Dog Has Digestive Problems

Dog laying in the grass next to her bowl

When your dog has continuing digestive problems, it's important to pursue a diagnosis. Share this visitor's story.

My Dog Has Digestive Problems

Hi! I have a ten-month-old female Bichon Frise that has always been playful and healthy. Over the last two weeks she has developed digestive problems. The problem began suddenly one day when she started vomiting bile five to six times a day.

I stopped giving her her dry kibble for a day and switched her to rice and chicken. She stopped vomiting, but began having diarrhea for a day. She continued to have loose stools for a couple of days after that. I took a stool sample to the vet and it was negative for parasitic infections.

Her stools finally became harder again, but they are yellow and sometimes covered with a yellowish mucus. Should I keep her on the chicken and rice diet? She seems to like it more than the dry food. Do I need to change to an adult dry food now?

Thank you~~ Maria

Expert Reply

Hi Maria,

Are parasites the only thing your vet checked your dog for? The combination of vomiting, diarrhea and mucus covered stools happening in the manner you describe may suggest that your dog has Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IRS) or something similar.

IRS is chronic, which means it will keep recurring throughout a dog's life and is believed to be brought on chiefly by a bacterial viral or parasitic infection. However, food sensitivity and deficiencies of the digestive enzymes could also play a role. There simply isn't enough known about the disease at this time.

If this were my dog, I'd take in another stool sample for analysis and keep a diary of what my dog has eaten and when the digestive upsets and mucus covered stools occur. This will give your vet a clearer picture of what is going on, and it may lead to a diagnosis.

Chicken and rice is a good bland diet, but these items alone won't provide your puppy with complete nutrition. I'd like you to check out our article on Making your Own Dog Food for further feeding suggestions. I'd hold off on making the switch to adult food until your vet gives the go ahead.

Thanks for your question, and I hope you get to the bottom of the problem soon.

~~ Kelly

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Dog Has Digestive Problems