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In late May, my boy Samwise (7mo at the time, now 10mo) started having chronic diarrhea (every day very early on and then intermittently every few days or so) and in early June I started feeling small bumps on the back of his neck, which got worse, turned to little dry patches and a few scabs, and then little hairless patches. It didn't occur to me immediately that these might be related. But the diarrhea was maddening, bc he'd get me up once or twice in the middle of the night to have liquidy mucousy diarrhea. Poor guy. His fecal sample was negative for parasites. So I started thinking allergies, I started restricting his food, with what seemed like somewhat random results, i.e., to no avail. I started thinking maybe some plants in the backyard were toxic to dogs. I restricted him to on-leash backyard walks at first, so I could keep him away from the bushes. I considered removing the one I knew he gnawed on, but everything I read said it's not toxic to dogs. Anyway, diarrhea seemed to get better over the course of several days, and the skin issues seemed to be lessening too, in that there were fewer little bumps, which is how each patch starts, so I started letting him off leash to frolic in the grass and sniff around and do what puppies do, but strictly supervised to stay away from the bushes. This was a few weeks ago, and right when I thought the diarrhea was going away, it came back. I was at wit's end, ready to try antibiotics/meds for parasites that might not have shown up on the fecal test, when I remembered I'd seen our lawn guy spraying something at some point. I talked to him and it turns out he sprayed Roundup or Ranger Pro (generic Roundup) two times—once in May, which is when the symptoms first began and were the worst, and once again a few weeks ago, around when the symptoms seemed to come back after I let Samwise frolic offleash more (he does chew on grass and I guess weeds here and there...). It's been 12 days so far of little to no yard access, plus uprooting of all weeds that likely got sprayed, and also bathing with special shampoo, and so far so good with no diarrhea and not seeing much in the way of new skin bumps. Keeping fingers crossed.

The vet quoted something saying that glyphosate is "practically nontoxic to dogs" but that surfactants in Roundup are irritants. Hmmm. Well, Samwise never acted sick or lethargic, so I guess you could say none of it is technically toxic, but I think of irritant more of like a person who chews really loudly or can't stop talking when you just want some peace and quiet, not something causing chronic diarrhea and increasingly bad skin problems, and who knows what other issues internally.

Anyway, just sharing a story. And needless to say, I told the lawn guy to stop spraying. I feel terrible for not making the connection for so long and Samwise suffering, but hopefully all will be better going forward. But I read one site that says Roundup sticks around in the soil for between 1 and 174 days (an oddly specific and unhelpfully wide range, there...) and another site that says at least six months... so, eternal vigilance is the price of puppy ownership, I guess.
 

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I quit using any kind of pesticides, weed killers or fertilizers in my backyard, many years ago.
Yeah my backyard does not look as nice, but at least the dogs aren’t rolling and chewing on things that could have the potential to hurt them.

Glad you figured it out.
I always say
Dilution is the solution to pollution.
I would probably water the heck out of that yard for the next few months.
 

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thank you for sharing. this is so eye opening, often we think of allergies when in reality it is some chemicals / toxins. and I am glad you figured the source of the issue, kudos to you.

My yard gets treated with 30% vinegar for weed. I do it when the boys are in the house and not out for 3-4 more hours. Vinegar is not toxic but the acidic (30% is highly concentrated and kills the weed within 1-2 hours) fume would harm their lounges so I like to wait until it clears up, I am sure they do not want to wear masks, hehe. My pest treatment consist of rosemary, thyme and peppermint oils. They need to be sprayed more regularly than the chemical version but then again non toxic. Texas has all sorts of bugs, so it requires almost year-round management here. If I see a plant getting certain insect infections, I use neem oil based insect control. Again non-toxic, in fact you see that in many natural dog and human soaps.
I have lavender and marigolds in my backyard as they are insect repellents. So is rosemary.

I put coffee granulates on my front yard regularly (the boys don't use the front yard as it is not allowed in my area to put up a fence in the front), the ants (very common here) don't seem to like it, yeah. The grass and bushes do even more. When I know rain is coming I do the same sometimes in the backyard as they will be washed in by the time they get out again. I would not want them to lick on coffee granulates obviously, although I am sure they would love to.

A lot of people change from using a mowing company to do it themselves for the same reason, especially breeders. The mowing companies tend to carry around diseases on their devices, even parvo (hence many of the breeders I know are DIY or if they need to hire someone they insist on using their equipments instead of the company's).

I have also learnt to wipe they boys and wash their feet when we were out somewhere, as there is plenty of opportunities for them to come across contaminants or diseases.

Just like anything else more green these methods usually are more time consuming than he chemical version hence many people do the traditional one.
 

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I live in a condo, and this is a constant source of frustration for me. Why do we need toxic chemicals sprayed numerous times a year just for a green lawn? The park that I take my girl to across the street (that is au naturel) is actually more healthy and attractive than the sprayed lawns in my neighborhood. I'll never understand why we are intentionally poisoning ourselves and our environment. Appreciate you bringing attention to a matter that affects all.of us dog lovers!
 

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What may not affect one animal or person may be highly toxic to another. This experience also applies to the various types of parasite/insect products used on dogs. Some may react terribly while others live a long healthy life with no ill effects. Great sleuthing on figuring out what it was!

Personally I use glyphosate in my yard but very targeted on weeds in my rock landscape areas. I only let Ellie out when it dries, and she doesn’t really go in those yard areas. I may give the vinegar a try as @Gabica recommends. I’m always willing to try natural approaches, good example I’m trying “mosquito magic” to control mosquitoes , it is based on various essential oils deployed in concentration not harmful to animals.
 

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Thanks for your report. There are many threads here started by owners whose V's have those symptoms and it's good to know another possible cause for them to check for.

I use generic glyphosate, sparingly, & my guys haven't had the symptoms that yours had. But it might be having an effect that is not so obvious & I am going to be much more selective in its use. Gabica's 30% vinegar sounds like a good alternative and it's actually readily available.
 

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Thanks for your report. There are many threads here started by owners whose V's have those symptoms and it's good to know another possible cause for them to check for.

I use generic glyphosate, sparingly, & my guys haven't had the symptoms that yours had. But it might be having an effect that is not so obvious & I am going to be much more selective in its use. Gabica's 30% vinegar sounds like a good alternative and it's actually readily available.
just make sure guys that you cover yourselves and wear a mask when using the vinegar at this level of concentration. 30% is very potent. luckily only burns at immediate contact and the fume disappears after the weeds died, but you don't want skin or lung contact for yourselves during the spraying process.
 

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just make sure guys that you cover yourselves and wear a mask when using the vinegar at this level of concentration. 30% is very potent. luckily only burns at immediate contact and the fume disappears after the weeds died, but you don't want skin or lung contact for yourselves during the spraying process.
That's good to know, thanks. I never would have thought that vinegar was at all potent. But it is acidic and with acids, it's all about concentration.
 
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