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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 18 month old GSD had coccidia when he was first brought home, treated and then had giardia and some type of worm around 5-6 months. He’s been through multiple rounds of flagyl, deworming, and then eventually took Tylosin. He’s been on an Rx diet since then (hills multi benefit w/d which is high fiber low fat). For the most part he does well on it except he’s not really getting enough calories probably because it’s a low calorie food and hes already skinny. He still suffers from bouts of diarrhea like every other week - very easily triggered. If he has 1 unusual dog treat, any table food etc. So we pretty much only feed him his kibble and a couple of the honest kitchen limited ingredient dog treats and I add ground beef to his kibble to add some calories and make it more appetizing. Even if he eats two portions of ground beef he will get diarrhea.

I can’t imagine this is normal. We took him to the vet and had a repeat stool sample as well as blood work for EPI and sibo a couple months back and everything came back normal.

What else could this be from? should we try to see some sort of vet GI specialist?

we currently are adding Sunday sundae supplement to his meals but he will still have episodes of diarrhea even with that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Also as a separate question - he did well when he was on Tylan, is there anybody who needed to essentially be on Tylan forever?
 

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My mother‘s female had a similar issue for about the first year and a half of her life. Eventually mom found that adding a broad spectrum dog specific probiotic does wonders for her female. She is still on the thin side but has put on significant muscle and the diarrhea is nearly completely gone.
No experience with tylan :(
 

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All I can offer is that we had intermittent bloody diarrhea with Lucky (RIP)when we got him. After several expensive trips to the vet (here they have to do extensive blood tests in case it's something than can be transmitted to humans) we figured it had to be something he was eating. The vet gave us antibiotics and probiotics which made no difference. We tried different dog foods and finally found Royal Canin for German Shepherds. Reading up I had learned (wish I knew where but I didn't save it) that they have longer digestive systems than most dogs and the RC is formulated for that. We tried it and have not used anything else since. Yes, it costs more but it's cheaper than the vet visits and tests. Elke likes hers so much that when we tried to change the old girl over to Royal Canin Sr. food she refused to eat it. She's happy, healthy and active at somewhere around 11 years old. So my suggestion would be to try it and see how he does. Have luck, it can be frustrating (and messy).
 

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Nitro does well on Royal Canin Veterinary Sensitivity Control Dry Dog Food.

Royal Canin Sensitivity Control Dry is formulated to assist dogs suffering from food allergies, food intolerances and food adverse reactions. It can also be used to help manage inflammatory bowel disease, diarrhoea and colitis.

Food adverse reactions are thought to be responsible for at least 10% of skin allergy cases in dogs, ranked third after flea allergy and atopic dermatitis (airborne allergies).

Signs of a Food Adverse Reaction:

  • Itchy, red and inflamed skin especially around the face, belly and feet
  • Recurrent ear infections
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea
It is a common misconception that food sensitivities in pets occur in response to additives or preservatives. Food allergies or adverse reactions in pets are most commonly caused by a protein contained in a food that they have eaten for a long period of time. Over time an abnormal response from the immune system causes it to become sensitised to the proteins from the food. As the food is digested and absorbed by the body, protein molecules react with receptors on immune cells to trigger an allergic response. The food ingredients that are most commonly associated with adverse reactions in dogs are beef, dairy, wheat, lamb, chicken and egg.

Diagnosis of food allergy in dogs can be difficult as there are no accurate laboratory tests available. Food adverse reactions or allergies are diagnosed by a food elimination trial. This means that the dog is fed a diet with a novel (new) or hydrolysed protein source for a period of time, generally a minimum of 8 weeks. A novel protein source is one that the dog is unlikely to have ever been exposed to, so their immune system cannot have been sensitised to it to develop an allergy or intolerance. If the symptoms reduce or disappear on the elimination diet, a diagnosis of food allergy or intolerance can be made. The only way to determine the possible cause of the allergy is to slowly re-introduce components of the old diet one at a time to challenge the animal and see if the symptoms re-occur. An alternative approach is just to continue feeding the diet used in the elimination trial for life, provided that it is complete and balanced and provides the dog with adequate nutrition.

Royal Canin Sensitivity Control Dry formulation has been formulated using the novel protein source of duck and tapioca to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction. It contains the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA to help support skin and coat health and reduce symptoms of skin inflammation. Sensitivity Control is also formulated with Royal Canins patented skin support complex which helps to strengthen the skins natural barrier function. In order to ensure optimal digestive health, Sensitivity Control is lactose free and contains a combination of highly digestible proteins, prebiotics, beet pulp, rice and fish oil. It is a complete and balanced diet suitable for long term feeding and may be fed to both puppies and adult dogs.

