Supporting Digestive Insufficiency In Your Dog
Dogs with digestive insufficiency often have large bowel movements, even if theyre on a raw diet. This means theyre not digesting their food well. This doesnt apply to kibble fed dogs, who have large bowel movements from fillers in the food.
Adding apple cider vinegar to the food can help relieve digestive insufficiency.
Dosing Apple Cider Vinegar: Start with 1/4 tsp and work up to 1/2 tsp per day, depending on how your dog is doing.
You can also add digestive enzymes like papain and bromelain. But rule out other causes first before giving enzyme supplements. You want your dogs body to produce its own digestive enzymes if it can.
What Is Diarrhea In Puppies And What Are The Common Symptoms
Diarrhea is a condition in which the stool is loose and watery. Diarrhea may be accompanied by vomiting, dehydration, loss of appetite, and fever and depends on the underlying cause. Veterinarians will determine what type of diarrhea your puppy has. For example, veterinarians separate diarrhea into small and large bowel types. These different types have different symptoms, causes and treatments.
With small bowel diarrhea, puppies will have a normal bowel movement frequency but will experience diarrhea. For example, if your puppy normally has 2-3 bowel movements per day, he or she will continue to have 2-3 bowel movements but will be diarrheic. Puppies that have small bowel diarrhea have weight loss, poor body condition, vomiting and flatulence.
Diarrhea in puppies that originates from the large bowel, or colon, typically presents with clinical symptoms of straining to defecate, mucous or blood in the stool, cramping and increased frequency of bowel movements . There typically aren’t any signs of weight loss or appetite changes with large bowel diarrhea in puppies.
Why You Should Use Extreme Caution With Imodium
Imodium is a synthetic opioid. All opioids are known to cause constipation. They work by slowing down gut motility which allows for more fluid and salts to be drawn back into the body system.
Imodium, when administered at safe levels, is not helpful for pain and, therefore, will not relieve any abdominal discomfort your dog may have. While, in some cases, Imodium may help, there are others where it can cause potentially serious side effects. Some of these side effects include constipation, sedation, bloating, and even pancreatitis.
You should never give Imodium to your dog if:
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Diarrhea Symptoms To Look Out For
Because diarrhea could be a one-time reaction to something minor or point to more serious issues, its important for pet parents to keep an eye out for other symptoms that can be associated with diarrhea.
Depending on the cause and severity of the diarrhea, some puppies will be otherwise unaffected and act completely normal, Dr. Evans said. A puppy who seems to be unaffected by his diarrhea is definitely the best-case scenario.
However, diarrhea can cause abdominal pain, lethargy, dehydration, lack of appetite, and can also be associated with vomiting, he continued. And these diarrhea symptoms are the ones that raise red flags.
Effectiveness Of Home Remedies
There are a number of home remedies that work well for simple cases of diarrhea. Many owners will withhold food for 12 to 24 hours to let their dogs stomach settle down. This can be especially helpful if you know your dog ate trash or something similar.
In addition to fasting, or sometimes in place of, many owners replace their dogs normal food with white rice and boiled chicken. This easy-to-digest meal soothes the stomach and normalizes digestion. Adding canned plain pumpkin to this mix or to your dogs normal food can also be effective.
If these remedies normally work for your dog but arent doing the trick this time, thats a good sign your pup needs to see a vet. Underlying health conditions wont respond to stomach-soothing remedies. Its best to have a full workup done to assure nothing major is causing your dogs sickness.
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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.
Food Allergies And Sensitivities
In some instances, diarrhea can occur even when your dog is on a proper diet of quality food. This can happen if your dog has food allergies or sensitivities to certain ingredients.
Whats the difference between a food allergy and a food sensitivity?
A food allergy is similar to seasonal allergies and bee sting reactions in that the immune system is involved. When your dog experiences a true food allergy, the food is digested normally, but an immune response occurs in the gut or the bloodstream. Proteins most commonly trigger this immune response as the body mistakes the food particle for an invading virus or bacteria.
