Diarrhea is not a disease itself but rather a symptom that something is not right with your dog's health or gastrointestinal system. Diarrhea is the passing of unformed , frequent, and increased volume of stool.
Many dogs, like humans, may occasionally suffer from an acute bout of diarrhea. Acute means coming on suddenly and lasting no longer than a few days. If your dog is well and has no other symptoms other than a frequent loose bowel motion there is probably no cause for immediate alarm and you can treat it at home. There are many causes for diarrhea, for example your dog may have eaten something disagreeable. Other causes could include a sudden change in diet, food allergies, worm infestation or viral or bacterial infection.
If your dog has any of the following symptoms
in conjunction with diarrhea seek veterinary advice
Blood in the diarrhea
Lethargy or depression
Loss of appetite
Foul smelling, with a ravenous appetite
Any other sign of illness
What you can do at home for diarrhea
Withhold food (but not water) for 24 hours (12 hours for young puppies) to give your dog's digestive system a rest. Then feed him feed him a bland diet of 50% boiled rice and 50% chicken or 50/50 boiled rice and cooked hamburger for the next two to three days. If the diarrhea doesn't resolve seek advice from your vet.
Watch out for dehydration
A lot of water is lost from the dog's system when passing frequent watery motions so watch your dog for symptoms of dehydration. Sticky or dry gums can often indicate dehydration.
Encourage him to drink plenty of water or Lectade may be given. Lectade, an oral re-hydration therapy for cats and dogs can be used to reverse the effects of dehydration and loss of electrolytes following diarrhea . In the first 24 hours this should be given at the rate of 8-30mls every half hour by mouth. For example a small toy dog would require 8mls and a large dog such as a german shepherd would require 30mls.
If the diarrhea has come on suddenly consider if you have made any changes to his diet. Often cheaper brand dog foods can cause diarrhea as can a sudden change in diet. Feed your dog a good high quality diet. Cheap dog food may ultimately cost you more with higher vet bills. My advice is to feed your dog the best possible food that you can afford. Cheaper dog foods are bulked out with vegetables and carbohydrates which pass straight through your dog.
Rule of thumb: If you put in rubbish, rubbish will come out.
Diarrhea can also be caused by dairy intake in dogs due to lactose intolerance. Dogs and puppies do not need to be given milk to drink.
Don't feed dogs people food. Especially spicy food.
Pumpkin for Diarrhea and Constipation
It's quite strange that canned pureed pumpkin (not the pie filling but the 100% natural canned pumpkin) can work wonders for both the occasional bout of diarrhea or for the opposite, constipation in dogs. It has been reported that it firms up dog's loose stools or diarrhea within a few hours. How much pumpkin should you give? It depends on the size of the dog but as a rule of thumb a couple of teaspoons daily for a small dog or a couple of tablespoons for a large dog. It's doubtful that your dog or puppy will eat it without disguising it in some way in it's food.
If your dog has chronic diarrhea (Chronic means continuing for a long time, lingering or persistent) then medical advice should be sought. Always check with your vet if diarrhea is severe or persistent. Diarrhea can be life threatening.
See also Remove Dog Poop from Carpets. Both stains & odors using household products
Some Possible Causes of Diarrhea
Drinking Milk (Lactose Intolerance)
Infection (viral or bacterial)
Parasites such as giardia & coccidia
Blockage (foreign object)
Intussusception (telescoping of the bowel on itself)
Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency
articles on this site have not been written by a veterinarian
& should not be considered a replacement for a veterinarian
visit. The articles are provided for informative purposes
only. Always seek
immediate veterinary advice for any problems (health or
behavioral) in your pets. While great care
has been made in the creation of these articles, we cannot
guarantee the accuracy or omissions on these pages. If in any
doubt whatsoever, seek professional medical advice
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