Diarrhea - Dogs>
How to Tell If a Dog Has Diarrhea
As most dog owners know, canines will eat anything they can find. Unfortunately, this can lead to a lot of digestive problems for your pooch, including diarrhea. Animal Wellness Clinic is your resource for spotting the signs of diarrhea in dogs and providing treatment.
To start, pay attention to your dog’s elimination habits before they become sick. It may be unpleasant, but knowing how your pet’s stool normally looks will make it easier to spot issues later. Healthy dogs produce chocolate brown stool with a fairly solid consistency. Anything else should be considered unusual.
Examples of Unusual Stool Samples:
Be on the lookout for unusual stool, including:
- Green – Green stool results from your dog eating a lot of grass, often a sign they are trying to calm their stomach
- Yellow – Yellow coloration usually means your dog has an internal problem with their liver, pancreas, or gallbladder
- Brown with White – White spots which resemble rice often indicate worms in your pet’s digestive tract
- Red – Fresh blood in stool means your dog has bleeding in their lower gastrointestinal tract
- Black – Internal bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract can turn stool black and will need immediate treatment
Consistency is also important to check when your dog has diarrhea. The more liquid the stool, the more severe your pet’s condition is, regardless of color. Call our Waukesha area veterinary clinics in advance to see if you should bring in a spool sample with your dog. If stool is discolored, liquid, or contains blood, your dog will require immediate treatment at our veterinary clinics.
Signs of Severe Diarrhea
- Loss of appetite
- Swollen stomach
- Weight loss
Diarrhea which lasts for more than 24 hours will require a visit to Animal Wellness Center, regardless of other symptoms. Our veterinarians will provide a thorough exam to determine what is making your pup unwell.
Young puppies should always get a thorough checkup if they have diarrhea since they are more likely to become dehydrated or severely ill.
What Causes Dog Diarrhea?
Diarrhea can often be an indicator of other health problems in dogs.
- Allergic Reactions in Canines - Dogs can experience chronic diarrhea if they eat a food they are allergic to. If you have recently changed food brands or are trying a new flavor treat, these may be the culprit. Switch their food over slowly so their body can adapt to the change.
- Consumption of Foreign Objects - If your dog eats items they shouldn’t this can lead to diarrhea. Anything from garbage to toxic plants can lead to this reaction. Our vets use ultrasound and x-ray technology to find foreign objects in your pup’s gastrointestinal tract. In worst case scenarios, surgery may be necessary to remove the object.
- Infection - Parasites like roundworms and hookworm larvae can cause diarrhea in canines when ingested. Certain bacterial and viral infections will also cause diarrhea as a symptom. Make sure your dog receives their annual vaccinations and checkups at Animal Wellness Center to keep them from catching many preventable diseases.
- Internal Disorders - Problems with the kidneys, liver, or digestive tract may lead to diarrhea and other health problems in canines.
How to Treat Dog Diarrhea
Make sure your dog stays hydrated by drinking plenty of water or eating ice cubes. You can entice them into drinking more by using rice water or a meaty broth for taste.
As for food, stick to bland foods like rice, baby food, or chicken. If your pup recently vomited, wait 6-12 hours before feeding. If they can keep bland food down, you may slowly introduce more foods into their diet until they resume eating normally.
Never try to treat your dog’s diarrhea by using human medication without approval from our veterinarians.
Fortunately, many dogs experience brief diarrhea after eating something which disagrees with their digestive system. Once it passes, your dog will be back to normal. In the event diarrhea is a symptom of another medical condition, our experienced vets will prescribe treatment options for your dog.