What Stools Say About Your Dogs Health
The consistency and color of diarrhea reveal a lot about the cause of the problem and what is happening in your dog. Take very careful note of the color, consistency, and anything else that might help when you describe the symptoms to a vet. In many cases, diarrhea will resolve after a few days of home treatment, but its a good idea to give your vet a call if it continues for a long period or has any one of several signs that may point to a serious problem.
This infographic from Purina gives you an idea of a perfect dog poop, which is chocolate brown, shaped like logs, compact, and easy to scoop. Experts say it should feel like cookie dough or Play-Doh when pressed. Large volumes, pudding-like or watery consistency, or signs of mucus , or blood streaks, are not normal.
Take Note of the Color of the Poop
Color can also indicate a lot about what is going on inside your dogs gut. Chocolate brown is normal, while colors like orange, green, or gray may signify issues with such organs as liver, gall bladder, or pancreas. Black tarry stool is very serious, and may point to internal bleeding. If you see this, contact your vet as soon as possible.
Purina has also provided a handy referencea color wheel of dog poop.
Color, shape, and consistency will all help you and your vet figure out what is wrong when your dog gets diarrhea. These factors will help your vet determine where the problem is originating along the dogs digestive tract.
Other Ways to Decipher Dog Poop
Feed Your Dog A Bland Diet
After fasting, introduce food slowly and start with bland foods that can help normalize your dogs stool consistency. Some proven methods include:
- Rice water Involves boiling high-quality rice in plenty of water, removing the grains, and giving the creamy white soup thats left to your dog.
- Plain and unseasoned white rice can help cure your dogs diarrhea and prevent dehydration. Its easily digestible and can absorb water in the GI tract to stabilize the stool.
- Canned pumpkin is effective for canine diarrhea and constipation. Pumpkin powder made for pets is also an alternative if you cant get canned pumpkin. Read more about the benefits of pumpkin for dogs here.
- Probiotics or yogurts contain beneficial bacteria that will promote digestion and alleviate diarrhea.
- Boiled chicken is also recommended for your dog if they have diarrhea. Ensure its skinless, boneless, plain, and unseasoned. If your dog has chicken allergy, you can try other poultry meat, like duck or turkey.
Another great option is turning to dog food thats designed with sensitive stomachs in mind.
Vet nutritionists at Spot and Tango have formulated a range of dry UnKibble and wet fresh recipes that are perfect for the sensitive stomach. The meals are easily digestible, which means it goes easy on the stomach, and can help prevent issues with diarrhea.
Introduce Both Prebiotics And Probiotics Into Your Dog’s Life
Small amounts of prebiotics and probiotics will help your dog as well. Both of these supplements are great for balancing the gut with healthy bacteria. Probiotics benefit the immune system as a whole whereas prebiotics help your dog’s colon maintain homeostasis. Its all about repopulating your dogs body with everything it needs to get back to a healthy state of being.
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How To Know When Diarrhea Is A Medical Emergency
When in doubt, call your veterinarian or an emergency hospital for advice.
Questions? To chat with a veterinarian about your dog’s diarrhea,
What To Watch For
Take notice of how your puppy looks and acts. If he or she is being their happy self, playing, alert, eating, drinking, and doesnt have diarrhea again that day, then theres likely no issue. It could be just a one-time thing.
However, if your dog is showing these signs, you should reach out to your veterinarian:
- Continues to have diarrhea
- Looks sick
- Stops eating and drinking
The cause may be treatable from home. Even so, you should consult with your vet for guidance and see if veterinary care is needed.
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What To Feed A Dog With Diarrhea
Feeding a dog with diarrhea is, in fact, much simpler than it sounds. The right diet for diarrheic dogs is made of one or two simple yet high-quality ingredients and needs to be offered frequently but in small amounts, as you do not want to burden the GI tract.
Here are some ideas on feeding a dog with diarrhea:
A Tip From Pawp Veterinarian
When discussing the causes of puppy diarrhea, Pawp veterinarian Dr. Laura Robinson has this important note, âDiarrhea is never normal for a puppy, just like it is never normal for us. There are many causes for diarrhea in puppies, but… If you are worried about your puppyâs bowel movements, then we advise making an appointment with your veterinarian. If in doubt, it is always worth a visit to your veterinarian, especially if your dog is also exhibiting other symptoms such as vomiting, not eating, or acting lethargic.â
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How To Prevent Diarrhea In Dogs
Did you know there are certain measures you can take to prevent diarrhea in dogs? Of course, these measures are not foolproof and your dog might come down with a case of diarrhea anyway, but it doesnt hurt to try!
