Dorie came in to see me as a walk-in emergency on Sunday. She is a 3 year old happy, healthy Greyhound. She was rescued from off the track about 1.5 years ago. When she first came to see me (for her new patient examination) we did an exam, gave her a microchip, reviewed her vaccine history and sent out a fecal sample to the lab. We send out a fecal (I feel it is imperative to send these to a lab and not do an at home test or do in the vet office as the lab gets better yields AND can help with issues like hers). She came back positive (3 plus A LOT!) for hookworms.
Dorie was treated after her first visit with us and has been fine since. SHe has been on monthly flea & tick (credelio) and heartworm prevention (Interceptor Plus).
Until last Sunday when she arrived back at my veterinary office with diarrhea.
Every pet with diarrhea should have a fecal exam done.. every one. Missing the easy to diagnose is unacceptable in my opinion. I know lots of people dont want to spend (although I more often hear them use the word “waste” money or diagnostics, but I always say missing the most obvious and often very likely is just bad medicine. Start at the basics; diet, inappropriate food/treats/etc indescretion, and parasites for diarrhea if the pet is otherwise healthy (puppies I worry about stress, food, parasites and PARVO!).
Based on a fecal exam, (we call it an intestinal parasite exam), to the reference lab.
Dorie was having soft, tan-yellow episodes of diarrhea. There was also mucous present. She was her normal happy self and there was no weight loss.
She had classic large bowel diarrhea. Now I am discussing all of this because I see loads (and LOADS!) of social media posts about diarrhea and everyone wants to do pumpkin or diet change which makes me want to scream! (sorry, personal pet-peeve!). Treat diarrhea at the vets office please. Dont wait until a little problem is a huge (very difficult and expensive) problem to treat.
The fecal sample ($40) we sent out on Sunday at her examination ($60). I also sent home a probiotic proviable forte pack $ 37, vitamin B complex supplement (cobalaquin) $21, came back again positive for hookworms.
Greyhounds seem to have a particularly difficult time with chronic hookworm disease. I called for a veterinary specialist consult (another very important BONUS for having a reference lab used to run your diagnostics, and a severely under utilized resource for all vets AND patients). The internal medicine specialist recommended Interceptor Plus be used every 2 weeks for 3 months, OR Advantage Multi and Panacur OR Drontal Plus rotated every 2 weeks for 3 months.
Our current plan is to use the 6 pack Dories mom just purchased ($58) every 2 weeks for 3 months. If the diarrhea worsens she will call and we will recheck Dorie.
I will let you know how she does.
My closing points are this;
Be careful with assumptions. Most dogs on a good heartworm preventative (there are lots of options and you should know why some are cheaper than others, and then what risk your pet is at because of product limitations), will not have a severe intestinal parasite issue as many of the good the heart worm preventatives treat for intestinal worms too! I tell clients it is the best monthly guarantee you will get from any veterinary product. And if you buy the product from your vet it comes with a guarantee you cannot beat elsewhere.
Do a thorough exam on your patients. Know their history. Another great reason to stick with a vet who knows your pets!
Ask for help when you get a weird case and need encouragement and guidance. Use the reference labs resources!
Do homework outside of the vets office. Dorie came from a reputable rescue so they are also an excellent resource to utilize.
Dories story is published with her moms permission. I am Dorie’s veterinarian