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We got our 8 month old at 8 weeks old and he had diarrhea the first week we got him, was diagnosed with Coccidia via stool and started on Flagyl and Albon and the diarrhea resolved. This was back in September. Repeat stool sample was normal in October.

Intermittently after that he would have an episode of diarrhea here and there, we assumed due to dietary indiscretion and sensitive stomach. He was gaining 2lbs per week consistently until 6 months. Vet told us we can try rice, chicken and pumpkin when it happens and if it continues for more than 48 hours or any concerning symptoms to bring him in. He would get diarrhea frequently, although it would come for a day or two then go away with rice/chicken/pumpkin & he was acting normal, eating, and gaining weight so did not pursue further.

January he had eaten a significant amount of table food at a party and had severe case of diarrhea again, this time it did not respond to bland diet and became bloody. Took him to the vet, they collected stool sample (negative) and thought it could be "bacteria overgrowth" from the food he ate. Didnt make much sense but they gave him aminotamide and flagyl, it resolved. After this we started him on Purina Fortiflora bc of concern antibiotics can also disrupt gut balance and cause diarrhea. I also started giving him Zesty Paws multivitamin which has some probiotics and digestive enzymes in it. This seemed to help a lot and he started having normal poops again.

February we had to go to the vet for a rash on his lip and belly, it looked like mucocutaneous pyoderma and he was started on another antibiotic - cefpodoxime. I told the vet we were concerned about giving another antibiotic since he'd been on flagyl already twice and he was only 7 months and having frequent diarrhea and she agreed but felt that with the rash on his lip we had to do an oral agent and not just chlorhexidine mousse. So we finished this course of antibiotics. He was having some intermittent loose stools here and there after but no crazy diarrhea. I figured it was the antibiotics and vet recommended to continue the Fortiflora.

Last week we traveled on a road trip and he had some intermittent loose stools during our trip but felt that with the drastic change going on long hikes, long car rides, sleeping in new places, it was probably just the stress. We came back about 1 week ago and his stools were doing okay. A couple days ago he had a few pieces of cows milk cheese and the next day had severe diarrhea, about 9 episodes of just water. I put him back on a diarrhea diet and yesterday he started having formed poops again, so we put him back on his normal kibble. Today he had again about 12 episodes of watery diarrhea. The only thing he had eaten yesterday was kibble and dog treats.

I've decided at this point to try the rice/pumpkin/chicken diet with nothing else for the next few days, then slowly re-introduce kibble back into the meals, then once a week introduce one treat at a time so see if I can isolate a dietary cause for his symptoms but I have noticed he seems to be thinner than before. Should we take him back to the vet for a more extensive work up of the cause of what seems to be a chronic diarrhea issue for him (pancreatic insufficiency)? Try switching to a raw diet? Other suggestions? He is super active and a picky eater.

In the mean time I purchased some new supplements to try (The Honest Kitchen perfect form herbal digestive supplement and Wholistic pet digest all supplement) with this bout and have also been reading into others (Kochi free, Seacure).

He eats Fromm's gold large breed puppy mixed with shredded chicken or raw toppers (instinct and wellness). This has been his diet since 8 weeks old. He is still getting Zesty paws mulvitamin (ZESTY PAWS 8-in-1 Multivitamin Bites Chicken Flavor Dog Supplement, 90 count - Chewy.com) and Purina FortiFlora.

Treats he gets -

The occasional bully stick, smoked bone, beef trachea, or tripe stick. Sometimes Kong with peanut butter.

Sorry for the terribly long post, thanks for reading.
 

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I feel the dog is getting too much added to his diet. Stick with the loose stool diet for a while then just kibble. He or she may be reacting to all the extras you are giving.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I feel the dog is getting too much added to his diet. Stick with the loose stool diet for a while then just kibble. He or she may be reacting to all the extras you are giving.
Yeah I kinda think we need to reset and go back to the basics, was gonna do the rice+chicken+pumpkin diet for the rest of this week then add in the kibble into his food and transition back to full kibble. Then can try giving him one type of treat for a week and seeing if the symptoms come back (the reason we have so many is we use the Blue Buffalo bits for training, at night he sometimes gets a kong with peanut butter and the whole hearted bacon stick in it, and then when we need to go to work and leave him for a while he either gets a piece of the whole hearted chicken jerky or good lovin bone). The rest (bully sticks, bones, trachea, tripe stick etc) he may get one every so often as a "special" treat.

