What to Do If Your Dog Has Diarrhea

Diarrhea often ensues from several systemic and other problems. It's occasionally caused by bad feeding. If it occurs only once or twice, it could be nothing more than a slight intestinal upset. A sudden shift in diet can bring it on; a swap from one brand of food to another is best done over a period of a few days, the new food gradually blended in increasing amounts with the old. Often diarrhea results from nervousness or fear brought on by unaccustomed journeys or exhilaration. Spoiled food, likewise, will cause it.

Diarrhea can be an sign of canine distemper or canine parvovirus, in which case the fecal matter emit a particularly foul odor. Intestinal parasites like hookworms and whipworms are also a chief cause. Serious diarrhea involving numerous daily evacuations, evil-smelling or blood-streaked stools, must be treated right away by a veterinarian.

Mild or casual cases may be eased by the same treatment as for vomiting: withholding food and water for 12 to 24 hours, giving only ice cubes to lick, then extending water gradually, after a period of time. At the same time, Kaopectate or Donnagel, given based on your veterinarian's instructions, will help to stop the diarrhea and calm the stomach. Begin giving bland food after twenty-four hours.

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