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Very stressed over this strange shih tzu
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Very stressed over this strange shih tzu

So my 10 month old shih tzu just finished a 10 day round of metronidazole.  Also a 10 day of provobiales probiotics. She was dx w/ stress colitis after her last trip to the groomers.  She was have multiple episodes of diarrhea. So the metro stopped it cold, wonderful I was thinking... then it got to where she wouldn't poop at all. When she would finally go it was after standing outside w/ her sometimes up to an hour & the movement would be huge since she'd not been in a while.

Why wait outside so long you might ask? Just try again in a little while one might suggest.  Well... 1st of all I can tell she really had to go, she'd do the fast circling thing over & over again, sniffing the ground, & her butthole getting big & I'm thinking, ok finally! Then she'd get distracted by something & all that progress is lost.

Another reason I stay outside so long w/ her praying she'll poop is because she's been THE hardest dog I've ever had to potty train.  She will go in her crate at night, so I'm pretty desperate to at least have her go before bedtime.  

So back to my first paragraph...  tonight she finally went poop before bed. & remember today was the 1st day off the metro, & the poop was a lot & the last bit of it looked like the consistency of thick oatmeal. I tell ya I can't take the diarrhea again! By the time I got to her each morning when this was happening she & her bed were covered.  I just can't go through that again. I was even getting up through the middle of the night trying to head off the next episode, completely worn out & sleep deprived is when we went to the vet.  

Just don't know what to do.  She's extremely skittish. Vet gave me Composure mini chews to help w/ the anxiety of the next groom. Haven't tried those yet, am afraid the diarrhea is going to come back w/o the metro, but hate to go through more of the not pooping staying outside forever days & nights too.

As far as the potty training goes, she's been crate trained since day one. Fed on a schedule taken outside on schedule, every hour when she was very little. She took to the outside potty very well, but try as I have she's never learned how to tell me she needs to go out. It's mostly #2 as far as accidents, but only because I am still diligent to take her out every 2 hrs for potty.  When she first came home she pooped in her crate all the time, acted like she could care less to lay in it...  But as the weeks went by, & I was getting up w/ her in the middle of the night & put her on an eating schedule, she began pooping on a schedule as well & the messing in her crate stopped.  Fast forward to now & this diarrhea she started having.

Like I said, I just don't know what to do.
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Poop Score Link:       http://www.monicasegal.com/wordpress/?p=775
24 Comments Post a Comment
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Welcome again...Has your girl been thoroughly checked for Intestinal parasites INCLUDING Coccidia & Giardia? In a young puppy, these need to be ruled out completely....Next, The full dose of probiotics you used caused constipation when your dog was having a hard time trying to poop...This is common & smaller doses are beneficial, but won't cause the problem....I've seen this many times! My dogs all get small doses w/every meal for life....In all honesty, a healthy digestive system is the key to health!

Next, what did you end up feeding her after your last post? Any updates on that?

Do you have a laundry room or kitchen with a washable floor? Could you fix either up w/a baby gate (Don't close her off with a main door), so she has more room at night? The crate may be the problem and causing the stress....A larger area would be easier for you to clean and give her more room to not walk or lay in it.....

We've had many Shih-Tzus come through rescue....I think they ARE harder than most to potty train, but it seems when they reach 1 year old, the "GET IT".....Karla
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Thanks so much for responding.  Ok, I've been doing the Wellness Core for puppies since the last time I posted that problem w/ her lack of appetite.  (Since the beginng of May)  She eats it well & only show nausea & lack of appetite if I let her go too long between meals.

I would like to keep her on a probiotic every day but don't know which to choose, the vet keeps giving me the Proviable DC, maybe I got the spelling right that time.  They come in a capsule, so I can't change the dose.  I have seen that many of the other products are in powder form, but I am afraid to use them because what if she doesn't like the taste & refuses to eat. She's definitely demonstrated she can & will do that. So for that reason I'd rather stick with some sort of pill, that way no guess work or worrying, just pop the pill in her mouth & we're done.  Got any recommendations?

