Like humans, dogs can also get sicknesses and diarrhea is one of the very common diseases among them. There are a lot of reasons that can cause diarrhea, some known some unknown. Anything from a minor infection to the presence of parasites in the digestive tract can cause diarrhea in dogs. Diarrhea in dogs could be serious when coupled with vomiting, or if it shows any noticeable change in its behavior. At times a non-stop diarrhea can be a cause of some underlying disease like intestinal cancer. In most of the cases diarrhea in dogs goes unnoticed and only when it begins to affect the rest of the activities of the dog will you get to know about its seriousness. If gone untreated it can have some serious ill-effects that can be life threatening. A severe diarrhea can end up in blood sugar depletion, a breakdown of the complete circulatory system which can result in the death of the animal.
Causes And Treatment
There can be a number of causes for diarrhea and its treatment also varies as per the cause.
One of the most common causes of diarrhea especially in puppies is stomach upset/intestinal upset. Sudden changes in the type of food that the dog eats or table scraps that the owner feeds, can cause diarrhea in dogs. Humans tend to treat dogs like themselves and feed them anything and everything that they eat. But the fact is that both of them have an entirely different intestinal system and so not all the food that humans consume should be given to dogs. Table scraps especially fatty food can cause vomiting and at times even pancreatic disease. Small pieces of unbroken bones can also cause damage to the intestinal wall causing diarrhea.
Watch its diet! Withhold the food for at least a day so that the digestive system settles down completely. In the meantime you can give enough and more water to help prevent dehydration. After 24 hours you can go for a simple diet of white rice and chicken. As the diarrhea slowly begins to die down you can slowly go back to the normal diet.
- Puppies are more prone to such diarrhea because of roundworms in their stomach,. Roundworms enter a dog’s body through the soil. The roundworms t enter puppies usually in the form of eggs. The eggs later growing into adults inside it. A dog that has roundworm infection will have a pot-belly with dull hair coat and low growth rate. Usually the worms are ousted of the body through their feces though not completely. If it goes unchecked these worms can lead to the death of the dog.
- Hookworms can be found in mature dogs especially living in warm and humid climates. Even unborn puppies are affected by these worms in pregnant dogs.
De-wormers do the trick of getting rid of the worms from dog’s body. Give it to the dogs every 6 months for its healthy growth.
- Parasites tend to affect the puppies more as they have comparatively low immunity. When diarrhea is accompanied with a pale greasy mucus, it can be because of the presence of the parasite giardia.
- Other than giardia the other parasites that are found in dogs are coccidiosis and crytosporidia. Diarrhea is the symptom common to infections caused by both these parasites, but presence of blood in feces shows the dog is affected by coccidiosis.
In such cases it is always better to take the dog to the nearest vet as soon as possible. Sulfa antibiotics will be prescribed by the vet that can control the effects of parasites.
Both Parvovirus and Distemper are highly contagious viral infections that have diarrhea as one of its symptoms.
Check with the vet for the treatment for viral infections. There is no known cure for distemper, but it can only be kept under control using medications. Prevention through vaccination is the best way your dog can be saved from these infections.
Infections caused by Bacteria namely E.coli, Campylobacter jejuni and Salmonella varieties can cause bloody diarrhea and stomach ache.
Antibiotics prescribed by the veterinarian can cure the diseases caused by bacterial infection. Apart from these, there are other reasons like kidney disease, blockage, liver disease, hormonal imbalance etc that can cause diarrhea. If the diarrhea is severe, continuing for more than a week or if it is bloody, call your vet immediately.