One of the many new activities I have tried for my pets is cooking for them. It doesn’t mean I have eliminated feeding them holistic dog food but it brings more variety into their daily meals. One of the side effects that can happen is your pooch can have a diarrhea from the transition. Of course I grew concerned because I needed to make sure my pets were still healthy and I was not feeding them anything that they should not be eating. I checked with our veterianarian and also look up information about pets having bouts of diarrhea and what I can do.
My pets are fine now but of course it came up in conversations I have had with clients and other pet sitters . We discussed the best remedies and preventative care. So I decided to blog about this for any pet owners that have dealt with this like I have and need another confirmation that their treatment and care is correct when trying to cure diarrhea in their pets.
All dogs, at one point or another, have had a bout of diarrhea. Most diarrhea lasts a couple days, however when loose bowels continue over a long period of time it is a cause for concern; especially if the diarrhea gets severe, and is uncontrolled liquid squirts. My pets are my babies ( And for that matter, my clients’ pets , I treat them as my children too ). If your baby has a soft stool in his/her diaper, it may not be a cause for you to seek your doctor’s advice, for instance, if you have tried a new food ( my cooking) which upset the baby’s belly. If this is the case for your pet, it may be fine for you to treat it at home. However, if your baby had uncontrolled diarrhea, you would seek a medical doctor’s advice, as there could be an underlying cause. Like a baby, a puppy or dog can dehydrate FAST from severe diarrhea. REMEMBER, diarrhea can be mild or severe and the treatments differ.
Causes of Diarrhea
Bacteria/ Parasites – Viruses and parasites are one of the main causes of diarrhea in dogs If you are concerned that this is the cause, please get a stool sample to the vet to check for Coccidia(Coccidiosis), Giardia, Trichomonas or other infections. If your litter of two-week-old puppies gets diarrhea, it could be worms. Normally we do not worm pups till three weeks, but some do it at two weeks. When worms become active, it can cause diarrhea. If the diarrhea worsens, even after using a worming medicine, you may need to check for coccidia. The incubation period is 13 days, and the dams often carry it. They would come in contact from the dam at birth, or shortly after; they are not born with it. If a 13-day-old puppy has diarrhea, it often means coccidia. This requires vet medicine to treat. It can be found in a stool sample.
Anxiety – My pets as with all pets get completely excited or stressed over many things. One issue can be the stress of traveling, being in a kennel or a doctor’s office. Believe it or not dogs/puppies have been known to get diarrhea from the excitement/stress of these issues.
Foreign Diets – Dogs are natural scavengers and tend to eat many indigestible substances, including garbage and decayed food, dead animals, grass, wild and ornamental plants, and pieces of plastic, wood, paper, and other foreign materials. Many of these are irritating to the stomach as well as to the bowel, and are partially eliminated through vomits.
Food Intolerance – As I mentioned earlier, the change in diet can put a strain on your pet’s belly. Foods that some dogs seem unable to tolerate can include beef, pork, chicken, horsemeat, fish, eggs, dairy products, spices, corn, wheat, soy, gravies, salts, spices, fats, and some commercial dog foods. Note that food intolerance is not the same as food allergy, which causes dermatitis and possibly vomiting, but rarely causes diarrhea.
Drugs & Medications – Diarrhea is a common side effect of many drugs and medications, particularly the NSAIDs ,which include aspirin. Some heart medications, some dewormers, and most antiobiotics also can cause diarrhea.
Treatments of Diarrhea In Dogs
Home Treatment For Acute Diarrhea
The most important step in treating acute diarrhea is to rest the GI tract by withholding all food for 24 hours. The dog should be encouraged to drink as much water as he wants. With persistent diarrhea, consider giving a supplemental electrolyte solution such as Pedialyte, available over the counter in pharmacies and grocery stores. This has been a great solution for me and one of my main first options. Dilute it by one-half with water and add it to the dog’s drinking bowl. Custom canine electrolyte solutions and sport drinks are also available, such as K9 Thirst Quencher. These are flavored to encourage the dog to drink. If the dog won’t drink the electrolyte solution, offer only water. A low-salt bouillon cube dissolved in the water can help encourage him to drink.
Acute diarrhea usually responds within 24 hours to intestinal rest. Start the dog out on an easily digestible diet that’s low in fat. Examples are boiled hamburger (one part drained meat to two parts cooked rice) and boiled chicken with the skin removed. Cooked white rice, cottage cheese, cooked macaroni, cooked oatmeal, and soft-boiled eggs are other easily digestible foods. Feed three or four small meals a day for the first two days. Then slowly switch the diet back to the dog’s regular food.
Obtain immediate veterinary care if:
- The diarrhea continues for more than 24 hours
- The stool contains blood or is black and tarry
- The diarrhea is accompanied by vomiting
- The dog appears weak or depressed or has a fever
What if the Diarrhea is Chronic?
If it turns out that your dog chronically has diarrhen then your first step is to find and treat the underlying cause. Diarrhea resulting from a change in diet can be corrected by switching back to the old diet and then making step-by-step changes to pinpoint the cause. When lactase deficiency is suspected, eliminate milk and dairy products from the diet, particularly as they are not required for adult dogs.
Diarrhea caused by overeating (characterized by large, bulky, unformed stools) can be controlled by tailoring the diet more accurately to the caloric needs of the dog and feeding his daily ration in three equal meals.
Chronic, intermittent diarrhea that persists for more than three weeks requires veterinary attention.
If You are Interested in any routine care of your dog, Feel Free to Download this reference guide and print out. routine-health-care-of-dogs10092013(3)