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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 16, 2006
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    Default Dog with sensitive stomach? or I'm tired of cleaning up crap

    Here's the story: We have a yellow Lab who just turned 6 this spring. We've had him since he was a puppy and he has ALWAYS had intermittent issues with upset stomach. He stays outside during the day in a fenced backyard and inside at night. We have on multiple occasions been awakened in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning to a poop explosion. The poop starts out solid but then turns into a watery diarrhea mess - which wouldn't be so bad if he would stay in one spot but he runs through the house as he does it It's the worst stuff I've ever smelled. It's almost always a one shot deal and he doesn't have any lingering issues.

    He's been on the same food for the last several years - Chicken Soup for the Dog Lovers Soul - and he doesn't get table scraps. He's had this issue regardless of the type of food he's fed. The only treats he gets are Milkbones. He eats a lot of grass in the yard and often snacks on deer/rabbit poop. Fecals at the vet always turn up negative. He's on regular Heartgard and I've even treated all the dogs with Panacur a few times for fear of parasites, even though they've all always come up clean (I have 4 dogs). I've tried feeding him yogurt and it seemed to give him loose stools, so I stopped.

    WHAT could be causing this??? DH and I are at our wits end with cleaning up this stuff and having him ruin carpets and area rugs. I'm going to call the vet later to make another appointment for him - he's due for annual shots anyways. Any suggestions or advice is greatly appreciated.
    "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

    Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2004
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    masshole
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    Default

    Why don't you try a different food? Or try a bland diet (boiled ground beef and rice) and see if it improves to rule out dietary issues.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 20, 2010
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    Upstate New York
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    My Irish Wolfhound can be a finicky eater with a sensitive stomach. We got her ok on one food, and then had to switch to her current, Dick Van Pattens Natural Balance - however now the one consistent factor to her having bouts of diarrhea is drinking from the back yard creek, or stream next to our seasonal road - or when we go out on our favorite trail which has an enormous pond and she merely laps at the grass - in all cases, when the problem appears, we've suspected and treated for Giardia. We've basically figured it is in those areas. And for a dog with a sensitive stomach like ours, maybe yours is prone to reacting more than others? I would suspect the deer and rabbit poop could be targets, as well - if not for Giardia, for whatever else they might contain.

    My vet has left me with a bottle of Metronidazole (Flagyl) - at the first sign of a problem, she gets one and that curtails any future issues. Even when it's hot out now, I won't let her drink from the ditch, but have her water with me, or on a short walk just have her wait til we get back in the house - and we have spring water - it's just not from the ditch! I'd make every effort to curtail Labby's consumption of others' poops...does he know "drop it!"? and also watch drinking from outdoor "natural" sources. Good luck!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 26, 2001
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    Toronto, Canada.
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    Hmm...if it only happens occasionally, and starts out solid - thats the typical "stress poop". Meaning....trying to hold it, but gotta go!!! Can you feed him "lunch" instead of dinner, then let him out last thing before you go to bed? If he;s otherwise fine on his dog food, I wouldnt think it would be that causing the rare soft stool.

    If its more frequent than once a month or so, maybe consider a vet visit for flagyl



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 16, 2006
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    SE Coastal NC
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    Thanks for the input so far. I've tried different foods (different proteins also) and the issue is still there. Problem is that it's VERY intermittent - as in he may go several months without having an issue - so it's really hard to pinpoint what might cause it.

    Would giardia cause continuous intestinal issues or could he be "expelling" the problem with his once-and-done bouts of diarrhea? And I know the deer/rabbit poop is not great for him to be eating but is it possible for him to eat it sometimes and have no issues but have problems at other times? I mean, it's out there ALL the time because of all the critters around my house so I know he's probably out there snacking on it pretty often. But he doesn't get the upset stomach as often as he's probably eating that stuff. I have no way of keeping him out of it unless I just crate him and the other boy dog all day in the house while I'm at work - which I'd really prefer not to do all the time if I don't have to

    Thanks for the help.
    "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

    Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 16, 2006
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    Oh my I just thought of something else!!

    This dog is an eater of inanimate objects We have to be really careful to keep things picked up in the yard that might look enticing to him. Plastic, wood, rocks, etc If he's eaten something, he usually throws it back up the next day or it goes out the other end. Is it possible that there is something in his stomach that won't pass one way or the other?? Granted, this has gone on for 4-5 years so I can't imagine the item would have stayed in there that long without causing other problems.
    "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

    Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 22, 2008
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    If it were my dog, I would first put him on a limited ingredient diet. The chicken soup food is good, but it has a lot of "stuff," any one of which could be giving him issues if he's sensitive to it.

