The Tucker Files…My Golden Retriever has Episodic Colitis

The last few days have been very trying.  There seemed to be a pattern with Tucker swimming in the river, and getting very bad diarrhea.  This time, Tucker couldn’t control himself a few times and went on the carpet (and once the tile floor, thankfully).   To anyone who has experienced this, I sympathize.  There is no warning, and it sounds like a hose on “spray” and its the most tar-like, slimey, smelly…seriously gag-inducing mess you will ever see.  When Tucker was at the breeders, his litter was struck with coccidia.  We thought maybe he had picked up a parasite from the river, so for the second time, we brought in a sample.

The vet explained that both samples tested negative for coccidia and he did an examination, complete with “the glove”  Because no parasites were detected he came to the conclusion of episodic colitis.  Tucker also still has a very healthy “golden appetite” and has not been vomiting.  He is otherwise his happy, healthy self.   The vet explained that Tucker may always suffer from this.  This would be the time to replace all the nice, plush, light colored carpeting in our home.

So I was prescribed Metronidazole, 250 mgs, 3 tablets every 12 hrs.  Giving Tucker the pills is not an easy task.  He is on no food till tomorrow night, so I couldn’t even hide them in a piece of bread, which is what I usually do.

“Spring” ..before the digging began…

Is this good news or bad news?  I was losing sleep thinking this was a parasite, and how the heck were we going to clean up all that runny stool all over the backyard and keep it from being tracked through the house repeatedly??  Would I ever break the cycle?  My focus now needs to be on a good diet.  So far, there haven’t been too many success stories, but if I find any I will share.

Here’s how our story goes…I mentioned already that Tucker had cocidia as a pup at the breeders.  He was tested clear 3 days before he came home to us.  We began feeding him Orijen large breed puppy immediately, not the food recommended by the breeder. (p.s. I’m Canadian, eh?)  Gradually, Tucker began to have nice firm dark stools, no problems, except for the absolutely undescribable horrible smell of his “movements” (He always seems to manage a way to do them upwind)  I did some more research on dog food, and am a firm believer in the raw diet, but unfortunately it doesn’t fit in with our lifestyle right now (its not easy!) so I thought this food was the next best thing.

Eventually he started getting treats, chewing sticks, gnawing on bones.  The occasional runny stools would appear.  I’m beginning to think that after I give him his small meals of hamburger and rice for a few days, (recommended by vet) that I will go back on his Orijen (now on adult) and not feed him any more treats, until I can find some that are suitable.

A great article I found at explains canine colitus very well.

Caring for Canine Colitis

Currently, by boyfriend and I are taking turns sleeping.  Tucker needs to go outside at least every two hours or we risk having another accident.  I have the patio door open, which is an open opportunity for him to go out and dig large holes in the yard, but holes don’t smell bad, or stain your carpet.  We have settled on the lesser of two evils.  Goodbye yard!

Stay tuned for more “Tucker Files” and please, please share your experiences and success stories!  I love to read them 🙂


5 thoughts on “The Tucker Files…My Golden Retriever has Episodic Colitis

  1. We have experience the night sicknesses with our golden too. Just the occasional bug here and there, but your description is perfect, lol. I’m sorry to hear that it will be an ongoing problem, but I’m sure that as you go along you will adjust and find new ways to handle it.

  2. My dog Winston had something VERY close to this when we first got him. He would throw up his entire meal (you could see that he hadn’t digested it yet) and then came the bile. When we would take him outside, he would have runny poop. He’d feel ‘bad’ for a few hours and then bounce right back to his crazy self.

    I had him tested for everything – one day we spent over $150 on tests for worms, parasites, anything to help us figure this out. Everything came up negative and what we came to call ‘the pukers’ continued. One of the vets who was running tests said that he thought Winston may just have a dog version of IBS and any kind of stress could cause him to act like this.

    We try to keep him on a routine to avoid any stress – and the pukers from happening, as we have carpet in our house too. He eats only dry food – Blue Buffalo and at night, I put green beans into his food to help with the fiber. This seems to be helping as now we see the problem like maybe once a month when before it was a weekly thing.

    Now I’m starting to wonder if he doesn’t have a form of the same thing Tucker has.

    • Hmm, only thing is, Tucker never vomited, and has an amazing appetite! LOL Makes me wonder if Winston’s was maybe a tummy of luck, and hope you figure it out!

  3. My golden just turned 2…over the past year I’ve dealt with diarrhea issues as well! Luckily she is good about going to the door or waking me up in the middle of the night to go out, but has had 1 accident and I know exactly what you mean about the smell!! After many, many vet visits and testing, it was determined that she had food sensitivities/allergies and it was believed that chicken was her trigger. She has been on a limited ingredient/single source protein diet since around February. This seemed to have solved the issue. Over the last couple months she has had a few bouts of diarrhea again. We automatically do no food for 24 hrs and then gradually up her food amount and mix in white rice (have this down pat after so many vet visits!!) This latest bout though, my vet has decided that it seems to be more like colitis, so that is what we are treating it as. She is on 10 day antibiotics, fiber power supplement, and a 3 day de-wormer (just as a precaution as all parasite tests have been negative). I didn’t even realize that colitis was something that could affect dogs!! I’m currently reading and trying to gather as much information about it as possible!! Any recommendations for sources of information would be appreciated!!

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