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Hello, everyone! I’m new here and have brought with me major concerns about our puppy. Nyx is a 6 month old female, we’ve had her since January 2nd. In all other regards, she is absolutely a dream come true-smart, gentle, playful, and affectionate. We had some diarrhea when we first changed her food from what our breeder had her on, but it was short lived and she was fine for several months.
But since the very beginning of April, we’ve dealt with diarrhea and soft stools and I am at my wit’s end. The story starts like this:
We have 2 dogs-Nyx and our 2 year old GSD mix, River. Both dogs were on the same food, doing very well, and all was well. Nyx started having diarrhea over the course of one weekend. At first it was soft, but slowly turned into liquid stools. She never lost her appetite, and her energy levels were normal. But the diarrhea was mucousy and concerning enough that we decided to bring her to the vet after a 12 hour fast and bland diet didn’t stop it. Fecal was negative and the bloodwork unremarkable. They prescribed us a week’s worth of I/D canned food and Flagyl. She started showing improvement within two days and we figured all was well.
Then River started with the same type of diarrhea, but his was so severe that we rushed him to the ER vet on a Tuesday night. Again, they ran bloodwork and a full fecal, which was negative. He was started on the I/D canned food and a round of Flagyl. By the following week, he was fine and we haven’t had an issue with him since. He resumed his normal diet.
With both dogs having the same type of diarrhea, our vet asked us for stool samples from both dogs to run an ELISA test. It was negative, but I did the best I could with cleaning the house-all bedding, we got the carpets cleaned professionally, I sterilized toys and everything top to bottom. I thought we had gotten it.
...Then Nyx started with the diarrhea again the second we tried to add a little bit of her old food to start the transition back to her normal diet. Our vet tried another round of Flagyl and more canned I/D food, but it continued to stay soft and has to this day. Some days it was soft but slightly formed, other days was liquid. She was going one to two times a day without straining or urgency. The diarrhea was chocolate brown to a lighter brown, and varied from nearly odorless to pungent. She continued to have a normal appetite and energy level.
We have kept her on the I/D canned food since then because it is the only thing that gives her slightly formed stools, but I don’t think it’s enough calories for her and I don’t think she can be on it indefinitely. We tried adding a little pumpkin, but that didn’t seem to make a difference even after about 2 weeks of a few tbsp. per day.
Recently, our vet recommended we try Biome dry food slowly mixed in with the canned over a period of several weeks, and add Forti-Flora probiotics. We started giving the probiotics a few days before we tried the dry food as to not overload her stomach with new things all at once. Immediately, her stools firmed up and stayed normal for three days.
Then we tried to add 1/2 cup of the Biome kibble to the vet, which was yesterday morning. She didn’t poop for the entire day and we were worried she was constipated. This morning? Soft, cow pie poop again. 1/2 scoop of dry food and her body can’t handle it, it seems. I now worry that she’s losing weight even though I can still see and feel that she’s growing. I feel defeated. My husband is at the vet with her now, and they are going to run another fecal, another ELISA, a full diarrhea panel to check for SIBO or whatever else, and possibly run bloodwork to check for EPI (which terrifies me).
At this point, I don’t want to put her back on any drugs or antibiotics until I get more testing done, and they don’t even seem to help anyway.
Has anyone else experienced this? She’s fine on the bland I/D canned but can’t seem to handle any type of kibble. Does it really take this long for a puppy to recover from a possible stomach virus? And would EPI just start out of nowhere like it did?
Because both dogs had diarrhea, I’m still holding out hope it’s a virus and she’s just taking longer to recover, but we’re going on a month and a half of this with very little improvement. I have done a lot of research, especially on this site, but it seems like any discussions that are started that seem remotely similar to our situation don’t have a conclusion and I never find out what was wrong with the poster’s dog and how it resolved itself!
 

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I don't know if this will help you much, but I can share my experience. My GSD got horrible diarrhea back in October, with no other symptoms. I couldn't get a vet to care enough to take any kinds of samples or run or any tests, so to this day I have no idea what caused it, but there hadn't been a food change so I'm guessing it was a stomach virus or something else icky that she picked up from the environment.

