Sam Shephard is an experienced German Shepherd owner and has learned throughout the years how to optimize the breed's health and wellness.
German shepherds make wonderful pets, but, unfortunately for them and their owners, they often suffer from health problems. Common among these are digestive issues and a sensitive stomach. These range from mild to fatal, so it’s very important to keep an eye on your dog’s health and (although it may be gross) bowel movements.
If you own a German shepherd, you should consult regularly with your vet about your dog’s diet. Depending on what issues it has, you may need to adjust by eliminating certain kinds of food, adding supplements, or even designing a raw food diet.
With attention and care, you should be able to keep your dog's stomach issues in check so that he can live happily and you don’t have to clean up too many messes.
Diarrhea in German Shepherds can be caused by a number of factors, but it’s most commonly caused by food intolerance or parasite. If your dog is having diarrhea regularly, your first step should usually be to check for parasites, which your vet can then help you treat.
If there is no parasite, it’s likely your dog is reacting negatively to something in its food. Foods such as milk, fats, heavy fiber, and grains can all contribute to diarrhea. You may need to do a bit of trial and error to find what helps your dog.
Other behavioral factors such as overeating and anxiety (or being high-strung) can also lead to diarrhea. You should always make sure that you are not over-feeding your dog, German Shepherds have a sensitive stomach and can relatively quickly get diarrhea. So, make sure that you are not over-feeding your dog and that you provide regular moderate exercise to alleviate stress. Don’t do serious exercise right after eating.
Esosinophilic gastroenteritis is an inflammation of your dog’s intestines and stomach. Chronic diarrhea, particularly watery diarrhea, may be a sign of this disorder. Other symptoms are vomiting, lack of appetite, and weight loss.
Your vet should be able to diagnose the problem using a stool sample. Esosinophilic gastroenteritis is treatable using steroids or other medications that line the digestive track and help to reduce the inflammation. Inflammatory bowel disease, a group of disorders that also cause inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, causes similar symptoms and should also be treated by your veterinarian.
German shepherds are susceptible to ulcers, which can occur in relation with other digestive problems are as a result of medication for other issues (such as pain medication for hip dysplasia).
An ulcer is a sore that results from a break in the lining of the stomach or intestine. It can cause your dog pain and may result in loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting (sometimes including blood), bloody stool, weakness, and anemia. Often, treating an ulcer requires treating an underlying condition. Your vet may also need to treat your dog to bring its fluid levels back to normal.
Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, or EPI, occurs when your dog’s pancreas doesn’t produce enough digestive enzymes. Their digestive system needs those enzymes to break down protein, fat, and starches. If a pup has EPI, it is unable to absorb nutrients for foods. That means that even if it is eating a proper diet, it can become malnourished and even starve to death if not treated properly.
If your dog has EPI, you may notice that he always seems hungry and is losing weight despite eating normally. They may also eat things they normally wouldn’t, including poops. Dogs with EPI often have a high amount of flatulence and may poop very frequently. Their stools may be runny and take on a yellow color.
EPI can be diagnosed with a blood test. Because it is so dangerous, it is important to have your pooch tested whenever it has a prolonged digestive issue, particularly if it starts to lose weight. Your vet can help you to treat EPI with a specialized diet, enzyme and vitamin supplements, and antibiotics.
Toxic gut syndrome is less common than the other digestive health issues, but it occurs more commonly in German shepherds than in other dog breeds. It’s important to be aware of this syndrome because it is often fatal and can kill very quickly.
German shepherds naturally have a high level of a kind of intestinal bacteria called clostridium. In certain conditions, this bacteria can reproduce in excessive numbers, entering the dog’s blood stream and creating a toxic effect. Sadly, when this happens, the dog will usually die within a few hours. Because toxic gut syndrome kills so quickly, it is important to prevent it.
Some vets recommend a yoghurt-based supplement that helps to moderate the levels of bacteria in your dog’s intestinal tract. You should talk to your vet about the best plan for preventing toxic gut syndrome.
There are some things that you can do to prevent your dog from developing any of these conditions. The most common and simple ways to do this are by making sure that your dog is eating a diet that’s suitable for it.
To make sure that you’re not going to put your dog at risk for developing stomach problems, it’s important that you make sure you know that you’re getting quality food. Quality food, for a German Shepherd, isn’t necessarily the same quality food that you might get for another dog.
Of course, you’re going to need to make sure that you get a good mixture of protein, fat and carbohydrates. For a Shepherd, this equates to roughly 20% of its calories coming from protein and 5% coming from fat (subtracting about 2% if you’re feeding a puppy.) However, more important than the breakdown of nutrients is the quality of the ingredients and the specific ingredients used. Try to go without glutenfree or at least low grains.
In terms of protein, you’re going to want to make sure that you choose a high-quality protein source. Good sources of protein for Shepherds would be those that come from whole meats like beef, fish, and other organ meats. Chicken isn’t the best food for Shepherds because foods made with chicken often come with a lot of byproducts that aren’t good for anybody, especially not a Shepherd with a sensitive stomach.
