Resources :

Surrendering a Jindo

Below Are A Few Tips To Help You Re-Home Your Jindo:

  1. Give yourself time to re-home your Jindo. It can often take weeks or even months to find a new home.
  2. Increase your Jindo’s adoptability. Make sure it’s spayed/neutered, groomed, and up-to-date on its vaccinations.
  3. Market your pet! Create an attention grabbing pet profile that you can copy/paste on multiple platforms.
  4. Tell your friends, family and co-workers. Ask them to spread the word! You never know who may be looking for a new companion.
  5. Promote your pet online. Post your pet profile on as many rehoming sites as possible. Here are just a few to get your started:
    Use caution when considering unknown individuals or families as your pet’s new owners. Hold the initial meeting in a public place and ask questions to screen potential adopters. Share your expectations for your pet’s new home and require an adoption fee to deter dishonest individuals. When you find a family that meets your and your pet’s needs, ask for identification and contact information to follow up on how your pet is doing in its new home.
  6. Check with local rescue groups. You can find most of these groups online through a web search or on Facebook.

Finding Pet Friendly Housing

Renting successfully with pets

Do you have pet allergies?

How we can help if you really do need to surrender a Jindo

Humble Partner Program

Introducing the new Humble Partner Program

As a charity enrolled with PayPal Giving Fund, Two Dog Farms, Inc. is able to benefit from funds raised on all PayPal’s partner platforms, including Humble
As a leading retailer of digital games and eBooks, Humble Bundle offers its customers the opportunity to support a charity with every purchase they make.

Using Humble Bundle’s existing Choose Your Own Charity feature during checkout, customers can choose to benefit our charity with any purchase they make on the Humble Store or selected Bundles. To help raise even more funds for good causes, Humble Bundle are also introducing the Humble Partner program for charities:

How it works:

As a partner, we have a unique link to Humble Bundle. Two Dog Farms, Inc. will then be able to benefit from a portion of the proceeds when selected products are purchased using your unique link. By default, Humble Partners receive 15% of each enabled Bundle purchase, 5% for each enabled Store purchase, and $10 for every new Humble Monthly subscriber (some exclusions apply). These funds will be granted to us as part of our regular monthly payouts from PayPal Giving Fund.

Our unique link to the Humble Bundle Store with Two Dog Farms, Inc. selected as the chosen charity and partner is:

For more information on the Humble Partner program, check out the handy guide for charities or email You can also apply to receive sales reports and email notifications from Humble Bundle through their online form.

Facebook Fundraising

Many of our wonderful supporters help us with fundraising by creating their very own Fundraisers on Facebook, for their birthdays for example.
Check out the link below to read more about it!

Facebook Fundraising

Max and Neo Donation Program

Two Dog Farms has become a Rescue Partner with Max and Neo from whom you can purchase quality leashes, collars, harnesses, treats, toys and accessories.

Read more about the donation program here:

Max and Neo Donation Program

When to consider adopting another dog after one has passed

(From Victoria Stilwell’s “Positively”) by Jennifer Kachnic

If you are like most people, you will eventually decide to get another dog after yours has died. This is a personal decision and one that should be made very carefully. The entire family should be involved in deciding the best time to commit to a new relationship. The time frame for this is different for everyone. Bringing a new dog home to the family before everyone is ready can hurt someone by implying that the dog’s death is insignificant. You may feel that you loved your passing dog so much that you can’t bear the thought of bringing another dog into your life and going through the loss again. Give yourself time. Try not to rush into making a decision until you have sorted out your feelings and grieved.

Well-meaning friends and family may encourage you to adopt another dog before you are ready. Resist this. When you see a new pair of yearning eyes looking into yours, you will know when you are ready.

During your time of grief, remember to pay attention to the other animals in the home. They also will be affected by the loss of your senior, as well as by your own grief and stress. They may react in various ways, including exhibiting personality or behavioral changes. This is usually temporary. If you have another dog that is suffering from the loss of his senior friend, try to keep his routine as normal as possible and lavish him with attention at this time.

