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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Whiskey is just shy of 7 months old, and has been home for 3 months now (how time flies) but we've been having issues with his stool consistency this whole time.

Warning, long post..

I am not proud of where I got Whiskey from, he was a pet shop puppy, who I later found out, after much digging and research on his "passport", was a puppy mill puppy. However, you have to understand, in my country, there are no breeders of Spoos, heck I am surprised when I meet one on a walk, they are that rare. Also, I did do my research, tried to do all the puppy testing before I bought him. Asked all the questions about his background, and was told he is from a reputable, ethical, trustable overseas breeder who had health tested parents (hips). At his first vet visit, I was told he has a full tail, but it was so short. We did an X-ray, he had 2 kinks in his tail, probably genetic but the good news was his hips looked great.

The only problem was, since he came home, he had been having cow patty type stools, runny stools, mucous-y stools on and off. He would have a few days of good poo, then a few that were terrible, always a large dollop even for his size. Our vet gave him 2 rounds of antibiotics in case it was giardia or some other parasite. It didn't work. I changed his food from kibble to home-cooked, that worked for a while, his poops were waaaay less and less runny. Then it started up again. We changed him over to raw because Bailey was doing so well on it. It worked for a while too, after the initial few days. He even had those smaller poops that raw fed dogs were having, for a day or two. Then the diarrhea returned again. Went to the vet, got another round of antibiotics and all that.

2 weeks ago, he was diagnosed to have suspected pancreatitis based on some bloodwork. But even after the supplements and the special food, the diarrhea still has not cleared.

Last night, we went in again because he stools were still soft and runny despite taking anti-diarrheal pills morning and night for 5 days. We are told that it could be EPI (Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency?), bloodwork was done and results will only be out in a week's time.

His nutritionist (we are on a subscribed raw diet with very good support from their team) thinks that it's an internal parasite more than pancreatitis and asked us to get a second opinion from a vet that approves of the raw diet (their raw diet specifically). They also told us to stop the monthly dewormers.

Has anyone experienced chronic diarrhea in a spoo before?
Should we go for the second opinion? Or should we wait for the blood test results?
 

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Pogo had bouts of diarrhea during his final cancer, and Galen had a bad bout right after Xmas. My vet treated both the same way.
1) Put them on metronidazole (an antibiotic that is also used to treat the giardia parasite).
2) Put them on a probiotic supplement to try to restore some of the gut flora that got nuked by the antibiotic
3) Had me keep them on a mixture of ground beef or ground turkey and rice for a week.
4) When the diarrhea persisted had me switch to a hydrolyzed protein diet made by Royal Canin.

Standard Poodles have a higher than average tendency to allergies and immune issues. These can show up as digestive problems. A raw diet is of no benefit if the dog happens to be allergic to one of the meats used in the preparation. In a hydrolyzed protein kibble the protein is processed to the point where the immune system (hopefully) no longer recognizes it as an allergen.
 

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I am so sorry you're going through this! Diarrhea can have so many different causes, and it can be a real pain to narrow it down to one.

As long as Whiskey is doing well at home, with a good energy level and appetite, I would hold off on a second opinion until the test results are back (as long as your vet was correct that it would only take a week). Was trypsin-like immunoreactivity (TLI) the test they sent off? If so, if the result comes back below the reference value, it would be diagnostic for exocrine pancreatic insufficiency and you would be able to begin treatment.

Do you happen to know which other tests Whiskey has gotten? For instance, there is a specific test for giardia that may be helpful in determining if he has a resistant or difficult to clear infection, as this protozoa can be hard to identify on a fecal exam. There are also a couple of tests for pancreatitis that are more sensitive that a simple serum chemistry (although that can certainly provide supportive evidence).

Should the TLI come back positive for EPI, you would have at least a partial answer. If it is negative, that would be another piece of information you would be able to bring with you should you decide to seek a second opinion. I do not think you would be wrong to do so at all, especially if your current vet is running out of ideas.

I will echo what cowpony has said and emphasize the benefit of a good probiotic. If a dog has a food allergy, it is more likely for him to be allergic to a protein source rather than a grain, so a true elimination trial with hydrolyzed protein kibble is the best way to diagnose the allergy.

