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Our puppy is seven months and has always had regular healthy stools. We went away for a week and left him with another family. He seemed fine when he returned but within a day he started having soft light brown stools. He vomited twice in two days but hasn’t done that in a week. He has had these soft stools for a little over a week. We took him to the vet last Friday and they did a sample and tested it in the office ( only took a few minutes so not sure what test they did). THey said it was negative for worms and parasites. They sent us home with pro-pectalin for the diarrhea. He took that for three days with no change. Yesterday I started him on chicken and rice and it seems to be helping a little but the stools are still soft. He acts fine and has his usual energy level. I’m not sure if I should call vet and ask them to do another fecal test, or ask them to do an X-ray for a foreign body ( he is a puppy and tries to eat everything!). Anyone else have this with their doodle? I am concerned and not sure how serious this could be or if I am overreacting.

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There is a chance that your pup ate things that triggered soft stools or that the stress of being in a strange place can cause diarrhea.  Then it can continue for a while. The chicken and rice diet or a limited ingredient kibble can help him transition back to firmer stools.  I would also get a probiotic - Proviable is a very good one and can be ordered from either Amazon or Chewy. You might need to keep using a probiotic for several weeks.

How comfortable would you be asking the other family exactly what he was given in the way of food and treats, whether he might have gotten hold of something he shouldn't have in their home, and how much supervision he had when outside?  It seems pretty clear to me that he got something that is upsetting his digestive system, whether that was given to him by the other family, a toy or other household object he may have ingested, or something he picked up outdoors. Do they have their own dogs, and do know what food & treats they give them? 

I think you have every reason to be concerned. A dog who's always had regular healthy stools doesn;t just develop ongoing diarrhea for over a week and vomit a couple of times for no reason. It's definitely not normal. 
I personally would ask the vet to do an X-ray. Of course, it would be nice if the other family can give you some input as to what he may have gotten into first. 
Whatever you do, do not let the vet prescribe metronidazole without any clear diagnosis. Lots and lots of info on why in The Food Group and the Health Group. 

Thanks everyone for the advice!  I will order the probiotic today.  Of course now that he is onnchicken and rice he is only pooping once a day ( yesterday evening it was still soft).  Once he goes today I will run the sample over to the vet if they ate still open and see how he wants to proceed.  Taco is such a good boy and I feel so bad that he is going through this!  He is still so happy and loving even though he must not feel well! The people that watched him did have another dog, and said they didn’t notice him getting into anything, but it only takes a second for them to eat or swallow something  they shouldn’t .

Was he eating the other dog's food & treats? Are they the same kind you give him?

Make sure you are feeding him enough of the chicken and rice. It has only about half the calories of most kibbles, so you generally need to feed about twice as much. Also make sure that there is as much chicken as rice in the mixture (50/50 mix). 

I took his bin of food and his own treats, but I am sure if Taco (or the other dog) saw a bowl of food, they might try and steal some.  I didn't think about that, perhaps that is the issue.  There are so many unknowns:

What food/treats did he eat while we were gone

What did he ingest while at their house (or ours)..is it a toy he ate, or did he drink some rancid water?

Stress from being away from us for the first time?

All I do know is, he doesn't have uncontrollable diarrhea, just soft, sometimes runny stools

Before the chicken and rice he was going frequently, but now only once per day

The Pro-pectalin which is a mixture of anti-diarrheal and low dose probiotic didn't seem to make a difference

Vet did stool sample in office (rapid one) and no worms or parasites were present

I was giving him twice as much rice as chicken, so I will switch to half and half and up the amount.  I was only giving his about 50% more volume-wise vs his kibble (Wellness complete health puppy)

Thanks to everyone for your advice!  I thought kids were hard, but with dogs they cant communicate so it makes it even harder!

The one thing I know for sure is that this is NOT stress diarrhea. That doesn't last this long. 
Soft runny stools are not normal, especially in a pup who has never had stool issues before. One runny stool, maybe. Not for more than a week straight. 

The fact that the Pro-pectalin hasn't made any difference is significant. 

I don't think at this point the probiotics are going to do much, but they also can't hurt. 

