When to Take Your Dog to the Vet for Diarrhea

When to Take Your Dog to the Vet for Diarrhea

When to Take Your Dog to the Vet for Diarrhea

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When to Take Your Dog to the Vet for Diarrhea



Diarrhea or gastrointestinal upset is one of the most common problems for pets going to the vet.  Several things cause diarrhea in dogs. However, mild cases resolve within the first 24 hours, while severe cases need veterinary attention.


Sometimes, clients rush in their dogs too quickly to the vet. It is because they have a genuine concern for their pet. Other times, they do not want the dog to mess up the house. Either way, here are points to help you know when to worry about soft stool.




What Is Diarrhea?



Diarrhea is a sign of an underlying issue and not a disease. It happens when your pet’s body does not absorb nutrients. It retains or draws water into the intestines. Thus, the intestines cannot handle the volume of fluid and absorb more nutrients and water. In this case, the dog passes soft stool until its body regains steady and stable conditions.


Alternatively, the disease can cause inflammation of the dog’s intestinal lining. The inflammation impairs absorption in the intestines. It also causes an increase in the movement of fluid and electrolytes into the intestines. In these cases, diarrhea can occur suddenly and last for weeks or months.




Causes of Diarrhea in Dogs



Your dog can develop diarrhea for many different reasons. These include a change in the normal bacteria in their intestines or eating something out of their normal diet. Diarrhea is also a sign of a health problem. It can indicate that your dog has liver disease, parvovirus infection, or pancreatitis. These conditions can cause inflammation or damage the intestines, leading to diarrhea.


So, when should you take your dog to the vet for diarrhea?




After 24 Hours



If your dog has mild diarrhea, try settling their stomach at home before contacting the vet. Sometimes, diarrhea may be a result of stress. Animals feel stress and anxiety in the same way humans do. It may also be a result of a change in diet.


If you are in the process of a purposeful change of diet, it can trigger irritation. Observe your dog for 24 hours before contacting the vet. Do not withhold food; continue to feed them unless the vet recommends a fast. You can add fiber to the diet to help with diarrhea.




Very Young or Elderly



If you have a puppy or a senior dog, you need to play it safe. In these cases, call your vet and explain the symptoms. Let the vet decide if the symptoms are severe enough for a visit.




Has Other Severe Symptoms



Severe symptoms include stomach pain, vomiting, loss of appetite, or blood and mucus in their diarrhea. In this case, even if the stool is soft but your pet also exhibits the above symptoms, call the vet.




Taking Other Medications



Diarrhea can be a common side effect of some pet medications. These include anti-inflammatory drugs, heart medication, and antibiotics. If you notice diarrhea when your pet is taking other medications, stop giving it and call your vet.


Overall, do not hesitate to contact your vet if you have a great concern for your fur baby. Set your mind at ease because when you are at ease, your pet will also be at ease.




For more on when to take your dog to the vet for diarrhea, visit Brekke Veterinary Clinic at our office in Castle Rock, Colorado. You can also call (303) 474-4260 to book an appointment today.