Reader Question: How to help a dog with frequent bouts of vomiting, gas and lose stools
We have a sterilized rescue Yorkie (aged about 10/11yrs). She suffers frequent bouts (1-2 per month) of yellow loose stools and mucus vomiting,lasting less than 6 hrs. We feed her white fish and rice for 24 hours and she seems to recover until the next bout. She does have smelly flatulence most days. We have changed her foods at intervals to attempt to find if she has a food intolerance, with no obvious benefits.
Suggestions from Our Veterinarian for a Dog with Diarrhea, Vomiting and Flatulence
When a dietary intolerance is to blame for a dog’s chronic gastrointestinal problems, switching between over the counter dog foods will often not improve the situation much. For example, if your dog is allergic to chicken and you switch her to an over the counter food that is advertised as being made from lamb and rice, it might still contain chicken – either intentionally (read the whole ingredient list) or unintentionally if the production line is not thoroughly sanitized between runs of different types of food.
Prescription veterinary diets are held to much higher standards. I have had the best luck diagnosing food intolerances/allergies using a hydrolyzed diet like Purina HA or Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d. If your dog’s symptoms resolve when she eats one of these foods (and nothing else… no treats, table scraps, etc.), then you know that some aspect of her previous foods were to blame. You can then go on a search for the underlying cause.
Of course, something other than diet may be responsible for your dog’s vomiting, diarrhea, and flatulence, so your veterinarian will probably want to perform a physical exam and run a few laboratory tests (e.g., looking at a stool sample under the microscope) before prescribing one of these diets.