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Hi All, new member here,

Forewarning - long post ahead

I recently got my first Golden puppy back in December. Tucker is 15 weeks now and we've been having some digestive issues for the past few weeks. Coming from the breeder, he was on Iams Smart Puppy LBP, but I switched him to Blue Buffalo LifeSource LBP because I want him on a high quality diet. He was on the Blue Buffalo for about a month when he started having very loose stools (and occasional full blow diarrhea). After a few days and long nights of this, I took him to the vet and she gave him a shot for the inflammation in his stomach and probiotic that lasted 2-3 days. He seemed to get better, but then the loose stools came back.

He's completely up to date on all vaccinations and has had 3 different fecal tests done, which were all negative.

After doing some research online, I decided to take him off of his food and give him boiled chicken and rice, which immediately made things better (a.k.a firm poops). After a few days of this, I introduced a little of his BB kibble back into his diet and the loose stools immediately came back. Seemed like a no brainer to me - it was the food. I also actually found quite a few reviews online from people saying they had seen Blue Buffalo cause digestive issues. So, off to the pet store to get a new food. I ended up with Diamond Naturals LBP (lamb and rice). It contains a probiotic, which is what sold me.

I put Tuck back on the boiled chicken and rice to let things settle back down before slowly introducing the new food. I mixed maybe a quarter of a cup of the new food in with the chicken and rice at each meal yesterday and we were up twice during night (within 2 hours) to go out.

So we're back on the chicken and rice today. I've been reading as much as I can and banging my head against my computer screen trying to figure out what to do. I've been using canned pumpkin (100% organic) on and off for a month and a half with mixed results. I may try giving him some plain yogurt to see if that helps. Any suggestions?

He had a vet appt yesterday for boosters. This was his 3rd visit since all this stomach issues started, so his vet is well versed by now. The vet casually suggested that his food may be too rich and that I may try a mid-grade food if the Diamond Naturals doesn't work. I'm not really crazy about degrading his food though.

Also, he has had itchy skin since I got him, so the vet put him on Dermascent essential oil which is helping a little but not completely. I've read about switching to a grain free diet since he has skin and stomach issues, but I've gotten mixed reviews on that as well.

I'm not sure what else to do. I'm pretty frustrated, so I can't imagine how the little guy is feeling. I will say his energy levels, attitude, demeanor, etc. are all normal. He's not dehydrated, he's ALWAYS hungry, and plays all the time. Aside from the poopy problems, he's a completely normal pup.

He's the first puppy that I've had on my own so I realize I may be a little paranoid, but there definitely are some issues here. ANY help would be greatly appreciated!
 

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It is generally advised on here to keep your puppy on what the breeder is feeding at least for a few months. I understand you wanting to have your dog on a so called "high quality" food but if that is not working you need to find something that he thrives on. Many people on here find their dogs do really well on a so called "lower quality" food and I am sure they will be on with their recommendations. I myself feed a raw diet.
 

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Has your vet checked his stool for parasites? Puppy parasites are SO common (giardia, coccidia), and need to be treated if he has them.

Has your vet recommended a vet food to help calm things down? We've had good luck with Purina EN Gastroenteric - very bland, easy to digest. It helps the dog's inside calm down, relieves the inflammation, (a small bag will last about 3 weeks) and then you can slowly transfer to a regular food. When we transitioned off the EN, I looked for a food that was very similar ingredients-wise, and landed with Pro Plan LBP. My dog did great on it, and I have kept her on Pro Plan as an adult. Many show and agility and field dogs are fed Pro Plan and thrive.
 
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Have you considered having allergy tests done?

We had slowly switched our dog from his breeder's kibble to a high-quality kibble (grain-free) and he was doing pretty well, but he still had some pudding-like poops when he would go to the bathroom. Like you, his stool was clean. He had been put on medication, we tried the ground turkey and rice diet, and put pumpkin in his food - all of it only helped for a few days.

