A Common (Poop) Problem

June 20th, 2007 by Dan

Unfortunately, diarrhea is one of the most common issues dog owners encounter with their beloved pets. This can be upsetting to both us and our companions, especially for housebroken dogs who are unable to control themselves when they aren’t feeling well. It’s often difficult to judge how severe the problem is, so here are some guidelines to help you know when to seek the assistance of your veterinarian, and when you may be able to try a “home remedy.”

The most common causes of diarrhea:
*Suddenly changing of food
*Over-feeding
*Eating garbage or rotten foods
*Stress and travel
*Over-exertion and excitement
*Over-exposure to the heat

Try to estimate fluid loss vs water intake; this may be gauged by the frequency of diarrhea and its volume. If it’s frequent with large volumes of fluid, it warrants a call to your vet. If it’s less frequent loose stools, you can hold off for 24 hours and try to treat this issue at home. Fast your dog, but offer plenty of water. To encourage drinking you can add some unsalted chicken broth or beef broth to the water. The next day offer only boiled chicken, cooked rice and canned pumpkin. (pumpkin not only helps firm up a dog’s stools, but also helps with constipation).

If there is blood in the stool, contact your vet right away. Though this could be from irritation of the bowl, it also could be something more serious and we’d rather everyone be safe than sorry!

Is this a puppy? If it is, please call your vet and explain the situation. Pups are less able to cope with the dehydration that diarrhea brings on and this can quickly become life-threatening.

If you do bring your dog into the vet for loose stool issues, you can aid in the process by bringing a fresh stool sample with you on your visit, which will be examined to see if your dog has any intestinal parasites (hook worms, round worms, coccidia, giardia, etc). Often your vet will send you home with Metronidazole, which is an antibiotic used to treat protozoal infections and anaerobic bacterial infections.

If gastric upset is a common issue for your dog, consider looking into alternatives (not prescription diets, but other foods that may be healthier for your pet). Also, supplementing meals with pumpkin or probiotics (we use human grade pills, mixed in with a meal) can go a long way in treating this issue.





4 Responses to “A Common (Poop) Problem”

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