Diarrhea is the passing of loose or liquid stool, more often than normal. Causes of diarrhrea can be primary (diseases of the small intestine, large intestine) or secondary (diseases of organs other than the intestinal tract). Causes will also be different whether the small intestine or large intestine are involved.
Types of Diarrhea in Dogs
There are essentially two types of diarrhea based on the portion of the intestines involved: small intestinal diarrhea and large intestinal diarrhea.
Symptoms, causes, diagnosis and treatment will differ between small intestinal and large intestinal diarrhea. Dogs wit small intestinal diseases will produce a larger amount of stool passed with a mild increase in frequency, about 3 to 5 times a per day. Bowel movement leaves your dog's body effortless, without straining. Dogs with small intestinal disease may also vomit and lose weight. You may hear the rumbling of gas in the belly, resulting in excess gas production. If there is blood in the stool it is digested and black in color.
Disease of the large intestine including the colon and rectum cause the dog to pass small amounts of loose stool very often, usually more than 5 bowel movements per day. The dog strains to pass stool. If there is blood in the stool, it is red in color. The stool may be slimy with mucus. Dogs with large intestinal diseases do not usually vomit or lose weight.
When to call your veterinarian
If diarrhea is accompanied by one of the following signs it is wise to consult your veterinarian immediately.
- bloody in the diarrhea or black, tarry stools
- diarrhea accompanied by vomiting
- ingestion of a poison is suspected
- fever and/or lethargy
- diarrhea persists more than a day or two
- your dog's gums are pale or yellow
- your dog appears to be in pain
- puppy has not received all his vaccinations
- there is weight loss
- dog is showing other signs of illness such as labored breathing or pain
Small intestinal disease
Large intestinal diseases
- viral diseases, such canine distemper, canine parvovirus, canine coronavirus, in young poorly vaccinated pets
- bacterial infections such as salmonella, clostridia or campylobacter.
- Worms and giardia
- Foreign bodies including bones (causing both diarrhea and vomiting)
- a sudden change in diet (with or without vomiting)
- Food allergies
- poisonous products and toxins (usually with vomiting).
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD can be congenital in some breeds of dogs, for example Basenji dogs may develop a severe inflammatory bowel disease.
- Tumors of the intestine (usually occurring in older pets).
- fungal infections including histoplasmosis (in certain parts of the country).
- inflammatory bowel disease
- colonic ulcers or colonic cancer.
- Stress (excitable dogs).
- kidney failure, liver failure,
- pancreatic disease
The Bulldog Information
Library 2003-2011 © All rights reserved. Dogue de Bordeaux photo © iNNOCENt - Fotolia.com
Original idea, design and development by Catherine Marien-de Luca. No part of bulldoginformation.com may be copied, distributed, printed or reproduced on another website without the owner's written permission. Please feel free to link from your site to any of the pages on this website in a non-frame presentation only.
Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook
by Debra M., DVM Eldredge (Author), Liisa D., DVM Carlson (Author), Delbert G., DVM Carlson (Author), James M., MD Giffin (Author), Beth Adelman Editor)
UC Davis Book of Dogs :
The Complete Medical Reference Guide for Dogs and Puppies
The Veterinarian's Guide to Your Dog's Symptoms
by Michael S. DVM Garvey
The Merck/Merial Manual for Pet Health:
The complete pet health resource for your dog, cat, horse or other pets - in everyday language. (Paperback)
by Merck Publishing and Merial (Author), Cynthia M Kahn (Editor), Scott Line (Editor)
The information contained in this article expresses the opinions and views of the owner of Bulldoginformation.com or the original author of the article. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional veterinary advice.
No responsibility or liability can be accepted for any loss or damage which results from using or misinterpreting any opinions uttered, products suggested or information mentionned in this web site, whether this information or advice stems from the owner of the site or from a third party.
The Canine Information Library
Dog Care Questions