My dog has commonly had loose stool for a large portion of her life. She is a 3yo female (spayed) yellow Labrador Retriever. To make a long story short – we finally switched to Blue Buffalo (Life Protection Formula, Adult Large Breed, Chicken) because it had more fiber and I thought that might help. She has had solid stools on this food, but has had 2 incidences (two months apart) of severe, bloody diarrhea and vomiting. We went to the vet and all tests came back negative/normal both times (parasites, bacteria, full blood panel, x-rays for foreign body). The 2nd time the vet recommended switching dog food (he does not know what we feed).
Does anyone have suggesstions for a dog food I can look into? I don’t even know where to start.
In the past she has been on Royal Canin (prescription GI puppy formula, regular puppy large breed formula, and regular adult large breed formula), Purina ProPlan (can’t remember the formula) and Nature’s Recipe grain free variety (salmon and sweet potato). The vomiting and diarrhea are her only health concerns.
I would ask the vet for a prescription dog food, at least till the dog is stable.
Vomiting and diarrhea for more than 72 hours are a BIG concern.
All the foods you mentioned are good. Put a call into your vet, ask him to call you back when he has a minute and see what he recommends. More diagnostic testing may be indicated.
Our vet did prescribe Hill’s i/d, but with the Hill’s recalls currently I did not purchase any. She is currently doing well on boiled chicken and rice, but I can’t keep her on that for long. When this happened 2 months ago we did the same thing (also did hamburger and rice when we didn’t have chicken) and she recovered well. She’s also on antibiotics (Metronidazole) although she was negative for bacteria and Giardia, so I’m not sure if it’s the diet or the meds that are helping.
I’m looking into Canidae, as that seems like the best option that is easily accessible in our area. I’m also considering going back to Royal Canin large breed adult… if I’m remembering correctly she did well on that and the only reason we switched is it wasn’t easy for us to get when we lived in a rural area. That’s when we switched to Pro Plan.
I switched to Blue Buffalo to increase the fiber, but I’m wondering if I should have decreased it? Thoughts, anyone?
My boy suffers with IBD, I feed kibbles that have Potato & Sweet Potato works best for him, as soon as he eats Hills, Purina or Royal Canine we end up at the vets needing a course of Metronidazole, he doesn’t do well on grains..
Your best off doing an elimination diet to work out if she has food sensitivities??…
Get a kibble that has just 1 meat protein & 1-2 carbs like “Wellness Simple Turkey & Potato” kibble then once your dog is stable & doing really well start adding 1 new ingredient over a 4-6 week period & see do the poos get sloppy & keep a diary.. Does she mouth lick & swallow, gulp (Acid Reflux) when she vomits is it yellow??
I’m wondering does she have the Helicobacter?? It’s a bad bacteria that lives in the stomach walls, does she act like she is starving all the time?? this is 1 of the symptoms you have when you suffer with Helicobacter + vomiting & acid reflux this is what Patch suffers with, Best to do Endoscope + Biopsies if it vomiting continues..
or ask vet can prescribe the Triple Therapy meds to kill the Helicobacter, meds are – Metronidazole, Amoxicillin & Omeprazole taken for 21 days given every 12 hours with a meal the 20mg x Omeprazole is just given of a morning once a day…
When Patch was eating a kibble that was Lamb or Fish he was vomiting, so I don’t know were these kibbles higher in contaminates, heavy metals & toxins?? cause since he’s been eating Wellness, Canidae the vomiting has all stopped now he does take an Acid blocker called “Pantoprazole” 20mg of a morning now Vets normally prescribe 20mg- Omeprazole.. when they have acid reflux – gulping, mouth licking, swallowing, grinding teeth, vomiting early hours of the morning yellow acid vomits..
also are you feeding 4 smaller meals a day, don’t feed 2 large meals a day, its too much work on the pancreas & stomach.