We finally had an allergy test done and lo and behold, our dog was allergic to a lot of the common ingredients in dog food. I'm not just talking about an allergy to wheat, but also oats, kelp, sweet potatoes, green peas, and a few other things. We immediately switched all of his treats and kibble to one that didn't contain any allergens and suddenly his poop was 100% fine.

That all being said, your dog is still really young and his stomach is sensitive. I know some foods are too rich for puppies and that could be doing it as well. I would switch him back (slowly) to what he was on until his stools are normal, and then do some research on other food (this forum is great for suggestions) and very slowly switch him to that.
 

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The thing with a puppy is to feed them something they can digest, that gives them the nutrients they need to grow. The concept of "quality" is a relative one here. When I got my first golden, the breeder gave me a bag of Eukanuba puppy food, and I kept her on the same diet throughout puppyhood. She flourished physically and never had a single digestive problem.

My current pup also came with a supply of food, but I'm unable to get the same brand here in Canada (he came from the US). I bought a bag of what I considered to be good quality puppy food, but he immediately got diarrhea. At his wellness exam, I asked the vet about this, and she told me the food I had chosen was too protein-rich and therefore difficult for a pup to digest. On her recommendation, I tried Royal Canin puppy food: the diarrhea went away within a day and has not come back since. I'm going to keep feeding it for as long as my pup needs puppy food.

Our toy poodle has dental issues and has been on Royal Canin dental food for about 18 months. He does very well on it: he's healthy and vigorous, and his teeth have been much easier to maintain since we started it.

These types of foods aren't "popular", but there's a lot of research behind them. It might be worth asking your vet what he or she recommends.

I also second Sweet Girl's suggestion to check for parasites. They pick up all kinds of things at this age.
 
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Thanks all for the info.

Sweet Girl - I have not had him checked for any specific parasites, only routine fecal exams that I think only check for worms. I don't know that giardia or coccidia would show up in those tests, but I have wondered about those. But with his stools immediately firming up after switching to boiled chicken and rice and then immediately being very loose after giving him kibble again, it just seemed logical for it to be the food. I may be wrong, but I figure a parasite would have caused runny stools on boiled chicken and on kibble.

My vet just said maybe try a "mid-grade food", so I bought a small bag of the Iams Smart Puppy that the breeder had him on when I got him. I'm going to slowly start him back on that and see what happens. She mentioned going grain-free but when I have him on boiled chicken and rice, the rice doesn't seem to bother him. I guess it could possibly be other grains though. He hasn't been on a food that doesn't contain rice. The vet also mentioned Purina Pro Plan, but I want to go back to something that he was already on (Iams) before trying yet another new food. I will keep the Purina EN Gastroenteric in mind and for sure mention it to the vet if things don't get better soon.

WiggumsMom - I have not had any allergy tests done but I have wondered about that. I mentioned allergies to the vet early on when I really noticed his skin being so itchy and she said he was awfully young to already have allergies. After the stomach issues started, I thought maybe the itchiness was related to whatever is causing the stomach problems too. How old was your pup when you had the allergy tests done?

Ceegee - thanks for the info. I think with him being my first puppy, I may be a little paranoid about feeding him nothing but high quality, when in reality, even mid-grade food will still provide the nutrients he needs. I'm really starting to think that is the case with my pup - too protein rich. But I will also ask my vet about checking for parasites because Tucker is literally into EVERYTHING. It's a full time job in itself to keep him out of things he's not supposed to be in.
 

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I would put him back on what the breeder had him on and give it a couple of weeks to settle. Maybe even a month, if it's just mushy poops (vs. diarrhea). Don't add any other foods. At this point, he's had several food changes and not enough time to get used to any of them. A lot of dogs here are on Purina Pro Plan.

My vet says it takes a month for digestive issues to settle. That's the time a dog needs to recover from whatever and get back on regular food. My experience is that's she's right.
 

