Pup recovering from Giardia needs food help

Dog Food Advisor Forums Diet and Health Pup recovering from Giardia needs food help

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  • #93302 Report Abuse
    Jan D

    Hello everyone. My puppy had Giardia at 9 weeks old, and I think it has really messed up his gut. He was treated with 10 days of Metronidazole and Panacur. He’s had several fecals run since, and they have all come back negative for it. He is 6 months old now and we are still dealing with loose stools off and on.

    We have been to the vet several times to try and resolve this, and it usually results in them just doing another round of Panacur. I can’t imagine he has any parasites at this point with all the dewormer he has gotten. My new vet currently has him on 2 weeks of Metronidazole at the recommendation of an internist, who thinks there may be some type of bacterial infection. He is also taking a pancreatic type enzyme to help him digest his food along with FortiFlora probiotics.

    He used to eat raw food (first NW Naturals, and then Vital Essentials Freeze Dried), but the two vets I have seen didn’t want him on raw, and said it might be too rich for his system at this point. My current vet wanted to put him on Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Kibble. I refuse to feed this food because I think the ingredients are junk. I thought there must be another food with better ingredients that I could try. I decided to try him on TOTW Sierra Mountain Kibble. He has only been on it for a week now (still transitioning over). His stools are now huge in size, very frequent (6 times yesterday!), and are formed, but very soft. He would usually only go 3 times a day on the raw and they were very small and firm.

    I am so confused at this point. I am not sure if I should stick with the TOTW, or switch to another food? After doing some reading, I have read several posts from people stating that TOTW made their dogs have large frequent stools as well. Do you think I should just give him a few months on it hoping that his stools will get better? I am just worried that 6 bowel movements a day is a sign that it isn’t agreeing with him and that he isn’t absorbing nutrients. The fiber content is only 4%, so I am not sure why his stools are so large. He is underweight, so one of my main concerns is getting some weight on him.

    Has anyone had a dog with Giardia and found a food that is easy to digest and produces good stools?

    #93315 Report Abuse

    HI Jan,
    since being on the TOTW are his poos the best they have been since they were good when eating the raw?? I would keep him on the TOTW for a bit longer 2-3months, if you don’t want to try a vet diet, let his bowel heal & adjust to eating a kibble, remember his stomach & bowel was use to eating a raw diet & they do less poos & nice small poos…..he’s only been on the TOTW kibble 1 week also have you tried stopping the enzyme just for 2 days & see are the poos smaller & better, does it make a difference?…..
    My Patch was put on a vet diet for 9-12 months, I didn’t want him on a vet diet, also Patches vet is into feeding more natural diets not kibbles, she explained we need the stomach & bowel to rest & heal & not work hard digesting his food, I said OK how long do I feed this vet diet look it has corn grits, she said just for 1 yr to let the stomach & bowel heal….I nillly had a heart attack, 1 yr but she was right in the end, 9 months later I started looking at other kibbles but I still knew I had the vet diet to fall back on just in case the new kibble wasn’t working out….
    We tried Royal Canin Gastrointestinal but Patch started to itch, scratch & smell real yeasty, he has food sensitivities & in the end the vet Diet “Eukanuba Intestinal” a low residue kibble worked & there’s also “Intestinal Plus” it has more fiber, he was doing just 2 small poos a day at the same time everyday but sometimes his poos were very soft to pick up & yellow but vet said as long as when the poo is coming out it’s formed, its OK, I look back & I think the Eukanuba Intestinal may have been too low in fiber for Patch, it was 1.7% crude fiber…

    Iams also has their Intestinal Plus Low Residue Puppy, Iams KO Oats & Kangaroo & beet pulp, its for Skin & Coat has better ingredients, there’s no corn, no gluten corn meal in the Iams KO & it does have the Beet pulp, Beet pulp makes poos smaller & firmer, a lot of cheap kibbles & vet diets use beet pulp cause people judge a dog food by the way a dog poos & when poos are small & firm they think the food is good but its just the added beet pulp…

    Also look at the Hills Vet Diet, Hills I/d Digestive Care, remember all the vet diets are guaranteed money back so until you find one that works you don’t pay for all this kibble that doesn’t work for the dog…
    the Hills I/d kibble has the digestive enzymes, electrolytes, vitamin B what is needed to gain weight, omega 3-6 fatty acids, prebiotic fiber (Beet Pulp) everything needed to heal the stomach & bowel, I know vet diets have awful ingredients for dogs with intestinal problems like corn, maize, gluten corn meal but they seem to help their stomach & gut heal, I don’t know why but when you find the right vet diet they do work…
    Just remember in the back of your head this is temporary it’s just for 6-9 months …

    In Australia we have better ingredients in our vet diets or they are not allowed in Australia, I don’t know why Hills & Royal Canin don’t make the ingredient list the same for the American pets as well….probably where they make more money….

