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livelaughlove21's avatar

What to do about puppy diarrhea?

Asked by livelaughlove21 (14551 points ) February 13th, 2013 from iPhone

Our puppy is 13 weeks old. We got her at 6 weeks and purchased a bag of the food the shelter was feeding her. We ran out of that food about three weeks ago and couldn’t find the brand anywhere else.

We went to PetSmart and purchased a bag of Wellness puppy food, which is all natural and got great reviews.

Almost immediately, she started having diarrhea. I knew this could happen when food is switched suddenly, but I’m getting worried that it’s still happening.

We can’t find the old food in any close stores, so that’s not an option. I don’t want to start her on a new food and make it worse. The diarrhea is only at night and she’s acting like she feels fine otherwise.

Should we just keep an eye on her for changes? Or do we need to take her to the vet? I don’t want to pay for a visit just to have her say it’s the food.

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19 Answers

snowberry's avatar

First, has she had a parvo shot?

Second, puppies can dehydrate really quickly. You need to call your vet.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@snowberry She’s drinking water like crazy and I’m doing the skin pinch test and her skin goes right back to normal.

It’s not horribly bad diarrhea. Just once every night. No blood, no lethargy, no vomiting. She’s just as hyper and happy as ever.

Yes, she’s had her parvo vaccine, but I’m pretty certain she’d be a lot sicker than this if she had that.

marinelife's avatar

Take her to the vet right away, Diarrhea is very serious in puppies. It could be any number of things some serious some not. It might just be worms, but you need to get it checked out right away!

SpatzieLover's avatar

First of all, I agree with the recommendation to get her to the vet.

If the diarrhea is only once per day, and it’s just loose stool, then try adding in some Cheerios to her night time snack.

Please know that pet foods get recalled with great regularity now. You may want to follow Dog Food Advisor with your favorite social media to stay on top of it.

If this continues to be an issue, the vet may recommend you sprinkle a little fiber onto her food to bulk up her stools.

Generally, food changes should be gradual, just as they would be for any baby. If you can find the last food she was on, and that food was working for her, you should buy a bag to help wean her off from it….slowly.

woodcutter's avatar

Doing a sudden change of diet can also do that. Even when you switch from crap dog food to something quality like you have done. Dog shelters can’t really afford the good stuff so you have to phase in the new food. Sometimes the “quality food” tastes like crap to dogs. Just because you spend 60 bucks for a bag of chow is no guarantee they will like it. My dog didn’t care for “Origen” which was fine because at 75 bucks for 29 lbs it was going to bankrupt us.

rooeytoo's avatar

Give her rice and just enough hamburger or chicken in it to get her to eat it. But really, diarrhea for 3 weeks is not good. I would take her to the vet, or put her on probiotics. Also they had a Recall in May of 2012. I couldn’t find a batch number in the FDA article linked but after reading that I would definitely head to the vet and I would call the numbers on the FDA report and see if you could have purchased a bad bag. This is why I feed real food. There is no commercially made dog food that I trust. In human nutrition they are telling you every day to stay away from processed foods, if it doesn’t rot sitting on your counter then don’t eat it. But now vets are selling dry food so suddenly they are telling you it is the best diet for your dog. I think that is baloney!!! The best diet for your dog is raw meat and table scraps. If you insist on feeding dry then just a handful added to the above is a perfect meal for your dog. I have been making my living with dogs since the early 80’s when most were still feeding table scraps. In those years I have seen dogs develop skin problems, ear infections and anal gland problems, increased incidence of cancer, pancreatitis, and the list goes on and on.

Sorry, I got onto a rant. Take your dog to the vet and feed it what it would eat if it got loose and had to feed itself.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@woodcutter The food they were giving her was actually an all natural formula. Nothing like Puppy Chow or Iams. We only switched because we didn’t want to go to the shelter for food because it’s far away. We’re going out there tonight to get a bag of it and we’re going to mix it with the new stuff and slowly back off of the old until her body adjusts to Wellness. If the diarrhea isn’t gone in a few days, we’ll take her to the vet.

@rooeytoo This particular formula has not been recalled and I hear wonderful things about it. She loves it and my husband is dead set against giving her table scraps. We have a hard enough time keeping her off the couch when we eat as it is. We’re sticking to dog food for the dog, but thanks for the suggestion. I’m pretty sure the diarrhea is due to the sudden change in diet, but we’ll take her to the vet Monday if necessary.

