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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey all!

I’ve put off posting in here as I was hoping this would clear up but alas it has not.

Last month, Gordon tested positive for Giardia after having bloody and mucus-y diarrhea and “soft serve” yellowish coloured stool. Don’t know where he got it from.

He went on Panacur for 5 days, took FortiFlora and 3 weeks after that had a fecal done. He tested negative for Giardia. Soon after, he started having bad diarrhea again. The vet gave us Metronidazole and Aventi GI. He was finally starting to poop normally. Then they both ran out and he started having diarrhea again.

Vet said it could have been a false negative. They gave us more Aventi GI. Still having diarrhea. They gave us another stint of Panacur, more Metronidazole and more Fortiflora. He’s on day 3 of 5 of the Panacur and he takes the Metronidazole for 2 weeks. We repeat the Panacur again in two weeks. They also want us to get him on Royal Canin Gastro Puppy food to see if this is food related and no bully sticks and no treats allowed. He’s been on Purina Puppy Pro Plan since he came home in July. He has recently been on rice and chicken as well.

We are both tired, stressed and want our boy to be healthy again. Not to mention this is so expensive. We also want to know if this treatment from the vet is typical. Should we be asking for specific tests to be done?

What are your thoughts?
Morgan
 

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No further tests - it sounds like they are now doing the right thing. A 5-day course is often useless with giardia, so I'm glad you're now on a 14-day course. I fed the Purina version of the bland, gastro diet (which was great) throughout and for several weeks after my pup was negative. I finished the full round of antibiotics before I did the 30-day course of FortiFlora, so there was no danger of them cancelling each other out. Giardia is really tough. Mine had both giardia and coccidia. It took months, and was exhausting for both me and my pup, but eventually it will clear up. Give nothing else but the gastro food - let his system settle down. Use the kibble as training treats. Did they advise you to start cleaning his rear end 3 days after starting the meds? They start to shed the eggs, and so you need to clean after poops - wipe only downwards so you are not reinfecting. I used baby wipes.
 
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I also think the treatment sounds normal. I recommend keeping him on FortiFlora for at least the next 2 months. You can buy it from pet supply companies without a prescription. My girl went through something similar and consistent FortiFlora for 60 days is what cleared up the diarrhea permanently. Antibiotics kill good bacteria too, so his little gut doesn't have a lot of help digesting things right now. I always have FortiFlora on hand, just in case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No further tests - it sounds like they are now doing the right thing. A 5-day course is often useless with giardia, so I'm glad you're now on a 14-day course. I fed the Purina version of the bland, gastro diet (which was great) throughout and for several weeks after my pup was negative. I finished the full round of antibiotics before I did the 30-day course of FortiFlora, so there was no danger of them cancelling each other out. Giardia is really tough. Mine had both giardia and coccidia. It took months, and was exhausting for both me and my pup, but eventually it will clear up. Give nothing else but the gastro food - let his system settle down. Use the kibble as training treats. Did they advise you to start cleaning his rear end 3 days after starting the meds? They start to shed the eggs, and so you need to clean after poops - wipe only downwards so you are not reinfecting. I used baby wipes.
I did buy some baby wipes but they didn’t advise me to do any of that. Thank god for the internet and this forum! Should I clean after every poop? Also, they only have us on another 5 day of Panacur, then another 5 day course in two weeks. However, he will be on the Metronidazole antibiotics for two full weeks which is great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I also think the treatment sounds normal. I recommend keeping him on FortiFlora for at least the next 2 months. You can buy it from pet supply companies without a prescription. My girl went through something similar and consistent FortiFlora for 60 days is what cleared up the diarrhea permanently. Antibiotics kill good bacteria too, so his little gut doesn't have a lot of help digesting things right now. I always have FortiFlora on hand, just in case.
Ok we will definitely keep him on the FortiFlora for as long as possible. It’s been a life saver.
 

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My hooman can’t comment on the medicine-side of the question. But she discovered that I was allergic to chicken! So I have lamb or salmon. No more oooey-gooey poops for me!
 

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I did buy some baby wipes but they didn’t advise me to do any of that. Thank god for the internet and this forum! Should I clean after every poop? Also, they only have us on another 5 day of Panacur, then another 5 day course in two weeks. However, he will be on the Metronidazole antibiotics for two full weeks which is great.
Yes, after every poop. And just downwards. I really hope this and the 2-weeks of meds gets it under control. Did they mention to you that giardia also almost always will go dormant for a few weeks after treatment and then come back again before it fully dies away? Sorry to break the news if they didn't. I hope it doesn't in your case, but just be prepared.
 
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Couple things:
Metronidazole is known to fix things while a pup is on it, then wreak havoc right when they come off. My vet said sometimes dogs are worse than before for a few days after treatment.

If you caught giardia, you may have more parasites in the pups system that weren't caught by a basic fecal, so consider a PCR fecal test. They're not cheap--I think we paid $200 for it but WORTH IT. Our pup tested negative for everything on the standard test, but the PCR test caught 2 parasites that were really hurting her. With that in mind, the meds should have helped those other parasites too unless they required a special medication.

