Dog Fecal Transplantation: Solution for Penny’s Chronic Diarrhea and Weight Loss

Severe or chronic GI disease can be challenging to treat.

Dogs with severe chronic problems without a clear cause often don’t respond to treatment. The underlying factors can be genetic, environmental, immune, or involve the state of intestinal bacteria. In fact, the disruption in intestinal microbiota appears to be the key.

Probiotic therapy can prove helpful. However, there is a discrepancy between the number of bacteria strains in a healthy gut and a supplement.

Fecal transplantation therapy

In essence, fecal transplantation is what it sounds like, and it can be a life-saving procedure. Amazingly, even our local vet does it. They even have their own donor dog. A friend of mine has a dog who had severe GI problems. Fecal transplantation made a big difference for them and likely saved the dog’s life.

Dog Fecal Transplantation: Solution for Penny's Chronic Diarrhea and Weight Loss

Penny’s story

Penny was a 9-year-old Yorkshire Terrier. Penny was suffering from chronic diarrhea and was losing weight. Their veterinarian couldn’t find a distinctive cause of Penny’s problems. For three months, they tried every symptomatic treatment in the book. Nothing helped, not even steroids. Penny kept getting worse.

Her veterinarian referred Penny to a specialty hospital, hoping that abdominal ultrasound might provide some answers.

The ultrasound imaging pointed toward an immune problem, and the veterinarians added immunomodulatory medication to Penny’s treatment. However, even that didn’t help.

Internal specialist

The next step for Penny was to see an internal specialist. The original plan was to have Penny undergo an endoscopic examination and biopsy to confirm IBD. However, given her state and breed predisposition to this condition, the specialist decided to proceed straight to treatment.

Further reading: Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Dogs: Why I Dislike IBD

A couple of different treatments later, Penny was still getting worse. By this time, she had lost about half of her original weight. Finally, she was at the point where her parents needed to consider euthanasia.

Hail Mary

As a last resort, the specialist recommended trying fecal transplant therapy.

Under sedation, Penny received a dose of a processed, fresh poop from a donor dog. Then, the veterinarian implanted the fecal solution in Penny’s colon via a catheter.

Penny’s bowel movements started to improve as soon as she left the hospital. Penny was getting better. One after another, they took her off all medications.

Penny’s stools improved, and she started putting weight back on.

Source story:
Case Study: Fecal transplantation– a novel approach to frustrating gastrointestinal disease

Related articles:
My Dog’s Poop
Fecal Transplants for Dogs: Microbiome Restorative Therapy (MBRT)

Further reading:
A new framework for chronic GI disease in dogs and cats

Categories: Alternative treatmentsConditionsDiarrheaDog health advocacyFecal transplantInflammatory bowel disease (IBD)Real-life StoriesSymptomsUnexplained weight loss

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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