Diarrhea In Dogs Prevention
You can help prevent bouts of diarrhea by preventing access to garbage and not allowing people food. If you change your dogs diet, do it gradually by mixing in a little of the new food with the old food, gradually increasing how much of the new food you feed each day while simultaneously decreasing the amount of the old food. Ideally, diet changes should take place over the course of a week. Keep your dogs vaccinations and de-worming schedule up to date. If your dog needs antibiotics then ask your veterinarian for a probiotic to help minimize the risk of antibiotic associated diarrhea. When out for a walk or hitting the dog park, make sure your dog does not pick up trash, eat other dogs feces or drink from puddles. No one likes diarrhea but by taking a few precautions and being diligent about watching your dogs health you can help minimize the risk and impact of acute diarrhea.
My Dog Is Having Diarrhea What Do I Do
The treatment approach in addressing and managing diarrhea in dogs will ultimately depend on the severity of the condition and the underlying cause of the problem. Its best to contact your vet so a proper diagnosis and treatment protocol can be made.
Mild cases of diarrhea are often self-limiting and will correct themselves after a couple of days.Diarrhea brought about by food intolerance can be corrected by changing the diet to something that your dog isnt reactive to historically. Another alternative is transitioning the dog to a highly digestible diet for a week or so until diarrhea is resolved. A highly digestible diet will help ensure proper nutrient absorption and control intestinal peristalsis. This, in turn, will help control the dogs diarrhea.Adding fiber supplements to the dogs diet helps in several ways.
The non-fermentable component of most dietary fiber supplements helps bulk up the feces and regulate the transit of the ingesta along the intestinal tract, which helps improve the stools consistency. The fermentable component provides proper nourishment to the beneficial bacteria of the large intestine, helping improve the ability of the large intestine to solidify the feces and reabsorb water which improves the fecal consistency.
Stop Diarrhea With Over
You dont necessarily need a vets prescription to stop your pets irregular BMs, though caution should always be exercised when using medicines or supplements for your dog. Anti-diarrhea liquids, chews, and pills can be bought at almost any pet store, though your vet may have a favorite to recommend.
In some cases, notes Dr. Jerry Klein with the American Kennel Club, you may give your pup a small dose of Pepto Bismol to relieve symptoms. Typically, 1 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight is an ideal dose, though even large dogs shouldnt exceed more than a few teaspoons at a time. This medication does carry some risk of intestinal irritation and bleeding, so ask your vet before jumping in.
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Viral & Bacterial Infections
Parvovirus, often referred to as simply parvo, is a diagnosis that strikes fear in any puppy owners heart. This virus is highly contagious and wreaks havoc on your puppys immune system and body, causing severe diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, anorexia, fever, and lethargy. Treatment consists of supportive care to help your puppy fight the disease and target symptoms. A puppy with parvo will likely be admitted to the hospital for intravenous fluids , medications, and round-the-clock supervision from her veterinary team. Parvo is often fatal, especially if treatment is started too late.
Thankfully, there is an effective vaccination for parvo, and it is included in the routine puppy series. Your puppy will receive several rounds of the vaccine depending on her age. Its essential to get your puppy to her booster appointments on time even one missed vaccination can leave her unprotected. Once she has finished her puppy series, the following year she can either get a one-year or three-year vaccine.
Avoid places with other dogs, such as dog parks, boarding kennels, and popular dog-walking spots until she is fully vaccinated. Only allow her to interact with dogs that you know are vaccinated. If your puppy does get parvo, she will need to be kept away from unvaccinated dogs and puppies to prevent spreading it to them.
When Should I Contact My Vet
With such a diverse range of potential ailments, it can be difficult to know when you should contact your vet about your canine companion’s diarrhea!
If your dog has a single episode of diarrhea and displays no other symptoms, it is likely not a cause for concern. Monitor your dog’s bowel movements to see if diarrhea persists. More than 2 episodes could indicate a problem, so it’s a good idea to call your vet if diarrhea has persisted for three or more episodes.
If your dog is straining to pass small amounts of watery diarrhea, they could be experiencing a painful blockage due to the ingestion of a toy or another foreign object. This is a very serious concern and needs veterinary attention right away, and you should contact your vet or the nearest emergency animal hospital for care immediately.
