Dog Diarrhea: Causes, Treatment, Remedies + FAQ

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10 min read

Perhaps the most common health problem in our pets is indigestion. Do we need to sound the alarm if we notice diarrhea in a dog and how to cope with the disease at home?

dog diarrhea
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Causes of dog diarrhea

Like humans, diarrhea in dogs can be a manifestation of a variety of diseases. Of course, the most common and obvious cause of indigestion is food poisoning or other malfunctioning of the digestive system.

Due to the powerful bactericidal properties of saliva, dogs are less sensitive to poor-quality or stale food than other pets (in particular, cats). Moreover, in the wild, the closest relatives of dogs, foxes and jackals, are generally able to feed on carrion, but it should be understood that most of the domestic dogs have gone so far from their wild ancestors that they have long ago lost all these talents. Their body has become as sensitive to food as ours. And the first reaction to any malfunction in the body is diarrhea. There are also many breeds that are particularly demanding on the quality and type of food (for example, Chihuahuas), the same applies to white dogs, most of which are allergic.

But it should be understood that malnutrition is far from the only cause of dog diarrhea, and sometimes we can talk about really serious diseases, such as gastroenteritis, hepatitis, canine intestinal helminths, canine parvovirus, gastric distemper and others. Also, dog diarrhea can be a symptom of other ailments that at first glance are not related to nutrition. Therefore, if you notice that the dog has been suffering from an upset stomach for more than a day, be sure to contact your veterinarian.

Important! Once a year, it is necessary to carry out tests for the presence of parasitic and bacterial diseases in the pet, as well as monitor the freshness of the products with which it is fed. This is the best prevention of diarrhea and vomiting in a pet.

Classification of dog diarrhea
Classification of dog diarrhea

Classification of dog diarrhea

No matter how unappetizing it may sound, but, having noticed that your four-legged friend went in a big way not as usual, pay attention to the nature of the dog poop.

If the only deviation from the norm is its consistency – it is more liquid than usual, then the reason for this is most likely a change in diet: either you recently transferred the dog to a different type of food, or you were treated to something unusual for it. In a word, the food did not go well. Draw your conclusions and don’t experiment anymore.

However, if the feces have changed not only the consistency, but also the color or they contain mucus, you should be wary. They can be yellow, black, green and completely watery, and sometimes contain an admixture of blood. And here it is already worth contacting a specialist.

You also need to distinguish between temporary dog diarrhea due to accidentally eaten poor-quality food and chronic diarrhea that occurs against the background of more serious diseases.

1.     Bloody dog diarrhea

If you notice that a four-legged friend went off in a big way, this is a reason to sound the alarm. As a rule, such manifestations signal serious disturbances in the functioning of the dog’s body.

The reason may be severe poisoning, and we are no longer talking about stale food – most likely, your doggie has swallowed a real poison. Also, bloody dog diarrhea, and especially in puppies, is a consequence of infection with enterovirus. And here it is very important to provide timely veterinary assistance, since, unfortunately, mortality from it is very high.

Enterocolitis caused by foreign bodies entering the digestive tract of a dog, unfortunately, is also a common cause of bloody dog diarrhea. Dogs, like small children, sometimes tend to swallow objects they play with, which in turn injure the delicate intestinal wall, causing bleeding. Sometimes such inadvertently eaten little things are excreted from the body naturally, but sometimes you cannot do without the intervention of a veterinarian.

Also, bloody diarrhea can be a manifestation of such a terrible disease as a tumor. In this case, the sooner you see your veterinarian, the more chances you have to save your friend’s life.

2.     Yellow dog diarrhea

If the dog’s stool is yellow or yellowish, this is a signal that something is wrong with his liver. As a rule, this happens due to the fact that the pet is overfed with tasty handouts from the table. Fatty, overly sweet and plentiful food can cause disruption of the liver and biliary tract.

If you know you have a weakness to follow the lead of your dog, which skillfully knows how to beg for tidbits, make a willful effort on yourself and stop it. In this case, after a couple of days, yellow diarrhea should go away. But if this does not happen, take the dog to the veterinarian – most likely, we are talking about more serious violations in the liver.

