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Discussion Starter #1
<p>My puppy is 17 weeks old.  We got him at 8 weeks, and fed him the kibble he'd previously been on while we researched better options.  On the original food, his poo was frequent (probably 6 per day), soft and pale.  We switched (introduced gradually) to a hypo-allergenic, all-natural kibble that had excellent reviews.  Within a couple days, his poos became far less frequent, and were dark and well-formed.</p>
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<p>After 2-3 weeks, he started having soft poos again, and then diarrhea.  Since he'd been doing so well with the food change, we thought maybe he'd eaten something from outside that caused an upset.  He seemed perfectly well other than the diarrhea.  We kept him off all food for 24 hours, then fed rice/egg for a day, then rice mixed with small amounts of kibble until he was back to his normal feedings by day 3.  </p>
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<p>Over the course of a week, his poos gradually returned to normal, and stayed that way for a few days.  Last night they became mushy again, and today he had diarrhea.  He does not act sick in any way.  It's been really cold and icy the past few days, so he hasn't been out back except for potty breaks.  We never let him pick things up when on walks, so now I'm wondering if that, instead of ingesting something from the yard, his food is the problem.</p>
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<p>Any ideas how to proceed?  I don't want to make things worse, but probably some experimenting is going to be necessary in order to find a food that suits him.  Help!</p>
 

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<p>As you puppy is not acting sick, it could well be the kibble. Soft poops can be indicative of too much fat in the diet or too much food. I would fast him for a day and see how he is, and then gradually introduce this kibble again and see how that goes. How many times a day are you feeding him? At 17 weeks three times a day is probably the right amount. I am a raw feeder so have no experience with kibble fed dogs so I could be wrong. <img alt="innocent.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/innocent.gif"></p>
 

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Discussion Starter #3
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Mirzam</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1282199/is-my-puppy-s-food-making-him-sick#post_16078591"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>As you puppy is not acting sick, it could well be the kibble. Soft poops can be indicative of too much fat in the diet or too much food. I would fast him for a day and see how he is, and then gradually introduce this kibble again and see how that goes. How many times a day are you feeding him? At 17 weeks three times a day is probably the right amount. I am a raw feeder so have no experience with kibble fed dogs so I could be wrong. <img alt="innocent.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/innocent.gif"></p>
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We feed him 3 times per day, and use the amount recommended on the food bag based on his predicted adult size.  There is a little guessing involved, but I would think we've got it about right as he has tons of energy and is growing well (but not overweight at all -- he has lost the roly-poly puppy look and is becoming more adult shaped).  I am not against the possibility of a complete change in feeding method, and it does seem silly to feed a dog some of the ingredients that are in his kibble (I mean, where in the natural dog world would he find yucca extract? lol).  I just want him to be healthy on a diet that I can afford.  </p>
 

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<p><br>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>nomadmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1282199/is-my-puppy-s-food-making-him-sick#post_16079403"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Mirzam</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1282199/is-my-puppy-s-food-making-him-sick#post_16078591"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>As you puppy is not acting sick, it could well be the kibble. Soft poops can be indicative of too much fat in the diet or too much food. I would fast him for a day and see how he is, and then gradually introduce this kibble again and see how that goes. How many times a day are you feeding him? At 17 weeks three times a day is probably the right amount. I am a raw feeder so have no experience with kibble fed dogs so I could be wrong. <img alt="innocent.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/innocent.gif"></p>
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<p><br>
We feed him 3 times per day, and use the amount recommended on the food bag based on his predicted adult size.  There is a little guessing involved, but I would think we've got it about right as he has tons of energy and is growing well (but not overweight at all -- he has lost the roly-poly puppy look and is becoming more adult shaped).  I am not against the possibility of a complete change in feeding method, and it does seem silly to feed a dog some of the ingredients that are in his kibble (I mean, where in the natural dog world would he find yucca extract? lol).  I just want him to be healthy on a diet that I can afford.  </p>
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It maybe that the kibble is too high in fat for him now at this stage of his growth, his nutritional needs may have changed since you first started giving him the food. Also, all dogs are individual and you may need to tweak the amount of food you are giving him. If you are considering feeding him raw, check out the <a href="http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1281830/spam-me-please-raw-diet-info">thread</a> on raw feeding resources, there a lots of great links in there. The list owner for the rawk9s yahoogroup is in the UK (Yorkshire I think) so I am sure she would have some good advice on economical feeding raw. Generally, people find feeding raw cost about the same or less than premium kibble. I not particularly thrifty, so I am probably on the high side of things, and spend more than I would on kibble. I generally pay between $1.49 (chicken) to $4.95 (buffalo liver) a lb for meat, the average is about $3.45 a lb. I am also feeding around 3.5 lbs of meat a day to my dog so our food bill does mount up.</p>
 