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

Has your dog had it’s Parvo vaccine yet?

livelaughlove21's avatar

Self_Consuming_Cannibal Check out the first two responses on this thread. It’s not parvo. Most parvo deaths occur 48–72 hours after onset of symptoms. And those symptoms aren’t just diarrhea. She’d be very sick, if not dead, if she had parvo.

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

@livelaughlove21 Well that’s why I asked, because parvo is nothing to mess around with and if there’s even a chance of that being the problem, it should be looked into immediately. I know about parvo, I had a puppy catch it once and that was a deeply unpleasant situation.

To tell you the truth unless it’s a question I ask, I don’t typically look at other people’s responses unless my name comes up.

If you’re pretty sure it’s the food that’s giving her diarrhea, then she should be taken off of it. You say you don’t want to do it all at once and make it worse. So just do it gradually. By a different brand and mix some in a bowl with the old brand and each day, just add more and more to the old brand until you’ve made a complete switch and see how the new brand is treating her.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@livelaughlove21 Your husband may want to read up. There is no such thing as ”table scraps” to a dog. Honestly, the best food you can give your pet is real, whole foods. I only use commercial dog/cat food as a convenience due to the amount of animals I have.

If you don’t already own a home health book for your dog, here is my top suggestion: The Whole Pet Diet. The book has simple recipes for pups, and times of stress, including but not limited to diarrhea. There are other books that I like and use, but this is the quickest to flip through and easiest to understand.

woodcutter's avatar

Chicken or lamb formulas could be a good start. Supposedly easy on sensitive digestive systems.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Self_Consuming_Cannibal I don’t think it’s the food causing it, it was the sudden switch of food. If I’m correct, buying another totally different brand and switching it slowly won’t do any good, because her stomach hasn’t adjusted to the current food. Like I said, I’ll be buying the old stuff and mixing it. If that helps, great. If not, it’s off to the vet on Monday.

Oh, and reading prior responses can save you a lot of time and trouble if something you’re saying has already been said or a question you’re asking has already been answered. Judging by reading other threads here, though, I think you’re far from the only one that doesn’t bother to check.

@SpatzieLover I’m sure all that is true but, once again, the dog will be eating dog food. I never said it was unhealthy for them to eat people food. No “reading up” necessary. Our cat eats cat food, our puppy eats puppy food, and my husband and I eat people food. I can’t see me in the kitchen, pet cookbooks spread out, cooking a separate meal for each animal.

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

@livelaughlove21 I think it takes me less time to type a response that has already been typed as opposed to reading 13 previous responses.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Self_Consuming_Cannibal But is it not a waste of time altogether if it’s already been said? Just an observation.

rooeytoo's avatar

A BABY anything that has diarrhea for 3 weeks is exhibiting not usual behaviour. There is something wrong. I hate doctors but if I had diarrhea for 3 weeks I think even I would go.

Feeding real food does not have to be a chore. You take a handful of raw meat, scrape your plates on top of it, toss a handful of dry on it and feed. In the evening you give your dog a raw bone. Nothing to it.

Course if I had a child I would not feed it the crap out of a jar and I don’t eat processed foods myself. So it all depends on your mindset.

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

@livelaughlove21 Yes it is a complete waste of time, so I look at the lesser of two evils. Read 13 responses that may or may not be saying what I’m going to ask (5 min. or more), then type it if it hasn’t already been said (2 min.) 5 min. + 2 min. = 7 min. OR just say what I need to say because parvo is a time sensitive issue in which every every second can literally count (2 min.).

I’m sorry I was just trying to help you out as quickly as possible. Next time you, your dog or a loved one could be dying and I might know why, I will take my time to read, analyze and meditate over every previous syllable so I don’t waste anymore of your or my precious time again.

* Sheesh* It is true, “No good deed goes unpunished!” I was just trying to help, I won’t make that mistake again!

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Self_Consuming_Cannibal I was just making a general statement about the usefulness of reading responses before posting. It wasn’t a conversation specifically about this situation. No need to get defensive about it.

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

@livelaughlove21 Perhaps I over-reacted. I have a tendency to do that. I think it’s my diet. LOL

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