3.     Green dog diarrhea

If you notice this color in the piles left by your dog, then first you need to observe its behavior. There are usually two reasons. First: the dog started eating grass. There is nothing wrong with that – in the wild, all dogs from time to time eat some types of plants to maintain their immunity and their own health. At the same time, their instinct tells them exactly which types of grass are worth eating. But, if you have not noticed any tendency to eat green spaces, you should be on your guard. In this case, the green color of the faeces most likely means gallbladder congestion. You are unlikely to cope with this ailment yourself, therefore, without delay, take the dog to the veterinarian.

4.     Black dog diarrhea

Quite an alarming symptom that you should not close your eyes to. The black color of the stool is given by blood, which has managed to coagulate, that is, its source is, most likely, the upper intestines. The reason may be a peptic ulcer or tumors, so it is better to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

However, before sounding the alarm about the color of your pet’s feces, first remember what he ate the day before. It often happens that the owners are worried about the red or black feces of the dog, but it turns out that she just recently managed to pluck raspberry or blackberry bushes in their garden.

dog diarrhea
The causes of dog diarrhea can be bacterial diseases, an allergic reaction and vitamin deficiency. / Image: Shutterstock

Dog diarrhea treatment

If you notice that the dog often asks to go to the toilet, please be patient and watch him during the day. Keep your pet on a diet: the first day it is better to abstain from food completely, but boiled water should be given as much as possible. If the animal’s condition does not worsen – it does not become lethargic, sedentary, and the stomach will not be painful when pressed, start slowly offering him boiled turkey or chicken breast strictly without skin, liquid low-fat broth, rice broth. In short, look after your tailed friend as you would a food poisoning survivor. However, if his condition worsens in a day, it is better to take the dog to the veterinary clinic, where all the necessary tests will be carried out, the correct diagnosis is made and a treatment strategy developed.

The main thing is not to try to treat your pet with folk remedies, which are often very dubious and can do more harm than good.

Important! Self-medication can harm your pet! Always check with your doctor before giving your dog medications or foods.

dog diarrhea
In case of dog diarrhea, it is necessary to show the pet to the doctor so that the specialist excludes the possibility of serious diseases / Image : Shutterstock

Dog diarrhea diagnostics

It should be understood that if you are not a veterinarian yourself, then it is best not to take responsibility for the diagnosis. When your dog’s diarrhea does not come up for several days, you should see a specialist. At the same time, when preparing for an appointment, you should take your pet’s feces with you for analysis, which is necessary to identify the cause of the disease. Also, in the clinic, an ultrasound of the abdominal cavity of the animal will be done, and if necessary, an X-ray examination, as well as a blood test. If pathologies in the gastrointestinal tract are not identified, veterinarians will conduct an examination of other organs, since indigestion can be caused by a variety of reasons.

Thus, the diagnosis of dog diarrhea should be carried out in a veterinary clinic, and not independently.

Important! To avoid dog diarrhea, first of all, you need to monitor the freshness of the food that the dog eats.

Modern methods of treatment

Treatment of dog diarrhea is carried out after an accurate diagnosis. Also, in addition to the main therapy aimed at eliminating the causes of the disease, a set of measures is being taken to replenish the moisture supply in the body, which is lost in large quantities during diarrhea. Also, anti-inflammatory drugs, probiotics are prescribed, an individual diet is being developed. During the recovery stages, the dog also receives immunostimulants to help his body recover faster.

In severe cases, when the cause of dog diarrhea is a foreign body in the intestine or a tumor, surgery is prescribed. It takes place under general anesthesia in the presence of an anesthesiologist, so that the health and life of the four-legged patient is not in danger.

Prevention of dog diarrhea at home

Since inappropriate feeding is the most common cause of dog diarrhea, you need to keep an eye on your pet’s menu. You need to choose the right diet for him and not deviate from it. In no case should you overfeed the dog – handouts from your table will do nothing but harm. If you are an advocate of natural food, make sure that your tailed friend’s diet is balanced and that the food is fresh and cooked.

