Diarrhea in Pets

Sad Dog

Diarrhea is a common complaint with pets. Our pets sometimes eat things that are not good for them. They may be on medications such as antibiotics that cause diarrhea. It can be related to changes in food, allergies, diseases. Whatever the reason it should be taken seriously and treated.

An obvious symptom is frequent loose watery stools. Puppies, kittens and seniors can be seriously affected by a bout of diarrhea and easily become dehydrated. Fresh water should always be available and your pet should be encouraged to drink.

If your pet has diarrhea but is acting normally otherwise, just watch for any changes. Withhold food for at least 12 hours, but NOT water. Then offer a diet of some cooked chicken or turkey with either pureed fresh or canned pumpkin (no pie filling) or sweet potato. Break up the meals into 3 or 4 smaller ones. Rice may not be the best choice as it can cause gas and is often not absorbed.

After 2 days, if your pet continues to have diarrhea or shows other symptoms such as weakness, lethargy, fever or there is blood in the stool, a trip to the veterinarian is in order. If your pet has recurrent bouts of diarrhea, s/he should be seen by the vet. If possible, bring a sample of the stool for testing. A plastic baggie will work. It will help your vet determine the cause for diarrhea.
Once the diarrhea is over and the stool is firm, it would be a good idea to add a probiotic to your pet’s diet.

Never give your pet any medications without your vet’s okay. Cats are particularly sensitive to medications. Giving medications on your own can result in serious side effects.

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