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It could also be something else entirely. My pup was having diarrhea and I thought it was the food. It turned out it was gaiardia! Once we treated her for the giardia the diarrhea went away.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>tinuviel_k</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1282199/is-my-puppy-s-food-making-him-sick#post_16079851"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br>
It could also be something else entirely. My pup was having diarrhea and I thought it was the food. It turned out it was gaiardia! Once we treated her for the giardia the diarrhea went away.</div>
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<br><br><p>If it was giardia, wouldn't the diarrhea be present all the time?  He had a week to 10 days of normal poo between the 1st and 2nd bouts of diarrhea.  We didn't feed him last night, and this a.m. he had one mushy poo.  He's had 2 small feedings today of plain rice with a little fish mixed in, and hasn't pooed any more.  I'm going to keep him on the rice and fish again tomorrow and then re-introduce the kibble.  If he's diarrhea-free today and tomorrow, then gets it again after having the kibble, then I think we will have our answer.  However, then I have to determine if he's sensitive to one of the ingredients or if (like Mirzam suggested) the fat content is too high.  What's the best way to do that without wasting a lot of money or compromising a growing pup's nutritional needs?</p>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>nomadmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1282199/is-my-puppy-s-food-making-him-sick#post_16080007"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
If it was giardia, wouldn't the diarrhea be present all the time?  He had a week to 10 days of normal poo between the 1st and 2nd bouts of diarrhea.</div>
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Not necessarily. I had a dog that was later diagnosed with giardia, he had always had an issue with soft poo, but it improved when we fed him a certain food. Since it was controlled with diet, I thought it was strictly food sensitivities. I had to rehome him for unrelated reasons, and his new owners were the ones who discovered the giardia. Although, apparently he also still has food sensitivities as well.<br><br>
Does he get diarrhea after he eats certain treats? With my dog, if he got a biscuit or table scrap with corn or wheat in it, he'd have diarrhea the next day. Is it possible he's reacting to some treat or chew you're giving him? I'd also ask family members if they are feeding him table scraps. For me, it was hard to remember not to feed him certain scraps even though I knew he had an allergy, I'd imagine in a house full of people, it might be hard for everyone to remember.<br><br>
Have there been any household changes? My dog would also get "nervous" diarrhea. If we traveled for instance, he'd have it for the whole trip. If we moved, he'd have it for a few weeks etc.<br><br>
And, has he been checked by a vet since this started? Many pretty common puppy ailments present with diarrhea.<br>
 

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<p>If the pup has not had a fecal test for parasites, I would get one ASAP! It certainly could be a parasite, and with easy treatment it could clear right up. Our pup had coccidia when we got her. She had soft poos that would get softer towards the end of the poo.</p>
 

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<p>I agree with a fecal test as the first step.  Also, do you measure his food exactly each time?  Loose stools (not uncontrollable diarrhea though) can be the result of over-feeding, even by a bit in sensitive dogs.  Treats are also a good thing to consider - I'd set aside some regular kibble from his meals to use as treats for a few weeks if the previous things don't resolve things.  Sometimes it's a combination of things but I'm sure you can get it figured out.</p>
 

