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Our 8 month has had issues with soft (often very soft) stools since we got her. We've treated for giardia 4-5 times, tested for giardia and worms many times, and last month had full blood panel done to check for anything else going on. All checks out. The only thing we've found (finally) that immediately hardened up her poop overnight was Science Diet W/D (we previously tried I/D but did not help). We're happy we finally found something that works, but a 70 lb dog goes through a bag way too quickly and it is obviously quite expensive. Our vet recommended slowly trying to taper off the W/D with mixing it with her food, but as soon as we get below a 50/50 blend the poop goes soft again. We tried using some fiber supplements in her food since the W/D is a high fiber food, but it hasn't helped. Figured I'd see if anyone had any recommendations on something comparable to W/D with a more affordable price.
 

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Kate
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Did you try a different Science Diet option? I'm trying to remember what SD kibble looked like in a video I watched recently (Mythical Morning - they were eating different dog foods to figure out what tasted the best) - and the kibble seemed VERY SMALL compared to other dog food brands. Not sure if that was just the formula, but....

Other thing is looking at the ingredients - it's kinda mostly a vegetarian kibble with "chicken meal" being the third ingredient listed after grain and ground up pieces of wood ie sawdust. And who knows what chicken meal is, since that can be ground up and dehydrated pieces of the whole bird....

I'm not a fan of SD but if she's doing OK on it for right now - I'd give it 2-3 months for her gut to heal before switching her to something you know would work with her gut. And not knowing what's upsetting her stomach makes it difficult to pick a different food.

Alternatvely instead of weaning complete off right now, what if you go halfsies for a while until her gut has fully healed up?
 

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There's a new Science Diet option called GI Biome specifically for dogs w/ chronic diarrhea. It's nutritionally complete so can be fed long term. It's not cheap but it's definitely given us the longest stretches of firm stool that we've ever had w/ our girl (we've also struggled through multiple bouts of giardia).

On a side note, you may want to check out some body condition charts - 70lbs would be overweight for a typical adult GR female so it definitely seems high for an 8 month old. Excess weight increases the chances for damage to growing joints and the overall risk for cancer long term.
 

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I spent several months clearing my two puppies from giardia . The breeder had dosed them since birth trying to clear this organism. I was prescribed Albon, panacur, and Flagyl for months finally giving my puppies proenzyme and beet juice which cleared the giardia .
For months my dogs had soft stools . They were tested for pancreatic issues and started on Vitamin B 12 . We also added probiotics but I found the dogs’ stools were worse .
I feed them home cooked meals for several months having better stools but never consistent . I had added pumpkin which did not help.
I finally spent a night googling loose stools coming across colitis, dysbiosis, IBD, and IBS .
Giardia secures itself into the intestinal lining . It took moths to clear this organism along with killing all the good bacteria in the colon. Dogs digest their food in two stages . The first is with stomach enzymes and the second digestion finishes in the colon . Dogs need healthy bacteria in order to finish the digestion process . They have loose stools cause the food is pushed through too fast and not alllowed to absorb the water .
What worked for me was dosing the dogs with bepto bismal for a week.
I gave them a half of the cup provided an hour before feeds . Bepto bismal turned their stools a very dark color . I also added Apple cider vinegar with the mother to their water bowl. It took three weeks for my dogs to heal with using the bepto bismal and ACV .
I also started them on a different probiotic only giving them a 1/4 tsp .
What I have read is the giardia treatment has disrupted their intestinal flora .
You need to re-establish this flora .
We had tried using Dynamite TNT but this was not tolerated by my dogs .
My present probiotic says to give two tsp daily but I only give a small amount cause what I am doing is working .
 

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Kate
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That sounds like a lot of stuff which would upset MY stomach. You can accidentally poison your dog with pepto bismal...

People need to work with their VETS on caring for their dogs. Regular people trying anything that they hear commercials for (dynavite is snake oil - and people are wasting their money buying that garbage).

Prescription foods are formulated to heal the dogs guts - costs a ton and has crazy stuff in there (the sawdust...), but you aren't going to accidentally poison your dog!
 

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Propectalin helped my dog a lot when he had loose stools early on after dealing with Coccidia. It also helped in the future when he had stomach issues and loose stools.

Peptol Bismol turns poop dark. I've given it to my dogs sparingly upon a vet's recommendation, but even when people take it there is a darkening effect on stool. "When a small amount of bismuth combines with trace amounts of sulfur in your saliva and gastrointestinal tract, a black-colored substance (bismuth sulfide) is formed. This discoloration is temporary and harmless."
 

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That sounds like a lot of stuff which would upset MY stomach. You can accidentally poison your dog with pepto bismal...

People need to work with their VETS on caring for their dogs. Regular people trying anything that they hear commercials for (dynavite is snake oil - and people are wasting their money buying that garbage).

Prescription foods are formulated to heal the dogs guts - costs a ton and has crazy stuff in there (the sawdust...), but you aren't going to accidentally poison your dog!
My vet suggested to use TNT by dynamite. Several of her clients found this probiotic to be a better supplement than the product produced by Purina.
I did not suggest dynavite. I had suggested a product several vets thought worthwhile .
The vets prescribed the albon , panacur , and Flagyl for months . Giardia is difficult to treat which leaves dogs intestines fragile . Even digesting home prepared meals was difficult which my vet suggested to help my dogs heal. The vet guided me on the correct balance of vitamins, calcium, protein ratio and caloric amount .
It took 5 months to get a clean O&P . The prescribed meds were making the dogs have diarrhea so I used beet juice and holistic meds under my vets suggestion which worked .

