I was recently in Delhi on a marketing visit and had a chance to meet a pet parent cum breeder at a dog show. The gentleman had six Golden Retrievers, all male. These were all show dogs, and he was planning to use them at some point as stud dogs.
My new friend was quite comfortable with the precooked dog food he was feeding his dogs, he was not happy with their frequent bouts of diarrhea.
I replied to his mention of the dogs’ diarrhea with, “I understand precooked food is convenient—and that the dogs definitely find it palatable—but tell me, have you made any changes to their diet recently?”
He said he had introduced the food about a month ago, gradually according to his vet’s advice. And he couldn’t explain why two dogs had been having diarrhea at least once a week, and the other four at least once every two weeks.
“Are they more hungry now?”
“They are certainly eating more than before, maybe because the food tastes good. I’ve seen this since last week.”
“Is there blood in the stool?”
“When did you last get your vet do a stool examination?”
About three months ago, he said, adding that the dogs had been dewormed after that. “Do you really think it could be worms?”
“It’s definitely a possibility, but it can be only be confirmed after a stool examination.”
My friend went on to say he had seen any worms or eggs in the stools, and that they don’t scratch their rear ends. “At least, I haven’t seen them do it…”
My all-important question now: “Do they go for walks often?”
“Yes, they’re walked twice every day.”
“Do they eat or pick at garbage?”
“No, they just aren’t allowed to. Of course, they tug on their leashes when they get close to any garbage, sniffing with their noses twitching.”
My firm suggestion at this point was to get a stool examination done. I said it was likely he would see eggs. “Get a dewormer if the test turns up positive, otherwise begin a regular deworming schedule.”
My friend was curious. “Can they pick up the eggs from garbage on the street?”
“Yes, that’s very possible. Eggs come through the faecal-oral route, so there must be many stray dogs around.”
My friend wanted to know what he could expect if he did the deworming after a month on a schedule.
I replied, “The dogs may lose weight. Moreover, they will eat more than they should because they’ll be eating for the worms as well.”
“Will this dewormer for dogs put a stress on my dogs’ livers?”
I suggested liver support for his dogs, adding that there are many herbal formulations available now.
My friend wanted to know if I had any other precautions to note.
“Hygiene and sanitation. Ensure their poop is cleaned after immediately and not left on the ground—other dogs might sniff or eat it. This will help the worms spread.”
My retriever-loving friend was convinced.
I later heard from him that things had improved. After a month, the bouts of diarrhea had stopped, weight gain was normal, and the dogs were full of energy.
“Glad to be of service,” I thought to myself.