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Categories: Breeding

Q. My dog just had puppies. She seems perfectly normal besides having constant diarrhea. Any suggestions on how to make it go away or what might be wrong?
Hi Ed...sorry to bother you. I have enjoyed your web site over the years and now have a question that I'm sure you can help me with.

My 3 year old field trial Labrador Retriever had a litter of 7 puppies 5 days ago. (Surgical A.I. with frozen semen on a maiden bitch) In the week before whelping, she was receiving 4-5 cups of high performance food with about 1/3 cup all-natural canned food on top to make it more palatable. Her appetite decreased in the last week of pregnancy.

Whelping went very well and all pups are doing great. They are gaining 2-4 oz. a day and have nice firm stool. She is a great mother.

Anywho, this bitch has horrible diarrhea. She did eat 3 of the placentas and we figured that day 1 diarrhea was due to this. Her food intake remained the same (about 4-5 cups) and she looks like a million dollars. She is drinking, does not have a fever and does not show signs of dehydration. Her diarrhea is explosive, but she does not have any blood in her stool.

I started giving her about 10mL pediatric kaopectate 6 times a day with no improvement. On the advice of breeder friends, I withheld one of her 3 daily feedings on day 4, gave her 1/2 cup organic yogurt and 2 tablespoons of pumpkin. She was then put on a bland diet of boiled hamburger, oatmeal and rice.

Diarrhea has improved today. She had 10 watery stools in a 6 hour period yesterday and now we're having one diarrhea every 4 hours. I spoke with my vet who suggested metronidazole. I'm nervous about medications at this point since the puppies are doing great and metronidazole is passed through the breast milk.

She is still peeing, drinking and her appetite has increased. She looks and acts perfectly fine otherwise. Her milk production seems to still be good.

Anything else I can be doing??

Thanks in advance.


A. When our females have babies we take their temp (anally) twice a day until it is down to 101 degrees (101 to 102) is normal.

We also offer her 2 cans of chicken broth every day to help her fluid intake. The more fluids she drinks the more milk she makes. In your case this would also help replace the lost fluids.

We feed a raw all-natural diet and don’t have these kinds of issues. There is no canned dog food that I know of that is worth much. You would be better off feeding her raw hamburger. We just buy the 5 pound rolls of high fat content hamburger at Wal Mart.

I would also increase the pumpkin to ½ to ¾ of a can to see how this works.

If the vet suspects giardia I would say she should be tested. I would personally sit and read the label on metronidizol before I would ever consider this. In 350 litters I have never done this. You may want to get a second opinion. I would be very very careful here.

You really should spend some time on our web site and read the section on feeding a raw diet. Cindy (my other half) wrote a detailed Q&A article on feeding a raw diet. You can download the article here: Feeding a Raw Diet.
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