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Vare's Yellow Diarrhea

Discussion in 'Diseases & Illnesses' started by Theora, Aug 21, 2018.

  1. Theora

    Theora Forums Novice

    Aug 21, 2018
    My sheltie, who just turned 7 years old, has been experiencing yellow diarrhea for the past week. The first couple days, he'd drop a turd combined with a mustard yellow liquid, but on day 3 it switched entirely to liquid.

    I brought him to the vet. His fecal exam came back clear & I was given endurosyn and metronidazole for him to take. The doc didn't consider Vare to be sick enough to need a blood test, figuring that the medication should clear things up regardless. Given that it would reportedly cost $110 for the blood test & his confidence in the meds, I decided to skip the test at that time. Beyond the diarrhea the only symptoms Vare's exhibited are a lack of appetite & lack of energy, which seemed understandable with his upset stomach. He's drinking plenty of water, hasn't vomited at all, & the vet was satisfied because his gums weren't tacky.

    So Vare's been taking his meds, & his energy level is more normal, but he's still not eating much & his stool hasn't really improved. I mean, going from late in day 1 of his meds into the middle of day 2, he didn't poop at all & then took a dump that was more like pudding than liquid. But the following morning it was liquid again, and last night I had to take him out 3 times in 3 hours. Because of the dark and the rain I didn't get a look at the consistency, just put him the bath after each trip out. This afternoon it was pure liquid, like when you forget to give the mustard bottle a shake before using it. (Sorry for the visual.) Also, it seems like his butt is probably really sore at this point, because he's having serious difficulty finding comfortable positions to sit or lie down.

    I'm taking him back in tomorrow for a blood test. When I called, the receptionist put me on hold & went to talk to vet about how to move forward. She came back asking about vomiting, which he's not doing. And since he's not puking, the vet seems unsure what it could be because his most likely culprit outside of a diet change (which hasn't happened) is pancreatitis, which is apparently iffy with just diarrhea.

    Sorry to go on like this, but it seems like this is the area where that's okay? Also, I may bring this post in for the vet to read, because I seem to have gotten pretty thorough in my rant.

    If anyone has any ideas about what the cause could be or what might help Vare feel better, it would be greatly appreciated.

  2. ghggp

    ghggp Moderator

    Aug 28, 2011
    Grosse Pointe, Michigan
    I am quite surprised the vet has not done a fecal test. My puppy had loose stool and it was Giardia. He had to be on antibiotics for two weeks. I have two other shelties and had to treat them too. It is easily spread. He is fine now. I would as your vet to do a stool sample. I would not hesitate to do blood work myself... but, that is just me... I know sometimes expenses come into play...

    DIarrhea can cause the puppy to get dehydrated and weak...

    Good luck and let us know how it goes.
    Calliesmom likes this.
  3. RikyR

    RikyR Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2013
    Baton Rouge LA
    When Cody has pancreatitis, all he had was diarrhea. It was dark and bloody. He spent two days in ICU, and the vet told us that if we would have waited another day, we might have lost him. It is scary serious. Without a thorough exam, it is hard to tell exactly what is going on. Go to the vet tomorrow for sure. A week is way too long, I bet he is sore. I am a nervous nelly when my dog gets sick, I would be on my way to the emergency hospital. Let us know what you find out.
  4. Theora

    Theora Forums Novice

    Aug 21, 2018
    They did the fecal test, & it came back clear. It was just bloodwork that wasn't checked. Plus, he just had his annual heartworm test last month.
  5. Caro

    Caro Moderator

    Jan 14, 2009
    Canberra, Australia
    What did the fecal test examine? Sometimes it may not pick up everything - they may only test for bacteria or a virus not both.

    What are you feeding him atm? He should be on very easily digested food (low residue) - eg boiled chicken (no skin), rice and pumpkin. Even more so if it's pancreatitis. You should also ask the vet about electrolytes if his diarrhea is that bad. When mine has had pancreatitis there was only diarrhea too.