Anyway, after 5 days of nothing working (I never did a fast but we did do a strict bland diet + slippery elm + pumpkin), I kept begging the vet for help and they finally gave me a course of metranidazole plus a dewormer just in case (still without doing any tests or even an office visit). The diarrhea cleared it right up and it never came back. However, her stools are generally very soft (maybe the consistency of peanut butter?), and it worried me for a while but now I guess I'm just used to it. If she goes longer between poops, they firm up. She's completely fine in every other respect; good energy, good coat, on our last vet visit the vet said she looked really good. So. She just has squishy poops. Maybe it's her food, maybe it's just how she is, I don't know.
 

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I'm a fan of the IDEXX Diarrhea PCR test -- it tests for A LOT of things in one sample, for about $200. It's money well spent. It has saved some frustration and aggravation with rescued dogs whose poop wouldn't firm up after many weeks -- revealing that they had an infection we didn't know they had (sometimes multiple infections layered on each other). It sometimes turns up obscure pathogenic microbes that aren't otherwise detectable. It takes about a week to get answers back, but if there's anything in that poop that shouldn't be there, this test is likely to find it.
 

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Hi Amanda, I know exactly how you feel, I've been going through the same with Nitro. His bloodwork too was ok. Nitro had been long term on the Royal Canin Sensitivity control kibble. I've been feeding turkey, rice, pumpkin and slippery elm, trying to get his poop back to normal.

I've got the complication that I've been gradually reducing long term medications he's been on, cyclosporine and ketacanazole. My vet thinks with the last dose reduction, he's gone below the 'sweet spot', and I need to increase the dose again, to fix the digestive problem.

On my vet's recommendation, I've (with scepticism) started to add the Biome kibble today, to his turkey diet, starting with 1 tablespoon. I'm dismayed at the grains it contains, i.e. rice, barley, corn, oats, flaxseed, and the chicken. All these ingredients, particularly chicken, can be food allergens for dogs.

Has your water quality changed, or do your dogs had access to dirty/contaminated water?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi Amanda, I know exactly how you feel, I've been going through the same with Nitro. His bloodwork too was ok. Nitro had been long term on the Royal Canin Sensitivity control kibble. I've been feeding turkey, rice, pumpkin and slippery elm, trying to get his poop back to normal.

I've got the complication that I've been gradually reducing long term medications he's been on, cyclosporine and ketacanazole. My vet thinks with the last dose reduction, he's gone below the 'sweet spot', and I need to increase the dose again, to fix the digestive problem.

On my vet's recommendation, I've (with scepticism) started to add the Biome kibble today, to his turkey diet, starting with 1 tablespoon. I'm dismayed at the grains it contains, i.e. rice, barley, corn, oats, flaxseed, and the chicken. All these ingredients, particularly chicken, can be food allergens for dogs.

Has your water quality changed, or do your dogs had access to dirty/contaminated water?
Ughh it sounds like you’ve had a rough road too, and I’m so sorry to hear! Our water has not changed, we do have filters and whatnot, and we have been very careful to make sure there’s no standing water anywhere that they can get into!
I don’t think the Biome will be a long term solution for us either, if she’s even able to tolerate it.
We’ve just gotten home from the vet. Basically they want us to increase the I/D canned food to help her put on a little more weight, and continue with the probiotics. She’ll have her EPI bloodwork done on Saturday morning, and I guess we’ll go from there. I am so frustrated and sad because I honestly never thought I’d be dealing with issues like this so early on! My gosh, she’s already been to the vet more times in 3 months than River has been his entire life!
 

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It's funny, in a very sad kind of way, that we've been crying over dog poop.
I know, right? I told my husband 90% of my day is worrying about her poop, and 10% of it is her actually pooping after I’ve been stressing over it all day.
 

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I know, right? I told my husband 90% of my day is worrying about her poop, and 10% of it is her actually pooping after I’ve been stressing over it all day.
Oh man, when Willow had that bad 5-day bout of diarrhea, I was a wreck. The only reason the vets finally gave me drugs was because I called them, bawling and cursing, and I think it scared them and/or they just wanted me to go away.

