It’s important to know that diarrhea is not an illness but a symptom of any number of problems that are interrupting the function of the large intestine.It is also important to identify the cause as trying to just suppress this symptom will only bring about short lived, temporary relief which may cause long term health implications. Once identified, different causes will require different treatments.
Diarrhea can be mild and self limiting, or very debilitating and even fatal. It may or may not be accompanied by gas and abdominal discomfort. If your dog is still happy, with good energy level, and doesn’t refuse water an acute episode of diarrhea may be the body’s attempt at internal cleansing and purging. If however the diarrhea persists for more than a few days, contains blood, if there is associated vomiting, your dog is becoming increasingly lethargic, and refuses to drink, please seek the advice from your veterinarian as soon as possible. With each passing day of chronic diarrhea nutrients are lost in the stool, which lowers your dog’s general vitality. Your dog may need to go on an IV for loss of fluids immediately if this is the case.
Causes and Contributing factors to diarrhea
A dog with chronic diarrhea and gas, and accompanying skin problems may be suffering from a food allergy. Frequent offenders are preservatives (ethoxyquin, propylene glycol), artificial flavouring and coloring, dyes, salt, sugar, fungi, bacteria, germs all found in commercial dog foods (read more about What’s Really in Your Dogs Food article). Most common foods that may cause allergy include: beef, beef by-products, corn and corn oil, fish, turkey, pork, ham, cows milk (lactose intolerance), yeast, eggs, wheat or any food containing these. Please note that all commercial tinned food and biscuits, treats all contain sugar, salt, corn and wheat. Unless diet is strictly addressed, ongoing diarrhea may continue presenting.
Consider also the following contributing factors diarrhea may be due to:
• stress and anxiety
• over eating
• high fat diet
• vaccinations (due to meat extract that certain vaccines are grown in, thus long term leading to sensitivities and autoimmune disorders)
• undiagnosed IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
• leaky gut syndrome (intestinal dysbiosis/ hyper permeability)
• a foreign body ingestion
• gastritis, colitis (intestinal inflammation)
• the pancreas and/or liver failing to produce enzymes properly or sufficiently
• food poisoning
• excess vitamin C
• bacteria, virus (i.e. parvovirus, distemper)
• parasites i.e. worms
• drug related complication (most drugs are residual and are never completely eliminated as in the waste from food but are stored up in the body)
• side effect of certain drugs (i.e. antibiotics)
• liver disease
• stomach ulcer
• could also indicate that the liver and kidneys are overwhelmed with toxins that they are unable to process which leads to purging i.e. diarrhea.
Helpful suggestions to relieve diarrhea
The most beneficial initial step is to put your dog on a liquid fast. Withhold all solid food and only …