Recurring bouts of diarrhea over a short period of time could be a sign of a very serious health issue, particularly if the patient 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 pet is experiencing repeated episodes of diarrhea.
Dogs presenting additional symptoms alongside diarrhea should be seen by a vet as soon as possible. If your dog has any of the following symptoms, consider contacting a vet right away to make an appointment:
- Blood in stool
- Signs of dehydration
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Diet Change Or Food Intolerance
If you need to change your puppys food for whatever reason, its best to make a slow transition over 7 to 10 days unless otherwise instructed by your veterinarian. A sudden switch in diet can cause diarrhea.
Another possibility is that your dog is intolerant or sensitive to certain foods. Consult with your vet to figure out foods that are best for your puppy.
Guidelines For Safe Use
Metronidazole is considered very safe. However, it should not be prescribed to pregnant bitches or young puppies, and should be considered carefully before being prescribed to dogs that are nursing. It may also not be suitable for pets with kidney disease, liver disease, neutropenia , or seizure disorders.
Before using any medication for your pet, its best to speak to your veterinarian. You should:
- Discuss any other medicine your dog is taking and the dogs medical conditions.
- Be cautious when using the drug for extended periods of time, since adverse effects are more common during long-term use.
- If you are giving your dog metronidazole to remedy diarrhea, be sure to provide lots of fresh water to prevent the dog from becoming dehydrated.
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Antibiotics And Probiotics For Diarrhea
A common request that gets made when I see a puppy or adult dog with diarrhea, is asking for antibiotics to be given.
The simple truth is that in the vast majority of cases of diarrhea in dogs, antibiotics play no role in an individuals treatment.
In actual fact, because antibiotics dont target just the bad bacteria, giving antibiotics will also wipe out the good bacteria that are needed for a healthy intestine. This can make diarrhea worse as well as last longer.
Probiotics are also another commonly requested and used diarrhea treatment. High-quality probiotics can play a role in speeding up recovery. Fortiflora is a high quality brand that I recommend – get it fast from or from Chewy. However, this may mean that the diarrhea only clears up 12-24 hours earlier than it would have done anyway, provided an appropriate diet is also being fed.
Probiotics are living bacteria and are very sensitive to handling and storage. It is all too easy to spend money on a product that has been stored for too long, or been allowed to warm up in the sun, and so be rendered completely useless.
You can decide for yourself if this improvement is worth the cost of probiotics, and if you want to try them, be careful of the product you choose and where you buy them from.
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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Probiotics Can Be Useful In Treating Puppies With Diarrhea
Probiotics are a type of food supplement that are useful in restoring the health of the intestinal system. Probiotics supply good bacteria to the intestinal tract. These medications are useful in correcting the changes that occur in a puppys intestinal tract as a result of stress, parasites, a change in diet, or other intestinal disease.
When choosing a probiotic, it is advisable to choose a product that is formulated for dogs as opposed to a human probiotic product. Though the concept is similar, the bacteria normally found in the intestinal tract of a dog is different than that found in a person. The probiotic products chosen should contain bacteria that are native to the species being treated, in this case the canine species.
A Puppy Whos Not Growing
If your puppy isn’t growing, they are a bit thin or not gaining weight as you’d expect, then there are a couple of other conditions that we need to think about.
Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency is the inability of a dog to properly digest food, especially fats, due to a lack of digestive enzymes made by the pancreas. As a result, a lot of the energy remains trapped withing the undigested food which is then lost in a dogs poop. Very often, dogs suffering from EPI will have very greasy stools that can also be very pale. They are effectively pooing out a lot of fat.
Some dogs, for one reason or another, can also develop vitamin B12 deficiency. This can be due to intestinal disease or result from other causes of long-term diarrhea.
In both cases, at least in the early stages, a puppy will still appear bright and happy with no other outward signs of disease.
These are also diseases that will need to be diagnosed by your vet. Investigating diarrhea that does not respond to simple, symptomatic treatment can involve analysing a stool sample in the laboratory. If this happens, then it is ideal to take one sample every day for three days and then send this combined sample for analysis to maximize the chance of finding the problem .In the case of EPI or vitamin deficiency, a blood test can be run to make the diagnosis.