Ok as far as fecal tests, I did take a sample w/ me when I went & they did test it, but all they said when they came back was that it was "negative for parasites".  The tech also mentioned that the test takes 15 minutes.  From what I've been reading today online, most of the testing they do at the vet can't detect giardia... So I am wondering.  I have some Panacur bookmarked on amazon.com & I'm seriously considering buying it.  People are saying its cheaper than buying at the vet & I've read it's great for giardia (5 day course, repeat in 2 weeks).  What do you think about this course of action?

She is on topical Revolution every month.

I've also thought about canned pumpkin... I'm just afraid of upsetting things even more.  I feel like I can't follow the fasting a lot of people recommend because of how she gets so nauseous when she doesn't eat on time.

Oh almost forgot... She seems to love her crate & walks in willingly at bedtime.  Doesnt seem fearful of it at all.  I don't really have an area to block off as you suggested.  But if I could just get her back to regular then the pooping in the crate won't be an issue.  We were doing fine until this diarrhea hit.  Fine = me still being diligent to take her out before an accident can happen. Fine = no diarrhea & no constipation.  

School starts next week for us, which is part of my increased stress.  I won't have the time to stand out there w/ her for half an hour or more.  Her first morning outing used to take no longer than 10 minutes if that.  

Also now that I'm really thinking about, I don't think she's ever had good solid firm poops, they have always been on the soft side but still "pick-up able".  How is a healthy poop supposed to be, what's ideal?

She's 10 months old (born Sept 23rd 2012), was counting in weeks, now I guess she's too old to count age in weeks??
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Poop Score Link:       http://www.monicasegal.com/wordpress/?p=775
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She's been both 3 & 4, her normal poops that is, most of her life.

Could any of this be adolescence?  A couple friends described their dogs kind of "going crazy" before their 1st birthdays.  She doesn't necessarily seem "more" skittish but there have been more opportunities shall we say... like a month or so ago when my husband got strangled on a drink, you'd thought someone had started a chainsaw or something. & to this day they tease her some by fake coughing & she'll run to the other side of me, not terrified, no shaking just cautious or skittish. She'll look at them, sniff maybe even bark or howl at them & then she's ok.
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Oh, the reason I mention that is because the vet dx the diarrhea as stress colitis due to being at the groomers the day before the diarrhea started.  Would that explain why it would come back after finishing the metronidazole?
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Another link:

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/best-food-for-a-dog-with-colitis/
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Hello again,
Here's what I'd do if possible: Take a stool sample to your Vet (You don't have to take your dog) and have them check it for Coccidia & Giardia! This is a different test from the normal parasite test for whips, hooks, & round worms...You have already had that one....These need to be ruled out first!

I would NOT try to self medicate w/Panacur for 2 reasons:
She could have a reaction to the chemical & you would need your Vet for help, she may not need it & be just adding more unnecessary poison to her system.

YES, I would try the Pumpkin...

Could you possibly be overfeeding her? That will cause uncontrollable diarrhea. How much are you feeding and how often?

I would continue with the probiotics on a regular basis...She does not sound constipated, but it does sound a lot like continuing colitis....Let me know, Karla

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Sometimes it might take 2-3 stool samples to check fir Cocci or Giardia and best treated by your Vet.  I used Panacur for years until new meds came out. It is expensive and I would not recommend using meds blindly until you know you need them.  Please tell your friends to stop the coughing routine as this obviously stresses the dog more!  
Karla has a point, what feeding schedule is the dog on?  Some foods can cause more stool.  Karla is more knowledgable then I am on the food issues.
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She's fed 3 times a day, Wellness Core for puppies.  3/4 cup a day.  1/4 cup in the morning, 1/4 cup about 3:30 & 1/4 cup at bedtime.  
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What new meds do you use or prefer over the panacur, has opinions changed that its the best for giardia?  I think I will take yours & Misfits advice about the stool sample.  I didn't know I could take in the sample w/o the dog, I'll ask if they'll allow that.  I had read about what you mentioned about it might take multiple samples to detect those, so some people were saying they couldn't afford the multiple testing & some vets go ahead & treat for them "just in case".  I'm not sure how much the panacur is at the vets office but you can order it w/o an RX on amazon for $6 a box, that treats for 3 days.  The reviews are very good w/ people saying its a fraction of the cost.  If she did test + I'd ask my vet for dosing instructions & then politely say I'd order it from amazon.