When our pup went through this, we were given a 28 day course of tylan on top of a 10 day course of stronger antibiotics, and told to add 1 tsp psyllium husk and 2 tbs wheat bran to our pups diet every day, since high fiber can help get rid of parasites. We've continued the fiber because psyllium also helps with diarrhea, and honestly, it can't hurt. A hydrolyzed protein diet can also help during this time since it's super gentle on the dog's stomach, but it's not cheap. Starting with the GI food is likely the best bet, and only going to the HP food if you need it. We're about to move back to the GI food from the HP diet since our pup has completely cleared up.

In addition, our vet recommended:
  • Use specific pet-safe wipes to wipe her paws EVERY TIME the pup goes outside, and the backend after every single poop.
  • Wash bedding daily, clean your floors regularly.
  • If you have a yard, our vet recommends picking the poop up ASAP, and hosing off the area. We only use shared grass in a city, so the focus was fast cleanup.
  • Stay away from other dogs for a bit. We were told 3 weeks (1 week after antibiotics are done).
  • Bathe more regularly, especially after treatment ends.
Sorry your going through this. We dealt with 2-3 months of this, culminating with me going to the vet in tears saying my puppy was losing weight, exploding out of her backend, and I had barely slept in 2 weeks due to her needing to go out every 90 min overnight. Once she started treatment though we've been 100% clear and not a single loose stool.
 

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Your pup could be getting re-infected- check for any sources of standing /stagnant water. Also one tablespoon of plain yoghurt daily to encourage healthy gut and plain canned pumpkin ( a tablesoon a day). Always check with your vet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Couple things:
Metronidazole is known to fix things while a pup is on it, then wreak havoc right when they come off. My vet said sometimes dogs are worse than before for a few days after treatment.

If you caught giardia, you may have more parasites in the pups system that weren't caught by a basic fecal, so consider a PCR fecal test. They're not cheap--I think we paid $200 for it but WORTH IT. Our pup tested negative for everything on the standard test, but the PCR test caught 2 parasites that were really hurting her. With that in mind, the meds should have helped those other parasites too unless they required a special medication.

When our pup went through this, we were given a 28 day course of tylan on top of a 10 day course of stronger antibiotics, and told to add 1 tsp psyllium husk and 2 tbs wheat bran to our pups diet every day, since high fiber can help get rid of parasites. We've continued the fiber because psyllium also helps with diarrhea, and honestly, it can't hurt. A hydrolyzed protein diet can also help during this time since it's super gentle on the dog's stomach, but it's not cheap. Starting with the GI food is likely the best bet, and only going to the HP food if you need it. We're about to move back to the GI food from the HP diet since our pup has completely cleared up.

In addition, our vet recommended:
  • Use specific pet-safe wipes to wipe her paws EVERY TIME the pup goes outside, and the backend after every single poop.
  • Wash bedding daily, clean your floors regularly.
  • If you have a yard, our vet recommends picking the poop up ASAP, and hosing off the area. We only use shared grass in a city, so the focus was fast cleanup.
  • Stay away from other dogs for a bit. We were told 3 weeks (1 week after antibiotics are done).
  • Bathe more regularly, especially after treatment ends.
Sorry your going through this. We dealt with 2-3 months of this, culminating with me going to the vet in tears saying my puppy was losing weight, exploding out of her backend, and I had barely slept in 2 weeks due to her needing to go out every 90 min overnight. Once she started treatment though we've been 100% clear and not a single loose stool.
He’s off the metronidazole and you got it right - his diarrhea is back! He starts another round of Panacur on Thursday and we are continuing on with the probiotics. Poor guy. My heart does out to you for making it through this - it’s so stressful!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes, after every poop. And just downwards. I really hope this and the 2-weeks of meds gets it under control. Did they mention to you that giardia also almost always will go dormant for a few weeks after treatment and then come back again before it fully dies away? Sorry to break the news if they didn't. I hope it doesn't in your case, but just be prepared.
Makes sense that it can go dormant. I feel like that’s what’s happened to Gordon. That, and the parasite has just wrecked havoc on the poor guy’s stomach. A fellow member mentioned below to try psyllium and wheat bran. I am going to try this as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Your pup could be getting re-infected- check for any sources of standing /stagnant water. Also one tablespoon of plain yoghurt daily to encourage healthy gut and plain canned pumpkin ( a tablesoon a day). Always check with your vet.
Greek yogurt or just regular old plain yogurt?
 

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Makes sense that it can go dormant. I feel like that’s what’s happened to Gordon. That, and the parasite has just wrecked havoc on the poor guy’s stomach.
That's pretty much what happened with Shala, too. Once all the antibiotics and meds were done, and the fecal was negative, I kept her on the bland vet food (Purina EN) for about two months and did a 30-day course of FortiFlora. No other food or treats. I'd try to not overload with too many things that might cause intestinal distress (yoghurt, bran ,etc). Just keep it bland and easy.

