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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted not too long ago that my pup had giardia. I gave him the panacur. Added cinnamon; ginger; and slippery elm after that. Then did the kochi free. We plan to get a new fecal test in the next couple days. This is just background for my question.

He may or may not have giardia anymore. But regardless of that. . . He is not tolerating kibble. He didn't tolerate it much before the giardia either. When we got him he was on nulo but he had loose stools. We switched to purina pro plan large breed puppy sensitive skin and stomach and he did great. Then we got a new bag and he has had diarrhea since. But If I feed him a bland diet of turkey rice/oatmeal and pumpkin w/ a little added calcium his stools are perfect. He had perfect stools for over a week on strictly bland. I added a quarter cup of a new kibble Solid Gold wolf cub to try to transition him back over but in a few hours was back to diarrhea. Back to the bland and he is fine.
I called my vet and she thinks it's just the giardia and wants him to take another round of panacur adding metronzidole? I'm sure I misspelled that. I have read here that the metronzidole stuff just tears up thier gut. I'm obviously more holistic minded and am not a fan of meds unless absolutely necessary.

I will say. I'm very scared because our last german shepherd died at 1 year from supposed Gastroenteritis a month after taking the metronzidole. He had diarrhea from the start with us. Could not handle kibble. So I cooked him home cooked food. But it obviously didn't help. In addition All his fecals always came back fine. He was definitely a heart dog despite only a year. He was so beautiful.

Anyway. . . I'm at a loss. I did everything the vet told me to do with Finn (the one who died). We have a new vet but I'm skeptical of everything. I'm not a purina fan but am willing to put away my ideals if it makes Asher better. But even the purina has failed. The solid gold was a no go. The nulo a no go. Nutrisource a no go.
I am skeptical of adopting home cooked because it failed Finn and I don't want to fail Asher. Maybe all this is just giardia? I've researched. I've tried. I've failed. I dont know what to do.
 

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I know when my dog has giardia even the bland diet isn’t enough to clear up the diarrhea. Plus, if the diarrhea only starts when you add kibble back in, it seems to me that the kibble might be the problem. Does he have any food sensitivities?

I think antibiotics are way over prescribed (for dogs and humans) and if it were me I would try everything else first. The internal medicine vet I spoke to said metronidazole can “reset” the bacteria in the GI tract which seems like a risky thing to do, in my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I know when my dog has giardia even the bland diet isn’t enough to clear up the diarrhea. Plus, if the diarrhea only starts when you add kibble back in, it seems to me that the kibble might be the problem. Does he have any food sensitivities?

I think antibiotics are way over prescribed (for dogs and humans) and if it were me I would try everything else first. The internal medicine vet I spoke to said metronidazole can “reset” the bacteria in the GI tract which seems like a risky thing to do, in my opinion.
Thanks Brittany
That is helpful to know that your dog did not clear up on a bland diet with giardia. Yes. If my dog had diarrhea regardless of diet I would totally agree with it likely still being giardia. But it really seems like it is food related at this point. The vet didn't think we should fecal test till after the second round of the medicine. But my husband decided he wants to go ahead and test first before dousing him again. Your right! How could I miss food allergies? I will give that a look. I was avoiding chicken actually but I wasn't thinking food allergies in general.
 

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One way to know if it is food allergies is to try a hypoallergenic kibble. My dog has been on Royal Canin HP for years because it is the only thing he seems to tolerate. It’s a little pricy, but if your dog does well on it you can do an elimination diet to try and isolate what foods might give him trouble. Good luck in figuring out what’s going on, I know it can be frustrating trying to pin down the problem!
 

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Have you tried a balanced premade raw? There may be a filler in the kibble he is not tolerating. I'd also look into adding a probiotic to his diet as well. Maybe see if there is a holistic Vet in your area as well.

Giardia can really mess up the gut, especially in a puppy who is still growing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Have you tried a balanced premade raw? There may be a filler in the kibble he is not tolerating. I'd also look into adding a probiotic to his diet as well. Maybe see if there is a holistic Vet in your area as well.

Giardia can really mess up the gut, especially in a puppy who is still growing.
The nearest holistic vet is an hour and half away. . . But I am thinking of making an appt. Im mentally and emotionally spent.
Raw is not something I would like to do but I'm open to everything right now. I would like to get beyond all my day being consumed with trying to get my dog to poop solid and instead spend time planning what we are going to do together.
 