My experience has shown me that one of the greatest legacies you can give your passing dog is to provide your love and compassion to another dog that so desperately needs it. Some people eventually find comfort in going to a local animal shelter and adopting a homeless senior dog. This should be done with some care. Often, people feel that adopting another dog of the same breed and coloring as the dog that has passed will help them deal with their grief. This is usually a mistake. The second dog is not the first dog, and it is unfair to expect him to be. By choosing another dog that is physically different from your passing dog, you will learn to love and appreciate his unique qualities. If you are not quite sure you are ready for another dog in your life, try fostering an animal through a local animal rescue group.

You will not only provide housing and love to a homeless dog while he is waiting for a permanent home, you will be able to test your own readiness without a long-term commitment. Every dog, especially a senior animal, has so much to offer and will surely enhance and bring joy to your life. If you feel you have grieved and your heart is telling you to open yourself up to another relationship, you are probably ready. For some, there is no better medicine for a hurting heart than the love of another dog, while for others, the best medicine is time.

Jennifer Kachnic, President of The Grey Muzzle Organization and author of Your Dogs Golden Years –Manual for Senior Dog Care

Heartworm basics

Click above to read more from the American Heartworm Society.

Behavior modification in dogs

(From the Merck Veterinary Manual)

Check out the link for the full article, with links to additional information.

Below is the main page text for your reference:

Behavior Modification in Dogs
By Gary M. Landsberg, BSc, DVM, MRCVS, DACVB, DECAWBM, Director, Veterinary Affairs and Product Development, CanCog Technologies, and Veterinary Behaviourist, North Toronto Veterinary Behaviour Specialty Clinic

Behavior of Dogs
Introduction to Behavior of Dogs
Diagnosing Behavior Problems in Dogs
Behavior Modification in Dogs
Normal Social Behavior in Dogs
Behavior Problems in Dogs
The techniques used most commonly to modify dog behavior include habituation, extinction, desensitization, counterconditioning, response substitution, and shaping. A behavior modification technique called flooding, described below, is not used very often because it is more likely to make animals worse. While it is claimed that punishment is frequently used with varying degrees of success, few people use punishment correctly. For punishment (such as screaming at the dog) to be successful, it must occur at the beginning of the behavior,be consistently delivered, and be strong enough to stop the unwanted behavior. Most punishments are not given at the right time or are not the appropriate type for the situation. “Dominance” training techniques that encourage owners to assert leadership through physical confrontations are also not recommended. Multiple studies have shown that training based on punishments or confrontations are more likely to lead to fear, avoidance, and increased aggression. Dogs trained with rewards have fewer behavioral problems and are less fearful.

Behavior Modification Techniques
Most of the techniques involved in behavior modification are not hard to learn and can be successfully used as preventive techniques. They do require a regular investment of time and effort, however. The following is a short review of the basic principles involved in these techniques.


Look for trainers who use positive reinforcement for good behavior rather than punishment for unacceptable behavior.
Observe an obedience class without your pet. Are the dogs and people having a good time? Talk with some of the participants after the class. If someone will not let you sit in on a class, do not enroll.
Do not allow trainers to work with your dog unless they tell you beforehand exactly what they plan to do.
Do not be afraid to tell a trainer to stop if she or he does something (or tells you to do something) to your dog that you do not feel comfortable with.
Avoid trainers who offer guarantees. Such trainers are either ignoring or do not understand the complexities of animal behavior.
Avoid trainers who object to using food as a training reward. Food is one of the best ways to motivate a dog.
Avoid trainers who insist on using a choke chain. Head collars are humane alternatives to choke chains and pinch collars.
If you believe your dog has been subjected to cruel treatment by a trainer, get the names and phone numbers of witnesses. Take your dog to your veterinarian immediately for a complete physical examination. Tell them that the results of the examination may be used as evidence in a court case so that your veterinarian will document the procedures with that in mind.
Habituation is a simple form of learning that involves no rewards. It is merely the ending of or decrease in a response to a situation that results from repeated or prolonged exposure to that situation. For example, horses placed in a pasture bordering a road may at first run away when traffic passes, but eventually learn to ignore it. A dog that habituates to one type of sound does not, as a consequence of this habituation, automatically become habituated to other sounds. Habituation is not the same as failing to respond to stimulation as a result of fatigue, sensory adaptation, or injury. The effects of habituation are generally long lasting. However, if an animal is repeatedly exposed to a potentially harmful stimulus (such as a predator) without being harmed, habituation does not generally occur. Because of this, scientists believe that responses to dangerous stimuli may have an inherited resistance to habituation. If the fearful response is too intense, the dog may become more fearful instead of adjusting to the stimulus.

