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The Causes of Diarrhea in Dogs & How You Can Help

The Causes of Diarrhea in Dogs & How You Can Help

Does your dog have diarrhea? If so, we understand how distressing this can be, which is why our Bedford vets are discussing the most common causes of diarrhea in dogs, as well as how it can be treated and when you should take your pup to the vet.

Diarrhea in Dogs

Our vets in Bedford frequently see dogs with diarrhea, for a range of reasons.

Mild episodes of diarrhea are fairly common in dogs and could be the result of mild intestinal distress from your pooch eating a small amount of something that doesn't agree with them, such as table scraps, or simply from switching to a new kind of dog food.

Although, there are many more serious health problems that can cause a dog's diarrhea.

Possible Causes of Diarrhea in Dogs

Here we have listed a few of the most common causes of dog diarrhea:

  • Eating garbage or spoiled food
  • Change in diet or treats
  • Ingesting toxins or poisons
  • Ingestion of foreign objects such as toys, bones, and fabric
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Medications such as antibiotics
  • Viral infections such as parvovirus, distemper or coronavirus
  • Bacterial infections - such as salmonella
  • Parasites - roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, Coccidia, or Giardia
  • Colitis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Pancreatitis
  • Intestinal cancer
  • Liver or kidney disease

But, how can you tell if your pup's diarrhea requires veterinary care?

When You Should Go to the Vet for Dog Diarrhea

If your pooch just had one episode of diarrhea but is behaving normal overall, it is probably not a reason to be worried. Track the bowel movements your dog makes to see if things clear up. If they have more than 2 episodes of diarrhea there could be a problem, so it will be best to call your vet if your pup has two or more bouts of diarrhea.

If your canine companion is struggling to pass a stool but is only passing small amounts of watery diarrhea, they may have a painful blockage from ingesting a foreign object such as a toy. This is a very serious problem and requires immediate veterinary attention, contact your vet or take your pooch to the nearest emergency animal hospital for treatment.

Recurring bouts of diarrhea over a short period of time could be a sign of a very serious health issue, particularly if your pup is very old, very young, or has a compromised immune system. Infections such as parvovirus are extremely serious, contagious, and life-threatening. Contact your vet right away if your pooch is experiencing repeated episodes of diarrhea.

Dogs exhibiting other symptoms in addition to diarrhea should also be taken to a vet as quickly as possible. If your pup has any of the symptoms below contact your vet immediately to schedule an appointment:

  • Weakness
  • Blood in stool
  • Unusual drooling
  • Lack of Appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Signs of dehydration (Dry nose, sunken dry-looking eyes, or dry, sticky gums)

If your dog is showing any worrying symptoms, contact your veterinarian. Your vet will let you know whether your dog's symptoms indicate if an examination is necessary.

How to Stop Your Dog's Diarrhea

When it comes to treating diarrhea in dogs it's essential that you never give your dog medications formulated for people before consulting your vet. Many human medications are toxic to dogs and could cause further health complications for your pooch.

If your pup has had one or two runny or soft stools, you may want to give your dog some time to recover by simply fasting for 12 - 24 hours.

A bland diet for 24 - 48 hours may help to resolve your pup's issue. Plain-cooked white rice with a little chicken and some canned plain pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) may help to make your pup's tummy feel better. Once your pooch feels better gradually reintroduce their regular food.

Other things that could help to ease your furry friend's upset tummy are cottage cheese, probiotics, natural yogurt, egg with no oils added, peeled boiled potatoes, specially formulated dog foods, and medications prescribed by your vet.

When it comes to the health of your pet we always recommend erring on the side of caution. Taking your dog to the vet for an examination gives your veterinarian the chance to determine the underlying cause of your pup's diarrhea and recommend the best treatment options possible.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your dog has had 2 or more bouts of diarrhea contact our knowledgable Bedford vets today. Chronic diarrhea in pets is serious and needs to be addressed by a veterinarian quickly.

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