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8-week old puppy has diarrhea
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8-week old puppy has diarrhea

4018782?1235339186
I got a Sheltie puppy (2 actually) a week ago.  A little while ago, one of them developed watery poop.  The breeder told us this is normal - but it still is scary.  The breeder also told us to dose her with a tiny amount of kaopectate (sp?).  Is this safe and does anyone know how much she should have?  I'm guessing she weighs around 2 - 2/1/2 lbs...

BTW, she is not acting sick, at least not yet.  She just had another water bath because she insists on laying in poop!

These are our first puppies and I don't want to over/under-react, so I appreciate in advance any input.  Thank you so much!

(in the picture, she is being bathed with water only)
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14 Comments Post a Comment
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634745_tn?1256847910
i hardly know anything about dogs as ive recently got a puppy and have been asking so many questions on here!
to prove how much i know i was feeding my puppy wet and dry food, this gave her diarreah (diarrhea) because she was getting too much protien, the vet gave me some medicine to give her for it tho/
so a dogs diet has a lot to do with what comes out of them, so maybe your feeding them the wrong food? or like me wet and dry food? or if you have changed their food this effects them too.
my puppy at the minute has diarreah (diarrhea) but the vet just told me that if it carrys on for more that 2 days to go back.
i think its harmfull if the "act" sick aswell, just ensure they have plenty of water
she is gorgeous tho! :)
but like i said i am definately no dog expert
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725621_tn?1314846847
hi

well it sound like you should show a bit more concern! especially if this continue for over a week or four day period because your pup will lose essential fluids. i can say that when my pup started vomiting and diarrhea over a two days period, when i took her to the vet she was treated for mild gastroenteritis and this scared the hell out of me so i advice you to call the vet and get the pup check up again. oh! one of thing he gave me besides the tablets was ' Genhydate oral rehydration salts' it worked like a charm on lady; it clear her bowels and rejuvenate her in less than a week but have him/her see the vet!
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657315_tn?1319494987
Show more concern?  How do you mean?  As soon as the vet opened this morning, we called.  What more could we do?  If she was in no other way acting sick, and the breeder told us when we brought her home over a week ago that this is normal...I came on here and asked this question and checked every 15 minutes until I went to bed hoping someone knew something that would help.  I don't know how much more concern you wanted me to show...

The puppy just got home from the vet.  The vet found nothing wrong with her specimen that we took in.  She had diarrhea this morning and normal bowel movement in the afternoon.  

Hopefully, we'll figure out what it is.  We are feeding both puppies Science diet small bites.  The vet said the amount and regularity we are feeding them is fine and she wouldn't change anything at this point.  The vet also said to bring in another specimen the next time we bring in the puppy(ies).

Thanks for the comments.  I hope that she is just being a drama queen...
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725621_tn?1314846847
ok maybe that came out wrong am sorry! i know you will be very concern!
but seeing the vet is the best option and thats what your doing. let prayer it will pass away soon. at lease i hope it does!

please inform me of any changes lady and i will say a pray :-)!!
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657315_tn?1319494987
Yes, we will be praying for her.  We feel like we see blood in her stool, but the vet said her specimen was normal...  Not sure if I liked the vet or not.

We'll just have to see.
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Avatar_f_tn

I have heard of giving Pepto Bismol for dogs who have undiagnosed chronic diarrhea.

If the diarrhea continues, you may want to talk to your vet about bacterial infections (that is what my dog ended up having) and/or changing his/her diet. Whatever you do... do not let your vet try steriods before trying antibotics. That is what my new vet (the one who accurately diagnosed and treated my dog after two other vets) has said.
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657315_tn?1319494987
Thank you!  

So far today, she had a  (1) watery stool this a.m., but the rest of the day all of her stools have been formed.  She only had medicine last night.  The vet was completely unconcerned about it - and not very helpful.

Oh, and I was wrong about her weight.  She is 3lbs, 4 oz.
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441382_tn?1329196690
An eight week old puppy is still getting used to being weaned from its mother and eating on its own.  Chances are its digestive tract has not yet kicked in and become fully functioning in terms of being used to solid foods, but in tiny puppies like yours, dehydration from diarrhea is a very real danger.

Personally, I prefer to stay away from drug therapy in very young puppies and try to control diarrhea with foods that tend to "bind them up", like canned pumpkin or even a little bit of banana.  Both of these foods are safe for dogs to eat and I think it's probably safer than trying to figure out just how much Pepto or Kaopectate is safe for a 3 to 4 pound dog.  Immodium (Loperamide) has actually become the drug of choice for controlling diarrhea in both pets AND people, but if this is something that can be controlled through diet, that's probably the way to go.