    My in-laws' dog had similar trouble to yours, and finally they discovered that he seems to be intolerant of rice. They followed the vet's advice to give him a bland diet of chicken and - you guessed it - rice. For weeks. Poop EVERYWHERE.

    Finally they tried the Natural Balance LID foods - they went with sweet potato & fish. Lo and behold, solid poops. Nice shiny coat, too.

    If the vet hasn't found anything, the NB food (or other similar "allergy formula") might be worth a try?



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
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    Minnesota
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    Ayup, I'd also try the limited ingredient diet as Cita recommends.

    I'd also consider if perhaps someone ELSE is feeding him something over the fence while you're not home, or if he finds something outside every now and then. Is he fast enough to bring down a squirrel or a rabbit? I have a dog that DOES catch the bunnies occasionally. Thankfully, the only way I know is by the little piles of bunny fur in the yard...



  9. #9
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    Jun. 16, 2006
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    Thanks for the responses. We just got back from the vet and once again they couldn't find anything. Couldn't get a fecal because there was none to be had! I brought home a sample cup to try to get my own for them to test later. I just want to rule out everything we can - especially after someone mentioned giardia and I did some reading up on it. Vet gave us Amforol and Metocloprmide for the short term. However, I need a long term solution and not just a bandaid.

    I'll give the limited diet another shot. My Boston Terrier is actually already on the NB sweet potato and duck so it wouldn't be a big issue for me to put him on it too. Is it possible for them to have a food allergy that only causes a reaction every few months? It's hard to say for sure that he isn't having bouts of diarrhea when he's outside during the day (I think I would see the after effects in the yard though) but it really seems like he only gets this every 2-4 months.

    I really don't think they're eating critters. I've never seen squirrels around here and I think I would have found "residue" if they'd been killing rabbits or other small animals in the yard. Our neighbors next door are the only ones that socialize with our dogs and they only give them Milkbone treats too. The other neighbors are all hermits

    Thanks for the ideas - keep 'em coming!
    "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

    Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!



  10. #10
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    Nov. 20, 2010
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    Upstate New York
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    Our first bouts with Giardia were awful - especially when we went on "favorite trail". She was prescribed Flagyl for a week by city vet, and had it for several days, but we were also going through food issues at the same time. We haven't even been on that trail this year. But considering Giardia is also known as "beaver fever", and there's a big old beaver pond in those woods, we're playing safe.

    She has had solid stools becoming loose as well, so I think that could still be related.

    Now if she gets it from water on the hill, we can usually attack it with the first dose and she is fine almost immediately. Our first sign of trouble is her crying in the middle of the night to go because she is really very good, and in a good poop routine usually. There has been no positive for Giardia when taken by country vet, who I use more frequently now - but she says Giardia isn't always detected anyway, and just to treat for it. She has the best common sense of most vets I've known. We also travel alot, and I just keep a bottle of Flagyl in my purse. And since Labby is outside so much I would guess it could depend on which poop he picked up that day? Our girl is always accompanied outside - too much acreage and no fencing!



  11. #11
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    If there is any chance at all that the issue is allergies, I'd nix the milkbones, too. They are full of crap.

    A log might not be a bad idea--just note how he ate and what he ate and how he feels every day. Perhaps there's some subtle common thread that is usually overlooked in the day to day but would stand out if looking at a broad range.



  12. #12
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    Dec. 22, 2008
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    MA
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    Is the food you're feeding grain free? I'm pretty sure the Chicken Soup foods are not grain free. I would definitely give that a shot. My female pittie has bad food allergies, and we tried a couple different foods before going grain free. She has been on TOTW Prairie Formula for 3 years now and looks fabulous and hardly ever has digestive issues (she also has IBS).

    My other 2 dogs are on the same food and they also look great. We constantly get compliments on how gorgeous their coats are and what good shape they're in. They also all LOVE the food, drooling while waiting to be fed.



