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Reoccuring Dog Diarrhea

by Lauren
(Conshohocken, PA)

My dog has had reoccurring cases of diarrhea and has had 2 UTIs. She is currently free of UTI but just started having diarrhea again a few days ago.

She is a 5 month old blue Great Dane puppy. We normally feed her Innova Large Breed Puppy Food but have switched her to chicken and rice with a little canned pumpkin until her stool returns to normal.

My concern is that this will keep happening and I will have to keep switching her to chicken and rice which I am sure does not have all of the nutrients necessary to her quickly-growing body.

She has always been a little on the slim side. We let her eat until she is full 3 times a day, and she has had relatively loose stools for the most part, but not diarrhea.

The breeder had us feeding her Iams puppy food but I switched her to large breed and to what seems to be a better quality food after some reading.

She did have Giardia when we first got her but she was not symptomatic. I am having her poop tested again to make sure that did not come back.

The more I think about it the more I see a correspondence with her vaccination schedules - the diarrhea usually starting about a week after the vaccine. She also has some patchy hair loss on her lower back and tail which seems to get worse with each vaccination. I am starting to wonder if she is having a reaction to those.

Back to the diarrhea: I am wondering about the best way to feed her to avoid this is. I have read a little about raw diets but they seem very complicated and I am unsure if they are a good idea for a large breed puppy.

So I guess my question is - Is there a relatively simple way for me to alter her diet or some kind of supplementation that can help avoid the diarrhea? The vet is insisting she have another DHVP shot in 2 weeks despite the fact that she has had 3 already. I think they are refusing to count the one the breeder gave her so I am worried about another bought of this, but I'm even more worried that this is a chronic condition.

Comments for Reoccuring Dog Diarrhea

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Oct 22, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Recurring Dog Diarrhea
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Lauren,
It sounds like you need to seek the help of a holistic veterinarian, since vaccinations come in a package with an insert that states, "To be administered to HEALTHY animals only". Your Great Dane puppy is certainly not healthy with recurring diarrhea and 3 urinary tract infections and she is only 5 months old!

I suspect that not only are the vaccinations exacerbating her condition, but if she is treated with any antibiotics for the diarrhea, it may trigger a dog yeast infection/vaginitis that leads to the urinary tract problems. And vice versa, if her UTIs are treated with antibiotics that will kill all of the good bacteria that is still remaining in her GI tract, leading to more diarrhea.

Giardia will not help matters, and if she is still positive for Giardia (or any other intestinal parasite), she should be treated for it.

You also mentioned that she has patchy hair loss which is worse after each vaccination. Since she is a 'blue' color variant of Great Dane, they are prone to skin problems and suspect she may have an inherited tendency to have a poor immune system. Another reason to seek the help of a holistic veterinarian!

Feeding your large breed puppy an ALL raw diet, would be very expensive. Although, there are many good commercial raw diets available that make feeding a raw diet very easy.

In the meantime, you are correct, that just a chicken and rice diet with some canned pumpkin does not contain sufficient nutrients for a growing large breed dog. I would suggest NO pumpkin, since the added fiber could make the diarrhea worse.

It would be best to add in some CANNED Innova Large breed puppy food to the cooked chicken and rice, PLUS add in Acidophilus. Open the capsules and sprinkle into her food. She would take the same dose as a human.

This combination could be fed for a longer time, and would insure that she is getting a more balanced diet. When her stool is improved, consider feeding her 1/3 canned Innova puppy food, 1/3 dry Innova puppy food, and 1/3 raw chicken.

A 60 lbs dog needs 1,000 calories per day.
An 80 lbs dog needs 1,200 calories per day.
A 100 lbs dog needs 1,400 calories per day.
1 120 lbs dog needs 1,600 calories per day.

You can use this as a guide line to calculate the quantity of food that you will need to feed, based on the number of calories in the dry food, canned food, and in the chicken.


Oct 22, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Recurring Dog Diarrhea PART TWO
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Lauren,
Here is the continuation of my response:

NO MORE Distemper/Parvo vaccinations this year. Next year, I advise having an antibody titer done to see if she has adequate protection. I would be VERY cautious about giving her 'booster' vaccinations, since it may trigger a relapse in all of her symptoms.

If her Rabies vaccination can be delayed as long as possible, until she is completely healthy, would be the best plan for her.

You should also consider having her treated by a veterinarian that is knowledgeable in homeopathic medicine. If your dog has this 'sensitivity' to vaccines, then she has a condition that is called vaccinosis, and is best treated with homeopathic remedies.

Check for a veterinarian knowledgeable in homeopathy, or try
to find a holistic veterinarian in your area by clicking here:
find a holistic veterinarian in your area

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

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DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Related Pages:
- Dog Diarrhea Medicine,
- Dog Constipation Symptoms & Treatment,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Diarrhea, Constipation and/or Digestive Problems Section

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