Key Benefits:

  • Novel protein source, duck and tapioca, to reduce the risk of food allergies or intolerance
  • Skin support complex and omega-3 fatty acids for skin and coat health
  • Formulated to maintain digestive health
  • Lactose free
  • Suitable for adults and puppies
 
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Before doing anything else, I would ask the vet to run the "IDEXX Diarrhea PCR" panel. It costs around $200, but it test for A LOT of things. It finds stuff that fecal tests cannot because it's testing for minute amounts of DNA of many different pathogens. We have used it in the rescue when we're stumped about why we can't fix recurring diarrhea. That test sometimes finds something weird that the dog is infected with, so I would run it before spending a lot of money on other stuff -- your regular vet can send it out for you without going to a specialist.
 

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Many people have had success with Royal Canin Ultamino but it's difficult to find right now.

Nikki has been on Tylan for many years but we know her issues are due to her EPI.

I would cut out any unusual treats, table food and that supplement you are giving and just feed his food exclusively to see if it makes a difference for now. You could get some hydrolyzed treats for him, Nikki really likes these Hill's® Prescription Diet® Hypo Treats (hillspet.com)

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Many people have had success with Royal Canin Ultamino but it's difficult to find right now.

Nikki has been on Tylan for many years but we know her issues are due to her EPI.

I would cut out any unusual treats, table food and that supplement you are giving and just feed his food exclusively to see if it makes a difference for now. You could get some hydrolyzed treats for him, Nikki really likes these Hill's® Prescription Diet® Hypo Treats (hillspet.com)

Good luck.
I’ll try those. It looks like they are recommended for dogs on w/d which he is. The honest kitchen treats I don’t think are the culprit - they are all 1 or 2 ingredients only (cod, blueberry) for example and if he has a small amount it doesn’t seem to trigger his diarrhea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Before doing anything else, I would ask the vet to run the "IDEXX Diarrhea PCR" panel. It costs around $200, but it test for A LOT of things. It finds stuff that fecal tests cannot because it's testing for minute amounts of DNA of many different pathogens. We have used it in the rescue when we're stumped about why we can't fix recurring diarrhea. That test sometimes finds something weird that the dog is infected with, so I would run it before spending a lot of money on other stuff -- your regular vet can send it out for you without going to a specialist.
Is this a stool test?
 

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Yes, the vet sends the stool sample out to the IDEXX lab. It takes a good week or so to get the results back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The day I posted this thread he had been having 24 hours of runny stools. I brought a fresh one right away to the vet and they ran it as a regular stool test which came back negative again. He's had about 3 negatives since we completed treatment of Giardia. The runs stopped and today he had normal BMs so far. I suspect that the last bout was because he got an extra helping of ground beef for dinner. I'm going to work on seeing if we can identify the sensitvities from his diet and perhaps transition him to raw (very slowly). Has anybody else had a dog with sensitivities they were able to successfully transition to a raw diet?
 

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In-office fecal float tests are inexpensive but terrible at detecting Giardia. False negatives are super-common, as you won't spot it in one unless the dog is shedding cysts that day, in that sample -- they mount a smear of poop on a slide and look for what is visible. One has to be very lucky to spot giardia that way. If they didn't run an ELISA or PCR test for giardia, I'd view it as inconclusive. The ELISA test can be run in-house, but it typically costs around $100+ (vs. $25 or so for a float test).

If he's infected with something, adding more pathogens from raw isn't a great idea. Raw works for dogs with healthy immune systems, but if the immune system is already fighting something else, it doesn't have bandwidth to also fight whatever is in raw meat. Cooking it would make a lot more sense at this point IMHO.

FYI "sensitivities" has no meaning to evidence-based vets. It's a term promoted by a controversial figure, who isn't a licensed vet according to recent reporting. By contrast, ALLERGY is the real term your vet would be able to help you with -- but figuring them out generally requires a vet-supervised elimination diet for about 2 months. It's not a small thing. They generally don't start down the allergy path until ruling out pathogens. They usually start with RX food for allergy dogs, and then if it works for 2 months, slowly start challenging the dog with new ingredients. You can do it yourself, without a vet, but it requires a good bit of research and discipline -- I have a severe food allergy dog with IBD. It took us nearly a year to find what he can thrive on. Classic food allergy symptoms are a bright red, inflamed rectum, butt licking, and sometimes also diarrhea (in my dog's case bloody diarrhea). My dog did eventually eat raw for several years (with a base mix from The Honest Kitchen), but as he aged, he couldn't process it well and we had to go back to cooking it, as it's just easier for him to digest.
 
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