Spontaneous recovery is associated with habituation. If there is a long period of time between when a dog has experienced an event to which it had habituated and re-exposure to the same event, the dog may again react. For example, a puppy barks to get a reaction. The more the owner attempts to quiet it, the more the puppy barks. It will continue this pattern because it is getting the attention it wanted. Even if the attention is “negative,” some puppies will find it rewarding. The best method to discourage the behavior is to ignore it. Eventually the puppy stops barking if the owner consistently ignores it. However, the bad behavior comes back every now and then. This is called spontaneous recovery.

Giving a small food treat is a good way to reward your dog for obeying a command.
Giving a small food treat is a good way to reward your dog for obeying a command. Giving a small food treat is a good way to reward your dog for obeying a command.
Conditioning refers to associations between stimuli and behavior. For example, a hungry dog drools (the behavior) when it sees food (the stimulus). After this, every time that the hungry dog sees the food a bell is rung (a second stimulus). Once the food and bell have been paired several times, the dog will drool even if it just hears the bell. This is called conditioning. The bell generates the same response as the sight of food. After several times, the dog has learned to associate the bell with the food. Conditioning can be positive or negative. For example, the sound of a doorbell can cause fear or excitement in a dog, depending on whether the dog likes or dislikes visitors.

Reinforcement is any event that increases the chances that a certain behavior will be repeated. Reinforcements can be positive or negative. When positive reinforcement (a reward) is used in training, there is a positive relationship between the behavior and its consequences. The more the pet does a behavior, the more it gets positive reinforcement. This makes that behavior increase. A negative reinforcement (which is mistakenly thought of as punishment by many people) is something unpleasant that increases a behavior when it is removed. For example, being held tightly may be unpleasant to a squirming puppy. But the hold is released only when the puppy calms down. After several times, the release from restraint will increase the chance that the puppy will relax faster.

Second-order reinforcers are signals that can be used at a distance to let the dog know that a reward is coming. Commonly used second-order reinforcers are words, such as “good girl,” hand signals, and clickers. By carefully pairing these with a primary reward (such as food or petting), second-order reinforcers can elicit the same response that the reward would. For example, a clicker can be associated with patting on the head as a reward for sitting and staying. By associating the clicker with a reward, you can train the dog to sit and stay from farther away and still reward the behavior by using the clicker. Positive training and clicker training have become very popular. However, it is possible to do an excellent job at positive training without using any second-order reinforcers. Clicker training requires frequent practice and excellent timing. In some situations involving problem behaviors, the incorrect use of a clicker may hinder, rather than help, a behavior modification program.

Extinction is a response that stops when a reward is removed. A classic example of extinction involves a dog that jumps up on people for attention. If people pet the dog, the behavior continues. If they stop petting the dog, the dog will eventually stop jumping up because the reward is no longer there. However, even occasional petting of the dog in response to its jumping will reinforce the pattern. The more valuable the original reward, the longer it has been present, and the more uncertainty there is about whether the reward has been truly removed, the greater the resistance to extinction. Resistance to extinction can also occur even without reinforcement if the reward was good enough and was tightly linked to the behavior.

