When you dog starts having diarrhea, you may think that it is the most uncommon thing in the world. However, it is actually very common for dogs to have diarrhea because of their scavenging behavior. Think of the things that they put in their mouth! Of course, at the same time, the diarrhea can be caused by something more serious, which is why you need to watch your canine very closely. Read on to learn what you need to know about diarrhea in dogs.
Why Is Your Dog Experiencing Diarrhea?
If the diarrhea came on suddenly and your dog is healthy otherwise, then it is likely a result of a sudden change in his or her diet, stress or scavenging behavior. It could also be a a bacterial, viral or parasitic infection.
If your dog is experiencing chronic diarrhea, then it could be a certain type of parasite, such as whipworm or roundworm, dietary allergy, irritable bowel syndrome, pancreatic disease or even certain types of cancer.
How to Care for Your Dog Immediately
If you have a puppy or an elderly dog or your dog has a preexisting health condition, it is important that you don't try any home remedies and that you give your veterinarian a call for guidance. These dogs can become very sick by even the mildest form of diarrhea. You should also immediately call the vet if the diarrhea is extremely watery or has blood in it or if your dog is lethargic, vomiting or in pain.
If your dog is only experiencing diarrhea, you will want to ensure that he or she has plenty of water in order to prevent dehydration. If your dog is not wanting to drink on his or her own, encourage your dog to drink. Your dog may not be very interested in food, but there are certain human foods that are good for dogs with diarrhea, including white rice, pumpkin, and mashed potatoes.
If your dog has been vomiting, you should keep food away from him or her until the vomiting has stopped for several hours then you may introduce food. If at any time the diarrhea lasts more than 24 hours or your dog seems to be getting worse, it is a good idea to contact your veterinarian for emergency assistance.
What Can the Vet Do?
If you end up needing to contact a vet or emergency animal clinic, like Animal Emergency Clinic, there are several different things that they can do. The vet should begin with a physical exam and a fecal exam. In some cases, this will be all that is needed to determine a diagnosis. When a diagnosis cannot be gathered this way, the veterinarian may order lab work, x-rays of the abdomen, an ultrasound and maybe even an endoscopy.