I feed at 7am-1 cup, 12pm-1/3 a cup, 5pm-1cup & 7.30pm-1/4 a cup some lunch days Patch doesn’t eat kibble he eats cooked meal boiled sweet potato, no rice as rice ferments in the gut or freeze dried “Frontier Pets” has human grade ingredients.
These foods Patch does really well on
Wellness Core Large Breed Adult Chicken & Turkey
Wellness Simple Turkey & Potato
Wellness Complete Health Grain Free Chicken
Canidae Pure Wild Boar
Canidae Pure Meadow Senior Chicken & Turkey
Nutragold Turkey & Sweet Potato
I rotate his Grain Free kibbles as soon as the kibble bag is running out, I buy another brand that has Sweet Potato or Potato lean white meats are best to stay away from fish as main protein as fish is higher in toxins & contaminates.
Then I rotate old kibble & mix in the new brand kibble over 1 week, then do the same as the new kibble starts ending make sure you have enough kibble for 10days to introduce a kibble she was doing well on or another brand you want to try.. best to have at least 3 different brands you know she does OK on..
My boy starts to react if he eats the same dry kibble month after month also rotating foods strengthen their gut & immune system, you should start her on a good probiotic so her gut gets healthy… Wellness & Canidae have the Probiotics sprayed on the kibbles to strengthen gut.
A really good product called “Adored Breast Healthy Gut”
If you want to try something natural Adored Beast is getting great reviews from people who have a dogs suffering with IBD & IBD..
Have a look at “Adored Beast Gut Soothe” & “Adored Beast Love Bugs”
“Adored Breast Healthy Gut”
Julie Anne Lee – “Adored Beast Love Bugs” – Probiotics & Prebiotics
Have you joined the “Dogs with Inflammatory Bowel Disorder IBD” on facebook
it’s a really good group when you need help…
Also after she vomits or 20mins before she eats have you tried Slippery Elm powder made into a Slurry it soothes the esophagus, stomach & bowel..
I use the Slippery Elm Powder made into a slurry, go to health food store buy slippery elm powder not the capsules. Health food store sell the Slippery Elm powder..
add 1/2 a teaspoon into a cup, boil the jug & slowly add the boiling water & stir quickly till you get a thin paste/slurry you pull up into a syringe 4ml & give 20mins before a meal.. I cover the cup with foil put in fridge & take out when needed again, it turns into a jelly then boil the jug & slowly add boiling water & stir till you have a slurry again & use then I throw out & make a new batch the next day..
Slippery Elm powder soothe the esophagus, stomach & bowel, good for nausea, acid reflux, rumbling grumbling gasses going thru the bowel – loud noises.. also helps firm poos..
I will look into doing an elimination diet.
She does not mouth lick, swallow, or gulp. She’s never had acid reflux issues. She has only vomited twice (once the first time this happened in January, and once this time). Both times it was yellow, and everything she had most recently eaten. Looked like it happened very soon after she ate, as the kibble looked almost normal. (It happened after I left for work. She is fed approx. 30 minutes before I leave in the morning.)
I work 9-5 so am unable to feed her at 12pm. She’s currently fed twice a day, but I will start feeding her 3 times a day. If it seems to help I can look into an automatic/timed feeder thing that will feed her at 12pm so she’s fed 4 times a day.
Thanks for all the suggestions, I’ll look into all of them. Her issues are more diarrhea than vomiting. She has had diarrhea for several days now but has only vomited once. (She did go to the vet that day though, and started the Metronidazole the next morning.)
Do you have any ideas what other diagnostic testing might be indicated in this case? (I can/will call the vet of course, just asking out of curiosity.) She has had a full fecal exam testing for parasites (including Giardia), and bacteria. She had a full blood workup (specifically looking for hemorrhagic gastroenteritis) and everything was within normal range so they didn’t feel any other testing was necessary. She also had an abdominal x-ray to check for a foreign body. We did not repeat the x-ray this time (just did one in January) but agreed to repeat it if vomiting persisted. It has not, so the vet has ruled out a foreign body (for now).