Because there is often an association between getting the reward and the intensity of the behavior, the intensity or frequency of the behavior you are trying to eliminate usually increases at the beginning of extinction. In other words, a behavior you are trying to extinguish may get worse before it gets better. It is critical that you do not give in. Giving in will only make extinction more difficult. The dog will learn that, although your threshold has increased, the dog can override it by working harder.

Overlearning is the repeated performance of an already learned behavior. It is frequently used in training for specific events, and may also be useful for preventing fearful responses in dogs. Overlearning accomplishes 3 things: it delays forgetting, it increases the resistance to extinction, and it increases the chance that the behavior will become an automatic or “knee-jerk” response in similar situations. This aspect can be extremely useful in teaching a dog to overcome a fear or anxiety.

Shaping is a learning technique that works well for dogs that do not know what response is desired by the trainer. Shaping works through gradual approximations and allows the dog to be rewarded initially for any behavior that resembles the desired behavior. For example, when teaching a puppy to sit, giving the puppy a food treat for squatting will increase the chance that squatting will be repeated. This squatting behavior is then rewarded only when it becomes more exaggerated, and finally, when it becomes a true sit.


Avoidance of a problem behavior is essential until you can seek qualified help, particularly in a case of aggression. With treatment it may be possible to reduce the aggressive behavior, but avoidance is the key in minimizing danger. Avoidance does not mean that the pet has control, or that you are giving in to the dog. Instead, it may help extinguish the aggressive behavior. Every time a dog becomes aggressive, it learns that aggression may help it cope with the situation, thus reinforcing the problem.

Desensitization is a way to gradually teach a dog to tolerate a situation by carefully exposing it to that situation in small steps. If a puppy gets overexcited at the sound of the doorbell, a tape recording of the doorbell could help stop the undesirable behavior. If the tape is played very softly at first and then only gradually increased in volume as long as the puppy remains calm, then the puppy may stop reacting to the doorbell.

Counterconditioning is a method for reducing unwanted behavior by teaching the dog to replace it with another more favorable behavior. In the doorbell example above, the puppy will learn faster if it is first taught to sit, stay, and then relax in exchange for a treat. The puppy must be absolutely quiet and calm, and convey by its eyes, body posture, and facial expressions that it would do anything for its owner. Once this behavior is learned, the desensitization is added by playing the tape recording at a gradually increasing volume. If at any time the puppy starts to get too excited, the tape recording should be lowered in volume until the puppy relaxes. Relaxing is the key and is the first step to changing the behavior. Counterconditioning and desensitization can take a lot of time and effort. The exercises must be frequently repeated so that the unwanted behavior decreases until it is no longer a problem.

Flooding is prolonged exposure to a stimulus until the dog eventually stops reacting. This is the opposite of the approach taken in desensitization. It is far more stressful than any of the other treatment strategies and if not used correctly will make things worse. The most common problem is increased fear. This technique should be used only by a professional and only as a last resort.

Punishment is also known as aversive conditioning. It is any unpleasant event that lowers the chance that a behavior will be repeated. Punishment can be positive or negative. Positive punishment refers to applying something unpleasant to decrease a behavior, whereas negative punishment refers to removing something positive to decrease a behavior. Punishment is not the same as negative reinforcement (see Behavior Modification Techniques). To be most successful, punishment must occur as early as possible (within a few seconds of the start of the behavior), and it must be consistent and appropriate. Critical factors in punishment include timing, consistency, appropriate intensity, and the presence of a reward after the undesirable behavior ends. This is the most frequently ignored part of treatment for people whose pets have behavior problems. Owners often resort to physical punishment as the first choice, but punishment does not need to be physical. Furthermore, punishment is just as hard to use correctly as counterconditioning and desensitization. Punishment is never an “easy out” and has a high chance of failure. It can also lead to other negative consequences, such as increasing the chance of fear or aggression.

