Dog Diarrhea – A Comprehensive Guide

If you’ve got a dog, then chances are, he or she has had diarrhea at some point. Not only is dog diarrhea an inconvenient mess, it is an indicator that something could be seriously wrong with your pet’s health.

Remember: diarrhea that worsens, becomes more frequent, lasts longer than 24 hours, or is accompanied by a fever or lethargic behavior is an indicator that your dog needs to be seen by a veterinarian right away. Do not wait to call the vet – it is much better to call and find out that your dog will be fine, than to wait and discover that you let the symptoms go untreated for too long.

Here are some common types of dog diarrhea, and some of the things that might be causing your puppy or dog to be suffering from diarrhea symptoms.

Yellowish or Greenish Color – This type of dog diarrhea is often very foul smelling, and can have a liquid consistency. It is often an indicator that something your dog has eaten has traveled rapidly through his system, and that the body is trying to eliminate it quickly. If your dog has a habit of eating garbage or has found something disgusting to chew on, like a dead animal, this could be what is causing diarrhea.

Yellowish With Mucous and Blood Streaks – Any time you see blood in your dog’s stools, you should be alarmed. This type of diarrhea can indicate a bacterial infection like Coccidia or Giardia. If it worsens quickly and is accompanied by vomiting, it could be Parvo. Get your dog to the vet right away to give him the best chance at survival.

Bloody, Foul Smelling Diarrhea – Very bloody dog diarrhea is usually an indicator of Parvovirus. By the time most dogs get to this stage they have less than twenty-four hours to live, unless emergency treatment is given immediately. Dogs with Parvo are lethargic, and are unable to keep anything down without vomiting. Bundle your dog up, and get him or her to the vet right away.

Black Tarry Diarrhea – Diarrhea that looks black or tarry probably contains digested blood from the dogs’ own digestive tract. This could be an indicator of a serious illness, and your vet will probably need to run a blood panel to determine what is wrong with your pet.

Foamy Diarrhea – Very light, foamy dog diarrhea can be an indicator of a bacterial infection, especially if it is yellowish or greenish in color. If your dog has no appetite, is vomiting or appears to be lethargic, and has watery or foamy stools, he or she could have an internal obstruction. Veterinarians remove things like chunks of rawhide chew, shreds of fabric, pieces of plastic from garbage or a toy that the dog has destroyed, and even objects like coins from dogs’ intestines every day. Many dogs, especially puppies, will ingest just about anything – so don’t be surprised if your vet wants to take x-rays to see whether there is an obstruction in cases like this.

Pale, Grey Colored Diarrhea – If your dog has very pale colored diarrhea on a regular basis, this could indicate that he or she has an internal illness. Pale dog diarrhea is often seen in dogs who are suffering from liver disease. The vet will probably conduct a blood panel to see what is causing the diarrhea, and will then prescribe a course of treatment.

Remember, parasites and bacteria can often be transmitted to humans and other pets via contact with contaminated surfaces. Talk to your vet about how to sanitize your pet’s area, and be sure to get rid of anything that has come into contact with diarrhea.




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