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Diarrhea is one of the most common complications in our canines. This may be due to the ease with which our children can upset the balance of gut bacteria, as well as the many diarrhea triggers our pets may be exposed to on a daily basis.
Our pups get diarrhea from From Eating Fatty Human Food to Exposure to Soil Bacteria。 Since gastrointestinal upsets are common in dogs, it’s important to be aware of the many factors that can upset your puppy’s stomach.
We want to help you pinpoint the source of your puppy’s diarrhea, so let’s discuss the many possible causes of an upset stomach in dogs. We’ll also dive into some of the best ways to help your child with diarrhea, so let’s find out everything you need to know below!
What is considered diarrhea in dogs?
Before we discuss the possible causes of your dog’s diarrhea, it’s important to make sure you first understand what diarrhea is. In order to spot abnormal stools in your canine companion, you must first understand what is normal.
Healthy dog poop is usually chocolate brown and has a log shape that is easy to pick up. Many people describe ideal dog poop as having the consistency of playdough but still soft enough for dogs to pass easily. If your dog’s poop is not forming or cannot be picked up easily, then it could mean they are experiencing soft stools or diarrhea.
Diarrhea in dogs can vary in severity, which is why many veterinary professionals will ask you to describe your dog’s diarrhea to the best of your ability. While this may seem odd, some of the most useful comparisons include soft serve ice cream, pudding, and liquid.
Why is my dog having diarrhea? 6 possible causes
Now that you can be sure your dog is suffering from diarrhea, it’s time to break down the most common causes of gastrointestinal distress in our furry friends. From poor diet to nasty parasites, let’s discuss it!
they ate something they shouldn’t
The term “eating disorder” refers to a dog eating anything other than their standard diet. This can mean eating what they find in the trash, eating fatty human food, or even eating random things they find outdoors on their walks. This can easily lead to diarrhea as our dog’s digestive system is not used to food outside of the standard diet. This is especially true if the foods they eat are high in fat, as it is more challenging for their bodies to break down these fats.
they suddenly change their diet
As we mentioned above, our dog’s digestive system gradually gets used to the standard diet they consume on a daily basis. Our dogs also have a delicate balance of bacteria in their digestive systems and gastrointestinal flora that line their digestive tracts. If our dog suddenly changes his diet for any reason, this can upset the delicate balance of gut bacteria, causing sudden diarrhea.
This doesn’t mean you can’t change your dog’s diet, but you just need to transition them to the new food within two weeks. The best way to do this is to follow these guidelines:
- first day: 25% of their new diet and 75% of their old diet
- Day 5: 50% of their new diet and 50% of their old diet
- Day 10: 75% of the new diet and 25% of the old diet
- Day 14: 100% new diet
their gut becomes infected with bacteria
Bacterial infections are another common cause of diarrhea in our canine friends. Bacteria can be found all over the world around us, and often in areas our dogs come into contact with. Our dogs may be exposed to bacteria that are naturally present in the soil, bacteria present in water bowls, and even bacteria that may be present in old food. If your pup comes into contact with any of these microscopic invaders and eats them, this can quickly lead to a bacterial infection of their digestive system.
They have intestinal parasites and protozoa
Just as bacteria are everywhere in the world around our dogs, so are intestinal parasites. Intestinal parasites that invade a dog’s digestive tract can be found in the soil of our yards, in infected fleas, and even in sitting water. If your puppy doesn’t receive a monthly heartworm preventive that includes deworming, this could lead to them developing a serious parasitic infection. That’s why we always recommend giving your dog a monthly heartworm prevention with dewormer, giving them flea and tick protection once a month, and deworming your pup once a year in case something happens. The need of the day.
they have an infectious disease
Unfortunately for our beloved puppies, they can contract infectious diseases that can cause severe gastrointestinal distress. These infectious diseases most often affect puppies and puppies, as their immune systems are not as strong as their older canine friends. While these infectious diseases are ubiquitous in the world around us, most conditions that cause gastrointestinal distress can be prevented by making sure your puppy or adult dog is fully vaccinated. A typical vaccination schedule includes a series of three vaccines given every 3-4 weeks starting at around 8 weeks of age and annually for the remainder of life.
