Diarrhea in dogs can have a number of different causes, including infection, parasites and stress. The first step in treating dog diarrhea is identifying its source, and one way to do this is to note its consistency, smell and color. In older and younger dogs it is more serious as it can cause dehydration, so if your dog is in this risk group and experiencing loose bowels, make a visit to your veterinarian.
Causes of Dog Diarrhea
The following are common causes of diarrhea in dogs and their symptoms:
- Parasites – Roundworms are the most common dog parasite and since they affect the gastrointestinal tract, they often cause diarrhea and vomiting. Some worms, such as intestinal flukes, can cause bloody diarrhea, a more serious condition that should be attended to immediately by a veterinarian.
- Leptospirosis – This bacteria causes chills, muscle aches and fever, followed by extreme vomiting and diarrhea. It often results in kidney and liver damage and is sometimes fatal.
- Parvo – This virus has a number of initial symptoms similar to leptospirosis, but is usually less dangerous. Diarrhea and vomiting that can lead to dehydration pose the greatest risk. In more severe cases, blood can be observed in the diarrhea.
- Hyperthyroidism – This condition results in an overproduction of thyroid hormone that speeds up the body’s processes, including metabolism. Weight loss and diarrhea are common symptoms.
- Corona Virus – This is a serious viral condition that can lead to intense vomiting and diarrhea. In this case, the diarrhea will be watery, foul-smelling and yellow-orange in color.
- Canine Crohn’s Disease and Colitis – Both of these conditions lead to inflammation of the intestines and can cause diarrhea and vomiting.
- Allergies – Allergic reactions to food or medication can often cause diarrhea.
Dog Diarrhea Treatment
Since diarrhea in dogs can be caused by a number of different conditions, it is important first to identify its source. Once the cause is removed the diarrhea will cease. To help your veterinarian identify the cause of diarrhea, try to collect a sample that you can keep in a jar for your visit. In some cases, your veterinarian will be able to use the sample to visually identify the cause or they might use it to perform a clinical diagnosis. Depending on the exact nature of the condition, a number of different treatments might be recommended, including antibiotics, Purina Veterinary Diets FortiFlora Canine Nutritional Supplement or Centrine Tabs, all available from National Pet Pharmacy.
Regardless of the cause of diarrhea, it is important to treat the symptoms as well, especially in the cases of older and younger pets. Diarrhea can lead to intense dehydration, especially when it is accompanied by vomiting, so it is important to keep your dog hydrated. Your veterinarian might administer fluids intravenously or via injection, but you can also do your best to provide your dog with fluids, including Gatorade. You also might want to keep your dog on a diet of chicken and rice for a while, as this will help to bind loose bowels in dogs.
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