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I realize I’m completely biased because of my own experience, but so many of the things you’ve said to me suggest a food sensitivity. Did your vet say he doesn’t think it is? Probiotics are more likely to just not work at all, for them to cause a problem instead of an improvement suggests an ingredient in the chew, like you said. The fact that he has trouble switching food suggests a food allergy to me, too. But, I don’t understand why the vet would keep him on the same food and medication if he’s still having diarrhea unless he really thought it was something else.

When my puppy was on food that bothered him, he didn’t have continuous diarrhea all of the time, which is what I thought a food allergy would always look like. That’s why it was hard to pinpoint, along with the fact that other things were contributing as well.
 

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Metronidazole is also used for giardia, but I thought Tere said the test came back negative.
I'm confused. The dog is being medically treated for some type of illness but the concern started out about asking about Purina Pro and has been focused on food allergies?

Is this a recent dog or one that Tere has had for a long while who has had food and anxiety issues?
 

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This thread Tere started to ask about Purina was a follow up of sorts. She posted a thread previously about Shadow having trouble and trying to sort out if it was reflux, a food issue, or something else, and has been to the vet a lot lately. Maybe it was in the other thread where she mentioned they thought he had giardia in the midst of all of this and started the medication but the test came back negative. Between this thread and the others, the vet recommended reflux meds at one point and a probiotic was introduced.

Tere, I really feel for you right now, I’m sorry you and Shadow are going through this.
 

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I wonder if Giardia was actually found in the fecal test. My understanding is...

“A routine fecal flotation test may fail to detect these tiny cysts, which are shed inconsistently in the feces, and which often require a special zinc sulfate flotation solution for detection. Occasionally, the parasites may be seen on a direct smear of the feces.”

One of my neighbor’s dogs had a suspected case of Giardia and she said that never actually confirmed it for sure but they treated him for it and he did get better. It would be great if the vet could actually confirm it somehow.
 

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Discussion Starter #46
All I know is that I paid $55. for "giardia antigen/float T808" and the vet said it was negative. I did not get a report.

I did read that often vets will treat for giardia even if the test is negative. I think Metronidazole is commonly prescribed for any vomitting/diarrhea issue.

I hate to return for another appointment where the parade of testing will be forced before any further treatment is given. The car ride for a very motion sick dog is crappy. Paying for tests that probably will show nothing is crappy.
 

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All I know is that I paid $55. for "giardia antigen/float T808" and the vet said it was negative. I did not get a report.

I did read that often vets will treat for giardia even if the test is negative. I think Metronidazole is commonly prescribed for any vomitting/diarrhea issue.

I hate to return for another appointment where the parade of testing will be forced before any further treatment is given. The car ride for a very motion sick dog is crappy. Paying for tests that probably will show nothing is crappy.
I don't remember it taking long to see improvement from Metronidazole, so maybe an improvement is right around the corner. Hopefully he'll feel better after the treatment.

This is definitely beyond my experience, and I'm sure I'm projecting because I relate, and I'm not actively trying to second guess your vet if you feel comfortable there. I just know in humans we no longer prescribe antibiotics if we aren't sure there is a specific reason, because of antibiotic resistance and the side effects. That's why I wondered why they were still giving it when the test was negative, and the symptoms have been on and off for a while. I understand not wanting to take him back when you really aren't getting answers, and blindly testing doesn't seem helpful. I hope you both can get some relief soon.
 

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All I know is that I paid $55. for "giardia antigen/float T808" and the vet said it was negative. I did not get a report.

I did read that often vets will treat for giardia even if the test is negative. I think Metronidazole is commonly prescribed for any vomitting/diarrhea issue.

I hate to return for another appointment where the parade of testing will be forced before any further treatment is given. The car ride for a very motion sick dog is crappy. Paying for tests that probably will show nothing is crappy.
I personally would prefer that the vet take some extra time upfront and make a sincere effort to get to root cause before trying different things, particularly drugs which have potential side effects. As long as the vet is keeping open and honest communication with me about the approach being taken to get to root cause, I am good with that and much prefer it. It may take a little more time up front but "experimenting" without knowing root cause can delay healing and possibly cause more problems. Hang in there!
 

