Diarrhea in Dogs: Causes and Treatment

When a dog gets diarrhoea, it’s not always a sign of a serious illness. It can simply be a sign of self-cleansing because dogs don’t tolerate everything they eat either. Nevertheless, it is important to observe the digestion of the animal. There is a need for action if the diarrhoea becomes chronic in dogs. Various manifestations of bowel movements also indicate diseases or poisoning. You can find out everything about diarrhoea in dogs in this article.

If the Dog has Diarrhoea: That’s What it Means

The intestine fulfils an important protective function in dogs as in humans. If it recognizes unusual content, it reacts immediately. It eliminates everything from the digestive tract to prevent possible poisoning and other health problems. In this respect, diarrhoea is a protective and cleansing reaction of the body. Diarrhoea is also a typical reaction to the wormer. In these cases, the bowel empties a few times and then recovers on its own.

Veterinary characteristics of diarrhoea in dogs

In order to speed up the cleansing process, the intestine excretes the stool in liquid form. Dog faeces have a mushy to a liquid consistency. It may also have a different smell and colour. In addition, the dog feels the need to empty its intestines extraordinarily often. He may also suffer from intestinal cramps.

Therefore, he has to leave the house much more often than usual. As a rule, dogs show this with great anxiety and dog owners should react quickly. In the worst case, the four-legged friend does not manage to get out of the house in time and empties his bowels in the apartment. This is not done on purpose and is, therefore, no reason to insult the dog or even use harsh training methods. The four-legged friend simply needs help in this situation

Always Keep an Eye on the Dog and the Stool

Dogs cannot verbally explain discomfort. They usually behave differently than usual when they are not feeling well. In order to recognize diarrhoea and possible diseases in dogs, it is therefore important to observe them closely. If the dog is exceptionally calm or listless, or if it is particularly restless, there is a reason. Due to its protective function, the intestines of a sick dog develop extraordinary activities.

Diarrhoea can therefore also be a symptom of a serious illness. It is important for dog owners to regularly monitor their pet’s bowel movements. A glance at the business done quickly reveals when something is wrong. Exceptionally strong flatulence is another indication of possible irritation of the intestinal tract.

The different types of diarrhoea in dogs

Diarrhoea, which is the medical term for diarrhoea, can occur in various forms. The frequency is the difference between chronic, acute or periodic diarrhoea. It can arise as a reaction of the large or small intestine and can appear in different forms.

Acute diarrhoea in dogs

Diarrhoea is acute when it comes on suddenly. Acute diarrhoea is usually a reaction to indigestible food, medication or a change in diet. But poisoning, stress and infections can also cause acute diarrhoea in dogs. Typical signs of acute diarrhoea are:

  • the short duration of 1 to 3 days or only a few hours
  • noticeably frequent bowel movements
  • mushy, watery faeces
  • possibly blood in the stool

Acute diarrhoea usually resolves itself. If it lasts longer than three days, the diarrhoea can become chronic.

Dog with chronic diarrhoea

If it happens regularly that a dog has diarrhoea, it is a chronic manifestation. A simple explanation for this can be food intolerance. Switching to easily digestible special food is usually already helpful. However, chronic diarrhoea can also occur as an indication of the disease of an organ. The appearance of the diarrhoea indicates whether it originates in the small intestine or in the large intestine.

Frequently recurring, periodic diarrhoea

This form of diarrhoea occurs when the dog gets diarrhoea frequently, several weeks apart. Possible causes for this are:

  • Intolerance to a certain type of feed
  • grain dog food
  • Disruption of the intestinal flora
  • organic problems

Periodically recurring diarrhoea requires observation.

  • Does the diarrhoea always come after the same type of food, or consistently after eating certain treats?
  • Does diarrhoea only occur after deworming?
  • Can’t find an explanation?

The type of control depends on the answer to these questions.

Colonic diarrhoea

In the large intestine, diarrhoea often occurs as a reaction to stress or incompatible food. Colonic diarrhoea can be recognized by the following characteristics:

  • stool with mucus
  • Streaks of blood in the stool
  • Thinning of the stool throughout the day
  • faeces in a mucous membrane

A food diary can help to identify possible intolerances.