These same measures can be applied when youre trying to stop your dogs diarrhea from progressing further as well. For the sake of simplicity, weve combined the prevention measures into a five-step guide for stopping diarrhea in dogs. Without further ado, here are five steps to stopping diarrhea in dogs.
How To Stop Diarrhea In Dogs Without A Trip To The Vet
Diarrhea in dogs must be taken seriously observe your pet closely until their stools begin to harden. Regular diarrhea or one that lasts longer than few days requires a vet’s attention. But when your pet is having a bout of loose stool for the first time, knowing how to stop diarrhea in dogs by yourself can save you a trip to the vet.
Diarrhea is the bodys way to remove toxins and cleanse itself, and all dogs will have diarrhea from time to time. Typically, it’s a result of a minor stomach upset. Your dog probably ate something that didn’t agree with him. It could also be due to an allergic reaction, stress or even a bacterial infection.
If your dog’s diarrhea is paired with any of these below symptoms:
- Blood in the stool
you need to consult your veterinarian right away. Multiple symptoms is a sure sign that something more serious is going on. If your pet’s loose stool has continued for more than 48 hours, bring them to see a vet because the dog can become dehydrated.
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Dog Diarrhea: When Is It Serious And How Do I Stop It
One of the most common problems we see in veterinary medicine is gastrointestinal upset/diarrhea. Sometimes it surprises me how quickly some clients will rush their dog to the clinic because of a little soft stool. Im sure part of it is because they dont want to be cleaning up messes all over the house, but it is also because they are genuinely concerned that the cause may be something serious. So what causes diarrhea in dogs? When should you worry and consult your veterinarian? What can you do at home before you see the doctor?Causes of diarrhea in dogsThis would be an extremely long list if we went into everything that can cause your dog to have loose stools, but here are some of the top causes:
What can you do to help stop diarrhea in dogs?Obviously some of these causes require specific therapy, but some of them may resolve on their own with simple supportive care. In those cases what might your veterinarian suggest that you do at home?
When is diarrhea in dogs an emergency?First of all, you know your dog best. If you are concerned, do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian. That is what your vets there for: to advise you. Be aware that there are some aspects of diarrhea that are more alarming, and some consequences that can be quite concerning.To start with, one way to classify diarrhea is as either small bowel or large bowel diarrhea:
- Loss of appetite or thirst
- Blood in the stool
- Associated vomiting
Other Things That Can Help With Diarrhea
In addition to rest, fasting, and a bland diet, there are some other things you may find helpful in dealing with diarrhea issues at home.
Probiotics may be helpful when dealing with diarrhea. Since the digestive tract makes up about 60 to 80% of your pets immune system, keeping it healthy is important. Probiotics help support a healthy immune system by keeping the intestinal bacteria in good balance and aiding in digestion. You can try regular, unflavored, probiotic-rich yogurt , or you can pick up a probiotic like Purinas FortiFlora, Nutramaxs Proviable , VetriScience Fast Balance GI Paste, VetriScience Vetri Probiotic BD, or Iams Prostora Max.
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Apply Natural Remedies To The Situation So That The Body Can Heal From The Diarrhea
CBD is an amazing remedy for healing the body after dog diarrhea symptoms go away. Once the dog diarrhea passes and your dog is back to pooping normally, your pets body is going to be really sore. Dog diarrhea is not easy on the body, so introducing CBD into your dogs daily routine will help your pet feel much better.
Foods To Soothe Dog Diarrhea
It may come as a surprise to some, but its true that eating, not withholding, certain foods can help with canine diarrhea. Not all dogs react the same to any food or remedy, though, so dont worry too much if this doesnt do the trick.
When your fur baby is on the road to recovery, these very same foods will be the best to add back in first. They are bland and non-irritating to her stomach, which is exactly what she needs.
White rice and unseasoned, boiled chicken is a staple in the canine recovery diet just ask the veterinary pros with the American Kennel Club . It helps give your pet the nutrients she needs to stay healthy while avoiding any extra ingredients that may upset her stomach.
A little bone broth poured over the chicken and rice, or even served alone, will go a long way in enticing your dog to eat. If you buy your broth, watch out for added sodium and seasonings, which can do more harm than good. This is not a worry if you make bone broth from home, though.
A small number of cultured dairy products, like yogurt and cottage cheese, can help your pups gut bacteria balance itself out, thanks to probiotics. Of course, you should opt for something else if you have a lactose-intolerant pooch at home.