Speaking of this kind of stuff....Willow is asleep at my feet right now and KEEPS FARTING AARRGGGHHHH
 

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Oh yes, THE FARTING!!!! I lit a candle in my bedroom, it helped, and one daughter has given me 2 oil burner thingys. It got so incredibly bad twice, it made my husband feel sick. We slept with the front and back door open, trying to vent the place. I showed up unannounced at the emergency vet in tears 2 Sunday's ago, when Nitro's poop suddenly went hemorrhagic.

Amanda, I'd appreciate it you'd let us know the results of Nyx's EPI bloodwork.
 

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They changed the spelling. It is now "Kochi Free" ;)

From the manufacturer....Amber Naturalz (previously Amber Technology): Healthy Stools For Pets | Kochi Free is safe & Effective way to Firm Stools

From Amazon: Amazon.com : Kocci Free - All-Natural Anti-Parasitic for Pets (4 oz) by Amber Technology : Pet Supplies

From Only Natural Pet: Amber Naturalz Kochi Free GI Support Herbal Liquid Formula for Dogs & Cats

Dog Gas:
*Check the ingredient list for these products in your dogs food:
Soybeans, peas, beans, milk products, high-fat diets and spicy foods are all commonly associated with flatulence in dogs. (vcahospitals.com)
*Dogs that swallow air while eating, especially those that eat rapidly, are more likely to experience flatulence. (vcahospitals.com)
Try a "slow feed" bowl: Dog Slow Feeders - Top Brands, Low Prices (Free Shipping) | Chewy
 

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Oh yes, THE FARTING!!!! I lit a candle in my bedroom, it helped, and one daughter has given me 2 oil burner thingys. It got so incredibly bad twice, it made my husband feel sick. We slept with the front and back door open, trying to vent the place. I showed up unannounced at the emergency vet in tears 2 Sunday's ago, when Nitro's poop suddenly went hemorrhagic.

Amanda, I'd appreciate it you'd let us know the results of Nyx's EPI bloodwork.
I will! She is having the bloodwork done tomorrow since we need to fast her for 12 hours beforehand and she didn’t quite make the cut off for that yesterday! She is back on I/D canned only (5 cans a day!), and her poops are now solid again. Our vet is leaning towards intolerance of something in the kibble since it clears up on the canned, but she is also curious about the EPI results. I will let you know as soon as I know!
 

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My rescue had pretty severe off and on diarrhea. koccifree didn't change it - after 10 days I did Panacur for 5-7 days

and Voila, stools firmed up and have stayed fine. Suspect it was Giardia. This dog swims in many lakes and drinks

from many questionable sources. Look into Giardia.
 

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My rescue had pretty severe off and on diarrhea. koccifree didn't change it - after 10 days I did Panacur for 5-7 days

and Voila, stools firmed up and have stayed fine. Suspect it was Giardia. This dog swims in many lakes and drinks

from many questionable sources. Look into Giardia.
I was positive it was giardia but the tests keep saying otherwise (3 per dog, plus the ELISA)! Our vet did give us a round of Panacur just in case we’ve been getting false negatives, so she starts that today.
 

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I believe someone has posted in past on this forum that often tests for Giardia are false negative. and the cooties
just don't show up.
Here's hoping it works for you.
 

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Yes and Giardia can live in the environment for a long time, so a negative test now doesn't mean it can't return, even if you keep your dog from swimming/drinking in rivers and stuff.

Panacur, that was what they gave Willow along with the metronidazole when she had bad diarrhea. Like I said, that combo cleared it right up. Wish I could have gotten a stool sample tested though, to have any clue at all what had caused it. Oh well.

Regardless, hope she gets better.
 

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Giardia is one of the many things tested for in the PCR test -- it analyzes a short sequence of DNA or RNA to identify it, even in samples with only minute traces, so it can find things other testing methods miss.
 

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My male GSD had the same problems around that age. Panacur for 5-7 days twice, 2 weeks apart, and kochi free worked for us.
 
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