Puppy sensitive stomach?

hello all 

Hoping to get some feedback or recommendation and to see what others in a similar situation have done or experienced. 

Our girl is 5.5 months old. We’ve had some major battles with diarrhea. And I mean the explosive, middle of night trip, watery liquid type. She will have issues get better for a couple weeks and then be back again with issues. We thought we traced it to her eating some animal poop or dead fish (we live near water) in our yard during the earlier times. We’ve been very good recently with avoiding that but find ourself in the situation again. 

Now at the beginning of the last episode she got her last Lyme vaccine and we had another anxious filled car trip (she gets car sick - another thing I wouldn’t mind getting some thoughts on) and the next day she got diarrhea. 

Now im wondering if the car sickness and anxiety of the car could really cause major episodes of diarrhea that lasts days and requires medicine to clear up? Or if it could be the vaccines? Since she’s had multiple vet visits cause she’s young I’m now wondering if they could be the source of these issues.  

Each time the vet has tried probiotics which don’t due much and she ends up on metrodinazole which has seemed to clear it up each time

Lastly in I’m wondering if it could be her food. Even when she hasn’t had diarrhea after the medicine clears it up she sometimes has fairly loose stools. For example she will go 2-3 times during the day and it’s normal and then right before bed she will go a huge amount and at the end of going it turns very soft. Then the next morning it’s back to normal. She’s on Blue Buffalo chicken large breed puppy right now for her food and has standard kibble treats. 

Any thoughts would be appreciated. 



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  • My journey sounds similar to yours and switching food is what I finally ended up doing. Blue Buffalo to Wellness Complete Health Puppy Food. My 7 month ALD has stools worthy of a picture now but I will spare you. Lol! I won't say that exact food is for your baby but it worked for mine. He is on his third 15 pound bag and we have consistent stools 3 times a day. You wouldn't believe all the hoops I jumped through. Probiotics, Metamucil, antibiotics, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, vet visit and more....

    • Hi, I second the switch to Wellness Puppy. I switched my cockapoo to the wellness line and she is so much better. As an adult she eats the Wellness Simple. Also watch when is ingested outside in the yard as twigs and other random things caused problems as well. 

      • Wellness is a great brand, but they have three different food lines, all of which are very different, and of the 3, the Complete Health line is my least favorite for digestive issues. Simple is my go-to food for digestive issues, it's pretty much the best formula on the market for dogs with digestive issues. The CORE line can also work well. If the Complete Health line works for you, that's great, and I wouldn;t change it.
        But it's important for all of us to remember that just because one line or formula within a certain brand does or doesn;t work for our dog, that doesn;t mean that every food that brand makes will work equally well or badly.
        So often we hear people say, "My dog doesn't do well with "brand name", so I switched to "other brand name". Instead, we need to think in terms of "MY dog doesn;t do well with "brand name's" grain-free line, perhaps I'll try "same brand name's" LID line. In other words, think in terms of formulas rather than brands....assuming of course that it's a good brand to begin with. 

  • The problem with metronidazole is that it destroys all of the good bacteria in the gut along with the bad, and that good gut flora is necessary for proper stool formation. Typically, what happens is that the diarrhea clears up while they are on the metro, but once you stop it, it comes roaring back, because of that lack of good gut bacteria. So you have to use a good probiotic, and that's not the Purina Fortiflora that vets typically sell. Proviable Forte is much better. You must give the probiotics at least 2 hours apart from the metro, and longer is better. And you must continue the probiotics for at least a month after the metronidazole is discontinued, to build up a good strong colony of good gut bacteria. 

    This is really important, because repeated courses of metronidazole in puppies has been shown to contribute to the development of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, which is an incurable immune-mediated disease requiring lifelong maintenance, much like Crohn's disease in humans. You really never want to give metronidazole unless there is a reliably diagnosed infection or parasite, and even then, there are better drug choices. 

    As for food, the best kibbles for dogs with digestive issues are limited ingredient formulas. We have a very large, active group here on DK called The Food Group where we dicuss these issues and we have a list of recommended food brands there as well. Blue Buffalo is not on it. Here is our list: recommended food brands

    My favorite LID formula for dogs with digestive issues is Wellness Simple. They also carry the same formulas under the name Wellness Complete Health Limited Ingredient. Turkey & potato or Salmon and potato. They are not "puppy" formulas, but you don't really need a puppy formula. These have both worked very well for a lot of dogs with similar issues.

    Lastly, dogs who get car sickness usually do better if you use a car harness that keeps the dog sitting up straight and facing forward. 

    Hope this helps. 

    Recommended Dog Food Brands 2018
    GRAIN-FREE FORMULAS ONLY Orijen  Formulas:  (Formulas are slightly different depending on whether they are made in the U.S. or Canada; check website.…
    • Thanks so much for the feedback. 

      Where can you find the Proviable forte for purchase? I’m only seeing the Proviable DC listed st retailers? 

