dog diarrhea

MyGermanShepherd Health ManualDiarrhea is a disorder describing the condition of excessive and frequent evacuation of mostly liquid feces.

The reason why the feces are mostly liquid is that in a Diarrhea situation a disorder

  • prevents the orderly metabolism of foods (for example breakdown of fats) and/or
  • leads to excess water being absorbed into the feces matter.

In both cases, the frequent evacuation results from the organism trying to expel irritants, allergens, or pathogens, and it quickly leads to dehydration.

Normally, feces consist of about 75% water and 25% solids: mostly dead bacteria and indigestible food matter such as cellulose, but also minor amounts of cell debris, bile pigments and died leukocytes (white blood cells). Conversely, in a Diarrhea situation feces can be as much as 98% water, hence the big risk of dehydration.

Diarrhea typically is triggered by a Digestive Disorder, which itself may be triggered or caused by:

  • Medicaments, in particular:
    • antacids, the all too commonly used drugs to relieve the symptoms of acid reflux, heartburn or indigestion
    • antibiotics
    • cancer drugs.
  • Microbes, in particular:
    • pathogenic bacteria - typical here are salmonella, E(scherichia) coli or shigella, and campylobacter (very common in chicken)
    • viruses - like CHV (canine herpes virus), the leading cause of death in young puppies!
    • parasites - like Giardia, Crypto(sporidium), Toxoplasma gondii (all protozoa), or hemoparasites (bacteria that infect the blood)
  • Lactose intolerance:
    • dogs, like people, do not normally produce lactase after weaning (lactase persistence is a recessive inherited gene defect)
    • and so most dogs cannot metabolize lactose (the prime sugar in milk products) and they may suffer Diarrhea or other conditions after consuming certain foods.
  • Fructose or artificial sweeteners like Sorbitol.
  • Something ingested:
    • industrial and even boutique commercial pet food may contain one or more of the above, and/or impurities, pollutants, contaminants, allergens, and even toxins - all of which can cause Diarrhea
    • raw food (real raw food, not the many commercial brands that claim to sell "raw food") may contain one or more types of the pathogenic microbes listed above, because the lack of prolonged incineration lets the naturally occuring microbes in raw food thrive until it gets eaten - which too can cause Diarrhea (and much worse)
    • or the dog may have scavenged outdoors or indoors a substance that the dog's metabolism is not used to digest, and so the organism responds with Diarrhea to expel the irritating matter.
  • Related conditions, such as Crohn's disorder (Crohn's disease is another misleading naming in allopathic medicine) and Ulcerative Colitis, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), Celiac disorder (Celiac disease is another misleading naming in allopathic medicine), and even Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism.

So, be aware that again, Diarrhea is nothing but the name of a symptom. Unless the physician analyses the cause of this condition, no amount of medicaments is going to provide cure, every drug will merely suppress or palliate the symptoms, and so the Diarrhea may pause or stop but the organism will soon show its sickness through other symptoms.

While we people can just run to the toilet each time we feel pressure on the anal muscles, your dog may have to wait for you to be taken outside for a quick walk to relieve. Therefore this is the one situation where complete Dog House Training may lead to a problem:

A fully house-trained dog is trained to hold on until the dog has reached the "relieve location" taught during the toilet training part of complete House Training f. This training aspect now puts huge stress on the dog in a Diarrhea situation - imagine you were declined to visit the toilet when you have Diarrhea!

Hence why I always suggest to provide for an outdoor or indoor dog potty for such emergencies, even when you have a fully house-trained dog. Then it will only be used in emergencies anyway.

Who Suffers Diarrhea

While dogs (yet) not commonly receive antacids (the frequently used drugs to relieve the symptoms of acid reflux, heartburn or indigestion), dogs commonly receive prescriptions of antibiotics.

Even worse, in our modern food chain meat is loaded with antibiotics and steroids! Thus the higher the declared "meat" content in the "pet food" that you may have been buying for your dog, the more antibiotics your dog will have received, even without any prescription.

Because if there's any real meat in an industrial "pet food" packet (instead of the typically grinded bones) then for cost reasons it is the most contaminated meat: the meat that is not eligible for human consumption.

Now that you know where the antibiotics come from that may cause the Diarrhea, in case of pathogenic microbes being the cause the pathogens come from:

  • spoiled food (scavenged)
  • contaminated water (puddles)
  • sniffing or even licking the anus or genital of a sick dog, or excrements.

As for drinking water, if you live in an area with tap water impurities (this is a water tester f) then the water for the dog may need to be filtered too (a Brita filter f can do). For outdoor water bowls, make sure foliage doesn't spoil it. And never give your dog sparkling mineral water, not even the mild form, because dogs cannot metabolize the gas.

Additional but rarer causes of Diarrhea are:

Warning Signs

  • very soft to liquid stool
  • different smell of stool
  • signs of dehydration (sunken eyes, slow capillary refill time in the gums, lethargy, general malaise)
  • severe if nausea (balancing problems, wobbly walk)
  • possibly signs of abdominal pain and/or cramps
  • in some cases concomitant vomiting and/or bloat
  • rarely fever (for dogs a rectal body temperature of and above 39.2C / 102.6F), then sign of infection
  • rarely blood in the stool, then sign of

Preventing Diarrhea

As the most common causes of Diarrhea are medicaments, microbes, and something ingested, the easiest way to prevent Diarrhea is:

Serve two or even three smaller meals during the day, not one large meal. Do not make abrupt changes to your dog's diet, introduce any new foods incrementally (replacing a quarter per day is fine).

Provide steamed rice f at the very least twice a week: besides its nutrients, rice has a cleansing effect on the intestines. Quinoa is a great but more costly alternative.

Use either the most effective Eat-Slow bowl f or even healthier an effective stainless steel Eat-Slow bowl f to improve the dog's digestion and overall behavior.

Aim to serve all food and drink at a temperature between room temperature and dog body temperature. Try to serve foods at roughly the same temperature each time, not sometimes hot and other times cold. All common sense really.

If you have a generally nervous dog (signs are aggression, frequent barking, pacing around, trembling, or twitching) then also prevent stress:

Treating Diarrhea

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Be aware that most cases of Diarrhea are self-limiting and self-healing within a couple of days without any treatment because Diarrhea is a way for the body to expel irritants.