Food allergies most often result in reactions like hives or itchy, irritated skin. In severe cases, they can trigger anaphylaxis. In some dogs, food allergies can lead to loose stool and vomiting.
Much more likely to cause loose stool is a food sensitivity. Unlike allergies that involve the immune system, food sensitivities are usually restricted to reactions within the gut. Food sensitivities are often a sign of deeper issues, such as the inability to create certain enzymes, larger digestive disease, or chronic stress.
Most commonly, food allergies cause symptoms like excessive itchiness and inflamed skin, but in some cases, they can also cause diarrhea.
Highly processed food seems to cause more issues than foods in their natural state. If your dog seems sensitive to a wide array of ingredients, you may consider a raw diet.
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Symptoms Of Diarrhea Due To Diet In Dogs
When your dog is suffering from diarrhea they will likely have frequent bowel movements that are loose or watery. There are other signs to watch for that will indicate that your dog has diarrhea. Diarrhea can quickly become a concern because your dog can become dehydrated. Call your veterinarian for an appointment if you suspect your dog has diarrhea. Other symptoms of diarrhea to watch for include:
- Anxiously needing to go outside quickly
- Having bowel movements in the house
How To Test For Pancreatic Stress
There are two ways you can test for pancreatic stress. One is a test you can do at home. The other is a test your vet can run.Energy Testing At Home:
- Feel your dogs body at the stomach point, which is behind the last rib.
- Then move your hands up to his spine.
- Notice if he is very sensitive or twitchy in that part of his back.
- This can mean theres insufficient energy flow to the pancreas and stomach.
Testing With Your Vet:
The second way you can assess your dogs pancreatic function is by asking your vet for a Trypsin test. A TLI is a blood test that measures the enzymatic function of the pancreas.
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Kidney Or Liver Disease
Diarrhea is a common symptom of dogs with kidney or liver disease. Causes of kidney disease include age, trauma, toxic ingestion, cancer, parasites, amyloidosis , congenital disorders and bacterial infections. Other signs of a serious health issue include a hunched over posture, not wanting to move, weight loss, vomiting, blood present in urine, lack of appetite and an increase or decrease in urine.
A visit with your veterinarian will help determine the exact cause of your dogâs diarrhea. Donât wait to schedule an exam if the problem persists for more than a couple of days.
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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.
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Puppy Has Diarrhea But Still Playful: What Can You Do At Home
As soon as you notice your pup going potty more often than usual, you should be on high alert. Observe the poops color and consistency as best as you can. Check for other symptoms like lethargy, high temperature, and signs of pain.
No matter how mild the symptoms look, its best to get your vets opinion. A simple call detailing your puppys condition will let the vet give you the best course of action. Try collecting a sample of the pups poop and take it to the vet. That will enable the vet to diagnose the underlying cause more accurately.
If your vet deems hospitalization unnecessary, you can start treating your pup at home. Many dog owners suggest that puppies suffering from diarrhea should be fasted for at least 12 hours to give their digestive system a rest. While it is an effective treatment for adult dogs, its not recommended for puppies. Instead, here are eight better ways to get rid of diarrhea in puppies.
Additional Tips For Dealing With Diarrhea In Puppies
– Always provide plenty of fresh water for your puppy to drink. This will help prevent dehydration.
– Offer a small amount of bland food, such as boiled chicken or white rice, every 3-4 hours.
– If you are concerned that your puppy is not drinking enough fluids, you can add canned puppy food to their meals for the extra moisture benefits.
– Add a small amount of bran to their meals, either with bran cereal or canned pumpkin.
