Dog has Diarrhea – Remember the fuzzy feeling you get when you see a ball of fur coming your way. Dogs have been called man’s best friend but they have become so much more than that, be it a shoulder to cry on, or when you come home after a long day at work they are there to uplift your spirits. Dogs have actually proved to be more intelligent than we give them credit for be it sensing our moods, understanding us, or helping us around. They are the only ones that love us unconditionally, they don’t want anything in return; just their human to be happy.
They are very intelligent but there is one thing that they do without thinking at all, much like their human counterparts and that is eating. Dogs fall sick too after all they are also living creatures and Diarrhea is one of the most common symptom or indicator of any diseases that they experience owning to the fact that they put everything and anything in their mouths. Although it is not necessary that Diarrhea happens only because of eating wrong stuff, it can also arise due to a number of other medical conditions.
What is Diarrhea?
Diarrhea is basically loose stools, which are when your dog poops in large amounts or more frequently than usual. Diarrhea is not a disease by itself but rather an indicator of another underlying disease. Diarrhea is usually easy to cure. But it is better to take action than regret later as Diarrhea can also be a symptom of cancer or organ failure. Also if not treated properly Diarrhea can cause serious illness to the dog.
Causes of Diarrhea in dogs
There are a million things that can cause Diarrhea in dogs but we can surely list a few of them that are the most common ones. It is caused when there is faster fecal movement through intestine along with declined rate of absorption of electrolytes, water and fibre.
· Parasites: internal worms can cause Diarrhea, by irritating the gastrointestinal tract of dogs affecting large or small intestine. New-borns are more prone to worms.
· Infections: viruses and bacteria that cause infections can also cause Diarrhea.
· Alterations to the menu: consumption of something new when changes to the food are made or consuming something bad unintentionally can irritate the bowels causing Diarrhea.
· Stress or Trauma: Dogs are sometimes more humane than us humans ourselves, hence just like in us stress can cause Diarrhea in dogs.
· Paramount Erythrogenic disorder: inflammatory bowel disease can cause diarrhea in your dog.
· Metabolic diseases: any disorder with the gastrointestinal tract including liver, pancreas and the intestine can cause Diarrhea.
· Drugs: certain antibiotics can cause Diarrhea in dogs.
What to be on the watch for?
Diarrhea can be accompanied by various different actions like vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, weight loss and other symptoms of disease. Blood in the stool is cause of another red flag.
Our doggies are much like our babies and we want to take care of them the best.
Rest the bowels
A traditional approach to Diarrhea consists of resting the bowel for 12-24 hours. This gives the bowel time to heal them up. If you think it will be too much for the dog then you should start by fasting him/her for 6-12 hours with no food.
Offer him loads of water but only the purified kind as his gut is not strong enough to purify it on its own. After six hours of only water you can start giving him some broth and after some more time bland foods.
After the initial fasting you can offer them easily digestible food. The diet should consist of easy to digest food rich in prebiotic fibre that help in repairing of the gastrointestinal tract. You can also feed your dog home cooked meals that contains steamed rice, pasta or chicken. This traditional method has been known to reinstate normal gastrointestinal functions. As your dog’s health returns to health you can little by little reintroduce his normal diet alongside the special diet.
Even better than feeding him bland foods but the ones with starch. You can start feeding your dog with soup. Make a broth from boiling chicken and some coriander, then strain it and use the broth to boil some veggies and cool it before serving.
Neutralize the bowel
Feeding the dog good bacteria can help restore his gastrointestinal tract. Prebiotics and probiotics are rich in good bacteria. Studies have proven that probiotics boost the immunity of the body. Feeding your probiotics can result in restoration of the stomach lining. It can also rebuild the dog’s mucosal barrier and intestine.
You can give the dog over the counter supplements; just follow the instructions on the packaging for dosage. They also help dealing with antibiotics if your dog ever for some devastating reason forced to take them. They also help in stressful situations.
Prebiotics are fibres that travel to the colon and multiply through fermentation to convert into a certain strain of fatty acids. These fatty acids help by-
- · Stopping the bad bacteria from multiplying
- · Proving to be powerhouse and granary for colon
- · Help maintain balance of water, fibre and electrolytes
- · They also help with the movement of the intestine
Always use prebiotics and probiotics together otherwise prebiotics can cross over to the evil side and cause more harm by helping the bacteria multiply than any good. Prebiotics often contain beet-pulp which is very not good for dogs. It can cause nausea and bloating. Use prebiotic sources like garlics, chicory roots, turkey mushrooms, dandelions and more.
Home remedies for Diarrhea in dogs
· Elm herb
Slipper elm is a soothing herb that rebuilds the mucosal barriers. You can give the dogs slippery elm in doses of capsules, powders and syrups; it should be available at local pharmaceuticals.
This is a protein breakdown, a type of amino acid that can be given with or without food.
· Athae root
This is one more herb that can be used to soothe your dog’s gut. This can soothe the gastrointestinal tract. It can be taken in the form of supplements.
· Bach flower
In case the Diarrhea has been caused due to stress then you should consider giving Bach flower nectar to your dog. This is a safely extracted essence from Bach flowers. They are the best remedy as if his digestive system doesn’t need them it will have no side effects. What chamomile tea is to us is Bach flowers to them.
Enzymes that facilitate digestion can be good for your dog if he isn’t on a natural raw diet. In some dogs though it might cause bloating and acidity thus give them in minute doses to track how they react on the dog.
When to call the vet?
To determine when to call the vet, it depends on the situation but in any case if you feel the situation is worsening you know your dog better and hence should take a decision.
The first condition to call the vet depends on the type of Diarrhea. Diarrhea is classified on the basis of intestine affected.
· Large intestine
If the Diarrhea attacks the large intestine then you would observe a less frequent bowel movement. Large intestine Diarrhea attacks the colon. He would be straining yet able to control the tiny presence of mucoid in the stool.
· Small intestine
In case the Diarrhea attacks the small bowel then you might observe that the dog poops are urgent but watery and no blood present. Small bowel Diarrhea leads to dehydration.
People tend to assume the fact that small intestine Diarrhea might be acute and not fatal yet it is more severe as most of the nutrients, water and electrolytes are absorbed in small intestine. If your dog is facing loose stools yet seems joyful with you, you can wait for a day and use home remedies but if the situation persists give the vet a call.
In case he experiences any symptoms like, vomiting, loss of appetite, depression, blood in stool, then it is important that you call the vet. Even if the Diarrhea cause doesn’t seem serious, it is better to get it checked than compromising on the health of your dog. Visiting the vet might result in supplements and fluids ingestion, which would be good for his bowels. The vet may also suggest some other medications. If your dog is experiencing irritations then the vet can also prescribe some meds to relieve the irritation.
Dogs are the cutest in this world and we are lucky enough to experience their existence. We all love to scroll through Instagram, watching doggie videos yet most of us don’t know how to properly care for a dog. The next time you think of getting a pet or take the love of your pet for granted remember to give it back equal amounts of care and affection if not more. During his hard times our mere presence by cuddling or stroking his fur is enough to lift his spirits. Give your dog the same love and care that they do to you. Puppies forever! (adds heart-eyed emoji).