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I have had several boarding dogs on BB food- and NONE of them had nice stools. Always at least a floppy stool, and never firm. Puppies should not be food swapped if they are thriving on the breeder's food, at least till they are done w their puppy shot series imo. Much as I agree w you about the Iams, it would've been better not to swap foods so early. They're babies yet and their GI systems are not mature.
If it were my puppy I would take the original breeder brand and type and add to it a spoonful of plain yogurt and a spoon full of pumpkin.. and if the oil the vet has the puppy on is still in the picture, I would discontinue that. Ask the vet to do a giardia test and a coccidian test and if you are taking stool in for his testing, try to get it from at least two poops. Oftentimes they have it but it doesn't show up. You might also ask the vet about a course of metronidiazole to rest puppy's belly and maybe some Albon too. I know you're going crazy, poop problems are so messy and puppy is miserable too...
 

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Get him off the Blue Buffalo. A puppy from my breeder about 20 weeks old was having the same issue with Blue Buffalo. She contacted me two weeks ago, I had her switch to Earthborn, problem solved in a few days.

I had the same issue with my puppy but another food, changed food half / half - the very next poop was firmer, the next day I ended up going 100 percent new food. That day all issues were gone. She went from pooping over 10 times a day, to once after each meal.
 
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We have been feeding our girls Superstores brand of puppy food called president's Choice. Our first girl arrived from her breeder on it. After her hip surgery we took her back out to see the breeder (longish story) and he suggested the BB. I think he was concerned with her hollow but we have to keep her weight down for her hip. Our other pup came home from the breeder on purina puppy chow. We have them both on BB and the PC brand is used as treats.
The really funny thing is we mostly feed them cooked food which we prepare. We did that for 11.5 years with Bailey and now these two get same thing. Takes a bit of work but we feel it's worth the effort. Brown rice, beef (or whatever protein we have), eggs, cheese, broccoli, snow peas, and left overs. They also get apples, bananas, blueberries, and oranges. My husband is a chef and is sad that we rarely put onions or garlic in our food anymore. They also luv their yogurt. So in reality we are using the BB and PC kibble as a supplement. I hope to eventually have them off it when they are adults. Their coats are shiny, their breath is fabulous, their teeth are white and we've had no issues with runny poop. Sometimes there is a soft poop, but a bit more brown rice usually corrects the problem.
We read a book years ago called " The Heart of the Matter" and it made so much sense. It posed the question ... Why do we feed them processed food? and ground beef and rice when they are sick?
Food for thought no pun intended.
 

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I have been feeding him boiled chicken, rice, a spoon full of plain greek yogurt (probiotics), a spoon full of canned organic pumpkin, and about a 1/4 cup of the Iams that he was on with the breeder. I feed him this mixture in the mornings and evenings and just the chicken, rice, and Iams at lunch. He seems to be getting better.

I plan on increasing to 1/2 cup of the kibble starting today and do that for a few days and see what happens. If all goes well, I will try to transition off the chicken, rice, and pumpkin in about a week and transition fully to kibble and yogurt (twice a day for the yogurt) as long as all stays well.

The vet also told me I could switch to larger portions twice a day as long as I stay in the 3-4 cups/day range, but I think I'll stick with feeding 3x a day until he's 6 mos or so.
 

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Thanks all for the info.

WiggumsMom - I have not had any allergy tests done but I have wondered about that. I mentioned allergies to the vet early on when I really noticed his skin being so itchy and she said he was awfully young to already have allergies. After the stomach issues started, I thought maybe the itchiness was related to whatever is causing the stomach problems too. How old was your pup when you had the allergy tests done?
We had Wiggum's allergy tests done in October, so he would have been 7 months by that point. It took about a month for the results to come back, and the test isn't cheap, but it was definitely worth it.
 