In terms of fat, make sure that you get your food with a high-quality source of fats. Omega-3 fatty acids are the best, and you can get foods that have omega-3s added or you can choose a brand of food that uses fish as its main source of protein since fish are such great sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
A German Shepherd with an upset stomach is common. Although I’ve had a one that could eat nearly everything and was very fit all the time (14 years and never an issue in his life), this is not always the case.
I had one GSD that had worms a couple of times a year like clockwork. He would get diarrhea, stop eating and get skinny in a couple of days he already looked like a sad dog. The first couple of times this can get you by surprise and you’ll not know what is happening, but you’ll learn to see the signs and take proper action. In the end, I think he was more susceptible to bowel issues, he died of bowel cancer troubles around age 10.
For another dog we had to change his food a couple of times before he would happily eat it. He’s eating well now, but enjoy eating stuff from the garden and sometimes throws up or has diarrhea, I think he’ll never learn and you can’t watch him all the time. He’s 7 years now, so I fear he’ll get himself in some serious issue when he gets older and doesn’t recover as well anymore.
© 2017 Sam Shepards
Juliette on August 30, 2020:
My gsd puppies are 6weeks old two of them has started having diarrhoea since yesterday. I don't know what to do now. But tomorrow morning I am taking them to visit a vet.
Carla hunt on August 22, 2020:
hi . I have a german sheherd dog 9 years old since lock down he has been drinking water accessibly always wanting more . Had blood tests from vets everything ok. Sometimes he wees inside not knowing he is please what can i do to help him we moniter his intake of water no more than 4 bowels a day thank you
NanaTW on July 26, 2020:
I adopted a Black Male German Shepherd he is about 20 months old, we adopted him in December he had got caught in a coyote trap and he finally pulled so much it has cut his back leg off and animals shelter found him and the veterinarian said that he believed that it had been 2 weeks or move when he had had his injure, but when we adopted him he had no problem then about 2 months ago he start having diarrhea but its not everyday and there is no blood , no parasites and no worms and i only feed him dry Purina Chicken and rice with small chicken breast that i boil. I dont understand why it happens like i m.h said it just started a couple of months ago.
Sam Shepards (author) from Europe on July 20, 2020:
@Denise difficult to know what you mean with constipation and new german shepherd. Is it a puppy, new is a couple of days? Is the poop irregular, hard, she hasn't pooped at all?
Normally with puppies we see running poop more often than constipation. Anyway things to consider without dietary changes. Are you giving the same food as the people before you? Did the dog already have this issue before she arrived? Get the dog active, but don't overdo it, make sure she drinks enough, if not try running water to drink and or add lukewarm water to the kibble. Dry food and not enough liquids, in general, can make the pass-through more difficult etc. Also makes sure she gets the time to do her thing and feels safe to do it. If you've changed food, there can be an adjustment period, sometimes resulting in running poop and at other times very irregular bowel movements. If it is serious and she seems rather swollen/bloated, contact a vet for advice. If it is regularly recurring you could look into dietary changes that help with these kinds of issues, your vet could help with this. In general most of these issues pan out to be nothing serious and settle after time, but when in doubt you should always consult vet for a checkup of the bowel and stomach area of your German Shepherd dog..
Denise on July 19, 2020:
My german shepherd has constipation. Why and what do I do. She is new to me. Why and what do I do0
Adriann on July 01, 2020:
Go the the pet store or Walmart and get the replacement milk for puppies. They have bottles as well
Sam Shepards (author) from Europe on June 09, 2020:
@Tuladhar in such cases go to a vet immediately.
Sam Shepards (author) from Europe on June 07, 2020:
I don't know that much about feeding young german shepherd puppies. And nothing about the very young and milk feeding. I can only guess that because of the mom stopping the feeding, it was a kind of distress and the puppy takes all the food it can and hurries before it's gone. Patience and spreading the feeding process a little over several minutes with smalml pauzes could help. Young puppies do have diarrhea more often then normal dogs, but when worried you should talk to your vet for a check up or help.
Different dogs have different feeding habits. I have had those that rush and also try to steal from the others. I have had those where I had to sit next to them and add extra flavour to get them to eat, one that often had stomach problems and that would rather follow me around till I sat down before he started eating etc. So it's always difficult to say without knowing the environment, eating habits, kind of dog food or health conditions.
Koobee on June 06, 2020:
I have a baby German Shepherd who was born on April 17th 2020 I got him on May 10th his mom stop feeding him and her milk dried up so I've been taking care of him but he has a problem with diarrhea and she eats really really quick and I don't know what's wrong please help
Chanda Tuladhar on May 30, 2020:
My German shepherd pooping blood with diarrhea. He is vomiting thin
Teresa on May 13, 2020:
My German Shepherd he has good days eating then some days he does not want to eat ? He will play outside then be lazy ? Right now he is just not feeling good
Sam Shepards (author) from Europe on May 01, 2020:
Also keep with a new routine for a month (if it doesn't get worse of course). Changing too often can also be stressful and taxing for the digestive system. Also, keep an eye out if you have certain plants in the garden or they dig hole or you see them eating from things. I've also had one that loved to dig and eat things around the yard. He had worms more often then my other dog etc.
