Diarrhoea in Dogs

Wellness, last updated 22nd, Jul 2018, U K Atheya


The intestine through the mouth is connected to the outside environment so faces many challenges. The germs, parasites, poisons, and indigestible foreign bodies, ingested by dogs are irritants can cause diarrhoea, the most common problem of keeping a dog. Diarrhoea is not a disease but a manifestation of an irritant which body wants to get rid of sometimes, a physical damage to the intestine also causes diarrhoea. The problems in the body away from the intestine can cause diarrhoea, like allergic reactions. The intestine also works as a part of the immune system. So, diet sensitivities can cause inflammation and diarrhoea.

The basic food ingredients, fat, protein and carbohydrates are broken down by the enzymes from the liver and pancreases into fatty acids, amino acids and glucose respectively. The digestion is also assisted by the intestinal micro-organisms. The broke down nutrients are absorbed by the villi, the finger-like projections in the intestine, any damage to the villi or the disturbance to the microbial population can cause diarrhoea.

The large intestine absorbs water. A 20 Kg dog takes about 3 litres of water, by mouth, saliva, digestive juices and food. The intestine absorbs all leaving only 50 ml to be discharged with stool. However, any disturbance to this absorption will cause diarrhoea.

The mucosal lining has a lymphoid tissue, which secretes immunoglobulins, a protein which protects the body from invading bacteria. These protecting proteins mistakenly, respond to the food proteins and causes food allergies, which in turn causes diarrhoea. The diarrhoea is not diseases but the manifestation of the intestinal disturbances. The diarrhoea can accompany by black stool, pain during defecations and loss of movement of bowel. The black stools mean bleeding in the digestive tract. And needs veterinarian advice. The gasses in the stomach is the result of eating food too quickly and is common in boxer, or the short nose dogs. The flatulence can also be caused by eating fermentable foods.

The treatment of diarrhoea can be done by the removal of the cause, prevention of further damage to the intestine, and compensation for dehydration. Bismuth subsalisylate (Pepto Bismol ) at a dose rate of 0.25/ kg orally every four hourly is safe. Loperamide at a dose rate of 0.08 mg / kg is also used but may cause neurological side effects. The herbal drugs available for human treatment are effective and can be tried. Antibiotics should not be given to the dog in acute cases in chronic cases it can be tried with probiotic under veterinary supervision.

About the Author: (By DogSpot Admin) Author is PhD in Veterinary Sciences and Post Doctrol from Cambridge. Has about more than 30 years of Small and Large animal treatment experience.


My vet prescribes Oflox TZ everytime my dogs have an upset tummy.
Is it OK?

By: Parakram | 16 May 2008

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