    Deska has had bouts of diarrhea where the metronidazole was not quite enough. In conjunction with the meds I use something called Ensal, a liquid sulfonamide that also contains Kaolin. I always keep some Ensal in the fridge now because when Deska goes on a crap eating bender (he eats mud and discarded food on the ground) he gets the runs and the Ensal is enough to settle it down.
    ghggp likes this.
  6. Cara Sandler

    Cara Sandler Forums Enthusiast

    Jul 11, 2015
    After Skylar had her stomach surgery she had liquid yellow diarrhea. We're not sure whether it was from the chicken (turns out she doesn't tolerate chicken) or from the clavamox but either way, when I stopped the clavamox and took her off the chicken, her poop returned to normal in less than one day. Did your pup start any new medications that could have caused this?
    Caro likes this.
  7. corbinam

    corbinam Moderator

    Oct 14, 2008
    I seem to remember Enzo going through multiple bouts of this as a puppy. Apparently giardia doesn't appear on every test (am I remembering this right?) But we needed multiple rounds of antibiotics to clear it up.

    I also agree that your pup should be on a really limited, simple food right now to rule out food allergies.
  8. RikyR

    RikyR Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2013
    Baton Rouge LA
    And it is not limited to puppies. Zulu had a bout at two years old.
  9. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Forums Enthusiast

    Jun 26, 2015
    Winnipeg Mb
    Your right RikyR, my obedience trainer has a creek that runs behind her house and her dogs frequently pick it up and need treatment for it.
  10. Theora

    Theora Forums Novice

    Aug 21, 2018
    Sorry to take so long to get back here. Between constant vet appointments, work, & taking care of Vare, it's been chaos. So, what's happened.

    First the tests. He's been tested for giardia, & it came back clear. The blood tests showed that his pancreas is fine, same with his liver. In fact only to spots on raised eyebrows on his blood tests, which have been a couple times now. The first was a highly elevated white blood cell count, and the second was that his albumin was/is seriously low. The albumin test has been run multiple times and, honestly seems to be the ONLY thing that Dr. Rachel cares about. Which is why I'm seriously considering finding another vet. He's also had x-rays multiple times, which I'll get into as I timeline his symptoms.

    After posting, his stool improved a bit, being more pudding like, & following Caro's suggestion, I fed him some pumpkin (100% pumpkin puree) the following morning before going to the vet. We got in, Dr. Rachel ran a bunch of blood panels, which showed the high white blood cell count & low albumin mentioned above. She actually said not to give him pumpkin, because his fiber (& his electrolytes) were fine. She prescribed more metronidazole, diawin, and a different probiotic which was supposedly cheaper. (He refused to eat anything with that powder probiotic in it, but I'd already ordered another tube of endurosyn online for less and it was on its way.) I'm currently without a car, so I took a taxi to the vet, and started Vare & I walking home. I had water and a dish in my bag in case Vare needed it, and figured if he was flagging I could pause and get a taxi from wherever it was we had to stop. That was completely unnecessary, he walked 2 miles to get home like it was nothing. Of course, when we got home, he pooped out the pumpkin puree which looked pretty much identical to how it had when he ate it. (Sorry) Also, as soon as we were inside & he was cleaned up, he went straight for his kibble, something he had not done in days. Dr. Rachel had recommended a bland diet, consisting of boiled chicken, white rice, plain yogurt, low fat cottage cheese, & maybe boiled ground beef. However, it had been so long since he'd had much of an appetite, & I didn't have those immediately handy, so I didn't stop him. The following morning, prior to my getting him on the bland diet, he pooped a log. The first one in over a week.

    For better or worse, that bowel movement made me take her advice with a grain of salt. He had not experienced diet changes or new meds prior to becoming ill. I fed him bland food, he seemed to most like the chicken & cottage cheese, but though that made up a large chunk of his diet, I did not restrict him to just that. He still had access to some kibble. And for 8 days he was doing better. The first couple bowel movements were firm, and they may have had some liquid at the end, but they were good & easy to clean up. Around the time he got back on the endurosyn they seemed to get softer, though they were still properly formed. (I only knew they were soft because I try to bag them immediately to keep the yard clean.)

