Understanding Diarrhea

Diarrhea is one of the most common reasons owners bring their dogs to see us. It can be very alarming to both you and your pup. Diarrhea is not a disease but possibly a symptom of many other diseases. Most of the time diarrhea is not serious. Usually diarrhea is brought on by eating garbage or some other nasty morsel. Other minor causes are stomach or intestinal viruses. You can usually treat your pet at home for this type of diarrhea. Time is usually the best cure, but you can give your dog a medicine such as Kaopectate. Give your dog 0.5 to 1.0 ml per pound every 2 to 6 hours. You will need to make sure that your pooch does not get dehydrated. You can give him a sports drink in his water dish to guard against loss of nutrients. Do not feed your dog any table scraps or treats while she is suffering from diarrhea.

You might ask, “How do I know if my dogs diarrhea is serious?” Here’s the answer.

Your dog’s diarrhea may be serious if any of the following additional symptoms are present.

· Vomiting

· Dehydration

· Loss of appetite

· Abdominal pain

· High fever

· Lethargy

· Bloody diarrhea

· Watery diarrhea

If the diarrhea is occurring in conjunction with one or more of the symptoms above you should bring your pup to the clinic for a diagnosis. Dr. Simon may do x-rays, blood tests, stool cultures, biopsies of the intestinal tract, or in severe cases exploratory surgery. He may also prescribe medications or a special diet for your dog.

If you bring your dog in, you should know some of the following information.

· How long the diarrhea has been present?

· Has it gotten worse?

· What is the consistency of the stool?

· Is there blood in the stool?

· How often is the diarrhea happening?

· What color is the stool?

· Is your dog eating normally?

· What have you been feeding – or what might your dog have eaten lately?

· Do you have any other pets in your house? Have they also had diarrhea?

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