The Premack Principle states that more likely behaviors will reinforce less likely behaviors. When misbehaving increases the likelihood that a dog achieves a goal, the more likely the dog is to misbehave. To prevent the misbehavior, the owner can teach the dog an alternative, positive behavior; for example, teaching a dog to sit and stay before allowing it outside may deter bolting.

Response substitution involves the replacement of an undesirable response with a desired one. An example is teaching a dog to lay down instead of jumping up. Owners should begin in a calm environment where success is likely, then progress to places with more distractions as the behavior is learned. Dogs may first need to be desensitized to the stimuli for response substitution to be successful.

Use of Medication to Treat Behavior Problems
Your veterinarian may prescribe medication to help treat a behavior problem of your pet. Drug treatment for almost any behavior change is most useful when combined with behavior modification.

In recent years there has been an increase in the use of medication to treat a variety of behavior problems in pets (see Table: Drugs Used to Treat Behavior Problems in Dogs). There are a number of potential disadvantages to the use of medication for treating these problems, however, and you should know that there is no “magic bullet” that will easily and quickly solve the problem. The limitations of medication use include the potential for adverse effects, cost, the need to treat for a considerable length of time before the medication takes effect, limited information on what medication is most effective, and the potential that the problem will reappear once the medication is withdrawn.

Drugs Used to Treat Behavior Problems in Dogs



Tricyclic antidepressants


Anxiety, compulsive disorders

Cheaper than many other drugs, but may be more likely to cause adverse effects


Anxiety, aggression, compulsive disorders

FDA approved for use in separation anxiety in dogs

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors


Anxiety, aggression, compulsive disorders

May take 3 to 4 weeks before affecting behavior; also FDA approved for treating separation anxiety in dogs


Anxiety, aggression, compulsive disorders


Anxiety, aggression, compulsive disorders






Thunderstorm phobia, anxiety

Longer acting than other drugs of this class


Anxiety, noise phobia

May cause physical dependence

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors


FDA approved for use in cognitive dysfunction in dogs

Must not be combined with serotonin reuptake inhibitors or tricyclic drugs due to adverse drug interactions

All medications have the potential to cause side effects. Fortunately, most of the modern antianxiety and antidepressant medications used in pets are well tolerated. Gastrointestinal upsets (leading to reduced appetite, vomiting, or diarrhea) are the most common side effects seen. In some pets, decreased activity or lethargy may occur in the first week or so of treatment as the animal adjusts to the medication. (This reaction typically disappears on its own.) More serious side effects, including potentially fatal inflammation of the liver, seizures, or other signs of toxicity have been reported in rare cases. Most of the medications used for behavior problems in pets were designed for use in people. Few have been directly approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in animals, although such use is not prohibited. This means that there may be limited information available on safety, toxicity, and effectiveness in dogs or other animals.

Because this is a relatively new area of veterinary medicine, demonstration of effectiveness through research has not been done in many cases. Veterinarians often must rely on case reports, their own clinical experience, and presentations at meetings to learn which medications and what dosage to recommend. Individual pets vary in their response to medication, just as people do. As a result, there will always be some element of trial and error in determining whether a particular medication will help solve a behavior problem.

If medication is used without behavior modification or environmental changes (and even when it is used with these techniques in some cases), the unwanted behavior may return once the medication is discontinued. Some problems may require treatment for a year or longer. In most cases medication is used for a period of several months.

Despite these limitations, medication has the potential to be very helpful in a wide range of pet behavior problems, including fear-related problems like separation anxiety and thunderstorm phobias, compulsive behaviors like lick granulomas, and some types of aggression. Drugs and some supplements can help normalize your dog’s emotions and improve your ability to train anxious, overreactive, or fearful dogs. They can also improve a pet’s welfare. Your veterinarian can discuss whether medication might be appropriate for your dog.