    Here’s the Iams site to compare ingredients with the Hills & Royal Canin vet diets, Iams KO has just Oat Flour & Kangaroo & has the Beet pulp…. the “Eukanuba Intestinal” also has a puppy formula made for puppies, puppies need more fat in their diet….
    It’s just a thought if nothing is working after a couple of months..
    I really hope he starts to improve then when he’s older & better he can go back to a raw diet & a nice raw meaty bone..

    #93332 Report Abuse
    Susan W

    I know zippo about Giardia but I’m happy to point you in a good direction. The VP at VeRUS has been great about answering my questions about food and how it relates to my dogs. I first contacted them about their food after seeing an article where they were one of 15 pet foods that had never had a recall. I used their contact form and received free samples. I’ve been feeding VeRUS to my dogs for well over a year and have had no trouble whatsoever. go to veruspetfoods.com, scroll to the bottom, click on contact & fill out the form. They are super helpful, they’ll send you free samples, their food is not junky (it even smells like actual food – not processed animal parts), and they make their food in EU certified kitchens.

    #93336 Report Abuse
    Jan D

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a detailed reply.
    I am happy to report that today his stools are smaller in size and much more firm. He also has more energy and is more playful which is so good to see! Hopefully he is adjusting to the food and things are starting to normalize, but I suppose it could be the Metronidazole that is helping. He is still going 5 or 6 times a day (which is a little concerning), but maybe that is just one of the side effects of being on this particular food.
    Hopefully he will start to thrive and gain some weight now, and his stools will continue to be firm. If we have a setback, I will most likely put him on one of the vet diets. I really don’t like the ingredients in them, but at this point it is about resting the gut and getting him to gain weight.
    Susan W- Thank you for your recommendation of the VeRUS food, I will take a look.
    I have an appointment with a holistic vet in a few weeks. My hope is that he will be able to recommend some different things to try and help get him through this. It has been a rough road for the little guy, and I can’t wait to see him feeling 100%!

    #93338 Report Abuse

    Hi again,
    I just remembered yes the Metronidazole takes time to fix things up & can cause sloppy poos, takes Patch around 5 days for poos to start getting better & farts to stop, you really won’t know if the TOTW is agreeing with your pup until you have finished the course of Metronidazole, I asked my vet can I have a few repeat scripts of the Metronidazole, just in case I start to see Patches poos going sloppy yellow & the farts start up again months later, I just go chemist & buy the Metro it’s cheaper from chemist but he hasn’t needed the Metro since eating the TOTW kibble….
    In the Beginning my vet wanted Patch on the Metronidazole for 6 months but after being on the Metro for 1 month Patch was acting weird, real paranoid & was jumping at his own shadow, then 1 morning on our walk he was dazed & confused & he didn’t stop at the usual intersection that he always stopped & sat at, lucky no cars were coming, I went home & google side effects to Metronidazole then I rung the vet & told her what do I do, she said, yes it’s rare but some dogs can have reaction stop the Metronidazole, so now if Patch has to take the Metro he cant take it more then 3 weeks…
    also make sure the Probiotic is given 3-4 hours after or before a feed that the Metronidazole tablets were given, Metro has to be taken with food, I was putting the tablets down his throat, Patch was leaving the tablets in his bowl….. I was giving the Metronidazole every 12 hours & Patch was eating 4 small meals a day, I made sure the 2 bigger meals were 12 hours apart to give his Metro tablets…..To gain weight I gave an extra meal (Lunch) 1/2 a cup kibble, then when he’s at his proper weight or looks like he’s gaining too much weight then reduce to 1/4 cup & see does he lose any weight.
    Patch does 3 poos on the TOTW some days he does 2 poos he only eats 2 & 1/2 cups kibble a day made into 4 meals & some days I feed a cooked meal for dinner & take 1 cup kibble away replace with the cooked meal & yes the poo that was from the cooked meal is smaller…… later you’ll do the same feed 1 meal raw & the other meal still his kibble & slowly go back onto the raw diet & have the Metronidazole on hand just incase poos start going yuk again & give another course of the Metro while introducing the raw diet again… and remember the Metronidazole will kill the good bacteria in the Probiotic, best to give probiotic after the course of Metro is finished….
    Buy a diary write down what your feeding, doing & what is working, just incase yrs later you need to look back, what worked & what didn’t work…. I also write it all down then when I see my vet she puts it in the computer so she can look back if needed….
    He’ll get there but it takes time….