Just see what your vet recommends.
A prescription or bland diet, soft food instead of kibble may be a good idea.
Always have fresh water available 24/7.
You said you feed 30 minutes before you leave in the am, in my experience most dogs have a bowel movement about 1 to 3 hours after a meal.
If you could feed smaller meals and have someone come in mid day to let her out for a bathroom break it might help.
Those plastic automatic feeders are useless, most dogs are able to destroy them within 20 minutes.
Our dog is a 5 year old mix who had frequent loose stools that in the past led to more severe diarrhea and then late stage vomiting.
When I first adopted him 4 years ago this happened twice in six months, where he had to go to the vet for an injection to stop the vomiting, and then antibiotics. Over time I realized the kibbles seemed to be hardest on him, and also after some reading felt like he might have colitis.
In the past three years he has not had to visit the vet for illness, or take antibiotics. He does still get occasional diarrhea, but I treat it very quickly/early and it seems to halt the course of being more severely sick.
In the am I do a little kibble and a lot of topper, kibbles I purchase are Stella and Chewy raw baked, Fromm pork and applesauce. I use the Stella and Chewy topper. I have tried some others, such as Nature’s Instinct, but it didn’t agree with him.
In the evening I give him canned with a little kibble on top. Currently we are using Health Extension lamb, but he has done well with their turkey also. So overall, not too much kibble.
I add in a probiotic from Mercola at times, herbal digestive supplement from the honest kitchen sometimes, a couple squirts of ultra oil for pets. I have purchased all this from chewy online. I try to not give these things every day, and let his body have a chance to do its own work, but when he seems a little off I add supplements to his food.
When his stool is looser, more frequent I start feeding cooked ground turkey or boiled chicken breasts. I may add in a sweet potato or some plain oatmeal. Usually if I do that for two days and then gradually add topper to the turkey and then topper and kibble to the turkey he is good by day 4 or 5.
When sick they need the antibiotics of course, but over time the antibiotics are so hard on their natural gut flora, so better to catch issues early and treat with the probiotics and other supplements before things get to a point where vet assistance is needed.
I have found when looking at food labels that foods with chicory and also beef flavors are hard on my dog. Also the monthly heartworm has caused some severe diarrhea as well!
It is really rough trying to monitor, theres me or my husband at 3am with a flashlight letting the dog out and then checking out his stool. haha. But monitoring and treating fast has been the best preventative for our dog, it seemed like once he got to a certain stage of sick no home treatment helped.
Maybe best thing is to first get her stomach settled before introducing a new dog food. Just boiled chicken and a little rice. Give her three meals a day so her stomach isn’t empty for too long. Then maybe VERY slowly introduce a little kibble with the chicken. I used freeze dried now but my dogs did very well on Fromm. Before that Health Extensions as Milanda said also. Never had stomach issues with my one who was prone to upset.
She has been prescribed Hills i/d, but we didn’t feed that due to their recent recalls. I did just pick some up though, so we are starting that now. Her feeding schedule and my work schedule are what they are, unfortunately. There’s no chance anyone can let her out in the middle of the day.
I will look into feeding less kibble, thanks for the suggestion! I have been researching probiotics as well, and will pick one of those up next time I’m at the pet store that carries them.
I agree, I don’t want her on antibiotics much longer, especially since all of her tests have been negative for bacteria. If there was any indication that there was unusual or a higher amount of bacteria present in her GI tract, I’d be fine with it until the tests were normal again, but thats not the case. I feel like we’re just putting her on meds for the heck of it.
She is not on monthly heartworm, we do the ProHeart injection instead (every 6 months).
She has been on boiled chicken and rice, or bland hamburger and rice for 7-10 days after every incident. She is fine after 2-3 days on antibiotics, and continues to be fine for about a month and then we have another spell. All tests have been negative/normal so far, so my vet is cleaning towards her food being the cause. I disagree, but am willing to try new foods.
