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What To Do When Your Gun Dog Has Gastro-Intestinal Distress

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September 14, 2011

What To Do When Your Gun Dog Has Gastro-Intestinal Distress

By Chad Love

One of the problems facing those of us who do a lot of traveling with our gun dogs is what we euphemistically call "gastro-intestinal distress." Anyone who's been forced to clean out a dog box or kennel while on the road knows exactly what I'm talking about. Dogs--and their bowels--are creatures of habit, and when that habit is interrupted by changes in routine, diet, and even drinking water, bad things can happen. It happened to me a couple times last year and it was no fun. And since I'm on the road this week for the Kansas prairie chicken opener, the thought of canine cha-cha-cha is heavy on my mind...

That's why I'm trying out a product from Purina called Fortiflora. It's a nutritional supplement for dogs designed to help alleviate gastro-intestinal issues caused by the stress of travel, diet changes, etc. The benefits of probiotics for humans are currently getting a lot of attention, and that's basically what Fortiflora is: a probiotic treatment for dogs. All you do is sprinkle one packet of Fortiflora over your dog's food each day. Or, if you're going on a hunt or a trip, start giving your dog Fortiflora a week or so before leaving, for the duration and for a few days after you get back.

I've been giving it to my dog for about a week now in anticipation of this trip, and while I can't see any marked change in her stools, I will say that the stuff must taste good, because she wolfs down her food much faster with it's sprinkled over it. The real test, however, will come when I load her up and get a couple hundred miles down the road. Will I end up holding my nose with one hand and spraying out the kennel with the other, or will things pass smoothly, so to speak?

I'll let you know, but in the meantime I'm curious: what do you do to help prepare your dog for a hunting road trip? Any tips or secrets?

 

Comments (8)

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from bigj78 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I had similiar issues with my 18 month old Vizsla this summer after he drank some bad creek water. The vet offered perscription probiotics. I was somewhat skeptical at first but it definitely worked. He was fine in 1-2 days. The vet said I could put yogurt on his food but this new product looks like a much easier alternative while traveling. Thanks

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joe Derringer wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

this stuff is amazing. My lab mix is on a script diet and we have given him this when he has gotten into something that he shouldnt have. I would recommend this stuff to anyone.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from CastMaster25 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

My pup was having issues with his bowels the first few weeks we had him. At the time he was eating Eukanuba Puppy Formula which the breeder feeds to all of her dogs. We didnt run into a bowel problem until he was about 9 weeks old. We took him to the vet and the put him on a bland diet, medication and the floride packets. The packets worked wonders! Once we were done with the packets and medication the problem came back again. This went on for 3 weeks or so. We finally changed his food to Blue Buffalo Puppy Formula. We havent had a problem since. I guess his body just couldnt processing Eukanuba well enough.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bernie wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Boiled rice and burger has been a good remedy for my Labradors. That settles them right down.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Wow! I have never had a problem like that. Of course, my dogs travel with me in the car, not in a box in the back of a truck. If they need to make a pit stop, they let me know. I can also kinda sense when they are hosing me too and just want to stop and goof off for a bit. The most important thing is to avoid loading them up with chow right before you head out on the road trip. If I'm leaving before sunup, I often get them up and feed them around four a.m. and then start packing. As I am loading the vehicle up they are following me around, getting worried (they see the luggage and get concerned about being left behind) and usually take a poop in anticipation. Just to be sure I'll take them on a quick walk around the block and that always gets them drained. No dog can resist the opportunity to crap on someone else's yard! Then we're good to go for at least four hours, sometimes longer. In all my forty-six years of raising labs I haven't had one yet that didn't like to travel. We'll see how it goes with this Brittany pup. In a few weeks I'll be heading back to Montana again for annual pheasant hunt. That's a two day trip each way.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

In my old age, the dogs actually travel better these days than I do. I'm forever having to stop for coffee to stay awake and that stuff cleans me out pretty good. If I have to stop and get out for a coffee or stretch, I just take the time to get the dogs out for a bit too. Like little kids, don't expect to travel fast with dogs. Stop and go is the rule. Live with it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Scampwalker wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

What is it with the poop fascination, Chad? First it's cows dumping on your e-collar, and now it's this... a psychiatrist could have a field day with you!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Charlie Nichols wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

We tried Forta Flora when we went to Wisconsin from WV to hunt this fall and I have to admit the dog traveled better than any other time. I am sold on the value of the product and continue to use during the hunting season...seems the little Britt loves the taste on her food.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

In my old age, the dogs actually travel better these days than I do. I'm forever having to stop for coffee to stay awake and that stuff cleans me out pretty good. If I have to stop and get out for a coffee or stretch, I just take the time to get the dogs out for a bit too. Like little kids, don't expect to travel fast with dogs. Stop and go is the rule. Live with it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bigj78 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I had similiar issues with my 18 month old Vizsla this summer after he drank some bad creek water. The vet offered perscription probiotics. I was somewhat skeptical at first but it definitely worked. He was fine in 1-2 days. The vet said I could put yogurt on his food but this new product looks like a much easier alternative while traveling. Thanks

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joe Derringer wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

this stuff is amazing. My lab mix is on a script diet and we have given him this when he has gotten into something that he shouldnt have. I would recommend this stuff to anyone.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from CastMaster25 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

My pup was having issues with his bowels the first few weeks we had him. At the time he was eating Eukanuba Puppy Formula which the breeder feeds to all of her dogs. We didnt run into a bowel problem until he was about 9 weeks old. We took him to the vet and the put him on a bland diet, medication and the floride packets. The packets worked wonders! Once we were done with the packets and medication the problem came back again. This went on for 3 weeks or so. We finally changed his food to Blue Buffalo Puppy Formula. We havent had a problem since. I guess his body just couldnt processing Eukanuba well enough.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bernie wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Boiled rice and burger has been a good remedy for my Labradors. That settles them right down.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Wow! I have never had a problem like that. Of course, my dogs travel with me in the car, not in a box in the back of a truck. If they need to make a pit stop, they let me know. I can also kinda sense when they are hosing me too and just want to stop and goof off for a bit. The most important thing is to avoid loading them up with chow right before you head out on the road trip. If I'm leaving before sunup, I often get them up and feed them around four a.m. and then start packing. As I am loading the vehicle up they are following me around, getting worried (they see the luggage and get concerned about being left behind) and usually take a poop in anticipation. Just to be sure I'll take them on a quick walk around the block and that always gets them drained. No dog can resist the opportunity to crap on someone else's yard! Then we're good to go for at least four hours, sometimes longer. In all my forty-six years of raising labs I haven't had one yet that didn't like to travel. We'll see how it goes with this Brittany pup. In a few weeks I'll be heading back to Montana again for annual pheasant hunt. That's a two day trip each way.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Scampwalker wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

What is it with the poop fascination, Chad? First it's cows dumping on your e-collar, and now it's this... a psychiatrist could have a field day with you!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Charlie Nichols wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

We tried Forta Flora when we went to Wisconsin from WV to hunt this fall and I have to admit the dog traveled better than any other time. I am sold on the value of the product and continue to use during the hunting season...seems the little Britt loves the taste on her food.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment