What’s Causing Your Dog’s Diarrhea in Orlando, FL?
While not the most pleasant topic, dog diarrhea is a common issue many pet owners have to deal with sooner or later. There are many different causes of diarrhea in pets as well, from eating greasy table food to gastrointestinal disease.
Often, cases of diarrhea in dogs are minor and resolve naturally without the need for medical intervention. However, some cases could indicate a deeper and more serious problem, and that’s when you need to reach out to your veterinarian in Orlando, FL, as soon as possible.
24/7 Animal Hospital of Orlando is available any time, day or night to treat your pet. Reach out to us at (407) 298-3807 if you’re concerned about your dog’s diarrhea.
Common Causes of Dog Diarrhea
Below are some of the most common causes of diarrhea in pets, according to Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine:
- Eating things they shouldn’t (dietary indiscretion)
- Abruptly changing over to a new food (no gradual mixing)
- Stress/anxiety (can occur when moving to a new home or being boarded for the first time)
- Intestinal parasites (roundworms, hookworms, giardia, etc.)
- Inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract
- GI infection
- Ingesting a foreign body
- Ingesting a toxin
- Allergies (a food allergy or sensitivity can cause diarrhea)
- Immune disorders
- Liver or heart disease
When Does Dog Diarrhea Become a Medical Concern?
Diarrhea is often a short-lived condition in dogs and will usually go away within 24 hours. However, if your pet doesn’t bounce back and the diarrhea lasts 48 hours or longer, they should see a veterinarian as soon as possible.
In addition to diarrhea lasting longer than 2 days, other signs it requires medical attention include:
- Loss of appetite
- Diarrhea appears black and/or “tarry”
One of the primary issues of persistent diarrhea is that it causes dehydration in the body. When your pet is healthy, their GI tract absorbs water. When they are suffering from diarrhea, that water gets flushed out with waste because it passes through the GI tract very rapidly. Vomiting also causes dehydration, so if your pet is experiencing both diarrhea and vomiting, it’s all the more important that they see a vet right away, as severe dehydration puts significant stress on the kidneys.
My Dog Just Started having Diarrhea – What Should I Do?
If your dog just recently had a bout of diarrhea but otherwise seems healthy, there are a few things you can try to help settle their stomach.
You can start by withholding food from your pet for 12-24 hours to give their gut a break and avoid irritating the GI tract. You may also want to try giving your pet a bland diet of plain boiled chicken and white rice, which are easy to digest. Keep in mind that a bland diet should not be given long term, as it lacks the nutritional content your dog needs for their health.
If you suspect that your dog has diarrhea due to switching them over to a new diet too quickly, return to feeding them their original food until their stool has returned to normal, and then begin the process of gradually switching your pet over to their new diet. Simply mix in some of the new food with their old food, increasing the amount of new food and decreasing the old food until they get used to it; this can be done in as little as a week.
Excessive treats and table scraps can also contribute to dog diarrhea, so be mindful of what you’re feeding your pet and limit handouts whenever possible.
Medical Treatment for Dog Diarrhea
Should you decide to bring your dog to 24/7 Animal Hospital of Orlando for their diarrhea problem, bring along a stool sample so our team can test it. This will help us make an accurate diagnosis and find an appropriate treatment for your pet.
After a physical exam and fecal test, we may also recommend bloodwork and an X-ray if we need more information about your pet’s condition. If they are harboring a systemic illness, we will need to start treating it right away. Furthermore, if we find that your dog is dehydrated, we will provide them with IV fluids.
Your veterinarian may prescribe a medication to help with your dog’s diarrhea. Do not attempt to give your dog any human diarrhea medication while at home, unless your veterinarian explicitly recommends it.
The course of your pet’s treatment for diarrhea will depend on the cause and the severity of the condition. Please contact our animal hospital in Orlando, FL, at (407) 298-3807 if your dog has diarrhea and you’re not sure whether a visit to the vet is absolutely necessary. Our team is always here to assist you!