Diarrhea (loose or watery stools) is not a disease in itself, but simply a very obvious symptom that something is not quite right with the intestinal system. Most of the time the problem is minor and self-correcting. But sometimes, it’s obvious that the problem is more serious, either because diarrhea has become persistent over the last few days, or the pet is weak and listless, or there are additional problems such as vomiting, or blood in the stool. In cases like this, it’s time to have a veterinarian examine the patient. The greatest worry with ongoing diarrhea is dehydration.
Diarrhea is caused by inflammation of the intestine (enteritis). It may happen at the same time as vomiting, (gastroenteritis) or by itself.
As long as your dog is eating and alert, there is no cause for alarm. Unless there is vomiting, feed a normal amount of food divided into 4 — 5 small servings given at intervals throughout the day. Give 1 (about 1/2 teaspoon) serving every 6 — 8 hours.
Bland diet for dogs with diarrhea: Mix one and a half cups of cooked white rice or potato with one half cup of cottage cheese. Remove the liquid from cottage cheese by squeezing it between several layers of paper towel.
Diarrhea cases range from minor to deadly, and from easily cured to the terminal. The diseases associated with diarrhea and the resulting dehydration are easily the largest cause of death in humans and other mammals on this planet. So once it’s obvious that the diarrhea isn’t just a 1 or 2-day affair associated with eating something inappropriate, you need to take things seriously and see a vet as soon as possible.
In a young puppy, diarrhea can be caused by virus’s and parasites. A stool sample to the vet is a good idea to check for Coccidia (Coccidiosis), Giardia, Trichomonas, or other infections. If your litter of 2-week old puppies gets diarrhea, it could be worms. Normally pups are not wormed till 3 weeks, but some do it at 2 weeks. When worms become active, they can cause diarrhea. But, if diarrhea worsens, even after worming medicine, you may need to check for coccidia. The incubation period is 13 days, and the mothers often carry it. They would come in contact from the Dam at birth, or shortly after. They are not born with it. Diarrhea onset 13 days after birth often means coccidia. This requires vet medicine to treat. It can be found in a stool sample.
Some dogs/puppies can get diarrhea from the excitement or stress of being away and then coming home. Some dogs get doggy flu bugs, others may eat strange food and cause stomach upset. Diarrhea from change is common.
IMPORTANT: if the dog is vomiting and/or has diarrhea, and is dehydrated then YOU must seek VET attention to administer fluids, intravenously. A good test method for dehydration – if the skin on the dog’s neck stays up, when lifted and doesn’t drop down instantly in place when released.