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What To Do If Your Puppy Has Diarrhea
Its important to speak to a vet as soon as possible if your puppy has diarrhea. Your vet will likely run a test on a fresh stool sample to screen for parasites. Worms such as Roundworm and Whipworm, or Protozoa such as Giardia and Coccidia are very common causes of diarrhea in puppies.
Your vet will request further information about the health of your puppy, specifically whether she is vaccinated for diseases such as Distemper and Parvovirus. Though these are less common, both cause diarrhea and have a high mortality rate. The diarrhea is usually profuse and the puppy will appear very unwell.
Other things to consider include a recent change in diet, environment, or addition of training treats. These are much more common causes of diarrhea in dogs. The symptoms are mild and usually your pup will appear well and happy if these are the cause.
Your vet will be able to determine whether your pup needs further diagnostics or if some simple remedies can be tried at home.
Feed Several Small Servings Of Bland Diet
Instead of feeding your dog with its usual food, just give it some small servings of bland diet through a day. You can choose either of things for a bland diet such as: cooked white rice, cottage cheese, boiled chicken with no skin, no grease, scrambled egg, boiled egg, boiled potato, baked potato .
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Take Away All Food And Water For 24 Hours
When the dog has diarrhea, food in its gut cannot be normal digested but pushed too quickly through the form of watery stools. Therefore, the first priority on how to treat dog diarrhea is that you should take away food for 12-24 hours in order for the bowel wall of the dog to calm down and work as normal .
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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When To Call Your Vet
If your puppy has just had a couple bouts of loose stool and is otherwise happy and doing great, there is no need to panic. It will likely resolve on its own.
Signs to call your veterinarian to schedule an appointment:
- Diarrhea that lasts more than a day
- Bloody or black stool
- Painful behaviorhunched posture, tense, or crying out
- Known ingestion of a non-food item or a toxic substance
What Is The Most Common Cause Of Diarrhea In Dogs
Here are some of the most common causes of diarrhea in dogs:
- Anxiety or stress
- Eating spoiled food or garbage
- Change in food, treats or other elements of diet
- Parasites hookworms, whipworms, roundworms, Giardia or Coccidia
- Bacterial infections such as salmonella
- Viral infections such as coronavirus, parvovirus or distemper
- Ingestion of foreign objects such as fabric, toys or bones
- Infesting poisons or toxins
But how can you tell whether your dog’s diarrhea requires a vet visit?
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When The Fast Is Over Only Give Your Dog A Bland Diet Full Of Flavorless Food
When reintroducing food into your dogs life, its imperative that you stick to a bland diet. When you feed your dog bland foods, you ensure that there arent any irritants entering your pets system. Even the slightest bit of flavor or additive can upset your dogs stomach all over again, so a bland diet is the way to go.
One example of the perfect food is white rice. While it still has a slight hint of flavor, white rice is very easy on the stomach. Additionally, white rice is easier to digest so your dog’s digestive system will break down white rice with a lot more ease than it would take to digest something more complex.
That’s the major takeaway about a diet of white riceit’s very simple, and simple is key when helping your dog recover from a case of diarrhea. White rice on its own might be a bit of a bore for your dog, so feel free to combine white rice with something like plain chicken. The protein will help your dog build up any muscles that were weakened by the diarrhea situation as well.
What If Theres Mucus In The Poop
Mucus can be a normal part of your dogs stools. Mucus coats the digestive tract and allows waste to slip through the digestive tract more easily. But if theres sudden mucus with diarrhea or there are excessive amounts, it could be caused by:
- Bacterial infections
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis or colitis
Overall, if your dog is acting normally, mucus and diarrhea arent typically a cause for concern. But if your dog isnt looking like himself, its best to make an appointment with your holistic vet. If your dog is otherwise feeling fine, its safe to manage most cases of diarrhea with home remedies.
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The Canine Digestive System
The dogs digestive system is a complex apparatus specifically designed to process food from the mechanical grounding in the mouth through nutrient absorption in the intestines to eliminating non-digestible items via the anal opening.
To simplify the canine GI tract, imagine a long pipe with two opening points the mouth as entrance and the anus as an exit. Digestion occurs alongside the entire pipe, but different processes take place at different points within the pipe.