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NorthfieldNick

Please help: persistent diarrhea

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Help. Please. I'm ready to get rid of this dog... If I come home again to find that he's had the runs all over himself & crate again, I'm going to loose it.

 

The background: Nick, 3-yr old BC, happy, healthy (well...), fabulous working dog, best temperment of any dog I've ever met, SERIOUS chow hound- will eat anything from dog kibble to dust bunnies (I'm not kidding). He gets into things so often that he's always attatched to me when we're outside unless he's working sheep- otherwise, he's in the compost, the horse grain, the chicken feed, the dairy cows' alfalfa... Tested for worms multiple times- always negative.

 

He's currently eating California Naturals Chicken & Rice kibble. My other mutt dog, Lu, has severe food allergies, so I've been around the block with kibble. This food is made by the same company that makes Innova. It has very few ingredients. Both dogs did well on Wellness, but I can't afford it. Canidae gave Nick the runs terribly (I've read other accounts of that happening), although Lu did great on it. They've both been on the CA Naturals for a few months. On the Wellness, Nick would poop 6 times a day- mostly solid. On the CA Naturals, he poops 2-3 times a day, mostly solid, and much less poop each time. The Canidae was awful- Nick had diarrhea constantly when he ate it.

 

In the three years since I adopted her, Lu has puked exactly once. In the 9 MONTHS since I've had him, Nick has puked & had diarrhea more times than I can count. He no longer gets bedding in his crate because I don't have a washing machine. I hose his crate out every 10 days, at least. Sometimes 3 times a week.

 

I can't handle this anymore!

 

I've taken him to two different vets- neither can find anything wrong with him.

 

Starting tonight, Nick is getting boiled rice & lamb bits. (I raise market lamb- I have as freezer full of it. I don't raise cattle, so I don't feed beef. Lu is also allergic to it.) I've been thinking of switching my dogs to a mostly raw diet. I have all these bones from my lambs (well, mostly from old ewes that get boned out for ground meat). The dogs LOVE those bones! (Raw, of course. They love gnawing the bits of meat & gristle off of them.) I also have TONS of organ meat (heart, liver, kidney, thymus [sweetbreads], etc.) It dawned on me that I should be feeding them to my dogs more than the once a month or so I give them to them for treats. All the meat & bones come from my own lambs & sheep- 100% grassfed, organically raised- I eat the same lamb (yes, even the organs sometimes) myself.

 

I need ideas, thoughts, any help. I really am on the edge here... I can't deal with this anymore! Nick seems to get better for a while, then it comes back with a vengence!

 

ETA: I cannot feed Nick anything with fish in it. Even one very small piece of salmon skin (I live in NW WA- land o' salmon) makes him sick. Lu, on the other hand, could live on fish. Dairy products are also mostly out, although my homemade, raw milk, from-my-own-cows yogurt seems to do okay with Nick (Lu is so allergic to milk, I think just seeing the cows gives her hot spots!) I tried a commercial dog pro-bio... you guessed it, gave Nick diarrhea...

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Take a deep breath and remember that no matter how frustrating this is, it is not Nick's fault. It can't be easy on him being sick all the time.

 

That sounds like it might be a grain allergy or maybe a pancreatic insufficiency. I'd try eliminating grain from his diet and see if that makes a difference. Of course that means that you will have to be extra vigilant to make sure that he doesn't eat anything else (I have a chow hound, too, so I know that's not an easy task).

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If you haven't taken him to a vet internist or gastroenterologist, that would be the next step. You said he'd been tested for parasites, has he had any fecal cultures done?

 

My Buzz had 4 or 5 nasty diarrhea things in a matter of 4 months, we finally cultured for clostridium perfingens and that was it. He went on a month long course of amoxicillin, and that took care of it. Possibly because of the c. perfingens or maybe he just had it all along, he's got a real tendency to diarrhea, especially when stressed - food change, when I'm traveling too much for him, etc.

 

I know this must be frustrating as h*** for you. I'd get to a specialist as soon as I could. Good luck,

 

Ruth n the BC3

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Have you tried California Natural Lamb and Rice?! This is what cured Ouzo's upset stomach after the first 6 or so months of hit and miss. This is how long it took us to realize he was alergic to chicken. He's been on it for more than a year and unless he gets into something he shouldn't, he's perfect!