Sam Shepards (author) from Europe on May 01, 2020:
I don't really like to give specific food advice. Since you talk to a vet regularly you could always check in with them again.
If your dog has an underlying condition changing food often doesn't help that much. Well it depends, if it's allergenic then, of course, you could look into that.
With diarrhea I've had Royal Canine Lamb / Rice formula and it helped in our specific case. When his balance was restored he could also eat other foods. I've been looking around the internet, but I don't see it, it's years ago. Anyway look into lamb/rice/ less fat and low to moderate carbo hydrates. Dogs mostly need (animal) protein and less fat and "sugar". You could try something hypo-allergenic to see if it helps, if it helps you could check in again with the vet to get some answers around possible allergies etc. The same with gastro-intestinal specific foods from royal canine, it's expensive so if it helps you should check in with the vet to talk about it, why it helps so you can figure out the underlying issues if there are any. Stress, surroundings?
Also look into eating habbits. How much, how many times a day, how much she drinks with it. What kind of activity afterwards or before. Don't over feed, spread it into 2-3 times a day depending on results.
Christian on April 29, 2020:
Hi.. everyone. My GSD is 16 months we always fed her Merrick dog food. For the about 10 months she was ok no issues. But for the past months 6 she would sometimes have constant diarrhea and vomiting. We constantly take her to the vet but they say everything fine!! They prescribed Us the hill science diet dog food that work for a little then same issues. We tried others foods but it seems to work a little then back to square one. We tried rice chicken diet but it’s still the same. I’m not sure what’s the issues I understand that’s is common but anyone going through this issues and recommend any foods to give her please share
Sam Shepards (author) from Europe on April 29, 2020:
Following the guidelines of the brand concerning weight / size / age / food ratio. If you feed a lot of extras or your dog stays too skinning or fat then always adjust. Feed a dog preferably at fixed times. For your ease probably twice a day. If he becomes fat or had stomach issues because of overeating then reduce a little yes, etc. You should be able to (easily) feel his/her ribs, but not see them through the fur. A dog often doesn't know limits when giving free access to high protein and fat food so it is up to you.
[email protected] on April 29, 2020:
Thank you. If the problem is over feeding, do i hold his food for a little while?
Satyajitroy on April 21, 2020:
Mera dog garmonsheferd hai uski activity sahi hai pr diet nahi le raha hai kya karen
Melissa on March 01, 2020:
The vet said one of my german shepherd puppies stomach sits up to high and when the puppy eats he starts to suffocate.is this really a problem they can get?i sold the puppy to this person who says this is going on.vet said stomach to high.but pup was just fine at my house when he left at 9 weeks old.please help! They said might have to euthanize him!?
Lori on February 05, 2020:
I have taken my dogs to a regular veterinarian and I started taking then to a Holistic or Naturopathic Veterinarian who specializes in diets for dogs, cats and other animals. What a huge difference to healing your beloved fur baby. These veterinarians find out what is causing the health issues and put your pet on a proper diet etc. Naturopathic or Holistic Veterinarians are extremely helpful! I highly recommend them, even if you have to travel to get your pet medical help from one!
Debbie Sheedy on January 06, 2020:
We ve had GSD for over 35 years. One of these was a bitch and suffered with pancreitis. My beloved companion Blue is only 5 n half years. He started panting heavy in begining of October along with limping. The vet said he had hurt his left front knuckle he was prescribed PR but the Metacam didnt help we took him back to the Vet who performed xray couldnt see anything he then prescribed Galliprint and he stopped limping but not the Heavy Painting so back he went they then said it might be arthritis and again prescribed Galliprint and said the panting would just be a sign of the pain. Again the panting is heavy he isn't able to do much exercise and is so tired he isn't really bothered about playing or much at all. So i again took him to the Vet but i wanted to see a different one to the previous one. I told him again that my beloved pet is still panting very heavy he gets tired quickly he cant do anything like he normally did he's not happy and neither am i about all of this situation so tomorrow 7th Jan he's booked in to have
Xrays a scan blood tests. I feel so helpless my beloved Blue is looking really sad he's not himself no longer does he greet me when i get up in the morning like he has always done. So can anyone help me with this or have any idea on what's going on for him. His symptoms have got worse and now I'm beside myself with worry i angry and frustrated that I've let him down.
Lenochka on November 26, 2019:
Thank you for this post; it is reassuring. I am an inexperienced owner of a GS Puppy. I treat her as I would my toddler: trying not to panic as some amount of illness and infections are inevitable. She vomited twice this morning, wouldn't drink nor eat: I cooked fresh meat and vegetable soup for her, tried boiled rice, yoghurt, plain white bread,... After a tiny sip of water she had an explosive diarrhoea, twice (I gently massaged her belly as it felt bloated). At the end of the day, she ate a little of everything and had another diarrhoea. She was passing urine all day, surprisingly and perked up towards the evening. I decided not to give her any more food until the morning. Fingers crossed, she'll be OK otherwise, I'll take her to the Vets tomorrow. She only started walking outside a week ago, so I assume that she came in contact with something unpleasant. Did anybody else had similar experience with a newly vaccinated puppy?