I certainly don't have any evidence one way or the other, but I have a feeling it's not that since its not her first tummy issue.  Who knows though, several things fit.  The diarrhea had a very terrible smell! More than normal poo smell.  You should have heard the other Tech's reactions at the vet when our tech opened that sample to begin the testing. We could even smell it from where we were in the exam room, granted there's no doors on the rooms but still.
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Well now she's having her tummy issues again.  I am so stressed over this.  I just don't understand at all.  It started a few days ago, I didn't say anything till now because I was hoping it was a fluke.  But she had thrown up in the corner of her crate yesterday morning, just the yellowish frothy stuff.  I was a little late getting her up & fed a couple days before this, just trying to sleep in because I was exhausted from getting up with her so much... and she threw up that morning (that I was late getting up) outside.  I fed her on time from that day on hoping I could turn things around... but since then she's just slowly gotten less & less of an appetite.  The morning feeding is the worst just like back in April when this problem first started.  I used to get her up take her out to potty & come inside to feed her and while she was eating i'd go outside to feed our two outside cats.  She would usually be done eating by the time I got back in.  But the past 3 days it's taking her 30 minutes or longer to eat that little 1/4 cup of food.  I just don't know what to do anymore.  The vet put her on Ranitidine (liquid) back in April, $33 a bottle & threw up even more while she was taking it.  

A friend of mine said, just don't worry about it, if she doesn't feel like eating just wait till next feeding.  I tried that & it was an epic failure, she just got sicker and sicker, the longer she goes w/o eating the sicker she gets and the more she doesn't want to eat, it creates a vicious cycle.

Does Wellness make an easy to digest dog food, would that be the next step to try?  Is there anyone out there w/ a dog w/ similar problems?  What can be done?  
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Sorry, short of time now.  I wrote the other day and proceeded to delete the whole post!!
I did not have good luck with Wellness and went back to Blue, adult small breed.
Briefly, try getting a small bag of Pro Plan Salmon fir sensitive stomachs and transition over.  Check with your Vet about possibly adding Pepcid.
Don't treat for Giardia until/if that is diagnosed.
Are you using a monthly wormer?  
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Thanks Margot49, Yes she gets Revolution every month.  That's supposed to do the major parasites/worms & heartworm.

Do you think the Pepcid would be better than the generic zantac?  As far as not making her sicker?  

I don't mind changing her food, but it makes me wonder because the first time she did the throwing up the foamy stuff & not wanting to eat thing was before the Wellness, that's why I switched to it.  She came to me from the breeder on Puppy Chow, and I kept her on it till she started having this problem in April.  

Also I'm thinking ahead to what I'm going to switch her to for adult food when she turns 1 in just 2 months... is the Pro Plan an adult food?  I'll look it up, thanks for the suggestion.

Was also looking at Tractor Supply's 4Health, because it's a 4 star kibble at an amazing price.

Also no one ever gave me a suggestion on a good probiotic to give daily, that won't break the bank.  The Vet gives me Proviable DC, it's very expensive through them though, about $1 a capsule.  But you can order it online like Amazon for $30 for 80, is that a good one?
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Have you contacted your breeder to see if he/she might recognize the problem in their linage? Might be worth a shot......Maybe they will have some suggestions......
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Contacting the breeder is always a good idea, assuming they are a reputable breeder!
Another good source of information can be the breed's National Web Club site as they often give potential health issues one may deal with in the breed.
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I don't have a lot of confidence in contacting her.  I'm beginning to think she wasn't a reputable breeder.  It was about a 3 hour drive to get there, and we were delayed here at home so we didn't arrive until it was pretty late like almost 9 PM, and we didn't get to see the parents, and there was a barn like structure or shed with pens or runs attached to it, it was dark so it was hard to see very well... so I didn't know what to do once I got there and the lady was waiting inside her home w/ the puppy I had picked out... so I just took her.  I don't really know what the term back yard breeder means, but I wonder if she was one.  Also because Gracie never has much trouble w/ sleeping in her poop inside her crate, at least when she was very little, makes me wonder too if the environment was clean.  

I guess I could still contact her though & see what she says.

