Dogs are like babies not only in the happiness and affectionate companionship they provide the family but also in the care they would need. Being a well loved member of the family, the dog will be provided with all its needs. Owners would make sure that the pet is provided not only with nutritious foods but also with regular checkups to ensure that the “baby” is in the pink of health. However, pet parents cannot give the pet 24 hour attention in the same manner that viral and bacterial infections and the transmission of diseases cannot be totally prevented. Thus a dog can get injured and can also be weighed down with diseases. Dogs not only have huge appetites. Our furry friends are indiscriminate eaters as well. With the way dogs eat it would not be surprising if diarrhea would be on the top of the list of common canine diseases.
Diarrhea is actually not a true disease. The frequent passing of soft and watery stools, the straining and the passing of gas is the body’s way of purging substances (and even objects) that the dog has ingested but was not accepted by the dog’s system. Dogs are primarily carnivorous. Dogs in the wild subsist on the meat of their prey. However, dogs are omnivorous as well. When it comes to eating dogs are never choosy. The pet that is provided with nutrient rich food would still eat trash, rotting animals and even inedible objects. Eating indiscretion is the most common cause of acute diarrhea. Although diarrhea that suddenly starts and lasts for a few days can also be triggered by a change in diet or by food allergies. This kind of diarrhea can be safely treated at home. Pet owners would usually withhold food for 24 hours for older dogs and 12 hours for young ones to give the stomach a chance to rest.
Chronic or recurring diarrhea or the passing of soft watery stool that won’t go away is another matter. This kind of diarrhea would be very debilitating as it will rob the dog’s body of valuable nutrients necessary to function. Acute and chronic diarrhea would have the same symptoms. A dog with chronic diarrhea though would get better and pass formed stool and be its normal active self for a few days until the problem would come again. The passing of soft stool can be continual. Blood and mucus coated stool is a sign that the dog’s condition is severe.
Chronic diarrhea is no longer the body’s way of removing substances from the stomach. The dog’s dietary indiscretion is not the cause of this severe form of diarrhea although diarrhea that won’t go away can be caused by food allergies. Prolonged diarrhea can be due to the dog’s intolerance to some types of food. This situation can be easily resolved if the dog owner became aware of the dog’s food allergies. Recurring bouts of diarrhea can be caused by some health concerns. Leaky gut syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, liver, thyroid and kidney disease, pancreatitis and inflammatory disease has chronic diarrhea as one of the symptom. Coccidia, roundworms and whipworms are intestinal parasite infestation that can cause recurring bouts of diarrhea. The dog diarrhea that won’t go away can be due to viral and bacterial infections.
A dog that has bouts of diarrhea that won’t go away will have poor absorption of nutrients and electrolytes. This type of diarrhea would need a vet’s attention as the usual home and conventional treatments for diarrhea would rarely be effective. Veterinary care will be very necessary. The cause of the recurring diarrhea can only be determined with diagnostic tests. For unstable patients hospitalization may be necessary for the administration of intravenous fluids. Supportive therapy that will administer vitamins and nutritional supplements will be necessary as well.