  13. #13
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    Sep. 7, 2009
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    Lexington, KY
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    Fecal...worms are a definite possibility, and a grain free diet. Sometimes they need more than a week of Flagyl. And, from experience, hookworms can be hard to find. We had the same experience for about a year...turned out (thanks to a new, very thorough vet) it was hookworms. Our old vet had him on Heartgard, which doesn't cover them.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  14. #14
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    Sep. 5, 2005
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    Mass.
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    I'm not going to comment on food or anything, but what I would try is changing the feeding routine if you can. Of course, I don't know if you're at home during the day or if you work, so this may not be practical. In any case - feed breakfast half an hour earlier, then either take him for a walk or run him around for half an hour till he poops. Then no food until dinner, which should also be earlier, and same exercise pattern. I think the goal is to get the dog "empty" as soon as possible after eating, so there is less chance of "OMG, emergency!"

    Good luck, it is a yucky problem.
    I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry



  15. #15
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    Jun. 16, 2006
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    Just double checked - Chicken Soup is not grain free but fortunately the grains are farther down on the ingredient list. I'll check into the grain free options available to me too. I think my pet food place has TOTW also and I know they carry the Natural Balance lines of food.

    I'm going to try to grab a fecal sample of my own this morning with the test kit the vet tech sent me home with and see if anything shows up.

    As far as feeding schedule, currently during the week they eat breakfast about 5:45am and then this dog and the other male go outside for the day. No time for walks in the morning unfortunately. DH and I both work and they get dinner around 6:30pm. We do try to get some walks in during the evening but not always successful (not enough hours in the day!). He often stays outside until about 8:30-9:00pm after dinner and gets turned out one more time around 10:00-10:30pm before bed.
    "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

    Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul. 26, 2001
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    Just a word of advice with grain free diets - yes, a LOT of dogs do well on it. But, if your dog doesnt have a grain intolerance, grains are not the route of all evil in all dogs. Try to rule it out with a food switch to grain-free, but you may find a food that has grain and higher in fibre to help you out if you notice no differece with grain-free..

    Also, if you have the money, invest in an abdominal ultrasound and scope. Bloodwork and radiographs wont show you IBD or peristaltic diseases. Certainly doesnt sound like its an immediate rush, but there could be a mild disease of the GI tract causing this.



  17. #17
    ebonyster Guest

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    Wow...I have this exact same issue...except I have three great danes!! And when great danes poop...they poop LARGE lol

    They'll be fine for a month, maybe even two...and then wham...one of them will have it. Never all at the same time though, it's completely random.

    I too have tried a dozen different foods (including TOTW) & have given up. I modified a garden shed & put them in there at night to sleep. I just can't take that in my house and can hose out the shed in the morning...



  18. #18
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    Dec. 20, 2007
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    814

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    My German Shepherd X has the most sensitive stomach ever, apparently Any change in diet, routine, or anything else that upsets her little world cause the most horrific smelling liquid poop explosions all over the house, the yard, on walks....etc She also had very bad gas most evenings (not unlike my BF....)

    We recently took her in to get checked out, and we found out she has some thyroid issues. We changed her food from a higher protein diet (Acana) and she is also now on thyroid meds, and so far, so good.

    I don't know if the thyroid contributed to the stomach issues directly, but it may be worth checking out



  19. #19
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    Jan. 10, 2006
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    Clemson, SC
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebonyster View Post
    Wow...I have this exact same issue...except I have three great danes!! And when great danes poop...they poop LARGE lol

    They'll be fine for a month, maybe even two...and then wham...one of them will have it. Never all at the same time though, it's completely random.

    I too have tried a dozen different foods (including TOTW) & have given up. I modified a garden shed & put them in there at night to sleep. I just can't take that in my house and can hose out the shed in the morning...
    My Dane has this too! No fun waking up to walls splattered with Dane poop. His was fairly often (at least once a month) until I put him on a limited ingredient diet for a few months. Once his GI system had a chance to heal itself I slowly put him on a good quality dog food. In the past year he's only had 2 accidents and they were 2 days in a row, so I think he got into something on the farm. He isn't diarrhea-free, he still gets random bouts of it fairly often, but it isn't bad enough that he has accidents.
    A lovely horse is always an experience.... It is an emotional experience of the kind that is spoiled by words. ~Beryl Markham



  20. #20
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    I'm glad to hear that we're not the only ones who deal with poop explosions in the house and I'm VERY glad that we don't deal with Great Dane sized poop explosions! Lab sized is bad enough so I can't imagine a worse scenario than that.
    "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

    Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!



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