Some prefer Motrin and others prefer Tylenol. We are made differently and you need to think things out before dosing anything to a dog , cat , horse , etc.
The meds used to treat giardia are toxic to dogs livers .
Having to treat two puppies with giardia was costly, frustrating, and lengthy .
The beet juice was the most effective method .
I have spent over a thousand dollars treating giardia .
The prescribed meds disrupt the intestinal flora . You need to find a probiotic that works .
Having awoken for months to accidents while treating the giardia it is pretty frustrating .
It is a given that the vets work with a pet owner .
The bepto bismal worked . Between feeding my two puppies human food which gave them a break from the processed dry food , the apple cider vinegar which has probiotics in it, and the dose of bepto bismal my dogs are recovered from giardia .

There are several,posts discussing what is the best dog food. The best dog food is what your dog enjoys,grows and provides the best nutrition. I have had dogs unable to process potatoes . It took me a while to find the right dog kibble . I have a brother who insisted a certain dog food was the best but his dog had diarrhea . Just as some grab Tylenol to assist them others swear by Motrin. We are made differently .

My point is giardia kills the natural flora and you need to slowly regain the balance .
The dogs can not process any food if they don’t have the correct intestinal flora .
One of the dogs developed pyoderma so we gave the Purina flora product along with the antibiotics . Not all,probiotics are the same just as all dog food is not the same .
It is not an easy fix .
Your dynavite is snake oil.
I was told to give dynamite tnt which was suggested by the vets .
 

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Puddles
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I spent several months clearing my two puppies from giardia . The breeder had dosed them since birth trying to clear this organism. I was prescribed Albon, panacur, and Flagyl for months finally giving my puppies proenzyme and beet juice which cleared the giardia .
For months my dogs had soft stools . They were tested for pancreatic issues and started on Vitamin B 12 . We also added probiotics but I found the dogs’ stools were worse .
I feed them home cooked meals for several months having better stools but never consistent . I had added pumpkin which did not help.
I finally spent a night googling loose stools coming across colitis, dysbiosis, IBD, and IBS .
Giardia secures itself into the intestinal lining . It took moths to clear this organism along with killing all the good bacteria in the colon. Dogs digest their food in two stages . The first is with stomach enzymes and the second digestion finishes in the colon . Dogs need healthy bacteria in order to finish the digestion process . They have loose stools cause the food is pushed through too fast and not alllowed to absorb the water .
What worked for me was dosing the dogs with bepto bismal for a week.
I gave them a half of the cup provided an hour before feeds . Bepto bismal turned their stools a very dark color . I also added Apple cider vinegar with the mother to their water bowl. It took three weeks for my dogs to heal with using the bepto bismal and ACV .
I also started them on a different probiotic only giving them a 1/4 tsp .
What I have read is the giardia treatment has disrupted their intestinal flora .
You need to re-establish this flora .
We had tried using Dynamite TNT but this was not tolerated by my dogs .
My present probiotic says to give two tsp daily but I only give a small amount cause what I am doing is working .
Be very careful with the Pepto... they have changed their formula and it is no longer safe for dogs. Check with the vet for alternatives. ACV might help with kidney issues but can't imagine the acid would benefit sensitive tummy. Good old fashion metamucil / fiber might allow you to get away from the WD... this is a very high fiber food. I've had clients that had good luck with the proplan sensitive stomach (not the fish).
I'm happy you were able to resolve the gardia issue but might cut back on all the changes. Changes alone, additives included :) well, any time you change the diet it's an adjustment. Just saying it sounds like your pup has had to adjust to quite a lot.
 

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The major issue with Pepto (for dogs) is that the salicylates in the medication can cause gastric bleeding, and the bismuth in the medication can turn the stool black, which may mask any resulting gastric bleeding! I have never administered it to my dogs, and do not think that I ever will (except if my vet says to).
 

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Kate
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It is a given that the vets work with a pet owner .

I was told to give dynamite tnt which was suggested by the vets .
Thanks for explaining - I saw dynamite and immediately thought of all those dinovite (or however you spell it) commercials. :) Have never heard of dynamite tnt.

It wasn't clear from your post that you were working closely with a vet. You mentioned a lot of things you were trying after googling.

Reason for my comment was that there are a lot of people who use DVM Google and without veterinary knowledge may be making matters worse for their dogs.

Re giardia - My sister's pup (Max) had giardia when they adopted him. I believe it was one of the reasons why his prior owners were getting rid of him. It took a number of months, but treating him with flagyl healed things up. No supplements, and no continued need for anything. He eats a kibble I wouldn't feed my dogs (Nutro Essentials). You smell it and just smell processed peas. But he's been doing well on the food and they can afford it.

For a golden I wouldn't recommend - because we have no idea what's going on with the DCM thing.

We did have a dog (rough collie) with chronic gut problems. In his case, he was on royal canin gastro prescription food all his life.
 

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FYI on what I did w my pup.
She had diarrhea ongoing from when I got her at 8 weeks. I treated 3 separate times w metronidazole-and she had firm stool during treatment and 1-2 days after. Then would get diarrhea again. Vet wanted to eliminate possibilities before doing more invasive and expensive testing. We did do enhanced stool test to see if something stood out, but nothing did. Vets discussed options for treatment and asked us to do a restricted diet for 3 months. We did Royal Canin hydrolyzed protein in the hope of identifying food allergies etc. The vets also thought this would allow her intestinal system to reset. They also had me start w a probiotic. Three LONGGGGG months later (pup had to do diet from 5 months of age to 8 months), vet had me VERY slowly introduce regular food to her. By slowly, I added 5 kibbles of regular royal Canin golden retriever puppy formula to her meals. After several days, I increased by 5 more kibbles etc.The transition took about a month. She’s had regular stool since beginning the food test and it has continued after the transition to regular food.It’s been about 3 months now and all is good.
Just sharing my experience.
 
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