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Ruth- yep, he's had multiple fecals done by a vet, plsu a few I did myself (I do them for the horses & sheep), although I'll admit the ones I did were probably mostly worthless. I live on an island, it requires a ferry ride to get to the mainland, and our island vet is terrible. I use him for emergencies ONLY- like when I came home to find Lu with a 3" gash in her stomach! Getting to a decent vet isn't easy... I'm headed to the big city of Seattle in Sept. If I can convince Scott to bring Nick home (I'm flying back east for a week), maybe I can get Nick to a specialist. (How on earth did I fall for someone who isn't really a dog person?! That's a whole 'nother post.)

 

*sigh* I wish I had a place I felt safe leaving Nick outsude all day. At least it would save the irrtation of having to clean up after him. Unfortunately, I rent, and I share a yard with my landlady, and Nick likes to remodel her garden if left alone...

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A grain allergy is possible, but would be odd. The people I got him from fed him a crappy corn-based food & supposedly had no problems!!

 

Anda, that's a novel idea... The Wellness he did well on was Lamb & Rice, but the CA Naturals AND the Canidae were Chicken & Rice! I guess I'll find out now- only meat he's getting is lamb for awhile.

 

Hum, you know... Scott & I butchered the old laying hens on Sunday. The dogs got some tasty snacks from that- right before this recent bout of nasty diarrhea started. Maybe there is something to a chicken allergy.

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Get some samples of CA Natural Lamb & Rice if you want to test it. Indeed, when Ouzo was iffy with any kind of raw meat (he's better now - still no chicken for him!), raw lamb was the one and only meat that wouldn't upset his stomach. No live sheep for us, but luckily we love lamb so he does get to have it pretty often!

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Guest TheRuffMuttGang

Do I EVER feel your pain. One of my dogs had diarrhea in her crate for almost a year, nearly everyday. I tried every kind of food, including raw. I tried medications, changing schedules, you name it. You try coming home to a dog covered in it's own crap everyday for a year and see how you feel. More than once I considered rehoming her but I just couldn't do it.

 

Finally I broke down and tried a grain free kibble. VOILA! Why didn't anyone suggest this sooner?!?! Your dog sounds JUSSSTTT like my Rumor. My best suggestion is to try a totally grain free kibble. My Rumor is on EVO and if greatfulness alone were enough to keep a company in business, Innova would NEVER have to worry about going bankrupt. Ever.

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A grain allergy is possible, but would be odd. The people I got him from fed him a crappy corn-based food & supposedly had no problems

 

I know this is reaching but....are you still in contact with those people? Can you find out what he supposedly had "no problems" on? They were probably not truthful but it might be worth a try.

 

I also think Debbie's idea of no grain might help. Or at least it's something that you haven't tried. What happens when he gets into the things you mentioned outside? Do they always cause issues?

 

What a bummer for you. Can you possibly build him a small kennel type run within the yard outside where you wouldn't be coming home to it in the house?

Good luck

Kristen

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Guest WoobiesMom

I'm sorry, it must be so frustrating and difficult! In my short time of researching and beginning to feed raw, I'd say to stay away from any organ meats in the beginning and possibly forever. There's alot of diarrhea reports after feeding organs.

 

Hope you figure it out soon. I'm going through a similar, but much less messy, situation with Woobie. It can be alot to deal with. But remember, Nick's problems are going to go with him and would you find someone as caring and as concerned to rehome him with? I hope you keep him and figure out the problem. Hang in there!

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A grain allergy is possible, but would be odd. The people I got him from fed him a crappy corn-based food & supposedly had no problems!!

 

Anda, that's a novel idea... The Wellness he did well on was Lamb & Rice, but the CA Naturals AND the Canidae were Chicken & Rice! I guess I'll find out now- only meat he's getting is lamb for awhile.

 

Hum, you know... Scott & I butchered the old laying hens on Sunday. The dogs got some tasty snacks from that- right before this recent bout of nasty diarrhea started. Maybe there is something to a chicken allergy.

 

Our puppy gets horrible diarrhea if he has any chicken-raw, cooked, processed into kibble--whatever. The only chicken that he can tolerate seems to be in Iams food, but we don't want to feed him that as a regular thing, so we just feed a lamb or beef-based kibble. And the time I gave him raw chicken, he had pretty bad runs for over two weeks before his tummy settled down.

