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    The Scoop on Poop: Cat & Dog Digestive Problems
    Will Draper, DVM posted:
    There are so many different factors that can cause digestive problems in pets. I could write a book about it (and some veterinarians have). I'll touch on a few digestive problems experienced by dogs and cats.

    Diarrhea in cats is very common, and can result from an assortment of causes. Check for these causes if your cat experiences diarrhea.

    ? Change in diet
    ? Dietary indiscretion -- eating plants, bugs, etc.
    ? Dietary allergic reactions -- to those same plants, bugs, etc.
    ? Unknown reasons
    ? Parasites (worms)

    Diarrhea in cats can also be caused by more serious conditions, especially in older cats.

    ? Dental disease
    ? Kidney disease
    ? Diabetes
    ? Hyperthyroidism -- overproduction of the thyroid hormone
    ? Liver disease
    ? Cancer

    The list of causes for diarrhea in dogs is practically identical to that for cats -- with some exceptions. Diarrhea in dogs can be caused by the following:

    ? Thyroid issues. Dogs are prone to HYPOthyroidism -- low production of the thyroid hormone. Dogs can also produce dry, hard stool with this condition.
    ? Stress
    ? Dietary changes
    ? Dietary indiscretion
    ? Parasites
    ? Other more serious conditions -- see a vet for an exam

    Of course, it would be much easier for vets to figure out if your pet could talk and tell us things like, "Well, I did eat a bug after dinner last night. Didn't settle well with my stomach." Of course, they can't talk to us, so vets must take another diagnostic approach. Your vet will generally want to run some lab tests, including a fecal exam, blood work, or sometimes take X-rays. It helps us help your pets.

    Check these articles on the WebMD site for more information about cat and dog gastrointestinal issues and diet:

    Have your pets had any recent bouts with diarrhea? Give us the poop! Tell the community your pet digestive problem experiences, the causes, and remedies used to help your furry friends.
    Dr. Will
    jsorangeco responded:
    I have a 1 year old golden retriever. He's been having loose stools over the past week. This weekend, we noticed the stool was cold, right after he pooped. I've never heard of such a thing. We were in 100deg weather. I'm concerned. Any thoughts as too what it could be? He was drinking right from the river, but that doesn't usually bother the dogs.
    Grandmaof03 responded:
    Oh my goodness...I was just about to post about my 10 year old cocker spaniel who has Hypothyroidism....

    It has been a real struggle trying to get her thyroid levels correct...first she was put on a t4 medication that was green in made her really sick with vomiting and bloody vet could not understand what was making her so sick but did some research and came up with although very uncommon some dogs are allergic to the dye in the medication so she switched her to a white medication and we started her very slowly, she did good on it...although now she is 'Hyperthyroid" so we have decreased her dose...

    But sticking with the "poop" of it all...she seems really constipated...she seems confused and squats to pee several times then finally poops but just a little bit....then later she goes back out and does the same thing...

    What can I do for her...I have not changed her diet at all and she gets her meds at the same time everyday....

    Can I adjust her diet with something that will help with the constipation????

    Thank you for listening
    alabaster1973 responded:
    If ever I've owned a dog that has been a constant schooling process for me it has been with my current beloved 95lbs Boxer-German Shepherd mix, Lowrider. Since he was a pup he has been a brain teaser with throwing up. Over the first 5 years of his life, I had him on over 30 different dog foods and half a dozen different feeding regimens, some with a limited amount of success, but none of these produced lasting results in helping him to keep from throwing up after eating. An otherwise healthy dog, he simply could not keep his food down, primarily because I could not get him to chew his kibbles, no matter the size of kibble, and as a result he was 20lbs to 25lbs under weight; he looked horrible, but was a happy, healthy, fun-loving dog. Finally, one day a veterinarian, during his check up, who knew the struggle I had been through with Lowrider stated, "Lowrider is a gulper...he doesn't chew his food and as a result he is getting kibbles stuck in his throat which is making him feel like he is gagging so his body remedies this by throwing up". He suggested grinding the kibbles and mixing with water. When I did this, to my amazement, Lowrider kept his food down and I was able to feed him more with each feeding! Within 6 weeks Lowrider put on 25lbs. and has had very few incidents of throwing up in the last 3 years. As I always hoped he would learn as he ages, I have tried to feed him some whole kibble occassionally, but I always, with even a dozen or so pieces, I get the same results...he throws up. So I keep him on ground dog food. Any dog food works and I grind it in a standard blender, mix it with water, and heat it in the microwave to further soften the particles. Today he is a happy, healthy, 81/2 year old, 95lbs. Boxer-German Shepherd!
    barbarafromtucson responded:
    My cat had had a gastrointestional issue that the vet was able to resolve. If only my human doctor could do the same for me!
    Anon_236341 responded:
    Dr: what is very dark stool an indication of. I've been feeding my 5 yr old recently adopted cat (from a rescue) and although I'm giving her Vetasys, I notice her stool is still very dark, although not as hard as it previously was(so that is good).
    ronniebocc replied to barbarafromtucson's response:
    Barb- you should come up to Phoenix and go to Dr. Nizar Ramzan. I had bad colitis and have been in remission for over 2 years now. I credit him.
    blessingsTU responded:
    I recently adopted a German Shepherd hoping to breed on breeders contract. She was turned in to a GSD breeder that I am friends with, from another breeder who was just getting started in the business. The dog was 21 months old and is a long coated sable, beautiful, but in terrible condition. She was skin and bones. She was supposed to be 80 lbs, and when I took her to the vet she was only 67 lbs. I fed her four times a day, as much as I could get into her, and she dropped down to 60 lbs. I thought I was going to lose her. She tested negative for worms and parasites, but my vet thought she had EPI(Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency), and after the testing , found that she was positive for it. We put her on enzymes and after four weeks she gained 22 lbs and is a new dog! Happy, playful, content, and no longer wants to eat four or more times a day. I have been researching and learning about EPI and am so happy that my girl, Ziva, is gaining weight and regaining her health. We are into our second month on enzymes and she is doing very well. It is very expensive to have her on the special diet and then having to add in the enzymes, plus time consuming to incubate before feeding, but it is working and has saved her life. We need more awareness out there about EPI since many dogs die of starvation before being properly diagnosed.
    barbarafromtucson responded:
    I find it humorous that vets can determine the cause of my cat's diarrhea but my human doctor can't figure out my ongoing issues with diarrhea.
    JoyJoy1243 responded:
    My dog had terrible digestion issues and diarrhea not too long ago. Not fun. I was struggling trying to help him, and I saw a commercial on TV for probiotics for people and wondered if they made the same thing for dogs. They sold me this food for digestion called Alpha at the pet store down the street and it worked! It has psyllium in it just like Metamucil and it really helped a lot.
    henver replied to JoyJoy1243's response:
    My 7 years old Cairn terrier has had diarrhea on and off all his life but 4 days ago it was a quantity that I never believed was possible. I did not give him any food during 12 hours and then I gave him white rice with a little bit of chicken. The fist time he pooped it was soft but normal colour, the seccond time it was grayish and this night it was just plain white, and soft.
    Beeing a terrier, he never complains but I could see that he was in pain and does not enjoy our walks.
    I told my vet that I want a complete check-up and tomorrow I will give her back the 3 days poop-test kit. I am out of my mind worrying about him and I am so afraid to loose him. Quit honestly I have lost my confidence in the vet. She should have adressed this matter long ago and now I am afraid it is too late.

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