Diarrhea is a Common Dog Disease

Diarrhea is loose, watery stools that occur more frequently than usual.  It is a common type of dog disease that owners have to deal with.  Diarrhea varies in signs, severity and duration depending on the cause.

dog diarrhea featured1 Diarrhea is a dog disease that can be acute or chronic in nature.

Acute diarrhea is a dog disease that usually last for a few days and is typically caused by some sort of infection.  These infections can be bacterial, parasitic or viral in nature.  They are typically located in the small intestine and tend to involve large volumes of watery stools.

Major risks with diarrhea associated dog disease.

Diarrhea leads to a significant loss of body fluids and electrolytes (sodium and potassium).  If fluid intake does not keep up with the losses that are occurring, dehydration can result.  Dehydration by itself can result in dog disease, including renal disease and death.  The risks of dehydration are greatest in puppies or older dogs.  Therefore, puppies or older dogs that develop diarrhea should seek medical attention soon if signs are severe or do not resolve quickly.

Treatment for diarrhea that is caused by mild forms of dog disease.

Bland diet is most commonly advised in dogs that have diarrhea.  This can be in the form of rice (flavored with chicken broth), low fat cottage cheese, boiled chicken with skin removed or commercial products such as Hill’s Science diet I/D.  Increasing the fiber content of the diet is thought to help firm stools while a low residue diet is thought to help by decreasing the stool volume.  Imodium A-D helps increase segmental contractility of the colon which slows transit time of intestinal contents allowing more time for water to be absorbed from the intestinal tract thereby increasing stool form.  A stool sample should be tested for parasites, especially in areas where parasitic disease is very prevalent.  If the dog disease results in severe or prolonged signs of diarrhea, consultation with a veterinarian is advised.

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Dr Stephen Atwater

Stephen W. Atwater, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVIM (oncology) is a board-certified veterinary oncology specialist. His professional interests include utilizing emerging therapies for difficult to treat cancers.

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