What To Do For Diarrhea In Dogs
While diarrhea in dogs can be indicative of a serious condition, more often than not it can be the result of pilfering something from the garbage, or even from your table, that didn't go down so well!
In the case of a puppy, it is often the result of overfeeding.
No matter what the cause, the mechanism of diarrhea - however uncomfortable - is usually helpful in purging a dog's system of whatever is causing the upset.
It's inevitable that at some point your dog or puppy will have a case of the runs that will cause him to lose interest in his food, become sluggish and often dehydrated. Aside from these symptoms being caused by a disease, it can be brought on by culprits you might not suspect, such as milk or potatoes.
In the case of milk, while puppies are able to produce a sufficiency of the enzyme lactase that digests the lactose found in their mother's milk, many dogs become lactose intolerant as they mature. In fact, milk can act as a laxative - certainly something you want to avoid when diarrhea is present!
In the case of potatoes, it's the ones with green parts visible on the skin that need to be avoided. This is an indication that the toxic substance, Solanine, that can trigger diarrhea as well as vomiting, is present in greater quantities than normal. To be on the safe side, discard these type of potatoes because this toxic substance is also harmful to humans.
While these two culprits are not the most common ones, there are a number of other more well known causes to consider.
Cause Of Diarrhea In DogsRecognizing that there are different types of diarrhea, the cause of diarrhea in dogs can be be attributable to a number of different triggers such as:
From the above list of triggers, you can probably guess that diarrhea caused by a virus is a significantly more serious case and one that can cause your dog to experience severe dehydration and possible damage to the tissues of his intestional tract. Signs that may accompany this type of diarrhea in dogs are: fever, vomiting and abdominal tenderness or pain - plus the stools will appear more watery. If you see any of the signs, don't wait to seek professional advice!
If you suspect that worms may be at the heart of the loose stools, one sign is that worms will often make a dog itchy. So if you see your dog scooting his rear accross the room, worms may be the reason. Since there are various kinds of worms, some of which can do more than just cause diarrhea in dogs, your vet will want to examine your dog's stool to identify the type of worm present so that he can treat it accordingly. Tapeworms are the most common, but other invaders are roundworms, whipworms and hookworms.
The bottom line - any diarrhea in dogs that that continues into a second day without showing signs of easing, needs to be reported to the vet. Chronic conditions can develop from persistent diarrhea and won't get better without your vet's help.
Dog Diarrhea Treatment
While on this fast, offer plenty of water or clear low-fat broth to replace lost nutrients and to offset the risk of dehydration. One way to check for dehydration, is to examine your pet's gums which will have a dry appearance instead of their normal moistness. Another test, is to carefully pull down on the eyelid - if it sticks to the eye this is an indication of serious fluid loss and needs your vet's immediate attention.
If your dog doesn't seem interested in plain water or broth, you can try giving him a little Pedialyte, which has a taste dogs seem to like, to replace lost fluids and minerals.
If vomiting is present along with the loose stools, this is a sign that something more serious may be going on and is your signal to consult your veterinarian right away.
Following the period of fasting, a bland diet can be started with easy-to-digest foods such as low-fat chicken, or fish with rice, spread out over the day in small quantities.
When normal normal eliminations return, very gradually resume a normal diet so as not to cause a reoccurrence of diarrhea.
Prevention Of Diarrhea In DogsWhile there are no dog diarrhea cures to speak of, because it's almost impossible to track everything you dog gets into or what may be brewing that you can't see, here are some guidelines for what you can do to help prevent episodes of diarrhea:
Diarrhea in dogs - Don't Panic
The main thing is to get on top of it right away and if it persists, or you have any worries about it, get in touch with your vet.
Learning about the symptoms of various dog conditions and their treatment, will help you be a much more confident dog owner, as well as recognize when it's appropriate to try a home remedy and when your vet's help is needed. If you get yourself a copy of Dr. Pitcairn's New Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats by Richard H. Pitcairn, you will be able to learn how to recognize and treat many of your dogs health problems.
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