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Dog's diarrhea: symptoms, origins and treatments

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Posted on October 18 2018

The digestive system of dogs is particularly sensitive. The slightest trauma to it can lead to disorders, manifested in particular by diarrhea.

There is a wide variety of events that can lead to diarrhea in puppies and dogs. It can be an upheaval too brutal in its diet, the intake of food inadequacy or substance toxic, or infection parasitic or viral.



In most cases, fortunately, the diarrhea lasts no more than a few days and eventually gives way to a return to normal in the digestive tract of the animal. This does not prevent his master from having to follow his condition and take care of him to help him in his total healing.

Symptoms of diarrhea in dogs

A dog with diarrhea will have stools that are of high frequency and have a particularly soft , sometimes liquid texture . In cases of mild diarrhea, which are the most common, this symptom is not accompanied by a weakening of the dog, fever or other manifestations. He may just vomit a few times. On the other hand, if the animal with diarrhea shows worrying signs in parallel (lethargy, painful belly, etc.), it is important to take him to the vet as soon as possible.

Dog diarrhea can occur as a result of various events such as stress , ingestion of a toxic substance, abrupt change of diet, consumption of food not tolerated by the body or overeating. Viral and parasitic causes are also commonly encountered.

Causes of diarrhea

  • Consumption of an unacceptable food : certain substances are badly digested by the dog. Cow's milk is a perfect example. The lactose it contains is not tolerated by the body of the adult dog, which can then have diarrhea after consuming it. Puppies are better protected against this problem because they have an enzyme called lactase that facilitates the digestion of lactose. This enzyme disappears after weaning. Other foods can cause diarrhea in dogs, such as meat scraps.
  • Abrupt dietary changes : the dog's digestive system needs time to adapt to new feeding patterns . Food disruption can occur with the arrival of the dog to a new family, for example. The transition from one food mode to another must be progressive . It is recommended, for example, to mix the old and the new food in the animal's meals by gradually reducing the proportions of the former in favor of the new.
  • Parasitic infection : internal parasites can develop in the digestive system of the dog and cause disorders. This is why it is so important to have it dewormed regularly: every month until the age of 6 months, then 1 to 2 times a year for adults. The deworming treatment will eliminate and prevent the development of intestinal worms and parasites.
  • Viral infection : Many viruses can cause digestive disorders in dogs and cause diarrhea. Most of these viral diseases, such as distemper and parvovirus, can be treated. Only the veterinarian will know which vaccine to administer to the animal.
  • Intoxication : the direct or indirect environment of the dog is not lacking substances potentially toxic to his body. Especially since the animal is often curious and has a tendency to taste anything and everything. This is the case of some plants such as laurel, for example. Their compounds can irritate the digestive tract and cause diarrhea.

What to do in case of diarrhea?

It is often recommended that dogs be given a 24- to 48-hour water diet to allow their digestive system to recover slowly from the trauma that has led to diarrhea. Water diet means to stop feeding the dog, but while giving him to drink in small amounts. It is also possible to offer the dog water cooking rice . This one will be restorative for its digestive system.

The animal will then return to a normal diet gradually, until its stool is regularized . In cases of fever and severe physical weakness, it is best to consult your veterinarian.

Medical care

The veterinarian may prescribe different treatments depending on the origin and degree of severity of the diarrhea. An intestinal bandage , administered orally, may be recommended in order to line the wall of the digestive tract and eliminate toxins.

The veterinarian may also decide to give him an antibiotic if the diarrhea is a bacterial infection. In cases of acute diarrhea in puppies, for example, an oral rehydration or infusion method may be used.

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