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I am finding the food thing annoying too. My pup came to me on Taste of the Wild, transitioned her to Merricks, no problems, but I had my puppy travelling in the States and at one point had to settle for 'good' old Purina Puppy Chow. Other than substantial, her poops were great, her health great, weight gain good. Not wanting her on a corn and by product based diet, I switched to a grain free, and had nothing but trouble. Gas and soft poops. Now at home I am switching her back to Merricks. Fingers crossed her poop goes back to normal again and not the 'pudding' I have been dealing with. If that doesn't settle it, I am going to make the effort to make her food.
 

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I ran out of chicken and rice yesterday, so I decided to see how things went with just kibble (Iams), yogurt, and pumpkin. We were up every two hours last night going outside. This is so frustrating. I'm not sure what else to do. With fear of another food change causing even more issues, I think I'm going to stick with the Iams for now and just see if things get better before his next vet appointment in a couple of weeks.
 

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plain old yogurt (I wouldn't do the greek, it's so rich) has always done the trick for my pups.

We had a HORRIBLE time with Monkey's poop when he was younger because he came to us with a SLEW of health problems. He was on antibiotics, steroids, etc. We had the same issues. I was just looking back over his health records (we recently switched vets) and saw that his last real treatment at the vet for anything poop related was around 5 months!

I will tell you - as much as we hated it, the one food that fixed his belly that agreed with him was Purina Pro Plan.

With this new little guy, I am tempted to see if I can switch Monkey over to a better food now so when we are ready to start Marshall on big boy food they can eat the same thing. But I'm terrified. (Marshall is on Fromm).

Good luck!
 
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Jed is 7 months now and we have had tummy issues with him as well. I have come to the conclusion that he just has a sensitive stomach. He came to us on Diamond but I switched him over to Taste of the Wild. I am now very very slowly switching him over to Fromm's which is the food my last Golden ate with no issues. I have been adding a tablespoon of plain yogart plus 1/4 cup of white ice to his food in the am and a tablespoon of cottage cheese plus 1/4 cup of rice to his food in the evenings and it has seemed to help. Even if I have to stay with this--it is not that expensive and worth it.
 

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I went through the exact same thing, and posted on here in a panicked frenzy. I was up maybe 3-4 times a night with my pup.

At first, I also thought it was the food. I had her on Royal Canin, and for some reason after a while she started having loose stools and mucous-y diarrhea. The vet couldn't come up with an answer to why this was happening.

Pumpkin didn't work, probiotics only worked temporarily, and I was at the end of my rope! Fecals were all negative.

Finally, a vet took a look at her stool and noticed that there was only one type of bacteria. She said that this was abnormal and that usually there is a balance of 2-3 We put her on a prescribed kibble and antibiotics, and added a probiotic in there.

We stopped the antibiotic after 2 weeks, and the probiotic a week after. We stopped the prescription kibble a week after that. I put her back on Royal Canin just to test if that was the problem - and it wasn't. She has been healthy ever since.

Hang in there! You are not alone.
 

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Zwood

I would keep him on the same food the breeder had him on. Is that what he's on?
 

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I would keep him on the same food the breeder had him on. Is that what he's on?
Yes, he is on Iams Proactive Health Smart Puppy for LBP, which is what the breeder had him on. I've been slowly reintroducing it with the boiled chicken and rice for the past week or so.
 

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On the topic of parasites - do any of you think it's possible to have a parasite (i.e. giardia) even if his stools firmed up when on the boiled chicken and rice? When this all started and I took him off the Blue Buffalo and put him on boiled chicken and rice, he almost immediately got better. Then I reintroduced the BB and the runny poops came right back. Same exact scenario yesterday with the Iams. To me, it doesn't seem logical for his stools to firm up at all if he has a parasite. It seems like a parasite would cause loose stools, regardless of what he's eating (chicken & rice vs kibble). Unless the chicken and rice helped enough to cover up parasitic symptoms?

Do the normal fecal exams done at the vet check for those parasites? Those have all been negative, but it seems like that's just for worms. We have another routine vet visit on 3/9 but I'm wondering if I should make yet another appointment before then to check for parasites. That bill just keeps getting higher and higher!
 
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