    #93402 Report Abuse
    Kristen L

    Jan, I had the same issue with my young golden retriever. She had giardia, was treated, and I also bought the panacur online at amazon for two additional treatments. It’s been awhile now so I don’t recall exact timeline, but I know she actually started having diarrhea AFTER the treatments. She had it for 2-3 months. I took her to the vet several times because I thought it was very odd. Good news is, it just eventually went back to normal on it’s own, so I do think the treatment does something. I also switched her food a few times because I was always switching my other Goldens due to his allergies, and I would just put her on whatever he was on, and I also thought it was the food after the vet said take her off lamb.. She did get a little better when I took her off it, but not fully. Both my dogs get diarrhea on lamb. It is very rich. And no, there was no correlation with the diarrhea and switching foods. I still switch and she has firm poops on the right food. I also agree that royal canin is junk! She actually has diarrhea right now, but I switched her to Kirkland puppy food last week. It has 4.5 stars, but I think Kirkland is junk. I was in a pinch though when I got it. I had tried every food out there because of my allergy dog. If they don’t have good poops, it’s usually the food, except in our case with the giardia, I think it is the treatment for the giardia that caused it. I like Zignature, Acana (the chicken is cheapest), TOTW is good too (I started both mine on that as pups), but I don’t believe it is the highest rated food. Nutrisca is good. It’s on Chewys. Good luck, I think it will pass with time. Ps. The panacur on amazon is very safe, the metronidazole is not. People buy the panacur as a preventative maintenance thing for their animals.

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 2 months ago by Kristen L.
    #93404 Report Abuse
    Jan D

    Kristen, I am sorry to hear that your pup had problems after giardia as well. It is so hard to watch them get sick over and over, and not have any answers. I think it must really destroy the gut, not to mention being on metronidazole, which I know kills all the good bacteria.

    I have been wondering lately if he might have one of the bad bacteria, like Clostridium or Cryptosporidium. I know they can cause the same type of symptoms. I don’t think they routinely test for bacteria on a regular fecal exam, and the next time I talk to my vet I will ask him about it.

    He is still pooping a LOT on the TOTW food. They range from firm, to soft serve throughout the day. He has been on it for a little over a week now. Do you think things should have regulated at this point if this food was going to work for him? He used to eat raw, so I’m sure it is taking his body a little time to get used to digesting kibble. His body is almost reacting as if I am overfeeding, but he is still not eating the full amount my vet wants me to get into him daily.

    I did ask the vet about the excessive pooping, and he said he didn’t want to change anything at the moment because he has put on a little weight (he needs to gain a few pounds) and has more energy. I do agree that those are positive things, but pooping that much (8 times yesterday!) has to be a sign that something isn’t quite right. He said as long as they are somewhat formed, that it is ok.

    I guess I will just keep things as they are for the moment and hope that he starts to regulate on this food. I do have an appointment to see a new Holistic Vet in a few weeks, so it will be interesting to see what he has to say about diet.

    #93405 Report Abuse

    “I did ask the vet about the excessive pooping, and he said he didn’t want to change anything at the moment because he has put on a little weight (he needs to gain a few pounds) and has more energy. I do agree that those are positive things, but pooping that much (8 times yesterday!) has to be a sign that something isn’t quite right. He said as long as they are somewhat formed, that it is ok”.

    The dog is responding to treatment, I don’t understand why you need to consult another vet.
    BTW: holistic doesn’t mean the same thing as homeopathic. Many traditional vets consider themselves “holistic”.
    Some dogs tend to have more frequent bowel movements than others, I have a 9 pound dog that goes about 4 times a day, a 20 pound dog that goes twice a day. They are on pretty much the same diet, in fact the 9 pound dog eats almost as much as the 20 pound dog, if I feed her less she loses weight (she is slender, naturally)
    In my experience grain-free foods do cause more frequent bowel movements, maybe you should reconsider the prescription food, at least until the dog is stable.

    #93407 Report Abuse

    I just looked at your first post, he is only 6 months old! They poop several times a day (normal), he’s a puppy. I would give it a little more time.

    #93408 Report Abuse

    Hi Jan D-
    I can also relate to your situation as my pups both had several rounds of medication for Giardia. It was a tough case where they kept giving it back and forth. And yes, their tummies were messed up for months! Metronidazole is a strong antibiotic that helps kill parasites and bacteria, but unfortunately also kills the good bacteria. Here is some info: http://www.akc.org/content/health/articles/metronidazole-for-dogs/

    I would feed the prescription food for a while to help heal the tummy as you mentioned in an earlier post. I don’t think it will have to be a permanent diet. I used a few supplements that contain probiotics that I believe helped as well. You probably would NOT want to use these with prescription food, however. They are Vetri Science BD, Gastriplex, Perfect Form and/ or Forti Flora.

