Diarrhea & Giardia Questions

Food, Fitness and how to keep them healthy.

Postby Playaplease813 » April 3rd, 2009, 5:17 pm

I switched Leos food about a week ago and he loves it...... I am still mixing it with his old food, he still has a little diarrhea but today there was a little blood in it. I don't know if he ate something outside, because yesterday he had a little vomit and today he had a little blood in his Diarrhea but when I first switched him he at least had a little bit of a stool anything I should be worried about?
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Postby Marinepits » April 3rd, 2009, 5:30 pm

What did he vomit up? Bile (yellow liquidy-foam), food (digested or undigested), or something else?

The blood could be because his intestinal tract is irritated from the diarrhea. How much diarrhea is he having, and how often?

How is his behaviour otherwise?
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Postby Dog_Shrink » April 3rd, 2009, 5:32 pm

The way I usually treat GI upset in my herd (and has worked pretty well) is this: *This is done once a day with thier first feeding of the day*
First sign of Diareah I treat with plain yougert (no flavor just plain). For my 120 lb dane he gets 3 tablespoons and so on down the scale... 60 pound lab 2 tblspoons, 30 lb boston 1 tblspoon. It helps restore the guts natural flora and generally alleviates diareah with in 24 hours.
Second- I add a little canoil oil or bacon grease to their food to kind of "grease the tracks" a bit if they had ingested anything it helps it pass. Usually you see blood streaked diareah if the intestinal tract is inflamed. I recently had a neighbor tell me a story where she gave her tibetian spaniel and cock-a-poo cookies with bits of greenies flaked in them and the cock-a-poo had bloody stool the next 2 days. Usually 1 tblspoon for the dane and so on down the ranks and size. Don't over do it with the oils though because of course it could increase the diareah.
Third- I add some old fashioned oats to their kibble to act as a binding agent and absorb extra GI fluids. (much like switching a dog to a hamburger and rice bland diet like most vets recommend. Personally I think the dietary changes going from bland back to regular diet causes MY guys more GI upset than trying my techniques) The dane gets a half cup of oats per 3 cups of kibble.

If after 48 hours I don't see any improvements such as partially formed poo or change in color, texture, frequency, OR if vomiting persists or worsens or smells like fecal matter, then it's off to the vet. If your dog vomits wait at least a half hour before offering food (and some say even water), but I sometimes offer a couple of banana slices to help boost potassium lost through dehydration, and honestly it's the only thing I can keep down after I vomit :)

This has worked for my guys for at least 10 years and it doesn't cramp them up like some other methods can. Unless you have obvious concern of a blockage (bloody stool worsens or vomit smells like poo) don't hesitate for a second to get the dog to the vet, or you're certain it isn't something like Giardia or coccidia (which can also cause bloody stool) I'd try this first.
Last edited by Dog_Shrink on April 3rd, 2009, 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Dog_Shrink » April 3rd, 2009, 5:35 pm

Here is an article I had written on the benifits of Probiotics and your dog. Maybe it can help.

Canine Health Spotlight

Probiotics: Good Bacteria
By
Kellee ****


If you’re the owner of a Boston Terrier or another little gas filled pooch, or if you have a dog that has a sensitive stomach, irregular bowl and frequent constipation or diarrhea listen up…there is help at the end of that gas riddled trail and hope for the pooch, and their human companion, with the most stubborn digestive tract. No it’s not some new magical pharmaceutical pill it’s an all natural substance called Probiotics.

What is a probiotic? The word "Probiotic" means "for life." Probiotics are beneficial bacteria, or good bacteria, that actually can help strengthen the body's natural defenses, and help restore the appropriate balance of healthy bacteria. To facilitate good health, live digestive plant enzymes assist your pet’s digestion and absorption of essential nutrients; they control harmful bacteria. Dried streptococcus, faccium fermentation product, dried lactobacillus, Acidophilus Fermentation product, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation product, Dried Saccharomyces cervisiae permentation product are all forms of probiotics.

To understand more about probiotics, let’s take a look at Prebiotics… Prebiotics are a category of functional food, defined as non-digestible food ingredients that beneficially affect the host by selectively stimulating the growth and/or activity of one or a limited number of bacteria in the colon, and thus improve host health. Most potential prebiotics are carbohydrates such as oligosaccharides, but the definition does not exclude the use of non-carbohydrates as prebiotics. The definition does not emphasize a specific bacterial group. Often, however, it is assumed that a prebiotic should increase the number and/or activity of bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria, probiotics, as these groups of bacteria are claimed to have several beneficial effects on the host. Typical dietary sources of prebiotics are soybeans, Jerusalem artichokes (which contain inulin), raw oats, unrefined wheat and unrefined barley.

