Picking Up Dog Poop Is Gross? Well, There Is Something Even Worse
It’s not a topic anyone likes to discuss, but if you own a dog, chances are you have found yourself cleaning up a stinking brown puddle more than you’d care to think about.
And sometimes, it is much more complicated than simply picking it up and throwing it away, as not every time they are ‘pickable’.
Diarrhea is a common canine affliction and it varies in frequency, duration, and intensity from dog to dog.
You may not be able to totally prevent diarrhea, but knowing as much as possible about it might help limit the number times your dog has one of these unpleasant episodes and reduce the duration when the runs do come.
What Is Canine Diarrhea?
Diarrhea in dogs, as with vomiting, can have lots of causes, including stress, infections like parvo virus, intestinal parasites, and food problems.
It is unformed or loose stools, usually occurring in larger amounts. It is not a disease, but rather a sign of many different diseases.
If only present minor conditions, diarrhea can be resolved quickly with simple treatments.
However, diarrhea may be the result of serious or life-threatening illnesses, such as organ system failure or cancer. Even diarrhea caused by mild illnesses may become serious if treatment is not begun early enough to prevent severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.
Diarrhea symptoms are pretty obvious -- look for loose, watery, or liquid stool.
What Is The Treatment For Diarrhea?
Because diarrhea can easily lead to dehydration, be sure your dog has plenty of clean water available, then take your pooch to the vet if the diarrhea persists for more than a day, or immediately if there's also fever, lethargy, vomiting, dark or bloody stools, or loss of appetite.
Once the diagnosis is known, specific treatment will be tailored to the underlying problem and may involve medication or dietary treatment.
A conservative treatment may be recommended by your vet if it is a simple acute diarrhea for a healthy adult dog.
Conservative approach may involve:
- Withholding all food for 12-24 hours or feeding small amounts of an easily digested diet prescribed by vet at more frequent intervals.
- Water should be offered at all times.
- Antidiarrheal agents, dewormers and or probiotics (bacteria that support intestinal health) may be prescribed in some cases.
- Some probiotics and supplements can be very helpful for dogs experiencing diarrhea.
Those conservative medical approaches mentioned above allow the body's healing mechanisms to correct the problem. As the stools return to normal, you can gradually reintroduce your dog's regular food by mixing it in with the special diet for several days.
Further tests or more aggressive treatment may be necessary if your dog is not improving within two to four days. Severe or prolonged diarrhea can result in significant dehydration and metabolic disturbances due to fluid loss and your pet may require hospitalization for intravenous fluid therapy or other, more intensive, treatments.
How To Prevent The Happening of Diarrhea?
Although in some cases diarrhea is unavoidable, there are some things dog owners can do to help reduce the likelihood of it occurring:
- Provide your dog with a healthy, balanced diet
- Exercise regularly
- Keep up to date with vaccinations
- Make sure your dog is free of parasites
- Keep spoiled food and garbage out of reach
- Avoid feeding your dog scraps
- Ensure your dog doesn’t eat plant material or feces or drink from puddles while out walking
- Minimize stress to its environment