The Many And Varied Causes Of Diarrhea
Dogs develop diarrhea for many different reasons. Abnormal stools can occur any time the movement of water or nutrients across the lining of the intestines is altered or disrupted. For example, when your canine companion eats something thats not part of his or her normal diet, the normal bacteria present in the intestines may be changed, which can lead to acute diarrhea.
Diarrhea can also signal health problems such as pancreatitis , parvovirus infection and liver disease. In these cases, inflammation and/or damage to the intestinal lining are the mechanisms behind the diarrhea.
Here are some of the most common scenarios in which diarrhea would be anticipated:
- Change in diet or treats
- Ingestion of garbage, spoiled food or foreign objects such as toys, bones and fabric
- Viral infections such as parvovirus, distemper or coronavirus
- Parasites, including roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, Coccidia and Giardia
- Overgrowth of bacteria in the intestines
- Diseases in other organs such as the liver and kidneys
- Intestinal cancer
- Stress/anxiety resulting from rehoming, boarding, travel or the introduction of a new pet or human family member
How To Prevent Bloody Diarrhea In Dogs
The best way to avoid your dog from pooping blood and vomiting is to keep them away from toxins, scraps, and any foreign objects. If you are switching between dog foods, make sure to have a gradual transition for better adjustment.
You also need to monitor what they are eating and ensure that its packed with nutrients. Another way to prevent bloody diarrhea is to stick with your regular vet visits.
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
You May Like: How To Relieve Constipation At 39 Weeks Pregnant
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.
How Is The Cause Of Diarrhea Determined
The nature of the diarrhea, such as its color, consistency, smell and frequency, are important in helping determine the cause. Your veterinarian will usually ask you to bring a representative sample of fresh fecal material with you to your appointment. You may also be asked to provide answers to a series of questions. To help you put this history together, see the handout “Diarrhea Questionnaire and Checklist for Dogs”.
“If diarrhea is the only sign, a minimum number of tests are performed.”
If diarrhea is the only sign, a minimum number of tests are performed to rule out certain parasites and infections. If diarrhea is severe or associated with several other clinical signs, your veterinarian will perform a series of tests in order to reach a diagnosis and to determine how sick your dog has become as a consequence of the diarrhea. These tests enable your veterinarian to treat your dog appropriately.
Diagnostic tests may include microscopic fecal evaluation, X-rays with or without barium , blood tests, fecal cultures or DNA tests, biopsies of the intestinal tract, endoscopy, ultrasound, and exploratory abdominal surgery.
Recommended Reading: Can Align Probiotic Cause Nausea
The Dangers Of Puppy Diarrhea
Remember, puppies are small and dont have as many reserves as more mature dogs to help them through a health issue. If your puppy has runny stool, particularly in combination with vomiting or a poor appetite, they can go from happily playing to down and out very quickly. Knowing what to do if your puppy has diarrhea is essential.
If your pup has any of the following risk factors, call your vet or an emergency on-call veterinarian immediately:
- Young puppy
- Toy breed puppy
- Vomiting in addition to diarrhea
- Bloody diarrhea
- Poor appetite
- Gums that are pale or tacky to the touch, which can indicate dehydration, anemia or shock
- Watery poop that lasts for more than a day
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.
Also Check: Can Align Probiotic Cause Nausea
When Are Vomiting And Diarrhea An Emergency
If the vomiting and/or diarrhea continue after your pet eats, if your pet doesnt want to eat or if your pet acts lethargic, medical attention is warranted. Please see your veterinarian.If your dog is losing weight, if you see blood in the vomit or feces, or if your dog has ineffective vomiting , this is an important medical emergency. It can be caused by a life-threatening emergency called Bloat.
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.
Don’t Miss: What Does It Mean When You Keep Having Heartburn
Prevent Your Dog From Eating By Having Your Dog Fast
Forcing your dog to fast might sound odd, but its likely that your dog will have a total loss of appetite anyway, so it shouldnt be terribly difficult for your dog to go without eating. The reason for the period of fasting is so that your dog doesnt further upset their own stomach by consuming food that worsens the symptoms of diarrhea.
