Diarrhea is the most common disease in dogs and every dog at one point or another of his life suffers from it. Diarrhea refers to the passing of soft, unformed, or watery faeces, and is due to inflammation of the intestines, or can be secondary to other diseases. It is most commonly associated with colitis in dogs, which is essentially caused by an inflammation of the colon which results in soft stools. Dog Diarrhea can be distressing for both the dog and the owner and can mean frequent trips to the vet.
Types of Diarrhea:
There are two types of Diarrhea- One is Acute Diarrhea and the other is Chronic Diarrhea. Acute Diarrhea usually happens when the dog has a dietary problem or some sort of an infection. It might also occur if the dog eats anything toxic. This leads to acute Pancreatitis as it inflames the pancreas. Blood tests and faecal tests are required to detect Acute Diarrhea. Chronic Diarrhea causes the animal to lose weight even though it might have an absolutely perfect appetite. A dog’s detailed health history is required to detect this kind of Diarrhea. Chronic Diarrhea can be very dangerous because the ongoing issue causes the loss of valuable nutrients and ultimately depletes the immune system functions.
Causes of Diarrhea in dogs:
Poor/cheap quality pet food.
Ingestion of spoilt food, garbage, or high fat food.
Viruses and parasites.
Dogs, like humans, can suffer from stress and this can also present a dog Diarrhea problem.
Viral and Bacterial infections.
Symptoms of Diarrhea, also known as Colitis include soft stools. A dog suffering from Diarrhea usually becomes depressed. He might also suffer from dehydration. If you feel that your dog is acting weird and is not his normal enthusiastic self, then he might be suffering from Diarrhea. Frequent Bowel Movement and difficulty in passing stools also indicate towards Diarrhea. The duration of the problem and the frequency and nature of the faeces can be helpful, because they may give the vet some clues as to the underlying cause of the problem. Check for any kind of mucus and blood in the stool because urgent action needs to be taken in such a case. This happens when the dog might have swallowed some indigestible objects such as rocks, stones or chunks of bones.
Of Acute Diarrhea-
A good way to alleviate his discomfort at home is to make him a bland home cooked diet. Make him a bowl with 1/3 boiled chicken meat, and 2/3 white rice (or cottage cheese). Keep the meal very low in fat and oil. You can introduce 1-3 tablespoons of yogurt per meal if you like. Also 2-4 tablespoons of boiled sweet potato or canned pumpkin will give him fiber enough to harden his stool. Return him back to his normal diet only after 3-4 days.
If your dog has Acute Diarrhea and has stopped eating and drinking then you should definitely call the vet. The vet will prescribe some medicine like Flagyl that kills the growth of certain bacteria and single cell animals.
Of Chronic Diarrhea-
Chronic Diarrhea may be from a severe food allergy, which means he needs to go on a food trial to identify the root food of his allergy. Vet care is necessary in the case of this form of Diarrhea. The vet will inject the dog with the required fluids according to the severity of the situation.
There are several steps you can take to minimise the risk of Diarrhea. Don’t change your dog’s diet frequently and when you shift from one brand to another, then introduce the new product slowly and gradually. Let your dog adapt to it and if you see that it affects his stomach and he has a smelly stool, immediately stop giving this product. See to it that your dog has access to clean water as contaminated water also causes Diarrhea. Also keep an eye on your dog’s mood as depression is one of the causes of Diarrhea. Ensure that he is happy and cheerful.