As always, but contrary to the all too common practice, treatment of Diarrhea should only begin after the cause has been identified! Else you pay for merely suppressing or palliating the most apparent symptom at the time - and so soon for ever more symptoms.

If your chosen vet doesn't bother to identify the cause of the Diarrhea - and yet you resist to swap the vet (?) for a quality veterinarian - you may want to identify the cause yourself.

How can you attempt to identify the cause yourself?

Often this is easy by combining an observation with basic common sense. For example, as it relates to the three key causes of Diarrhea:

  • If the dog is on the first two or three administrations of a medicament, and nothing much else changed, likely the medicament causes the Diarrhea.
  • If you saw that the dog was scavenging at some trash place, and nothing much else changed, likely a pathogenic microbe causes the Diarrhea.
  • If neither of the above is the case, likely the dog ingested something unsuitable or unusual, which may not cause an infection (because there is no microbe involved: eg with industrial "pet food" the three hours long incineration kills off all microbes) but disturbs the digestive system nonetheless, such that it tries to expel the offensive substance.

Other times we may have missed a critical observation and so all common sense is in vain. Then is only left to look closely at the dog's present behavior. Often this will allow to rule out an infection, eg:

  • sudden Diarrhea without any behavioral signs before and after
  • before the Diarrhea the dog's behavior suggested sickness (sudden pacing around, nervousness, or lethargy), but after the Diarrhea the dog quickly shows relief and behaves normal.

Conversely, if after the Diarrhea the dog's behavior continues to be unusual or worsens (eg increased or more frequent episodes of nervousness), or if other symptoms follow (skin conditions, continued lethargy, increased or reduced demand to eat or drink) - in addition to the Diarrhea or replacing it - then the underlying Digestive Disorder likely involves a serious infection from some pathogenic microbe, and it would be wise to end the DIY diagnosis at this point and seek a quality veterinarian who is eager to first identify the cause.

For this, a quality veterinarian will prescribe a complete blood count rather than a stool test, because a single stool test rarely identifies the cause and so typically is a waste of money: multiple bowel movements produce different results, and many pathogens are able to hold on inside the bowel for quite some time.

If instead your vet suggests a stool test and subsequently a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy, then clearly you are still stuck with a greedy ordinary allopathic vet: those procedures are costly.

If after the diagnosis of the cause your vet aims to prescribe antibiotic treatment, then again clearly you are still stuck with an ordinary allopathic vet even if the cause has been identified as bacterial infection: Antibiotics must never be provided for conditions of the digestive system because of what antibiotics cause to the digestive system!

Sensible treatment of Diarrhea will target the cause of Diarrhea:

If the cause was found to be a medicament then the worst (but common practice) is to treat the Diarrhea with a second medicament. While that may resolve the Diarrhea, think:

The first medicament caused Diarrhea (and likely further "side effects"), thus already the first medicament made the dog sick, and the body shows its sickness through symptoms, Diarrhea being one of them. How foolish is it then to try to treat a mere symptom caused by the first medicament with yet another medicament?

And where will this chain reaction end? When the bank account is empty, or when the dog succumbed to sickness?

Thus instead I would strongly suggest to thoroughly consider how sensible the first medicament is, and what other means of treatment may work towards the same goal?

While temporary Diarrhea is no reason to stop say a cancer drug if its benefits outweigh all its damage(?), be aware that even in the case of cancer the drug isn't the most sensible and certainly not the only treatment option.

If you can safely avoid the first medicament that was found to cause Diarrhea, you will not need any treatment at all.


Next, if the cause was found to be a microbe then what microbe was found? An otherwise healthy dog can very well cope with bacteria in the digestive system, thus paying for antibiotic treatment does not only do harm but is useless too: it doesn't provide benefit, only damage.

Conversely worms, viruses, and protozoa can pose a real threat if they reached the intestines and proliferate there, and so caused the Diarrhea. But antibiotics do nothing against worms, viruses, and protozoa anyway.

While there are effective over-the-counter drugs for all types of worms including hookworm, if the cause was found to be a virus or protozoan you'll need a quality veterinarian to achieve cure, not treatment of symptoms.


Finally, if the cause was found to be something ingested that doesn't involve pathogenic microbes then no treatment is indicated but rest instead.

Be aware that when allopathic vets come to this diagnosis they cannot charge you anything beyond the basic consultation fee, and so the standard allopathic treatment protocol in this case is to talk you into an abdominal x-ray "to rule out any obstruction".

But let's face it: If there were an intestinal obstruction that the dog's body systems can't deal with (intense retching, or intense defecating, like in Diarrhea!) then the dog wouldn't have made it to the vet anyway.

Yes, there is a remote chance but it's hardly bigger than the chance that your dog (or you) take a walk and get hit by an airplane engine falling from the sky. So forget about it, and certainly don't pay for that.

Some general closing comments:

  • Don't give food during the first day of Diarrhea, because you don't want to congest or irritate a struggling digestive system with more food matter. Allow it to empty itself entirely, so that all body systems can focus on healing rather than on metabolizing more food. Remember that the Diarrhea is merely a symptom, and just one of them.
  • Always provide plenty of fresh water. And if the Diarrhea extends to a second day, either add the recommended dosage of electrolytes f or better even, prepare a rehydration solution like this in order to replenish essential micronutrients:
    • half a liter (17oz) spring water or non-carbonated mineral water
    • the juice of one small cucumber
    • the juice of an orange, lime, lemon, or any melon (whatever you have)
    • half a teaspoon of some quality sea salt f
    • a tablespoon of some quality honey f.
    • Stir until pretty much dissolved, then serve at room temperature and motivate your dog to drink it. Three times a day is the minimum.
  • Do not even think to give your dog (or your child or to take yourself) a commercial electrolyte or "energy" drink: Pedialyte, Gatorade, Redbull & Co are known to be loaded with synthetic additives and even carcinogens. Sorry to put things straight, they are neither good for people nor for dogs.
  • When you reintroduce food on the second day of Diarrhea, start with:
    • a third rice
    • a third carrots
    • and a third chicken or lamb.
    • All steamed f and cooled before serving, together with plenty of fresh water or with the above rehydration solution.
  • By all means, serve two or three smaller meals during the day, not one large meal.
  • If by the end of day two the dog's Diarrhea condition has not significantly improved, you should take your dog to a quality vet early morning on day three.