There is a whole battery of tests out there to run in chronic diarrhea cases, so I cannot imagine how frustrating this must be for you. Please keep us updated on how Whiskey is doing! He's such a cute pup.
 

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4) When the diarrhea persisted had me switch to a hydrolyzed protein diet made by Royal Canin.
Standard Poodles have a higher than average tendency to allergies and immune issues. These can show up as digestive problems. A raw diet is of no benefit if the dog happens to be allergic to one of the meats used in the preparation. In a hydrolyzed protein kibble the protein is processed to the point where the immune system (hopefully) no longer recognizes it as an allergen.
This is really good dog food. It comes in a small, medium and large size bites, sold at Amazon and chewy.com. This is for a 17 lb bag.

475841


I've been using Royal Canine Puppy Dry kibble for at least year, and my toy poodles never had diarrhea since then. It's also the only dry food one of them has ever liked. I also feed them baked or boiled chicken too, but you might want to use only a little of this until your poodle's stomach settles down.

Also ask your vet if the BRAT diet (little mix of bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast) with a little unseasoned boiled chicken would be helpful.
 

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He may have trichuriasis, a parasite. From the CDC:

Anthelminthic medications (drugs that rid the body of parasitic worms), such as albendazole and mebendazole, are the drugs of choice for treatment. Infections are generally treated for 3 days. The recommended medications are effective.
 

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Practicing in Singapore must present your vet with some unique challenges. My vet knows the normal diseases and parasites in our area; he sometimes has a "Wow, I've only read about that" reaction when dealing with some of the Sato and Wadi dogs imported by local rescues. Your vet must deal with so many more imports.
 

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I tried not to worry about poops too much as a puppy. Basil was trying a lot of new foods, treats, and eating a ton as growing puppy. It was healthy and fresh human dog appropiate foods like insta-pot chicken apples, carrots, eggs, bits of lean meat & kibble. If she was hydrated then her poops were more wet, so I knew there would be a lot of daily fluxuation. Her poop became more consistent as her growing slowed down around 9 months and we were done calibrating through that phase.

The PF community reassured me dogs have iron stomachs so I tried not to worry about little variances from the norm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the replies!!!!!

Standard Poodles have a higher than average tendency to allergies and immune issues. These can show up as digestive problems. A raw diet is of no benefit if the dog happens to be allergic to one of the meats used in the preparation. In a hydrolyzed protein kibble the protein is processed to the point where the immune system (hopefully) no longer recognizes it as an allergen.
Oh! I didn't know this...I agree, I feel the raw isn't doing him much good and so we have followed the nutritionist's updated advice to cook the beef for him. They think he is allergic to beef (Bailey is allergic to chicken and lamb too, means I am now down 3 protein options because they love sniffing and sharing their dinners).
We are also only giving him the prescribed diet (Hill's Science i/d? - chicken flavoured so we need to keep Bailey away during his meal time..)

Do you happen to know which other tests Whiskey has gotten? For instance, there is a specific test for giardia that may be helpful in determining if he has a resistant or difficult to clear infection, as this protozoa can be hard to identify on a fecal exam. There are also a couple of tests for pancreatitis that are more sensitive that a simple serum chemistry (although that can certainly provide supportive evidence).
The vet is reluctant to do the test for giardia/ clostridium because they insist that it can't be as they have already treated that with antibiotics for about 3 rounds.
He's had a full bloodwork done, everything came back normal (platelets were slightly low but it was determined to be a collection error, blood urea nitrogen was also very very slightly elevated but that seems to be high in raw fed dogs according to the vet due to the amount of proteins).
He had a cPLi test where the results pointed to suspected pancreatitis right before our "final exams" for his puppy class.
Now he's getting a TLI test along with some other enzyme levels in the blood (cannot remember) and the results will take about a week as it is done in a lab.

