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Dog Diarrhea.....
what causes it and when to worry!

dog diarrhea

Yes, dog diarrhea (also spelled in the UK as dog diarrhoea) is going to happen!

I'm afraid there's just no getting away from the fact that if you own a dog (Rottweiler or otherwise) you're going to have to deal with at least one bout of canine diarrhea at some point.

Loose stools in puppies and dogs are extremely common, and can be caused by something simple such as a sudden change in diet or stress, or they can be a symptom of any number of dog diseases.

Diarrhea in dogs can be mild and short-lived, or it can start out severe - and rapidly get worse. Loose bowels that last for longer than a day, especially if they're accompanied by other signs of illness such as vomiting and/or lethargy, need to be evalulated by a veterinarian quickly.



Regardless of the cause of the diarrhea, repeated episodes can result in dehydration which is a serious health concern by itself.

Knowing how to tell if you can afford to 'wait and see' for a day, or whether you need to visit a vet immediatlely, can make all the difference to your dogs' health.

Search here for more information on Rottweilers or anything else you want to know about this breed........



Common Causes Of Dog Diarrhea

'New Puppy Syndrome'

Young puppies very often experience an episode of diarrhea, or at the very least some loose stools, during their first week or two in a new home.

A sudden change in diet, coupled with the stress of leaving their 'doggie' family and moving to a new home, causes an upset tummy and the resulting loose bowels.

In this situation, the puppy diarrhea usually ranges from 'loosely-formed' stools to a soft 'chocolate pudding' type consistency. If the puppy continues to eat and drink normally, isn't vomiting or showing signs of exhaustion and plays happily, the chances are good that this situation will resolve itself within a day or two.

You can often avoid this problem by making any dietary 'change-overs' gradually - slowly replacing the old 'familiar' food with the new one over a period of a week or so.

For this sort of canine diarrhea all you really need to do is to make sure that your pup has access to plenty of fresh water, and gets plenty of rest. If any other symptoms of illness do appear though, you will need to seek veterinary help right away.


Dietary Indiscretions

Even if you haven't changed your dogs' food recently, he or she may have had the desire to ingest something that isn't part of their normal diet - or even considered edible!

A midnight 'snack' from the kitchen trash can, or eating half of your new leather loafers are pretty much bound to end in an upset tummy for your dog - and if you're a new dog owner you may well be surprised at how creative your pet can be when it comes to experimenting.

Depending on exactly what was eaten, the resulting dog diarrhea can be anywhere from one loose stool, to several very 'runny' ones. Your dog may also vomit once or twice, and will probably look fairly sorry for himself.

It can be a bit tricky to figure out whether dog diarrhea is a minor or a major problem in this situation. Unless you know for sure what your dog ate, and you know that it's not toxic to dogs and isn't likely to cause an intestinal obstruction, I'd strongly suggest talking it over with your veterinarian.

A meal of left over burgers and fries isn't likely to be an issue, but things such as the stuffing from the sofa pillows/a chocolate bar/stones from the back yard or the TV remote control all have the potential to cause serious trouble!

If your dog has diarrhea that is recurring or getting worse, is vomiting (or retching/trying to vomit), seems lethargic or is showing signs of stress such as excessive panting, drooling, whining, pacing and so on, then you need to have him seen by a veterinarian right away.

On the other hand, one or two loose stools (even if accompanied by one episode of vomiting) aren't necessarily cause for panic, and if your dog is behaving normally in all other respects then you can probably 'wait and see' for 12 - 24 hours. BUT (and this is a big BUT), if your dog shows any other signs of illness or distress, or you are at all worried - talk to your vet. It's always better to be safe than sorry.


Illness Or Disease

There are a whole host of different dog illnesses and canine health conditions that can cause diarrhea in dogs.

Some of them may be fairly minor, others can be deadly in a very short space of time. Many of them are very common in puppies but although they may be less common in adult, vaccinated dogs, there is still the potential for harm.

Some of the most common causes of dog diarrhea in terms of illness or disease include -

  • Parasitic diseases such as Coccidia or Giardia
  • Canine worms
  • Canine Parvovirus - Parvo in puppies is especially common.
  • Other contagious dog diseases including Distemper, Coronavirus, Hepatitis and more
  • Conditions such as Canine Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Colitis or other digestive ailments

When disease is the root cause your dogs' diarrhea, the diarrhea itself is generally more severe and is almost always accompanied by other signs of illness such as repeated vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, fever and so on.

Although he may start out with just 'loose' stools, in this situation dog diarrhea will usually get progressively more severe (sometimes very quickly). Often turns watery and may even contain streaks of blood or mucus. If this happens to your dog, he'll probably look (and act) as though he feels terrible, and you'll suspect that something is very wrong.

Aside from the effects of the underlying illness, the dog diarrhea itself will cause your dog to get dehydrated very rapidly. If left untreated, dehydration causes serious health complications, even eventual organ failure, so if your dog has repeated episodes of diarrhea, isn't drinking enough or won't/can't keep water down, he needs to be seen by a vet immediately.

Because dog diarrhea is a symptom seen in so many canine diseases, I'd recommend always erring on the side of caution! Don't hesitate to get your veterinarians' opinion if you're at all concerned - it could make all the difference.

Rottweilers & Parvo

Because Rottweilers are so susceptible to Parvo, NEVER take chances with a puppy who is having repeated episodes of diarrhea and showing signs of illness.

Canine Parvovirus can literally kill a young puppy within 24 hours. Check out my Parvo Symptoms page to find all the information you need to keep your pup safe.

Also, bear in mind that even fully vaccinated Rottweiler pups have been known to catch Parvo, and there is a newer strain that also targets older, vaccinated dogs.

Because of this, ANY time a Rottie shows signs of illness which include diarrhea, vomiting and lethargy, they need to be evaluated professionally.


Treating Dog Diarrhea

If dog diarrhea is caused by stress or changing over to a new dog food too rapidly, simply making sure your dog gets enough water (you can add unflavored Pedialyte to his water dish as well if you'd like) is often enough.

If the diarrhea isn't severe, but it continues for more than 24 hours you can try putting your dog on a 24 hour 'fast' (no food, just fluids). Follow that up with a bland diet of plain, boiled white rice for another 24 hours and then gradually reintroduce his food. This usually does the trick.

There are some other possible treatments for dog diarrhea, including using 'people medicines' such as Pepto-Bismol, and even better there are several excellent natural treatments that are specifically formulated for dogs and are both safe and effective.

Keeping your dog healthy is a lot easier if you have a good book on canine health on your bookshelf! Find a great selection of books and informational products here..........Canine Health - The Basics

And for those niggling dog health questions or worries, you can get a quick professional opinion easily and quickly by asking an online veterinarian.



Dog Diseases And Symptoms

Parvo

Canine Worms

Ask A Vet A Question

Return to Home Page from Dog Diarrhea



More useful information and links....

Dog Diseases And Symptoms

Parvo In Puppies

Puppy Vaccinations

Ask A Vet A Question

Canine Health - The Basics






parvo treatment


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