From puppyhood, wean your dog from the habit of picking up anything on the street – through such street “delicacies”, parasites or pathogens of all sorts of infectious diseases, such as enteritis or plague, most often occur.

And, of course, make sure that the dog is less likely to encounter stressful situations – do not shout at it and in no case raise your hand, because nervous shocks often affect the state of the body of our smaller brothers.

If you notice diarrhea in a dog, you can give it activated charcoal, as well as drink it with herbal tinctures (sage, St. John’s wort, burnet, pomegranate peel, blueberries, serpentine). However, it is best to contact your veterinarian right away.

dog diarrhea
The best treatment for dog diarrhea is prevention. Show your dog to specialists at least once a year

Dog diarrhea common questions

Can dog diarrhea be dangerous to humans?

As a rule, pathogens of canine diseases are not transmitted to humans, however, if we are talking about helminths, then a person can become infected with some of their species.

Can dog diarrhea be treated at home?

It all depends on the reason. If you know for sure that the dog has eaten stale food or simply overeat, you can give it absorbents and keep it on a strict diet for several days. However, if the cause is probably not known to you, it is better to consult a specialist.

Why is dog diarrhea dangerous?

In addition to the fact that it is often a symptom of serious disturbances in the functioning of the animal’s body, diarrhea leads to such unpleasant consequences as dehydration, exhaustion, lethargy. Not to mention that if the dog lives in an apartment, diarrhea can become a serious problem for the owners, because they will not be able to take their pet outside every half hour.

Why can dog diarrhea be accompanied by vomiting?

This happens most often when the cause of diarrhea is food poisoning or foreign bodies entering the digestive tract. The body is simply trying in every possible way to get rid of a foreign object or toxins, and the stomach and intestines do this, so to speak, each on their part. As a rule, vomiting occurs first, since poor-quality food first enters the stomach, and as the toxins reach the intestines, diarrhea also joins.

One way or another, there is nothing good in this, and it is better to show the dog to the veterinarian.

Does activated carbon help?

Activated carbon is an old and proven absorbent not only for years, but also for centuries, which acts equally effectively on the body of both humans and animals: one tablet per 10 kg of weight. However, it should be understood that coal will be effective only if we are dealing with food poisoning.

Of course, if you notice signs of diarrhea and vomiting in a dog, you can try to give it activated charcoal – there will be no harm from this (unless it is unlikely that you can easily persuade the pet to swallow tasteless tablets), but if you see that there is no improvement, be sure see your veterinarian.

Expert advice

“If you notice diarrhea in a dog, we recommend that you always see a veterinarian, because what manifests itself in the form of an upset gastrointestinal tract does not always relate directly to him, it may be a secondary manifestation of some other disease. And if it is viral, then it is serious enough, and the owner, unfortunately, will not help here. Also, many diseases not related to digestion can manifest as dog diarrhea. This is primarily kidney damage. When toxins are not eliminated in sufficient quantities in the usual way, the body gets rid of them where it can: through the skin, through the mucous membranes, as a result, their irritation and inflammation occurs. It can also be heart problems: a violation of pressure due to the work of the heart can also manifest itself in various dyspeptic disorders. Also, the cause may be problems with the central nervous system, since the control of internal organs by the brain is impaired. We can also talk about the problems of organs that are associated with the digestive tract, but function outside of it, for example, the liver. As a result, both the endocrine and exocrine systems of the animal’s body suffer.

So, we advise in case of dog diarrhea, to go to the clinic. There we will definitely conduct a full examination, take off the main indicators: temperature, pulse, respiration, etc. Plus, in parallel, we ask the owners about the methods of keeping, feeding and living conditions of the animal, processing it from parasites. And this helps us to make the right diagnosis and prescribe the right treatment. Because self-medication does not always give the desired result. And sometimes we have to treat a dog not for viruses, but for the consequences of such traditional therapy, in particular, for alcohol poisoning, which the owners often give to their pets, trying to cure them of poisoning or plague. “

Important! This article is merely informative, at Petsfeed.co we do not have the power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the vet in the event that it presents any type of condition or discomfort.

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