What is Diarrhea (Antibiotic-Responsive)?
Diarrhea (antibiotic-responsive) in dogs is when there is a case of diarrhea that will successfully respond to a specific antibiotic. Since diarrhea is caused by so many factors, antibiotics are not typically used to treat diarrhea; however, there are times where antibiotics are needed. During these times, there is a specific clinical illness that is related to changes in the bacterial flora and the response of the dog’s immune system to the bacteria.
Certain diseases can be the actual cause of the diarrhea, and the veterinarian will determine this during the examination and diagnosis.
Antibiotic-responsive diarrhea in dogs is a type of diarrhea that can be treated with specific antibiotics. This type of disorder occurs as a stand-alone illness, which is rare, and is usually accompanied by an underlying disease, illness, or infection.
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Symptoms of Diarrhea (Antibiotic-Responsive) in Dogs
There are types of diarrhea that will respond to antibiotics, and this will need to be determined by tests at the veterinarian office. Symptoms of diarrhea that is caused by bacteria and can be antibiotic-responsive in dogs include:
- Diarrhea in excessive amount
- Diarrhea containing blood
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Straining when having bowel movement
- Intestinal sounds
Research is still being conducted on the various types of antibiotic-responsive diarrhea, and researchers and medical professionals are determining if all are unique or an essentially equal disorder. Different types of diarrhea that are antibiotic-responsive are known as the following:
- Antibiotic-responsive diarrhea
- Tylosin-responsive diarrhea
- Intestinal Dysbiosis
- Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth
Causes of Diarrhea (Antibiotic-Responsive) in Dogs
There are a few known causes of this type of disorder, and research continues to be conducted on this type of diarrhea in dogs. What is known is that there are diseases that can cause this antibiotic-responsive diarrhea, and will be treated as a primary condition. Causes of antibiotic-responsive diarrhea are determined by:
- Overgrowth of bacteria
- Change in the bacteria in the small intestine
- Any type of disease which can adversely affect the bacteria growth in the small intestine
Diagnosis of Diarrhea (Antibiotic-Responsive) in Dogs
Once you see the symptoms that identify a possibility of diarrhea that may be antibiotic-responsive, a visit to the veterinarian will be necessary to get your loved one the proper diagnosis. The veterinarian will perform different types of tests in order to make an accurate diagnosis. Tests include x-rays or other types of imaging methods, clinical testing for other underlying diseases. Secondary antibiotic-responsive diarrhea can be difficult to diagnose if there is a primary disease in place. If this is the case, the antibiotic used to treat the primary disease or infection will also treat the diarrhea.
The veterinarian may also perform a test to measure the concentration of serum folate. Dogs that have antibiotic-responsive diarrhea over time have an increase in the serum folate. If the levels look higher than normal after testing is complete, this may help the veterinarian in the diagnosis.
Research is still being conducted on antibiotic-responsive diarrhea and the difficulty of diagnosing this disorder. There is still no single test that can be administered to accurately define this type of diarrhea at this time.
Treatment of Diarrhea (Antibiotic-Responsive) in Dogs
Your dog’s treatment will depend on any test results that have been conducted by the veterinarian. An antibiotic will be the first thing that is prescribed if the diarrhea is shown or highly suspected to be antibiotic-responsive. Treatment methods include the following.
The veterinarian will determine the type of antibiotic to be given to your companion once diagnosis is complete.
The veterinarian, in addition to giving a prescription for antibiotics, will instruct you to give a diet that is low in fat to aid this disorder. A bland diet may be suggested that contains chicken and rice. Pumpkin can also be added to the dog’s food to soothe an irritated stomach and painful bowels.
Any disease or infection that is considered primary will be treated by the veterinarian, and this depends solely on the diagnosis. It is important to follow your veterinarian’s guidelines for specific additional treatment and ask any necessary questions if you need to.
Recovery of Diarrhea (Antibiotic-Responsive) in Dogs
Since this type of diarrhea will respond to antibiotics, the symptoms should clear up with the medication and your dog should be feeling better once finished. It is important to finish all antibiotics even if he seems to be himself again. The supplementation with a probiotic, such as plain yogurt added to his food will help good bacteria build back up again.
Prevention is also a key factor in recovery and management of this type of diarrhea. The growth of bacteria can be inhibited by dietary changes and supplements. A healthy diet is vital in preventing antibiotic-responsive diarrhea; avoiding foods with corn, preservatives, dyes, wheat, and meat substance that is not all-natural will greatly help.
Diarrhea (Antibiotic-Responsive) Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
My 10 week old Great Dane puppy is on her third course of antibiotics for diarrhea. Well she is on the medication she is fine 24 hours she comes off of it the diarrhea episodes start again. Currently her vet has diagnosed her with anti resistant diarrhea and we're on a food trial. We can't find an underlying cause any suggestions and will this be something she grows out of? I'm concerned that I ended up with a sick puppy.
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My Belgian Malinois has diarrhea off and on for about two weeks. The Vet ran a fecal exam with the giardia ELISA test. While waiting for results she prescribed a probiotic, a paste, and metronidazole. All of the tests came back negative, but I’m wondering the reason for continuing with the metronidazole. Especially with conflicting info on MDR1 and the effects it can have on its own in non MDR1 dogs. He hasn’t had diarrhea since we started the probiotic and paste.
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My 2 yr German Shepherd has pancreatic deficiency. He is on Tylosin 3 pills taken at once daily for the next month. He is on the Tylosin now for over 2 weeks and continues to have liquid to pudding diarrhea. No progress yet. His frequency seems to have increased to 5-6 times daily. He is on a low fat dry dog food with enzymes added. His energy level is high still, but, the diarrhea is a concern. Should we continue to give the Tylosin? The vet says to continue for another 2 weeks at least regardless.
It may be a case that treatment with tylosin may need to be made together with another antibiotic as there is a possibility of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO); I would follow the instructions given by your Veterinarian but discuss SIBO with them at your next visit. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
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