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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Poor Sheba has had the runs for the past few days. She has almost never had diarrhea, even when she was a young puppy, so we're a bit concerned to see this now. (she turned two about a week ago) As many of you will recall, Sheba has always been a very finicky eater, a trait that she had inherited from her Mom. But over the past year or so she has gotten into a better meal routine and has done quite well on Actrium Holistic kibble, (as recommended by our vet) which we usually mix with some cooked meat... either beef, chicken, pork or turkey.

Anyway, starting on Aug 19th, Sheba has had very runny poops, though she remains fairly active (for a couch potato!) and quite playful/in great spirits. We learned long ago to give her a little pumpkin puree if things needed firming up, (which I don't quite understand, as I would think that she would need less fibre, not more, but what do I know...) though so far this has been unsuccessful. We have also laid off giving her any treats, in an attempt to get things back on track. (for treats we have always given her some green beans, and a couple Milkbones/Beggin Strips/Marrobones each day for about the past year and a half, and her poops have always been perfect)

We took her food away for the rest of the day (Aug 20th) to see if a break from eating might help, and yesterday morning (Aug 21st) she had one very small, but quite firm, poop... then later in the day, you guessed it, right back to the squirts again! So the Missus started adding some rice, as someone told her it could help. (I haven't googled this yet, but I will as soon as I finish writing this) Well, the rice is not helping yet, nor does a small dose of pumpkin twice daily appear to be doing anything. If we can't get things back to normal soon, we will have to take Sheba in to see the vet, which is no small feat where we live, (a remote island off the north coast of Newfoundland where a trip to the vet is at best an entire day affair, and just as likely two or even three days, depending on weather/sea conditions, ferry breakdowns, long ferry lineups during summer months, etc, etc.) so we're hoping that things will turn around for her very soon!

Anyway, we're open to any/all suggestions you may be able to provide. It has become quite an ordeal when Sheba does her business now, as the runny poop isn't at all easy to clean up! (usually involves ripping up a good-sized portion of grass, a great many paper towels, and lots of hosing down of the affected area of the lawn... only to go through the whole process again a few hours later!) It may be worth adding that Sheba is still drinking lots of water, so there's not much chance of dehydration.

Thanking you all in advance,
Glen
www.FocusOnNewfoundland.com

 

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Sounds like you know a vet visit is coming....pumpkin usually really helps mine (wasn't sure how much a "small dose" was as you mentioned) and has for years when we've had problems- depending on how bad I'll use approx. 1/4 cup morning and again in evening with kibble--we've had some picky eaters most have been ok with the pumpkin-some weren't crazy about the texture...


The other thing that comes to my mind but I'm guessing you've asked yourself this question...the diarrhea starting is not related to opening a new bag of kibble is it ?.....lastly where you live I'm guessing no mosquitoes--no heart worms so no heart worm preventative ?...which also takes care of most intestinal worms/parasites which bring on diarrhea....just throwing it out there....
 

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Any way of sending out a stool sample to a vet?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sounds like you know a vet visit is coming....pumpkin usually really helps mine (wasn't sure how much a "small dose" was as you mentioned) and has for years when we've had problems- depending on how bad I'll use approx. 1/4 cup morning and again in evening with kibble--we've had some picky eaters most have been ok with the pumpkin-some weren't crazy about the texture... The other thing that comes to my mind but I'm guessing you've asked yourself this question...the diarrhea starting is not related to opening a new bag of kibble is it ?.....lastly where you live I'm guessing no mosquitoes--no heart worms so no heart worm preventative ?...which also takes care of most intestinal worms/parasites which bring on diarrhea....just throwing it out there....
Any way of sending out a stool sample to a vet?
Thanks Shane'sDad and MineAreWorkingline. We just gave Sheba a 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree, and she ate some kibble after that. We'll give her another day or two, then if no improvement will take her off the island to get looked at. In the meantime which rice is better, white or brown, or does it matter? (we've been giving her white, but some folks are saying brown is best)

Glen
www.FocusOnNewfoundland.com
 

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Thanks Shane'sDad and MineAreWorkingline. We just gave Sheba a 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree, and she ate some kibble after that. We'll give her another day or two, then if no improvement will take her off the island to get looked at. In the meantime which rice is better, white or brown, or does it matter? (we've been giving her white, but some folks are saying brown is best)

Glen
www.FocusOnNewfoundland.com
Personally I would steer clear of fiber and carbs at this point from what you are describing. I would opt for either grain free kibble right now or high bone content raw meats such as chicken drumsticks.
 

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I've used rice (typically white mixed w/boiled chicken because that's what we had in the pantry ) when one of my dogs had a fairly obvious upset stomach.. throwing up--- going off their food-- usually accompanied by a noisey rumbling/gurgling stomach and it works well for settling a upset stomach because it's very bland. never simply for loose stools alone....I agree with MineAreWorkingline...I don't believe fiber and carbs is what Sheba needs at the moment.....
 

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Pumpkin does two things: it has water soluble fiber that helps firm up the stool (same idea as Metamucil) and it has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe the irritated bowel.

You've tried all the things I would try to firm up a bout of diarrhea. I'm afraid a vet visit is in order!

My guess would be she's maybe picked up Giardia (a parasite that's sometimes hard to spot in stool samples.)

