If you’re like me, as a dog owner, you probably monitor your dogs’ daily excursions outside to poop and you’re probably pretty happy when everything looks normal. But, what do you do if your dog has frequent diarrhea and it keeps reoccurring? Causes of diarrhea are varied and that can mean complete misery for both you and your dog because your dog doesn’t feel good and then you as a human have to do the cleanup! Sometimes it’s not a matter of just having the unpleasant task of picking up sloppy poop but washing off a furry dog butt as well!
This past spring, my son had to bring his dog to the vet for vomiting and diarrhea (who knows what she ate, because despite our diligence, she eats anything she can get her mouth on). Our vet prescribed Flagyl which is an antibiotic – the problem is that this drug suppresses the symptoms and then a few days later there was diarrhea again. Fortunately for her we were able to alter her diet and monitor her closely and the diarrhea stopped, but, not all dogs are so fortunate.
Stopping diarrhea with drugs is not always healthy for your dog because it’s your dog’s body’s way of getting rid of pathogens and getting rid of the things that don’t belong inside your dog. So you ask what can you do to get rid of the problem once and for all?
The Types Of Poop
Being in the business of poop, I can tell you that we encounter and have some colorful descriptions for many different poop types! There is cookie crumble poop – this is poop that is normal for dogs that are on a raw diet who eat lots of bone – it is not constipation. Then there is play-doh poop – this consistency of poop is also normal. There is cow pie poop – this is usually due to faster digestion and isn’t really diarrhea at all. There is ice cream poop – this is true diarrhea, especially when your dog has to poop urgently and can’t control bowel movements. And, there is also water poop – this is also (very loose) diarrhea.
Causes of Diarrhea
Acute diarrhea is long-lasting and not repetitive. Many times it is caused by viruses, bacteria and parasites – or in the case of our sons mixed breed dog, dietary indiscretion. What we did for her with the acute diarrhea was fasting her for 24 hours. We then gave her some cooked squash and chicken for 2 to 3 days. We then reintroduced regular kibble back into the squash and chicken on the second day and by the third day her constitution was back to normal.
If your dog displays chronic diarrhea that goes away briefly but comes back over and over again, a trip to the vet is in order because it may be due to the wrong diet. Dogs, like people, can have foods that just don’t agree with them. If your dog experiences chronic diarrhea episodes, you need to find out what’s really causing the problem. Ask your vet to test for bacteria and parasites. Adjust your dog’s diets and treats, add probiotics and essential supplements to your dog’s diet for his digestion and immune system and metabolism. Consider going back to nature as closely as possible when choosing food for your dog. A good question to ask yourself is “What would a wild dog eat?” Don’t feed dairy or grains, avoid beef because these foods can aggravate diarrhea. Aim for foods like rabbit, chicken, turkey, and lamb. It’s a good idea to choose your dog’s treats carefully and avoid grains, wheat, rice and dairy. Be sure to get your dog on whole food vitamins and probiotics and a good omega-3 oil.
Dogs can suffer from diarrhea because of many things in addition to the ones discussed, it could be allergies, toxins, diet, over vaccination and digestive insufficiency which is why a visit to your veterinarian is in order. If your vet can find none of the above issues that is causing the diarrhea, then ask your vet to consider checking adrenal function. Some breeds are predisposed to Addison’s disease – which is when the adrenal gland is functioning at a low level and if it is not working right it can mimic a lot of other conditions. Bloodwork will show high potassium and low-sodium with Addison’s disease and once these are normalized (by giving glandular supplements) the problem is resolved.
Making sure that your dog has sufficient activity is really important to your dog’s health and so is the type of activity. Practice mindful exercise with your dog to minimize and eliminate back strain and back injuries. Exercise will keep his muscles toned so that he does not get injured easily and it will keep his body balanced. Some dogs will exhibit diarrhea after certain play activities – like repetitive fetching, jumping and sprinting. If you notice this, it’s a good idea to stop some of the activities that cause these problems because it can be a type of back injury that is very treatable and treating it will cure your dog of his diarrhea. Many times chiropractic adjustments or physical therapy once or twice a month or perhaps massage or acupuncture can help.
My Final Thoughts
If your dog suffers from frequent diarrhea, there are some things that can help and possibly alleviate it completely. You and your dog don’t have to continue to be miserable. By using some or all of the suggestions in this article, hopefully you, and your dog, will enjoy lots of stress free fun and time together for many years to come!
I would love to hear your comments, feedback, stories and ideas.
Scoops is a pooper scooper, dog waste clean up and pet waste clean up service located in central New Jersey – Check us out at www.ScoopaPoop.com/contact-us