Liz Buchanan BVSc MRCVS
There are many, many causes of mild diarrhoea (that is, diarrhoea that isn't causing obvious systemic illness / dehydration) in pups. A reasonable proportion of these clear up by themselves or with a binding medication; another proportion will improve with decent quality worming tablets given as per directions and another proportion with dietary changes. There are some cases that won't, however. These are caused by a variety of other causes which tend to be more complicated; more difficult to solve, but also much less common. If your vet does a full work-up for diarrhoea every time a healthy dog comes in with runny poos, they will fast cost the owners a lot of money and a lot of the time, and in most of these cases, the diarrhoea would have got better either on its own or with simple treatment, such as wormers / stool binders of some kind. This is why most vets will start off with the simple treatments, sometimes one at a time so that they know what worked. However, this approach does rely on the owner coming back again if the diarrhoea hasn't improved. I wonder whether you and your vet haven't managed to communicate such that you understand where they are up to in this process: Good questions for your vet are: 'How many dogs out of ten would respond to this treatment?' or 'If it doesn't work, what do you recommend we try next?' and especially, 'What have you ruled out so far and what could it still be? How should we go about ruling these things out?' This way, you can build up a picture of whether your vet has a bigger plan and where abouts they are up to in this (we call it 'work-up') process.