This is especially necessary in dogs exhibiting dietary indiscretion. By omitting all food from your dogs stomach for a brief period of time, the body can finish digesting anything already in its system. From there, you can carefully monitor how your dog reacts to certain foods.
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
Don’t Miss: What Is Fecal Lactoferrin
How To Prevent Your Puppy From Getting Diarrhea
Unfortunately, there sometimes isnât a way to prevent your puppy from getting diarrhea. Sometimes itâs a result of an external factor, like something they ate or picked up from the world beyond your home. Other times you can work to ensure it doesnât happen. Letâs talk about those instances now.
The best way to help prevent diarrhea is to give your puppy balanced food and to provide them with exercise on the regular. You should transition your pet to a new diet slowly, especially when puppies are very young.
You can also look into the fact your dog might be getting spoiled food in the garbage can, so be mindful of that. You should also never give your dog any human foods that are toxic, and be sure to be attentive to vaccinations your puppy might need.
A stress-free, clean environment is also key to your dogâs health. You should be sure that youâre providing your dog with that. In addition, a regular schedule could help ensure that your dog isnât nervous and stressed.
Does Chicken Help Diarrhea In Dogs
Chicken can be a safe and nutritious part of a dogs diet. It contains large amounts of protein that provide energy as well as essential amino acids for healthy muscle development, but it doesnt have the same high-fat content that red meat can have.
Chicken is also easy to digest, so your pup should be able to tolerate small portions without any problems even if he has diarrhea.
If your dog is suffering from chronic diarrhea, try giving him boiled chicken instead of his regular food for a few days. Its best to cook it without any seasonings so you know exactly what your pup is being exposed to and how much fat and sodium there is in each serving.
You should also give your dog cooked white rice as part of his bland diet. This will help absorb water in the digestive tract so hell have less diarrhea after meals, while also being gentle on his stomach and easy to digest.
Create a blend of 2 parts rice to 1 part shredded chicken for a nutritious bland meal that will help to ease your dogs diarrhea. Make sure to trim the fat from the chicken before cooking it, and dont season it.
If his condition improves after a few days, gradually introduce chicken and white rice in different combinations so you can determine which is the best fit for his stomach. You should be able to find something he can tolerate even when experiencing chronic or acute bouts of diarrhea.
Don’t Miss: Can Ibs Come And Go
My Dog Is Drooling Excessively And Has Diarrhea: Why
All dogs drool for many reasons, especially when happy or excited, especially when they know theyre getting some treats! Just like us humans, producing saliva is the normal response to ones stimulation, lubricating the mouth and preventing tooth decay and various gum diseases. Its needed to break down your food for digestion, too!
But when does drooling become too much? If you notice that your dog has been drooling excessively, it can actually be a sign of a serious condition. When drooling excessively AND suffering from diarrhea and an upset stomach, chances are that your dog may be suffering from ptyalism.
Ptyalism is the excessive production of saliva, which can happen in other animals and humans. Also known as hypersalivation, these are caused by:
- Irritation from eating foreign objects such as sticks, toys, or stones
- Injuries around the mouth
- Excessive emotions, especially anxiety, intense, or traumatic ones
- Motion sickness
- Toxic exposure or poisoning, which leads to foaming in the mouth
- Seizures or tumors
- Salivary gland disorders
- Kidney failure
Many of these causes, such as poisoning, allergic reactions, and medication, can lead to both hypersalivation, upset stomach, and diarrhea. Its important to learn about the different causes to identify the reason behind diarrhea and excessive salivating. Once identified, youre able to take action.
The symptoms of ptyalism include:
Life Skills For Pets: Crate Training And Confinement For Puppies And Dogs
Crate training is useful in many situations, such as providing a safe place when home alone or unsupervised which prevents housetraining mistakes, a safe place to sleep undisturbed, to travel by car or airplane, for medical care and visits to the veterinarian, and for boarding or vacation camp. Starting while your pet is young makes training easier, but most pets can be trained. If your pet shows signs of distress while using the training methods provided in this handout consult with your veterinarian.
