Dogs, vets, herbal help

I’d like to start off by saying: Cash is okay!

So yesterday about 4pm Cash had a bout of very liquid diarrhea. It was water. This isn’t unusual for him, sadly. I gave him two Imodium and waited an hour, took him back out, and sure enough, he had another bout. I gave him one more per package instructions. (Cash is big enough that he gets human doses of drugs.)

Then I locked him in the kitchen, and went to the play Quin and I had scheduled.

When we came home at 11:30pm, he’d had what I thought was three more bouts of diarrhea. This IS unusual: typically the Imodium is enough. Later, I realized that he’d at two more bouts of diarrhea and one of vomiting, which is also unusual.

Anyway. Quin took him out then, at 11:30 pm, and he had diarrhea again. I cleaned up. At 5:30am I got up, saw he’d had diarrhea again, took him out, he had diarrhea again, and then he vomited. Twice. At that point I called the emergency vet and off we went. (Note: if your dog isn’t prone to insane bouts of diarrhea, and especially if they are prone to eating things they shouldn’t, you should go to the vet MUCH EARLIER than I did. I waited for vomiting because I know just how sensitive Cash’s stomach is.)  (Extra note: If your dog pukes, take them to the vet. That’s a red flag for poison or having eaten something they can’t digest.)

The upshot was this: Cash has a really sensitive stomach. They filled him up on fluids via subcutaneous IV (so he doesn’t have to drink today and tax his stomach) and gave him an anti-nausea injection, which stopped the nausea but won’t stop the vomiting if he really does need to puke (he hasn’t yet).

Living with a dog with a sensitive stomach can be… interesting. Things that set off Cash’s diarrhea:

  • Being too hot
  • Being stressed out
  • Eating something new
  • Working too much

It’s an ongoing battle. If you have a dog like this, there are some things you can do to help:

1. Add pumpkin. Canned pumpkin (with no additives) added a bit to their food every day acts as a regulator. (“Regulator” means that it will soften their stools when needed, or harden them when needed.) In a dog Cash’s size (100 pounds), you need half a large can per day.

2. Add slippery elm. Until a couple of days ago, I’d been putting slippery elm powder into Cash’s food nightly, and hadn’t had any diarrhea incidents in months. (This is a VERY long time for him.) I stopped two days before his major bout of diarrhea started. I use about 1/2-1 teaspoon of powder, and I don’t bother adding water or anything like that. I just sprinkle it on his kibble, shake it in, and serve. He likes it: it’s a little sweet to eat. Slippery elm is also a regulator, and doesn’t take up as much space in my cupboard as pumpkin. It’s also cheaper! I order it online, in bulk.

If these don’t work, and your dog has a bout of diarrhea, you can:

1. Give them LOTS of slippery elm. This will help settle their stomach. Add water. I gave Cash 1.5 tablespoons, and have been known to give him 2 or even 3 tablespoons.

2. Try Pepto-Bismol. It’s easier on their system than Imodium. (You’ll have to figure out how much to give via weight. I’d get it in tasty liquid form.)

3. If Pepto doesn’t work, the next time it happens try Imodium!

4. White rice is a staple. You can combine white rice with any of the above and it acts as a binding agent for what’s in their stomach and guts.

As for me… after spending half the night dealing with a sick dog, I’m going back to bed!


PS: No new pictures of probably-Tango, who’s about five weeks old now. S/he looks about like this:

5 week old Grey Parrot by Papooga

Gettin’ cuter!