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Discussion Starter #21
Agis's eyes were like that as a pup - he didn't have issues (we checked), just how he was. I would still ask your vet to be sure.

We fed Agis a grain-free food, because he was a poor eater on grain-inclusive (we tried two) and had some issues getting his grain-inclusive food on vacation - really we found out he goes crazy for grain-free by sheer chance. He loves his food now, and our vets - who are big promoters of grain - have said, the best food is the one he'll eat. We add powdered taurine to offset the fact that it's grain-free.
This is very encouraging to hear. I realize grain-free isnt best but ultimately it's better than him pooping out the nutrients of grain inclusive dog food. I'll look into taurine to supplement if we keep with the grain-free long term. Out of curiosity, what brand have you been feeding him?
 

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This is very encouraging to hear. I realize grain-free isnt best but ultimately it's better than him pooping out the nutrients of grain inclusive dog food. I'll look into taurine to supplement if we keep with the grain-free long term. Out of curiosity, what brand have you been feeding him?
We feed Agis Acana - various formulations of ingredients. We started off with large breed puppy for months, then my husband accidentally bought medium breed puppy (but as Agis is mix who will likely end up around 55-60lbs, life goes on). Our vet told us how much taurine to give, and we got the powdered taurine at the pet store - I think we bought it in February and we've still got our first container. It lasts a long time.

I agree - if grain agrees with him, I personally would tend to keep to it. I fed Luc grain-free for close to 11.5 years (adopted him at 4; MAN did he ever fart on grain-inclusive - woke up the cat with the smell once) and he lived to 15.5 years old so it's not automatically bad. It's good to be aware though. Our vets are also big on food that follows AAFCO guidelines.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Just to keep everyone informed, the stool test came back negative for everything. So, I'm not sure what the next steps are. My vet is going to call after lunch to discuss a blood test. I'm feeling very discouraged for my poor little man. Just want him to be healthy and growing.
 

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Has your vet ever suggested to put him on a Veterinary Diet for his diarrhea?
 

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I've been trying to find one that fits well for him. Kirkland had something in it that gave him skin rashes so I switched to Pro Plan, vet said try Purina One so I did and he immediately got the runs again so I wanted to try something that wasnt chicken based so I switched to TOTW. It's been such a mess and I cant tell you how many hours I've put into researching food.
A fast switch of food will many times cause loose stools. Switch slowly by blending the new with the old. Also it could take a few weeks on the new food to see improvement.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Has your vet ever suggested to put him on a Veterinary Diet for his diarrhea?
Nope. Every time I've gone in they just assume it's worms and give me meds. Well I finally got them to do a more in-depth fecal test and just got the results back today - totally negative. So that was a nice waste of time and money. I have a call with the vet later today to discuss options so we'll see if they suggest that or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
A fast switch of food will many times cause loose stools. Switch slowly by blending the new with the old. Also it could take a few weeks on the new food to see improvement.
I switch very very slowly. When we first got him, I made the mistake of switching his food too fast because he wasn't eating his other food and that caused some problems. Now when I switch, it takes several weeks and I add about 10 additional kibble pieces per meal.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
I have a call with my vet in a bit to discuss options. I also weighed him this afternoon and he lost weight, he's about 25 pounds. :(
 

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I am new to posting, but your story touched me. I am saying prayers for you and Hannibal. I have had GSDs for 60 years; with a 20 year break in the middle when I lived in a condo. My last GSDs all had stomach issues, so I understand your pain. Stay strong, you are doing a great job! My Nicky is currently on Kirkland salmon kibble, organic pumpkin, organic frozen blueberries, American Health blueberry probiotic acidophilus from Fred Meyer, flaxseed NonGMO from Costco, and kirkland 1000mg of fish oil. Nicky was only 40 lb at 2 years old when I rescued her. She is now 77 lbs and a happy girl. She will turn 10 this year. When she has periodic issues we go back to organic rice, organic costco chicken breasts, and organic eggs.. I had a great vet who suggested the basics, and the counsel of knowledgeable GSD owner-friends. Every dog is different. So good luck finding what works for Hannibal.
 

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My GSD was a lot like yours when I got him. He had lots of diarrhea and eating issues. I took him to my vet several times and they did not find much of anything. They did start him on heart worm and flea meds. I think I tried every brand of dog food on the market. I stopped giving him treats or anything other than his food and water. I was at my wits end. I live my baby and he was loosing weight. This is when I discovered Royal Canine food. It is specially formulated for specific dog breeds and at different age groups. For example I bought Royal Canine for German Shepherd puppy formula. It is designed for that puppy right down to the size and shape for their teeth. It did not take long for him to start having normal poo and to put on weight. He is now 2 years old and 130 pounds of pure life and joy
 

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Relating my experience.... I got my female shepherd from the pound when she was 2 years old . She also had chronic diarrhea, very thin, you could count her ribs. Many vet visits & tests with no solutions. She seemed to get worse even passing blood so she was put on a drip and she went on bland diet.....rice and boiled chicken. Still no difference until after heaps of research, I put her on a TOTALLY grain free diet and it made a huge difference.... problem solved.. She is now 11 years old and very active.. At her annual check ups the vet is always telling me how good she looks and how great her coat is. She rarely has an issue with diarrhea anymore and if it happens I can usually trace it back to something she snaffled up. She also is a little more tolerant of other foods. Her main diet is grain free kibble (Ivory Coat an Australian brand) & chicken necks and she looks great and plays around like a puppy.
 