JANET KEENE on November 24, 2019:
Hi, if anyone can help be much appreciated. Our German Shepard is eight, she is constantly pooing, we take her out, she’s in the garden, let her before going to bed, we come down in the morning and she’s pooed 1,2,3 times. I’ve changed her times of feeding, put her on gluten free food, I don’t quite know what else to try .
Sam Shepards (author) from Europe on November 24, 2019:
Thank you for your comments on how to keep digestive issues in german shepherd under control. I also feed my German Shepherd royal canine, mostly the normal uppy to adult for large active dogs, but we also used their urinary type foods for some time with one of our older dogs.
Bron3 on November 12, 2019:
@Rhonda - We adopted a 6 year old shepherd from our HS. There were episodes of serious diarrhea that seemed connected to certain treat - a good product in itself, but German Shepherds can have very sensitive digestions, be prone to SIBO and very good, even premium foods that are great for our other dogs aren't good for this one. We now feed Royal Canin for German Shepherds, a mix of kibble with a wet food "gravy" and add a packet of powdered probiotic. Sometimes we mix a little cooked white rice in food or small bits of boiled chicken. The snacks are dehydrated chicken or bison. Unfortunately great foods and the usual snacks - salmon, lamb, yogurt, peanut butter, CBD oils - trigger bowel issues. For bouts of diarrhea, may be necessary to take the dog to the vet because dehydration can be a serious issue. To help with diarrhea, we use a product called BM Toner Gold. Keeping our dog on the Royal Canin, probiotic, limited range of snacks and the BM toner has kept the digestive issues under control.
Sam Shepards (author) from Europe on October 10, 2019:
Maybe your dog is lactose intolerant? You could cut the yogurt etc for a week or 2 to see if it makes a difference? Or ask a very, maybe some other kind of food allergy.
Lynne Cavanagh on October 10, 2019:
My pup, Dakota, is 4 1/2 months old. He is on 3 meals a day. 750g of eukanuba large puppy breed dry food mixed with either tripe, tinned mackerel or natural greek yogurt for each meal. He eats well and enjoys his food but he has sloppy poop. He is 30kg +
Rhonda Bean on September 17, 2019:
We just adopted a 4 year old german shepard from the Humane Society, he has been having problems pooping, and diarrhea, wehave taken him to the vet a couple of times, but everything seems to be ok, we did the chicken and rice thing, no help, possibly worse, did digestive health canned food, not much difference, now a different food, doing better but seems to walk around a lot and squatting trying to poop, he finally is but takes for ever and 3 or 4 times at it. I am out of ideas...……...
Donna Antico on September 14, 2019:
my german shepard is 14 months old.... was on a chicken and veggie diet for a while... boiled chicken, carrots sweet potato.... for the last 2 months ...no chicken..... rice and rice only....then some pumpkin paste.... still has it... even gave imodium.. Vet appt tomorrow... had poop tested in august it was good.
so over this .....
Sam Shepards (author) from Europe on August 24, 2019:
@Anne a couple of things. I hope your German Shepherd puppy is doing better, if not it's best to get a checkup by a vet. I guess you've done so because we are already a week after your comment.
Puppies, in general, have the runs more often, but never having normal stool is not something I've experienced. If they come from the litter it's also a question if you've changed food or give them more treats or something?
Other things to consider is if they are eating or licking things in the garden. Puppies are playful and try a lot of things with their mouths. Does your puppy have stress, being home alone a lot. This could also give them some stomach problems in the first couple of weeks.
If it doesn't stop it could also be good to look at (food) allergies or just a bad reaction to certain formulas of dog food. You could also call the breeder of the litter to ask if other puppies had more than average diarrhea.
If it's one of the more serious stomach conditions in this article you'll definitely need to get medications from a vet.
When in doubt get medical help from a vet.
anne on August 17, 2019:
My German shepherd pup has the runs and it yellow and sloppy No sign of worms has already been dewormed he has never had a hard stool and pops a lot he is 9weeks old
Sam Shepards (author) from Europe on August 14, 2019:
What do you mean "wants to eat everything"? Is he a puppy or adult? Does he get food with enough protein? How is his stool? Any signs of worms? If he eats everything he could get worms from eating things in the garden or droppings from other animals etc. Deworm if you think he could have them. If the issue is serious talk to a vet to get help in choosing the right food and a check up.
Sam Shepards (author) from Europe on August 14, 2019:
@David Sorry to hear that. Did the vet give some kind of diagnosis or are the pills just in case? Infection? The odor coming from the mouth or body? Does he pee or drip pee on himself? Hope all will be ok, when in doubt you'll have to go back to the vet if it doesn't get better to have blood work done.