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Dietary Causes Of Diarrhea In Puppies
One of the most common reasons puppies have diarrhea is due to dietary indiscretion. This means that your puppy ate something he or she shouldn’t have, such as garbage, spoiled food, or a foreign object. Puppies are notorious for getting into things they’re not supposed to and can easily ingest something that doesn’t agree with them. Dietary food allergies and intolerances are also a factor if your puppy has chronic diarrhea. If your puppy has diarrhea and you can’t think of anything he or she could have eaten, it’s a good idea to bring your pup in for a visit to your veterinarian.
What You Can Do To Support Your Puppy
If your veterinarian has determined that your puppy does not need to be treated for a viral or bacterial infection, you can focus on helping your puppy feel better. After an episode of diarrhea, it can take up to a week for your puppys gut lining to regenerate and their stool to return to a normal consistency. Fortunately, theres a lot you can do to support your puppys developing digestive and immune systems.
Here are some tips:
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What Is The Most Common Cause Of Diarrhea In Dogs
Below are some of the most common reasons for diarrhea in dogs:
- Stress or anxiety
- Signs of dehydration
If your pooch is displaying any symptoms that cause you concern, contact your veterinarian. Your vet will let you know whether your pet’s symptoms indicate that an examination is necessary.
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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The Most Common Causes Of Diarrhea In Dogs
Whether its whining to go out in the middle of the night or waking up to a soiled rug, diarrhea isnt a fun experience for you or your dog. If youre hoping to reduce the frequency of your dogs stomach troubles or just wanting to avoid them altogether, identifying the cause of your dogs upset stomach is the first step you need to take.
Diarrhea occurs when food material moves too fast through the digestive tract resulting in reduced water absorption. This can be the result of anything from toxins in the system to emotional upset.
To find out whats causing your dogs gut to work too fast for its own good, lets look at the most common reasons diarrhea occurs in dogs.
Help Your Dog Feel Better
Patrick Mahaney VMD, CVA, CVJ suggests some ways to soothe your puppys insides:
- Keep your puppy hydrated with water or ice cubes to lick.
- Fast for 8, 12 or 24 hours while monitoring your puppy closely.
- Introduce bland foods like white rice, boiled chicken, vegetable broth.
- Try fiber-rich foods like cooked sweet potato or canned pumpkin to get stool back to normal.
- Give probiotics to replenish your puppys gut health. They come in a variety of forms like powders, capsules, chews, and yogurt or kefir.
- Prebiotic foods nourish and promote growth of good bacteria living in the colon. Finely ground psyllium husk is also a prebiotic.
- Ask your veterinarian about Rx Clay, which calms down and detoxifies the gastrointestinal tract.
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When Is Diarrhea A More Serious Concern
If diarrhea is extremely frequent or if it’s lasted longer than 2 or 3 days, you may want to contact your vet for assistance. But there are some other issues that typically warrant a call to the vet even sooner:
- Blood. Blood in your pup’s poop is a serious sign that can mean something is wrong other than basic food discomfort or stress. Call your vet as soon as possible if you see this sign.
- Black or tarry stools. Thick, sticky, very dark stools are also signs of potential internal issues and warrant an ASAP call to your vet.
- Loss of appetite. If your pup isn’t eating much or at all, check in with your vet on what steps you should take to care for him.
- Frequent vomiting. Pups that can’t even keep water or food down could be at risk of dehydration, and this might indicate something serious is wrong, so check with your vet if you see this symptom too.
What Causes Diarrhea
Diarrhea is the result of faster movement of fecal material through the intestine, combined with decreased absorption of water, nutrients, and electrolytes. If the main sign of illness in your dog is diarrhea, a relatively simple problem such as an intestinal infection from bacteria, viruses, coccidia, or intestinal worms may be the cause. In dogs, dietary indiscretion , or a change in diet is a common cause of acute diarrhea. Stress, especially following travel, boarding, or other changes in environment, can also cause acute diarrhea.
However, diarrhea can also be a sign of a more serious underlying disorder such as allergies, bacterial or viral infections, inflammatory intestinal disease, organ dysfunction, or other systemic illness.
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