If diarrhoea develops in the small intestine, there may be a serious problem. Small bowel diarrhoea is recognizable by:

  • runny faeces
  • Defecation during the day and at night
  • yellow or brown coloured stools
  • black or bloody stools
  • Vomit
  • fever
  • slackness

A visit to the vet is urgently needed, especially if there are severe side effects and black or watery-bloody stools.

Tips for dog owners: immediate help & home remedies

In the case of short-term diarrhoea without other side effects, there is initially no reason to worry. It is helpful not to feed the dog for a day so that the intestines can rest. Light foods such as boiled chicken with rice also help to calm the intestines afterwards. It is important that the dog always gets enough water. With watery diarrhoea, a lot of fluid is lost, which the dog has to absorb again.

Classic home remedies for diarrhoea in dogs are:

  • Charcoal tablets or charcoal powder
  • healing clay
  • Preparations for building up the intestinal flora
  • Boil drinking water
  • Avoid chewing bones and treats
  • Administer Moro’s Carrot Soup
  • a grated, unpeeled apple
  • Flea seeds and other fibres

The Causes When the Dog Suffers from Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea in dogs is not a disease in itself, but always a symptom. It can indicate incompatible food. Stale water, which dogs like to drink from puddles and ponds, can also cause diarrhoea. Other causes of a dog getting diarrhoea include:

  • Change of feed type
  • Feeding with leftovers
  • complete change of feeding, e.g. B. from wet to dry food or to BARF nutrition
  • Forage with a high grain content
  • Parasites such as worms, giardia or coccidia
  • Gastrointestinal infection caused by viruses or bacteria
  • organ malfunctions
  • Inflammation of the pancreas
  • folic acid deficiency
  • Lack of cobalamin acid
  • Bowel disease such as Addison’s disease
  • hormonal diseases
  • tumours
  • IBD (Chronic Bowel Inflammation)
  • Poisoning caused by food, rat poison, plants, fertilizers and pesticides or incompatible foods
  • stress
  • A side effect of antibiotics and other drugs
  • deworming
  • Result of tick bites such as Ehrlichiosis or Anaplasmosis
  • Liver and kidney weakness
  • Eating too large portions
  • allergies
  • swallowed foreign bodies
  • high-fat diet
  • cancer

If there are no signs of an easily understandable cause such as a change in diet, dog owners should ask the vet for advice.

When Do I Need to See a Vet?

If the dog has diarrhoea for more than three days, the vet should clarify the cause. A visit to the veterinarian is also helpful to clarify periodic diarrhoea. By examining a stool sample, the veterinarian can determine whether parasites or bacteria are the cause of the diarrhoea. The veterinarian often receives indications of serious illnesses from the description of the symptoms. He can initiate further examinations in a targeted manner and thus select the appropriate therapy.

A visit to the veterinarian is urgently required for:

  • black or bloody diarrhoea
  • high fever
  • recurrent vomiting
  • Refusal of food and water intake
  • lethargic, exhausted behaviour of the dog

Measures to Prevent Diarrhoea in Dogs

Many measures prevent the development of diarrhoea in dogs. This applies in particular to the type of feeding and the observation of the dog. If a dog suffers from chronic diarrhoea despite paying attention to a balanced diet, an organic disease can be the cause.

Here’s what you can do to prevent diarrhoea in your dog

  • Avoid abrupt feed changes
  • Change food in case of intolerance
  • insert one day of diet and one day of bland food before a necessary change of food
  • regular deworming of the dog
  • do not feed leftovers from the table
  • do not feed food unhealthy for dogs
  • prevent the dog from eating outside
  • Remove poisonous plants from the garden
  • prevent the dog from drinking water from puddles and ponds
  • Change and clean feeding bowls after each feeding
  • avoid stress

Despite all precautions, there is always a chance that a dog will get diarrhoea. If it does not last longer than one to three days and no other symptoms appear, this is usually not a cause for alarm.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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