Samarth kumar on August 14, 2019:
My gs wants to eat everything nd its back portion getting thin
david on August 13, 2019:
hi, my male GS is 20 months old, very suddenly his behavior changed from crazy and vibrant to lethargic. he wont eat or drink. took him to the vet and he was runnin106 dgrees. vet gave antibiotics and steroids. No signs of sickness, not throwing up or diarerrah. just a little drool. I did manage to get him to take this mornings dose of medicine by putting the pills in peanut butter. in addition he has a slight odor. we are so worried about our baby.
Sam Shepards (author) from Europe on June 13, 2019:
@Nelson is he in the teething process? It can make it a little more difficult to eat, but most dogs are eager to eat. You can always check if is stool is normal and he doesn't throw up etc. Is he eating the required nutrients? Is it a puppy brand and does he eat +- the recommended amount of food for his size. If teething you can soften the kibble with a little lukewarm water if necessary. When in doubt it is best to talk to a vet, because I don't know your dog and can't really see what is or is not normal for him. Young dogs be weird looking in shape like skinny and tall etc. It does happen a young dog has worms (but that should have nothing to do with teething and blood on the food) and doesn't eat well and becomes skinny also, but that's not something I can see, again look at the stool and when in doubt you could ask a vet.
Nelson on June 12, 2019:
Hi, 2 days ago my dog started to have problems, he is 5 months old, german sheperd. He is not eating anything and he is getting skinny by time, although hes like that, he is fine getting up & walking waggling his tail. Later on i tried giving him food, he ate it but was kinda having a problem eating, a small portion of blood was on the food.(piece of ham ) Furthermore my mom tried to feed him caldo de pollo but just the liquid & she noticed one of his teeth fell off. Any serious problem that needs to take care of it right away or let time goes by, aiding him to get heal slowly or?
Sam Shepards (author) from Europe on May 13, 2019:
Sometimes dogs eat something wrong or get some stomach trouble, it happens and often it's over in a day.
If it is more than a couple of times (days) you should at least talk to a vet and/or visit a vet.
When in doubt contact a professional...
Priscilla on May 13, 2019:
My dog oh s 4month old and he vomiting up his food and had diarrhea what should i do
Sam Shepards (author) from Europe on May 10, 2019:
@Manasi You need to get your help from a vet. If it takes this long and there is blood in your dogs stool it sounds serious. If your current vet doesn't know after multiple visits, maybe you need a second opinion from another vet.
Manasi on May 10, 2019:
My German shepherd is having loose motion vomiting and also sometimes it have blood in her stool please help me it's from last 3 months I am tired of taking her to the doctor she's being getting thin and weak
Sam Shepards (author) from Europe on April 01, 2019:
Sorry to hear that. Hope all will be alright.
Sarah on April 01, 2019:
Our GSD is 3 and over last 4 months or so has had constant diarrhoea has received a course of Vit b 12 iinjections, enzyme powder and having hills prescription dry food diet nothing seems to work waiting now for ultrascan . Really worried about him.
patti petty on March 14, 2019:
ok thanks -- I won't do that with the meds again! after i read don't give on an empty stomach i was sick -- i will wait a few days and if still not acvtive i will call vet
Sam Shepards (author) from Europe on March 14, 2019:
Patti don't give you shepherd pain methods without contacting a vet. If your dog hurts his leg, back or anything and he limps giving him painkillers can make him hurt himself more.
Many painkillers are also not that good for the stomach. Could take a couple of days to bounch back from medication. Also possible he's just careful now, because he hurt himself and still feels it? When in doubt you can always contact a vet.
patti petty on March 14, 2019:
my shepherd is almost 11 months but has slowed down alot in the last week or so! he had been limping a little on his back leg - he runs off the deck alot and jumps on the beds - running back and forth to the bedrooms so i was thinking he might have just strained it since nothing was swollen or he wasn't crying in pain - i gave him some pain meds - the kind you chew up for joints and he had them on an empty stomach and i gave them to him for about 5 days - the limp has stopped but he's been really lazy lately - laying around more then usual - i stopped the meds 3 days ago - he's eating but not alot - he's drinking and his bowels are normal but he has slowed down so much - he still barks and runs a little in the yard at the neighbors dogs -- no throwing up - should i be concerned or wait a few more days to see if he bounces back more
Cecelia McCarthy on February 12, 2019:
Wondering if you can provide any advice. I adopted an 8 month old GS pup a month ago. Sadly I do not have any history on the pup. common for most shelter dogs. In any event the pup is suffering from diarrhea for most of the the time we have had him. He is now vomiting and not eating. I took him to vet and ran stool and blood tests. Both are clear. He is not eating. vet has provided RX to calm his stomach. I do hope that it will help. Can you provide any advice on next step and perhaps a food that will help (we tried the chicken and rice and turkey and rice it just seemed to make matters worse).
Sam Shepards (author) from Europe on January 26, 2019:
It is difficult to recommend food, all dogs are different. People are very divisive on pet food. Some people hate the fact you would recommend dry food instead of raw food etc. Still most people will give their pets dry food so from personal experience with dry food for our shepherds the best food seem to have been certain variations of Royal Canin (maybe some lam + rice variation). If you give dry food you should always watch if your dogs drinks enough and doesn't get any blatter issues (always keep an eye out if your dogs keeps peeing as normal over the years, urinary problems are common in older dogs on dry food or salted canned food etc). Some dogs will reach a healthy powerful age of 14 years old without ever having an issue, others will barely make it to 10 years on the same diet and have lots of issues...
