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Diarrhoea in dogs

The most common reason for dogs to suffer from diarrhoea is that they have eaten something inappropriate. Here you will get tips on how you can help a dog with diarrhoea.
Close up of a dog laying down

What should I do if my dog ​​has diarrhoea?

  • Give your dog free access to clean water
  • Keep an eye on your dog and make sure they're getting enough liquid
  • Give them small portions of soft food
  • Make sure they are ingesting enough food

Normally, a dog poops formed faeces up to three times a day. In case of diarrhoea in dogs, the faeces can become loose, slimy, yellow and watery. It is not unusual for the stool to be slightly blood-tinged after a few days of diarrhoea. It may take a few days for the stool to return to normal but you should see an improvement with each passing day. Most of the time, the diarrhoea goes away in a few days, but sometimes the vet needs to be consulted.

Smaller portions of junk food can help

If a dog gets diarrhoea, soft food or special diet food can be given. Choose easy-to-digest food, such as boiled white fish or chicken and white rice or potatoes. At veterinary clinics and pharmacies there are also special feeds and supplements that can have a positive effect on diarrhoea.

This is how you make dog food

Diarrhoea can cause dehydration

A dog that has diarrhoea can lose a lot of fluid and this can lead to dehydration. Young and older dogs can handle dehydration worse than adults. You can check if your dog is dehydrated by feeling the gums, which should be smooth and not sticky. Or by lifting the skin on the top of the head or in the neck, which normally retracts quickly, but when dehydrated, a residual skin fold is formed.

This is how you make fluid replacement for dogs

Different types of diarrhoea in dogs

Diarrhoea can be both acute or chronic and there is also a difference between small intestinal diarrhoea and large intestinal diarrhoea. A dog can have both small intestinal diarrhoea and large intestinal diarrhoea.

Diarrhoea in the dog's small intestine

A dog with small intestinal diarrhoea poops large amounts of loose fluid. The general condition may be reduced, the dog may vomit and the appetite decreases. If there is a lot of dark blood when the dog poops, it is serious and you should seek veterinary help immediately. Nutrients are absorbed in the small intestine, so in the case of severe inflammation and also in the case of long-term problems, weight loss and nutritional deficiencies can occur.

Diarrhoea in the dog's colon

The general condition is often good in a dog with diarrhoea in the colon. On the other hand, it poops more often and the stool is constantly reduced while becoming looser. The poop can also be slimy. The dog may have urges, that is, the dog tries to poop without anything coming out. Irritation and small ulcers in the intestine can cause a little lighter bleeding, but it is not dangerous. Colonic diarrhoea can often be alleviated by a little extra fibre in the diet, while other times a more easily digestible diet works better.

Prolonged diarrhoea

If your dog does not get better or has constant relapses, you should see a veterinarian for treatment and to investigate the underlying cause of the stomach and intestinal problems. Some possible causes could be feed intolerance, parasites, disease in other organs

When should I see a veterinarian?

  • If the dog's general condition deteriorates (fever, very lethargic or dehydrated)
  • If you suspect that the dog swallowed a foreign object
  • If the dog is very young or old and quickly becomes dehydrated
  • If the diarrhoea becomes very bloody (a little light-coloured blood is not dangerous)
  • If the dog loses holes
  • If the dog does not get better despite starvation and the shoe/special diet or if the dog relapses
  • If you are unsure whether a visit to the vet is necessary, you can always contact Agria Vet Guide for an initial assessment
  • Puppies may need veterinary care at an earlier stage than an adult dog

Frequently asked questions about diarrhoea in dogs

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