Is my dog having difficulty digesting his food?

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Barked: Fri Sep 19, '08 8:31pm PST 
My dog used to have a very sensitive stomach and often had diarrhea or no poo for a couples of days when he is on home cooked food. He could digest the kibble well and often had tummyache and vomitting problem despite we had soften the kibbles before feeding him. We even tried Prescriptive I/D and Z/D diet but none of it last for a month.
Recently, I started him on commercial barf diet. So far he has been eating it for about a ten days. In the beginning, his diarrhea problem stop. He likes his food and look forward to his meal time. But soon, his stool gets harder and he started to strain to poo. His poo is hard and when press, it is crumbles inside. He hasn't been active also. These few days, his appetite is bad. His stomach seems to be bloated and he yipped when I tried to comb his under belly coat (I didn't pull his fur). He has an xray and blood test taken yesterday. The gas in his stomach has reduced as compared to the last time he wasn't on barf. His blood test also show that he is normal and his kidney is fine. But why is his appetite reducing and still remain lethargic? Anyone knows the answer? Sorry for the long detail. Hope someone can give me an answer. Thanks.

Barked: Fri Sep 19, '08 8:54pm PST 
I'm not sure about the reduced appetite, but for the hard poos, I might have a suggestion. The commercial raw diets are often very high in bone, and that can cause constipation and hard poops in some dogs. You can try replacing some of the commercial raw with boneless meat to soften it up a bit.

Have you tried using probiotics to help with digestion?? That might be something to look into.

Barked: Sat Sep 20, '08 4:02am PST 
Hi, thanks for your suggestion. Actually I have done that this morning. I notice that his poo is lesser after I replaced the commercial barf diet with some raw mutton. But he really need to poo. Can see he feels terrible inside. I am really tempted to give him some laxative. Maybe that will help him feels better. His stomach is bloated and the discomfort keeps him a wake at nite.

He is currently taking probiotic once everyday.

This evening, I have also added abit of pork liver and some spinach inside his food. He poo awhile ago. But not much poo also and it is still hard. Hopefully, he will feel better soon.

Edited by author Sat Sep 20, '08 4:05am PST



Big Baby Boy
Barked: Sat Sep 20, '08 7:45am PST 
It does sound like too much bone. I wouldn't try a people laxative - don't know how safe they are for dogs, and may contain stimulants like caffeine that can really have an adverse effect.

Canned pumpkin is the common "raw" way of helping with constipation. Not pumpkin pie filling, but pure canned pumpkin, which you can find at the grocery store with the other canned fruits and fillings. Start out with a small amount - maybe a teaspoon or two - and see how that goes. It really works wonders to loosen things up, but be careful not to give too much or you'll have the opposite problem!

You can keep adding more boneless meat and organs to a reduced amount of the commercial food until you find a balance.

Good luck!

Barked: Sat Sep 20, '08 10:04am PST 
I have tried canned pumpkin. I started with 1 teaspoon then increased to 3 teaspoon.But it only soften the stool abit. His stomach is still tense. He is not even feeling relax when he is laying on the floor. He is also not sleeping well. I added 2 slices of pork liver into his food with some boneless meat this evening. His poo was soften but after he poo, he seems to be in pain. He panted heavily and also drooling like he just came back from a walk.

I am thinking of giving him some laxative (for pets) tomorrow morning. Hope I am doing the right thing instead of causing him more pain....keeping my fingers cross....

Edited by author Sat Sep 20, '08 10:05am PST

Sabrina- 2000~2012

To break- injustice we- must break- silence
Barked: Sat Sep 20, '08 11:02am PST 
It sounds like you are adding a whole lot to your dog's diet in a very short period of time. Too frequent changes or too many novel introductions in a short time period can cause stomach upset.

First, I would not give a human laxative. This will likely mess up his system even more.

I would go back to the basics. Make sure you are giving only one kind of premade raw diet right now-- only one brand and only one flavor. Adding in a lot of different types of raw meats at once can cause digestive upset.

For the boneless meat you are adding in, try to use the same type of meat that is already found in his premade. Introducing mutton, then pork, then liver all right after each other is only going to make his tummy hurt more. Plus these tend to be fattier (and so harder to digest) meats. Pork always gives Sabrina horrible gas, for example.

Try sticking to the same routine for 2-3 days-- feed just the premade with boneless meat added to it for 2-3 days and see how his poos are. It sounds like you are giving a lot of pumpkin for a small dog, and too much pumpkin can cause constimpation, so I would cut out the pumpkin for these 2-3 days. Then after those few days are up, see how his poops are after being on a constant diet. If he needs it, try a small bit of pumpkin. My guess, though, is that just a few days on a constant diet with no changes will help a lot.

If your dog appears to be in distress, isn't eating, isn't pooping at all etc, then take him to the vet right away, though.

Barked: Sun Sep 21, '08 11:24pm PST 
I gave him some laxative yesterday afternoon. He had diarrhea in the evening. After that he seems more active. He even played with his favourite toy for a while. But after he had his dinner, he is again lethargic. I am not sure if it is due to the bones in his barf diet that is causing all the discomfort in him. But his stomach does seems very tense and tight. Just wonder, if I were to give him meat and veg with supplements, will he be able to poo normally without any constipation problem.

Barked: Tue Sep 30, '08 3:44pm PST 
if the poo is hard, add some vegetable to his food. for my dog, I added raw baby carrot to his food and sometime streamed squash or broccoli. Give your dog one spoon of plain yogurt per week can help relief the gas problem.
Henry CGC

i love the snow
Barked: Tue Sep 30, '08 5:06pm PST 
Henry had poor digestion too, i thought i was feeding good probiotics but actually 1 wasn't even a probiotic (it was plant enzymes) and the other was a very low quality/amount probiotic. the very first day i switched to pure acidophilus, i saw improvement, his stool is not slimy anymore also.

the pros usually suggest a fast for diarrhea dogs. i know yours is constipated too but i'm thinking his system needs a rest to try to regulate itself now?

Edited by author Tue Sep 30, '08 5:14pm PST