Jennifer on January 23, 2019:
my German Shepherd puppy is 6 months old I believe he has a sensitive stomach he has been to the vet more than 5 times they found no parasites so I changed his puppy food he still having diarrhea what puppy food do you recommend for a gsd's
Yatin Kandpal on November 29, 2018:
Hi, my GSD 12 year old had stopped eating since last few days. It started with constipation. He forced himself many times to poop but can't do anything though the colour of poop was normal. And now he has stopped eating. Please help me out what should I do.
Courtney on November 05, 2018:
I’m after some advice please. My GSD is 2 years old and over the last month as been having regular episodes of diorrhea in the house! He had never had an accident in the house but this has happened 4/5 times in the house now and he’s only ever left for 1-2 hours max. He is also eating his diorrhea and then vomiting it back up! He seems ok just a little down in the dumps! Would love to hear what you think!
Sam Shepards (author) from Europe on September 17, 2018:
Hi Ben difficult to say. Did you change food or routines recently?
Does she have stress during the day? Are both at work during the day?
Ben on September 17, 2018:
Hello, i would like to get your opinion on our shepherd. She is almost two and have had her tested for any allergies and it came up neggative for anything. Recently she has had regular poops to start the day then it turns more loose. This has been going on for about a week. And now it seems to be mostly loose. Not watery but definately not normal. We feed her a cup of dry nutro-lamb and rice, with a can of wet from nutro as well. Would love if gou could provide any insites for our little lady. Thank you, Ben
Sam Shepards (author) from Europe on August 13, 2018:
I'm very sorry to hear this. When german shepherds have stomach problems or other health issues it can be a burden.
You want your friend to be healthy, but when it is chronic it can take a lot of the (easy) fun away.
We have had 3 german shepherds, each one was different, the first one never had any issue and became 14 years old without being sick once...
The second one had worms often and became thin because of not eating. He had this once or twice a year. He also died because of a stomach cancer at age 10.
Our last one needs urinary food now he's 10 years old, he's not the strongest, but overall he's ok.
Getting the right food and checking for allergies can help. If he's prone to getting worms, you'll always need to watch how he's eating and or losing weight.
Robin on August 05, 2018:
We have a gsd for the last year we have had stomach issues. At first it was worms then they would put him on steroids and he would do good then it would happen all over again. We have had his blood work done and even a biopsy with the conclusion irritated stomach an lower intestines. The doctor said his stomach looked like said paper. We are now back on a steroid and I believe another medication that he might be in for a while. He has lost weight and sometimes don’t eat. I feel frustrated bc we have spent thousands on this wonderful dog and he still looks miresable. We have changed his food but once he gets sick on it he will not eat and we start over again
Andrés on May 29, 2018:
Sam, I'm wondering if you could help me with my dog's stomach issues, I'd love to understand it better.
I have a female german shephard, 4 years old now, over the last year she started having recurrent losses of apetite, sometimes with what sounds like loud bowel movement, for some days she would eat very little... and all of a sudden she eats like a beast again for a couple of days, and then stops, and the same over and over...
We've tried changing the food's brand, which is a pretty good one, but im thinking now about feeding her just rice and mince (not sure if thats the correct word, i mean something like ground beef) ...
Would that be easier for her to digest?
Is it bad if I mix dog food with rice and mince?
Or directly, whats the smoothest food for a german shephard with a weaker stomach, so to speak?
Thanks in advance!
Sam Shepards (author) from Europe on May 14, 2018:
Does he have stress when there is company or when you lock him in the crate?
Did someone of the company feed him from the table/snacks?
Rice water is good against diarrhea (it's more important than the rice itself).
Is he bloated?
If it persists ask a vet.
Allan on May 14, 2018:
I have a 2 yr old German Shepard mix. Up until Saturday May 12 2018 we have never had an issue with him pooping in the house. He roams freely, and like clockwork let's us know around 7am that he needs to go outside to potty. Friday morning he didn't feel like eating, so at dinner time we have him an extra cup of food, which he didn't seem to have a problem with eating. Saturday morning I woke up to him leaving several puddles of poop (very soft) near the back door. Saturday morning feeding time consisted of 1 cup of boiled white rice, and at dinner we have him 1.5 cups along with 1/2 boiled chicken breast. Sunday morning meal consisted of the remaining chicken breast and rice again. We went back to his regular diet on Sunday evening and this morning I woke up to him leaving more poop on my floor. Mind you I had company all the week prior, and he was locked up in his crate through the night. It was Friday when the company left so he roamed freely Friday night and left me the surprise on Saturday morning.
Can you give me some ideas? He does get released several times in the evening before we retire to bed, and some times he does come in and is smacking and gagging. I don't have anything but grass in my yard, so there is no flower beds or garden for him to get into.