Make sure to avoid industrial "dog food" for at least a full week after the Diarrhea has ended, even if normally you can't resist their marketing: A digestive system that is only just recovering must not immediately be harmed with the many toxins in industrial "dog food". If later you wish to change the diet, introduce any new foods incrementally (replacing a quarter per day is fine).




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    TY so much ..My puppy is 3and half months old ..Just recent ally switched him to blue dog food ..He was fine up to yesterday..Made him rice and gave him pepto..his stool was fine this morning and now this afternoon back to diraera....my email is not working at the moment I can give you a phone number just in case....[deleted for privacy] ..Ty so much I'm going to Walmart to buy pumpkin in a can and put that in his food Tom..


      Hi Susan,
      If with "blue dog food" you mean this then yes you have chosen a top industrial food.

      However, you say you introduced it "recently" - how long ago? And did you introduce the new food slowly (mixing it in) as we recommend?

      Subject to your dog getting it already for a week or more AND you introduced it slowly as recommended, the Diarrhea can be due to:

      - a substance in the industrial food that your GSD doesn't digest well (GSDs are VERY sensitive with their GI tract!), or is allergic to

      - or an issue unrelated to food (see the article on Diarrhea above!)

      An indication is that you wrote "back to Diarrhea" - what did you mean, when did your dog have Diarrhea before, was it before you switched to Blue or after??

      Until I know more details I'd say follow the advice in the article above to the letter, and if the Diarrhea continues until tomorrow nonetheless, then visit the vet straight away.

      Till then, make sure your dog drinks A LOT and to recoup minerals lost do give some canine electrolytes or even drool fuel if you have it (it's perfect to balance the mineral levels, regardless what they market it for).

      The rice should be boiled but cooled down to room temperature - I hope it was??


    My senior GSD (age unknown- he's a rescue).. had CHRONIC runny/blow-out stools for months.
    I tried boiled chicken, brown rice-then white rice & yogurt... I tried alot of other things too..
    I'm writing because my vet found the PERFECT solution & now he's better, and so am I!
    He now eats a prescription dog food called ID by Hills Science Diet & my vet gave my dog 1 injection (like Humira)... The vet said it's new, something Pfizer has come up with..
    One injection 2 mo. ago, his 1 kind of food- that's it! He had runny stools for 1 day after the shot-
    PLEASE ask your vet about this if you're at your wit's end....


      Thank you so much for this info Gina, much appreciated! In the name of thousands that visit this page, they would thank you too. :-)


    Hi my Gsd is having trouble going to the loo but she just seems to walk round doing teeny splatters of diarriah which is all down her tail. Ive bathed her in flea sensitive flea shampoo and treated her for fleas & worms. she is 7.5 yrs old. Shes off her food and is itching on her stomach and wont leave it alone and shes lost weight! Im taking her to vets tomorrow just wondered if u could give any advice in the meantime . Thanks


      Puuh, that's not much to go on. Based on that it could be food allergy or intolerance, GI tract infection, stress, side effect of medicaments (antibiotics, corticosteroids), or tumor. Crucial is: how long has it been going? Let me know the vet's diagnosis tomorrow, okay?


    My husband just got a beautiful german shepherd from the Czech Republic as his police K9 partner. We've had him about 7 weeks now and he has had loose or watery stool the entire time. Initially of course we thought it was stress from his move to the US and a new home, then the stress of canine school. We put him on chicken/rice diet for about a week when the stools became watery, and started adding pumpkin/apple fiber to each meal. We slowly then replaced the boiled chicken w/his Royal Canine German Shepherd food that the kennel and police training facility had him on. The stools firmed up to (sorry) pudding consistency and never improved. We then took him to the vet for o and p, giardia, culture. All negative. No blood in stool. Vet started him on metronidazole and Iams Prostora probiotic. It's been 5 days now and he continues to have 1-2 very loose yellow stools. He will on occasion, every couple days have a soft/formed brown stool. ( I am a nurse, apologize if a little TMI, I'm just used to it). We continue to add the pumpkin/apple fiber to the food, and he is on full strength food, no rice for about 4 days also. He drinks plenty (but not excessive) of water, has A LOT of energy, and has gained 2 1/2 pounds since his arrival here in the US. He needs to stay lean to maintain peak police dog performance but he does look a couple pounds underweight to me. I am well versed in the care of "mutts", and actually have both our other dogs on special diets for skin allergies and sensitive stomachs, but German Shepherds are new to us, and given their propensity for GI sensitivity, I'm looking for any suggestions you might have. Do you recommend grain free diets? Royal Canine is chicken protein primarily but w/multiple grain sources. We want to do everything we can to make sure our new "baby" is getting the best care we can provide. Thank you!


      Teri, I would not give grain food, no. It's not good for them. I would stop the royal canine.
      Since you are a nurse you know how to cook him hospitable food (forgive the pun, having my funny day).

      I guessed that initially his diarrhea was due to the different water (in USA vs Czech). But that should have resolved by now. Also, that the stool is yellowish is of concern. Did the vet check for pancreas, kidney, and liver?

      I would phase out the pumpkin/apple fiber and reintroduce brown rice with lamb, consistently for one week.
      What do you know of the parents' health status?


    Thank you so much for getting back to me. Vet check for pancreas, etc. is up next given that initial stool studies were negative and it hasn't resolved on the probiotic and metronidazole. Thought we would try a dietary change while waiting to get to vet and/or for results. Seems that pancreatic insufficiency can be common in German Shepherds, so will definitely have him tested. He was a big investment for us and the PD, so we of course, want him in tip top form. Not to mention, he's just our big baby and we adore him! Health of parents is clean. The training facility here that imports the dogs is very reputable and sends someone periodically to look things over. Did phase out the pumpkin this week as it obviously wasn't helping. Regarding the brown rice, not considered a grain? I have a local pet store that I shop at (nearly every day it seems, given 3 dogs and 2 cats-we are in process of building an ark!), and the owner, who is quite knowledgeable, suggested I try Nature Variety Chicken and Brown Rice. It is otherwise grain free. I know you're not in the business of recommending specific foods, but should I return the bag I bought and look for a lamb/rice variety? Both my other dogs are on lamb/rice wellness because one has a skin allergy to poultry. Not sure if the rice component is brown or white in the Wellness. Also, usually we introduce a new food sloooooooooooowly, but given that he doesn't seem to be tolerating what we're giving him, should we stop the Royal Canine abruptly and replace 100%, or go the slow route? Or, should we cook him lamb and brown rice, forgetting about commercially prepared foods?
    Thanks again, really appreciate your help and knowledge!


