Diarrhea is a term referring to loose stools that form usually in large amounts and occur almost frequently. The frequency and duration of occurrence vary from dog to dog. Diarrhea is not a disease in itself but rather a sign of an underlying physiological disorder. The severity varies from mild to very serious or life-threatening ones. Mild cases of diarrhea may deteriorate into serious dehydration if left unchecked for long. Most dogs are prone to diarrhea due to dietary indiscretion, stemming from the tendency to pry into anything with their mouths! Most diarrhea isn’t complicated and, thankfully, are easily treatable.
Causes of Dog Diarrhea
Diarrhea involves the uncontrollable and rapid movement of the bowels, releasing poorly formed stool at irregular intervals. This causes the poor absorption of water since there’s hardly time for the gut to properly work on digestible. There’s a wide range of factors that bring about Diarrhea in dogs, although oftentimes it is a sign that your dog is suffering an underlying disease. Aside from dietary indiscretion, a change in your dog’s diet or its inability to tolerate certain foods may be a cause of diarrhea. Allergies in any form and even a parasitic attack can inspire diarrhea. Sometimes, a dog develops diarrhea when it swallows an indigestible or poisonous substance. A bacterial or viral infection, or some other illness– even common antibiotics; stress and emotional disturbances– can induce diarrhea in a dog.
Symptoms of Dog Diarrhea
The symptoms of diarrhea depend on its severity, which in turn depends on how long it has persisted. The underlying cause of diarrhea could be a dictating factor as to observable signs of diarrhea. Normally, a mild case of diarrhea entails the loose stools and loss of water from the body, which may not require medical attention. Serious cases arise from other disease conditions and may be life-threatening. If your dog begins to exhibit signs such as vomiting, bloody stools, loss of appetite, and reduced drinking, it may be a real cause for concern! These could be signs of cancer, a bacterial infection, or a viral disease such as parvovirus. Persistent diarrhea is also a serious problem and worse off if it should occur in a puppy or an aging dog.
Treatment for Dog Diarrhea
Determining the cause of the diarrhea is essential to its treatment. The frequency, color, smell, and consistency of the stool are indispensable to this process. The veterinarian is more likely to ask for fresh samples of the dog poop for inspection. If on further diagnosis, diarrhea is found as the only sign, the vet would perform a few other tests to rule out the possibility of parasites or other infections. But if the case is severe, including signs other than diarrhea, the vet should perform several other tests to reach a conclusive diagnosis. This may include the use of x-ray and microscopic studies on the feces.
As there are a number of factors that can trigger diarrhea in dogs, it is only logical to initiate a tailored pattern of treatment for each scenario. If your dog has a mild case of acute diarrhea, the veterinarian may prescribe easily digestible foods to be given to the dog at regular intervals– more conservative measures advise total abstinence from feeding for 12-24 hours to forestall symptoms. However, water intake should be increased. As the stool begins to normalize, you could strategically reintroduce the normal diet. In other instances, a probiotic may be prescribed to help the gut recover from the irritant. Anti-diarrheal drugs and dewormers may also be prescribed. Usually, most dogs begin to recover within 2-3 days of medication.
How to Prevent Dog Diarrhea
Preventing diarrhea may prove more intricate than treating it. However, prevention is key to ensuring that your dog doesn’t suffer the anguish that comes with diarrhea. Being able to manage your dog’s allergies may be a strong point in preventing the occurrence of diarrhea.