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how to treat dog diarrhea
How to treat dog diarrhea,however, diarrhea may be the result of serious or life-threatening illnesses such as organ system failure or cancer. Even diarrhea caused by mild illnesses may become serious if treatment is not begun early enough to prevent severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.
Not every episode of vomiting or diarrhea warrants an immediate trip to the veterinarian.So how to treat dog diarrhea. If the episode is mild, not progressing rapidly and your dog is an otherwise healthy adult, it is reasonable to try some at-home remedies first.
So how to treat dog diarrhea, if your dog’s condition fails to improve over the course of 24 to 48 hours or worsens at any point, call your veterinarian.
How serious is diarrhea in dogs?
The seriousness of diarrhea depends on how long the diarrhea has persisted and how many other signs accompany the diarrhea.
If your dog has severe bloody diarrhea, or is showing more generalized signs of illness such as weakness, fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, or loss of appetite, or if dehydration accompanies the diarrhea, the cause may be more serious.
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”.
Causes of diarrhea in dogs
How to treat dog diarrhea ,the most common causes of diarrhoea are:
- Eating something they shouldn’t have
- Food allergy
- After a change in food
- Bacterial gut infections – e.g. Salmonella or Campylobacter.
Other causes of diarrhoea:
- Haemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE)
- Gut blockage (foreign body)
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
- Liver disease
- Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI).
When to contact your vet
Diarrhoea is often a problem that passes within a few days, but if it continues for too long, dehydration and more severe illness can develop. Contact your vet if your dog has the following symptoms:
- Severe diarrhoea (really watery or a lot of it)
- Constant diarrhoea
- Blood in their diarrhoea and/or mucus in their diarrhoea
- Sleeping more than usual
- Eating less than usual
- Drinking less than usual
- Vomiting as well as having diarrhoea
- They’re taking other medications, especially anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Painful stomach (i.e. yelping when they are touched or picked up or standing in a ‘prayer position’ with their front legs on the floor and hind legs stood up ).
You know your dog best. If you’re concerned, it’s always best to contact your vet.
Home Remedies for Doggie Diarrhea
A great many cases are mild and, with your vet’s advice, may be treated without a trip to the office. They may respond to a regimen of very basic treatments, including:
Withholding food for 12 to 24 hours, and providing water in small amounts frequently, can clear the cause of the upset and allow the gastrointestinal tract to settle. It’s usually the first line of attack for the runs.
Before you decide on a fast, be sure that your dog is healthy enough to endure it. Puppies, and elderly dogs, for example, need nutrients. Also, a fast may not be appropriate for little dogs, who do not have the physical reserves of their larger cousins.
Cures from the Cupboard
After a fast, food is usually introduced slowly and many people start with binders, which can normalize stool consistency. Some tried-and-true methods include:
- Rice water: Boil high-quality rice in a lot of water, remove the grains, and offer the dog the creamy white soup that’s left. A splash of broth or a bit baby food will make it more palatable.
- White rice
- Canned pumpkin (plain, not prepared pie filling) has the odd distinction of being effective for diarrhea and constipation. If you can’t get canned pumpkin, a good alternative is pumpkin powder, made specifically for pets.
- Yogurt, which has beneficial bacteria, can help in dogs who can tolerate milk and milk products.
- Boiled potatoes, without skin
- Cottage cheese
- Plain protein sources such as egg (prepared with no butter or oil) or chicken (without skin)
- Herbs, such as fennel, have gut-soothing properties
Specially-formulated dog foods: Some manufacturers offer foods that can sooth stomach problems. You may need to obtain these from your vet.
Over-the-counter medications for humans
may also be effective for doggie diarrhea, but should be given with caution and you should talk to your vet before using them.
Methods that work for one dog may not help another, so you might need to do a little experimentation to find the right formula.
It might also be helpful to write down what works and what doesn’t so you’ll know what to do the next time you find yourself mopping up a mess.
Once you find a recovery diet that agree with your dog, and doesn’t cause a relapse, you can slowly increase the portions over a period of days, and then start to add small quantities of your dog’s regular food, until things are back to normal.
When Doggie Diarrhea Means a Trip to the Vet
The right time to contact a vet depends very much on what’s normal for your dog. Unfortunately, some dogs are more prone to digestive disorders than others, so you have to be very aware of the things that are out-of-the-ordinary on an individual basis.
There are, however, benchmarks that can suggest that you should at least consult with your vet:
- Other physical symptoms, such as lethargy, fever, vomiting, dry, tacky or pale gums, or weakness;
- Diarrhea that does not stop despite home remedies that worked in the past;
- Long duration (Some say a few days, others give more time. This all depends on what is normal for your dog.);
- Use of medication (a dog on antibiotics, for example);
- Existing conditions, such as advanced age, diabetes, Cushing’s, cancer, or any medical issue, and
- When things just don’t seem right. You know your dog, and only you know the subtle signs that something is wrong. Respect your instincts and if you think you need veterinary guidance, pick up the phone.
Will my dog need antibiotics?
It’s very rare for a dog with diarrhoea to need antibiotics. There are a few specific conditions (such as Giardia) that require antibiotics, but most dogs won’t benefit from taking them.
Antibiotics can even make the problem worse by wiping out normal gut bacteria. Your vet may suggest alternative treatments such as probiotics.
Other Home care for dogs with diarrhoea
Diarrhoea in dogs is a very common problem, and fortunately, often passes within 1-2 days.
If your dog has diarrhoea (without blood or mucus) but is otherwise happy, well and behaving normally, you could try to settle them at home. Book an appointment with your vet if your dog isn’t improving or if you’re concerned at any point.
Suggestions to settle your dog’s stomach:
24 hours fasting
Fasting your dog for 24 hours can help speed up recovery. Never fast an old dog, a young puppy or a dog that seems unwell.
A bland diet
Rich and fatty foods can make diarrhoea worse. Pre-made bland diets specifically for dogs with diarrhoea are available from your vet. Alternatively, home made plain boiled rice and chicken (without skin or bones) can be used.
Feed your dog very small, regular meals throughout the day. This keep their guts moving without overwhelming them.
Plenty of water
Dogs who are suffering from diarrhoea might need to drink a bit more than usual to replace the extra water they’re losing in their poo. Make sure your dog has access to water at all times, and that they are drinking throughout the day.
Speak to your vet if your dog stops drinking or is drinking much more than usual.
Let your dog rest and recover and prevent them from doing anything energetic until they are feeling better. Speak to your vet if they are very lethargic.
Gradually reintroduce their normal food
Once your dog is passing solid poo you can start to reintroduce their normal food slowly over a few days.