      I'd increase each day by a quarter. No abrupt change of R.C., no. GSDs generally tolerate lamb much better than chicken. Brown (unprocessed) rice cleans the GI, is calming. Yes, forget about commercially prepared foods, if you are willing to go homemade. If you are subscribed(??) you'll get clear dietary advice at some point. I still plan to create a "daily dinner" product (paid) but have no time at the moment. :-(


        Great, thanks! I will subscribe!


        Just wanted to let you know that the raw lamb/brown rice diet appears to have solved the problem! Just as an FYI, as I wanted to get him started asap on the lamb/rice, I bought "Primal" raw lamb, which is grain free and has a good amount of fruit/veggies in it. We will look into recipes for making our own at some point, but for now, sticking w/the Primal. Stools are normal for first time since his arrival here in US 8 weeks ago. Thank you!


        Oh Teri that is such great feedback! I had meant you do homemade lamb & rice, I didn't know you can buy it (in USA at least, ha!)
        We could suggest it (for those lot who require "convenience"), but I can't see the ingredients on this page - is that the one you got? Could you pl write down the ingredients? Key ingredients is enough.

        Glad my suggestion solved the dog's problem so quickly!! Did you add it slowly or changed abruptly?


    Hi Tim,

    Yes, this is the product, although we have been giving him the raw/frozen version, which is identical in ingredients to the freeze-dried. We went ahead and just abruptly switched, which is not the usual recommended way of doing things, but we felt like we just wanted to clear his system of the Royal Canine and additives. We have another dog that has had GI problems for years and are fairly well-versed on the changing dog food routine, but this time we were getting so frustrated and really felt like we were doing him a disservice by continuing to feed him something he clearly wasn't tolerating. So, we just stopped the RC and started the Primal lamb and home cooked brown rice. Voila, by the next day the stools were improving to a normal color and consistency and now he is completely normal-color, volume, frequency, all normal. We would like to transition him to a homemade raw lamb diet, but I need a good recipe that includes the proper veg/fruit proportions. The Primal is quite costly, and the police dept. isn't going to be happy w/the bills so far (ha ha), but ultimately, they will pay for whatever we end up on, as he is technically owned by them right now.

    Here are the ingredients for the Primal lamb: (same for freeze-dried and frozen)

    Lamb Hearts, Lamb Livers, Ground Lamb Bones, Organic Kale, Organic Carrots, Organic Yams, Organic Broccoli, Organic Apples, Cranberries, Blueberries, Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Minerals (Zinc Sulfate, Copper Carbonate, Sodium Selenite), Organic Parsley, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Salmon Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Quinoa Sprout Powder, Dried Organic Kelp, Alfalfa, Natural Vitamin E, Mixed Tocopherols (natural preservative).

    Again, thanks for the help. Waiting for him to come home from work to measure him so I can sign up for your weekly newsletter.

    Cheers from the ark!


      Re/ The Primal is quite costly: yes, how much is in a bag, it doesn't say, looks tiny, do you know?
      Re/ the proper veg/fruit proportions: those are perfect! See this Periodical.
      Re/ natural preservative: Commercial food will always have - shelf life!

      When you go homemade, leave out. No additives at all, healthy homemade will have the right (natural) balance of everything. So, the preservative of Primal is actually a bad choice: Tocopherol basically is Vitamin E, one with antioxidant properties, that's why they chose it.
      Unless a dog is ill or pregnant, when homemade, no additives.

      Otherwise Primal's ingredients look excellent (only slight worry I have is the amount of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar? Is very acidic, bad for dog's GI tract!).

      If both have same ingredients, what's the difference between your raw/frozen version and freeze-dried, do you know?


        Hi Tim,

        Cost for a 6# bag of raw is $30! Our dog is eating about $60 of food per week-so you can see the need to transition to something less costly! I haven't been able yet to figure out how much is in the freeze-dried bag (put a ? out at the amazon site). Our pet store doesn't carry the freeze-dried version, otherwise if it were somehow cheaper I might have bought that instead. So, once I figure out how to make a raw diet I think that's what we'll go with-unfortunately, because he is technically owned by the PD,we have find a vendor who is willing to bill the PD for the food. So for now we are sticking w/the Primal and paying for it ourselves until we can figure out how to bill the PD for what I buy at the grocery store-bureaucracy!



        I just want to say that this has been a great place to get advice! We have a 10 week old gsd! Upd on shots dewormed etc! We have been giving him natures choice puppy food grain free but still has diarrhea! He's been vet checked! I'm going to order the primal lamb and see if that helps too! I also been reading on slippery elm bark that my sister who has had gsd for yrs said worked well with her gsd intestinal issues! If you all have any advice or links for better food, because I don't have the time to fresh prepare as I'd like, that would be fantastic! Thanks


        "I just want to say that this has been a great place to get advice!" - Thanks Kristen, is rarely shared, much appreciated! It's so hard to swim against the tide. :roll:

        "We have a 10 week old gsd! Upd on shots dewormed etc!" - We have the best advice on that topic too Kristen, sadly it seems you haven't seen/read it yet, and so your poor just 10w old puppy is already suffering from "being up on his shots". Please study Dog Vaccinations and Puppy Vaccinations.


    Hi Tim,
    Merry Christmas to you! Just wanted to let you know that we have noticed that our very stinky german shepherd no longer is so stinky after switching to the raw lamb/rice diet you recommended! We just noticed the other day, "hey, Gimmo doesn't smell anymore". Lovely side benefit to a better diet! Thanks again for the great advice.


    Hi there, we have an almost 2 yr old GSD with a somewhat regular onset of diarrhea and solid stool in between. He has no symptoms of lethargy, no signs of any illness, he is energetic, loves to go for runs, eats heartily and plays and sleeps regularly.

