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D2007-15

Dear Daisy Dog

My 9-year-old English springer spaniel takes long-term Tylan powder for bowel control. A friend suggested a daily spoonful of canned pumpkin instead. Would pumpkin keep his chronic diarrhea in check?

Daisy Responds

It depends on the cause of his diarrhea.

If your veterinarian has determined the precise cause, treatment specific to that cause is likely to be most effective.

On the other hand, veterinarians often try common treatments first, hoping to find an effective treatment without the expense of a definitive diagnosis. If that’s the case here, you may want to experiment.

Tylan, the generic name of which is tylosin, is an antibiotic related to erythromycin. It treats diarrhea caused by overgrowth of Clostridium, Campylobacter and other bacteria.

Another common treatment for chronic diarrhea is dietary modification: eliminating food ingredients causing allergy or sensitivity, decreasing fat or adding fiber.

Pumpkin, a source of soluble fiber, and wheat bran, an insoluble fiber, normalize intestinal function several ways.

If you want to try canned pumpkin, check with your veterinarian about whether you may add it to your dog’s diet and then gradually discontinue the Tylan. Please let us know how well it works.

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