Death from the Rear: How to Care for Your Dogs and Diarrhea
Dogs and Diarrhea. Oiy. When your dog has diarrhea, it can be really hard to know what to do. Should you go to the vet? What should you feed them? Is there anything I should do at home for my senior dog with diarrhea and throwing up? In this article, we’ll talk about all of these questions and more.
We’ll also include 11 different steps that will help care for your dog’s diarrhea so they are feeling better in no time!
How to Care for Your Dog’s Diarrhea
When your dog has diarrhea – your heart goes out to your canine friend. We have all been there ourselves, and it is literally no fun. At. All.
It is harder for our dogs as they KNOW they need to go outside – they have often been house trained, however, they simply can’t control their bodily functions here so they feel like they are failing you, and at a time that they don’t feel well.
Diarrhea is a common problem for dogs and puppies. When your dog has diarrhea, it may seem like you have no time to do anything but clean up messes all day long. But there are some steps that will make the situation much more manageable, as well as help get your pup back on track quickly!
What to do when your dog has diarrhea
- Keep them hydrated
- Get them back on regular eating, drinking, and toileting schedule
- Give your dog their normal dose of medication for diarrhea they’re experiencing (if you have been treating it)
- Keep all food in an easily cleanable area – preferably out of reach!
- Practice good hand hygiene if handling feces or anything else that comes into contact with feces to avoid getting sick yourself. All humans should practice this routinely at home and when caring for dogs too, but is especially important now as there are many diseases that can spread from animals to people very rapidly. Â*For more information about how to prevent these illnesses please visit Zoonotic Diseases.
It’s not always possible but try your best not to:
- put your dog back in the same spot where they had diarrhea
- allow them to drink from or eat out of their water bowl until it has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, even if they are just drinking or eating something else at that time.
When should you be concerned?
- When your dog has stopped eating
- When they have bloody or mucous feces
- When their stool is black and tarry looking, like tar or if you notice any blood in the stools.
While most dogs will get better on their own with a little care at home, sometimes it’s necessary to bring them in to see a vet for close examination and treatment.
Infectious diseases are always top of mind when thinking of dogs and diarrhea as we take precautions against zoonotic disease transmission but there are also some parasites that can cause diarrhea too. Parasites such as giardia or coccidia are usually transmitted in the environment and can cause some serious diarrhea problems.
Lets take a look at those a little more:
What does it mean if your dog has stopped eating?
If your dog has diarrhea and is refusing to eat, this can be very alarming but it doesn’t necessarily mean they have a serious disease. It may simply be that the poor pup feels too ill to bother eating anything at all.
What if my senior dog has stopped eating?
Senior dogs usually need more calories than their younger counterparts because of decreased activity levels or other health conditions related to aging so don’t make any changes in food quantity for now.
However, you should take note if there’s an increase in vomiting as well – do not give them any food when they are throwing up.
What if my dog has bloody or mucous feces?
Some people call this “bloody and slimy” poo. Streaks of bright red blood and/or mucus on the surface of a mostly normal, formed dog stool. This is generally caused by inflammation in the large intestine, where mucus on the dog poop is secreted to help protect the intestinal lining.
This is usually a very temporary thing with dogs and diarrhea – just keep an eye on it to see if things get better or worse. If they worsen, get to the vet.
What if my dog has diarrhea like water?
It could be a sign of HGE and should tell you to get to your vet ASAP. HGE is usually caused by dietary indiscretion or ingestion of a different food or treat. HGE commonly occurs after dogs consume human foods that are high in fat and/or seasonings but also occurs in dogs that eat a high-fat doggie treat or eat excessive amounts of treats.
If your dog is vomiting also?
Prompt IV fluid therapy is the main treatment. Parenteral antibiotics may also be helpful, especially if there is sepsis or neutropenia.
Long fancy words to make sure you are feeding your dog the right things.
Another thing to consider:
A common cause of bloody diarrhea in dogs is worms. There are a number of different kinds that can be found locally and within the United States. Hookworms, for example, live exclusively on dog intestinal tissue and suck blood from their host’s gut lining to survive.
One way you might know if your pet has hookworm infestation is when they have black stools with streaks or shades of red present as well.
Fecal occult blood testing is a quick test that can be done when you suspect your dog has been exposed to something fecally contaminated like if they’ve soiled their crate or eaten from an infected bowl of water. This might not seem important but it’s actually very helpful because dogs with certain types of cancer will show signs early on by having bloody stool (or black tarry stools).
With this simple test, we are able to know whether there is something seriously wrong with them before any symptoms start showing up in other parts of their body. For more information about that, contact your veterinarian.
Final thoughts on Dogs and Diarrhea?
Treat Fido the same way you would want to be treated – drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration, and watch for symptoms to worsen. I see people Google things like: my dog has diarrhea for 3 days now my dog has diarrhea for four days now, or even my dog has diarrhea for 5 days now and just shake my head.
Don’t let it go that far – and when your dog has diarrhea with blood in it, you should call your vet.
Other articles you may find helpful:
- How to Spot a Fake Service Dog
- Dogs and Mailmen – Why All the Hate?
- 5 Summer Hazards – Keep Your Dog Safe from Injury This Season
- Travel With Your Dog: How to Take Your Pup on Summer Vacation
- The Ultimate Guide to the Best Emotional Support Dogs