If you have any questions about the best vaccination schedule for your dog, be sure to contact your trusted veterinarian for help. Each situation will vary based on the dog’s age and general health, so we always recommend seeking guidance directly from your veterinarian.
they have an underlying medical condition
Diarrhea in dogs can also be the result of some form of underlying chronic disease. Some of these conditions can specifically affect their digestive system, or even cause gastrointestinal distress, which can lead to changes in stool. While this is always possible, most of these complications also cause other associated symptoms.
Some of these symptoms include appetite changes, weight changes, lethargy, disinterest in activities they usually enjoy, weakness, changes in fur, and any other changes in their behavior. If you think your dog may be developing this condition, we recommend having them checked by your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Can You Treat Diarrhea in Dogs at Home?
If your dog has sudden diarrhea, you may wonder if you can treat their GI upset at home. You can certainly treat some cases of dog diarrhea at home, but you just need to make sure the condition is mild enough to allow it. To make sure you know if you can try to address your dog’s diarrhea at home, let’s break down the dos and don’ts for home care for gastrointestinal distress in your canine friend.
You can start home care for your dog’s diarrhea (with veterinary approval) if:
- they are over 1 year old
- They do not have any known medical conditions
- They have had diarrhea for less than 48 hours
- they have a normal appetite
- they didn’t vomit
- They don’t have any lethargy or weakness
You should forego home care and contact your veterinarian if:
- they are a puppy
- They have any other signs of gastrointestinal distress, such as vomiting, decreased appetite, lethargy, or abdominal pain
- They have diarrhea for more than 48 hours
- they have any underlying medical conditions
If your dog has had diarrhea for less than 48 hours and is suitable for home care based on the list above, then you can try the home care instructions we discuss below! Be sure to contact your veterinarian first, as they may have other guidance based on your dog’s medical history.
Temporary fasting to help their stomachs settle
If you think your dog’s diarrhea is caused by something they ate, you can try fasting them for 12 hours to give their digestive system time to rest. Sometimes a dog’s GI system goes into overdrive during diarrhea, so a short fast can slow things down.
Remember that you should only do this with healthy adult dogs who don’t have any underlying medical conditions, as fasting can be dangerous for puppies and older canine friends. Be sure to offer them a light meal once you reintroduce food after 12 hours.
Provide them with a light diet for 5-7 days
If your dog is experiencing mild diarrhea, it may be beneficial to provide them with a light diet for 5-7 days. This can be helpful for furry friends who haven’t yet been to the vet for diarrhea, or as a supplement to veterinary care. If your dog has any form of gastrointestinal distress, your veterinarian will likely recommend a bland diet for 5-7 days anyway.
A standard light diet recommended by veterinarians is boiled chicken breast and white rice. You can also use cooked ground turkey if your dog doesn’t like chicken or any other lean protein source your dog likes. If your dog is allergic to any protein and you’re not sure what works best for them, be sure to contact your veterinarian for guidance.
When to Take a Dog with Diarrhea to the Vet
If your dog has severe diarrhea, you may be wondering when it’s time to visit the vet. We want to make sure your pup gets the help they need, so let us provide some tips to help you determine when your dog with diarrhea needs veterinary care.
Whatever the underlying cause of your dog’s diarrhea, we always recommend If their diarrhea persists for more than 48 hours, have them evaluated by a veterinarian. Diarrhea that lasts longer than 24 to 48 hours can lead to dehydration in our furry friends, which often requires some form of medical attention to properly resolve.if your dog is Vomiting or loss of appetite may also occur, as this further increases the risk of dehydration.
Aside from the 48 hour rule and the presence of other GI symptoms, we always recommend taking your dog to the vet if they are puppies, if they are older, or if they have any chronic medical conditions. These furry friends are more prone to life-threatening dehydration and serious health complications, so we always recommend getting them evaluated as soon as they develop diarrhea.
While diarrhea in dogs can be caused by benign factors, it can also be the result of a serious underlying medical condition. This is why we always recommend taking them to the veterinarian if their diarrhea persists for more than 48 hours, as this could indicate a potential threat requiring medical attention. Be sure to check out the potential causes of diarrhea we discussed above, and you’ll pinpoint the source of your dog’s diarrhea in no time!
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Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.
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