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Stress colitis in dog
d_caitlin posted:
My 6 month old male Akita puppy has had on and off issues with diarrhea ever since I got him. Changing his food used to help, and now that he is on a good food, it has kept him pretty steady for over a month. Starting a couple weeks ago, he now has diarrhea ONLY when on walks/hiking/at the dog park. The first stool is firm and normal, but after that, it gets ridiculous. At that point, he tries to go every 15 minutes, and it's all diarrhea, but each time there's less and less. I took him in for a fecal last monday(1 week ago) and the vet found simply an overgrowth of coccidia-there's never blood present in his stool either. She said since he only has it when he's excited, and she found his rectum was swollen, it could be stress colitis.

She gave him the same antibiotic he gets every time, but while that used to cause improvement in just a few doses, he is STILL having diarrhea on walks. He has three more days of this medication left, so there's still time, but not much! I talked to our obedience trainer and she gave us some tips to keep him calm, but try telling a 6 month old puppy that a walk isn't a reason to get excited. It's tough, but I'm working on it. Still hasn't helped yet though. He also gets probiotics, to no avail.

He had his follow up appointment today, and they said everything looked just fine- excpet he's still having diarrhea. They said to wait a few more days. We're pressed for time because he is scheduled to get neutered on Thursday- when his antibiotics run out- and the vet might want to push back the surgery if he's still sick. I think the antibiotics are taking a toll on him now, he's not eating much and was gagging last night, throwing up saliva. He's still happy and active, drinking a lot of water, but I'm getting more and more worried and frustrated! Do we just live with the constant diarrhea, or risk harming him in some other way by trying to fix it?
Sandy Willis, DVM, DACVIM responded:
HI, Puppies sometimes get colitis, and sometimes it is due to stress and we hope the puppy will relax and grow out of it. For puppies, we often try a hypoallergenic diet, sometimes a bland diet, and add insoluble fiber like unflavored metamucil or psillium. We can try antibiotics that target the gut like tylosin. Ask your veterinarian about their recommendations for diet change and fiber. If your puppy continues not to feel well, perhaps there is more going on than stress colitis. Let us know what your veterinarian recommends further. Dr. Sandy
d_caitlin replied to Sandy Willis, DVM, DACVIM's response:
Thanks for your response! I used to add fiber to his food when he was younger, and I forgot about it and haven't tried it since. I will definitely try that today. His appointment is tomorrow, so I'll see what the vet says.
d_caitlin replied to Sandy Willis, DVM, DACVIM's response:
Well, he got neutered last Thursday(11/14), and is recovering very quickly. His stool was normal for the first few days, and now that I'm taking him on walks again- his diarrhea is back!! Still, only on walks. I've added a pumpkin fiber powder to his food that's supposed to firm up stools, but still not helping...

Is it possible for an allergy to food to only affect him on walks? Or is this just still colitis?


William Draper, DVM, better known as "Dr. Will," is a well-known small animal practitioner in the Atlanta, GA area. He grew up in Inglewood,...More

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