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Hi. Apologies if these concerns are covered in another thread.

We have an eighteen week old pupster who has a constant battle with 'sloppy poos'. He appears to be completely fit and healthy in every other way - shiny coat, plenty of energy, very happy and sociable - he is up to date with worming, and seems to be gaining weight at an appropriate rate (6.15 kg at 8 weeks, 8.5 kg at 10 weeks, 14.00 kg at 16 weeks). He is currently being fed Step Up to Naturals dry puppy food, which is what he was weaned on to by the family who bred him, and has around 3/4 of the recommended daily amount, as I'm aware that over feeding is a prime cause of the problem. On the advice of my vet a few weeks ago, we put him on to egg and rice for a couple of days, and this worked like magic. As soon as he returned to his normal food however, the problem returned as well. I've tried feeding him different amounts, at different times, and giving him fewer/more feeds per day, but nothing has really helped to any significant degree. So I am now wondering about changing his diet, and would really welcome any advice on what other people have found worked for their dogs.

Also, we have just learned that one of his siblings has been diagnosed with hip dysplasia. We saw both his mum and dad when we bought him, and both appeared very healthy and sound, although they had not been screened. I've researched as much as I can, and am taking all necessary preventative precautions (not over exercising, not letting him jump up, keeping a careful eye on weight gain, etc). As a healthy diet seems to be important, I would really appreciate any thoughts on how to balance this with his sensitive tummy, and also any further advice on how to minimise the risk of him developing the condition - and actually on the condition in general.

Thank you so much in advance for your help. Although I've always owned dogs, they've almost all been cross-bred rescue dogs, who've been able to eat anything and have lived healthy lives well into their teens. I've learned a lot about the Labrador breed over recent months, but any thoughts and advice from those who are more experienced would be great.
 

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We have an eighteen week old pupster who has a constant battle with 'sloppy poos'.
This is a little bit I wrote some time back, so not all of it might apply in your case.

Loose stools! So common in puppies, to the extent most pups are to a greater or lesser extent a bit loose. There are several reasons why this could be so.



Firstly there is the stress factor. We take a young puppy away from everything it knows, It’s mother and littermates, the place which it called home ever since it was born, even the only people it has ever known. It’s easy to imagine how this could upset it’s system.

Secondly comes food and drink. You know when you go on holiday how even the water tasted different!

Thirdly, also concerning food. Puppies grow so fast, and need large quantities of food to sustain that growth. But they only have little stomachs. Next time you feed him, look at him and imagine how small his stomach must be in order to fit in that body, then look at the food and ask yourself, “Where on earth does he put it all?” The answer is that a large part of the food passes through him so quickly that it is only partly digested, pushed through by the next meal! This is probably the biggest reason for loose stools and is perfectly normal.

Fourthly we come to the less good things. There are a number of parasites and organisms which could cause problems, Worms, Campylobacter, Salmonella, Guardia and the like. But these are not that common. Most breeders have a worming program so it’s rare these days that a pup from a responsible breeder will have a worm burden, but for all that, it’s possible.

If you are really worried then your vet is the person to talk to. They can test a stool sample and determine if there really is a problem or not. But the fact that some samples are firmer would lead me to guess that you probably do not have a problem. I’ve had pups remain a little loose for the first nearly 6 months simply due to the quantity of food required. The stools just gradually improve until you realise that they are now nicely formed.

Also, we have just learned that one of his siblings has been diagnosed with hip dysplasia.
There is little you can do at this stage short of trying not to worry. You could have him exrayed, but personally I would not. My BIL'd niece Labrador developed a limp and the vet decided to exray, and the dog, 18 months old died on the table! No anaesthetic is entirely without risk. Mode of inheritance of HD is not fully understood, and certainly one affected in a litter does not automatically mean that others will be. You can only continue doing what you are doing, monitor exercise and weight, and fingers crossed.
 

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Hi JohnW

Thank you very much for your reply, which is very reassuring. I would't ever risk a general anaesthetic unless it was really necessary, so will definitely wait and see how things go. At the moment, he is showing absolutely no signs of any discomfort.
Really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. Thank you.
 
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