I will look into Fromm, thank you for the suggestion!
UPDATE – We are on our third bout of diarrhea since January. I called our vet and he was able to refill her Metronidazole without a vet visit. He said to keep her on Hill’s i/d for ~2 months and then gradually switch to something OTHER than what she was on before (Blue Buffalo). He has not offered any specific advice on dog food, other than “something different” so thank you all for your suggestions, and keep them coming. 🙂
- This reply was modified 2 months ago by Jaimie K.
I was just about to post a post to give her a 21 day course of Metronidazole, Patch a 40lb dog would take low dose -200mg Metronidazole tablets twice a day for 5-7 days then on day 8 the last 2 weeks I’d give him 1 x 200mg Metronidazole tablet with his dinner, my vet writes Patch 5-6 repeat scripts of Metronidazole & when I start to see Patches poos becoming sloppy for a few day & his poos are going yellow, I quickly take script of Metronidazole to chemist & start him on Metronidazole straight away..
I think she might have food sensitivities & this puts her gut flora out of balance making too much bad bacteria & not enough good bacteria…
Unless vet does Endoscope & takes 2 x Biopsies 1 x Stomach & 1 x Small Bowel your really not going to know what’s wrong?? Biopsies give vet answers.
all the other test are a waste of money as biopsies are needed in the end, I noticed with Patch when he’d eat certain dry foods they would cause an in balance in his gut flora…
“Dysbiosis” Leaky Gut typically occurs when the bacteria in gastrointestinal (GI) tract — which includes your stomach and intestines — become unbalanced. Dysbiosis syndrome is a disturbance in the small intestines, leading to damage of the intestinal lining and microvilli.
Patch hasn’t needed his Metronidazole over 1 & 1/2 yr now since he’s been eating “Wellness Core Large Breed” “Wellness Simple Turkey & Potato LID” & “Wellness Complete Health Grain Free Chicken kibble” I don’t know if its the Wellness kibble being more cleaner less toxins & heavy metals that’s helped stopped his sloppy poos/diarrhea, or he’s finally eating a kibble that doesn’t have any allergens that are irritating his stomach & bowel, Wellness uses Probiotics & Prebiotics in their dry kibbles maybe Probiotics have made his gut healthy…he does 2-3 firm poos a day, I walk Patch after he eats, walking helps move on his poo & he isn’t holding his poo, he’s a bugger wont poo in his yard only his morning 7am poo he will do in his yard.
Touch wood Patch hasn’t had Diarrhea since March 2018 when he started eating Wellness Core Large breed adult kibble.
Keep a diary, write down what she is eating, every time you change her food write down new food, does it have grains or grain free, does the kibble have Probiotics, how high is the fiber %, then over the months & years you will start to see a pattern, does she suffer with “Food Sensitivities”?, is the kibble too high in fiber ingredients or probiotics & causing an in balance in her gut??
I just goggle Blue Buffalo (Life Protection Formula, Adult Large Breed, Chicken) gee there’s a lot of ingredients too many & peas?? Pea fiber, Pea protein, Pea starch, Barley,??
Patch can eat peas in a dry kibble but when the pet food has Pea fiber, Pea protein, Pea starch this is when he starts getting his sloppy yellow poos…. too much fiber also when he eats barley his poos start going yellow & sloppy then diarrhea…
The next food you introduce make sure it has limited ingredients
* Wellness Simple Turkey & Potato
* Wellness Core Large Breed Adult
* Canidae Pure Wild Boar
* Natural Balance –
N/B Potato & Duck – low fiber -3%, no peas,
*N/B Lamb & Rice large breed – no peas, fiber 4%,
N/B Sweet Potato & Fish – no peas, fiber 5%
Stay away from kibbles that have too many ingredients, you’ll never know what ingredients she might be sensitive too?? stay away from Pea fiber, Pea protein, Pea starch, if the kibble has peas that’s OK but not the extra pea (fiber).
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