Dog And Cat Diarrhea: Cause And Treatment Of This Indelicate Subject
When your dog or cat has diarrhea, you want to know why and have the information for what to do and how to treat it. Most cases of acute diarrhea can be handled at home if the symptoms respond well to minimal treatment. Testing to determine the origin is unnecessary. Keep children away from sick dogs, clean messes carefully, and wash thoroughly after handling sick dogs.
Dogs commonly have bouts of acute diarrhea.
Acute diarrhea is when the dog has an abnormal stool that is softer than normal, watery, soft-formed, or soft with abnormal color or very smelly; or when the dog strains to defecate and only passes gas.
There are effective natural remedies.
There are effective natural remedies to support healthy firm stools and maintain “stable stomachs” -- promoting healthy digestion and bowel functioning as well as healthy levels of digestive gas in dogs and cats. Natural treatments for cat and dog diarrhea include probiotics, glutamine, and herbs like slippery elm and plantains.
Diarrhea can result from sudden changes in the dog or cat diet, or when the pet eats something it cannot absorb. It can result from motion sickness or travel stress. Other causes include pancreatitis, parasites such as the Giardia Protozoa and Coccidia (very common invaders of puppies and kittens), Coccidioidomycosis (valley fever), feline distemper virus, bacteria, toxins, and antibiotics. When dogs are unsupervised they are prone to ingest things including sticks, stones and various scavenged things that do not agree with them. The result can be a dog with a case of diarrhea. Don't be alarmed if your dog is acting reasonably well; in most cases the dog’s diarrhea is a healthy reaction to help it heal, and not a disease.
It would also not be unusual for a dog (or anyone) with diarrhea to feel “under the weather”, so your dog may appear a bit "off" until the diarrhea is resolved. Acute small intestinal diarrhea can be managed by not feeding for 24-48 hours but water must be given, and it is beneficial to add a probiotic powder to the dog's water.
If diarrhea stops, feed small amounts of bland low-fat food 3 to 6 times daily for a few days – foods such as home-cooked boiled hamburger, cottage cheese, tofu with boiled rice, and 100% pure canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling with sugars and spices). Most dogs love the flavor of pumpkin. Pumpkin is a unique fiber that regulates the bowel. Be aware, it will color the stool. Foods designed as intestinal diets usually contain rice which is more digestible than other grains. Gradually increase the amount fed in transitioning to the pet's normal diet.
If your canine develops a case of diarrhea and otherwise seems active, content and strong, you can assist the recovery to normal by making some dietary adjustments.
Dogs that have healthy digestive systems are able to eat a variety of foods and that includes raw foods, without resulting diarrhea. Dogs that need to eat a special diet to keep from having diarrhea are not healthy. Don't feed hypoallergenic or bland diets to avoid diarrhea. Find out what the problem is and fix it.
Diagnosis of persistent diarrhea is critical.
Chronic diarrhea is less common and more serious requiring more effort to correct. Diarrhea can be caused by diseases of the small intestine, large intestine or diseases of organs other than the intestinal tract.
If your puppy or kitten hasn't had its vaccination series and gets diarrhea, call your veterinarian right away. A young puppy with diarrhea usually needs medical attention immediately. Diarrhea can be fatal to puppies under 4 weeks. Green-tinged diarrhea in puppies may indicate Coccidiosis, a parasitic disease that consistently produces diarrhea. Symptoms may include refusal to eat, dehydration, weakness and straining to defecate. See your vet.
Mucus in diarrhea indicates an irritated bowel. Parasites, raw pork hearts and medical conditions can cause mucus in the stool. If the stool is voluminous and continues when you believe the dog should be "empty", call your vet for help in deciding whether you should wait the diarrhea out or make an appointment to have the problem assessed. It may be a bacterial infection.
Diarrhea occurs when an accumulation of dissolved substances in the intestine causes excess water to move into the intestine. This accumulation may be a result of decreased absorption of food, increased secretion of electrolytes by the intestine, or both.
Diarrhea is the dog’s body purging itself of harmful or unwanted toxins.
This can be accompanied by vomiting, usually caused by inflammation of the stomach (gastritis), which often happens when dogs eat grass or spoiled food. In some cases of poisoning, vomiting should be induced to get the toxin out of the system as quickly as possible.
If diarrhea is bloody or explosive call your vet. If your dog has a fever or obvious abdominal pain or bloating, this can indicate a serious condition. Contact your vet immediately.
Be sure your pet’s fluid intake is maintained, so dehydration does not occur. Dogs with diarrhea can dehydrate quickly. Provide ample fresh water and ensure that your dog is drinking. Dump, wash and refresh the bowl several times daily. Add a probiotic powder to the dog's water, or food. Giving the dog yogurt is soothing but does not provide any significant beneficial bacteria.
If your pet is dehydrated you can usually encourage drinking with a syringe. If your dog is dehydrated and will not drink or is vomiting, call your vet immediately!
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