As a kennel worker it is our job to observe the dogsâ behavior, eating, and eliminations. It is very common for dogs to go on hunger strikes and have soft stool due to the stress of being in a new environment. Even a small amount of blood in their stool is usually normal, and most likely caused by stress. Even so, it is always important for pet techs to alert management, so they can then let the owners know. In most cases the owners decide if they want us to take âa hands onâ or âhands offâ approach. âA hands offâ approach would be we do nothing and just keep the owner updated of any further changes. âA hands onâ approach would be we step in and add rice to the food, to help with soft stool and diarrhea; as rice has a binding effect. We also add fresh chicken or canned wet food to help entice a dog to eat. In the cases where a dog is having soft stool and not eating, we typically just feed them chicken and rice.
Almost 95% of the time the addition or change in the diet helps the animal tremendously. However, there are the 5% that do need to be taken to the veterinarian. One week a Day Play dog started showing some concerning symptoms: he would not eat his food, acted lethargic, and started just passing mucus with bits of blood in it. The keenly observant pet tech that stood guard in Day Play, noticed these concerning signs right away. The owner was alerted immediately, and it was agreed that the big, burly lab should be taken to the Vet.
The dog was diagnosed with Giardia, which is an intestinal parasite dogs get from drinking dirty water and/or eating feces with the parasite in it. The dog was put on quarantine from the Day Play room for ten days, while he took medicine to help rid his body of the parasite. The lab has to eat this white powder that must be mixed in his food along with an anti-diarrhea antibiotic (Metronidazole). The white powder is called Panacurc, which is a dog dewormer. The owner was also given three options on how to change his diet to help cleanse his system and kill the parasite. Option one: add fiber to their current food. The three best fiber options for dogs are: canned pumpkin, bran flakes, and special canned wet food.
Option two: change their dry food to a special Vet certified high in fiber dry food.
Option three: just feed them chicken and rice.
The Vet also kindly reminded the owner to buy baby wipes before we left. Yes, thatâs right, baby wipes. Every time the dog has a bowel movement the owner must clean his behind with a baby wipe. This is due to the fact that the dog can re-infect himself if he licks his butt and consumes even a small speck of fecal matter. Not only is the dog banned from Day Play for ten days, and has to take all this medication, but the owner has to take extra precautions for their own health while the dog is sick. Giardia is a zoonotic disease, which means that it can be passed from dog to human. It is important to remember that while the dog is sick, the only way for other dogs and people to get sick from the infected animal is through the consumption of their feces or drinking from their water bowl, while they are sick.