When to worry about a dog’s diarrhea | VailDaily.com

When to worry about a dog’s diarrhea

Nadine Lober
Vail, CO Colorado

It is the time of year when our dogs are running around eating and drinking stuff outside, and we don’t always know what they have consumed.

But we sure know that they did swallow something when a few hours later, they have the worst smelly, messy diarrhea. We need to determine if this is serious or if it is a passing problem.

If the dog is acting normal than we have some time for observation. If the dog is very lethargic, seems to be in pain, does not want to move or is panting and breathing hard, then this may be an emergency.

First, if your pet is acting normal then it is best to avoid feeding his regular food and, for a couple of days, give him a blander food, such as simple carbohydrates and proteins that are easily digestible. Most of you have probably already experienced this and cooked up some white rice, chicken breast or ground beef.

If the diarrhea does not clear up you should seek medical attention for your pet. A fecal analysis is always helpful to look for parasites, bacteria and worms.

If the diarrhea is very watery and your dog is not acting sick, then you can give your dog Immodium AD, an over-the-counter diarrhea medicine for humans. You’ll have to adjust the dose according to your dog’s size and I don’t suggest giving it more than two days because Immodium can cause constipation if given long term.

If your dog has bloody diarrhea, this can mean a serious problem, and can also be a sign of colitis, or inflammation of the colon. The colon has a sensitive lining and many things, such as stress, can cause a disturbance.

Stress can include a recent move, change in environment, boarding your pet for a while or a new addition to the family. This is usually easy to treat but may require prescription drugs. A fecal sample given to your local veterinarian is a good idea to rule out other causes.

This may seem trivial to you the owner of the sick pet, but it is very important to take notice of the symptoms when diarrhea occurs. As a diagnostic tool for us veterinarians, it is helpful to know the frequency of diarrhea, whether it’s watery or bloody and the volume.

There are many other causes of diarrhea, including pancreatitis, ulcers, parasites, toxins and food intolerance, among others.

This is the time of year when we see a lot of diarrhea, and sometimes it clears up alone and sometimes it needs medical attention.

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