Today's poop was solid... it was around 10:30 this morning.  Would like her to go again tonight, but I doubt she will.  On that scale that Misfits gave me it was a 3 probably, looked wet but pick up able.  

Went to town early afternoon and picked up another bag of the Wellness Core puppy, she was almost out and not enough to start a transfer w/ a new kind of kibble.  So I brought it home and around 3:30 was time to feed her again and she ate it up like the old Gracie!  I couldn't believe it.  

I wonder if it just tasted fresh or something???  Same way w/ bedtime feeding at 10:30, she ate no hesitation at all.  She was almost out of the other bag so I don't see how it could have been a "bad batch" just now causing problems.  

We'll see how the morning feeding goes tomorrow.  If she does ok from here on out, I will leave her on the Core until she turns one then I'll need to decide which way I'm going to go.

Thanks for the encouragement ladies, it's been a rough couple of weeks & who knows what tomorrow brings.
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Hope things are improving.  Maybe we should repost what to look for when buying from a reputable breeder.  Your brief description dies not sound good.
Unless someone shows and breeds dogs, both parents on premises can be a red flag.  If someone dies not offer a health guarantee (conditions and time limitations may differ) against genetic defects that would make the dog unsuitable as a pet. Do not buy the dog.  Pet quality pups are sold on Limited Registration and must be spay or neutered.  You should be given health records (shots and workings, etc).  I could go on.  
Why are you feeding so late at night?  Last meal should be maybe 5:00 - 6:00 pm.
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I'm feeding at bedtime because of what happened to her in April.  She was vomiting that frothy stuff every morning & feeling so nauseous she wasn't eating.  So my vet said some dogs can't go very long between meals, the longer the stomach is empty the more acids/bile that collects & the sicker they'll feel, for those dogs feeding smaller more frequent meals with the last one at bedtime usually helps solve the problem.

She was also given a 10 day of Proviable DC & that liquid Zantac that made her sicker.  It seems to be a very common problem on the Internet.  Anyway, just spacing those meals out seemed to work for her, but she's still very sensitive.
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Ok, I understand.
Both my daughter's dog and my son's dog in particular, were having the same issues.  I told my son to try the switch to the Pro Plan Salmon for sensitive stomachs and ask his Vet about the Pepcid.  He has been doing this fir over a year now and has cut back to feeding twice a day and seldom uses the Pepcid now.  He was home to visit recently and his dog looks great and her coat is beautiful so she has done well.  She is probably a Greyhound/Lab mix?  Who knows.  LOL!
I think my daughter is still using it too and her dog is now a Senior.  She just recently had all her blood work done and all was fine.
Just throwing that out there.
I was not happy with the Wellness and went back to Blue but we all have our own food trial experiences.
I want one of those dogs that will eat cardboard and do fine!! :-)
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Margot, I have one of those dogs that can eat cardboard and do fine! Trust me though, you DON'T want him for various other reasons!  :-)   Karla
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Wow me too!  Wanting the dog that can eat whatever & be fine, that is.

I'm so glad to hear that your son's dog did better.  If this keeps happening I'll definitely do that. Is the Pepcid in pill form?  I can't afford the $33 liquid every month, if dogs can do the pills or half of one, you can get those generic for less than $5.  I know because I take a generic Zantac every night.

I'm just trying to make it through the current drama... Maybe we are on our way... She ended up pooping last night (taking about 16 min, much better than 30 or an hr)... But it was probably a 4 on that poop scale.

She hasn't went today yet.  She ate breakfast just fine.  
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I'm sorry to keep bugging you all about this but no one has mentioned any advice on probiotics, if Proviable DC is a good one.

Also, the vet gave me Composure chews to give her the day before/day of/day after her next grooming appointment, they are supposed to help w/ anxiety.  #1, I'm terrified to take her back to the groomer for fear of setting off another diarrhea drama; #2, I'm afraid the chews themselves might upset her stomach; #3, I don't even know if they work.
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Yes, Your Proviable DC looks like a good one......I use Animal Essentials (Probiotics plus Digestive Enzymes)....Mines a powder, but just a sprinkle a day for your size dog.....
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Do I need the digestive enzymes too do you think?  What do those do?

Any thoughts on the Composure chews?
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