    For his food we feed Taste of the Wild Lamb formula and we have been making our own raw food (turkey, beef, chicken/turkey with organ meat, pumpkin, carrot, apple etc..) we mix it in with the Taste of the Wild Lamb to assure his getting all the nutrients we feel are required. His sister, also a GSD, is doing fine, she is 5 years senior to him.

    The diet we feed is grain free, so adding rice to the diet is giving us pause. But perhaps to give his system and the pup a break, making a wild brown rice, pumpkin, blueberry, chicken slurry might be the way to go for now?


      Lars, pl test thim for worms. Because the food can't be the problem (but to be sure, feed the lamb with brown rice for a week), and you say he isn't ill either (I assume that's vet-checked).


    Hi Tim,
    first, we are all better! :-) With that out of the way... Yes our boy is well, he had his vet check about a month ago, he is on regular Trifexis so that takes care of 'some' of the worms (round, hook and whip). So with the exception of the diarrhea, he has no other symptoms, that said we already called the Vet for a visit.

    At the night of my first post I mixed together plain yogurt, human grade acidolphilus and Gentle Digest for dogs n cats and ground eggshells.

    He was not very impressed with it, so I added it to some food, which he begrudgingly ate. By the next morning his stools were more solid but did not maintain shape, by the evening we had one shaped stool, which held form and was soft solid. We ran out of the yogurt and I opted to not add any more for now, just to see what would happen. Today, we had a good solid stool x 2.

    We are holding off on the Vet visit for now and continue to monitor his input/output.

    Just for the record he is a German German Shepherd (straight back, working dog, longstanding reputable local breeder) not an American German Shepherd (sloped back).


      Hi Lars, I am confused now:
      - I suggested some days ago to test him for worms
      - You now write: "he is on regular Trifexis"
      - Does that mean you got him tested, and he tested positive for worms?
      - Then what does this mean: "we had his stools analyzed, they all came back negative"

      Confused.com ;-)
      Please shed light.

      And who prescribed Trifexis? Was that after checking your dog for MDR-1? Pl. see here our note under Trifexis, why it is relevant.

      "Just for the record he is a German German Shepherd (straight back, working dog, longstanding reputable local breeder) not an American German Shepherd (sloped back)."
      --> That's interesting: I always considered the German GSDs the sloped back ones, and the American GSDs rather the straight back, no?
      I got that impression eg from the "Sieger shows" in Germany, where the SV Augsburg makes sloped back GSDs "champions" - OMG!

      I'd love to ask our members about their dog's back/shape, but didn't dare to, some may feel offended (although why?? It's not their fault, it's the breeders' fault!).


        Sorry for the confusion. :-( Let's see if I can make things better or worse :-\

        So our boy Faolan had these bouts of digestive issues since we got him. That said, he is mostly a solid stool dog, but these incidents are frequent enough to make us take notice.

        On several occasions we had the Vet examine him ($$), send in stool samples (more $$), with the last one being 4 months ago, to find out if he has any worms. Every test came back showing no worm or other parasite infection. The vet suggested that he simply has a sensitive stomach and we should observe what he consumes outside feeding time and/or possible change his food.

        Around this time I had completed my research for homemade dog food, as we too don't like what the mass produced pet food industry is adding and using for the dog foods. To make a long story short, we started to supplement the Taste of the Wild dry food with 80:10:10 ratio cooked food, then half cooked and finally to raw over a months time.

        Both dogs took to the food with enthusiasm, showing all the signs of better health and vitality, especially our 7 year old rescue.

        The diarrhea bouts went down in frequency but are still happening every now and then.

        We live in a heartworm and hookworm prevalent area so the vet suggested that the easiest for all of us is to have the dogs go on Trifexis as it is one pill to take and it takes care of the majority of issues. Both dogs have been on this medicine for almost 1 year now. As far as the gene mutation is concerned, we asked out breeder/trainer and he never had lost a dog or had a client to this mutation. That said, we both agreed that if we wanted to be really sure, we should do the test.


        Hm, sounds like the food is good and you look well after your dog!

        One-off stool samples though rarely show worms, see here why (and much more). And putting him on Trifexis without being diagnosed positive and without the dog's individual living environment being affected is plain insane of the vet from YOUR viewpoint (but clever from HIS: earns perks).

        "The vet suggested that he simply has a sensitive stomach and we should observe what he consumes outside feeding time and/or possible change his food." - Very good, hope you do that (scavenging I mean), our renowned Feeding Routine pretty much prevents scavenging too.

        If he really isn't ill, and he gets the right food, the only reason I can think of is stress (then probably due to the experienced Pack conflict!). I'd aim to avoid that, and to exercise him more.

        Best of luck Lars!


        On the 'German' German Shepherd topic :-) ... having grown up in Germany and having longed for a dog myself, I was focused on German Shepherds. Having finally realized my dream of having a GSD, I read up on GSD on English and German language sites (Wikipedia is a big help) The topic of the body shape ideal is a hotly debated issue.

        From my recollections and my research into the GSD, the original working GSD is closer in body type to the Malinois. If you look at Von Stephanitz's first GSD, Horand, you can see the ideal Von Stephanitz was after. I have never seen GSD dogs in Germany were the back slant was so pronounced as it is common today, especially in the US. For some reason that slant became the obsession for show dogs and it was imprinted into our minds (mine as well) that this is what the GSD *should* look like.
        Nowadays, I am not sure that this is a good bio-mechanical trait for a working dog. As I am getting older, I can relate to hip problems :-)

        That said, all dogs deserve our love and appreciation, for me having a lean, straight -ish backed dog means less hip and joint issues at retirement age.


        Lars, you may want to jump ahead to a Periodical you would get sometime in future, it explains and shows what my personal opinion is on this topic - I can't even think about it, it makes me cry: The decline of the GSD.
        Your other message I need to read tomorrow, too tired now.

