Veterinarians like to tell owners that their dog has a sensitive stomach and needs special food that is hypoallergenic, grain free, etc. Maybe it makes a difference, maybe not.
The REAL TRUTH is...
- Food allergy is actually very rare in dogs.
- Dogs eat and drink unspeakable things such as dirty water, feces, rotting dead morsels, etc.
- This is a good way to contaminate the gut with Cocci, one celled parasites like Giardia, and worms. This results in diarrhea, which may be one or a combination of abnormal stools that may have a very foul odor, yellowish color, watery, slimy and some blood may be present. Vomiting may also present during this period of illness.
- Dogs become asymptomatic (show no signs of illness) carriers of these parasites, and become symptomatic when stressed, during wet weather, traveling, at dog shows, etc. REMEMBER, STRESS IS ANY CHANGE IN ROUTINE.
- It may not be possible to clear the gut of these parasites. There is a Giardia vaccine, but it did not impress me.
- There are simple and inexpensive antibiotics available with a prescription from Walmart's $4 list that will control the symptoms od diarrhea pronto. These include any sulfa drug like Bactrim and Metronidazole. For tiny puppies, Albon is a veterinary antibiotic that comes in a pleasant tasting liquid that can be dosed more flexibly. Albon requires a veterinary prescription but can be obtained through vet catalogs.
- Resistance to these antibiotics over time is possible. However, if you persist, it will eventually work. AN ADEQUATE DOSE IS NECESSARY. Veterinarians notoriously underdose with these drugs, resulting in delayed or unsuccessful results. I would not hesitate to treat a 5 lb. puppy to a 30 lb. adult with 250 mg once a day for 5 days with Metroonidazole (Flagyl) or a 1/2 tab of Bactrim DS.
DEHUMIDIFIER: I found that keeping one of these in the kennel and bringing humidity down to around 55% seems to improve diarrhea in puppies. A moist environment favors the parasites.
DIATOMACEOUS EARTH: Marcy Caton feeds this powder to her dogs. Estimated dose 1/4 teaspoon over the puppies food once a day. She thinks this helps control diarrhea by eliminating one celled paracites and worms. According to the literature, this should work as insects and worms find diatomaceous earth both irritating and deadly. The tiny sharp particles that make up this powder dessicate and abrade the cuticles of insects and kill them. The effective dose is unknown.
CLEANLINESS: Is of course key. Remove feces and loose stools immediately from the dog's environment.