Sams74 avatar image

Opinions Needed (sorry it is long)


Some of you may have seen my posts over the past few months about Molly's issues with diarrhea.  Basically once a month since March, Molly has had a bout of bad diarrhea that lasts about 24 hours and comes out of nowhere.  She was on TOTW since she was 10 weeks old and I recently switched her to Natual Balance Venison and Sweet Potato on the vets recommendation after the 3rd monthly diarrhea episode. After each bout of diarrhea, shes put on a course of Metronidazole and bland diet.  Her stool returns to formed and as firm as possible on wet food within 24 hours.  She has had 3 negative fecal tests.  After the fourth time (which was this past week), the vet told me to bring her in for more testing.  She had a blood test done for malabsorption, check her bacteria levels, and check her pancreas. Everything came back normal.  The vet now prescribed digestive enzymes and probiotics and to keep her on the limited ingredient diet.  He said that the next step will be a raw diet if it happens again.  

Here's my issue.  This started out of nowhere and comes in cycles every 3-4 weeks.  Her stool is completely normal in between these episodes. It seems strange to me that suddenly her diet would cause this and it would continue after a food change.  I've been thinking of every possible reason such as stress but nothing out of the ordinary happened this week, and it seems odd that four stressful events would suddenly happen each month.  I wipe her paws after every walk to rule out that she is licking something off them.  She is not getting into any thing at home either.  Is it possible she has a parasite that isn't being detected in the stool samples? I don't think it could be a bowel/intestinal obstruction because I feel like after 4 months she would be getting worse and show pain and antibiotics wouldn't help that. She acts totally normal even when she has the diarrhea and her appetite never decreases.  If anyone has any advice or suggestions, I'd greatly appreciate it as I am beyond frustrated and now worried! Thanks!!!! Molly also turned 2 last week so I promise to post some super cute pictures soon! :) 


Kathy Chester Newman and Jessa's picture

Maybe ...

she has colitis, that will cause diarrhea.  Our Oliver has it and even though things seem fine to me, he can get stressed out and we don't realize it.  Something as simple as a plastic bag blowing off the kitchen table.  We do the metronadazole and bland diet also, and he clears up in a day or so.  You could keep feeding her the bland diet, rice, hamburger or chicken and add in some veggies (green beans are good) with a spoonful of pumpkin is what our vet recommended for Ols.  He said we could keep him on it forever if we wanted to.  I know it's frustrating, we changed food several times before we decided it wasn't the food.  We always keep a supply of metronadazole on hand so we can dose him right away when he has a problem.

carmiesmommy's picture

A suggestion

My boy who is 13 and a half now had bouts of diarreha all of his life EXCEPT when I put him on the raw diet for 5 years until 10 years of age when it became too much for him to digest. Now he has been on a homemade cooked diet for over 3 years. From the ages 1 through 5, I fed him the highest quality kibble and he would be good for 3 or 4 months after his round of flagyl and and a steroid shot, then the cycle would begin again. I have to say since I have been cooking his meals with fresh meat and organic veggies I have had zero bowel issues. I know every dog is different, but if you have the time and the $$, raw or homemade is the way to go.

wrigley_2007's picture

I would.......

keep her on a bland diet of rice, hamburger, boiled chicken, green beans and see if the bouts of diarrhea return. If it does return, you can almost certainly rule out that it is being caused by ANY food. TOTW is a quality food. I feed my girls TOTW and have never had an issue. IMO, and this is strictly MO, changing food is way overrated when it pertains to troubleshooting a medical problem with our Bullies. In your case it seems strange that is this is occuring every 3-4 weeks with no warning. Good Luck!



When we first got our bullmastiff, she was 10 months old.. The same thing happened, it lasted for 4 months. We switched food a couple times, ended up feeding her venison – but it still happened – Once we thought we got it under control it would happen again. She had every test done too. Then patches of her hair started falling out, we took her back to the vet and saw a vet there that we had never met before – She spent about an hour with us, she have her Tylan Powder (and it worked)… She also thought that she might have been In shock from going to live in a new home (at 10 months old) she is the sweetest dog, but a nervous Nellie. I don’t know if it was the Tylan powder that did the trick, or she just got used to us. But it’s worth a try.

Deb and MacKenzie and Ester's picture

Tylan Powder

makes sense and is likely worth a try. It is an anitbiotic used to treat dysentary in chickens. Also for colitis and chronic diarrhea. It can be purcahsed online or at a feedstore.

Many show people use it to get rid of tear stains. It is the active ingredient in Angel Eyes. For tear stains a very small amount like 1/16 of a teaspoon is used daily for about 10 days then gradually reduced.

Sams74's picture

Thanks everyone!

I originally did think it was stress colitis because something did happen with another dog where she got very scared and nervous, but that was 4 months ago.  She can generally be a nervous dog and startles easily but she's always been that way since a puppy without having recurring bouts of diarrhea. Do you think that one time could have triggered colitis and that's why it keeps recurring when she's a little stressed? Like it weakened her digestive system? It is just that she's been in way more stressful situations in the past such as the hurricane and moving and she was fine. Did your guy always have these issues or did it happen out of nowhere too ? 

I also think that being on so many rounds of antibiotics is probably not helpful so hopefully the probiotics and enzymes help restore things and maybe calm her digestive tract. Thanks for all your answers! I wish I had a definitive answer so I can make her better! :) 


Kathy Chester Newman and Jessa's picture

Wlith Oliver, it wasn't any one thing that started it ...

he's just a high strung dog, seems very laid back and relaxed but I know he's always tense and on the alert.  Little things can set him off and he always gets the runs after our pet sitter has been here for a week even though he loves her, probably more than us.  Ollie had hemmoragic gastroenteritis twice so we try to stop the colitis before it gets going.  I really don't think there is any way you can make him feel better or control it, just try to nip it in the bud when you see it happening.  Flagyl (metrozonadazole) is the best thing for controlling it along with the bland diet.

Kathy Chester Newman and Jessa's picture

Sorry, I should have said her...

not him.

Sams74's picture


I have some to keep at home now for the future...I just hope we make it more than a month before the next episode!