    It was actually during this period that he had a follow up, in order to check his albumin. It had improved, but still wasn't back to where it should be. I explained his mixed diet and the fact that I had not given him any diawin because of his natural improvement. Since it was still soft, she prescribed another week's worth of metronidazole. And two days after that appointment, he started pooping yellow liquid again. The morning after that he threw up, for the first time. That vomit actually included cottage cheese he had eaten the previous afternoon, at least 12 hour earlier, & it was undigested. He was in for an x-ray less than 2 hours after he puked. There appeared to be a soft mass in his stomach, which she suggested might have been a blockage created by polyfill from stuffed toys. (He does not eat his toys. If they rip, the most he does is pull out some stuffing & drop it on the floor. So I was baffled, & trying to figure out how much might have gotten swallowed due to getting caught on his teeth & how long this mass had been building.) After this appointment, he was to continue the metronidazole & probiotics, start taking the diawin, & was given 2 days worth of an anti-nausea medication. He was also to follow a strict bland. Only those foods mentioned above or prescription bland food.

    This time I did hold him to it. Nothing except those foods. Not one table scrap or skin & coat treat. Nothing. Just those bland foods and his meds. A week later, & he hadn't improved one bit. Still hasn't, his stools are still all liquid, not even pudding like. Last Friday, Sep. 7, he had another x-ray done. There was nothing found in his stomach, whatever had been there the previous week had passed. No sign of tumors to indicate IBD, nothing of note at all. Dr. Rachel was at a conference, so this appointment was with Dr. Luc, who took Vare off the antibiotics & the unhelpful diawin. He suggested that, with the sluggish digestion Vare had exhibited at the time of the previous x-ray, the mass may have just been food that hadn't passed through yet. The next day, with Vare still on a strict bland diet, he threw up again. It was undigested though it didn't appear to have been in his stomach as long as the cottage cheese. (I don't know how long it had been. It was his breakfast from that day, but he threw up while I was at work. Goodness knows when it happened.) So, thinking back to the conversation with Dr. Luc, who'd asked when Vare seemed to be doing best (which was when he regained his appetite for kibble), I said screw it & gave Vare kibble for dinner. He threw some of that up during the night while I was sleeping. Though the kibble was actually partially digested, unlikely the previous instances. He has not puked since, though I know it hasn't been very long. Sunday, his food was bland barring an 1/8 cup of kibble.

    Monday morning, I call the vet. I try explaining that the bland diet has not improved his diarrhea at all. I don't even have a chance to bring up the vomit, the receptionist is already off to talk to Dr. Rachel. There's only one suggestion. Put him strictly on prescription bland dog food, and then come back in a week's time to check his albumin.

    And at this point I think I'm done. I started him on Homeopet Digestive Upset (an over the counter medication) today. I'm considering kaopectate, & have already started getting recommendations for a new vet from coworkers.

    I understand that the albumin is a concern, I really do. However, the diarrhea is most likely a serious factor in it being so low, if not the sole cause of it. How can you be obsessed with testing the albumin when the diarrhea is ongoing? And both vets have acknowledged that the diarrhea could be responsible for it all. The albumin is always the first thing she brings up and obviously the most important to her. Meanwhile, no one is questioning why he was doing better & then got worse again without any change to his diet or medication. It's obvious when talking to her that she cares. But she seems so set on what she expects Vare's symptoms to be and how he should respond to treatment, that she seems willfully blind to what his symptoms are and how he does respond to treatment. I have spent about $1,000 on tests & treatment in less than a month, & at this point I don't trust their judgment. I still want to know what caused this, but I feel like the professionals don't care about the cause. Vare's been going to this clinic since he was a puppy, but now... I don't know.

    Am I crazy? Amazon reviews show that some people have had success treating their pets with the Homeopet med mentioned above & no vet. I'm debating whether to give the Homeopet a few days to try and make him improve, or just call another vet ASAP for a second opinion.

    (P.S. I'm sorry, I feel like I'm writing a whole book describing poop.)
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018

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