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Diarrhea in Dogs: Causes & Treatments

Diarrhea in Dogs: Causes & Treatments

Diarrhea can be an extremely distressing symptom for both you and your beloved furry companion. Our Little Elm veterinary will go over various factors that can trigger diarrhea in dogs, as well as valuable tips on managing and preventing this unpleasant condition.

Diarrhea in Dogs

If you own a dog, you know that diarrhea can be a common problem. At Little Elm, our veterinarians often see furry patients suffering from this uncomfortable condition. The good news is that mild diarrhea is usually nothing to worry about. In most cases, it's caused by a simple stomach upset triggered by eating something that didn't agree with your pet, such as table scraps or a new type of food.

However, there are situations when diarrhea could signal a more serious underlying issue that requires prompt medical attention. Keep an eye on your dog's symptoms and behavior, and contact your emergency vet if you notice any of the following:

  • Blood in the stool
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy or weakness
  • Excessive thirst or urination

These symptoms could indicate a more severe gastrointestinal problem or an infection that needs to be treated. Your vet will perform a thorough exam and may recommend additional tests to diagnose the root cause of your pet's diarrhea. 

In the meantime, you can take some steps at home to help your dog feel better. Make sure they have access to plenty of fresh water to prevent dehydration. You may also want to put them on a bland diet for a day or two, such as boiled rice and chicken, to help soothe their upset stomach.

What Causes Diarrhea In Dogs?

Below are some of the most common causes of diarrhea in dogs:

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

How to Treat Diarrhea in Dogs

If your furry friend is experiencing diarrhea, it's important to handle the situation with care. Administering any human medication without consulting a veterinarian could be harmful, since many of these medicines are toxic to dogs and may even exacerbate the situation.

To begin with, if your dog has mild diarrhea with no other symptoms, it might be a good idea to let your pet fast for 12-24 hours, which may help them recover. Additionally, feeding them a bland diet for the next 24-48 hours could also help to alleviate the problem. Options like plain-cooked brown rice with chicken or canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) can be soothing for your pet and can help to stop diarrhea in dogs. Once your dog's bowel movements have returned to normal, you can gradually reintroduce their regular food.

Moreover, some natural options can help to soothe your dog's upset stomach, such as natural yogurt, probiotics, peeled boiled potatoes, cottage cheese, or a cooked egg with no oil added.

If your dog experiences frequent diarrhea with no other underlying causes, this could be an indication of chronic diarrhea due to a sensitive stomach. In such cases, it's always best to consult with your vet, who may be able to recommend medication or a specialized diet to address the issue.

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.

Is your dog experiencing frequent bouts of diarrhea? Contact our Little Elm vets today to set up an appointment for your pup.

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