rich food...and high in calories. If you are feeding the same amount as the Science Diet that may be the problem. What other treats or dog chews are you giving? At 12 weeks of age...depending on weight, and activity level most likely around 3/4 cup of food given three times per day. If all goes well, and she is growing well and tummy is good...you can slowly up the amount of food..by 1/4 cup.
 

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The Acana we tried we did stay at a much smaller amount...but it still made him sick again. The vet thought the high protein may have just been too much on an already sensitive tummy. That’s why we decided to give him a break on the science diet I/d because it would be easier to digest. He is 24 lbs and his food has been 3/4 cup 4x a day to space it out. I had been doing 1 cup 3 times a day, but decided to decrease the amount in a single feeding and add a feeding. Is it the total overall food that can cause the loose stools? Or too much at one time?

As far as Acana...I’m hesitant because there isn’t a store near me so I had to order online and if it doesn’t work, then I’m out the money again. We have just shoveled out so much trying to fix or diagnose this issue! I eventually want to do Acana...but feel like I need to get his belly happier again before I do another switch. And I kind of planned on salmon based just because I think so many sensitive breeds seem to do well on it.

The vet hasn’t sent off a full panel with culture and sensitivity yet, and i think it’s because he. Knows we have just spent so much and he’s trying to save us money. He says the panacure won’t hurt him and will be sure to clear out any worms or parasites that aren’t showing up in the in-house fecal float.

Do you really think the antibiotics and diet changes could be the true cause of all of this? If so, how long with the food should I give it to settle before I investigate further? The vet thinks it’s food and antibiotics related, which is why we are in a hold right now. I am planning to switch to a limited ingredient salmon based food once we settle his tummy on the digestive care...but will have to find one that is sold here in missouri.
 

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I feed 1 cup of the food 4 times a day. I had been doing it 3 times a day but thought about the possibility of it being an overfeeding issue, so I went to 4 times to hopefully feed a little less at a feeding. He is currently 24 lbs. Sonshoukd I cut back to maybe 3/4 cup 4 times a day?

I love Acana...but they don’t sell it near me. I really need something I can buy at Petco, or a seed type store. I was thinking limited ingredient would be our next step, and probably salmon based since so many people say they have had good luck with dogs and sensitive tummy. However, if you really feel like the antibiotics and who changes alone could be the cause, maybe I need to stick with one food for a while longer.
How long do you think is a fair amount of time to wait it out with food before deciding to change?
The vet has not run a fall digestive panel with culture and sensitivity, only the in-house fecal float lab. I have a feeling, he is trying to save me money, and treat it as if it was Giardia with the 10 day course of panacure and Tylan. I am supposed to wait another day before calling and updating him. If it is no better in a day or so, that’s when he decided he wanted to treat.
 

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4 cups of food for a 12 week old pup is too much food! Try feeding 3/4-1 cup of food three times per day. He does not need to be eating 4 times per day. It is hard to look up food when you have to try ordering on-line. What about Canidae www.canidae.com It's sold in Petco and has a Grain Free Limited Ingredients Line. At PetSmart they sell Nulo....Medal It looks like a decent food.
The simplest food with less ingredients would be the best right now. Do not overfeed, and watch what treats and chews,etc. that you are feeding.
 

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The Honest Kitchen brand. If not sold locally, you can buy it direct from them online. They have a frequent buyer program. Worked wonders for our dog who had constant GI issues as a young dog.
 

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Mine had its 'soft-tool phase' as well. Some of the things I learnt was: Pork or pork bone has too much fat for GSDs. They do well with No Corn No Wheat No Soy dry food. I switched to a Fish-based (salmon) or Chicken/Turkey-based food. Diarrhea can also be triggered by too much food. Feed them 3 times a day until they are 6 months-old (so, small portions per meal). And here's a formula you can try while assessing how much food your pup needs:

Step 1: Determine your dog's RER (Resting Energy Requirement). Here's the calculation: RER in kcal/day = (30 x body weight in kilograms) + 70 So for example, the RER of a 20 pound (9 kg) dog would be (30x9) + 70 or 340 RER

Step 2: Using the RER, determine your dog's daily caloric needs based on the following calculations:

Puppy (1 to 4 months) 3 x RER

Puppy (4 to 12 months) 2 X RER

For instance, if that 20 lb dog in the previous example is a spayed female with a normal activity level, her daily caloric requirement will be approx. 1.6 X 340 RER or 544 calories per day. If you want her to lose weight, you'll want to feed 1 x 340 RER or 340 calories per day (minimum).

It works perfectly well on my puppy. He is now going on 10 months, perfect healthy weight (he was VERY skinny up until I applied this formula, and added wet food 1 can a day since he was 6 months and onwards.)

People might tell you you're feeding him too much or too little, but for me (and my vet), it WORKS. You know your puppy best.

So those are my advice, hope it helps.
 

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As for the dry food brands I can recommend for GSD pups... : Canidae, American Journey and Pro Pac. I tried Diamond Naturals and Iams too, not bad but not the best. Pro pac is our favourite. Opt for a 'Large Breed' specific too! Either All Life Stages Large Breed or Puppy Large Breed. I'm not one of those people who are willing to spend $50 and more for a 24lb/30lb food when I can find something under $50 for the same (or even better) quality for 30lb or more. Just a thought!
 
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