Practicing in Singapore must present your vet with some unique challenges. My vet knows the normal diseases and parasites in our area; he sometimes has a "Wow, I've only read about that" reaction when dealing with some of the Sato and Wadi dogs imported by local rescues. Your vet must deal with so many more imports.
Most dogs here (now at least) are imports. My family sometimes jokes that Whiskey is ill because he is a foreign dog and has yet to adapt to Singapore, our culture, and most importantly the food :ROFLMAO:

I tried not to worry about poops too much as a puppy. Basil was trying a lot of new foods, treats, and eating a ton as growing puppy. It was healthy and fresh human dog appropriate foods like insta-pot chicken apples, carrots, eggs, bits of lean meat & kibble. If she was hydrated then her poops were more wet, so I knew there would be a lot of daily fluxuation. Her poop became more consistent as her growing slowed down around 9 months and we were done calibrating through that phase.

The PF community reassured me dogs have iron stomachs so I tried not to worry about little variances from the norm.
Thanks for this!!! I really needed this assurance.... Between my exams for being a trained sped teacher, life and Whiskey, I was getting way overwhelmed and stressed.. I was upset about losing the dog I wanted, one that would share my food with me, help me finish my veggies (we eat boiled veg at home, no seasoning :sick: the dogs have always loved it though). I was even more upset that I thought got an unhealthy dog because I didn't get one from a good breeder (I tried, no one wanted to send a puppy all the way here...)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Also a quick update on Whiskey,
We finally had a night where we don't wake up to explosive poop all over the pen and Whiskey!!! 🥳 There were some cow patty poops but that just landed on a pee pad which Whiskey avoided. Phew. He then went on to have a normal-ish poop at his normal timing this morning.

I think the cooking of the beef and the prescribed diet are finally kicking in. Previously we did try giving him the prescribed diet but it made the diarrhea worse. Maybe he really isn't suited for a raw diet at this moment.....

Here he is chillin' on Dad's chair after having a good night :)
475866
 

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My bully (byb), never had a good gut. He always had the worst gas, and many times had the cow patty poos as you’ve described, as well as explosive poops all over the crate (as well as the walls and floor) 🤦‍♀️ He did best on the chicken soup for the soul dog food. We tried many, many kinds and always came back to it. He just had a very sensitive gut.
 

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Also a quick update on Whiskey,
We finally had a night where we don't wake up to explosive poop all over the pen and Whiskey!!! There were some cow patty poops but that just landed on a pee pad which Whiskey avoided. Phew. He then went on to have a normal-ish poop at his normal timing this morning.

I think the cooking of the beef and the prescribed diet are finally kicking in. Previously we did try giving him the prescribed diet but it made the diarrhea worse. Maybe he really isn't suited for a raw diet at this moment.....

Here he is chillin' on Dad's chair after having a good night :)
View attachment 475866
cute picture! Is he aiming at you (with the poo)!?
 

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I have had good results with Royal Canin Sensitivity canned, and with Pro-Kolin Enterogenic sachets, if they are available where you are. Apart from Sophy and turkey my dogs don't seem to have and specific intolerances, but Poppy has always had a problem with anything more than minimal levels of fat. The sensitivity diet has worked well for both of them when diarrhoea lasts more than a day - Poppy is now on a special hepatic diet, but I always keep a few cans in the cupboard for Sophy. The pre- and pro-biotic has been helpful keeping Poppy's digestion going despite her liver failure - it took 6-8 weeks to take effect, and it may simply be coincidence and wishful thinking on my part that it works, but, as you will know all too well, after several months of things that go splat in the night one is prepared to try anything that might help and won't harm!
 

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Misha has always been fed raw but I've experienced plenty of diarrhea through trial and error. He needs a higher bone percentage of around 15% and a low fat diet to have the best poops. Too much fat also triggers acid reflux for him. Has your nutritionist played around with percentages like this to see if he needs something a bit different from the general percentages? When feeding raw people generally find that individual dogs need slightly different diets. Some dogs could eat a dinner of entirely liver and still have good poop... but others will get the squirts if their percentage is off by 5%. To get Misha over a recent acid reflux bout (My fault for giving him a pre-made with too much fat) we have done chicken breast, tripe, and chicken wings with the skin removed. Not a balanced diet but good to let his stomach recover. I would be interested to see how your dog would do with very simple meals like this. When you simplify things it is easier to experiment with percentages to figure out what works and then you can implement that in a balanced diet.

