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On Thursday I came home to the most awful, gut wrenching smell. When I got to the dog room, Fenny had diarrhea in his crate, on him, etc. There was also urine. Consistency was not pure watery, but was not formed.


Needless to say massive clean up efforts ensued.


That night against my better judgement my husband fed Fennec at about 5:30 pm. I woke up at 4 am for some reason and decided to check in on him (kept him in his crate just in case) and he had diarrhea again, this time more runny. Stench was awful.


I fasted him for 24 hours and decided to go to the vet because Fenn is my gut of steal dog. Something had to be up. He does not eat random things outside and never goes out without me so that is not a concern. But I can throw his gut for a loop and never have an issue.


He plays daily with a puppy who had Giardia about 2 months ago or so.


We also recently switched his food, about one month ago. He was eating Taste of the Wild, but his coat was HORRID. So I switched him to EVO. His coat has never looked better and friends and family have been commenting without being asked. He looks truly amazing. He finished several sample packs and one 15 lb bag prior to this incident. I had just purchased, opened, and began feeding a new bag that I bought at a different store from where I usually go before the incident (he at about 3-5 meals from the new bag).


The fecal did not show Giardia, but I know this is hit or miss. It did show a high count of Clostridium(unsure if this is just an overgrowth of normal flora due to the aggravated gut).


We did 3 days of Panacur and he is on Flagyl twice a day. The vet also put him on a bland diet for 3-4 days. His poop is formed again(and a horrible neon color). I am to switch back to his food after that. However, the vet does not want me to go back to EVO, stating it is too rich and he has seen problems with that one.


I am not sure what to do.........Fenn looks and feels so good on the EVO and had done fine with it for a month.


So my questions are (sorry for the long tale):


1. Could it be the food after so long (are there cumulative effects from being too rich)? Could it have been the new bag (I did take it back and exchange for a smaller bag for the time being)?


2. Would you switch him back to TOTW after the bland diet (he did crap on that, but I don't think a totally new food is good idea either given his upset gut) or would you try the EVO to see if it is truly the food?


I also realize it could be bacterial, which I was hoping to confirm to rule out food issue. This is the best Fenn has looked in 2 years and he has been on many foods to find something good.


Thanks for opinions and help!

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I know this is probably not the cause, but just in case you are feeding Fennec those dried chicken breast strips that you can get in a big bag at Costco, stop. When I stopped giving them to Daisy, bad diarrhea episodes stopped too. Evidently they have caused problems for other people's dogs too.


We've also dealt with Giardia, and it does take a while to clear up, so keep him on the flagyl as long as you need to and be very, very careful about what you feed him. I would keep him on the CRAP diet for a while longer -- chicken, rice, and pumpkin. Also, you might be able to address the coat by adding a bit of fish oil to his diet while using a lighter kibble. That worked marvelously for us. There are lots of threads here on fish oil supplements. Lipiderm, which I buy at Pet People, works great for Daisy. With it, no itch. Without it, scratch much.

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The most common cause of diarrhea a month after starting Evo is that the food has spoiled. If you are only feeding one dog you need to divide the bag into smaller ones and freeze what you can't use within 2 weeks. Because Evo is high in fat and protein and only preserved with vitamins it goes bad very fast.


Other than that my only suggestion is to keep in touch with your vet about potential causes. Diarrhea is very non specific and can be an indication of just about anything.

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I'm not sure. I might try feeding him a bland diet for a few days until you are sure the diarrhea has resolved. Then, add the Evo back in and see what happens. I remember that Debbie had a lot of problems finding the right food for Rumor and I think that she finally had some success with Evo. So, I wonder if there isn't a genetic component coming into play here. Although, you did say that Fennec had had an iron gut up until now, which would seem to indicate that there is some sort of pathogen causing his recent troubles. If you thought he was doing well on the Evo up until now, I think it might be premature to jump to the conclusion that the food is the problem.

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If your Pup had giardia my vote is for that. I think it can lay dormant till stressed. I know Dal seems to harbor clostridium P.. It pops up when he's under stress and it's fixed with antibiotics.


If he doesnt get bettter with the flagyl then


I would also consider coccidia since you have a pup as it takes a bit to show in an exposed dog and it's hard to see even on a spin for sure. It can be missed.


I would think that if he was on the evo for a month and your sure your food isnt rancid I'd gradually switch him back. You can always switch in a few bags to balance things if you want. My dogs didnt do well on a grain free diet they were grabbing things like my loaf of bread off the table.

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Buzz developed a tendency to over grow clostridium perfingens in his gut. I think it was AK DogDoc who posted a really complete explanation, a couple years ago. From what I can remember, an initial bout requiring antibiotics led to an imbalance of healthy bugs in his intestines, leading to the overgrowth of c perfingens. Whenever he was stressed, he'd get really sick. Nasty diarrhea, very lethargic, no appetite, and pretty painful, too. He'd stretch, turn around, turn over, to try and relieve the pain.


The vet did a second stool culture at B's 4th or 5th episode in 6 months. He was ready to send me to an internist, but I asked if there was anything else he could look for or consider, and voila!


B went on 30 days of amoxicillin, and that cleared him up. About a year later, when things got stressful again, we put him on a preventive dose, 2x/week, of flagyl, and that really helped.


Good luck with Fenny, let us know what happens.



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Thanks all. I am going to wean him off the bland diet and back to a new bag of Evo to see what happens. I will do this when I am going to be home so he does not have to suffer in his crate.