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Giardia does not cause runny stool all of the time. Dogs, especially puppies, seem to get "flare-ups" when it is worse. And once a dog had giardia they have it for life. You can treat the symptoms very effectively but they can get another flare-up in times of illness or stress.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
<p>I don't think it's related to treats as we mostly use his kibble for rewards/treats and he only has "special" ones occasionally.  He never ever has table scraps, and there have been no household changes.  We do measure his food every time.  I didn't realize that parasites could cause intermittent symptoms.  A question for those who suggest a vet visit -- would that still be your plan even if the loose stools stop every time the kibble is removed from his diet, and he is fine on "recovery foods", and then the loose stools return when the kibble is re-introduced?  I *feel* like this is food-related, but I'm no expert.  </p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>nomadmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1282199/is-my-puppy-s-food-making-him-sick#post_16083042"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a>  A question for those who suggest a vet visit -- would that still be your plan even if the loose stools stop every time the kibble is removed from his diet, and he is fine on "recovery foods", and then the loose stools return when the kibble is re-introduced?  I *feel* like this is food-related, but I'm no expert.  </div>
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<br><br><p>If he has not had a fecal test since you got him, then yes I would absolutely do that first to rule out a parasite. Many parasites that cause this type of symptom are microscopic. Not something that you would see in the poo.</p>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>nomadmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1282199/is-my-puppy-s-food-making-him-sick#post_16083042"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br><p>I don't think it's related to treats as we mostly use his kibble for rewards/treats and he only has "special" ones occasionally.  He never ever has table scraps, and there have been no household changes.  We do measure his food every time.  I didn't realize that parasites could cause intermittent symptoms.  A question for those who suggest a vet visit -- would that still be your plan even if the loose stools stop every time the kibble is removed from his diet, and he is fine on "recovery foods", and then the loose stools return when the kibble is re-introduced?  I *feel* like this is food-related, but I'm no expert.  </p>
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Yes, I'd still test for parasites. In my experience, when a dog is sick and has diarrhea, recovery diets firm it up pretty fast, but if you don't fix the underlying problem, it comes right back.<br><br>
And, you say he's not getting any treats, is he getting any chews? I've known dogs to react to chews before, and I've known puppy owners to give them daily to keep up with the puppy teeth! Pigs ears will do it to some dogs. With my own, a particularly rich smoked bone can do it. I don't restrict them entirely, but when I do offer one, its only for a short period of time per day until all the meaty bits are gone, otherwise I can count on lose stool!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
<p><strong>UPDATE:</strong></p>
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<p>On the advice of our trainer, we changed to the kibble she uses for her competition dogs, and what a difference it has made!  Pup's been on it several weeks, and no more mushy poo and nasty gas.  He hadn't lost any weight, but his growth had seemed stalled.  Since starting the new food, he had a big growth spurt despite actually eating less.  An added bonus is that the new food costs about 1/3 of what we'd been paying, and is delivered to our door.  I hope it doesn't sound like I was dismissing the advice of those who suggested a parasite, but dh and I felt strongly that it was a food issue.  We would have taken him in if his symptoms had persisted, and I do appreciate everyone's input.  Raw feeding has always interested me because it does seem most natural, but we don't have space to store any meat so it isn't practical.  I'm very happy to have found a company that is low on b.s. and high on quality products, and most of all I'm happy that our puppy is once again thriving.<img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/smile.gif"></p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>nomadmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1282199/is-my-puppy-s-food-making-him-sick#post_16152357"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I'm very happy to have found a company that is low on b.s. and high on quality products, and most of all I'm happy that our puppy is once again thriving.<img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/smile.gif"></p>
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<br><br><p>That's great you have found a solution and that puppy is thriving again. <img alt="joy.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/joy.gif"></p>
 
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