Diarrhea is a common medical condition that affects dogs of all breeds but is more common with Golden and Labrador Retrievers. Fortunately, the health problem is treatable. It is simple but can be challenging. It is challenging in the sense that for diarrhea to be treated, the underlying cause has to be taken cared of first.
To help you become better equipped in handling canine diarrhea, we dedicate this article to recognizing the disorder, its symptoms and how to prevent it from happening again.
Signs and Symptoms of Canine Diarrhea
- Pain in the abdomen
- Loose stools
- Appetite loss
- Weight loss
If you see all of these symptoms are present, bring your pooch to the vet and have him tested for diarrhea.
Causes of Diarrhea in Dogs
You may be wondering why diarrhea is a common condition in retrievers. The underlying issue is that Golden and Labrador retrievers have hearty appetites. They love to eat anything from digestible to non-edible objects alike. But if treated immediately, diarrhea can be stopped.
However, diarrhea can affect other canine breeds as well. And sometimes your dog has diarrhea but acts fine. Below are some of the causes of diarrhea in golden retrievers as well as other dog breeds.
Just like with humans, if there are changes with the usual diet, the stomach can become understandably upset. For example, if your pooch is used to eating a high-fat meal changing it to high protein or a different brand may cause diarrhea. Often times diet changes will cause a dog to have soft stool and not diarrhea. This is simply the stomachs way of reacting to unexpected changes in diet.
Intolerance of some food products
Dogs can also suffer from food intolerance. Just like the many allergies, sensitivities and intolerances humans experience. It is possible that pooch is sensitive or allergic to a particular food ingredient as well which can lead to diarrhea once it’s consumed.
Parvovirus (see how do dogs get parvo), distemper, and coronavirus are infections caused by viruses. They are severe canine infections and, if left untreated, can become life-threatening. Diarrhea is a significant indicator that your pet is suffering from any of these viral infections. Diseases caused by bacteria often result in diarrhea and loose stools. Clostridia, salmonella, E-coli, and Campylobacter are examples of bacteria causing loose bowel movements in dogs.
Roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, or giardia are some examples of parasites that commonly affect your dog’s intestinal tract. As a consequence, infestation often results in diarrhea and other deadly diseases.
As the name suggests, dogs are prone to scavenging and will consume anything that comes along their path including antifreeze, gopher poison, household cleaners, rat poison and more.
Some of the ingested products can be life-threatening and may warrant an emergency vet visit. Others simply cause bowel irritations like diarrhea so it is best to check with a vet if you know your dog has eaten something it shouldn’t have.
There are many toxins and poisons out there that your pooch can ingest which can cause diarrhea. Other sources of toxins are human foods like chocolates, garlic, onions, and human drugs such as aspirin, iron, tobacco, lead, and xylitol among others.
Treatment and Prevention
See to it that your pooch drinks plenty of clean water to prevent dehydration. Feed him with small bits of boiled rice, or cooked chicken with water. Continue feeding him with this diet until his stool returns to normal. If the condition worsens, bring him to the vet right away.
What Can You Give a Dog to Stop Diarrhea?
There a some home remedies and over the counter diarrhea medicine you can use to help your dog with loose stools.
Imodium for dogs is one option. However some breeds cannot take Imodium. For example, Australian Shepherds, Shetland Sheepdogs, and other herding breeds cannot take Imodium. The same can be said of other over the counter medicines like Pepto Bismol, and Kaopectate. So it is best to check with a vet before self administering any treatment.
Another easy home remedy for dog diarrhea is pumpkin. Since pumpkin has a lot of good fiber it is great for regulating stomach issues. Canned, cooked, steamed or raw pumpkin can be used but as with anything too much of a good thing isn’t good either.
Pumpkin for dogs can help with diarrhea and constipation but too much can cause the things you are trying to cure such as intestinal gas, abdominal bloating and cramping.
A good rule of thumb is one teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight once or twice a day until things go back to normal.