Border Collie, neutered male, about 4 years old. He's having repeat bouts of violent, bloody diarrhea. In the house, out of the house, on himself, on the walls, on the other dog. . . It will seemingly resolve for a few days and then starts up again. Dog is otherwise OK, eating the bland diet he's been prescribed with gusto, active. He gets pretty distressed when he has accidents, of course.
Vet cannot find a cause. Bloodwork is normal, no parasites. IMO it's time for a look-see inside the dog.
Can dogs get ulcerative colitis or something similar? I know UC in humans is usually autoimmune. Just wondering out loud.
Any bacteria in the fecal? I had a dog who would get a clostridial overgrowth from time to time, most likely from eating something she shouldn't have, and would get explosive, bloody diarrhea. Course of metronidazole would clear it up.
Giarrdia can be present even with a negative fecal.
Some dogs can have IBD. (Irritable Bowel Disease).
Some dogs can't handle grains/common proteins in their food. Trying a grain free alternative protein food can help. It may take several weeks to see a result. Use the dog food as treats to avoid giving treats that contain grains.
Some dogs can't handle foods that are too high in protein or too rich...For example, I've heard of several dogs reacting to Orjen like that. It's a quality food but may not agree with some dogs.
Sometimes the water a dog drinks can cause problems. You can try filtered water.
Adding a couple of tablespoons of pure canned pumpkin (not spiced pie filling...it'll say pure) can help get rid of diarrhea. (You can freeze the pumpkin in ice cube trays and take out a few to use when feeding.)
Whipworm can also exist with a negative fecal. Wouldn't hurt a thing to hit the dog with a round of panacur despite nothing showing up. I would suspect allergies or environmental factors first. As Jetsmom suggested, going grain free with a middle-of-the-road protein level would be my first stop after worming. Avoid lamb. Think bison or venison. I would wean into that diet from the bland diet. Colitis can mean a sensitive dog gets repeated bouts of diarrhea just from having repeated bouts of diarrhea. Slippery elm bark sounds like hippie voodoo and can be tough to find but it works. Check the bulk section of natural food stores.
Pedialyte to help hydrate during a bout and plain, active culture yogurt during & after to help get and keep the good bacteria fighting the good fight in his system will help as well.
I spent years battling chronic explosive episodes in the current dog. After taking a note from my horse life and dosing him with panacur despite repeated negative fecals & switching to a lower protein grain free food, we've been episode free for several years (knock on wood). No exciting table scraps, no jerky/sausage like treats, yogurt every day. The vet was ready to send him to cornell for extensive testing.
Hookworms? My hound had bloody diarrhea on and off for 6 months. Many prescriptions and four fecals later found out it was hookworms. He was on heartworm protection, but looking back, he probably picked up the hookworms before he wandered by our place. The first vet didn't aggressively worm him when we brought him in for his first visit. Lesson learned. New vet too.
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If he has been treated with metronidazole and dewormed several times, and still has these issues it might be worth requesting a referral to an internist. Often not pricey for the discussion and exam, and can give you a wealth of information to go home with. If you want to further diagnose, an abdominal ultrasound can look at the integrity of the small and large intestine. Non invasive, so wont bother the dog at all. An endoscopy can take an actual peek inside the SI and Colon, and take samples if they are at all abnormal (ie. IBD). We have on occasion scoped dogs to see a case of hookworms (or whipworms...mmm...cant remember) that was not seen through repeated fecal analysis.
Sometimes HGE just happens. However, it it happens frequently that is not normal.
Gaurdia as others have said.
My dobie presented once with diarrhea (not uncommon for him) then bloody diarrhea, then leaking liquid poo out his bum (and I mean WATER) then throwing up.Then being depressed and not wanting to eat Took him to the vet the first time and we put him on fluid, x-rayed him, examined him and found nothing. After fluids they said to take him home but if he didn't do better to bring him back. We brought him back that same day and she said the only thing left to do was exploratory surgery, so that's what we did and thank god!! He had eaten a plastic bottle cap and it had shredded through his intestines! She had to remove 6 inches of it and carefully sow it back up, but she wasn't sure if it would hold and we may lose him. Thankfully the idiot pulled through, but it hasn't deterred him from eating things he shouldn't!!
BTW, we believe he ate the bottlecap a month or 2 back!
Dogs can absolutely get ulcerative colitis. I own a dog that had identical symptoms. For him, the only thing that has helped has been taking him off of dog food and me cooking for him. The vet we were seeing is not happy with me and I was lectured last time we took him in for a wellness visit... but essentially, our dog was vomiting 3-5 days per week and had chronic diarrhea. We tried every food they had at the pet store, and every prescription food the vet had. We had him on 6 different medications. We did everything but drive 4 hours to a university to have him scoped. He was also becoming aggressive and had bitten every member of the family.
Before committing to the drive and the estimated 3000 to have him examined and treated, I decided to give cooking a try. Within 2 weeks, all symptoms were gone. I've been doing this for 8 months now and he's been fine. The vet lectured that he wasn't getting a fully balanced diet that pet food provides. I argued that he wasn't getting any kind of nutrition throwing up and having daily diarrhea and at least now what he eats is used...
So I make him scrambled eggs, ground chicken, white rice, and peas. I cook it all, mix it all together, and that's what he eats.
Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.