Probiotics help with intestinal balance because the basic makeup of intestinal bacteria was established very early in life. You may not realize that bacteria are continually introduced into the body as a normal part of daily life. However, at times, the result is a cascading effect that ends in noticeable digestive upset as the body attempts to return to its normally balanced state. The goal of a probiotic supplement is to maintain the optimal bacterial balance and provide a natural defense against this cascading effect. Common factors that can disrupt the digestive balance are changes in diet or surroundings, levels of stress, illness, and the use of some medications, particularly antibiotics. New research has found that individuals or pets who suffer from frequent digestive upsets, such as people who are diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), may have a pronounced disruption of bacterial balance, which is thought to contribute to their symptoms.

Some of the potential benefits that have been assisted by the use of probiotics are: managing lactose intolerance, prevention of colon cancer, cholesterol lowering, lowering blood pressure, improving immune function and preventing infections, reducing inflammation, improving mineral absorption, prevents harmful bacterial growth under stress, irritable bowel syndrome and colitis.
There is no published evidence that probiotic supplements are able to replace the body’s natural flora when these have been killed off. Bacterial levels in feces disappear within days when supplementation ceases. There is evidence, however, that probiotics do form beneficial temporarycolonies which may assist the body in the same functions as the natural flora, while allowing the natural flora time to recover from depletion. The probiotic strains are then progressively replaced by a naturally developed gut flora. Hence, probiotics have been defined as correctives of the ecoorgan. If the conditions which originally caused damage to the natural gut flora persist, the benefits obtained from probiotic supplements will be short lived.

Some of the products that are available to the public to suppliment probiotics in your pet are Gentle Digest , Natural Probiotic for Pets, available at http://www.herbalremedies.com/natural-pet-digest.html, Total-Biotics available at http://www.petenzymes.com, Ultra probiotic powder available at http://b-naturals.com, and Ration Plus™ Supplements for Dogs available at PetSmart. I have personally not tested the effects of any of these products on my pets, but do believe in the benefits they can provide especially to the aging or ill dog or cat in your household. I can not endorse the reliability of these products, it is best to research them yourself and make an educated decision.

Any questions regarding the use of probiotics can be e-mailed to C_K-9_C@hotmail.com
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Postby Playaplease813 » April 3rd, 2009, 5:41 pm

when he vomited it was digested food and he only had a little diarrhea today with the blood in it but before the bloody diarrhea he had a soft stool at the park when I walked him
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Postby Marinepits » April 3rd, 2009, 5:50 pm

Soft poo, like soft-serve ice cream? Has he had any normal poo since the food switch?
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Postby Dog_Shrink » April 3rd, 2009, 6:06 pm

If it is somewhat formed poo like soft serve ice cream tinged with blood that could also be a touch of colitis, which is basically another GI inflamation. The poo would also look like it had a slight slime coating to it possibly also with milky streaks in the mucus.

Since you walk in the park (higher exposure to cysts), and have had your dog on the new food for over a week (he should be adjusted) and you're still seeing signs of GI upset you might want to rule out coccidia and giardia. All signs seem to point me towards that direction. Your vet will tell you how to test for that. Make sure you take in multipul poo samples from over the course of a few days because dogs do not shed the cysts in every poo and it can be missed. You could still also start seeing some of the symptoms of colitis as well since it is also a GI inflamation issue (gi could be inflamed from the Giardia or coccidia and all that subsequent straining to poo).

Good news is you can still use the feeding recommendations I suggested to help aide in the healing process. Or just let it go another day or 2 and "wait and see" just remember it is the weekend and e-vets are pricy.
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Postby Playaplease813 » April 3rd, 2009, 7:15 pm

yes he did have normal poo like the third day of food change but then it went back to that ice cream look and today I saw that milk type slime you just mentioned but it was a little green like he ate some grass or something I am going to check it tonight when I take him for his next walk
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Postby Playaplease813 » April 3rd, 2009, 7:23 pm

Also this has only started happing since I have changed his food and ever since I have got him I take him to the park at least 1 time a day when I get home from school... also he was on Pedigree which wasnt the best of food but that is all I could get but now since I did my research it came out to be the same price just in one lump sum... Do you think that the food is to Rich that is why he is getting like this, and it takes time to overcome?
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Postby Marinepits » April 3rd, 2009, 7:46 pm

Playaplease813 wrote:Do you think that the food is to Rich that is why he is getting like this, and it takes time to overcome?


It could be. Try backing off the new food gradually and add in more of the old food to see if his poo issues resolve. If so, then you may have to try a different "new" food.

If his poo issues don't resolve, then I would definitely get his poo tested at the vet to rule out anything like parasites, giardia, etc.