Dogs and diarrhea (causes and remedies)

A common problem – here’s a good (long) read for you:
(From The Whole Dog Journal, Sep 2018)

Dog Diarrhea Causes and Remedies
The messy truth about dog diarrhea: diagnosing the cause of s dog’s diarrhea and firming things up can be complicated!
By Catherine Ashe, DVM

All dog owners know the feeling of coming home after a work day and smelling that smell. Uh-oh. Your dog has diarrhea. It’s a pretty common affliction of our canine friends. Now comes the inevitable question: “Should we go to the veterinarian?”
The truth is, much like people, sometimes dogs just get diarrhea. Much as we do not see the doctor for every bout of diarrhea, similarly, dogs do not always need medical attention for a short-lived enteritis (inflammation of the intestines). Often, diarrhea can be managed with at-home therapy and convalescent care.

Why Do Dogs Get Diarrhea?

The causes for acute diarrhea in the absence of other signs are varied and include dietary indiscretion (for example: getting into the garbage), gastrointestinal bacteria including Campylobacter, and GI parasites such as hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, and protozoal infections. In most cases of acute, self-limiting diarrhea, a cause is never identified.

If your dog seems otherwise normal, and he is currently on monthly parasite preventative medication, then symptomatic treatment at home is appropriate. Usually most diarrhea will run its course within two to four days, although in some cases, it can last longer. If there are any other signs of illness like vomiting, loss of appetite, depression, or pain, a veterinary trip is in order.

At-home treatment for acute diarrhea can include the following: a bland diet such as boiled hamburger or chicken with broth and rice for a few days, a probiotic such as Fortiflora (available only through veterinarians) or an over-the-counter probiotic and frequent walks. Avoid using human remedies such as loperamide, also called Immodium. This medication has an opioid in it, and it is easy to overdose a dog unintentionally.
If your dog continues to do well other than diarrhea, three to four days of at-home treatment is appropriate.

Diarrhea can make anyone sad and miserable, but if your puppy doesn’t respond to symptomatic treatment in a couple of days, or your dog fails to respond within three or four days, it’s time to head to the vet for an examination and testing.

If Your Dog’s Diarrhea Doesn’t Go Away:

If diarrhea doesn’t resolve with treatment, or your dog develops other signs, it is time to seek a veterinarian’s opinion. Diarrhea is considered chronic when it persists for more than three weeks despite treatment.

Diarrhea may seem like a simple problem, but it can actually be very complicated. Your veterinarian will proceed in a stepwise fashion (outlined below) to find the cause:

Thorough Questioning

Your veterinarian will ask a series of questions about your dog’s overall health, diet, vaccine history, and preventive care strategy. He will then ask more in-depth questions about the diarrhea itself. This will help determine what kind of diarrhea is occurring.
Diarrhea can be characterized as small bowel, large bowel, or mixed. In the case of small bowel diarrhea, you may see a normal to increased frequency, small volumes of loose, watery stool that can be tarry or black (representing digested blood). Often, your dog can “hold it” until going outside.

In the case of large bowel diarrhea, there will be an urgency to go. Your dog may not make it outside unless you are paying close attention. There is often mucus covering the stool, and there may be bright red blood as well. Your dog will usually strain for quite some time during or after having a bowel movement.

In some cases, the diarrhea can be mixed small and large, and this can be more difficult to sort out. Your veterinarian will likely ask many questions during this part of the visit.

Head-to-Toe Physical Examination

Next comes a thorough physical examination. Initially, your pet should be weighed. Weight loss is always a concerning sign. The exam will include checking the eyes, mouth, ears, palpating the lymph nodes, listening to the heart and lungs, deep palpation of the abdomen, and a rectal exam.

The rectal exam is the most important part! This will help the veterinarian see what the diarrhea looks like, as well as feel for any problems in the rectal area and descending colon. A temperature should also be checked. If a fever is present, this can help focus your veterinarian’s attention to certain areas such as viruses and bacteria.
Once this is completed, your veterinarian should have a good sense of what type of diarrhea your pet is having, possible causes, diagnostics, and treatment options.