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It might be as simple as introducing a new kibble (Solid Gold) even in a small amount that provoked diarrhea again.
You can ask vet for a prescription food, it work wonders for some dogs.
Doing a balanced commercial raw diet might work as well.
 

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Probably try Venture Turkey recipe. It is a hypoallergenic kibble that is potato, legumes, grain free. If you can buy it in store, you can print a black friday coupon on their official website for $7 off. Chewy has a discount too.
 

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You can try to add probiotics (Protexin Pro-Fibre is the brand I used for my dog which prescribed by the vet) or try some plain yogurt. I know the feeling, never thought about seeing solid poop from my dog would make my day!

There should be blood test can be done from the vet to determine whether he is allergic to some food.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks to each one. Will keep plugging away to see if I can find something that works. Checking out the supplements you mentioned. Looked for a holistic vet but the only reputable one I could find is not taking any new clients. Is there a bang your head against the wall emoji? Have a blessed day
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Maybe we found a kibble? We are on day 4 of transitioning to Annamaet Large breed from home cooked. Stools are mostly soft serve with some solid and some mucusy but this is still progress compared to where we were a couple weeks ago.
A wave hello from Asher (6 mo old)
Dog Dog breed Carnivore Window Fawn
 

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Do try the Bernie’s Perfect Poop.
I wish I had found it 8 years ago. After a year on it, Hans, who had gut problems ALL his life, no longer has them.
Start with a pinch, and work up to 2 tablespoons.
For us, it was a miracle.

If there is mucous in the stool, that’s intestinal lining shedding because of inflammation. If stool is soft, that is the gut unable to process.
After years of trying anything and everything, we ended up with boiled ground beef, bone meal, a bit of liver, and fish oil, with 3 duck feet for dessert.

Hans came to us on kibble from the breeder, and it was the worst, smelliest and softest poo I have ever had the misfortune of smelling. Kibble isn’t a great food to begin with. Give it to a dog with a bad gut, and you have never ending disaster.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks Sunflowers, I just looked that up. It has good reviews. I was looking at some of the other supplements suggested here and other threads too. I can tell fiber helps him A Lot. I add Psyllium to his kibble and still give him pumpkin with the homemade food which is still 2:1 ratio. But this stuff does look good. Again thanks.

I hear what your saying about the kibble. . . I would be more in favor of keeping him on home cooked but for various reasons, including husband who is not for home cooked after the ordeal with our last pup, I am hoping he can tolerate the kibble. If I can even get him stable on half and half, hubby would probably be ok with that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It might be as simple as introducing a new kibble (Solid Gold) even in a small amount that provoked diarrhea again.
You can ask vet for a prescription food, it work wonders for some dogs.
Doing a balanced commercial raw diet might work as well.
Sorry Lexie's Mom
I see you posted this product too. I must have missed it.
 

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It’s not only the fiber, but pre and probiotics.
 

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Thanks Sunflowers, I just looked that up. It has good reviews. I was looking at some of the other supplements suggested here and other threads too. I can tell fiber helps him A Lot. I add Psyllium to his kibble and still give him pumpkin with the homemade food which is still 2:1 ratio. But this stuff does look good. Again thanks.

