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Discussion Starter #1
I know I've read a bunch of posts about diarrhea in GSDs but so far what I've read has either been small puppies (as soon as someone gets one) or older dogs and the circumstances haven't been exactly the same. Also I've read a lot of unsolved mysteries and it's starting to freak me out............... I know most things you read on the internet are usually the worst case scenarios or people stop posting as soon as their pet gets better so you never know the outcome.

I have a 14mo 75lb (as of yesterday's vet visit) male GSD named Tank. We've had him since 6-1/2 weeks with not one bout of diarrhea and never a fecal accident in the house or an accident at all in his crate. He has had once instance of eating a piece of grizzly venison when my boyfriend was processing a deer once and he threw up for 12 or so hours until he was empty. We did the fast for 24 hours and fed him chicken and rice (which was like a treat to him!) and he was fine after that.

We started him out on Wellness Large Breed Puppy food and switched him over to Wellness Large Breed Adult food a few months ago with no issues. He's always had solid good looking stools. I could be wrong but since he's been fine up until now, I don't think it's a food intolerance/allergy and I'm truly hoping it's not EPI (not the end of the world, I know!).

This past Sunday morning we woke up and got him out of his crate. He was happy as can be but seemed to need to go to the bathroom much sooner than normal. We let him out and he started out with a solid movement which turned into almost soft serve ice cream. Then throughout the day it turned less and less solid until it was just liquid. He would go outside, have some liquid diarrhea and then just walk around hunched over and straining. He hadn't eaten anything since Saturday night so I kept him off food all day Sunday until that night where I started him on rice and chicken. He ate that NO problem - no loss of appetite whatsoever.

He continued to have liquid diarrhea Monday all while eating helpings of chicken and rice in the morning, at lunch, when I got home and before bed. The diarrhea seemed less and less each time and by the end of the day there was a little bit of blood at the end. I wrote that off to straining (it happens to humans so why not dogs). He was fine overnight (8-9 hours in his crate) and went out and had liquid diarrhea again that morning a few times. I put him in his crate to go to work (about 6 hours until I come home for lunch).

When I came home, he had pooped in one corner of his crate and pretty much filled the rest of it with vomit. A pile of vomit looked like chicken and rice and the rest was bile (yellow and mucusy). He was still happy to see me when I came home (came out of his crate tail wagging - and tossing vomit everywhere....... so cute). I took him outside to let him empty out, put him in the bathroom and called the vet to make an appointment right then and there. I gave him a half bath (bottom half just to clean off) and then let him out to start cleaning up.

We put one of those aluminum based beds with the fabric for him to lay on in his crate so I took that out and brought it to the bathtub to start washing it. By the time I came out of the bathroom, he had pooped on the carpet in the living room (so completely unlike him, especially not to whine to go out). So I figured I can't leave him alone anymore so I went out into our sunroom with him where he then threw up more bile. Thankfully it was on a mat, so I threw that into the bathroom too. He seemed to just try to sleep for a bit while still having to go out every 20-30 minutes.

A little over an hour before his vet appointment, I was already starting to panic and he started having almost purely bloody diarrhea. So I panicked even more and called the vet to see if it was time to go to the emergency vet. She said no, that this would be normal due to the irritation of going diarrhea so much. I said OK and let it ride for a bit. Then he started going out every 10 minutes or less having to go and it was still liquid bloody diarrhea. If it was even possible, I panicked more calling back the vet and she still said it was normal but I just couldn't believe her at that point. She told me if I was more comfortable to go in now and they'll see if they can get a vet tech to see him.

We brought him outside and he was very excited to go for a car ride and wasn't interested in pooping. We put a blanket in the back seat just in case and took him to the vet. I left him in the car with my boyfriend until a room came available and we eventually brought him in. A vet tech saw him and got a temperature that was normal. She left us in the room since our appointment was so close at that point. The vet came in (he was excited to see her) and went over the situation, checked his gums and he was a little dehydrated, felt his stomach and didn't feel anything. We got an x-ray just in case and there were no obstructions, but she could see a bit of fluid and a lot of air in his system. She gave him fluids, an anti-nausea shot, antibiotics (metronidazole 500mg 2x a day) and powder probiotics with a bland diet. We drove home and no accidents in the car/vet but he did go when we let him out of the car.

I tried to shove an antibiotic pill in a piece of chicken and give it to him but he's too smart for that. It started to dissolve a bit in the chicken and I think he eventually ate it, but I'm not sure if he got a full dose or not. I tried to mix the probiotic in with some rice but he wanted nothing to do with it. He willingly ate plain rice so it's not an appetite thing, he just doesn't like the probiotic apparently. I figured we got enough in him for the night and didn't want to overdose him or stress him out more so we went to bed.