Small Bowel Diarrhea

Generally, veterinarians will start out with conservative diagnostics and treatment for this type of diarrhea. The causes for small bowel diarrhea can be incredibly varied and run the gamut from fairly benign and treatable (parasites) to more serious (Addison’s disease).

Initially, a fecal examination may be the only test conducted. This requires a small sample of stool from your dog. The veterinarian will check this to rule out parasites such as hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, protozoal organisms, and bacterial overgrowth.
Even if your dog is up-to-date on monthly prevention, it is still possible to find breakthrough parasitic infection. This is why a fecal is done. If parasites are found, your veterinarian will treat with an anti-parasiticide like fenbendazole, pyrantel, and/or Albon. He will also discuss environmental control, as these parasites can persist in the soil for long periods of time.

If nothing is found on the fecal, your veterinarian will likely still prescribe a course of the dewormer fenbendazole in case of a false negative fecal. Other treatments at this stage should include a novel protein diet, as your pet may have a dietary sensitivity or allergy. This means switching your dog to a protein and carbohydrate source to which he has no previous exposure. Examples include bison, venison, duck, and kangaroo usually paired with potato, rice, or pea.

At this stage, many veterinarians also prescribe metronidazole (also known as Flagyl). Metronidazole is an antibiotic, but it is also thought to have immunomodulating properties that help calm an inflamed GI tract. Many dogs will have an “antibiotic-responsive” diarrhea that will clear up with this treatment.

With this initial approach, your dog should be back to normal within three to 10 days. If within a week, you are not seeing improvement in your dog’s signs, then your veterinarian will move on to further diagnostics and treatments.

A complete blood count and chemistry analysis should also be run (see “Physical Exams for Senior Dogs”). This will give a global picture of your dog’s health. Significant dehydration, a decrease in protein levels, or changes in your dog’s condition (loss of appetite and/or weight loss) can indicate a more systemic health problem.
If metronidazole is not helping, then Tylosin may be used. Tylosin is another immunomodulating antibiotic that can help with GI inflammation. It may also have a probiotic effect in the gut by increasing the numbers of enterococci bacteria in the small intestine. It is very unpalatable to dogs and cats, and your veterinarian will have this medication compounded, in most cases (or have you place it in their food).
Again, your veterinarian will monitor for around a week. If symptoms do not improve, more advanced testing will be recommended.

A gastrointestinal panel (blood test) must be submitted to an outside laboratory. The veterinarian will likely recommend fasting your dog beforehand. This evaluates levels of vitamins found in the body – particularly cobalamin (vitamin B12) and folate (vitamin B9). Dogs with gastrointestinal disease often display impaired absorption of these critical vitamins. This diagnostic also evaluates trypsin-like immunoreactivity. These tests can indicate whether there is a bacterial overgrowth or a condition called exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.

In the case of bacterial overgrowth, antibiotic therapy may be needed.
Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency is a common disorder of German Shepherd Dogs, as well as other breeds. With this disease, the pancreas does not secrete appropriate digestive enzymes. Treatment is supplementing the diet with enzymes to help break down food and assist your pet in absorbing nutrients.

Another test that may be done concurrently is a resting cortisol test. Cortisol is a steroid made by the adrenal glands. In Addison’s disease (also called hypoadrenocorticism), the body does not produce enough cortisol or water-regulating hormones (called mineralocorticoids).

Addison’s can be difficult to diagnose, as symptoms can present in many ways including weight loss, shivering, decreased appetite, lethargy, chronic diarrhea, intermittent vomiting, and electrolyte imbalances.

Treatment for Addison’s involves replacing the cortisol and mineralocorticoids that the adrenal glands are not making. There is also a form of Addison’s called atypical. This occurs when only cortisol production is reduced. Replacing this lack with oral steroids can manage this condition.

If all of these tests are normal, and no obvious cause is found for the ongoing diarrhea, your veterinarian may offer referral to a veterinary internal medicine specialist (DACVIM). At that time, more extensive testing such as abdominal ultrasound, exploratory surgery, and biopsy may be recommended. These will rule out invasive fungal infection such as histoplasmosis and pythiosis, inflammatory bowel disease, and cancer.

