When your dog has diarrhea odds are you want to stop it quickly. Here, our Hoquiam vets list the possible causes of your dog's diarrhea as well as what you can do to help your pup and when to call your vet.
Diarrhea in Dogs
Our vets in Hoquiam often see dogs suffering from diarrhea for many different reasons.
Mild episodes of diarrhea are very common among canine companions and could be the result of mild intestinal distress from your dog eating a small bit of something that didn't agree with them, like table scraps, or just switching them to a new brand or flavor of food.
But, there is also a handful of more serious health problems that can lead to your dog having diarrhea.
Possible Cause of Diarrhea in Dogs
Here are a few of the most common reasons why dogs develop diarrhea:
- Eating garbage or spoiled food
- Change in diet or treats
- Stress or anxiety
- Ingestion of foreign objects such as toys, bones, and fabric
- Ingesting toxins or poisons
- Medications such as antibiotics
- Parasites - roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, Coccidia, or Giardia
- Viral infections such as parvovirus, distemper or coronavirus
- Bacterial infections - such as salmonella
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Liver or kidney disease
- Intestinal cancer
But how can you tell if your dog's diarrhea has to be addressed by a vet?
When to Call the Vet For Your Pup's Diarrhea
If your dog has a single episode of diarrhea and is otherwise acting normal, it is likely not a cause for concern. Monitor your dog's bowel movements to see if things clear up. More than 2 episodes could indicate a problem, so it's a good idea to call your vet if your pooch has two or more bouts of diarrhea.
If your pup is straining 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 concern and needs veterinary attention right away, contact your vet or head to the nearest emergency animal hospital for care.
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 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 immediately to make an appointment:
- Blood in stool
- Lack of Appetite
- Unusual drooling
- Signs of dehydration (Sunken dry-looking eyes, dry nose, or dry, sticky gums)
If your pup is exhibiting any worrying symptoms call your veterinarian. Your vet will be able to tell you if your dog's symptoms have to be examined.
Stopping 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.
You may be able to help alleviate your dog's issue by putting them on a bland diet for 24 - 48 hours. Plain-cooked white rice with a bit of chicken and some canned plain pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) could help your canine companion's stomach feel better. When your pup feels better you can gradually reintroduce their normal food.
Other ways you might be able to help soothe your dog's upset stomach include eggs with no added oil, probiotics, cottage cheese, natural yogurt, peeled boiled potatoes, specially formulated dog foods, and medications prescribed by your vet.
When it comes to the health of your pup it's always best to err on the cautious side. By bringing your dog to the vet for an examination you are giving your veterinarian the opportunity to diagnose the underlying cause of your dog's diarrhea and recommend the most effective options for treatment.
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.