No accidents overnight but still bloody diarrhea this morning. I was able to get a slightly better fecal sample (how well can you scrape diarrhea up?). The vet wanted to send it to a lab for more tests on their dime - not gonna say no! I got him to eat a pill by tossing a few pieces of cheese his way then sneaking the pill into a piece and he just swallowed it. I tried more probiotic powder by coating the side of a piece of chicken in it and he reluctantly eats it that way. I just went home to check on him (about 4 hours after I left this morning) to try to catch an accident before it happens. No accidents, no vomit and he didn't poop when I took him outside. For now, I'm going to take that as a positive because who knows what will happen! Plus, I think my body needs a bit of relaxation!

I'm just freaking out because all I read about are the antibiotics only working for the duration of the dose (or not at all) and then the diarrhea comes back and they go through it all over again. Although, the internet is a scary place..... I guess what I'm looking for is reassurance (or ****, confirmation so at least I know what to prepare for!) that someone has had (or hasn't had) hope with Metronidazole and maybe I'm just a paranoid crazy dog mother? Or someone has gone through this situation - good or bad outcome? This is my first dog ever and the first time he's had diarrhea and my first experience with diarrhea this bad in general (dog, human or cat!).
 

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While some dogs reportedly don't do well on Metro, I've had many, many dogs in our rescue who tolerated it well and had their issue solved by it. I've seen it work a lot of good on some very sick dogs. (My vet even has me travel with a bottle of it with one of my dogs when we go into back country where there's a lot of giardia and other crud -- just in case we need to get it started.)

The key is whether it's the right drug for what's going on....and it sounds like that's still up in the air. Your vet sounds like they're doing everything right -- including sending out a fecal sample to a lab. I think you should trust your vet at this point: the vet is the one seeing the dog, looking at the fecal floats, and working on lab work for you.

If the vet is using the lab test that tests for a bunch of different stuff at once, please know that this test typically costs at least $150 -- you have an AMAZING vet if they are willing to cover the cost of that out of their own pocket. Thank them profusely and stick with them!!!!

Bloody diarrhea can be caused by so many different things -- hookworms, whipworms, coccidia, viruses, and more. Right now, the most important thing is diagnosing what's causing it, and your vet is working on it. (Many of these possible causes require different treatments -- hooks and whips are treated with dewormers, coccidia with a different set of drugs (anti-protazoal meds), and viruses don't respond to antibiotics at all....) I love that your vet is being persistent about getting to the bottom of it. I also love that your vet is prescribing a trusted probiotic along with the antibiotic. Everything you are posting suggests you have an excellent vet!

You may need to learn the technique of "pilling" an unwilling dog -- any vet tech can show you how to do it. It's not fun, but if the dog is too smart for taking meds buried in treats, you may need to learn it so that they don't miss any doses.

PLEASE don't just run out and buy a bunch of supplements or other stuff without running it by your vet as you are in the middle of treatment -- keep your vet in the loop about ANYTHING you want to try.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for your feedback!!! It's good to hear that this works as I really didn't even see a post that said it did :)

The vet had said that they have had a lot of cases of diarrhea lately, and that the diarrhea was actually somewhat grainy. The vet tech had noticed that in other stool samples and they had never seen this before so they wanted to get a better sample for their research on it, I guess. I'll take a free test!

I just went home a second time from work a few hours ago - no accidents and he still didn't need to go when I brought him outside. I'm still going to take that as a good sign! Hopefully between the antibiotics, the fluids and the chicken/rice he's starting to bind up. His spirits were much higher too, which was quite a pleasure/relief to see. I'm crossing my fingers that it is not temporary!!

I'm not the type of person to just try things without knowing what it is or how it will affect him. I'm fully aware that dogs and humans are not the same. I read a lot that people were giving Immodium and Pepto and that worried me, so I stayed far away from that.
 

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Well good news.. Tank hasn't had diarrhea since yesterday morning and hasn't thrown up since Tuesday! Now I'm just waiting for the food to go through his system and for him to poop at all again. I couldn't wait for him to stop pooping.. Now I'm anxious for him to start again lol oh the joys of children :)

He's back to his normal self in that he really wants to play all the time and he's reallllllly hungry. Apparently chicken and rice four times a day isn't good enough for him so I started mixing some kibble in to get some meat back on his bones. Just poop already doggy!!!!!!
 

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Well Tank finally pooped today while I was on lunch. It was a big pile of what looked like pumpkin pie. Anybody know if that's normal for antibiotics or probiotics after a spout of diarrhea? I'm just glad he finally went and it wasn't full blown liquid diarrhea!
 

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There's no "normal" that I know of other than healthy poop -- it's a recovery process that can be very individual. Progress from liquid to soft-pile is likely his system working to transition itself back toward solid. It sounds like his system is still recovering but making progress. Maybe you're seeing some undigested food? At least he's headed in the right direction.

Any word yet on the fecal test that your vet sent out?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
He pooped again tonight and it seems to be more solid and more normal color. Hopefully by tomorrow or Sunday he'll be back to normal.

I haven't heard anything from the vet about the test. I think they'll probably only call if something shows up. He was supposed to have his annual exam this past Wednesday but due to him being sick they wanted to push that out. So he goes in two Wednesday's and I plan to ask then if they don't call before.
 
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