Large Bowel Diarrhea

Large bowel diarrhea presents a diagnostic dilemma. Frequently, the causes are difficult to fully diagnose. In many cases, a response to treatment rather than extensive testing is used to make a presumptive diagnosis.

Like small bowel diarrhea, large bowel diarrhea can be caused by parasites, particularly whipworms. An initial diagnostic test will be a fecal examination. Keep in mind, however, that whipworm eggs are very heavy and are not always found on a fecal examination.
If your veterinarian does not find parasites, as with small bowel diarrhea, he will likely still recommend a course of fenbendazole, an effective anti-parasiticide that kills whipworms. They persist for long periods of time in the soil, so managing the environment is critical to preventing re-infection. Further, not all preventives cover against whipworm infection. Check with your veterinarian regarding your monthly treatment to ensure that your dog is protected against whipworms.

An antibiotic trial may be the next step. Clostridial colitis is a possible cause of large bowel diarrhea. It is poorly understood, as some dogs can have Clostridium bacteria but not be ill, while others can become very sick. Diagnosis is very tricky and recommendations change continually. Generally, clostridial infections respond very well to amoxicillin or Tylosin, so your veterinarian may try a course of antibiotics to both diagnose and treat the diarrhea.

A fiber trial – a dietary trial with a fiber-enriched food – may also help diagnose and resolve the problem. In some cases, the addition of a fiber-enriched food may be all that your dog needs to get back to normal. Your veterinarian can help select a fiber diet appropriate for your dog.

Many dogs are allergic to certain components in food (the immune system responds and causes the diarrhea), while other dogs are just “sensitive to” to specific dietary items (immune system is not involved). Again, diagnosis might be tricky. As a result, your veterinarian will likely prescribe a dietary trial. In this case, your dog will be placed on a hypoallergenic diet. There are several on the market that are made from hydrolyzed protein. This is when the protein is broken down into such small units that the immune system does not recognize the initial protein. This type of diet must be rigorously followed if it is to be successful. Treats, flavored heartworm medications, and table food will render the trial useless.

At this point, more blood tests will likely be called for. If your dog has evidence of bloodwork changes and weight loss, concerns for more serious systemic illnesses such as fungal disease and cancer come to the forefront. At that time, you should consider that referral to a veterinary internal medicine specialist (DACVIM) is likely best for your dog.

A Note About Boxers

About 30 years ago, Boxers were noted to have a severe, progressive disease of the colon (histiocytic ulcerative colitis) that caused very bloody, mucoid, large bowel diarrhea and resultant weight loss.

It was recently found that this is highly responsive to a common antibiotic called enrofloxacin (also known as Baytril). If empirical treatment is attempted, it must be continued for several weeks to ensure that all the bacteria are killed; if the bacterial population is not completely eliminated, the most resistant bacteria can come back with a vengeance.

If enrofloxacin doesn’t work, a biopsy of tissue from the colon is the best way to diagnose or rule out other possibly treatable diseases such as fungal infections.

Dog Diarrhea: Not A Simple Matter

As you can see, diarrhea can be a complicated problem to solve. Keeping a thorough history on your dog, documenting his diet and parasite prevention strategy in particular, as well as monitoring bowel movements closely, can help your veterinarian tremendously.
When diarrhea becomes chronic, it can take weeks to months to sort out the underlying cause and find an effective treatment. Be patient and work closely with your veterinarian. Follow recommendations and do not try random remedies recommended by random sources! With time, patience, and a good veterinarian, a solution can generally be found.

Catherine Ashe graduated the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine in 2008. After a small-animal intensive emergency internship, she practiced ER medicine for nine years. She now works as a relief veterinarian in Asheville, North Carolina, and loves the GP side of medicine. In her spare time, she spends time with her family, reads voraciously, and enjoys the mountain lifestyle.