What to do for a dog prone to diarrhoea

Author: VioVet
Published: Thursday 9th May 2013
Updated: Thursday 6th February 2020

Our customer asked:

I wonder if you can advise me on the following query (I am a customer of yours and the dog's name is Harley a 10 year old English Springer Spaniel). Harley has been prescribed the following as he has been diagnosed with defective heart valves; Frusemide (Furosamide) Tablets » 40mg » 1 tablet twice daily Vetmedin for Dogs » 5mg Flavour Tablets » 1.5 tablets twice daily Harley is taking these tablets no problem and he never misses doses etc. He is doing remarkably well and thinks he is 6 years old again ! However he is suffering from regular diarrhoea. This normally occurs about once a day or occasionally twice. He does have normal stools in-between the diarrhoea. I've just been reading up on your product information and there 'is' reference to a rare side effect of diarrohoea. However I have also noticed that there is advice on there stating that the tablets should be given about 1 hour before food - to remove the risk of the tablet not working so well. I must admit that I hadn't realised this and will alter the times I give the tablets. To me, the problem with diarrhoea and the 1 hour rule are probably not related. I have mentioned the problem to the vet before and we have tried a change in diet, but nothing much has changed. My own view is that the tablets are causing this problem, nothing else.Could you let me know your views please? Our reply: I understand your problem. I agree that the one hour delay before feeding is unlikely to be related to the diarrhoea. It is important though and should ideally have been explained by your vet.
Diarrhoea can be caused by lots of different things, and the triggers for this sort of disturbance affect some individuals and not others. It is indeed possible that your dog is affected by the medication, but his underlying condition could make him more prone, and obviously his eating habits will affect it.
I would suggest that you continue with the medication, but try changing his food. There are lots of different foods available and one of the high content chicken or fish based diets would possibly help. (Barking Heads Fusspot dog food would be a good example.) Failing that, you could add one of the probiotic type supplements to his food, such as Pro-Kolin Enterogenic.
Huge amounts of frusemide and Vetmedin are used and the vast majority of dogs show no such side effects.