Is it bad to be giving him all the supplements? He's been on the Zesty paws multivitamin and Fortiflora antibiotic for at least a month. I was going to give him the honest kitchen perfect form for this bout of diarrhea to firm him up but wanted to try adding the Wholistic digest all since it has pancreatic enzymes and see if that helps.
 

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My thought is stay away from any treats until the loose stools are solid. Introduce kibble like u would be changing to a new food. Im sure all the antibiotics caused some of the loose stools. Probiotics are great. I’m not a vet but just what I would do.
 

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I agree. This dog needs it kept simple. Way too much going on in his diet to be able to determine what the issue might be. No more treats, chews, or toppers. I would drop the multivitamin too. If you are feeding a complete and balanced dog food, there is no reason to be using a multivitamin.

I’d stop trying to add all these tummy additives too. Zesty paws, fortiflora, perfect form, etc. Just pick one as all of these have additional ingredients he could react to as well. My personal favorite probiotic to use when my dog needs antibiotics is Vetriscience probiotic capsules. I just open them up and put it right on the food. I like these because they don’t have much other ingredients that might cause upset, just a bunch of probiotics

I have a very sensitive dog and I will say THK dehydrated food has done wonders for her. Does not mean it will work for your dog but I have known quite a few sensitive system dogs who do very well with THK for some reason. Probably because it is just so different from kibble. It is pricey though and I am thankful it is my little one who is sensitive and not the big girl lol. Hope you find something that works for him sooner rather than later. I went through this with my girl for so long I started to get way too excited whenever she would have a solid stool
 

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I totally agree that this dog is getting way too much.
But a few things stood out- stop with the human food, research Blue Buffalo, smoked bones not a really great idea and check the ingredients on your peanut butter if it's for people.
Humans are the only mammals that drink the milk of other mammals, most dogs and cats struggle with cows milk and dairy in general. Also if your dog is eating a quality kibble there is no earthly reason for vitamins and you may actually be doing more harm then good by creating an imbalance in his diet.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I agree. This dog needs it kept simple. Way too much going on in his diet to be able to determine what the issue might be. No more treats, chews, or toppers. I would drop the multivitamin too. If you are feeding a complete and balanced dog food, there is no reason to be using a multivitamin.

I’d stop trying to add all these tummy additives too. Zesty paws, fortiflora, perfect form, etc. Just pick one as all of these have additional ingredients he could react to as well. My personal favorite probiotic to use when my dog needs antibiotics is Vetriscience probiotic capsules. I just open them up and put it right on the food. I like these because they don’t have much other ingredients that might cause upset, just a bunch of probiotics

I have a very sensitive dog and I will say THK dehydrated food has done wonders for her. Does not mean it will work for your dog but I have known quite a few sensitive system dogs who do very well with THK for some reason. Probably because it is just so different from kibble. It is pricey though and I am thankful it is my little one who is sensitive and not the big girl lol. Hope you find something that works for him sooner rather than later. I went through this with my girl for so long I started to get way too excited whenever she would have a solid stool
Yeah it makes sense to just reset and start again. He's still having diarrhea and didn't touch his dinner tonight so hoping by the morning he'll feel better and we can start eating with the bland diet.

He's always been small. He was only 6 lbs when we got him at 8 weeks, suspected to be related to some issues with his litter size (the whole litter was small) and then having Coccidia. He was so small and frail and he refused to eat kibble alone and everybody at that time including our vet encouraged us to basically feed him any and everything he would eat to encourage weight gain. So I have been panicked about what to feed him and his bowel habits and eating habits since then. He was gaining 2-3 lbs per week after that until he hit 6 months (was 53 lbs at 6 months) but since he's really dropped off with weight gain, which I thought could be normal development but still had me panicked. He gained 5 lbs from 6 to 8 months. Over the past few weeks it seems the diarrhea has really been more chronic on and off and he's lost 2 lbs so really from 6 months to 8.5 months he's only up 3 lbs now which I find concerning. Dad was 100 lbs, mom 60 lbs so not sure really where he should fall but from a bath last week he seemed very skinny.

Bath 1 week ago
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With his fluff he appears normal

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He's such a handsome boy, but he definitely looks more solid when dry and fluffed than when he's freshly bathed. :love:

My last boy had a sensitive gastrointestinal system. There were many treats that gave him the runs. Proviable probiotics was my stand-by for keeping his poops solid, as well as figuring out which treats were not good options for him. Also really liked Perfect Form by THK for him when he had problems.
 

