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Diarrhea in Canines
Diarrhea can occur in canines for numerous reasons - some as minor as a change in diet or stress, others as serious as infectious disease. Treating dogs with diarrhea is very successful so long as pet owners address the issue in a timely manner.
Acute diarrhea has a sudden onset and a short duration. In many cases, it is caused from a sudden change in food, an allergy, or bacteria. Symptoms may subside on their own in some dogs, but others may require veterinary intervention. Some causes of acute diarrhea may even be contagious to other pets or people, so please call our office as soon as you notice a problem. Diarrhea that lasts for longer than a few weeks is considered a chronic problem, and can be very serious. Continual diarrhea can initiate essential nutrient loss, making the body become toxic, lowering immune system function, and obstructing a dog’s ability to heal itself. As the immune system’s functionality is impaired, secondary disorders are able to develop, causing the body to deteriorate. Chronic diarrhea can be caused by a large number of issues, so your veterinarian my need to do some diagnostics in order to find the probable cause.
When to take your dog to the veterinarian:
• Loss of appetite
• Abdomen is sensitive to touch or pressure.
• Gums are dry or sticky (signs of dehydration).
• Have a fever.
• Blood in fecal matter.
• Have visible bloating.
• Lethargy or listlessness.
What causes chronic diarrhea?
Chronic diarrhea can be caused by a food allergy, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, parasites, or a variety of other conditions that the vet will need to diagnose.
As diarrhea symptoms continue, you might notice that your dog’s coat becomes rough or wiry, your pet has less energy, and/or your dog seems dehydrated. All of these are side effects of chronic diarrhea and will continue until treatment is implemented.
Treating chronic diarrhea
If your dog is experiencing chronic diarrhea, we recommend you call and schedule an appointment immediately. Our veterinarian will examine your pet for internal parasites and disease, conduct blood tests, and assess dehydration levels. Further diagnostics, such as imaging, might also be necessary. After completing a thorough exam, we will be able to distinguish what is causing the diarrhea and will be able to develop an effective treatment plan.