It is not uncommon for dogs to develop diarrhea, a symptom that probably signifies a problem with a dog’s gastrointestinal system. It is, however, important to know if the diarrhea is acute or chronic in order to give the dog the proper treatment and concern that it needs. There are times when during the first sign of diarrhea dog owners already panic and give their dogs antibiotics that may have been needlessly prescribed. Oftentimes, this happens to dogs having the less serious acute diarrhea. What requires more effort and treatment is when the dog is showing symptoms of chronic diarrhea. So here is how to treat diarrhea in dogs, whether acute or chronic.
Most cases of dogs having acute diarrhea can be managed at home. This type of diarrhea usually starts suddenly and only lasts for a few days, or two weeks at most. When the dog begins to show signs of expelling any softer than normal stool, but continues to do its usual activities with a fairly normal level of energy, then it must be having acute diarrhea. This is a natural body reaction in removing toxins and just a few simple changes in the dog’s diet must be done.
What Actions to Take When your Dog has Diarrhea?
If the dog has acute diarrhea, cut back the food for about 24 hours and 12 hours for puppies. However, during this time, make sure that dog is able to drink enough water to prevent dehydration, with sticky or dry gums as an indication. The purpose of withholding food is only to give the dog’s digestive system a break from its work. What must be fed to the dog is a bland diet instead that should only be half of the dog’s daily rations.
This bland diet should consist of 2/3 cooked and cooled white rice (use any other bland grain, oatmeal, or potato as substitute) and 1/3 boiled low fat meat (chicken, beef or hamburger). One may also add boiled sweet potato (2 to 4 tablespoons) to the bland food and 1 to 3 tablespoons of yogurt could also be added to help soothe the dog’s digestive system. One may also use cottage cheese in place of the rice; just make sure to squeeze as much liquid as possible so that the cheese’s lactose content will be reduced. This bland food diet must be kept for at least 2 more days after the acute diarrhea has cleared up. On the third day, regular food can already be reintroduced. Slowly cut the rice portion and add more meat or increase the food volume until it reached to normal ration of the dog’s diet.
If the dog’s diarrhea seems to be continuous or recurring, and if the dog is unusually sick during the worst bout of the diarrhea, then the dog must already be having chronic diarrhea. With chronic diarrhea and over time, the dog’s body will lose valuable nutrients leading to immune system malfunctions. With this, the body often loses the ability to repair itself and other disorders begin to develop and worsen over time.
Usually, chronic diarrhea is caused by intestinal parasites (such as whipworm), bacteria, food allergies, chronic digestion of food, Dysbiosis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, or Leaky Gut Syndrome. These are but a number of problems that need to be addressed in order to help and relieve the dog. What must be done now is to have a veterinarian observe and check the dog in order to know the proper treatment that it needs.