And you may find in the years that come that any time he has any GI issues, there is diarrhea and a bit of blood. Don't panic. If he's like Shala, his colon will just always be easily irritated. If Shala can't seem to kick diarrhea with just some rice and rest, or she is normal-diarreha-normal-diarrhea over a week or ten days, I will do a round of FortiFlora just to get her gut back in the right balance. But I also give very few treats and no human food whatsoever, just to help keep everything as routine and normal.
 
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That's pretty much what happened with Shala, too. Once all the antibiotics and meds were done, and the fecal was negative, I kept her on the bland vet food (Purina EN) for about two months and did a 30-day course of FortiFlora. No other food or treats. I'd try to not overload with too many things that might cause intestinal distress (yoghurt, bran ,etc). Just keep it bland and easy.

And you may find in the years that come that any time he has any GI issues, there is diarrhea and a bit of blood. Don't panic. If he's like Shala, his colon will just always be easily irritated. If Shala can't seem to kick diarrhea with just some rice and rest, or she is normal-diarreha-normal-diarrhea over a week or ten days, I will do a round of FortiFlora just to get her gut back in the right balance. But I also give very few treats and no human food whatsoever, just to help keep everything as routine and normal.
We are still going through this with our 7ish month old! She never got a positive fecal but has been on metro a tonne since she was just under 5 months. Now with a 2nd vet for a 2nd opinion...the new vet put her on Hills Science Prescription ID and forti flora a week and a half ago, and today she just started pooping liquid again. She is so incredibly underweight at this point, the vet wants us to bring her in tomorrow for additional testing like a GI panel - not sure what that entails.

Was Shala having any diarrhea at all on the bland vet food? How were you able to keep weight on her as well? Ours has actually lost weight recently being on the bland diet...she's only 33lbs at 7 months now ☹☹
 

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Was Shala having any diarrhea at all on the bland vet food? How were you able to keep weight on her as well? Ours has actually lost weight recently being on the bland diet...she's only 33lbs at 7 months now ☹☹
My pup had diarrhea on a bland diet and even chicken and rice, and lost weight, which is when we went for the more expensive PCR fecal test and the hydrolyzed protein diet + ultra strong probiotics (and once the fecal test came back positive, meds and the things I mentioned in a prior post). It worked, but we had to really advocate for the proper testing. It's been 2 months now, no diarrhea, and she's moving from hydrolyzed protein to normal puppy GI food and so far the transition is going well. She is about 40 lbs at 7 months, which is back on track after her prior weight loss. She actually gained 5 lbs in 10 days on the new diet, which just showed how bad things had been!

I really hope they can determine what's wrong with your pup, it's so terrifying and sad to watch them suffer from these GI issues. The GI panel is probably the PCR fecal panel test we had done too. It was not cheap ($200ish) but it caught the parasites all the other tests had missed so 100% worth it.
 

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My pup had diarrhea on a bland diet and even chicken and rice, and lost weight, which is when we went for the more expensive PCR fecal test and the hydrolyzed protein diet + ultra strong probiotics (and once the fecal test came back positive, meds and the things I mentioned in a prior post). It worked, but we had to really advocate for the proper testing. It's been 2 months now, no diarrhea, and she's moving from hydrolyzed protein to normal puppy GI food and so far the transition is going well. She is about 40 lbs at 7 months, which is back on track after her prior weight loss. She actually gained 5 lbs in 10 days on the new diet, which just showed how bad things had been!

I really hope they can determine what's wrong with your pup, it's so terrifying and sad to watch them suffer from these GI issues. The GI panel is probably the PCR fecal panel test we had done too. It was not cheap ($200ish) but it caught the parasites all the other tests had missed so 100% worth it.
Thanks for responding! We are back at the vet today for the GI panel and will push for the PCR fecal test if it isn't the same thing. The fact she's on a prescription chicken diet and still having diarrhea makes me wonder if it was in fact a chicken allergy, but we had her on salmon for a whole month before this and she was still getting bad diarrhea on that. Glad your girl is on the mend and at a healthy weight! I feel so sorry for these pups!
 

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Was Shala having any diarrhea at all on the bland vet food? How were you able to keep weight on her as well? Ours has actually lost weight recently being on the bland diet...she's only 33lbs at 7 months now ☹☹
She did while she still had the giardia and coccidia, but once they were gone, she did not have diarrhea on the bland vet food (she was on Purina EN gastroenteric). I only gave her the kibble - no treats (I used the kibble for training) and the FortiFlora. She is petite, and she definitely had no fat on her for a long time. I fed her more (I fed three meals a day because she couldn't eat enough in two meals a day and a bigger portion of food just upset her stomach), and when we finally transitioned back to regular puppy food, I kept her on it far longer than many people do, because she was a slow grower. She was on Purina Pro Plan Puppy til about 16-17 months old. Shala was 45 pounds until around when she turned eight, and now she is about 47 pounds. But she is also small overall - only 20.5 inches tall, so she is actually perfectly proportioned, and has always been very fit. I love her size. I don't know if it has to do with the parasites she dealt with, but it doesn't really matter, and it is nothing I could change even if I wanted to. She is a sweet little thing :)
 
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