When you own a dog, then there are some unfortunate things you’ll have to deal with that counterbalance the joy, companionship and loyalty they bring to your life. Dealing with dog poo is no-one’s favourite part of pet ownership, and it only gets worse when your dog gets diarrhea.
Today we’re helping you to understand some of the causes of diarrhea in dogs, and perhaps more importantly, some of the things you can do about it, so the next time you’re lamenting ‘my dog has diarrhoea’ you’ll know what to do about it!
In the overwhelming majority of cases of diarrhea, your dog has no one to blame but itself. Many dogs eat indiscriminately – as owners are all too aware, having to protect furniture and wires in their home, and make sure their dog isn’t chewing on rubbish discarded in the street or snacking on mysterious foodstuffs found in hedges. Every so often, any dog that eats like this will run into problems, and diarrhea and vomiting help them to clear their system!
In some cases, eating spoiled or rotten food can lead to more serious problems – infections and parasites. This can cause diarrhea to continue for longer and may require medication prescribed by your vet. Diarrhea can also be caused by kidney and liver problems, which are serious issues dogs mainly experience later in life.
If your dog is having a bout of diarrhea but showing no other signs of distress, then the best thing you can do is help your dog fast. Moving them to a low food, easy to digest diet for 24 hours helps them cleanse their digestive system without overstressing it further.
Rice water – the water you pour off after boiling rice – is a good, neutral way to keep your dog nourished and hydrated while they spend a day recovering. If they don’t show any interest in it, mixing a small amount of chicken flavoured baby food into it can help make it more appetising.
You can also treat your dog with kaolin clay, which can help protect their digestive system or buy dog-safe versions of human digestive relievers like imodium from a vet, though you should be wary about administering drugs long term without an examination.
If your dog’s diarrhea issues don’t clear up within a day you might need to book a visit to the vet: even if they don’t have a health problem, not being able to hold down food and water for a long period creates problems of its own.
There are also symptoms you need to be aware of that indicate more serious issues requiring immediate treatment:
Gagging without vomiting, restlessness and a distended stomach are symptoms of bloat, which could require emergency surgery.
Lack of energy, blood in the urine or stool and a pained, hunched over posture are indications of a kidney or liver problem that requires a vet’s help without delay!