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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Beau has been having diarrhea for about a month now and has lost 10 lbs in that time. He's been to the vet a couple of times for this - two fecal tests came back negative, but he was prescribed metronidazole and probiotics. That didn't help, so we ran the Texas A&M IDEXX GI Panel to check for EPI. In the meantime, the vet said we could try adding enzymes to his food to see if it would help - and it seemed to be helping because he had solid poops for the first time in a month. But the test says he does not have EPI - his TLI levels are perfectly in the middle of the normal range. However, his B12 levels are low and his folate levels are high, so we will be starting B12 injections. His energy levels are perfectly normal.

Does anyone have any idea what could be going on here? It sounds like low B12 might the reason for the weight loss/diarrhea, but what could be causing poor absorption of B12?

We have an ultrasound appointment scheduled in a few weeks and an appointment with a specialist a few weeks after that (it's very hard to get in to see specialists these days).
 

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Could be IBD. Did you run a diarrhea panel?

10lb is a lot. I would be worried.

for comparison my dog had some recent bouts of pretty bad diarrhea and lost like 1-2 lb over the same span.

I believe low B12 is often associated with IbD and they will probably see a lot of generalized inflammation on the ultrasound if that’s what it is.

Also, my dog came back with Clostridium perferinges (sp?) and Amoxicillin has been a lifesaver for him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We haven't run a diarrhea panel, I don't think. Just the normal test for worms/giardia which was negative. What's the diarrhea panel test for?

It has been pretty dramatic weight loss because he was lean to begin with. It's very concerning to see him this thin. I'm hoping it's something like a bacteria overgrowth that can be treated.
 

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I think the diarrhea panel is also by Texas a&m but I may be remembering wrong.

It tests for a bunch of things like clostridium that can cause diarrhea. These are things that won’t show up on a regular fecal.

what are you feeding him?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Interesting, I will ask my vet about this.

He’s on Royal Canin HP. I give him treats sparingly (none right now) and only things like freeze dried beef liver or beef lung jerky.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
He’s been on it for years. He’s always had a very sensitive digestive system, so it’s hard to find something that doesn’t give him diarrhea. Out of curiosity, what is your dog on now?
 

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I figured out awhile back that my dog did better not on kibble. He eats this now:


Prior tp that he was on Purina HA

But my dog did have pancreas involvement too... yours may not if it didn't show up on bloodwork. Anyway, after my dog's ultrasound they said low fat/low residue/high digestibility. HA didnt apparently check those boxes so we switched him. I chose this food over other RX foods because it's more like fresh food.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My dog’s pancreas function appears normal based on the blood work. I like how that company has DIY diets - I’m not confident in my ability to formulate a complete diet on my own - and they seem straight forward. Is your dog doing well on his food?

If we don’t see progress after trying the B12 injections, I’m probably going to try switching off of kibble. I’m not often jealous of small dog owners, but when I am I’m pricing out the cost of feeding my dog.
 

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My dog’s pancreas function appears normal based on the blood work. I like how that company has DIY diets - I’m not confident in my ability to formulate a complete diet on my own - and they seem straight forward. Is your dog doing well on his food?

If we don’t see progress after trying the B12 injections, I’m probably going to try switching off of kibble. I’m not often jealous of small dog owners, but when I am I’m pricing out the cost of feeding my dog.
I don't think b12 injectionswill help the diarrhea per se. He just has low b12 because he isn't absorbing nutrients properly. At least that's how I understood it. My other dog had b12 deficiencies and we did injections but only steroids stopped her actual symptoms.

Both of my dogs are eating Just Food. My lab eats the regular frozen food. I took him off kibble because he has storage mite allergy- I think he is also intolerant of chicken. IT was hard to find a fresh or canned food that was low enough in fat/calories for him because he is an air plant. But he is doing well on the frozen fish formula.