        (for others: sorry, this is NOT about GSD Diarrhea, we diverted - yes, let's stop the diversion)


    oh and the last 2 times we had his stools analyzed, they all came back negative


    My 3 year old (tall 110 lber!) has had consistent sensitive stomach on and off, and when off, it's awful and 'runs' everywhere if he can't get out. Vet tested him and he had 'sp' colustridiam (?), a bacteria and put him on meds/probotic spray and I/D dry food. He got better for a while, but now having issues again. Vet thinks stopping probotic spray is reason and doesn't want a retest for bacteria yet. Meanwhile, he thinks he gets anxious/lonely when alone (which isn't often, 4 kids at home) and gave me low dose of Dog prozac. Anyone heard of that? Could that be bad for his tummy?
    Also open to other suggestions. He rarely gets scraps, unless kids spill something small...


      James, I'd stop all the vet prescribed!
      - Completely avoid the dog's current stress level (see the Prime Secret about Dogs for a start, and get House Training Dogs to Behave Well to understand more)
      - Train the kids how to behave well with the dog! (So you need to learn it first, hence above links)
      - Feed Lamb with unprocessed (brown) rice for at least a week to see how it improves
      - Decline all antibiotics and corticosteroids!
      - Subscribe to learn how to treat a GSD right


    Hey tim, we have had our german shepherd duke for since he was 8 weeks hes now 22 weeks and has always had runny poo pretty much always! we took him to the vet and he gave us an anti biotic and sugested scrambled egg it worked for a week but again ever since hes back to runny poos. We introduce egg which helps the next day but its just a repeat cycle. Hes very playful and always happy and his coats lovely,he get fed 3 times a day on pedigree puppy and loves it! I just wondered is it that that making his poo runny as we cant think of anythin else! Tho he does eat his own poo sometimes and is always at puddles in our garden


    My GSP is 5 months. He has direhha most of the time. Walks and poops. We feed him 4 health. He likes it , but we have had this with every food. He doesn't have worms. He is going through training as in not jumping up etc and he does hate to be away from you but even not away still same. Do we go to a grain free dog food I don't know what to do.


      "I don't know what to do." - Please read right above where you clicked and confirmed you read. Because really, the menu IS your friend! You find EVERYTHING there. It wouldn't become any better if I tried to repeat so much here in this box.


    So I have a 4 month old pup and he's been having a constant case of the poos. One day it'll be somewhat formed the other not. My husband went away for training and I was assuming the anxiety made his tummy upset but it's been a week. The Vet tested for worms, I did the bland diet, nothing. I think he's having some allergies to his food but I don't know what to do. He also has a rash on his belly and is itchy. He's on Nutro currently so that can give you a price range but does anyone have any suggestions? At this point my vet is doing the same series of test running up a bill that's not needed. I should also include that he's still playful, drinks plenty and has no abrupt urgency to go to the bathroom.


        Okay, Keetin is my 18 week old GSD. He's recently in the past month developed and "acne" like rash on his tummy. (1st vet visit) We watched it and it didn't et better, so we took him to the vet and she tested for worms(negative) and also have him antibiotics. The antibiotics temporarily cleared the rash and it came back two weeks ago(when my husband left) ALONG with diarrhea, dry skin and my pup being extra districtive. (2nd vet visit which was last week) she told me to give him a bland diet(improved so we went back to the food) , not change his food, and for the second time she did a test for worms. Again, negative. She gave him another antibiotic called metronidazole 500mg and it's done nothing. Now he's off the bland diet and it's back to the same thing and my husband doesn't come back until the end of the month. He's also showing signs of anxiety (panting, distructive, back talking, itching, yawning excessively) which is why I'm wondering if it could be a food intolerance and my husband being gone just kinda tipped the belly over more.


    I have a 6 yr old GSD, female.Switched food abruptly 4 months ago.Had her since she was a pup 8 weeks old. Was feeding her viktor, active formula , thought if I switched to viktor super pro which is much higher in protein this would be even better. No problems til I switched . She started diarrhea, sometimes pudding type consistency off and on last 4 months . Have switched to viktor, chicken and brown rice with lamb for 2 months, no change in stool . Had checked at vet for worms/parasites twice. None found. Have regularly given interceptor and triheart monthly since pup per vet recommendation/heart worm pill. Use k9 advantix topical since pup. Been to vet twice in last 2 months, he gave her steroid shot each time and prescribed metrodinazole,500 mg twice daily. After first vet visit seemed to gradually improve to a point but not totally and then returned to more diarrhea. Went to vet a second time, got another steroid shot and increased metrodinazole dosage to 750 mg 2 times daily. I did not give her the increased dosage after I read up on internet and feared side effects. Metrodizanole does not seem to be doing anything, and I have stopped giving it. My dog weighed 77 pounds 4 months ago, now about 73. Always energetic,drinks we'll,sleeps well, no problems other than diarrhea issues. No accidents. Have tried no food 24 hrs, then gradual with rice/ food with no luck. Still feeding viktor chicken and brown rice w/lamb.2-3 cups daily. She eats it all up, sometimes not immediately. Exercises regularly, indoor dog mostly. Only alone maybe 7 hrs weekly. No changes other than me screwing up her diet 4 months ago. Do you think this is a food issue only? Was the vets treatment beneficial? What would you suggest at this point? I also use dog toothpaste but have stopped that the last few days, trying to eliminate any potential causes. What is your opinion of the heart worm pills I use? She has never had any worms/parasites. What is your opinion of advantix? Thanks in advance


    Do gsd's need or get tetanus shots? My dog stepped on roofing nail. Contacted vet, told me just ensure clean. I soaked her paw in hydrogen peroxide and washed well with soap several times. She was already taking antibiotic for unrelated issue. Just concerned that vet said no tetanus shot


    Is it always advisable to get annual shots for leptospirosis and kennel cough? Never use boarding kennels and rarely around other dogs


      It is always advisable NOT to give yearly shots for anything!! Study our Periodical on vaccinations to understand why.


    we have a 10 1/2 year old German Shepherd Serpico, he is on a grain free diet Nature's Variety, It seems like in the last 6 months he has become slow, not wanting to walk his usual 1 mile with us, he eats grass and 1/2 the week has mucus diarrhea. Some days he is just lethargic and doesn't even want to play. The Vet and I feel his is not food related just becoming a senior large breed dog. Has anyone else had this situation?


