3 Reasons Your Dog Has Diarrhea
Nothing makes a pet owner rise from their bed more quickly in the middle of the night than the unmistakable sound—and smell—of their dog having diarrhea. While this occurrence may prompt you to turn to “Doctor Google” for middle-of-the-night relief for your dog, understanding the possible causes will lead to the most effective treatment. Here are three of the most common reasons dogs develop diarrhea.
#1: Dietary indiscretion
Dietary indiscretion is fancy terminology for saying your dog ate something they shouldn’t have. Whether your pooch got into the cat food, was given too many treats at a dinner party or ate half of your child’s Lego collection, dietary indiscretion can lead to a serious case of diarrhea. In addition, dietary indiscretion-induced diarrhea often is paired with vomiting, especially if whatever your dog ate caused an intestinal blockage. In some instances, your dog’s gastrointestinal tract may settle down on its own, but more serious cases require veterinary treatment.
#2: Intestinal parasites
Dogs can pick up intestinal parasites from a variety of places, including the local dog park, a trip to the lake, or your own backyard. Intestinal parasites are most commonly transmitted via contact with infective feces or contaminated surfaces, but your dog also can contract them from aquatic life. Intestinal parasites are notorious for causing diarrhea, and your dog also may have blood or mucus in their loose stool. Many intestinal parasites also can be transmitted to people, so use caution and good hygiene when cleaning up after your dog’s diarrhea episodes until you know the cause of the problem.
#3: Organ dysfunction
Dogs with organ disease commonly develop diarrhea as an additional health concern. Inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, kidney disease, liver disease, and other conditions including cancer can interfere with proper gastrointestinal function and may cause diarrhea. If your dog has a chronic condition, they can experience recurring diarrhea.
Although a bout or two of diarrhea may resolve on its own, do not let a case go on for too long, as chronic diarrhea can lead to systemic problems or be an indicator of more significant underlying disease. Keep track of your pet’s history of diarrhea and if it persists or you are concerned, collect a fresh fecal sample in a clean, secured container, take photographs and schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to further investigate and resolve your dog’s diarrhea.