We shall see what happens.


He is doing great on the Flagyl and firmed right up. I have just been so happy with the results of the Evo that I am hesitant to switch right now. The vet said it was too high in protein and that could be the cause, but Fenn ate Barking at the Moon, Core, and TOTW before.



Good poop vibes appreciated!

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Guest maya's mom

I hope your dog is feeling better soon. If you want a food suggestion, I use California Natural. It has a very short ingrediant list, and also cleared up Maya's dry coat/skin issues. We always get comments now, that "She should be in a Pantene commercial!"

Good luck.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It has now been two weeks since the original episode. I put Fenn back on the EVO and the diarrhea came back. We did the bland diet for a couple of days and then weaned him on to Acana Grasslands (Lamb, fish, eggs, no grains). Protein is 34%, Fat is 17%.


He is doing okay. I noticed yesterday he looks so skinny suddenly. Not emaciated but definately thin.


His stools are formed, but not firm. They are larger than normal and color variation is from dark to light (mostly a yellow to orange color). He is gassy, but has always been a burper and flatulent.


I typically add pumpkin at night to his food and have noticed portions of his stool that look like undigested pumpkin.


Of course I have worked myself up by researching things and I have myself worried about pancreatic insufficiency. I worry the weight gain is from his inability to digest the foods properly.


My vet will be calling me after hours today to talk since it is not an emergency at this point. He acts fine and same as normal. No change in behavior or energy levels. He has always been a horrid begger, so this is hard to judge. Fenn always acts like he is starved.


Should I try a probiotic? Which one? Should I try digestive enzymes?


Suggestions are very welcome.

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When a dog had had a really bad digestive upset it can take weeks for things to settle down. I would go back to cooked (I prefer boiled beef) with simple cooked grain like oats or barley. Small meals, 3-4 times a day, adding probiotics and colloidal viramins/minerals (I use SeaSilver, your mileage may vary) to the food.


There is also a recipe I like from W Jean Dodds DVM that I haven't found a dog yet can't tolerate for later in recovery feeding.


2/3 potato (1/2 cooked white and 1/2 cooked sweet potato)

1/3 cooked white fish


After tolerated well, add scrambled eggs and vitamins as needed. Italian herb seasoning can be added to stimulate appetite.




I don't like EVO. I tried it briefly several times because in theory it should be equal to raw to travel with. It always makes my dogs horribly thristy, and gives many of them black runny stools. Yuck!


Your dog may have greater problems than are seen in brief email, and I suggest you get complete blood panels and a history togeter and email Dr Dodds at Hemopet. She's extremely helpful, and will work with your veterinarian to help sort this out.


Patience is the key with dietary upset. Do *not* feed an adult dog that is otherwise healthy with diarrhea for at least 12 hours, preferably 24. Be aware that the treatments for parasites (panacure, flagyl, etc) can also *cause* diarrhea - you have to get past all of this to see if things are truly better.

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Lauren, I went through a similar episode with my mutt a couple months ago. She is fed Evo and has always done well on it. When she got sick, I thought the food went bad but the vet determined the cause was bacterial. I fed my dog blend diet (and antibiotics) for about three weeks and slowly transitioned her back to Evo - she has been fine and continues to do great on it.


My vet does not like Evo either. She says she sees a lot of Evo fed dogs that get diarrhea from it. My border collie can't handle Evo (possibly because he is sensitive to beef and turkey) but he does well on other grain free food. A recent bc foster I had here didn't do well on other food brands but thrived on Evo. I guess the bottomline is... each dog is different. Play around and see what works for your pup.


Wendy, thank you for the bland diet recipes! With a dog that is sensitive to beef and some poultry, it will be great to have a fish bland diet alternative!

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I don't have too much to offer, except to say I'm in the same situation. My dog came down with something (ugh) after eating an unknown substance in the woods. He was very sick with vomiting and diarrhea for two nights, then treated for giardia and put on the rice/chicken or rice/hamburg diet. After about a week, treatment was done, and I transitioned back to regular food.


He's now got the same symptoms as you describe: his stools are larger than usual, firm but not fully formed, and vary in color. Also, outlandish gas. (My, oh my!) I'm just writing it off to the transition from illness back to wellness... and also maybe a (treatment-based) shakeup of the normal intestinal flora, that I hope will sort itself out as the body restores its balance.


Good luck!



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Thanks all! I spoke at length with my vet today (Thank you Karen, Dr. Cox is EXCELLENT!). I am going to swing by and have him weighed this week. He also explained what occurs when protein, fat, and fiber are changed and this seems to make sense with what is going on with Fenn. He seems to think we need to give Fennec's gut more time to re-establish the normal flora. I am going to be watching and keeping in close contact with the vet. He did not think it was any of my fears and explained why. Sometimes playing a vet on the internet can make one crazy. I tend to do that to myself.


A good friend of mine saw him today and did not think he has lost that much weight and she noted his coat was looking better. That made me feel better.

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Fenn is no better :rolleyes: His stools are a yellowish color, loose, and now have traces of blood. He is looking pretty thin and getting quite brazen in his attempts to take food off our dinner plates. He is also very flatulent the last few days. Something is up with my boy.


We go see the vet tonight. We are running TLI, cobalamin/folate tests among others.



Please cross your fingers and send good vibes. I am worried about my special boy. I just want an answer.




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