Diarrhoea in dogs happens quite frequently. It can be a temporary gastrointestinal upset or there may be more serious causes. Most of the time, the dog’s diarrhoea subsides after a few days and does not leave any lasting damage. Vital and healthy dogs have less trouble with diarrhoea and gastrointestinal problems than their more sensitive peers. Today we inform you about what causes diarrhoea in dogs and let you know when it’s time to see the vet.
Identifying the causes correctly
First of all, diarrhoea is a symptom, not a disease. That means it is a sign of illness and has a cause. Dogs can react with diarrhoea when they are agitated and in unusual situations. Intolerance to food components can also cause diarrhoea. The exact factors cannot always be determined.
The most common causes of diarrhoea:
- Viral or bacterial infections (salmonella / E. coli bacteria)
- Parasites, e.g. giardia or roundworms
- Change of food
- Food intolerance / allergies
- Disease of the pancreas, liver, kidney
- Thyroid disease
- De-worming treatment
Taking care of your dog properly
Diarrhoea in dogs shows up as watery, mushy, and very fluid faeces. The dog then feels more pressure and urgently needs to relieve himself. The dog may make a mess in the house as he can no longer delay his bathroom visit. If that happens, you shouldn't reprimand him, as that just causes him more stress. Instead, make sure that your four-legged friend can go outside more often.
The diarrhoea usually subsides after 2-3 days. Your dog’s strong immune system supports him in excreting the bacteria from his body. Watch your dog carefully and not leave him unattended outside. He could drink puddle water or eat grass, which only puts more strain on his compromised gastrointestinal tract.
Nevertheless, you can help your little friend to get better faster. Compensate for the loss of fluids and make sure that your dog always has enough fresh drinking water available. Broth or tea are also suitable for balancing fluids; this also calms the intestines.
We also recommend fasting the dog for 12-24 hours. If the intestinal wall is damaged, some nutrients can trigger or promote allergies or intolerances. Fasting should not last longer than two days to avoid the lack of too many nutrients.
Over the next few days, stick with a light diet:
- boiled chicken
- cooked mushy rice or boiled potatoes
- cottage cheese
It is best to feed several meals in smaller quantities so that the dog's sensitive gastrointestinal tract can slowly get used to solid food again.
When do I need to see the vet?
If your dog has had diarrhoea for more than 2 days, then he should be presented to the vet, otherwise the diarrhoea can become chronic and cost your friend a lot of strength and energy. If your dog has bloody diarrhoea, you should go straight to the vet or veterinary practitioner. This can be a sign that the intestine has already been badly affected. If the intestinal wall is getting damaged too badly, bacteria can penetrate the blood and trigger sepsis.
As soon as your dog gets diarrhoea, the best thing to do is to take his temperature - the normal temperature in dogs is between 37.5°C and 39°C; in very young and small dogs, the temperature is more towards the upper range. If your friend has a fever in addition to diarrhoea, you should not hesitate and go straight to the vet as there may be a more serious illness present. The vet will take the necessary action and run some tests. He may do a blood count and check the feces for possible parasites or bacteria.
With puppies and young dogs, however, things are different. Since they are still growing, their system dries out faster, and diarrhoea can even be life-threatening for your young dog. If the diarrhoea has not improved after 24 hours, you should visit the vet. It can also be dangerous for dogs if they lose too many minerals. The vet can compensate for the loss of electrolytes either by injection or a mineral liquid orally. In rare cases, the vet will administer antibiotics to stop the diarrhoea.
You can use home remedies to relieve watery diarrhoea. Morosoup has long been used to relieve symptoms. This special food is gentle on the stomach and intestines, it supports the dog with fluid loss and provides them with lots of important nutrients that have been lost due to acute diarrhoea. AniForte® Morosan has been developed on the principle of this traditional healing soup and helps your dog with diarrhoea quickly.
The natural home remedies like Morosoup bind bacteria in the intestines and move them out of the body. In addition, the intestinal flora is supplied with important nutrients and is being restabilised. The prebiotic tompinambur is suitable as a supplement to Morosoup; it contains the fiber inulin and nourishes the “good” bacteria that healthy intestines need.
Another natural home remedy is rice. Since rice removes additional liquid from the dog’s body during a bout of diarrhoea, it should be boiled with a lot of water until a slimy paste forms. The rice paste then settles on the gastrointestinal mucous membranes and provides additional protection. The only important thing is that you don't use basmati rice, as it doesn't make enough paste, it is best to use short grained rice.
Colon rehabilitation – a natural remedy
To prevent frequent diarrhoea in dogs, you can use natural products that build up the bowel. This natural intestinal rehabilitation should be carried out regularly, especially in sensitive dogs.
Healing earth or healing mud for dogs is such a natural product. It is one of the oldest natural remedies and is known for its effective action on the gastrointestinal tract. The effect of healing moor goes back to its humic and fulvic acids: They have digestive and immune-strengthening properties and form a protective shield for the intestinal mucosa. In addition, the moor absorbs toxins in the intestine and transports them out of the body. You can simply mix AniForte® Healing Moor into the feed every day for a 6-8 week booster treatment to stabilize the intestines.
Natural herbs can also be used for intestinal cleansing; they have antibacterial properties and stimulate gastrointestinal activity. Tried and tested herbs for intestinal cleansing:
Switching to a BARF diet
You can also prevent diarrhoea in dogs well with a species-appropriate natural diet (BARF diet), so that an intestinal cleansing is not even necessary. Read more on BARF (biologically appropriate raw feeding) here.