PetMeds® Acute Diarrhea Treatment in Dogs

Diarrhea in dogs is an elusive symptom for many potential diseases. If  the condition worsens, you should seek your veterinarian's help immediately. Acute diarrhea in dogs is one of the more common digestive complaints phoned into the clinic.  Diarrhea can have many causes from digestive tract parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, Giardia or Coccidia, various viruses such as Parvo or Coronavirus, as well as metabolic disease of the colon, liver or pancreas.

Dietary indiscretion or hypersensitivity reaction is also possible as a cause of diarrhea.  If there is increased urgency, frequency, accidents in the house, bright red blood and/or mucous in the stool, then inflammation of the colon is more likely. If diarrhea is more watery, with sometimes the presence of vomiting, then upper intestinal inflammation is more likely.  Localizing where the problem is in the digestive tract often helps direct veterinarians as to rule out the cause and work towards appropriate workups to determine the best course of treatment.

If a pet is still bright and alert, I will often have clients simply fast their animals for 24 to 48 hours while offering small amounts of liquids frequently, including veggie or chicken broth and water. At the same time, I will often suggest the soothing herb slippery elm from the health food store to help ease and soothe an inflamed bowel. Immodium AD and/or Lomotil can sometimes be given safely on a short term basis, and the dose will vary depending upon the size of the dog.

After 24 to 48 hours, a bland sweet potato/white meat turkey diet can be introduced as a  50-50 mixture, while continuing the slippery elm. I will often use probiotics such as Fast Balance and NaturVet Enzymes & Probiotics to help promote intestinal healing.  If symptoms persist, intensify, worsen, or a pet goes off food all together, and develops frequent vomiting or other fluid losses that can result in dehydration, it is essential to take that pet to a veterinarian ASAP for a complete medical workup, and possibly IV fluids, etc.

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  2. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 9, 2010 at 12:07 am

    Thank you for kind comments. I hope this information is useful for animal guardians nationwide and worldwide.

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