    Hi, i have a 2 months old german shepard whom i bought 3 days ago.He is suffering with loose stools.but he was fine till yesterday evening.last night he ate some light attracted insects which resulted in heavy loose stools with blood,mucus,wormsand bad smell.The pet care taker in banglore said that mypup was already given D WORMING.My pup is dull and is refusing to intake food since morning.We took him to a vet and he gave the pup furoxone tablet and lacto bacillus powder. thinking that he would get better we gave him glucosed water and ORS orally.He also vomited once.please give us a solution to make him get better as he was before.


      Sorry to say you are doing everything wrong, pl learn about GSD puppies ASAP. I can't and won't repeat myself for every new commenter help-seeker. But if you seek the most complete help, it's here.
      Probably you don't, so then our health pages will serve you well - and your puppy. Best wishes.


    Hi my germangerman shephard is 19 month old..
    And i have resantly brought from my friend. And from yesterday he had diarrhoea.. lime yellow colour..
    Can u tell me what should i do..
    Plz reply me fast


    I have ever a 3 month old GSD, when we got her she got car sucks twice on the hour drive back home. After having her for 2 days she developed the runs. She acts normal, playing and such but she just poops alot, everywhere. I know she got a hold of some old burgers that my son threw out, but we also are feeding her blue buffalo which isn't what she was on when we first got her. They said she was on blue diamond?


    I'm after some tips or even better some help, I have a 6 month on GSD his bowels have been on and off since I brought him home, his vowels can be perfect one minute and back to having the run like water. I have fried chicken and rice, he has been wormed, starving him for the day, hanged his food about a month and a half ago to Royal canin . He don't seem to show that it is effecting him In any way, he is still a happy and lively puppy. He don't mess in the house he lets me know when he needs the loo. Can you please help me with some tips. Many thanks


      Leeanne, the help is right above, did you not read it? The most common reason for a wrong diet (diarrhea). And you now say you feed Royal Canin. Please be aware, that's no food, that's the waste product from rendering plants. Get rid of that first, and see how much your dog's health improves for that alone.

      If you then still face Diarrhea, go through points 2 (puddles!?) and 3.

      Also ensure that you don't destroy the young pup's body systems with antibiotics or steroids! Thank you.


    Today we had to put our 10y/o GSD down. He was the most wonderful pet. We fed him Canidae for years, getting it at the Natural Food Market in our area. We never fed him table scraps. His water was filtered. In the last year, he had a lot of gas. We thought it was just due to aging. Then, in the last 2 months, diarrhea set in. We tried everything per our vet's recommended diet and prescriptions to help him, but he only continued to get worse. The diarrhea in this last week was yellow/green with no solid matter at all. He had lost 30 lbs over the last year, and 10 in the last week. The vet seems to think he had cancer. Our GSD was an inside dog and very much a part of our family. He had plenty of indoor room and outdoor room to play with our one other female GSD. Any idea what could have brought this on? He was only 10y/o.


      So sorry to hear of your loss, Susan. And sad to say I have to agree with your vet: it likely was cancer. To be precise, I suspect bowel cancer, and for me it's clear why. In addition to existing articles we'll have an infographic on that very topic soon, thanks to wonderful Krystal, who also manages all social media of mygermanshepherd.org.
      How old is your female GSD, and have you been feeding both the same?

      elieve I know why he developed bowel cancer, but I won


    I got my 3 months gsd puppy last week from a gsd breeder and within this one week he's been having on and off diarrhea. He's breeder fed him Merrick puppy food twice a day I cup and gave us some left over which lasted two days but as soon as I bought the same product and giving him exactly same amount at same timing, he's started diarrhea. After doing some research online I gave him homemade meal chicken rice and pumpkin and it seemed to stop diarrhea. So I started giving Merrick little bit and the diarrhea started again:( he looks very skinny but super active and no lethargy. At this point should I just keep giving him homemade meals? For how long till I can switch to his puppy food?


      Sadia, pl see the menu under CARE and then DOG FOOD, we have put massive information there that will help you. :-)


    I just bought a female German shepherd puppy about 40 days old. As soon as I provided it the first diet on milk,cerelac (Nestle) and a baked bread piece the diarrhoea started.May be its because of sudden change in diet from mothers milk to market products or it's a result of sudden change in company. Although diarrhoea is not so watery and no big change in pups energy level but it's persistent and is still there from last four days.Is it a major issue. There, in my hometown there's no vet for dogs.
    What should I do whether I should stop feeding it for one day or just to decrease the amount of food served. Right now I am serving it 170ml milk+100 ml water+ 1 teaspoon cerelac+ I baked bread piece (4x2 inches) thrice a day.
    Will wait for your precious reply
    Thanks alot


    Our GSD puppy is 6 months old. We got him at 8 weeks from a breeder. He was originally on Nutro Ultra Puppy food before we brought him home. We weaned him onto Blue Buffalo puppy food. He was doing well. We had contractors here for a week installing new carpet and flooring and within a couple of days he not only had diarrhea, he was throwing up. This was about 3 weeks ago. We finally took him to the vet emergency room. (It was the weekend) They gave him IV fluids and medications for nausea and diarrhea but they did nothing to help our puppy. He was no longer eating and drank very little. First thing Monday morning we had him at our vet. He was so sick and lethargic. X-rays did not show any obstruction. They kept him over night and gave him an IV for fluids and medications, and put him on 1/2 can of prescription canned food twice a day. We brought him home full of energy and followed dr instructions. However, his poop was normal for the first two days at home, then diarrhea again! We tried rice. Still diarrhea. I tried weaning him back to his original food from the breeder, Nutro Ultra. Still diarrhea. He gets plenty of exercise.

    HELP!! We love him so much and I don't know what to do now!! On thanksgiving he did share in the thanksgiving meal with the family. He loved it, and no problems with diarrhea at all for weeks until the contractors showed up. He does not appear nervous around strangers at all. I thought he might have anxiety. But I don't think so now. Contractors are gone, but he still has diarrhea. I'm really at the end of my rope here. I'm even giving him 4 smaller meals a day instead of two larger meals. I'm very worried about him! Also, he has been on Trifexis since he was 12 weeks old and had all his shots. Any suggestions to pass on to me and his vet? I'd be devastated if I lost him. He's so very dear to me. His name is Chester.


      Based on your info Susan, Chester clearly suffers what's called environmental intoxication. Likely from the glue and/or binder the contractors used for the flooring, the CAUSE.