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Aw he looks like a sweetheart, love that second picture he’s got such a sweet face.

Keep us updated on how it goes, fingers crossed he’s better in the morning. It might be a good thing he skipped his dinner anyway. Sometimes vets will recommend skipping a meal or two before starting a bland diet. If you don’t see any improvement in stool on the bland diet, I would probably ask the vet about trying a prescription gastrointestinal food. It’s not something I like to have to resort to, but sometimes with these extra sensitive dogs that are dropping weight it’s the only thing that gives them relief.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yesterday he had 1 episode of diarrhea in the AM walk. Gave him 1 tsp of THK perfect form then we did chicken, pumpkin, rice only for breakfast and dinner. I gave him a scoop of digestive enzymes with each meal and probiotic with dinner. No other poops for the rest of the day. This AM he had a PERFECT formed poop. I can't believe I am excited over dog poop! He also finished entire breakfast (very unlike him). Going to stick with chicken/pumpkin/rice for meals today w/ the digestive enzymes and probiotic and see how it goes. After how many days of formed poops should I start to implement his kibble back in?

Also for those who have used THK perfect form, do you just sprinkle it on their food or do you turn it into a paste like they instruct? As a paste it is disgusting, I had to smear it on multiple pieces of chicken to get him to eat it yesterday. And do people mostly just give it when the stools are loose till they firm up or regularly? I was gonna hold off on giving anymore if the poops stay firm.
 

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...echoing everyone else, this dogs digestive system doesn’t even know what normal is. after 6 months of chaos, transition back on to kibble and give him nothing else for at least 6 months. let his poor system regulate itself before you’re in for a lifetime of this. giving our dogs various treats and supplements make us feel like good pet parents, but being cognizant of his health will make you an even better one.
 

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Also for those who have used THK perfect form, do you just sprinkle it on their food or do you turn it into a paste like they instruct? As a paste it is disgusting, I had to smear it on multiple pieces of chicken to get him to eat it yesterday. And do people mostly just give it when the stools are loose till they firm up or regularly? I was gonna hold off on giving anymore if the poops stay firm.
I know their instructions say to mix up the paste, but I'd emailed THK years ago to ask if there was any reason it couldn't just be sprinkled on or mixed in with food. Their answer was that it was fine to do so. I generally continued Perfect Form for a day or two after poops returned to normal, gradually reducing the amount of powder I used. According to THK, there's no reason that you couldn't give it on a daily basis if need be.

As far as when to start reintroducing kibble, I always started adding a bit of kibble back in with the rice meal once my last boy had a normal poop. I'd increase the kibble with each meal until fully back to kibble. I eventually switched him to raw which resolved most of his intestinal issues.

My current puppy (8 months) hasn't had the poop issues that my last boy did, but I still keep a canister of Perfect Form on hand for when I'm transitioning kibble or when I see him grab a bite of bunny poop before I can tell him to leave it.
 

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Keefer went through something like this when he was around that age. The only thing that got him firm stools was a prescription diet with hydrolyzed proteins - Hills z/d. I didn't need to keep him on it forever, but his digestive system needed to calm and heal for a few months. During this time he got nothing else, I used the kibble as training treats. I did use a digestive supplement by B-Naturals:

Description: Berte's Digestion Blend contains beneficial bacteria, pancreatic enzymes, amino acids and medicinal herbs in a convenient powder form. Designed to help heal the entire gastrointestinal system, this formula is beneficial for dogs suffering from Irritable Bowel Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Colitis, GI disorders and chronic diarrhea.


I also had him tested for EPI and SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). EPI was negative, but positive for SIBO. He'd also had numerous fecal tests that all came back negative. Finally, a giardia antigen test came back positive. He was on a course (7-10 days?) of flagyl for the giardia, and 4 weeks of tetracycline for the SIBO. Tylosin (Tylan) is also often used to treat SIBO. I don't recall how long Keef was on the prescription food, but it was several months. I started gradually transitioning him back to his regular food, but kept him on the digestive supplement for awhile after that. His stools remained normal, and he never needed special food again.

