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Vegan Dog Has Diarrhea

by Sinead
(Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

Dog in the middle

Dog in the middle

Dog in the middle
Big dog

My vegan dog has diarrhea very regularly. Sometimes it's just 1 or 2 times a week, but at other times it can come at least once a day for about 5 days. Often she will have a solid poop in the morning and then diarrhea for the rest of the day. Very, very runny diarrhea.

I am curious if this is due to her vegan diet. I would like to keep her on a vegan diet because I've heard such good things about dogs on vegan diets and also such terrible things about dogs on meat diets.

However, if she's not responding well to it, I'm willing to put my ethical views aside. But I want to exhaust all options first before I take her off a vegan diet.

I don't know if she has an allergy, or if I am not providing her with something and should be supplementing.

My dog is a 1 year old rescue. She was guessed by the veterinarian to be a German Shephard/Rottweiller mix. She is 70 pounds.

I have been feeding her a vegan diet for about 8 months and have had her on the same food for about 4 months. That is the Royal Canin Medi-cal Vegetarian Food.

The company describes the food as: wheat gluten-free diet formulated with high quality vegetable proteins, including soy, potato protein and oats, which are not commonly associated with food allergies.

The exact ingredients are:
Oat Flour, Rice, Potato Protein, Vegetable Oil, Natural Flavour, Dried Beet Pulp, Tomato Pomace (Source of Lycopene), Calcium Carbonate, Flax Meal, Carrot Pomace, Calcium Sulphate, Monopotassium Phosphate, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Fructo-Oligosaccharides, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Vitamins (DL-Alpha-Tocopherol Source of Vitamin E, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate Source of Vitamin C, Biotin, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Acetate, Niacin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride Vitamin B6, Thiamine Mononitrate Vitamin B1, Riboflavin Vitamin B2, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement and Vitamin D3 Supplement), Trace Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Oxide, Ferrous Sulphate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Copper Sulphate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate and Sodium Selenite), L-Glutamine, L-Carnitine and Beta-Carotene. Naturally Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Rosemary Extract and Citric Acid.

Dry: 305 kcal/cup

Do you have any idea why she is having such regular diarrhea?



Comments for Vegan Dog Has Diarrhea

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Oct 02, 2010
My Online Vet Response for Vegan Dog has Diarrhea
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Sinead,
The Royal Canin diet you are feeding your dog looks great! And she looks very healthy from the photo you submitted. Many dogs that are prone to allergies do wonderful on vegan diets. From the history you submitted, I do not think she has any allergies.

In your dog's case, I would check a fecal for intestinal parasites. Whipworms are notorious for causing intermittent diarrhea, due to inflammation of the cecum. (That is where they live in the intestine.) They can sometimes be difficult to find on a fecal, so you may need to submit 2-3 samples. Therefore, you could submit one sample every 2-3 days, (if the first one is negative), and make sure the sample is the first morning's sample so it is the more 'formed' sample. If it is loose, it will be diluted, and therefore will be a false negative.

I am not sure how prevalent Whipworm is in Canada, but there are other parasites such as Giardia, that will also cause a chronic diarrhea.This may require a different test. It is not unusual for only one dog to have the diarrhea in a multi-dog household, if the other dogs are very healthy with strong immune systems. But it may be a good idea, if she is POSITIVE to deworm your other dogs too.

In the meantime, add Acidophilus to her diet. This is the good bacteria found in the intestine. With such a chronic loose stool, she is flushing out and losing all of her beneficial bacteria. She could have the 'human' dose of acidophilus, that are all available in a capsule form.

Also, if you are feeding primarily a dry food, I would suggest decreasing the dry food, and adding some of the Royal Canin canned food, and/or some fresh food to her diet. Mix in steamed rice, cooked potatoes, green beans, carrots, etc. In cases where there is chronic diarrhea, the intestine is inflamed and dry food will be more difficult to digest.

I am concerned that she may also have had some deleterious effects from the vaccines she received, especially if she was given numerous vaccines all at the same time. A holistic veterinarian will be able to guide you further on immune support and treating 'vaccinosis' effects.

To find a holistic veterinarian in your area click on the link below
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

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.

Oct 02, 2010
Follow Up from Sinead
by: Anonymous

Thank you very much for your advice Dr. Tillman. I am going to get her fecal tested right away.

Could you give me a break down of approximately how much dry, wet and fresh food I should be feeding her each day?

Also, could you explain to me what you mean by deleterious effects from the vaccines? It's been about 9 months since she's been vaccinated. Are there certain problems I should be looking for, that may have been caused by these vaccines? I think she got about 2 shots a month for 3 months.

Thanks so much for your help!

Oct 03, 2010
My Online Vet Response for Vegan Dog has Diarrhea
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Sinead,
It would actually be best to eliminate the dry food for now and feed approx half canned and half fresh food for her. That is until it is determined that she has no parasites, and also to let her intestine 'rest'. At the same time supplement her diet with acidophilus to replenish all of the good bacteria that she has lost, probably for 3-4 weeks.

If she weighs 60 lbs she will need to be fed approximately 900-1,000 calories per day. It is best to feed two meals daily, therefore each meal would contain about 450-500 calories. Contact the Royal Canin company to figure out how many calories are in a can. And then calculate calories in potatoes, carrots, zucchini, green beans, etc.

Deleterious effects of vaccines can be varied. In homeopathy, treating a patient can be very difficult if they have a disease that developed after having a vaccination, or if they had a reaction after a vaccine was given.

In fact, many chronic illnesses are thought to originate from the immune system's altered response to a vaccination given years before in childhood, or 'puppyhood'. Dr. Pitcairn's book, Natural Health for Dogs and Cats, describes the Harmful effects of Vaccines. Also, Dr. Don Hamilton, Small Doses for Small Animals, discusses problems with too frequent vaccinations.

From the Veterinary Textbook Current Therapy in Veterinary Medicine XI published in 1992 in the section under 'Annual Vaccinations' by Dr. Schultz, annual vaccines are considered obsolete, since immunity to vaccines persist for the life of the animal.

Auto-immune diseases, ear infections, bladder infections, arthritis, chronic diarrhea, skin allergies, are all considered to be possibly related to a 'reaction' to vaccinations. A holistic veterinarian would be able to go into much more detail in regards to vaccinosis problems.

To find a holistic veterinarian in your area click 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

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: 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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