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My GSD was a lot like yours when I got him. He had lots of diarrhea and eating issues. I took him to my vet several times and they did not find much of anything. They did start him on heart worm and flea meds. I think I tried every brand of dog food on the market. I stopped giving him treats or anything other than his food and water. I was at my wits end. I live my baby and he was loosing weight. This is when I discovered Royal Canine food. It is specially formulated for specific dog breeds and at different age groups. For example I bought Royal Canine for German Shepherd puppy formula. It is designed for that puppy right down to the size and shape for their teeth. It did not take long for him to start having normal poo and to put on weight. He is now 2 years old and 130 pounds of pure life and joy
Pics please!
I want to see what a 130 pound GSD looks like
 

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Hey all, I'm very new to this forum but so glad I found it. I'm a new GSD owner and am head over heels for our new baby, Hannibal. I've very worried though, from the start he's had issues. On the way home with him we found fleas and had to wait until he was old enough for flea meds, then he had a parasite, and we've had many visits to the vet trying to figure out his chtonic diarrhea. He's had diarrhea/soft stools basically since we got him. I could count on two hands the number of stools that have been firm and healthy looking. We've tried many meds and different types of food and this morning I took in a stool sample for a more comprehensive test, we get the results back tomorrow. I'm very nervous because I think the chronic diarrhea has affected his nutrition. He's very skinny even though I feed him plenty and he seems so tiny compared to other GSDs I see. I don't mind having a small GSD, I only want him to be healthy. He was born February 10th and weighs around 35 pounds (EDIT: he actually weighs about 25 pounds). I've attached some pictures. Has anyone else dealt with this? Any advice? General thoughts? View attachment 561358 View attachment 561359 View attachment 561360
 

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I wouldn't worry to much as long as the vet says its ok. My puppy born around the same time and almost same weight went thru the same thing-diarrhea=giardia-not so much on the fleas though-mostly diarrhea/parasites and she got over it. since they live on a farm they will eat/play in what they find that you miss including frogs/bugs/dirt/feathers and my puppies favorite-blueberries right off the bush. farm dogs always get something/bug-(and the puppies before that 4 generations worth)=its an on going life
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Just an update for everyone, we got blood pulled this morning to test for EPI. Should get the results back in about a week. In the meantime, I changed his bland diet, I was doing rice and chicken with mixed results, then rice and turkey with mixed results. I
Now I'm doing low fat greek yogurt, pumpkin puree, just a bit of rice, and boiled ground beef and I've never seen more perfect poops out of him. So now I'm thinking it's a diet thing, I want him to get all the nutrients he needs but I am a bit worried to reintroduce kibble. We'll see how it goes.
 

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Keefer went through something similar at around that age. He did not have EPI, but he did have SIBO and giardia (which did not show up in any of the fecal tests, I requested the antigen test, which caught it). He was treated for both (7 days of metronidazole, 4 weeks of tetracycline) and also put on prescription z/d food. It has hydrolyzed proteins and was a miracle. I did a fairly fast switch, subbing in 1/4 the first meal, 1/2 the second, then 3/4, then all the new food. He had firm stools for the first time by his second meal with 100% prescription food. I also gave him a B-Naturals digestive supplement for dogs with IBD, IBS, colitis, GI disorders and chronic diarrhea.

I was ready to leave him on the z/d forever if I needed to, although I really didn't want to have to. But once the meds were done, I left him on it for another month or two, then slowly switched him back to his prior food. I continued the digestive supplement for awhile after that. He was fine and never had stool issues again until he was geriatric. Calming down the digestive tract is important, I think it's worth asking your vet about trying a prescription food. BTW, they tried i/d for digestive issues first and it did nothing. I don't think Keef's weight ever dropped, but it remained pretty steady at a time when he should have been gaining much more quickly. His weight at 6 months old was less than his half sister Dena's at the same age a year prior, but he matured to 80 pounds so he did catch up and then some.
 
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Because of COVID I was having issues getting him to normal vet so I took him to a Banfield hospital in a Petsmart ...............and dad is probably 70 or 80. He had an intestinal parasite twice, not sure which.
Understand the extenuating circumstances but get a good vet. As far as "dad", 80 lbs is a small male. Five to seven pounds more would be standard and it will show on a GSD's appearance. A lot of readers will tell you "never feed it" but my girl is on Science diet prescription mixed with BBuffalo. She had peri-anal fistulas so metronidazole, prednisone and a change of diet for 9 months. She did so well on the SD foods, I kept her on them but reduced them to 1/5 of a can of SD script for breakfast and half and half of the dry foods. She is doing great, healthy, firm stool and no recurring fistulas..
 

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Understand the extenuating circumstances but get a good vet. As far as "dad", 80 lbs is a small male. Five to seven pounds more would be standard and it will show on a GSD's appearance. A lot of readers will tell you "never feed it" but my girl is on Science diet prescription mixed with BBuffalo. She had peri-anal fistulas so metronidazole, prednisone and a change of diet for 9 months. She did so well on the SD foods, I kept her on them but reduced them to 1/5 of a can of SD script for breakfast and half and half of the dry foods. She is doing great, healthy, firm stool and no recurring fistulas..
No, 80 lbs is not a "small male" in fact it's medium-large to large for the breed. But many breeders for GSD family pets are breeding large dogs so they can advertise, "large boned, wide heads" etc that most people seem to be looking for.
 
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