Doggy diarrhea can result from a change in diet, an infection, or something else. It can also hint at a more severe condition like cancer. If your dog has diarrhea for more than a day or two and shows other signs of illness, or if you feel concerned, you can talk to a vet. Even if it is a common problem in dogs, paying attention to your pet’s stool and consulting with your veterinarian is advisable. After all, diarrhea can be mild, intermittent, and even severe. In some cases, it can prove life-threatening. Mild cases may improve without medical intervention, but severe cases may require treatment.
Diarrhea caused by food mostly happens when they eat something improper – stale food, garbage, or table scraps. Some causes of diarrhea in pups include infections, dietary indiscretion, intestinal problems, and systematic disorders. Infections can occur due to parasites, bacteria, and viruses. Intestine-related causes can be inflammation, allergy to a specific food item, etc. Or, if the case is severe, the culprit can be hidden medical conditions like liver, kidney, or cancer issues. Anyway, treatment will depend on the underlying cause. A doctor can recommend simple dietary changes or medications.
One of the worries that pet parents often face is: my dog has diarrhea but is acting fine. The experts say that you cannot take diarrhea lightly because it can be a sign of a problematic condition – there can be something wrong with your pet friend’s intestinal tract. So, make sure you observe his health closely. If it improves naturally, you can relax. But prolonged bouts need proper attention and investigation. Here are some more vital insights into this.
Treating diarrhea at home
You can consider helping your dog with his diarrhea problem at home if he looks alright in terms of energy and appetite. There should not be any vomiting problem. Also, he has taken his vaccines for the distemper virus, parvovirus, etc. Then, it will be safer to treat him at home if he doesn’t have any health complications, such as cancer, kidney-related, and Addison’s disease. You don’t have to worry much if your pet is young, but you cannot take risks with older adults.
Do you know what Addison’s disorder is? It can affect the adrenal glands that produce hormones aiding the body’s metabolism, immunity, and blood pressure. When these glands suffer, your pet’s health can be at risk. Usually, one to four year older dogs face this, but it can happen at any age. But females are more susceptible. And some of the breeds most likely to fall sick from this include Great Danes and Standard Poodles, among others. The disease can be of two types – primary and secondary. One can happen due to illness of the adrenal glands, while the other is due to the pituitary gland.
If your dog has developed this disease, some symptoms will be appetite loss, diarrhea, weakness, laziness, stomach pain, vomiting, etc. The untreated condition can even prove fatal. That’s why vets recommend keeping a watch on your dog’s health, even if they look fine while having diarrhea. Since it is treatable, you must not take any risks.
If you think you can manage your pet’s condition for a day or little more, you have to ensure a few things from your end. For example, let your dog rest in comfortable surroundings. Create some space for your pet close to the door to deal with those accidental poop situations. Regarding meal time, keeping a gap of about 12 hours can be good for their gastrointestinal tract. It will get time to heal and relax. So avoid giving treats, snacks, and meals. But you have to keep your little friend well hydrated. Rice water can be helpful for their digestion. While it supplies minerals and energy, the water will also minimize the issue of bloating. Use white rice for this purpose. Or, you can even give it electrolyte solutions.
Dealing with a medical emergency
You love your dog and care for its wellbeing. Hence, you may not remain calm when you find your beloved is suffering. But as said, some diarrhea cases resolve naturally. That said, you cannot relax and wait for it to worsen. Some patients require immediate or urgent attention. Suppose the dog has consumed a toxic or poisonous thing by mistake or some foreign objects like clothes. If you notice your pet is not as energetic and healthy as it used to be, you will not want to delay a vet’s appointment. Or poor appetite or bouts of vomiting after every meal or water drinking session can also be a warning. Make sure there are no blood traces in the vomiting. If it has, you must alert the vet.
Whether the condition of diarrhea persists beyond 24 to 36 hours even after treatment at home or recurs at small gaps, it’s a sign of trouble. Blood spots in the poop or black stool are also an emergency. Besides, worms in vomiting and stool, bloating, and whitish or grayish gums also indicate that they need medical help.
Small and large intestinal diarrhea signs
The vet can ask you many questions about your dog’s food, behaviors, habits, and other critical things to understand the possible cause of diarrhea. Based on your information, they can recommend a few tests and medications. Diarrhea can be of two types – small intestine and large intestine related. These two conditions require different approaches. A new diet, toxins, viruses, parasites, ingesting foreign items, and others can lead to the previous condition. When affected by this, a dog can pass too much stool 3 to 5 times daily. Vomiting, gut sounds, and weight loss are other traits.
In the other case, they can poop in small quantities more frequently. There can be severe medical issues behind this, such as colon ulcers, cancer, and more. There can be signs of blood or mucus in it. Problems like weight or appetite loss will not be there. But this doesn’t mean your pet is safe.
Taking your vet’s opinion never hurts. Instead, you can get better suggestions to manage your puppy’s health. Since you cannot accurately predict or assess your pet’s health based on external signs, playing safe is always better.