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All I know is that I paid $55. for "giardia antigen/float T808" and the vet said it was negative. I did not get a report.

I did read that often vets will treat for giardia even if the test is negative. I think Metronidazole is commonly prescribed for any vomitting/diarrhea issue.

I hate to return for another appointment where the parade of testing will be forced before any further treatment is given. The car ride for a very motion sick dog is crappy. Paying for tests that probably will show nothing is crappy.
I just curious of when this all started: The anxiety, motion sickness, food allergies and diarrhea. Did Shadow have anxiety, motion sickness and food allergies before he got sick with diarrhea?

It seems there are lots of comments about food allergies and I wonder if the problem is that Shadow has an infection that is not related to the food and other issues. Maybe he had food issues before getting sick???

That's my confusion.
 

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Mikki, I got Shadow at 10 months, rehomed by the breeder. He was sold and returned in 2 weeks. Then sold again. He was boarded with the breeder for most of his next 7 months, only going to that home for a couple weeks here and there. I don't know much of his first 10 months except that he had never been left alone without having at least other dogs with him.
What I do know is that he came to me with several issues.
Motion sickness-he got sick on every car ride with the breeder. I have tried everything and nothing has helped really. 2 miles is when it starts. He is very happy to go for a ride and doesn't appear anxious.
So much to tell about Shadow. I do think he has food sensitivities. This bout of diarrhea is probably due to that. His stomach is sensitive. When I got him, he was pooping 7 times a day, every time he went outside, he would poop. He was eating puppy food. My vet said to switch to adult food. I selected a similar food with chicken/rice. Didn't help. Then it was Grainfree salmon & sweet potato. That seemed to fix his problem.
I do wonder if these issues were the reason he was returned twice. I have called the breeder. No response. I know that she was having health issues maybe 2 years ago that have probably gotten worse.

At almost 4 years, he is very sweet natured, stubborn like a little mule, loves everyone. The current diarrhea issue started 2 weeks ago. One day, he was fine til 3pm. Next day, better. Then the next day, it started. We went to the vet. This is not something that has been ongoing for an extended time.
 

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Mikki, I got Shadow at 10 months, rehomed by the breeder. He was sold and returned in 2 weeks. Then sold again. He was boarded with the breeder for most of his next 7 months, only going to that home for a couple weeks here and there. I don't know much of his first 10 months except that he had never been left alone without having at least other dogs with him.
What I do know is that he came to me with several issues.
Motion sickness-he got sick on every car ride with the breeder. I have tried everything and nothing has helped really. 2 miles is when it starts. He is very happy to go for a ride and doesn't appear anxious.
So much to tell about Shadow. I do think he has food sensitivities. This bout of diarrhea is probably due to that. His stomach is sensitive. When I got him, he was pooping 7 times a day, every time he went outside, he would poop. He was eating puppy food. My vet said to switch to adult food. I selected a similar food with chicken/rice. Didn't help. Then it was Grainfree salmon & sweet potato. That seemed to fix his problem.
I do wonder if these issues were the reason he was returned twice. I have called the breeder. No response. I know that she was having health issues maybe 2 years ago that have probably gotten worse.

At almost 4 years, he is very sweet natured, stubborn like a little mule, loves everyone. The current diarrhea issue started 2 weeks ago. One day, he was fine til 3pm. Next day, better. Then the next day, it started. We went to the vet. This is not something that has been ongoing for an extended time.
Sounds to me like the diarrhea issue is a separate problem unrelated to his early start as a puppy since he's now 4-years old. At this time, it's hard to separate what's causing what problem. The medication is treating some type of infection or illness. He might have an intolerance to the medication if things have gotten worst with treatment - or maybe it takes more time for the medication to work.

Based on my understanding of what you've told me: If it were me, I would not experiment trying new foods because no matter what you feed Shadow he's going to have digestive issues if he's sick. After you fix that problem then you can work on trying different foods if you need to. I'd switch him back on the food recommended by your Vet or back to what he was eating before this issue developed since you know he tolerated his previous food.

Vets and other medical degreed people often have to work through symptoms, trying different treatments to figure out what's going on. You've only had one vet visit. Your vet has just gotten started. I assume your happy with your Vet. I doubt it's going to cost thousands of dollars to figure out a diagnosis. After that you can decide how far to go on medical treatments.