I hear what your saying about the kibble. . . I would be more in favor of keeping him on home cooked but for various reasons, including husband who is not for home cooked after the ordeal with our last pup, I am hoping he can tolerate the kibble. If I can even get him stable on half and half, hubby would probably be ok with that.
You have to be careful with home cooked, you will need to add minerals and vitamins that are lost in the cooking process. What your currently feed for home cooked is lacking alot, rice has zero nutritional benefit.
I’d have him tested for EPI or just buy some digestive enzymes and see if that helps. Feedsentials is an amazing supplement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You have to be careful with home cooked, you will need to add minerals and vitamins that are lost in the cooking process. What your currently feed for home cooked is lacking alot, rice has zero nutritional benefit.
I’d have him tested for EPI or just buy some digestive enzymes and see if that helps. Feedsentials is an amazing supplement.
Absolutely. You are right. What I am feeding him now is lacking for sure. I was only feeding him a bland diet temporarily to see if I could stop the diarrhea from the giardia and give his gut time to heal . The diarrhea did indeed stop on Turkey rice/oatmeal and pumpkin (I did add a little bonemeal after the first couple weeks) but everytime I tried to go back to kibble his stools would turn bad again. Vet thinks it's just the giardia not cleared up and not the kibble. I'm not so sure about that. Doing a fecal follow up to see if the giardia is still showing up or not.
I fed our first german shepherd 100% home cooked, because he wrenched in pain if fed any kibble. I tried to be balanced. I used Dr Stombeck; Pitcairn; Monica Segal; Rodney Habib's Planet Paws. But it only helped some then he died of Acute Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis at age 1 in July. Ultimately, I dont know if home cooking accelerated or decreased his stomach problems. He did Best with Strombeck and Habib. He seemed to struggle with all the vitamins added to some of the other recipes I tried. Anyway. . . I dont want to make the same mistakes with Asher.
I am worried about the inflammation in his gut. I appreciate the supplement recommendations. There are so many on the market . . It's nice to hear what you all use successfully.
 

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If it were the giardia, the turkey diet wouldn’t have fixed it.
I have been to so many vets about the gut issues, and it almost seems as if veterinary medicine doesn’t cover that one.
The only thing that helped was trial and error, until I found something that works.
I am so sorry you have a second dog that is going through this.
It’s horrible.

I would go back to the home cooked plus bone meal, add Bernie’s, and look into ordering some Feedsentials. It isn’t a chemical vitamin supplement, it’s FOOD.



 

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I understand how worry you must be but I home cook for Buffy, I can share my experience with you.

At first I did worry home cook food doesn't provide enough nutrition but I really don't want to go down the kibbles or raw food route. I rotate different meat protein (chicken, beef, turkey, salmon and pork) everyday, carbs (sweet potato, brown rice, butternut squash, lentils), then mix with vegs (carrots, broccolis, Cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, peas, beet, green beans etc), 10% offal but no more than 5% livers, day to day minerals, either 1 mussel per day or 1.4g of kelp powder, grounded egg shells for calcium, and a couple time of can sardines with the bones (soft enough to eat), 3 times a week for , wheatgerm oil for Vitamin E. I make dog treats with fruits or seeds. Cook bone broth once a week, feed her over the week. Occasionally I feed her some golden paste (bone broth mix with turmeric, black pepper etc, I can give you the receipt if you would like).

It is not a 'complete' diet as the commercial kibbles have claimed but provides enough variety of food and benefits from different over the course of the week. Just like you have to feed a child, there is no one diet fits all.

I started in June, so far she is very healthy, coat is shining. Only to find out she can't have lamb.

You didn't fail Finn, he gave you an opportunity to learn to provide a better diet for your dogs. Sometimes things just happened, he was the unfortunate one with ill health. You did what you could and even though he was short lived, he was loved by you and he knew it! I know it won't make you feel any better, or change anything but don't doubt yourself too much, be cautious as to plan for a better diet for Asher but give yourself some credit for what you have been trying.

At the moment, keep doing the check up from the vet to make sure there is no other health issues and the best course of action if the giardia hasn't been cleared. If she is ok with the new kibbles then let her be for the time being, let get her back to health first. Then you decide what diet to feed her later.

Is the diarrhea liquid like or cow poop type? Or extremely soft?
 

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(1) Be very sure he's not still suffering from Giardia before doing a lot of food changes

Before you do a bunch of food changes, you need to be certain that you're not dealing with "more giardia" coming back around by coincidence right at the time you open a new bag of food, which makes it seem like food when it's illness that's just cycling coincidentally with food switching.

Giardia cycles over and over through some dogs because they reinfect themselves in the environment. It can also be suppressed by a too-short course of meds: it seems like it's gone for a while (creating an illusion that a new food is "working"), and then flares back up when the infection rebuilds itself (with an illusion that the food is no longer working). You might be chasing your proverbial tail with food changes if you don't rule that out first.

I would start by asking the vet about running the correct (ELISA) test for about $100 (NOT a simple "fecal float" test, as giardia cysts are rarely spotted in those). This can be run in-house with instant results, if the vet has the testing kits on hand (which is very likely).

