Treating Acute Diarrhea And Chronic Diarrhea in Dogs
Dogs commonly develop acute diarrhea. Because we are all concerned about our dog's welfare, we often run them in to see the veterinarian at the first signs of diarrhea. This is usually not necessary, and often will end up being detrimental to the dog if antibiotics are needlessly prescribed. Chronic diarrhea is less common, but is more serious and will require more effort to correct. First, lets look at acute diarrhea.
Acute diarrhea starts suddenly and lasts for a few days to a week or two. Most cases of acute diarrhea can be handled at home.
When do you need to take your dog to see the veterinarian? Look at how they are acting. Dogs that can be watched at home will act reasonably fine the whole time. They eat, drink, play, and have fairly normal energy. Of course, everyone with diarrhea will not feel 100% normal, so expect your dog to be a bit "off" until the diarrhea resolves.
Let's begin by defining what we mean when we say that a dog has diarrhea. Diarrhea, in the minds of many people, means a watery stool. Actually, the definition is much broader, and includes any abnormal stool that is softer than normal. This includes watery stools, straining and trying to defecate and only passing gas, soft-formed stools, soft stools with abnormal color or odor, and "cow pie" type stools.
In our canine friends, consumption of items found around their "world" is common. It is in the nature of a dog to eat many things we would never eat. Dogs are omnivores that are primarily carnivorous... with a touch of scavenger thrown in! This makes them prone to eat some things, both digestible and indigestible (for example, sticks and stones) that do not agree with them. The result: diarrhea.
They will commonly vomit a few times as well as have diarrhea, again, to clear their body of the unwanted toxins. Diarrhea purges the body of harmful or unwanted toxins, not a true "disease".
Dogs will naturally develop diarrhea as a means to return themselves to health. Acute diarrhea is usually a healthy, healing process, not a disease. So, now that we know that this is not a problem, and in fact it is a healthy reaction to help them heal themselves, what should we do?
Most cases are easy to treat at home and don't require a visit to the veterinarian. After all, we don't run to the doctor every time we have a touch of diarrhea.
If your dog has diarrhea and seems to be reasonably strong, happy and active, simply follow these guidelines:
Keep feeding this bland diet for at least a couple days after the diarrhea clears up.
When should you take your dog to the veterinarian? If your dog seems to:
Chronic diarrhea means:
Long-standing diarrhea can become a severely debilitating disorder. Over time, the body loses valuable nutrients (maldigestion), becomes depleted of immune system functions, and becomes toxic (25% of the body's detoxification mechanism resides in the intestinal lining). This cycle of events damages the body's ability to repair itself. Secondary disorders often develop which worsen the prognosis. Because of the chronic damage to the rest of the body, there are not enough immune function and metabolic products to heal the intestines. Thus we have a cycle of deterioration that can be very hard to reverse.
Conventional medicine often fails to heal chronic diarrhea. Its approach tends to follow along a couple lines. First, the dog is fed foods that are extremely bland and easy to digest, often called "hypoallergenic diets".
This may help for a short time, but the body needs complex nutrients for optimal health - nutrients that are destroyed by the extreme processing employed in making commercial diets.
Secondly, conventional veterinary medicine relies on multiple courses of antibiotics, often combined with immune suppressive drugs (corticosteroids, for example). Unfortunately, many cases are only palliated, not cured, and over time the dog will worsen. This is an excellent example where holistic therapies can help cure your dog.
The causes of chronic diarrhea include:
As you can see, there are many problems that need to be addressed to heal these patients. Our guidelines can help many patients, but severe cases need a knowledgeable holistic doctor. For phone consults, click here
Products To Aid In Healing Dogs With Chronic Diarrhea