Personality Issues unrelated to this post...as a side note: My daughter has a Golden-doodle whose start in life is similar to Shadows. Lucy was returned to the breeder after several weeks. Our daughter, Nicole, purchased Lucy and wasn't able to pick her up for another month. I believe Lucy was five or six months old by the time Nicole got her. The breeder was seriously ill when Lucy's litter was born.

I believe Lucy was returned because she is innately an extremely Shy and Fearful dog and to make matters worse she lacked any socialization due to the breeders illness. During those important socialization periods she was left alone to hide under her blank in a crate.

After getting Lucy, frustrated and concerned Nicole talked to her Vet about returning her to the breeder for that same reason. Lucy would completely cover herself up and hide under the blanket in her crate. Had to be physically removed from the crate to go outside. Appeared to not want anything to do with people. She's never played tug of war or fetch or wanted to interacted with the kids. She was terrified to go outside during daylight hours. The Vet discouraged Nicole from doing that. So she kept Lucy and has dealt those issues. Nicole remove her from a crate and put Lucy in her bed and slept with her, which helped Lucy learn to bond with Nicole.

Lucy, also, had motion sickness in a car. We routinely travel long distances to a vacation home in the mountains and to visit a son which are 10 to 14 hour trips. Poor sick Lucy laid with her head under the sick on the floor of the back seat. She was given medication. Eventually, she over came car sickness. Because of her personality we could leave her in a kennel and didn't have anyone to stay with her. Besides a stranger would have made things worse.

Lucy still has to have her head hidden under a table 24/7. But, she has gotten better and vastly improved after we got Patti our Havanese three years ago. Lucy now will come to me for a pat on the head and and will take a treat from my hand. Lucy plays with Patti for short periods of time. Patti can be a pest. >:)
 

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Discussion Starter #52 (Edited)
What I'm trying to say is that I "think" he may be sensitive to certain ingredients. His puppy food, the 1st. one I tried and the Hills ID that the vet insists on have a couple common elements - chicken and rice.
The diarrhea is controlled by the Metronidazole medication but returns once he is off it. This makes me wonder if the Hills ID that the vet insists he eats is the problem. Or it could be that he needs to be on the meds. longer or maybe a different med.
The food he ate was salmon and sweet potato, grainfree. Vet feels that he should be eating grain (since he has a slight heart murmur) and for digestion. And that Salmon may not be the best choice since it can be oily and can cause stones. So he does not think Shadow shoud go back on his regular food.
There has only been one visit but 4 discussions about this. I don't think Shadow is all that sick but something is bothering his little belly. Each car ride churns it up. He loves being there despite the puking in the car! He is a very social dog.
That is unfortunate about your daughter's dog. The early months are so important. I think Shadow missed the car riding lessons and the being alone lessons. Other than that, he is quite well adjusted, not shy at all or timid.
I so wish he was a better car rider. If covid is ever over, I would love to drive up to see my only family in Canada. Most of them haven't met him yet. But he would have to be in the car for 25 hours of driving each way and everyday while we were there.
 

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As an outside observer (somewhat overly invested because I identify with some of your experience) the conclusions you’ve drawn seem reasonable. It sounds like the vet is also giving you reasonable rationales for avoiding specific ingredients, but there are lots of options between chicken and salmon, with and without grain. Maybe when this is resolved there is a different protein in that same Pro Plan line that will work better that your vet will be more open to. I’m also personally curious how vets are managing dogs that haven’t tolerated grain well when they want to be cautious, such as with Shadow’s heart murmur. That seems like it could be tricky.

At one point I looked into a consultation with a nutritionist and while it wasn’t cheap, it was less than our vet visit. I don’t know what is available in your area, but maybe it would be helpful.
 

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I believe Molly had some digestive issues with her dog and decided to first try a limited ingredient diet before resorting to Hill’s. I believe she said that a limited diet along with probiotics solved the problem. The more ingredients in a food the harder it is to determine what is causing the problem. Turkey could be a good protein to try too in case chicken is the problem. I believe Karen has Kodi on limited ingredient turkey by Nature’s Variety. Just a thought.
 

