Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Fecal Test Results Came Back Negative, But...

On Monday, Willa had her first doctors appointment since joining our family. I was on edge. A bundle of nerves. Aside from being in heat, a slight yeasty odor in her ears the week prior, a bit of itching, and soft stools, there were no major health related issues that concerned us. The doctor checked Willa's ears with a fine toothed comb. Nothing. No odor. No infection. At the end of the visit, she was given a clean bill of health.

The fecal test results came back the following day. Lisa spent over 15 minutes on the phone with the doctor. Her stools were too soft for their liking. The color was off. There was a foul odor. This was something Lisa brought to their attention on Monday.

However, over the weekend, we had given her our regular peanut butter treats. This was after making her a homemade dog treat with very little peanut butter to get her tummy used to peanut butter.

She did okay with those.

Or so we thought.

On Saturday, we had company over, and she had been given a few shreds of mozzarella cheese on top of the regular peanut butter treats.

That's when her stools became soft and runny.

Early Monday morning, when Lisa collected a fecal sample, it was still soft.

The doctor informed us that the test results for fecal came back negative.


Were the soft stools the result of too much peanut butter and introducing new foods?

Were the stools soft because of a parasite or an intestinal infection or something the test may have missed?

They wanted to put Willa on a 5 day course of Metronidazole and a prescription bland food diet.

Some of the side effects of Metronidazole for dogs are vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and regurgitation.

And, the prescription bland diet dog food had ingredients that we suspected Willa was allergic or had a sensitivity to.

After talking all of this over with the doctor, we decided to give it 24 hours.

That was yesterday.

On the overnight, and this morning, Willa's condition worsened.

She had explosive diarrhea.

And, it smelled. Bad.

The color was funky too.

We had to put diapers on her.

After 2 explosions of diarrhea, shortly after taking her outside, she got a bubble bath. Twice.

Lisa immediately went to the doctor's office after work and got the prescription for Metronidazole.

Everyone agreed that sticking to the dry kibble she had been on for over a year was the best option because it contains no corn, wheat, soy, corn gluten meal, poultry by-products, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.

As of now, Willa has been on Metronidazole for over 12 hours now.

No more diarrhea.

Her stools have shape.

We've also eliminated any homemade dog food or treats from her diet.

She's back to eating the food she's been fed for over a year. The doctor said it's a really great food and gave it a thumbs up.

While Lisa was at the doctor's office getting the prescription filled, she had a long chat with the staff.

Long story short, Jack Russel Terriers are known for having food allergies.

The most common food allergies are from beef, chicken, dairy, corn, soy, wheat, eggs, pork, lamb, and fish.

The most common allergy symptoms are gastric distress, skin irritation, hair loss, and diarrhea.

Other factors?

The soft and runny stools could be symptoms of an intestinal infection or parasites.

She could have had a pre-existing condition prior to us adopting her.

In the past week, we had taken Willa in the front yard. We have a lot of wild bunnies that roam in the front yard. Lisa caught Willa eating bunny poop.

Olivia's habitat is in the office where Willa has spent a lot of time because she's been in heat. Olivia likes to popcorn and perch. When she does, her bedding and Timothy hay gets on the rug. Despite vacuuming every day, we've caught Willa eating the bedding and hay from the floor.

Between everything, it could have been anything.

It appears the Metronidazole is working.

Once she's done with that, we can proceed with the elimination diet.

After the past few days, I'm a bit overwhelmed.

This is the point where I say, "I'll keep you posted..."

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