Causes of Puppy Diarrhea

by Andrea
(Cornwall, UK)

Reader Question: Treatment for Puppy with Diarrhea and Roundworms

Hi Andrea,

I have a Maltese/bichon cross pup, Matilda, who is 14 weeks old. I bought her from the breeder at 8 weeks old and the next day she had diarrhea, thinking this was only from stress I continued as normal with her, two days later she was refusing to eat and drink them within a few hours she went from a curry sauce consistency to a very smelly liquid.

Typically this was in the middle of the night. The next morning I took her to the vet and she was admitted for 30 hours and put on an IV with antibiotics. On bringing her home she was fed wet Royal Canin prescription GI food. The next day she passed a roundworm. Back to the vet to get a worming tablet and worm the pup. She passed a large number of roundworms for a tiny pup, at this point she was 1.1kg. She also vomited a large amount up. I now attempted to get her to the GI dry food. This resulted in her starving herself for 24 hours before eating it. Just after this, I got the only solid poops I have ever had from her.

Within a short time, the poo had gone back to curry sauce consistency, with small amounts of blood and mucus in it. This has continued now for four weeks. The vet has said it is colitis from the problems she had when I first got her and it should clear up. We have another appointment tomorrow.

At the beginning of this week, I fasted her for 24 hours and got one semi-solid poop when she started eating again. I have also bought Pro-Kolin and started her on that yesterday. Again I got small semi-firm poop. This morning she refused to eat and was passing very soft poo. She ate at lunchtime
and has pooed a lot since, mostly very soft and small traces of blood and mucus in. This evening there was a bit more blood in one and traces of blood on her anus. She is bright a lively but I am not convinced that it is colitis. Also shouldn't the Pro-Kolin have started to work by now? Her poo is sometimes extremely smelly in a sweet smell way.

I would really like another opinion from our vet as I have limited knowledge about this type of thing. I have never had a dog with a problem like this before.

Thank you


Suggestion From Our Veterinarian on Treating a Puppy with Diarrhea and Possible Causes


I'm so sorry to hear of all that you and your new pup have been through! She's very lucky to have you taking such good care of her. The probiotics that you are giving usually take a few days to be effective, but they will only really be helpful if the original problem has been addressed, which may or may not be true in this case. Since your pup was so badly infested with roundworms, I'm wondering if she may have also been infected with other intestinal parasites while with the breeder. Common varieties that cause symptoms like you describe include Giardia and Coccidia. Giardia, in particular, is not always easy to diagnose so it wouldn't hurt to ask your veterinarian if he or she has run several tests to rule this out.

It is also possible that other conditions, like viral or bacterial infections, could be playing a role. Additional diagnostic tests may be necessary to get to the bottom of what is going on with your puppy. If you are concerned that your current veterinarian is not in a position to offer the best treatment, it certainly wouldn't hurt to see a specialist.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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