One of the most common reasons we take our dog to visit the veterinarian is for diarrhea – with or without vomiting. What causes diarrhea is also one of the most common questions asked on my Facebook page, K9Nutrition. Symptoms may include loose stools, projectile diarrhea, mucus and occasionally red blood tinged stools. Oftentimes, veterinarians will prescribe anti-inflammatory antibiotics, such as metronidazole or Tylan, and suggest a bland diet. As the antibiotic treatment proceeds the dog gets better, but in many cases, the symptoms return and you head back to the vet for another round of treatment. Repeated use of either of these antibiotics can cause antibiotic resistance and continued use of metronidazole can cause neurological problems.
So, What can you do?
It is always important to take your dog to your veterinarian in cases of prolonged diarrhea and/or vomiting. These two problems can cause dehydration. Blood work is needed to look for the underlying cause and sometimes radiographs will be taken to make sure there is not a blockage. Frequent and prolonged diarrhea causes inflammation of the digestive tract and digestive tract lining and it can take time to heal these and get the dog back on the right track. If there is no hard and fast reason your dog has prolonged diarrhea, there are some steps you can take to try and help this situation. These include:
All three of these ingredients are in the Berte’s Digestion Blend. This powdered blend can be added to each meal. I suggest starting at half dose and slowly work up to full dose over the course of a week or two. Generally, this supplement will be needed for at least 3 months. Some dogs may need this supplement longer depending on the severity of the problem and how long the digestive lining has been inflamed.
Various things may cause irritation of the digestion tract lining. Sometimes it is an autoimmune response to stress, surgery, long term boarding or illness. Occasionally some dogs will react to a dry dog food diet that contains no moisture. This diet can be irritating to the stomach and small intestine and symptoms arise when the dog cannot tolerate the dry food any longer. Some dogs may have had a previous blockage, from a toy or other foreign object, which can cause scar tissue or adhesions in the intestines. Dogs that had digestive insults as a puppy, such as parvo, distemper, etc., may also develop digestive issues later on.
Feeding a moist diet in smaller, more frequent meals, is extremely helpful. Adding the Berte’s Digestion Blend, which contains probiotics, animal-based digestive enzymes and l-glutamine will help heal the digestive tract lining permanently.
Remember, healing your dog’s digestive tract can take several weeks – and sometimes several months. Your dog may improve for a while and then have another occurrence of loose stools. Then he will improve again and probably have another setback in a week or so. But after a few weeks, you should see steady improvement! It takes patience and perseverance, but it will pay off in the long run! Be sure to always have your veterinarian follow up with a full work-up of blood values and an examination if your dog’s condition does not improve. A correct diagnosis is always worth its weight in gold when it comes to deciding treatment options!
It is wonderful to see that Spring is finally here again! This is the time of year when you need to be sure to check your dogs carefully for fleas and ticks and remember to check their ears as summer approaches. Warm and wet weather can bring on yeast and other ear problems! One good all-purpose ear cleaner and rinse after bathing is a solution of three-quarters water and one-quarter vinegar. Do not flood the ears; simply wipe out the ears with this solution.