My 9-week-old Bloodhound, Gracie, has diarrhea. I have tried several different foods, and have taken her to the vet. Nothing seems to work. What food do you recommend for a large breed bloodhound?
– Tia, Danville, Indiana
A large breed puppy food is ideal for a young, growing Bloodhound. However, if the puppy has diarrhea, the underlying cause of the loose stools must be identified.
Loose stools can be caused by internal parasites that can be identified with a fecal examination by your veterinarian. However, sometimes a fecal exam can be negative for parasites and the dog may still have internal parasites because some worms shed their eggs intermittently. If the eggs are not seen on the fecal examination, it is reported as negative, but it may have just been a false negative because the worms were not shedding their eggs at that time. Often, especially in puppies, if this is suspected, a dewormer is given anyway, even if the fecal examination is negative.
A food allergy or intolerance is another reason for diarrhea. Food allergies can develop even if the puppy has been on the same food her entire life. Identification of the food allergy is imperative and avoiding the offending ingredient is necessary to prevent the diarrhea from continuing.
Other possible reasons for ongoing diarrhea in a puppy include pancreatic insufficiency, malabsorption, liver developmental abnormalities, and hormonal imbalances. If any of these underlying diseases is present, diet change alone is probably not going to solve the problem until the initial cause is addressed.