SIBO: https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/malabsorption-bacterial-overgrowth-in-dogs
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Keefer went through something like this when he was around that age. The only thing that got him firm stools was a prescription diet with hydrolyzed proteins - Hills z/d. I didn't need to keep him on it forever, but his digestive system needed to calm and heal for a few months. During this time he got nothing else, I used the kibble as training treats. I did use a digestive supplement by B-Naturals:

Description: Berte's Digestion Blend contains beneficial bacteria, pancreatic enzymes, amino acids and medicinal herbs in a convenient powder form. Designed to help heal the entire gastrointestinal system, this formula is beneficial for dogs suffering from Irritable Bowel Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Colitis, GI disorders and chronic diarrhea.


I also had him tested for EPI and SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). EPI was negative, but positive for SIBO. He'd also had numerous fecal tests that all came back negative. Finally, a giardia antigen test came back positive. He was on a course (7-10 days?) of flagyl for the giardia, and 4 weeks of tetracycline for the SIBO. Tylosin (Tylan) is also often used to treat SIBO. I don't recall how long Keef was on the prescription food, but it was several months. I started gradually transitioning him back to his regular food, but kept him on the digestive supplement for awhile after that. His stools remained normal, and he never needed special food again.

SIBO: Malabsorption and Bacterial Overgrowth in Dogs
I’m glad to hear he recovered. How do they test for SIBO? I know ÉPI is the blood test and there’s a stool test.
 

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SIBO is also a blood test - folate and cobalamin levels.
 

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Chewbacca has had perfectly formed poops for the past 2 days so we decreased the amount of rice and chicken and added kibble today and I stopped adding in pumpkin. Will slowly transition back to kibble. We have not been giving anymore of THK perfect form. We just give probiotic (Fortiflora) with dinner and a scoop of Wholistic digest all (it has digestive enzymes) with each meal. It’s been going well so far. Thanks everybody for your help so far. Will follow up with updates
 

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So Chewie was doing great and we added kibble into his meals for the past two days. His poops were perfect. Yesterday my husband took him to a bbq with some friends but swears nobody gave him any table food but claims he stole a burger patty and had a bite of that. I wasn’t there unfortunately so I don’t know. He was at a new setting with a bunch of new people. He had normal poops yesterday and then today is having the runs again. Like full blown diarrhea. He didn’t get anything new at home, no treats or anything so I’m wondering if it’s the stress of being in a new place yesterday or if “one bite” of a hamburger did this to him. Sigh I’m so frustrated to now be at square 1 again.
 

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He has a history of having a very sensitive digestive system. Almost every instance of diarrhea seems to have been after he eats something other than his food. One bite of a hamburger can absolutely give a sensitive dog diarrhea. My sensitive dog has an ABSOLUTELY NO PEOPLE FOOD rule because even a tiny bite sets her off. Only food she gets other than hers is plain stuff that has no history of setting her off, like plain yogurt, plain chicken breast, green beans. She’s not allowed any “bites” from anyone’s meal. Under any circumstances. Just the way it is with a truly sensitive dog.
 

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He has a history of having a very sensitive digestive system. Almost every instance of diarrhea seems to have been after he eats something other than his food. One bite of a hamburger can absolutely give a sensitive dog diarrhea. My sensitive dog has an ABSOLUTELY NO PEOPLE FOOD rule because even a tiny bite sets her off. Only food she gets other than hers is plain stuff that has no history of setting her off, like plain yogurt, plain chicken breast, green beans. She’s not allowed any “bites” from anyone’s meal. Under any circumstances. Just the way it is with a truly sensitive dog.
I think my boy is truly a sensitive GI. He was doing completely fine with the rice pumpkin chicken then with kibble being added back in also doing fine.

Do I go back to where we started with no kibble just rice chicken pumpkin then transition back or just continue with where we left off?
 

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Chewbacca has had perfectly formed poops for the past 2 days so we decreased the amount of rice and chicken and added kibble today and I stopped adding in pumpkin. Will slowly transition back to kibble. We have not been giving anymore of THK perfect form. We just give probiotic (Fortiflora) with dinner and a scoop of Wholistic digest all (it has digestive enzymes) with each meal. It’s been going well so far. Thanks everybody for your help so far. Will follow up with updates
If the loose stools continue, I’d have tested for EPI and SIBO. Wouldn’t hurt to check B12 levels at the same time.
If you can order Feedsentials, that would be the only supplement I would give. It has too much to list but the 4 different digestive enzymes would be great as well as all the other quality ingredients.
 
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