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Diarrhea in dogs
May 14, 2012
Diarrhea in dogs
How to deal
Hour 1 through 48
Fasting: Help Dog Diarrhea “Get It Over With”
Most animals will fast themselves when they have digestive disease and it’s a good idea to stop feeding your dog if he doesn’t fast himself. You can start with 6 to 12 hours of no food or water with most dogs. If your dog is very small and prone to hypoglycemia, you should give him tiny licks of honey or karo syrup each hour, or as needed, if he appears weak and trembly.
After the fast, if there is no further vomiting and the diarrhea has stopped or slowed, offer small sips of water (a few teaspoons in very small dogs and up to ½ to 1 cup in large dogs) every few hours. Be certain to use filtered or spring water. After six hours of water only, you may start some broth or small amounts of food. Gradually increase the amounts of food over the next four to five days.
Bland Food: Prevent The Recurrence Of Dog Diarrhea
Once your dog is reintroduced to food, a bland diet will help prevent a recurrence of diarrhea. Starting with soup is a gentle way to smooth your dog’s transition back to his regular diet.
Other bland diets include: a mix of half white rice and half low fat meat (you can add a 1 to 2 tablespoons plain yogurt and baked yam); a mix of cooked white rice and low fat cottage cheese.
These will help repopulate the intestine with healthy bacteria and there is a growing research base showing they boost the immune system in the digestive tract as well as the rest of the body. Probiotics help maintain the mucosal barrier and enhance cellular repair.
Probiotics can be given while a dog is on antibiotics; just be sure to give them at a different time than the antibiotic. They can also be used during stressful times, such as weaning, boarding, agility trials and when traveling.
I’ve had mixed experiences with digestive enzymes. For dogs not being fed a raw diet, it makes sense to supplement the digestive enzymes they are missing from a natural raw food source. Some animals have improved digestion and do well on digestive enzymes, while some dogs react with intolerable abdominal bloating and gas. It’s best to observe your dog and start at a reduced dose at first.
Some animal digestive support products contain digestive enzymes so be sure to read the labels. Dogs with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency require additional pancreatic enzymes (which include proteolytic enzymes, lipases, and amylases) in order to digest their food properly.
If your dog’s digestive disease is severe or persistent, your veterinarian’s suggestions may include: fecal exams to rule out parasites; blood work to rule out liver, kidney, endocrine or other problems; x-rays or abdominal ultrasound to rule out foreign objects, obstructions, and cancer; and endoscopy to visualize the stomach and intestinal mucosa.
Most cases, however, are self-limiting and, with a little help from you and proper diet, your dog can get back to form quickly.