      I am shocked that you indicate your vets followed their allopathic blanket treatment:
      - X-ray to check for "obstruction" - lol!
      - medication for nausea - nausea is a helpful symptom to identify the CAUSE, your vets didn't bother, instead they SUPPRESSED the symptom, nothing more foolish than that!
      - medication for diarrhea - same as above, nothing more foolish than that.
      - medication for vomiting - same as above, nothing more foolish than that.

      "he has been on Trifexis since he was 12 weeks old" - note that Trifexis has a GSD warning from us, and you haven't tested your dog, have you? Nonetheless, any problem would have shown up immediately, so now that your "GSD puppy is 6 months old", Trifexis is NOT causing nor contributing to the present problems.

      BUT, the fact that Chester "had all his shots", this IS contributing to the problem. Your vets' fairytale that regular "shots" are helpful has NO SUBSTANCE at all, it has NEVER been substantiated. Routine vaccinations are ENTIRELY HARMFUL. Entirely meaning, they have NO BENEFIT at all, they do nothing but HARM!

      You can learn this and so much more in the Dog Expert Interview Series with Reviews, here Interview & Review 4, and at a tiny fraction of the vet cost you just incurred, and will continue to incur, sad to say.

      Next point, neither "his original food from the breeder, Nutro Ultra" nor "Blue Buffalo puppy food" is going to help either. "On thanksgiving he did share in the thanksgiving meal with the family. He loved it, and no problems with diarrhea" - there you have it, REAL FOOD is the only... well, REAL food, and thus the only thing dogs should eat. See here why.

      The fact that now that the "Contractors are gone", but "he still has diarrhea" makes clear that they left the "new carpet and flooring" behind, right?
      THAT'S the problem, Susan. A costly problem: You will have to choose between the "new carpet and flooring" and "We love him so much", Chester. Environmental intoxication is common both with carpet flooring and housecleaning agents.

      Sorry that I am so clear, but your vets get paid for finding "comforting words", I don't. Their pussyfooting didn't help, and won't help, while my advice does help. Please read this all again, and then proceed however you prefer, Susan. Thanks. Your avatar looks great by the way.


    I got my GSD the day after Christmas and she has had diarrhea since the day I brought her home. She has been to the vet at least once a week now. They tested her for parvo, giardia, pancreas studies and other blood work. She has been dewormed 3 times now and has been on prescription dog food and metronidazole. She had an XR of her abdomen. She was positive for giardia but has been treated. Every time she finishes the meds and runs out of the dog food she has diarrhea again. I tried the chicken and rice and that didn't work. She now ha as uti which she is on meds for. I feel like I'm at a loss right now. Any suggestions?


      "Every time she finishes the meds and runs out of the dog food she has diarrhea again."
      That's obvious. "The meds" only suppress the symptoms, Katy. You need to address the CAUSE, as I repeat on this site a thousand times.
      I feel very sorry for you, not that you purchased a sick puppy but that you paid within only a couple of weeks for the entire blanket treatment spectrum of ordinary average allopathic veterinarians. Incredible.

      That must have cost many hundreds of dollars already.
      And as always, it has led to nothing.

      Wrong. Each and every part of that symptoms treatment massively harmed your young puppy. :-(
      Feel free to study on hundreds of pages on this site WHY. And here it's even free.

      Then come back here and reply:
      - Does your puppy show signs of weakness?
      - What exactly do you feed your puppy?
      - At regular times? How often in a day?
      - Are you aware of any tick bite earlier?
      - Is your puppy off-leash? Have you noticed where she's sniffing? Drinking from puddles?
      - When you confronted the breeder, what did she reply, what does she know?
      - Other than Giardia, what did the vets find out?
      - In relation to the other events, WHEN did the urinary tract infection start?
      - Exactly which pathogen is causing the infection?
      - Were your pup's siblings sick too, at any time?
      - Define the breeder's estate's cleanliness?

      In addition, fill in all answers here.
      Even without a chance to see your puppy, I should have a clearer picture when you answer the above.


    I have been lucky enough to have had three German Shepherds...

    Without exception they have all had regular bouts of diarrhea, usually lasting two or three days and generally once a month on average. An increase in water consumption and disinterest in food sometimes, but not always, follows.

    My current companion is with me 24/7, so luckily I'm always available to let him out.

    I do know any rice products will instantly spark a dose of the runs, so I stay well clear of that. I cut up pot-roast (stewing steak in large chunk) from the butcher and sauté it in a wok, mixing it and the juices with a couple of handfuls of 'Nutri-Source' for any essential minerals and nutrients not available in the meat alone..

    This has become an accepted norm I just put it down to one of the many Shepherd-isms that make this breed so different


      Three dogs and regularly Diarrhea??
      Via the Rescues we've had hundreds, and not one has had regularly Diarrhea. In fact, if at all, then MAX twice yearly for a single defecation, because of... scavenging sth with pathogens.

      Which suggests... yes, that sth of what you provide to your dogs isn't right for dogs.
      What that is?
      Checking out the menu, likely under Health, and Care, will reveal that. To anyone interested in dog health.



        Scavenging is an unlikely cause as he keeps very close when we are walking and I would notice. He does have a bad habit of licking urine smells occasionally

        The menu has changed over the years, as with location (wet, green in the UK and now dry desert in the US), but the runs has been part of 'life as we know it' with different climates and diets. Sigh!


        The "scavenging" related to OUR dogs' rare trigger of Diarrhea, I can't know about yours.
        Hence why I replied: "Checking out the menu, likely under Health, and Care, will reveal that. To anyone interested in dog health."

        Well, the "bad habit of licking urine smells occasionally" of course is one such trigger.
        When I wrote "Checking out the menu, likely under Health, and Care, will reveal that. To anyone interested in dog health." I was more thinking of
        - diet
        - antibiotics
        - steroids
        - vaccinations
        ...as the potential cause of your three dogs' Diarrhea. Because? Because it's the cause for most dogs.

        That should make it now really easy to follow up on my suggestion to actually READ through the menu links? ;-)


    Yes I know all that but it’s 12 o’clock midnight and I can’t get rice I don’t have rice my house I can do is grab Kaopectate or word Imodium or something like that I want to know if I can give her one of those medicines

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