Diarrhea is one of the most common ailments in dogs and cats and one of the conditions we treat most. Let’s consider this scenario. You were up all night because your dog had to go out 4 times. You realized they have diarrhea. Other than being sleep deprived you are asking should I be concerned and does this need immediate attention from my veterinarian?
First ask these questions:
1. Does your pet feel unwell including lethargy?
2. Are they not eating or drinking? Is there any vomiting?
3. Are they hunched, appearing to feel uncomfortable?
4. Does your pet have a disease that is prone to diarrhea?
5. Does my dog have a bloated abdomen (belly)? This is an emergency—go to nearest ER.
6. You unsure if you should be concerned.
If any of these answers is ‘Yes’, you need to consult a veterinarian as soon as possible. Any of these signs can be significant and potential life threatening (e.g. bloat in dogs). If all the answers are ’no’, here are some things that might help:
1. Probiotics—Proviable and Fortiflora are two great options. Yogurt is NOT recommended as it doesn’t have enough good bacteria for replacement.
2. Bland diet(if not food allergic)—For dogs, feed a mixture of rice with chicken, boiled beef(strain off the fat), or low-fat cottage cheese. For cats, plain chicken or meat baby food are alternatives. Feed small amounts frequently. Use for a few days and then gradually work back into your pets’ normal diet. Prescription foods may be needed.
3. Pumpkin—Canned pumpkin is a great fiber source. Use 1 tsp/10#s.
4. Pro-Pectillin Anti-diarrheal— For example, Vetoquinol Pro-Pectalin Diarrhea Supplement, can also be helpful.
Please still call if your dog or cat has diarrhea. A stool sample may be indicated and we can keep track of trends if it becomes chronic issue.