Have the puppies been wormed?  Sometimes a heavy parasite load can cause diarrhea, and sometimes even after they are wormed they will be loose until they have rid themselves of the dead worms.  Also, is there a funny smell to the poop?  I realize that's an odd question, because no poop smells *good*, but I'm wondering now, since you said that she had a watery movement today, if there's a chance she could have coccidiosis.  Coccidiosis is an infestation of coccidia, a one-celled organism that is found in the gut of every living creature.  Sometimes, however, they multiply too quickly and start to overtake the gut, and they cause watery diarrhea.  Especially in puppies whose guts have not yet established the normal flora and fauna needed to make them work correctly, sometimes the coccidia get out of hand.  You can easily see the cysts in a fecal sample, they are shaped like footballs, but sometimes, even if the animal does have coccidiosis, if there is no cyst present in the small sample of feces that is on the microscope slide, the fact that it's present can be overlooked.  If it does turn out that it's present, a course of the antibiotic "Albon" should clear it up nicely, but it can really mess things up in the meantime.

From the sounds of it, you aren't real crazy about your current vet, so why not find another one and have another fecal sample done by them?  Chances are the vet you are going to is very competent, but YOU have to like him or her before you will feel comfortable having him or her treat your pets, and if you don't feel comfortable with them, you owe it to yourself and to your pets to find one that you can develop a good relationship with as the years go on.  It's just as important as liking the pediatrician that is treating your children.  

In the meantime, until you get the diarrhea under control, you can give your puppy Pedialyte to drink.  That will not only help to keep her hydrated, it will also help to keep her electrolytes in order, which is important.  If her electrolytes get "out of whack" it can cause all manner of problems from seizures to an irregular heartbeat.

Please post back and keep us updated as to how your puppy, and YOU, are doing.  

Ghilly
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657315_tn?1319494987
I am about to be late for work, so this will be a quick reply...

Would the test the vet did yesterday automatically have checked for coccidiosis, you think?  She told us NOTHING to do to treat the diarrhea - no protocol about how long to let it go on (should it return, anyway) or anything.  

She chastised us for taking the pups away from mom at 7 weeks, even though the book we are devouring says  49 days is optimum for the bonding with the new owners.  One pup came home at 48 days, the other (we loved the first so much, we decided to get a litter-mate!), the 2nd came home at 50 days).  PLUS, we called this office and THEY TOLD US 7 WEEKS WAS FINE!  She just had an attitude in general.  We felt like you said, we will have to deal with her for, hopefully, years to come.

Thank you for your help.  I have a job where I come home every few hours (perfect for my girls!).  I might not have time to get on here until lunch, but I can love my new girls and clean any accidents...
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675347_tn?1365464245
This might/might not work, but if the vet cannot find anything wrong with her but the problem continues, you could try giving her a 'Probiotic'.(Friendly bacteria which may balance out her intestinal flora)
This is easy. Try a good quality natural, if possible, Organic, Live Yogurt. She will probably love it, and it might do the trick (?)
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441382_tn?1329196690
The optimal age to take puppies from their litter actually varies from breed to breed, but the mimimum age should be 8 to 9 weeks.  The reason for this is that there is a lot of learning going on in the litter at this age, and the 6 to 8 week timeframe is when puppies learn important lessons like bite inhibition from their littermates.  Puppies that have been taken away too early often have a lot of problems with biting and mouthing because they have not been taught by their mother and littermates that it hurts when you bite someone, and it's often their new owners that pay the price in the form of many little holes in their hands, feet and other body parts from needle-sharp puppy teeth.

They also learn about fear during this time, and puppies that are taken away before they can learn this can become fearful for some pretty strange reasons sometimes because they didn't go through this phase being taught in "dogspeak" so that they could understand it.

That's great that you are able to get home during lunch to take care of the girls!  That will go a long way in helping them get the hang of house-training because they won't have to go an entire workday waiting for you to come home.  It's also good that there are two of them, because they won't be lonely with each other for company.  It's going to be doubly challenging for you, however, training two of them at once, because what one doesn't think of to get into, the other will, and some days it may feel as though they are double-teaming you.  :)

As far as the vet checking for coccidia, do you know what type of test she did yesterday?  Was it a routine fecal?  Depending upon how alert her tech is who did the fecal, it IS possible that it could have been missed.  When roundwormsm are present, their eggs pretty much permeate the entirety of the feces, so no matter which bit of feces ends up sticking to the slide when you float it, there are GOING to be roundworm eggs in it.  That's not the case with the coccidia cysts, and it's entirely possible that there are cysts in the feces but there just wasn't one present in the bit that stuck to the slide.  

