Diarrhea in dogs can be a troubling symptom for pet parents to notice. If your pooch is suffering from a case of diarrhea, you'll want to find out what's wrong quickly. Here, our New Iberia vets discuss some of the common causes of diarrhea in dogs and how to stop it from continuing.
Diarrhea in Dogs
Our vets at All Creatures Veterinary Hospital in New Iberia commonly see dogs suffering from diarrhea for a number of reasons.
Mild spells of diarrhea are common for dogs and can be a result of mild intestinal distress from something your dog has eaten that just doesn't agree with them, like tables scraps. It can also be caused by simply changing to a new brand or flavor of dog food.
That said, there are also a number of more serious reasons why your dog could have diarrhea.
What Is The Most Common Cause Of Diarrhea In Dogs
There is no one cause that is more frequent than others. Below are some of what causes diarrhea in dogs:
- Ingesting toxins or poisons
- Eating garbage or spoiled food
- Change in diet or treats
- Ingestion of foreign objects such as toys, bones, and fabric
- Stress or anxiety
- Viral infections such as parvovirus, distemper or coronavirus
- Parasites - roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, Coccidia, or Giardia
- Intestinal cancer
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Liver or kidney disease
- Bacterial infections - such as salmonella
- Medications such as antibiotics
But how do you know whether your dog's diarrhea requires a visit to the vet?
When To Contact Your Vet
If your dog has just one episode of diarrhea but is otherwise acting normal, there isn't much cause for concern. Keep an eye on your dog's bowel movements to see if it clears up. If they suffer from more than 2 episodes or it becomes chronic, there could be a problem in which we would recommend a trip to the vet.
If your pup is straining to pass a stool but only passing small amounts of watery diarrhea, they could be experiencing a painful blockage due to the ingestion of a foreign object such as a toy. This is a very serious concern and needs veterinary attention right away, contact your vet or head to the nearest emergency animal hospital for care.
Recurring spells 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 showing other symptoms as well as diarrhea should also be seen by a vet as soon as possible. If your dog has any of the following symptoms contact your vet right away to make an appointment:
- Blood in stool
- Unusual drooling
- Lack of Appetite
- Signs of dehydration (Sunken dry-looking eyes, dry nose, or dry, sticky gums)
If your pup is displaying any symptoms that cause you concern, contact your veterinarian. Your vet will let you know whether your pet's symptoms indicate that an examination is necessary.
How to Treat Diarrhea in Dogs
Never give your dog human medications without consulting your veterinarian. Many over-the-counter medications that work well for people can be toxic to dogs.
If your dog 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 a day or two 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 might help with treating diarrhea in dogs include natural yogurt, probiotics, peeled boiled potatoes, cottage cheese, egg with no oil added, specially formulated dog foods, and medications prescribed by your vet.
When it comes to your best friend's health it is always best to err on the side of caution. By taking your pooch in for an examination you give your vet the opportunity to determine the underlying cause of your pup's diarrhea and recommend the most effective way to stop diarrhea in dogs.