Causes of Dog Diarrhea
Causes of Dog Diarrhea in Amesbury, MA
It can be concerning and alarming when your dog has diarrhea. As a pet owner, it will be natural for you to want to find a cure and remedy for them immediately. However, in order to find a cure for your dog’s diarrhea, you must first know what the cause is. The production of loose and frequent stools is one of the most common gastrointestinal issues in dogs.
Cases of mild diarrhea in dogs are very common. A dog can easily develop diarrhea when they eat something that doesn’t agree with their stomach or when you change their food. However, there are some more serious causes of diarrhea in dogs that pet owners need to be aware of.
Common Reasons Why Your Dog May Have Diarrhea
- Eating garbage or rotten food
- Stress or anxiety
- Change in dog food or treats
- Swallowing foreign objects found around the house or yard
- Ingesting toxins or poisons
- Medications or antibiotics
- Parasites such as roundworms or hookworms
- Viral infections such as parvovirus or distemper
- Bacterial infections such as salmonella or leptospirosis
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Pancreatitis (or inflammation of the pancreas)
- Colitis (or inflammation of the large intestine)
- Liver or kidney disease
- Intestinal cancer
Some of these reasons are less serious than others. However, when you start talking about diseases and cancer being the cause for your dog’s diarrhea, it can be very scary and overwhelming.
You may have seen your dog eating something he or she wasn’t supposed to be eating such as garbage or table scraps. If this is the case, once the bad food passes through their digestive system, the diarrhea should clear up.
If you are changing your dog’s food, you should always introduce the new food slowly. It can take a few days for your dog’s digestive system to adjust to new proteins in a different food. Mix the old food and the new food for a few days, but gradually increase the amount of the new food while decreasing the amount of the old food.
If you are unsure of the cause of your dog’s diarrhea, that’s when it is important to contact your veterinarian.
When Should You See a Veterinarian for Your Dog’s Diarrhea?
Your dog having diarrhea once or twice isn’t typically a major cause for concern. This usually means they have eaten something that doesn’t agree with their stomach. If you notice your dog has an episode of diarrhea, it is important to pay attention to their bowel movements so that you are aware of how long the diarrhea is lasting.
Even if your dog’s diarrhea seems mild, it never hurts to seek medical attention from a veterinarian.
If your dog has more than two bouts of diarrhea, there could be something more serious going on. You should call your dog’s veterinarian if they have more than two bouts of diarrhea or if your dog is straining to pass stool and is only passing small amounts of watery diarrhea. This could be due to a blockage from your dog swallowing a foreign object. A situation like this can become serious very quickly and requires immediate veterinarian care and attention.
If your dog has recurring bouts of diarrhea over a short period of time, this can be a sign of a more serious health complication. Viral and bacterial infections can be very serious, contagious, and even life-threatening. Don’t wait until it’s too late – call your veterinarian immediately if your dog is consistently experiencing diarrhea.
Sometimes when dogs have diarrhea, they will display other symptoms as well. In addition to diarrhea, if you notice your dog has blood in their stool, lack of appetite, or signs of dehydration, these are other major causes for concern and should be addressed with a veterinarian right away. You definitely don’t want your dog to become dehydrated due to having diarrhea. If they do, it may be necessary for a veterinarian to give your dog fluids through an IV.
Diarrhea can become very serious if it is not addressed. When you call your veterinarian, be prepared to tell them how long your dog has been experiencing diarrhea, if your dog has other medical issues, if your dog is eating and drinking normally, and if your dog is acting lethargic or sickly. Knowing these things can help a veterinarian determine how serious your dog’s diarrhea issue is and how quickly they may need to be seen.
How to Treat Dogs with Diarrhea
Any time your dog is experiencing diarrhea, make sure they have plenty of water to prevent them from becoming dehydrated.
Never give your dog human medication for their diarrhea. Some over the counter medications that humans take for diarrhea can be extremely dangerous and toxic to dogs. Always consult with your dog’s veterinarian before giving your dog any medication that has not been specifically prescribed to them. After doing some tests and potential blood work, your dog’s veterinarian will be able to recommend the most effective treatment.
If your dog has a viral or bacterial infection, they will need to be seen by a veterinarian so they can be prescribed an antibiotic or other course of treatment.
Instead of sending your dog outside to use the restroom on their own, go with them so that you can be aware of when they may be having issues. When you are in tune with your dog’s normal routine and behaviors, you will be able to notice more quickly when something is wrong. The quicker your dog’s diarrhea issue is addressed, the better.
Merrimac Valley Animal Hospital had humble beginnings in 1968. Dr. Walter Brown opened the animal hospital in a garage next to his home near the current hospital and operated out of this small space until the current building was built in 1969.