Sam Shepards (author) from Europe on April 01, 2018:
Naveed, when the issue is serious talk to a vet. Could be a lot of things. Some of them can be severe, some less.
Could range from (food) allergies, gastric inflammation, to blatter issues, to cancer, but I'm not a vet and I don't know your dog so seek actual medical advice when in doubt.
Naveed ahmed on April 01, 2018:
My german shepherd tummy swelling problem age 29 month eating and bleeding is ok plz ye me whats the medicine for this.Tell the Medicine name.
Kelly on March 01, 2018:
My GSD is 2 years old and we have been have issues of chronic diarrhea along with lack of appetite and lethargy. I have taken him to the doctor a few times over this. He is currently on Flagyl and they gave him a "hydrolyzed protein prescription" diet - which he doesn't like and refuses to eat. He just had a Cobalmin Folate test (checks to see if there is chronic malabsorption due to bacterial overgrowth). They also did a test to check his pancreatic enzymes.
I eliminated all poultry (found that to be one trigger) and still trying to work through which foods he can tolerate. He does lick his paws and they are red between the pads - which makes me think maybe allergy related? I've tried Orijen, Arcana Merrick - top of the line foods. I am even happy to cook/prepare his food.
I love him so very much - I'm considering taking him to UGA for their opinion. Of course I have read about GSD having Inflammatory Bowel disease, toxic gut, panreatic insufficiency, etc... which worries me to death. I would do anything for him - any suggestions?
Sam Shepards (author) from Europe on February 19, 2018:
If your dog is bleeding and not eating you should go to the vet asap.
Bleeding, diarrhea for multiple days, extensive puking etc. are all issues that could require professional help.
neil june R. baer on February 17, 2018:
my german daid becuose of his hot viry hot
Ahsan mahmood on February 16, 2018:
My German shepherd puppy 4months old is not eating and bleeding
He is going through the drips and I am worried about that's all
I need your suggestions
Sam Shepards (author) from Europe on February 12, 2018:
I'm very sorry to hear that. Did he have an infection or something?
Shais bhat on February 12, 2018:
My 1 month old German shepherd puppy died... the only reason is vomiting n diarrhea..
Russ on December 19, 2017:
My gsd puppy less than 5 months goes from diahrea back to solid poop within same week and even yelps at times while pooping. Last week she went from yelping to pooping normal for 4 days back to yelping rhis morning. We are takinf her to vet just curious if anyone else is experiencing this.
ANN on December 02, 2017:
MY GERMAN SHEPHERD DIED FROM FAILURE OF NORMAL EMBRYOLOGICAL INTESTINAL DEVELOPMENT
SIGNS NOT EATING, THIN, VOMITING, DIAHERRA
WOULD XRAY OF STOMACH SHOW THE PROBLEM AND BLOOD WORK
Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV) is the medical term for Bloat. Some also call the condition Twisted Stomach, Gastric Torsion, or Stomach Torsion. GDV consists of two stages: the gastric dilation and the Volvulus. Gastric dilatation is the stage in which the dog’s stomach expands because of gas build up– putting pressure on nearby organs. Volvulus, on the other hand, is the stage in which the dog’s stomach twists. Not all bloats develop to Volvulus.
During the Gastric Dilatation, the expanded stomach pushes the surrounding organs including the diaphragm and the heart. When this happens, the bloated dog may suffer breathing and blood circulation problems. Dilated stomachs can easily twist (Volvulus). During this stage, the stomach may rotate from 90° to 360° – twisting between the fixed attachments at the esophagus and the upper intestine. The twisted stomach then traps the food, air, and water in the stomach. The bloated stomach compromises the blood supply to the body by obstructing the veins in the abdomen. This causes shock, low blood pressure, and internal organ damage – leading to rapid death.
As I said before, sensitive stomach is a general problem of all the German Shepherds. You can often hear their intestines growl or making noises. They have diarrhea now and then and sometimes other belly issues.
This can be helped by making sure you pet gets the best dog food there is. Go for high quality products that have a lot of fiber or cook yourself, but make sure you don’t just take the cheapest option from the supermarket shelf or you’re a bad parent for your dog.
Gastric dilatation-volvulus isn’t quite a genetic condition, but it is definitely worth mentioning when discussing German Shepherds. GDV is a type of illness that rapidly becomes a surgical emergency. Deep-chested breeds like the German Shepherd are more prone to developing it.
This is when the stomach becomes greatly distended or bloated due to lots of air, fluid, or food. The stomach can then flip backward on itself which occludes the openings on both ends. This volvulus part of bloat is extremely dangerous because toxins build up in the wall of the stomach, causing necrosis of the stomach wall and possible rupture of the stomach.
GDV patients will have difficulty breathing and appear extremely painful or uncomfortable, and owners may notice a large or distended abdomen. GDV is an immediate surgical emergency, and failure to intervene right away will increase the chances that a patient will not survive.
A preventive procedure known as a gastropexy can be performed to tack the stomach to the abdominal wall so that the stomach cannot flip if bloat ever occurs.