 

Have you tried giving Nick some Pepto Bismal just to see if that will settle his GI tract a little bit while you transition him to different food? I usually give an otherwise healthy dog one tablet covered in peanut butter and that will usually settle things down pretty well.

 

Also, if you haven't tested for giardia, you might want to do a snap test for it. Our whole pack had it about a year ago and it manifest in consistent diarrhea in three dogs (in the crates, in the house, in the middle of the night--you name it).

 

Good luck with getting it nder control

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I agree. You may want to try going grain free. Since it seems like you tried almost everything else.

 

Our Pepper had diarhea in her crate for almost a year too. It was awful.

 

She is allergic to wheat, corn and soy. She can have rice. So she is now on a lamb and rice diet, and has done fabulously on it (and finallly gained weight).

 

On another note I'd worm your pup anyhow for all worms(as a vet told me that a dog can have worms yet not test posititve for them) and have him tested for infections, protozoans, and giardia and such.

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Have you tried giving Nick some Pepto Bismal just to see if that will settle his GI tract a little bit while you transition him to different food? I usually give an otherwise healthy dog one tablet covered in peanut butter and that will usually settle things down pretty well.

My vet suggested this to me too. I have used canned pumpkin to the same end (which he also approved).

 

The thing about diarrhea is that is is such a general symptom that the root cause can be deep or shallow, simple or complex, serious or relatively minor. The pepto/pumpkin suggestion might help if the digestive tract just needs a break, or it might not if there is a deeper root problem. But it's one thing that doesn't hurt to try, and it shouldn't take long to get results if it does help.

 

The other thought that occurs to me is if you are getting tired of cleaning the dog, maybe you can restrict him to a slightly larger area than a crate so at least he doesn't get it on himself?

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Our dog Chloe seemed allergic to every food we gave her and had the same issue of coming out both ends.

The vet specialist we took her to recommended Natural Balance Duck and Potatoe. This comes in kibble and in cans.

While this has not completely corrected her problems, it has lessened them from weekly (and sometimes daily) to an occasional bout every 2 or 3 months.

In her case, we were not able to isolate any one thing that she ate that caused her problems, although eggs in any form and cheese would bring on immediate vomiting.

She just happens to be our medical "problem child" since we have had her with the GI distress, UTI's and early this year she blew out her ACL in her left stiffle. The odd thing is that she is the healthiest looking dog you could ever want to see and prior to blowing her leg out could run like the wind.

(We considered the TPLO along with the "fishing line" surgery for her leg, but so far conservative management has seemed to be working well)

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Well, day 1.5 on rice & lamb "bits" seems to be going well. Solid turds today. I was up every two hours to let Nick out last night- easier than cleaning up the mess. He rushed out at midnight & 2.00, but by 4.00 he only wanted to go out & play, which is the usual morning routine.

 

Nick thinks he's special eating all this rice & lamb...

 

I think I'll make an appt with the vet to have him allergy tested. Lu had a test done, and once her allergens were removed from her diet her horrible hot spots & bald patches cleared up. She has a list a mile long of what she CAN'T eat, but oddly enough, she's fine with corn & wheat (go figure...)

 

I tried contacting to guy I bought Nick from, but I haven't heard anything. It is indeed possible they weren't entirely truthful... They were totally honest about his training, working ability, and temperment, though.

 

*sigh* I can't really give this dog up! He's the sweetest dog I've ever met- everyone who meets him wants to take him home. And he works sheep SO well. He should have gone to someone who would trial him! He has the talent... I, however, have almost zero interest in competeing.

 

Oh well, I love my fuzzy brown dog... wierd GI tract and all :rolleyes:

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Yeah we were so desperate that we switched Pepper straight over to the lamb and rice and didn't even wean her off the other food and PRESTO! the diarrhea stopped!!

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In about every 100 fecals I've seen, one was positive. I've seen negative fecal test dogs near death, chronic diarrhea, chronic anemia, chronic vomiting/indigestion/gas/belching...all responding really well to deworming with something like Panacur at least 3 days in a row. The test is very fallible, as you will only see worms or eggs in that part of the colon at certain stages of the lifecycle, even only at certain times of day.

 

Talk to your vet, and come armed with research online for the proper dose (most vets wildly underdose - reason??) and get that dog dewormed - if it were me he'd get the Giardia level dose - 5 days of it, twice a day. The diet change is super but the deworming certainly can't hurt - especially for a farm and rescue dog who's had more than his share of exposure.