Or else run the IDEXX Diarrhea PCR Panel that tests for giardia and a bunch of other stuff for about $100 more (way more bang for the buck as it tests for so many different infectious pathogens that can cause diarrhea, but it takes about a week to get results).

If the IDEXX PCR panel comes back as clear, then your options might be: (1) try some food and supplement changes to see if you get a lucky combination, (2) pursue an elimination diet for true food allergies, and/or (3) run the Texas A&M GI panel that tests for IBD, EPI, pancreatitis, and other stuff (it requires a fasted dog in the morning, and can only be Fed Exed out to the A&M lab Mon.-Wed.)--the test is a couple hundred bucks plus another hundred or so for shipping the blood, probably. Food allergies and IBD frequently go together, so the test isn't a bad idea if you figure out there's a food allergy involved.

Some vets have been so beat up by angry clients over the cost of reasonable services that they stop trying to offer gold-standard care and just do second-best in order to avoid conflicts over cost. So instead of offering diagnostic testing, they might offer cheap meds for the most likely cause of the illness. Being angry, skeptical, or defensive is likely to create an impression that one is "that kind of client" who won't pay for diagnostics and needs a cheaper "second best" treatment plan. They're human and don't like conflict with clients. Sometimes vets get impressions of clients that clients don't mean to create, so if that's happened, it's time to get on the same page with the vet. Please have an honest conversation and tell her you want to run the diagnostics and want "gold standard" care!

OTOH, if cost is an issue and you can't afford diagnostics, then I wouldn't hesitate to run a dog through with Metro and Panacur to be sure the infection is really gone (doing the Panacur for at least an entire week). It's very, very common to need more than one round of meds with giardia. I've done that with countless foster dogs. Those are low-risk meds, and together they work well if you do them long enough and the dog isn't reinfecting itself. It's also a lot cheaper than shuffling through $80 bags of premium kibble trying to find the right one.

Elimination diets and food allergies can be a frustrating, expensive journey to go on (I've been on it with a dog who can't eat kibble) -- and it's good veterinary medicine to rule out infection before taking you down that path. You can be into novel proteins and diets that cost north of $200/month in the blink of an eye with these dogs -- for life.

(2) Consider a simple base mix with meat, after ruling out infection, before going D-I-Y

If you've ruled out infection and if the dog is an adult, then I would try a small box of The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Fruit and Vegetable base mix with whatever meat the dog tolerates. It cools off the GI tract for many dogs--it's full of greens, pumpkin, apple, etc. There are other brands of similar products (like Sojo's and Dr. Harvey's), but I've got the most experience with this one. It's dehydrated, human-grade food -- fruit and veg, with added vitamins and minerals. You add water to make a porridge. Then you add your own meat. It makes a complete food -- like kibble -- when you add an appropriate amount of your own meat. I also add a source of essential fatty acid (fish, algal, or hemp oil). This kind of product avoids the need to calculate trace minerals in a spread sheet by formulating your own, and it adds a lot of "bulk" -- producing gigantic, firm poop pretty quickly. It's cleared up the GI symptoms of many dogs I know, including one of mine who cannot eat kibble. I believe THK and other brands have other formulas suitable for pups -- this one is adult-only.

(3) You need a good, local vet that you trust

If you don't trust your vet after losing your previous dog, then find a new vet. Before dumping the vet, it might be fair to have an actual convo about your concerns with what happened with the other one, as there might be an explanation that can put your mind at ease---when I was younger, I had to do that after one of mine died suddenly of hemangiosarcoma, and I was furious the vet didn't spot any signs of it at the last annual check-up. I called and we had a long phone call, going over all of their notes from the last annual, and I learned about why the hemangio wouldn't have shown up without an ultrasound. In other words, we talked it out, and I learned some things. The vet was willing to spend 20 minutes or so on the phone with me rather than lose a client or have someone leave an unfair bad review -- and it lead to a much more trusting relationship.

If you need a new vet, ask your local breed clubs, breed rescues, and even K9 units what vet they use for German Shepherds to find the really good ones in your area. Even non-breed rescue people will know the most fabulous, cost-effective vets who get good results in hard cases, who are willing to talk through concerns and questions instead of rushing. Then develop a relationship that's a partnership in your dog's health. It will be better advice than you'll find online.
 
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