      I’m tempted to try switching to the Wellness brand as I have heard a lot of good things. There are so many different formulas so it’s a little overwhelming regarding chicken or fish or etc. 

      On a side note I used the seat belt harness on the car today and she seemed to do fairly well! So hopefully that’s a step in the right direction for car sickness. 

      • I didn't realize that the Proviable Forte was only available through vets. 
        You can try just using the Proviable DC alone, or you could order both the DC and the Proviable KP paste and use them both together. There is a kit sold that contains both, but not enough of the DC capsules to last a month, so you may have to do a little calculating on ordering them.
        Yes, all dog food brands have lots of different lines and lots of different formulas within those lines, which is why I specified Wellness Simple, or Wellness Complete Health Limited Ingredient.  Not all formulas made by a company are going to work equally well for each dog.

        The "Simple" line has more variety, but any of these will work for you. Personally, I like the grain free versions of Simple the best for dogs with digestive issues. And the Complete Health line only has turkey or salmon, both grain free. Totally your choice. 

        Wellness Simple

        Wellness Complete Health Limited Ingredient Salmon

        Wellness Complete Health Limited Ingredient Turkey


        Simple for Dogs
        • We got the proviable forte from the vet too.  

        • Thanks for the help. 


          Had a vet visit yesterday and discussed a lot with them. They recommended probiotics and then also gave me another prescription for metro (which I am a little hesitant on and haven’t started yet). They recommended doing labs before a food change but it almost seems simpler and possibly more cost effective to try the switch especially if it’s for a better food in the long term so I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do yet. 


          In regards to food change would you recommend waiting for diarrhea to clear up and then introduce the new food or does it not really matter. Right now I’m feeding boiled chicken and rice and a little of her kibble. 


          I know now there was a whole news cycle on grain free foods and I’ll be honest I haven’t done my full research but it appeared the study was linking it to only certain or some grain free foods that could be related. It appears the brands you linked aren’t included. 


          Lastly i I forgot to mention in my original post that she had eaten a colored pencil before the liquid diarrhea began this past weekend so vet thought that could be related.


          i still have concerns that it is her food cause I always felt she never fully got solid stools but maybe that was because of probiotics but it guess it’s hard to know. Just don’t know if I should avoid chicken based food/treats or if that’s not related.


          On a good side note I used a seat belt harness in the car and we got two 20 minute trips with no car sickness so hopefully we are in right direction on that one. 

          • Okay, so I can almost promise you that chicken is not the problem. However, the foods i recommended do not contain chicken anyway, so that's not an issue.

            The grain-free food thing you are referring to is a non-issue. We have a lot of detailed discussions about that in The Food Group here. At this point, it seems pretty clear that Big Dog Food (Purina, Mars & Hills, you know, the companies that make the food the vets sell?) started the whole thing in an attempt to scare people away from their competitiors' superior quality foods. After all these months (years actually) they have still found no actual evidence that grain free foods of any brand cause any kind of disease or illness. So forget that completely.
            Has she ever tested positive for giardia? Many doodle pups come home with it, and that's often what starts this cycle of diarrhea, metronidazole, diarrhea, more metronidazole, etc. 
            I absolutely would not give her more metronidazole. I know this is counterintuitive, but it's based on what i have seen through many years of experience with my own and lots of other dogs here on Dk over the past 11 years.
            I agree that the colored pencil could definitely have caused some of these problems, but if your vet thought that, why didn;t he/she do an Xray? 
            I would not waste my money on bloodwork before switching foods. For one thing, regular blood panels will not show anything useful. For GI problems, you need to run what is called a GI panel, which measures only three things: cobalamin, folate, and something called a TLi ratio. Most GP vets are not even familiar with this test. It's most often a veterinary internal medicine specialist who orders them, as they are the ones who work most with dogs who have GI diseases. The test will cost you approximately $200, it must be sent out to IDEXX as it cannot be run in house, and regardless, it will still not show you anything related to what food she should or should not be eating. 
            You mention treats. We also have a recommended treat brand list in the Food group. 
            For dogs with digestive issues, you want to stay with plain, pure protein treats like Pure Bites; something that is 100% dehydrated beef, liver, chicken, turkey, whatever. And never ever give your dog any treat that can be purchased in the grocery store. Things like Beggin' Strips & Milo's Kitchen; avoid them like the plague. The artifical colorings and preservatives alone can cause some major issues.

            I know it is hard to trust or follow the advice of some stranger on the internet, but I have a proven track record with these issues in many members' dogs, as well as my own. Nothing I am recommending can cause any harm, and I'm pretty sure it will help. If not, you can always spend several hundred dollars on blood tests in a couple of weeks, lol. 
            My advice: NO MORE METRONIDAZOLE, get her on the good probiotics, and switch cold turkey to one of the Wellness formulas I recommended. But start the probiotics FIRST.


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