I think if it were a bacterial infection, she'd be acting sicker (loss of appetite, fever.)

Edit: what a PRETTY girl she is!!
 

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So long as the stool is not watery/explosive, doesn't contain blood, and there's no fever or breathing irregularities --- if any of those things are present, get a stool sample and go see the vet ASAP --- what's worked for me is to take the dog off the normal kibble base and make up a batch of what I call Chicken Mush.* Chicken mush consists of 2 water (only!) poached chicken (usually boneless, skinless) breasts**, 2-3 cups cooked (brown) rice***, 1 can pumpkin puree, and 1 cup greek yoghurt w/acidophilus. Poach the chicken in enough water to cover for about 45 minutes or so. Remove poached chicken from the liquid and set aside to cool. Use the remaining liquid to cook the rice. Once the chicken is cooked, shred/cut it into small pieces and mix with the cooked rice, pumpkin and yoghurt. I feed 1 - 1.5 cups twice daily for a couple of days. If things are improving, slowly transition back to what you typically feed, after a couple of days, by mixing in decreasing amounts of the mush.

I usually see improved stools by the end of the first day unless something serious is brewing, as it was with a dog who had HGE. We didn't make it through the first day of chicken mush when I decided to make an abrupt run to the ER. Glad I did.

*If you know/suspect that your dog is allergic/sensitive to chicken, you can substitute ground beef. Poach it, as with the chicken, and very carefully/thoroughly drain off the water and fat before mixing it Don't cook the rice in the same water, it'll be too fatty.

**I always keep bags of skinless, boneless breasts in the freezer for fast dinners and emergent situations like this. I also keep at least 2 cans of pumpkin puree on hand for the same reason.

***Just saw MWL's post about carbs. YMMV.
 

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Don't feed her anything for another day and a half. Then Boil some rice into mush and for her first 2 meals, just give her that along with the water that's left in the pot. Slowly add the boiled chicken a little bit at a time over 2 or 3 days. If she's drinking water, not lethargic or acting different in any way, just give her a few days before you worry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
*UPDATE*
Sheba went all day today with no poops. We have been giving her small, frequent portions of boiled chicken with white rice, (which she loves!) and some pumpkin puree, and she went through the night last night with no issues, and all day today too! She has remained in great spirits throughout the whole ordeal, (which began on the evening of the Aug 19th) and she just told us awhile ago (9:30pm our time) that she had to go out to poop, so with fingers crossed we took her out and she had... a NORMAL POOP! So in total she had 72 hours of the serious runs, followed by 24 hours of complete normalcy. All of our dogs over the years have occasionally had diarrhea of course, but never for longer than a day or two at most, so we were getting pretty concerned by yesterday afternoon, but throughout this entire time Sheba has remained active, happy and playful, has had a good appetite, and has continued to drink plenty of water. What we don't yet know is what triggered all of this, but I'm happy and relieved to report that she appears to be returning to normal, thank goodness!

So now we must determine whether we should continue any longer with the boiled chicken and rice, or slowly start adding some kibble into the mix, or do we just return to her usual diet of kibble (which had caused her no issues whatsoever for the first two years of her life) mixed with some quality canned food, and often with some beef, pork, turkey or chicken added to it? Any suggestions?

Also, we agree with those of you who have suggested cutting out any store-bought treats, (like Milkbones, Beggin Strips, Marrobones) and I have spent much of today googling various recipes for much-healthier homemade treats.

Thank-you to all who kindly showed your concern and offered helpful suggestions; very much appreciated... and Sheba says "thanks" too! And here's to our precious girl having no more digestive issues in the coming days!

Thanks again,
Glen
www.FocusOnNewfoundland.com

 

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I'm glad it's resolved.

Living remotely, I'd consider keeping some Panacur and Metrodinazole on-hand, if your vet is amenable.

Panacur is a broad dewormer and it's also effective against giardia (esp. in combination with Metro) -- it has a nice safety profile, as it's used on puppies too. Your vet can give you dosing on the liquid, or you can buy the flavored granules. There's really no downside to running a dog through with Panacur for at least 3 days (for worms) or 5 days (for giardia) -- our rescue has a does 5 days for just about every dog that comes in from a shelter here.

I keep both with me during the summer when I'm far from my vet in a remote mountain area, where giardia is a concern -- my vet suggested it.
 

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So sorry you guys are going through this. Pumpkin has never worked to firm up our guys poop. We did find out that the rice was a problem for him and making it worse when we tried using it to clear up any bouts. Once we removed the rice things improved on their own. Again, every situation is different, but at the time I hadn’t considered rice was making it worse instead of helping.
 

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I'm glad to hear she is doing better! I totally understand the remote thing. Not by experience, but I can appreciate not everyone has 3 vets in town.

Were it me, if the runs come back, Id bite the bullet and do the slog to the vet and make sure you have everything you may need because it's not an easy trip. Diary of intake and demeanor like what you posted here, and a fresh stool sample. Certain things like coccidia and giardia don't necessarily make them lethargic. And if I did make the day long trip I'd get my money and time worth by having them run a full blood panel and any other specific tests for stuff to be known to go on in your area. Maybe call the vet ahead of time and make it known you want a full comprehensive workup since it is tough to get there.

Best of luck! She is a beautiful looking girl<3
 
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