Diarrhea In Dogs

What Causes It, How to Treat It

Ordinary diarrhea in dogs is no big deal if it only lasts a day or two, but once in a while it’s a sign of a more serious problem. If it goes on for more than a couple of days, you need to look into the causes for the good of your dog’s health.

Diarrhea in dogs falls under two categories. Acute diarrhea is a case of soft stools, which will come on suddenly and last up to a week. Chronic diarrhea goes on longer than this, is more watery, and can include mucous or blood in the stool. If you haven’t noticed the diarrhea yet, but you are seeing the “butt scooting” behavior, now you know the probable reason.

“Butt Scooting” and Diarrhea in Dogs

A Side Note and A Home Remedy

Ever seen a dog scooting his butt across the floor? This is related to diarrhea. Your dog has glands that release a fluid that helps harder stools secrete more smoothly. If your dog’s been having diarrhea, then these glands have no reason to release that fluid. If it goes on too long, they glands swell and become uncomfortable. I mention this because your dog isn’t trying to wipe poop on the carpet when he does this, he’s trying to relieve pain.

The best way to help your dog with this is to cook a meal that’s high in fiber. Make sure it has something in hit he likes, like boiled chicken meat. The rest should be something that hardens in the stomach, such as rice. The food should be basically dry when served – so avoid oils and trim all fats. Adding yogurt will also help make his digestion more regular, but after he processes a high-fiber meal with no built-in lubrication, his next bathroom experience should force those glands to release their fluid build-up.

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Acute Diarrhea In Dogs

There are a few different causes for acute diarrhea in dogs. One of the biggest is stress. Stress causes digestive trouble. Moving house, adding a new pet or a baby to the family, changing your schedule (especially if it means spending more time away from home) – things like this can all lead to a sudden and brief case of diarrhea.

Sudden changes in diet can also be responsible for acute diarrhea in dogs. Dietary changes should be made gradually, by mixing the old and new foods in a proportion that shifts away from the old and toward the new. The same can be said for changing his treats. Aside from sudden changes, perhaps the new food doesn’t have enough fiber, which is what causes stool to be firm.

If acute diarrhea in dogs comes with a refusal to eat or drink, then that calls for a trip to the veterinarian and medication to help balance the stomach.

Chronic Diarrhea in Dogs

As if the appearance of mucous and blood in your dog’s stool wasn’t obvious enough, I’ll just say it: Chronic diarrhea indicates a serious a problem for your dog. Apart from whatever the cause is, this form of diarrhea indicates problems taking in nutrients that can affect your dog’s immune system.

Some of the causes of chronic diarrhea in dogs are coccidiosis, giardiasis, and worms – all of which translate into parasites living in your dog’s stomach or intestines. These parasites can be inherited from an infected mother, or can be picked up from any number of sources during the dog’s life. Talk to your vet about tracking down how your dog picked up these nasty beasts, and which medications should be given. Mosquitoes and fleas are one way these parasites can be contracted, meaning your dog may need medication for parasites both inside and outside his body. Your vet is the best source of information on dealing with the stomach parasites, but for fleas I recommend Frontline.

Parasites aren’t the only cause of chronic diarrhea. Food allergies, liver disease, kidney disease, thyroid disease, and various bowel and stomach diseases are also possibilities.

Bottom line: If your dog has chronic diarrhea,
pick up the phone and call your vet RIGHT NOW.

 General Tips РTreating or Preventing Diarrhea in Dogs

  • Make sure your dog has a good diet and the best possible food.
  • Don’t forget that treats are food too!
  • When fiber and protein go in, solid stools should come out.
  • Be careful about feeding your dog cooked bones. They can puncture the digestive system.
  • Help your dog cope with stressful changes in his life through play and exercise.
  • Don’t punish your dog for “butt scooting,” help him relieve those glands.

Learn how to train and care for a dog , or go back to the dog health page.

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