Dog Diarrhea  

Posted by — Kim in , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Here's an informative article that I thought I would pass on... –Kim

Dog Diarrhea: How to Quickly Stop It at Home
By Dr. Andrew Jones
February 10, 2012
You have seen this many times: soft, liquidy poop found in a pile on the rug under the kitchen table. In this article, I am going to go over the common causes of dog diarrhea, and how it is diagnosed based on the clinical signs. Lastly, you will see the more common and most effective at home remedies to be able to stop your dog's diarrhea fast.
Anything that upsets the digestive tract and results in water not being absorbed produces diarrhea. Some common causes include:

  • dietary indiscretion (eating compost),
  • parasites (Giardia or Roundworms),
  • food allergies,
  • infectious causes (Salmonella),
  • inflammatory changes (Inflammatory Bowel Disease, similar to Crohn's disease in people), and
  • pancreatic abnormalities (Pancreatic insufficiency, common in German Shepherds).

Diarrhea in dogs is categorized as being either small bowel diarrhea (it originates from the small intestine), or large bowel diarrhea (it originates from the colon).

  • Small bowel diarrhea is generally large volume, not very frequent, at times with vomiting and weight loss. The causes of small bowel diarrhea are many, from parasites to infectious agents.
  • Large bowel diarrhea signs include frequent bowel movements, straining, with occasional mucous and blood. Most large bowel diarrhea is classified as colitis, being caused by dietary indiscretion.

Severe diarrhea that results in dehydration is a medical emergency and must be dealt with by your veterinarian. If you have a young unvaccinated dog, the diarrhea may have an infectious cause; the dog must be examined by a veterinarian. If your pet is still very alert, active and drinking, then try some of the following home remedies.
Stop putting food into your pet for 24 hours (Day 1). This allows the intestines to rest and regenerate. Always have access to plenty of fresh water. After 24 hours, introduce a bland food for the next 24 hours (Day 2). Plain cooked white rice for dogs, feeding equivalent cups of rice as their normal diet. After a day of the bland food, mix 1/2 regular diet and 1/2 bland diet (Day 3). By the end of Day 3, they should be back on their normal diet.
Probiotics help restore the natural bacteria in the intestine, normalizing the intestinal immune system. The most effective supplement is Lactobacillus acidophilus – give 1/4 capsule per 10 lbs of body weight, twice daily. I advise probiotics for all cases of diarrhea, but purchase them from a reputable source to ensure the probiotics are active.
Pepto-Bismol is an old standby that can be effective for dogs. The dog dose is 1 ml/10 lbs of body weight, given three times daily for no more than 7 days. Imodium (Loperamide) can be used with care; avoid giving it to Collies or Collie crosses. The dose for dogs is 0.5 mg/10 lbs, three times daily (give your 40 lb dog one 2 mg tablet, three times daily).
Kaopectate has a newer version that is safer for dogs. It contains attapulgite clay as the active ingredient, which binds toxins, decreases the fluid in the intestinal tract and subsequent diarrhea. Dose for dogs: 0.5-1.0 ml per pound by mouth every 4-6 hours. Treatment should only be needed for 1-2 days.
There are a few herbs that I am finding helpful for dog diarrhea. Slippery Elm in the dried form can be helpful for chronic diarrhea, such as inflammatory bowel disease in dogs. The dried herb dose is 20 mg/lb of body weight, twice daily. Peppermint helps with intestinal gas and cramping; give 25 mg/lb of body weight, twice daily of the dried herb or 1 drop/lb of body weight, twice daily of the tincture.
One homeopathic in particular stands out as being especially useful for most cases of diarrhea in dogs. It is called Arsenicum Album and is my preferred homeopathic remedy for dogs with 'Garbage Gut.' Dose: 1 30C tab per 20lbs, every 2-4 hours.
[Editor's note: I have also found that feeding my dogs fresh pumpkin, cooked and mashed, or 100% natural canned pumpkin can work wonders for both the occasional bout of diarrhea or constipation!]
You now should have a good understanding of what the signs and symptoms of dog diarrhea. You should be able to differentiate between large and small bowel diarrhea, and now know when to seek urgent veterinary care, or try some of my suggested home remedies (above). Now you have a selection of home remedies to use the next time your dog gets diarrhea, and you can now stop your dog's diarrhea fast at home.

Dr. Andrew Jones, DVM
DISCLAIMER: This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian.

Copyright © Four Paws Online Ltd. 2012

Dr. Andrew Jones, DVM has been a practicing Veterinarian for almost 20 years. He is a strong advocate of Natural Pet Health Care, and knows that the most important way to heal our pets and prevent disease is through proper nutrition. He developed Ultimate Canine to give our dogs that extra advantage – something that will provide them with everything they need to develop stronger immune systems to fight disease, heal sore or stiff joints, and help them live longer, happier lives. Dr. Andrew Jones' main focus is on alternative, non-traditional remedies for pets. His interest in alternative pet medicine culminated in the writing of his book, Veterinary Secrets Revealed.

Also, see: A Guide to Diarrhea in Dogs & Puppies

This entry was posted on Saturday, February 11, 2012 at Saturday, February 11, 2012 and is filed under , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


I started a part time job in a shipping department for a pet supplement retailer, and noticed that one of the products they sell that's incredibly popular (at least based on how much we ship out) is Purina's FortiFlora. Tried it with my own dog with good results. Glad I found this article though! The pumpkin remedy is particularly intriguing.

March 23, 2012 at 2:16 PM

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