Don’t Miss: Simvastatin And Pregnancy
What Does The Consistency Of Your Dogs Diarrhea Mean
Obviously, in diarrhea cases, the main issue is the consistency change. However, analyzing the other Cs can help locate the source of the problem.
For example, small intestine diarrhea is usually larger in volume but less frequent and rarely speckled with blood or mucus. On the other hand, large intestine diarrhea is smaller in volume, more frequent, and bloody or tainted with mucus.
Puppies With Diarrhea And Vomiting Should Only See A Vet If:
They are lethargic this is when the puppy is not playful or is acting unusual
The abdomen looks extremely bloated
Your puppy is losing a lot of fluids through diarrhea or vomiting and no desire to drink
A blood spot is seen in diarrhea or vomiting
The sick puppy doesn’t respond to the bland diet of boiled chicken and white rice
Multiple vomiting / diarrhea episodes over multiple hours
They haven’t received the full course of vaccinations
They are on medication for another reason
Don’t Miss: Can Align Probiotic Cause Nausea
What Might It Mean When My Dogs Poop Changes From A Normal Smell To A Very Foul Smell
This can be caused by several things: a change in food, something affecting motility , or a food sensitivity. It can also be caused by inflammation of the intestines due to a bacterial or viral infection. In puppies coming from a stressful environment with unknown vaccination history, it can be due to parvovirus, a potentially life-threatening condition.
What Tests Are Typically Run On A Pet With Diarrhea
A typical course of testing would be a Comprehensive Fecal Ova and Parasites plus Giardia antigen: this looks for the presence of intestinal worms like hookworms and roundworms that can often cause diarrhea. If the diarrhea is chronic and has been unresponsive to first-line treatment, we run a fecal PCR test to look for the presence of bacterial pathogens like Clostridium difficile or Campylobacter spp.
In conjunction with disease-oriented diagnostics, I would also recommend testing your pets stool for proper bacterial balance using AnimalBiomes gut health microbiome test Doggy Kit. The gut microbiome is the term used to refer to all the microscopic organisms living in your pets gut. They may be tiny, but they have enormous influence over your dogs health, so making sure theyre properly balanced can go a long way.
, the analysis shows how your dogs gut microbiome compares to the microbiome of a healthy dog. These results can provide insight as to what steps you might take to help prevent diarrhea in the future as well as tips to improve microbiome health based on changes to diet. Having this knowledge in hand allows you to treat your dogs diarrhea while also promoting long-term health by encouraging a properly balanced gut microbiome.
You May Like: Why Does Lettuce Give Me Diarrhea
Clean Up And Get A Sample
When you clean up the diarrhea, look to see whether theres any blood or mucus. You may want to place it inside a plastic baggie to give to your veterinarian as a fecal sample. The fresher the better.
If youre not going to the vet right away, you can place inside your refrigerator for a few hours. Double bag it to ensure it doesnt contaminate your refrigerator or food.
Make sure to disinfect the area when you clean up the diarrhea.
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.
Also Check: Colostrum And Leaky Gut
What To Feed A Dog With Diarrhea
Once the diarrhea has resolved, introduce food slowly to help prevent further tummy upset. You may have heard that white rice and boiled chicken help with sensitive stomachs but soup or broth is a gentler way to smooth your dogs transition back to his regular diet. You can purchase soup or bone broth at your natural supermarket, but make sure its low in sodium and has limited ingredients . Here is a simple recipe you can make at home:
Give your dog small portions of the soup a few teaspoons for very small dogs, and ½ to one cup for larger dogs. Wait 4 to 6 hours and watch for diarrhea or vomiting before offering more. Dont feed the soup if theres still diarrhea present wait until the diarrhea resolves. Dont worry, adult dogs can easily go days without eating, as long as they can keep water down.