Webster Lake Veterinary Hospital

The Scoop on Poop!


Unfortunately, diarrhea is a familiar symptom in dogs, and the cause is often undiagnosed because the episodes have sudden onset, are easily cured, and occur infrequently.


In simple cases, diarrhea of undetermined origin can often be treated by withholding food (but not water) for 12-24 hours to rest the intestines. After the period of food withdrawal, adiet of Hills I/D or Purina ENor a home-cooked diet ofboiled hamburger or boiled chicken with the fat drained off with the water and mixed with boiled white rice (plain – no flavoring)can be fed. You will want to feed this diet until there are no signs of diarrhea for at least 48-72 hours. Then, slowly over the course of several days re-introduce your dog’s regular diet starting with a 25/75 split and then 50/50 split then 75/25 split then regular diet. If diarrhea occurs at any interval go back to feeding bland diet again until normal stools return.


Some dogs have periodic bouts with diarrhea of undetermined origin, but as long as the symptoms respond well to minimal treatment, diagnosis may not be necessary. However, diagnosis of recurrent, persistent or longstanding diarrhea is critical, as this could be a sign of more serious disease. As well, if your dog begins vomiting at any point, you need to schedule an appointment immediately. Your vet may need to do blood work, x-rays, or may need to treat with an antibiotic called Metronidazole, or a pro-biotic likeFortifloraorProstoraorPlain organic yogurtcan aid in recovery as well.


Possible Causes of Diarrhea:


1.     ParasiteInfectionssuch as roundworm, tapeworm, hookworm, whipworm, or protazoans such as Coccidia or Giardia can cause diarrhea. Many of these parasites can be diagnosed with a fresh fecal sample about thesize of a marble.


2.     Metabolic Diseasessuch as Liver or Kidney Disease, Pancreatic Disease, Thyroid Disease or Diabetes can cause intermittent or long term diarrhea. A blood test would be needed to diagnose these diseases.


3.     Primary Intestinal Wall Disease,such as food allergies or cancer, can also cause intermittent or long term diarrhea. This complex of diseases can affect either the small or large intestine and can be managed with diet and with drugs in some cases. Diagnosis (via ultrasound or biopsy) can be difficult and treatment can be long term.


4.     Ingestion of foreign materialcan cause diarrhea and also but not always vomiting. This would require x-rays to diagnose and may need surgery to correct.


For more information: www.websterlakevet.com