"The salivary enzymes of our furry friends can actually kill bacteria that's why they can tolerate some things that can eventually send us to the hospital bed."
Like us, diarrhea in dogs and some gastrointestinal upset is possible (and may even be far worse). Diarrhea greatly affects your dog's stomach and every thing in it and this results in discomfort for your dog and uh-oh, probably messy cleanups for you.
So what exactly is diarrhea in dogs? What causes diarrhea in dogs? How do we know if it's actually diarrhea and not just some wet poop? And when does it become life-threatening?
DIARRHEA IN DOGS
The digestive system of our dogs and ours have great differences. We have our jaws and our salivary enzymes but our dogs have their mouths, jaws, and stronger enzymes all meant to break, crush and wolf down food. The salivary enzymes of our furry friends can actually kill bacteria that's why they can tolerate some things that can eventually send us to the hospital bed.
Their stomach acids, too, are a lot stronger than ours that's why they can easily digest food that are a little bit intact.
But no matter how their stomach and digestive system appear to be, an array of things can still interrupt the system thus causing loose stools and worse, diarrhea.
WHAT CAUSES DIARRHEA IN DOGS?
Our dogs are curious, adventurous and they love to sniff, lick, gnaw or eat things that interest them. Diarrhea in dogs can be because of:
Food intolerance. Diarrhea happens when your dog is having trouble digesting certain foods. Food intolerance also causes them some physical reactions like bloating.
Dietary indiscretion. When your dog happens to eat too much food, eat garbage or spoiled food, diarrhea is always around the corner. This is usually referred to as garbage toxicosis.
Sudden change in diet. A dog's digestive system, though tough, also needs time to adjust to a new diet and new protein. To avoid giving your dog diarrhea, it is recommended that you take it slow when changing his diet.
Allergies. Allergies in dogs (may it be food or seasonal) causes diarrhea in dogs together with skin problems, ear infections, vomiting and the like.
Parasites. Your dog can get parasites everywhere especially when he has a weak immune system and is not wormed. Worming should be done as long as your dog lives since you'll never know what things he puts his tongue and paws into. Puppies must be wormed every two weeks until they are twelve weeks old and adult dogs must be wormed every three months.
Poison. There are human foods, substances and plants that posses great danger to our dogs. Examples of these are prescription medicines for humans, household product cleaners, chocolate, grapes & raisins, tulips & daffodils, and sago palms to name a few.
Swallowing indigestible things. Swallowing raw bone splinters, pebbles, plastic cellophane, or bits and pieces of your home furniture your dog has been gnawing on can cause diarrhea.
Diseases. Diarrhea can also be a major sign that there is something not right about your dog. Diarrhea can be a symptom of distemper, parvovirus, kidney diseases, colitis and even cancer.
TELL-TALE SIGNS IT IS SERIOUS
Diarrhea in your dog can be serious and needs immediate vet attention even when just one or more is observed:
- Diarrhea is accompanied with fever, vomiting, lethargy, pale gums, etc
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of consciousness
- Dehydration (panting, loss of skin elasticity, dry nose, dry gums, dry-looking sunken eyes)
- Dog is on medication (e.g. antibiotics)
- Mucus in dog poop
- Bloody diarrhea in dogs
- Existing medical conditions (old age, kidney disease, cancer, etc)
- When your instincts tell you something just doesn't seem right anymore; you know your dog more than anyone else and you know what's normal for him (or what's not)
AVOIDING MESSY CLEANUPS
Diarrhea in dogs can be very dangerous and if not treated immediately, it can be life-threatening. There are a few home remedies you can do as first aid.
Rice water.Boil a cup of rice in water, strain the grains and offer to your dog the creamy white soup.
Probiotics.Live bacteria are beneficial to your dog's digestive system during diarrhea and GI upset.
Specially-formulated dog foods. Some dog food are manufactured to help sooth a dog's stomach problems.
Dog diapers and pee pads. While on your way to the vet, there is nothing stopping your dog's wet stool and upset stomach. To avoid messy clean ups in your house and in your car, have your dog wear dog diapers and place a pee pad under his cage, crate or on the car seat in case there is leakage.
The home remedies mentioned above may work for one dog and may not for another. As a responsible pet parent, remember that only the vet can give your dog the correct diagnosis and prescribe proper treatment plan for his diarrhea, until everything is back to normal - healthy and happy!
"There are human foods, substances and plants that posses great danger to our dogs. Examples of these are prescription medicines for humans, household product cleaners, chocolate, grapes & raisins, tulips & daffodils, and sago palms to name a few."