Update on Tacos progress.  Per advice here, I have been giving him probiotics daily.  Two weeks ago he went back to vet and was given metronidazole for seven days.  I also put him back on chicken and rice.  He seemed to be doing much better until we transitioned back to his regular food last week (wellness grain free puppy).  He then vomited twice in two days and the second one he threw up a few inch pieces of what looked like frayed rope.  I know he tore up one of his toys last month that had rope as a stuffing, but I didn’t think he ate any of  it ( I guess maybe he did, but would it stay in his stomach for weeks?).  Back to chicken and rice and He was then fine for a couple days ( normal stoolsand no more vomiting) so once again I tried transitioning his food and once again vomiting and diarrhea.  Took back to vet yesterday and he prescribed more propectalin and hills I/D food.  I asked if I should transition slowly and he said no so I gave him some last night and again diarrhea all over his pen this morning.  Taco acts fine, wants to play and eat, so I’m not sure if it is his food or something else.  It seems as soon as we take him off chicken and rice the issues start.  Vet wasn’t concerned about the rope he vomited and said if he had a blockage he would be in pain and acting sick and not eating or pooping.  I’m not sure what to do next, but I am tired of cleaning up messes and feel so bad for my puppy!

Okay, so YES, that rope and any other foreign boidy can sit in the digestive tract for weeks, and that's a problem for several reasons. In addition to intefering with digestion and causing vomiting and diarrhea, it can also cause an immune response because the body recognizes a foreign object. That kind of immune response is the beginning of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, an incurable immune mediated disease which will cost $3000 just to diagnose, and treatment is for life. And this is exactly why I told you to ask for an X-ray. 

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that all of this was caused by that rope sitting in his gut. No medications are going to do a thing for that, which is why the vomiting and diarrhea continued. Rx garbage isn't going to do a thing for it either. It's not his food. 

I personally would think about switching vets. To not be concerned about a foreign object in the gut because there is no blockage is unbelievable to me. To treat this with Hill's garbage is equally unbelievable. 
But right now, you MUST verify that there is nothing left in his gut. No treatment, no food, ne medications, nothing is going to fix this if there is still rope or anything else in there. He needs an Xray.

Years ago, I stupidly gave Jackdoodle a smoked ham bone (made for dogs!), which immediately splintered. I got it away from him, but not before (unbeknownst to me) he had ingested a large, indigestible shard of bone. That piece of bone sat in his GI tract for almost two weeks before he finally vomited it up. No diarrhea, nothing prior to that. I took the bone shard and JD to the vet, and my vet immediately did Xrays to verify that there wasn't anything left in his gut.

But...that shard had already done its damage. Months later, after several weeks of vomiting and other symptoms, and $3500 worth of testing, he was diagnosed with IBD. And our lives were never the same. 

Please don't let this happen to your puppy. Get an Xray done. If it is clear, stop the Hill's. Do not let the vet give him any more metronidazole. I'd put him on a homemade bland diet or finely cut white meat chicken and mashed sweet potatoes instead of rice. You need a 50/50 mixture of chcicken and sweet potatoes, and you need to feed about twice as much of this as you normally feed kibble, because it has only about half the calories. But please, get that Xray ASAP before anything else. 

How common is it for non food items to result in IBD? I'm guessing only if they are not passed or vomited up quickly enough and the dog is predisposed?

  Riley eats her share of random household objects and sticks (well, small pieces of them anyway), as have my previous dogs.  Obviously we try to prevent it but she grabs stuff sometimes before we can stop her.

If the item leaves the GI tract within a day or so, I don't think there is much danger. 

Strings, ropes, etc also pose a serious danger of becoming tangled or even knotted up in there. Dogs have died as a result. It's really important that toys with ropes or strings be kept away from dogs who might ingest part of them. 

Yeah I've heard that about rope toys.  Riley has some but they are for supervised play only, she doesn't like to chew them thankfully.  

We find all sorts of small things in her poop, so far they seem to be just passing through :p

A friend's huge Male Bernese has had several surgeries for retained objects though, it's a wonder he doesn't have IBD (or maybe he does). The latest was a WHOLE corn cob...just outright swallowed the thing.  Unreal lol.  Funny but not funny ...and expensive.

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