 

Sorry so frustrating for you, and him too. Can he be put in an outdoor kennel where he can at least get away from it when he has to go? Crating for a dog this sick is really frustating.

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When Bailey was a puppy he couldn't keep anything in. It came out one end or another. His fecal tests were always negative. Didn't see any worms coming out. When I finally took him to a holistic vet, the fecal came out negative again. She went up his you know where with a microscope, and he had worms that she could see. Maybe this is an option with your dog. Giardia is also nasty and isn't always discovered by a regular fecal test.

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Guest WoobiesMom

Would Giardia always cause diarrhea or could it cause loose stools as well? Woobie's stool has been tested, but after reading this thread I wonder if I should have him megadosed as recommended above and see if that helps with his loose stool problems. Now that he's on raw it's hit and miss, loose one day, semi-firm the next. Never has been truly firm.

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I was just wondering if he has severe separation anxiety? If he gets upset when you leave.,.... he may work himself up into such a state that he inadvertently gives himself diarhea, perhaps you could give him some calming meds or some thing incase he is very upset. of course he may know that everytime he goes in the crate, you get upset when he comes out and that has become a self-perpetuating cycle... its a tough one. I hope you find some answers and in the mean time give Nick a scritch behind the ears for me!

Sara

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Would Giardia always cause diarrhea or could it cause loose stools as well?

 

It might not hurt. Especially, if he's drunk any of that lake water. Definitely something you should ask you vet about it.

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Georgia had Giardia back in May. It came on all of a sudden. You'd probably know if your dog had it. I don't think a change in food would help much. Her stool was watery and she couldn't go more than an hour without needing to go out. Since she was crated while I was at work all day, the crate and she had to be cleaned everyday. I bleached everything in the house. Clorox and I were best friends. I washed all her toys (hard & soft) in hot water. With meds it cleared up very quickly. It was a nightmare...for me and her...probably more her since she was the sickly one. :rolleyes:

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Hi there, boy can I sure relate to what you are going through. I have a 3 and a half year old BC that had persistant diaharea for the first 2 years of his life. We tried everything that our vet and I knew, to no avail. Finally I got him to a Internal Medicine Specialist and thank God I did. She took every test under the sun on him for bacteria, and all the different parasites. He was clear of everything. She felt that he was allergic to protein and immediatly put him on a Hydrolized Protein kibble along with an antibiotic called Tylasol. He took the meds. for 6 weeks, but continues to eat this kibble with excellent results. The kibble is called Royal Canin HP16. Within literally 24 hours of this diet/med. switch, he has not had one bout of diaharea since. He has been fine for the last year and a half and I have even been able to give him some treats with no problem the last several months. You do need to get this food through a vet and it is NOT cheap, I pay $90 for a 30ish pound bag. There are two other hydrolyzed protien diets you can also use, Purina HB and Science Diet Z/D. I went with the Royal Canin because it has no harmful preservatives in it, the Z/D does, don't know about the Purina. Good luck to you, hang in there.

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Annie has an extremely delicate instestinal tract, and suffers from diarrhea problems if she so much as looks at normal dog food. Our vet put her on Royal Canin Instestinal HE (mixture of kibble and canned), and she has not had a problem since. She also has Annie on special dog cookies (grain-free). You might ask your vet whether this is an option. But be forewarned: Intestinal HE dog food is only available with a vet's prescription, and is not cheap.

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Well, so far, still good. If it's possible, my two chow-hounds are even MORE exicted about dinner that has raw lamb pieces in it...

 

Nick got into a toddler's dinner leftovers last night (hamburger, bun, veggies- the works) and he's been fine all day. He is NOT happy about this "always within 10 feet of me" rule, but the minute he disappears he gets into things.

 

Gak! He'd better NOT need vet-only uber-pricey food. I would have to give him up! I CAN NOT afford $90 for 30 Lbs of food. I'd figure out how to make my own!

 

Aside from needing to get more rice, this new diet seems to be working well. I so hope it continues! Thanks for all the help, everyone!

 

ETA: Scott's afriad I'm going to start feeding him liver & rice for dinner every night :D Guess I should spend more time cooking for the boyfriend & less for the dogs :rolleyes:

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