So both my dogs are doing well on this food. To be fair my lab is a pretty hardy guy. I tried Open Farm frozen first for the lab and it was too rich, too fatty. He gained weight and had signs of indigestion. This food he has no indigestion and can eat a decent little meal without blowing up 3lb.

I'm not against kibble...there are some RX foods particularly that are really helpful. Hydrolized food like your dog is on can be really helpful depending on what the problem is. I've had enormously good luck with Royal Canin Low Fat GI kibble for clearing up diarrhea in my kennel and also for keeping chronic loose stool dogs healthy.
 

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Interesting, I will ask my vet about this.

He’s on Royal Canin HP. I give him treats sparingly (none right now) and only things like freeze dried beef liver or beef lung jerky.
If it's the HP I fed, it's really high in fat, I'd reconsider that.
 

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I figured out awhile back that my dog did better not on kibble. He eats this now:


Prior tp that he was on Purina HA

But my dog did have pancreas involvement too... yours may not if it didn't show up on bloodwork. Anyway, after my dog's ultrasound they said low fat/low residue/high digestibility. HA didnt apparently check those boxes so we switched him. I chose this food over other RX foods because it's more like fresh food.
I've fed that to my dog when she's had diarrhea, it works but is really expensive.
 

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However, his B12 levels are low and his folate levels are high, so we will be starting B12 injections. His energy levels are perfectly normal.

Does anyone have any idea what could be going on here? It sounds like low B12 might the reason for the weight loss/diarrhea, but what could be causing poor absorption of B12?
That sounds like SIBO - small intestine bacterial overgrowth. Keefer had that as a pup. For some dogs it's a chronic condition needing lifelong treatment. For others, like Keef, it resolves. The usual treatment is at least 4 weeks of antibiotics, either Tylan (tylosin) or tetracycline, which is what we used because my vet had it in stock and would have had to order the other. Malabsorption and Bacterial Overgrowth in Dogs

He had giardia at the time, which is possibly what triggered it. During treatment he was on prescription z/d food which hydrolyzed proteins, and for several months afterwards. I also put him on B-Naturals digestive blend. Within a few months I was able to slowly transition him back to his regular food.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Here is a story from our EPI board similar to Beau's, read Olesia's replies. 2 Year old GSD not gaining weight - Epi4Dogs
That's a good thread - it sounds very similar to Beau. I stopped giving him pancreatin enzymes after the test results came back yesterday and I expect to see diarrhea again soon. I think it is likely SID/SIBO playing a role here as suggested in that thread and by @Cassidy's Mom, so I'll be reaching out to my vet about that.

I don't think b12 injectionswill help the diarrhea per se. He just has low b12 because he isn't absorbing nutrients properly. At least that's how I understood it. My other dog had b12 deficiencies and we did injections but only steroids stopped her actual symptoms.
I expect you're right and the B12 won't solve our problem, I'm just hesitant to change too many variables at once. I'm waiting to see if the diarrhea comes back, but then I'll try switching foods.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The diarrhea restarted this morning after stopping the enzymes Wednesday evening, so his vet said to go back to giving the enzymes since it was helping. He’s also going to prescribe some tylosin in case there is a bacteria overgrowth going on. Other than that we’ll wait to see what the ultrasound says in a few weeks.

Thanks for the replies!
 

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The digestive enzymes won't hurt Beau even if he doesn't have EPI until you figure this out. If you are dealing with SID the Tylan will help a lot.

Nikki has been on it for years, see if your vet will let you order it from Walmart PetRx, it's much cheaper. I hope you get this figured out real soon, you can also post over on Epi4Dogs, even if Beau doesn't have EPI yet.
Elanco Animal Health Tylan Soluble Powder for Chickens, Turkey, Swine, and Honey Bees, 100 gm (walmartpetrx.com)

Good luck!
Athena is on a 4-week course of Tylan for her clostridium perfringens. Two weeks in, and she’s showing good improvement.
 
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