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What I'm trying to say is that I "think" he may be sensitive to certain ingredients. His puppy food, the 1st. one I tried and the Hills ID that the vet insists on have a couple common elements - chicken and rice.
The diarrhea is controlled by the Metronidazole medication but returns once he is off it. This makes me wonder if the Hills ID that the vet insists he eats is the problem. Or it could be that he needs to be on the meds. longer or maybe a different med.
The food he ate was salmon and sweet potato, grainfree. Vet feels that he should be eating grain (since he has a slight heart murmur) and for digestion. And that Salmon may not be the best choice since it can be oily and can cause stones. So he does not think Shadow shoud go back on his regular food.
There has only been one visit but 4 discussions about this. I don't think Shadow is all that sick but something is bothering his little belly. Each car ride churns it up. He loves being there despite the puking in the car! He is a very social dog.
That is unfortunate about your daughter's dog. The early months are so important. I think Shadow missed the car riding lessons and the being alone lessons. Other than that, he is quite well adjusted, not shy at all or timid.
I so wish he was a better car rider. If covid is ever over, I would love to drive up to see my only family in Canada. Most of them haven't met him yet. But he would have to be in the car for 25 hours of driving each way and everyday while we were there.
Lucy has come a long way and is a very gentle and sweet dog. Lucy at 70lbs gave Patti Puppy lots of PuppyPasses. Below is is Patti teaching Lucy how to play. :grin2:

Fingers crossed the Metronidazole medication cures Shadows diarrhea Soon!
 

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Discussion Starter #56
Patti is adorable. I love her cute little body and hairdo! She is just a little bundle of love!
 

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I believe Molly had some digestive issues with her dog and decided to first try a limited ingredient diet before resorting to Hill's. I believe she said that a limited diet along with probiotics solved the problem. The more ingredients in a food the harder it is to determine what is causing the problem. Turkey could be a good protein to try too in case chicken is the problem. I believe Karen has Kodi on limited ingredient turkey by Nature's Variety. Just a thought.
I do, but it is a grain free food.

I would like to point out the The whole "grain free food" issue is in reference to dilated cardiomyopathy, which is an exceedingly rare problem in Havanese, and probably not what is going on in a dog with a murmur. But there are plenty of other foods with turkey as the protein that do contain grains if that's what you want. I'm pretty sure that Nature's Variety makes one, actually.
 

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Lucy has come a long way and is a very gentle and sweet dog. Lucy at 70lbs gave Patti Puppy lots of PuppyPasses. Below is is Patti teaching Lucy how to play. :grin2:

Fingers crossed the Metronidazole medication cures Shadows diarrhea Soon!
What an adorable picture!!!
 
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I do, but it is a grain free food.

I would like to point out the The whole "grain free food" issue is in reference to dilated cardiomyopathy, which is an exceedingly rare problem in Havanese, and probably not what is going on in a dog with a murmur. But there are plenty of other foods with turkey as the protein that do contain grains if that's what you want. I'm pretty sure that Nature's Variety makes one, actually.
I'm glad every time it isn't a blanket recommendation against grain, even if it's not a particularly nuanced response. It's definitely worth bringing up with the vet, knowing he did well on grain free in the past.

Among breeds prone to dilated cardiomyopathy, I wonder how many people were feeding grain free to manage a sensitive stomach and how that has been handled since.
 

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I think that my vet's opposition to grain free is that most grain free have peas in them? He also thinks that Salmon might be too oily for the little belly. So far the requirements are grain inclusive, not salmon or chicken, no peas. Thanks, Karen, I will check out Natures Variety.

Honestly, although I like my vet when we are at the office and he is close for the motion sick Shadow, getting answers after the visit is tough. The staff is so rushed, they are super busy. With Covid, they have shortened the office hours a lot so they are open 4 less hours a day. When I have called, it is "can you hold" constantly. Go in and the phone is ringing constantly. I never get a complete answer to my question. It comes in dribs and drabs.
I have considered changing vets but the other vets that are close are not allowing people in the office due to covid. You get to speak on the phone after all is said and done. So switching/finding a new vet is going to be tough at this time although I am considering it. If not for the motion sickness, I would have more options maybe. The motion sickness is a huge PITA.
 
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