Diarrhea is a subject of concern for nearly all dog owners, and if it’s a puppy in question, then things become even more worrisome. Understanding its causes can help in initiating quick and effective treatment of the condition.
The joy of bringing home a cute puppy is boundless. However, along with happiness, you take upon yourself the responsibility of taking care of your cuddly companion. Puppies are very inquisitive and many times, they end up ingesting things that they are not supposed to. The end result is some digestive problem. In fact, diarrhea and vomiting are very common health problems in puppies, and as a responsible pet owner, you are expected to be aware of their probable causes.
Examining your puppy’s stool is probably the simplest way to determine whether he is healthy or not. If he passes solid, log-like feces, then he is fit and fine. On the other hand, watery, runny, or mushy stools indicate that something is wrong with him. Usually, the causes of diarrhea in puppies are as simple as overeating, over-excitement, or stress.
Very often, change in diet is a major reason of causing abnormal bowel movement in puppies and dogs. At times, it can be something severe, like ingesting poisonous substances, viral infections (e.g., hepatitis), parasites (e.g., coccidia, Giardia), worms, and other similar diseases.
You don’t have to panic if your puppy is defecating occasionally. However, if the frequency increases or if you notice blood in the stool, then you should promptly get your pet checked by a qualified veterinarian. Any sort of delay in initiating treatment may cause the situation to become worse, and that, in turn, will reflect on the body in form of symptoms like lethargy, dehydration, and at times, fainting.
To quicken the diagnostic procedure, you can carry a stool sample along with you. Once in the clinic, the vet will perform a thorough physical examination and if necessary, urinalysis and stool test. After confirmation, medications will be prescribed to treat the condition.
Treatment and Remedies
The treatment depends entirely upon the underlying cause and severity of the condition. Discussed here are some of the main causes of canine diarrhea, along with their treatment options.
If food intolerance is the underlying cause, then you need to introduce and eliminate certain food ingredients to identify the offending items. It will take some time to detect the foods and checking associated symptoms. Once you are sure about the sensitive ingredient, restricting it in your puppy’s diet will help in curing (and preventing) the condition.
Coccidia, a single-celled parasite, is present in the stools of infected dogs and cats. Accidentally, if your puppy ingests this parasite, it will infest his intestinal tract and cause bloody stools. In such a case, the vet may recommend medicines to stop the multiplication of coccidia and expel them from your puppy’s digestive tract. Complete treatment may take somewhere about 2 to 3 weeks.
A puppy suffering from Giardia infestation passes foul-smelling feces. It is also accompanied by other symptoms, like loss of appetite, vomiting, and lethargy. This single-celled parasite infects the puppy’s skin as well as intestinal tract. Prescription of antiprotozoal medication is effective to treat puppy diarrhea resulting from Giardia infection. Also, bathing your puppy with appropriate soaps is imperative to get rid of parasites from its fur.
Viral infections resulting in diarrhea are common in puppies that have not been vaccinated. So, it is important to administer all the vaccines as recommended by the vet. Likewise, de-worming at regular intervals is essential to prevent diarrhea caused by roundworm infection.
If a puppy or dog is suffering from diarrhea, the focus should be on alleviating lethargic symptoms and compensating loss of fluids. Additionally, you can feed him healthy homemade foods to boost his immune system. Addressing the problem in time will surely help combat the condition without complications.