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Why Do Puppies Get Diarrhea
Diarrhea can be associated with viruses like parvovirus and distemper. It can also be caused by intestinal parasites like whipworms and hookworms, protozoa like giardia, and bacteria like salmonella and E. coli. Some types of intestinal parasites can require several tests to obtain a diagnosis. Puppies can also develop diarrhea from a sudden new environmental change, like abrupt changes in diet, the stress of coming to a new home, being overfed, or from indiscriminate eating .
When Should A Puppy With Diarrhoea Visit The Vet
If your puppy has diarrhoea it can be tricky to know whether or not it warrants a visit to the vet. There are however a number of different signs you can watch out for to determine whether or not you should take them.
The first and perhaps most common is to check that there is no blood present in the stools. Blood in diarrhoea is never a good sign and is something that should be taken seriously if you see this, take your puppy to see your local vet as soon as possible.
Are their stools black and tarry? If so this could be the sign of a more serious problem. This type of stool becomes present when a pup has the presence of digested blood in their intestines. It could also mean that there is some type of internal bleeding going on in their body.
There are a number of other signs to watch out for, including loss of appetite and frequent vomiting. If your puppy has not displayed any of the above signs whilst suffering from diarrhoea, its likely that they do not need to see the vet, unless their diarrhoea is frequent or has lasted longer than two or three days.
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What Your Dogs Poop Can Tell You
The color and consistency of your dogs poop can tell you a lot about the cause of diarrhea and whats happening.
Carefully examine your dogs poop if they have diarrhea to gather as much detail as possible for the vet. Look out for:
- Consistency Canine fecal consistency is usually scored on a scale of one to seven. You can find a detailed explanation on this article from Healthline.
- Shape Oddly shaped poop or poop with objects can tell you what your dog ate. White shapes like rice can signify a tapeworm infestation, while strings, wood, or grass can show your dog ate something they couldnt digest.
- Frequency When your pet poops small amounts several times in an hour while straining, it can tell you that the large bowel has inflammation. Three or more times with large volumes can tell you that theres a disorder with the small bowel.
Why Dogs Get Diarrhea
There can be many causes of diarrhea in dogs. Typically, dogs will vomit or have diarrhea due to:
- Eating something toxic or a foreign object
- Too many table scraps or fatty foods like grease, bacon, etc. can also upset your dog’s stomach
- Food allergy
- Rapid food change
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Metabolic disease: kidney disease, pancreatitis, thyroid disease, and others
- Viral or bacterial conditions, like hemorrhagic gastroenteritis
- Reaction to medications
When fecal matter moves through the intestines faster than normal, and there is decreased absorption of water, nutrients, and electrolytes, the result is diarrhea. It is a symptom of diseases or other issues like toxins, foreign body ingestion, etc., that affect the small intestines, large intestines, or other organs outside the gastrointestinal tract.
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Consider Supplements And/or Medication
Finally, you may want to consider some additional measures, such as diet supplements or medications, to treat your dogs diarrhea. Pumpkin can be used to alleviate dog diarrhea and probiotics can be useful to maintain a healthy microbial balance in your dogs intestines. Check with your vet to see if medication might be necessary when treating your dogs diarrhea.
Does Metronidazole Have Side Effects
Though its rare, some dogs may suffer from neurotoxic side effects, such as paralysis in all four legs, or they may have an allergic reaction hives, rash, rapid heartbeat, or difficulty breathing. If this happens, contact a veterinarian right away because an allergic reaction can become dangerous quickly or may even be life-threatening.
Some more common side effects your dog may experience include:
Dogs who receive too much of this medicine, or those treated with metronidazole for extended periods of time, will need emergency veterinary attention if they experience:
- Irregular or abnormally slow heartbeat
- Stiffness or muscle spasms
- Dilated pupils or eye twitching
Intestinal inflammation, parasites, bacterial infections and their accompanying symptoms, such as diarrhea, are serious adversaries for our dogs. Thankfully, we are able to utilize powerful medical weapons such as metronidazole to help them recover.
This article is designed to help inform you about metronidazole in dogs and is not meant to take the place of veterinary advice and consultation.
AKC is a participant in affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to akc.org. If you purchase a product through this article, we may receive a portion of the sale.
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Diarrhea Can Cause Nutrient Deficiency
The small intestine is where dogs absorb most of their nutrients from what they ingest. Therefore, when the cause of diarrhea relates to the small intestines, your dog is missing out on a lot of the nutrients they would normally gain from their food. In addition to diarrhea, issues of the small intestines usually cause vomiting and weight loss .
Questions? To chat with a veterinarian about your dog’s diarrhea,