Soft Stools, Vomiting Bile and Gas

Hi All,

I am looking for some advice and guidance for Whiskey (1 year and 5 mo old mini golden doodle). He recently had 3 bile vomiting episodes in the mornings spaced over 2 weeks. His stool also started becoming a little soft at the end. He was a little gassy which he has never been and has not been very interested in food. He usually gobbles it down and I have to slow him down using a slow feeder. Now, he takes some coaxing to start eating.

I took him to the vet and they did a fecal, pancreatitis test, and CBC to be on the safer side as he has recurring issues due to a sensitive tummy. The fecal came back negative, the pancreatitis test was also normal. His CBC was normal except for a high lymphocyte count which the vet thought was not of any concern as it has been up and down with him over the last few times we had a CBC done and he is always scared whenever we visit the vet.

The vet's treatment plan right now is to put him on antacids for 5 days and continue with his original food and add the probiotics once the antacids are done. Its been 4 days and while we have not had any vomiting so far - his stool has improved but it is still a little soft at the end.He is still a bit gassy too. When I spoke to her about it today, she recommended putting him on Tylan powder. Is that the correct way to go here? I know Tylan is milder than metronidazole but I guess I am checking in with you guys to see if it would be the right decision here. 

Food Choice: I have been wanting to switch his food from Purina Sensitive Skin and Stomach Salmon to Wellness Simple Salmon and Potato but have been delayed due to his senstive tummy. 

Probiotics: I have tried proviable with him for about 30 days but that just gave him softer stools. He does very well with Well and Good Probiotic Soft Chews.

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  • Tylan is a very benign drug. It will not do any harm and may help. 

    If digestive issues continue, ask your vet to run a GI blood panel. This is something very few vets ever do...many aren't even familiar with it. It will cost about $200 and will need to be sent out, it cannot be read in house. It measures only 3 things: cobalamin, folate, and something called a TLi ratio. It can point in the direction of more serious GI disease like IBD.

    Elevated lymphocytes could possibly be caused by nervousness or fear, but it's unlikely, especially if it happens more than once. It can be a sign of an immune disorder, which is in keeping with IBD. It can also indicate infection. I would not ignore that. 

    Sudden change in appetite like this is definitely something to be concerned about. 

    There is no reason not to switch to the Wellness Simple. It may help. I would not do a slow transition, that could cause problems. I'd just switch cold turkey. 

    Vomiting bile in the early a.m. is pretty common in dogs. It helps to give a small snack about 30-60 minutes before bed. This can be a small portion of his dinner that you've set aside, some plain yogurt if he likes that, or even a simple dog biscuit. 



    • He has always had a snack before he goes to bed. But now, he has started vomiting even with the snack in place. As for the ingestion, that is what I thought too and we did have x-rays done and there wasn't anything on film. Since he is able to keep his food down and is generally doing okay, the vet is leaning towards him having eaten something in the kitchen. If this does not improve after the Tylan and he becomes lethargic, the vet recommended ultrasounds. I will ask about the GI blood panel as well. I am so worried about switching him to wellness simple cold turkey. I know that he will definitely have diarrhea. Do you think its okay to finish the Tylan course and then do a gradual transition?

      • It's okay to get him on the Tylan first, but you just absolutely do not want to do a transition. It really really really needs to be cold turkey. The foods are just too different and having him eat both at the same time won't help. Please trust me on that.

      •  I also have to tell you that Jack never became lethargic from his IBD, even when he was extremely ill. I would not wait for that. 

        • Thanks Karen! I have been thinking that if he does not do well after the Tylan and the food switch, I would ask the vet about the GI blood panel and see what else can be done to diagnose it. While Whiskey is not lethargic, he does laze around or doze when I am working from 9 to 5. He will get up in the middle to play a bit and then go back to some sleeping. So far, I have not been very concerned with this behavior as he is usually upbeat if I want to play and does very well on walks. What do you think?

          • I have never had an adult dog who did not laze around or doze when nobody was home or when anyone who was home was busy. That's perfectly normal & desirable. I would be more worried about a dog who bouncing around all day, lol. Whiskey is going to from adolescence into adulthood, and they do get much calmer and less active. 

            • Riley has FINALLY passed that tipping point into adulthood and now lazes about the house all day lol.  DH and I are both working from home these days and she just takes herself to some comfy spot and stays there for hours.  She's so different from Luna though, perfectly content to be on a different floor of the house/different room than us... Luna would always "pick" someone and stay with them.  I've never had a cat but Riley's attitude towards affection seems distinctly cat-like to me.

              • Its comforting to know that its normal for him to do that. I suppose now that I am home all day, I get to see more of what he is upto. Also, he vomited some bile with dark specks and some foam again. It could be due to the wellness lamb treat I had to add to his lunch to get him to eat it as he was not interested at all otherwise. He has not had the treat for over two weeks. I am a little worried now. I did call the vet and make an appointment for him for tomorrow. I am guessing they will probably recommend an ultrasound to see if something's stuck inside him. I will make it a point to ask about further tests to diagnose what he has rather than just treating the symptoms. It does not seem very normal for him to have this every 2-3 months since he has been 8 months old. 

      • How big is the snack?  I'm asking because Riley was having pretty frequent morning vomiting so now we actually divide her daily kibble into 3 equal portions (7-7:30 wake up, around 4:30 pm and around 8:30-9 pm).  It works for the most part, she still does it sometimes but it's a lot less frequent than it was before we increased the pre-bed snack.  We've also noticed it helps if she drinks quite a bit before bed (half a bowl or so).  

        • I divide his meals into 3 portions as well, along with two snacks: bed time snack as well as some snack after he immediately wakes up and before goes out for a relief walk. He is usually not interested in drinking a lot of water before bed. He will have some if I coax him. 


          Also, on an unrelated note: I have been looking into alternatives for Bravecto for fleas and ticks as I have heard horror stories about it. I need a topical preventive. He is currently on revolution for heartworms. Is it enough to only have him on revolution? Also, the vet recommends having them year round on these things but is that really necessary? Can I try doing it only during the specific season? 

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