    The food that they finally did well on was Victor Grain Free Hero Formula. I can’t be certain it was the food or the fact that their tummies were finally getting better after so many rounds of Metronidazole and Panacur. But, I was ecstatic either way!! Oh yes, they also managed to get Coccidia in which they had to take meds for. 🙁

    Here is a site with some helpful info on healing tummies: http://www.dogaware.com Check out their digestive disorders section. I hope this is helpful. How is it going now?

    #93410 Report Abuse
    Kristen L

    Jan, 8 times a day loose stool is not normal, regardless of what they say. Something is going on. I was in your exact situation as I mentioned earlier. I kept going to the vet, but after 2-3 months, she was back to normal after the giarDia treatment. I don’t know what was going on, but she just got better. Luckily, it was just soft stool. She didn’t act sick at all. How long has your pup had loose stools AFTER her treatment? I’ve learned not to put too much confidence in the vets. Try a different limited ingredient, high quality, no grain food. It may not make a difference until the gut settles, but it COULD be the food isn’t helping.

    #93411 Report Abuse
    Kristen L

    Crazy4cats is correct. That makes sense for what happened with my girl. The meds killed the good bacteria. Good news is, they recover, but don’t do another treatment unless you know for certain your dog needs it. They don’t tell you how bad it is for them (the metronidazole). The panacur on amazon is safe though. Do that instead if needed. Victor is good food.

    #93459 Report Abuse
    Jan D

    No, it is not normal for him to be going 8 times a day. It was normal for him to go 3 times a day before the food switch. I do agree with you though, that grain free foods may produce more stools in some dogs. In my research I have found others saying that their dog experienced an increase after switching to TOTW.

    Crazy4cats, thank you for all the info. I think you and Kristen are right about the lack of good flora playing a huge part in this. He is on FortiFlora now, but I noticed there is only one strain (Enterococcus faecium) in it. I take Primal Defense, which are soil based probiotics, and have heard good things about it also helping dogs with gut issues/IBS. I may try to supplement with that as well.
    It is good to hear that your pups are now feeling better after their battle with giardia and gives me hope that my guy will get through this.

    #93474 Report Abuse

    Hi Jan D,
    I was looking thru my book for something else, I always write things down in a scrap book cause when I save important links later I don’t know what name it was saved under or where I saved it…
    I read your post about the Purina Fortifora has only 1 strain Enterococcus, I think that’s for a reason, I came across this, it was written when Patch had his Helicobacter & S.I.B.O & he wasn’t getting better no matter what I did, it says…
    Various strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus Salivarius inhabit the growth of Helicobacter bacteria in mice probably thru the production of Lactic acid…. so that’s probably why the Purina Fortiflora has only the 1 strain so these bad bacteria’s don’t double & take over making matter worse…….
    I remember Patches Gastrointestinal vet telling me, make sure you give Patch Prebiotics as well as the Probiotics…I never asked him why??
    I just read this, “Prebiotics support the growth of Probiotics which help keep bad bacteria under control in a dogs gut. By supporting the good Bacteria, Prebiotics help to prevent disease, improve digestion and nutrient absorption (especially minerals) and enhance the immune system”.. “…
    So these vet diets for Intestinal Health have these prebiotics in them to help fix the dogs intestinal tract, I wondered why when Patch ate the Hills I/d Digestive Care vet diet, he was all back to normal within 3 days, like it says on the vet diet bag BUT then after 6 days Patches Poos when down hill again, yellow & soft, I don’t know why this happened.. maybe food sensitivities??
    If your boy is still doing heaps of poos something isn’t right, just ring & ask the vet can you please try the Hills Vet Diet I/d Digestive care, the link is above… this way he’s getting the prebiotics as well as the Fortiflora probiotics…
    also read on the ingredient list for TOTW kibble bag that he’s eating at the moment or go on the TOTW web page mite be easier to read & read what “probiotics” are added to the kibble?? are they the Probiotics I wrote above??…. your boy poos should be getting smaller & less, not bigger & more, I remember when Patch was on the Eukanuba Intestinal, then a few years later the Hills I/d Digestive Care, Patches poos got smaller & smaller as the days pasted until they were just 2 small poos a day…..
    remember it’s not forever feeding a vet diet, like I said before maybe 6 months for his gut/bowel to heal & be healthy again…
    Gee this Giardia is a awful parasite…strips the bowel..

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