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Diarrhoea in dogs: Causes and Treatment

Diarrhoea in dogs: Causes and Treatment

Diarrhoea in dogs: Causes and Treatment

When your canine pal is unwell, there may be a variety of sings, one of which is diarrhoea. With their tendency to eat anything they can get their paws on, diarrhoea in dogs is fairly common. Dogs can get diarrhoea for a number of reasons, with some being more serious than others.

In this article, Pedigree® looks at the causes behind dog diarrhoea and how to effectively treat it.

What is dog diarrhoea?

Diarrhoea means loose, watery stools or stools of normal consistency but more often. The colour may also be different, and your dog may go to the toilet more often than usual. Occasionally there may be blood or mucus present in your dog’s stools.

What causes dog diarrhoea?

Dogs can get diarrhoea for numerous reasons. The most common cause is having eaten something that has caused problems with their digestive tract. In fact, if you make any rapid changes to your dog’s diet, they may temporarily experience diarrhoea as a reaction to the new food. Dogs can also get diarrhoea as aside effect of taking certain medications, which your vet can advised you on.

However, there are other causes of diarrhoea which may need a visit to the vet and medication to solve. These include parasites, viruses, bacterial infections, organ disease and poisoning. If your dog has diarrhoea, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Has my dog eaten something they shouldn’t have?

If your dog may have consumed toxic foodstuffs such as chocolate, onions, grapes or dried fruit, this may be an explanation for diarrhoea. Bacteria including Salmonella and E.coli for example from raw meat and animal derivatives can also cause diarrhoea, so try to work out whether your dog has been scavenging food, as this could be responsible.

  • Is my dog up-to-date with preventive medical treatment?

Parasites including roundworm can cause diarrhoea in dogs, so it’s important to stay on top of worming treatments.

Pet owners should note that stress can also cause a bout of diarrhoea.

When is diarrhoea serious?

We say that a dog should fast for 24 hours and if diarrhoea doesn’t stop after 48 hours we should consult a vet. If your dog has diarrhoea and exhibits any of the following systems, take them to the vet immediately:

  • Weight loss
  • Mucus or blood in stools
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Dehydration
  • Lethargy
  • Pale gums

It’s important to remember that if you have a puppy and a senior dog with diarrhoea, you should take them to the vet as soon as you notice. As puppies are smaller, they can become dehydrated more quickly than adult dogs and will need treatment sooner.

Diagnosing the cause of diarrhoea

Your vet can give your dog a complete examination and may need to do tests to work out what the problem is. They will ask you about any unusual clinical signs your dog has, any changes to their diet, and previous medical history. The vet may need to take samples from your dog to check for infections, parasites or indications of specific diseases.

How to treat dog diarrhoea

You can treat mild cases of diarrhoea yourself at home. Access to clean drinking water is essential to ensure your dog stays hydrated. Avoid feeding your dog for the first 24 hours, then give them small amounts of bland food such as white rice, boiled chicken, or specialist veterinary diet. If this stays down, you can gradually introduce their usual food over the next day in small amounts until their stools have returned to a normal consistency.

If your dog has sustained diarrhoea and you are worried about them, always take them to see a vet straight away.

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