Loose stools? Food intolerance?

Dog Food Advisor Forums Canine Nutrition Loose stools? Food intolerance?

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  • #33404 Report Abuse

    Good day!

    I am hoping to get some suggestions about my dog. He is a seven year old super-mutt and I’m wondering if anyone has some suggestions with a recurring loose stool/diarrhea problem or has had success in this area.

    My boy has pretty much always had some less-than-firm stools. Some days it looks better than others but pretty consistently for the longest time, he hasn’t had firm stools for the whole day. Usually his first poop is good and then it kinda gets smaller and looser. This is something I have brought up with my vet in the past and he has been given probiotics before and not much else. I will address this again next time I bring him in but am not open to trying prescription food in the event my vet tries to push that. I am wondering if any other tests should be run also, which I will ask.

    He doesn’t have any accidents in the house, never has. He gets itchy skin occasionally but it doesn’t seem to correlate with diet, more changes in the weather and he reacts strongly to flea bites the couple of times we were unfortunate enough to get fleas (yuck). He is not itching currently. He is active and loves to go on walks, a bit slower in the wetter/crappier weather (has some arthritis in hips). He has hypothyroid as well which is being managed (soloxine once daily plus a half dose 3x week) as well as his weight (he was overweight when diagnosed and now has a non-tootsie-roll figure! 😉 ).

    I recently switched my dogs from Earthborn to Orijen adult. He didn’t seem to mind the switch initially. I am feeding him two 1/2 cup servings a day usually with a small spoonful of wet; he was at 62 pounds when last weighed. Based on his steady weight loss I think we’re at a good place for quantity right now. NOW that all that’s out of the way…recently he’s gotten some liquid diarrhea and though loose stools are typical for him, this amount of liquid diarrhea is odd. I’m wondering if maybe he has intolerance to the first ingredient in Orijen adult which is chicken. I have read a lot about dogs who just don’t handle chicken very well. But I’m puzzled because the loose stool thing has been fairly consistent regardless of the food he eats (I have cycled many foods with my dogs in their lives; my girl has no problems with anything, ever…and my boy is always kind of consistent in not-as-lovely stools). I’m thinking maybe trying a different Orijen recipe (red meat or fish) to see if that stops the liquid diarrhea. If it at least gets things back to “normal” that would help, but then there’s also the issue of solving this chronic loose stool issue. As I mentioned, he is getting some probiotics with his meals. In the past I’ve tried pumpkin as well (he loves it) but I didn’t notice a marked difference; maybe it wasn’t enough? And if so, recommendations on amount to give based on his size?

    I am doing a parasite check on Monday to make sure nothing’s weird there (he picked up some worms over the fall). But like I said, worms or not, regardless of food, his loose stools haven’t been solved long-term. Does this sound familiar? Any luck? Opinions on any possible condition I should bring up to the vet?

    This is kind of a two-part question: 1) does it sound like allergies/intolerance to chicken, or some other ingredient (even though there’s no itching/vomiting…nothing weird going on except diarrhea)? And long-term loose stool advice?

    (you know you MIGHT be a dog person when you talk this much about poop…) 😀

    Sorry about the novel; just trying to be thorough! Thanks for reading!

    #33409 Report Abuse

    It could be an intolerance, they do have quite a variety of symptoms, but it wouldn’t be my first thought. He could be not producing enough digestive enzymes.

    The fact that you mention better stools first thing in the morning tells me that while his system is slowed down for the night, he has the time he needs to work on his food. This is often how it goes with dogs with nervous dispositions. You might want to look intotrying the Honest Kitchen’s Perfect Form. It has several ingredients that soothe the intestinal tract and one that may slow it a little.

    When you have the stool checked on Monday, have them send it off to a lab for analysis. They find things that the vet doesn’t find on a normal stool check. And finally, you said he had worms this past fall. Did you see them or did the vet find them?

    #33421 Report Abuse

    Thanks for the response!

    I kind of figured that it could be in part something to do with the amount of time he works on food overnight. I didn’t realize that was a thing in nervous type dogs though; interesting! Boy is fairly outgoing but a wee bit sensitive. 😉 I will definitely look into the Perfect Form. I’ll see if I can find it today in the local pet supply store.

    Food intolerance wasn’t my first thought either since he’s had chicken in his diet before with no real noticeable changes. But it’s been a while. Chicken was never what I went for first I guess.

    I found the worms myself. This happened twice and was likely the result of a run-in with fleas this summer/early fall. It was a baaad flea and allergy year. Oof.

    #33438 Report Abuse

    If they were rice sized, it was definitely from eating fleas. No telling when though. They can take quite some time to get to the point where they are dropping egg sacs, but that’s probably what you found. That particular type of worm, while nasty, is not as likely to cause problems with the function of the intestines as some other worms are. You might want to look into foods that have montmorillite clay if you can’t find the Perfect Form or if it doesn’t work for him.

    #33452 Report Abuse

    Yep, nasty things, and several of them! Some were rice size and some looked a bit bigger and longer if I recall but they were all very white. Haven’t seen any signs of them since I wormed him then, but yeah it’s probably worth sending it to a lab. Especially since, when last I found the worms in his stool, they were SO obvious and for whatever reason the tech who looked at the sample told me she didn’t see anything at first until I insisted I was positive and she looked a second time. Weird.

    I found the Perfect Form at my pet store. I read about it a bit first and it seems like many people have had success with it, and one of the women who works at the store recommended it as well. Gave him some with his dinner. Hope it helps him out! I appreciate your advice very much! 🙂

    #33458 Report Abuse

    The vet usually floats the fecal in a supersaturated salt solution that causes worm eggs to float. They put a slide on top of that and the eggs stick to the slide for them to look at them under a microscope. Tapeworm eggs do not show up this way, they are almost always found due to owner reporting. There are a few things that the vet can find from looking at some stool applied directly to a slide rather than floating, but it often depends on several factors whether or not they will find those things even when they are present. The lab is better equipped to find those things, usually.

    #33548 Report Abuse

    I have had a few friends switch to orijen and it was simply too much. It’s extremely rich food and high protein. I always recommend giving dogs a little time to adjust, you can help with pumpkin and some sort of digestive aid. If no better, look into acana. same company, great food as well. Some times Orijen, beings so rich, just doesn’t sit well. Personally, it gave my dogs horrific gas and I couldn’t handle it lol.

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