Has he had any new foods in addition to the new kibble?
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Postby Playaplease813 » April 3rd, 2009, 7:52 pm

No he was only on the pedigree but if it doesnt change in the next couple of days I am going to take him to the vet
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Postby Playaplease813 » April 3rd, 2009, 9:07 pm

I was reading up on Giardia and they said it was an easy fix, and I read that the vet is going to give me Metronidazole 250mg that is found in Fish Zole on LVS
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Postby Playaplease813 » April 3rd, 2009, 9:14 pm

now that I have just posted that medication rang a bell in my head I just read through leos binder of vet bills and I saw that when he got bit that the vet prescribed Metronidazole 250 mg to leo when he got bit along with another medication
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Postby Marinepits » April 3rd, 2009, 9:24 pm

What was the other medication he was given at the same time he had the Metronidazole (when he was bitten)?
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Postby Playaplease813 » April 3rd, 2009, 9:28 pm

It is called the Antibiotic, Skin, Standard Package
Clavamox 375mg
Metronidazole 250mg
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Postby Dog_Shrink » April 4th, 2009, 3:18 pm

Giardia and coccidia are not just "easy fixes". Here is an article I wrote about it:

Canine Health Spotlight
Giardia
By
Kellee ****

Giardia, pronounced GEE-are-DYE-uh, are protozoa that live in the small intestine of dogs and cats. Giardia is found throughout the United States and in many other parts of the world. Infection with Giardia is called 'Giardiasis.' There are many unknowns about this parasite ranging from how many different species there are and which of these species affects our pets. The life cycle is unknown and veterinarians conflict on how common Giardia infections are and when they should be treated. Unlike other parasitic organisms that invade our pets, Giardia can also infect Humans and should be taken very seriously if diagnosed by your vet. It has been observed that as little as 10 cysts can cause disease in humans.
Giardias are self reproducing organisms that divide to increase their numbers and generally afflict young dogs under the age of 6 months or dogs that have an immune deficiency. Like most parasites they depend on being able to overcome the dog’s defense against infection either by its virulence or by the sheer numbers of the organism becoming established. A dog becomes infected by eating the cyst form of the parasite. In the small intestine, the cyst opens and releases an active form called a trophozoite. They attach to the intestinal wall and reproduce by dividing in two. After an unknown number of divisions, this form develops a wall around itself (encysts) and is passed in the feces. The Giardia in the feces can contaminate the environment, water, and infect other animals or people.
The most common symptom of Giardia is diarrhea. Usually infected animals will not lose their appetite, but may lose weight. The feces are often abnormal, being pale, having a bad odor, and appearing greasy. In the intestine, Giardia prevents proper absorption of nutrients, damages the intestinal lining, and interferes with digestion. Surveys have shown that about 14% of adult dogs and over 30% of dogs under 1 year of age were infected. Once passed the cysts can survive several months in cold weather, and are infective as soon as they are passed. Onset of symptoms is approximately 13 days after ingestion. Without treatment the condition may occur chronically or intermittently, for weeks or months.
Diagnosis is based on demonstration of the infection and the elimination of other possible causes of diarrhea such as Salmonella or Campylobacter. Giardia cysts may be observed directly in fecal samples or indirectly using an ELISA technique. The ELISA technique requires a kit and some method of reading a color change or production of fluorescence. Studies examining the reliability of some immunoflourescent kits have found them to be over 90% accurate, with relatively few false results, however, the tests are costly and probably only worthwhile where there are a large number of samples to be processed and a technician who is familiar with carrying out ELISAS. Direct examination of feces, using zinc sulphate centrifugal flotation, followed by staining the supernatant with Lugol's iodine, has been found to be up to 70% effective at detecting infection from a single fecal sample. The cyst output is variable so the detection rate may be improved by pooling fecal samples collected over three days. Fecal examination is the cheapest method but is time consuming and requires an experienced technician for reliable results.
There are several treatments for giardiasis although some have not been FDA-approved for that use in dogs. Fenbendazole is an anti-parasitic drug that kills some intestinal worms and can help control Giardia. It may be used alone or with metronidazole.
Metronidazole can kill some types of bacteria that cause diarrhea, but it has been found to be only 60-70% effective in eliminating Giardia from dogs. It can cause liver damage and birth defects in pregnant dogs and has a very bitter taste usually resented by pets.
The easiest way to prevent Giardia from spreading is to clean and treat the affected animals, and disinfect the area with a Quaternary ammonium disinfectant used according to manufacturer's directions or a 1:5 or 1:10 solution of bleach can usually kill the cysts within twenty minutes. Allow the area to dry for several days before reintroducing the animals. Use extreme caution when using quaternary ammonium compounds and bleach solutions. Use proper ventilation, gloves, protective clothing and follow your veterinarian's recommendations. Remember, Giardia of dogs may infect people, so good personal hygiene should be used by adults when cleaning kennels or picking up the yard, and by children who may play with pets or in potentially contaminated areas.

Comments or questions can be E-Mailed to C_K-9_C@hotmail.com
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Postby Playaplease813 » April 4th, 2009, 3:28 pm

I did what you said marinepits I put more old food in with his new food and I got two fresh stools today I am going to still keep an eye on it still but I think that was the problem
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Postby Marinepits » April 4th, 2009, 4:18 pm

:woowoo: For more solid poops!
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Postby mnp13 » April 4th, 2009, 5:24 pm

Dog Shrink, are you a vet? I'm just curious as to where those articles are from?
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Postby blabsforbullies » April 4th, 2009, 5:42 pm

mnp13 wrote:Dog Shrink, are you a vet? I'm just curious as to where those articles are from?


Me too. :D
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