But it may be a systemic issue since the problem seems to be there no matter what you feed.
 

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I haven't seen it mentioned in the thread but is there any chance Whiskey has picked up/been exposed to coccidia?

Easy (relatively) way to distinguish between the two is to look at the "stools". (Solid or liquid.)
If there's blood or mucous involved, along with gas or vomiting, it could be giardia.
If they are watery and reek to high heaven, it could be coccidia.
(Of course it could be many other things as well so it's best to get the advise of a good vet.)

I've run into coccidia more often than I'd like. (Could be picking it up from the ground outside.)
In the past treatment for dogs has been limited to S-125 or other sulfa based antibiotics.
Personally, I found them not very effective.

More recently people have been treating them with Baycox as an "off label" application. (It's for horses.)
It's VERY effective in my opinion and I have never heard of it harming a dog.

Baycox is the actual Bayer product. It's also sold in a generic form called Torturzuril.
It's an actual coccidiocide that kills the protozoa that causes it. (It's not a bacteria which is why sulfa drugs aren't that effective.)

I'm not sure if links are allowed for things like this but google Baycox or Torturzuril and you'll find places to buy it.
The Bayer Brand one is pretty expensive in the US. The Torturzuril is cheaper.
And Bayer's prices vary widely depending on the country they're selling it in.
I get it from a worldwide vet supply house in Bulgaria. (The actual Bayer brand.) Downside is it takes 2-3 weeks to get here.
Be careful of the dosage. 5% strength is around 2ml for a 12lb dog. 5ml for a 30lb dog.

THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVISE. IT'S JUST MY OWN EXPERIENCE. TALK TO YOUR VET.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Has your nutritionist played around with percentages like this to see if he needs something a bit different from the general percentages? When feeding raw people generally find that individual dogs need slightly different diets.
I'll definitely be discussing this further with his nutritionist, thanks for pointing this out! I am new to Raw feeding and it didn't even occur to me that different dogs needed different percentages..

I haven't seen it mentioned in the thread but is there any chance Whiskey has picked up/been exposed to coccidia?
His poops smelled sour-ish(?), apart from the stink, there was a fermented smell. I did mention coccidia to the vet but they were reluctant to test for it as they say they've already treated for it. Personally, I think it's because the test they have is not quite so accurate and they don't want to have to refer me to a vet that can do the expensive testing (DNA analysis on poops). Vets are still a business after all, at least that's the case here..

We are still waiting anxiously on the test results for his blood enzyme levels...Now I am crazy researching EPI (it's unheard of in my circle of dog people)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I’ve been looking through his growth chart, his estimated weight seems to be pretty consistent using the online growth calculator and inputting his weights that are measured at the vet’s office. Not much of a “he’s not gaining weight as he should” as the vet said...now I’m wondering if it really is EPI or a parasitic infection.. I guess only the blood test will tell..
475906

don’t mind the variance in estimated height, that I put down to human error.
 

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I'll definitely be discussing this further with his nutritionist, thanks for pointing this out! I am new to Raw feeding and it didn't even occur to me that different dogs needed different percentages..


His poops smelled sour-ish(?), apart from the stink, there was a fermented smell. I did mention coccidia to the vet but they were reluctant to test for it as they say they've already treated for it. Personally, I think it's because the test they have is not quite so accurate and they don't want to have to refer me to a vet that can do the expensive testing (DNA analysis on poops). Vets are still a business after all, at least that's the case here..

We are still waiting anxiously on the test results for his blood enzyme levels...Now I am crazy researching EPI (it's unheard of in my circle of dog people)
It could be very helpful to lower fat and increase bone in his diet (if feeding raw) as these are two things that should reduce loose stools. I tried feeding Misha pre made diets when he was young but he just couldn't handle only 10% bone which is the standard. Feeding softer bones that are ground also helps him, and you can also reduce rich meats in favor of those that are not so nutrient dense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well I must have jinxed myself. Whiskey has not pooped in almost 48 hours....not even a tiny lump even though we stopped the anti diarrheal medication when it was less runny and more like splats :unsure:
 
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