German Shepherd dogs can help their humans with companionship and important life tasks, so it is important for us to help them when they are sick. Knowing the signs of various illnesses can help you quickly intervene, especially in cases like GDV where time is a critical factor.
When purchasing a German Shepherd, make sure to look for a reputable breeder who can ensure that many of the most common genetic diseases affecting German Shepherds have been eliminated from their breeding stock.
The German Shepherd Dog, originating in Germany in the 1880s, was bred to be a multipurpose working dog. The German Shepherd has played many roles over the years including, among others: herding sheep, military field work, search and rescue, guide dog and police dog. German Shepherds have been popular in America since the early 1900s and have remained on the American Kennel Club’s most popular list for many years they have been in the top five for the last ten years. Some well known German Shepherds include Rin Tin Tin, Roy Roger’s Bullet, and Buddy, the nation’s first Seeing Eye Dog.
A common ailment among German Shepherds is bloat, or gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV). This is a life threatening condition where the stomach rotates on its axis, cutting off the passage of food and water, and inhibiting circulation to the stomach and intestines. Bloat generally occurs in large, deep-chested dogs such as Great Danes, German Shepherds, Standard Poodles, Weimaraners, Saint Bernards, and Newfoundlands but has been seen in small dogs on rare occasions. It is a very serious condition that occurs when a dog’s stomach fills with gas and then rotates causing further distention and a series of severe complications.
Patients typically present with non-productive retching, restlessness and abdominal discomfort. The first signs of bloat may include a distended stomach, retching, or dry heaving. A distended abdomen may not always be noticeable due to the dog’s conformation. If these symptoms are seen, immediate medical attention must be sought! The cause of the GDV is unknown, it is thought to have multiple contributing factors.
That is the million-dollar question. No one knows the exact cause of why bloat happens however large breed, deep chested dogs are more likely to bloat than other breeds. Older dogs are also more commonly seen with “bloat” than younger dogs. In some cases, eating or drinking large amounts and then being active is thought to cause bloat. There is also thought that eating out of elevated food dishes may in crease chances of GDV as dogs may swallow more air when eating. Unfortunately, there are times when dogs present with bloat with no predisposing cause and, although it is much less common, small breed dogs can also suffer from GDV or “bloat”.
Dogs with bloat can be restless and unable to get comfortable or lay down. They will hype r salivate/drool and try to vomit but nothing will come out. They can have very distended abdomens that can be very painful. They may also have very fast heart rates and changes in breathing. In severe cases, they may collapse or be unable to stand. It is very important that if you see any of these signs that you have your dog evaluated by a veterinarian immediately. As veterinarians we understand that each dog can show different variations of these signs if there is any concern an owner can always call a veterinary clinic and ask their opinion.
Bloat sets off a cascade of damaging events to the body. As the stomach fills with air it expands and starts to cut off blood returning to the heart. The expansion of the stomach then puts pressure on the diaphragm, making it difficult for the dog to breath. The stomach then starts to rotate cutting off the blood supply to the stomach. When the stomach rotates it can entrap the spleen and thus cause damage or cut off blood supply to the spleen and even rupture blood vessels. All of these changes lead to the dog going into shock. Blood pressure drops, arrhythmias and internal bleeding can occur as well as sepsis. Unfortunately, death can occur in a matter of hours if bloat goes undetected and untreated. All of these changes happen very quickly, which is why it is so important for an owner to recognize the signs of bloat and get them to a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Emergency veterinary medical attention must be sought for treatment of bloat. Unfortunately, there is nothing that an owner can do at home.
Abdominal x-rays are the most reliable way to assess stomach position and diagnose bloat. Stabilization of the patient and diagnostics must be performed immediately. These dogs require pain medication and intravenous fluids. Surgical intervention is a necessary step in the treatment of bloat and should be done as soon as the patient is stable enough to undergo anesthesia and surgery.
During a bloat circulation can be compromised and other abdominal organs, such as the spleen or intestines, may be affected, as a result the spleen may also need to be removed in some cases. Bloat, requires a multiple day stay in the hospital for post-operative care and recovery. If not treated by a veterinarian immediately, bloat can be fatal. Most dogs who are diagnosed and treated early in the development of bloat recover from surgery and can lead a normal life.
The surgery consists of de-rotating the stomach back to its normal position and then tacking it to the body wall. This is called a gastropexy. If the spleen was involved in the twisting, then it may have to be removed as well. Even after the surgery is performed these dogs are not out of the woods. There are many complications that can still arise after surgery and it is very common for these dogs to be in the hospital for multiple days. As many as 15-30% of dogs will not survive bloat even with immediate care and surgery.
Recommendations for preventing bloat are feeding several small meals a day, discouraging drinking large amounts of water at one time, allowing some time between eating and activity, and feeding on the floor.
Hopefully knowing some of these preventative tips will decrease the chances of your furry family member bloating however, if you see the signs listed above do not wait! Get your pet to an emergency veterinary hospital immediately. Ideally call ahead so they know you are coming and can plan for your arrival. Time is of the essence.