From the way you have described your vet, my best advice to you would be to find another one ASAP.  It is entirely likely that she is an excellent vet, but your experience with her and the way she treated you started you off on entirely the wrong foot with regard to being able to forge a good relationship with her.  I would call around today, find another one, and get the earliest appointment you can get, hopefully sometime this week.  Start from scratch with this vet and have the fecal done all over again.  Tell the new vet about the diarrhea and how loose it was.  While not all diarrhea is a symptom of something horrible in a young puppy, I also don't believe that it's not at all a cause for alarm, as your current vet seems to feel.  Not only is it uncomfortable for your puppy, but it is inconvenient for you, because time that you could be spending playing with and training your puppy is being spent cleaning up and bathing her to get the poop off of her fur.  What you did, though, was a good thing to do, bathing her without soap.  Too many baths with soap can lead to dry, itching skin, and she doesn't need that on top of the diarrhea.

See what you can do about finding a new vet, and in the meantime, try a little bit of canned pumpkin or banana to see if you can firm her up.  Make sure you buy the 100% canned pumpkin and not the pumpkin pie filling with all the spices already added.  Libby's makes a good one, and one can should be all you need to get the situation under control unless there is some underlying medical issue causing the runs, like coccidiosis or, heaven forbid, something more sinister.  And even if it turns out that it IS coccidiosis, Albon will  knock it out of her.  

What was the hygiene like at the breeder's?  Was she fastidious in her kennel keeping?  Or did it leave something to be desired?  Coccidiosis is sometimes idiopathic, meaning it shows up out of the blue even in the best of environments, but it is far more common in kennels and homes where cleanliness is lacking.  The state of the environment that the puppies were exposed to at the breeder's could be a big clue as to whether or not this is what you're dealing with.

Ghilly
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657315_tn?1319494987
We had a sick bunny a while back, and this worked wonders!  I wondered about the advisability of this with a young pup.  Like I said, we're novices with dogs.  Thanks!
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657315_tn?1319494987
I cannot believe you would even suggest that my little angels would consider double-teaming me!!!  ;)    I wish you could see them sleeping right now!  But, fortunately for me, my husband beat me home for lunch...he had quite the mess in their play yard to clean up.

At this point, the vet appears to be correct in her assessment that the diarrhea was nothing to fear.  It has not returned.  BUT, I would think that since we were perfectly candid about the fact that we are *new parents*, she would have given us some guidelines to follow.  I remember with my first child, the ped told me to wait until my son had a fever for 3 days (NOT a high fever) before calling her, and these were full 24-hour periods.  MAN, did she ever save me many trips to her office!  

I believe these pups are more fragile than my human baby was!  I need some guidelines here, doc!  She left us hanging.  We already know the Animal Hospital we are calling.  My husband is calling today.

The Breeder's:  I was impressed that with all the dogs running around (indoors), the house smelled clean.  There were 2 puppies left from a litter 2 1/2 weeks older than my pups' litter.  My pups litter had 6 or 7 surviving (2 stillborn).  All the young puppies were kept in the family room in 2 separate play pens.  

We saw our first pup a week before we took her home - when we only planned on getting one.  The breeder told us that the mother was only letting the puppies nurse once/day and the breeder would have let us take her then.  She told us the puppy was 7 weeks old, but I went home and counted on the calendar and figured out she was only 6 weeks old!  I never actually thought to point this out, because we already knew we weren't taking our puppy that weekend.  By the time we took ours, the breeder said the mother wasn't letting them nurse at all any more.

I read what you said - and it makes very good sense about the optimal age being 8-9 weeks.  Since we have our puppies now, my rose-colored glasses are hoping that this is now true: I think we give these puppies WAY more and BETTER attention than they were getting at the breeder's house.  There were (I'm guessing) 10 adult dogs running around that house...  I don't even know if the puppies' mother ever spent any time with them any more or not...  I DO know that the breeder lied to us about feeding them Science Diet.  That's what we already feed our cats and it's what we bought the first puppy.  When we went to pick up the first puppy, the breeder had just fed the litter and that's NOT what was in the  pan.  I don't know if the breeder lied about anything else.  It's pointless to ask her if the mother spent time with the pups, but they were in a playpen and the mother was nowhere near any time I was there.  I actually went there 3 or 4 times.

The mama dog wasn't friendly to strange people, in fact she nipped at my husband when he tried to pet her!  I didn't know this until we got home.  The breeder didn't blink an eye when we took the first puppy, but I guess this is normal.  She did, however, get a little choked up when we took the 2nd one.  She was hoping that one, the runt, wouldn't be sold.  

I fear I may be rambling.  I hope there is some useful information here.  Thanks for your time in this!
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Avatar_f_tn
I think your level of concern is fine, I found that with my puppy the food I was feeding her was a lot richer than what she had been given prior to me getting her, so for the first day I gave her a mixture of....---------> boiled water, sugar, and a little sea salt; she perked right up, it's pretty much like pedialite or Gatorade like they want you to give them to replace lost fluids and keep up energy. The next day I gave her a thick past of plain boiled chicken and white rice for a  day then gave it to  her in diced form for two days, no more diarrhea, then I proceeded to give her a little less rich dry food.
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