Diarrhea in Dogs and Cats: Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Pet Healthy

30 de April de 2024 by Dr+Vet0

The gastrointestinal health of pets is critical to their overall well-being.

Among the most common gastrointestinal problems is diarrhea, which can be a symptom of various medical conditions and disorders. In this extensive article, we will explore diarrhea in pets in depth, from its causes and symptoms to its diagnosis and treatment. In addition, we will specifically address chronic large bowel diarrhea, detailing its characteristics, causes and available treatment options.

What is Diarrhea?

Diarrhea in dogs is a gastrointestinal disorder characterized by loose or watery stools, which can occur acutely or chronically. When a dog experiences both vomiting and diarrhea at the same time, it is called gastroenteritis. Diarrhea can originate in different parts of the gastrointestinal tract, leading to different forms of the condition. If the diarrhea comes from the small intestine, it is known as enteritis, while if it comes from the large intestine, it is called colitis.

Causes of Diarrhea in Dogs

Diarrhea in dogs can have a wide variety of causes, which include:

  • Intestinal parasites.
  • Viral or bacterial infections.
  • Dietary changes.
  • Systemic diseases such as: renal, hepatic or pancreatic problems.
  • Ingestion of foreign bodies.
  • Immune-mediated diseases.
  • Oncological diseases.

Symptoms of Diarrhea

The symptoms of diarrhea vary according to its origin. Dogs with large intestinal diarrhea may have more frequent but smaller stools, possibly with fresh (red) blood, while those with small intestinal diarrhea may experience softer, bulkier stools with digested (dark) blood. Other symptoms may include loss of appetite, weight loss and behavioral changes.

What Can You Do for Your Pet?

If your dog has diarrhea, it is important to pay attention to his general condition and note the frequency and characteristics of the stools. Watching for signs of dehydration, monitoring his temperature and making sure he has access to sufficient water are key steps. In addition, monitoring his diet and avoiding foods that may worsen the situation is essential.

When to go to the Veterinarian?

It is advisable to take your dog to the veterinarian if his condition worsens, if diarrhea persists for more than 24 hours, if there is blood in the stool, if you suspect ingestion of foreign objects or toxic substances, or if he presents fever or hypothermia.

Diagnosis and Treatment

At the veterinarian, they will perform tests that they believe necessary to find out the origin of this diarrhea: stool analysis, blood tests, radiographs, ultrasound and endoscopies. Treatment will vary depending on the diagnosis, but may include intravenous fluid therapy, medications such as antibiotics or antiparasitics, dietary adjustments….

Focus on Chronic Large Bowel Diarrhea

Chronic large bowel diarrhea is a condition that requires a multidisciplinary approach for effective management. In this segment, we will explore the causes, symptoms and specific treatment options for this form of diarrhea, with a special emphasis on the role of nutrition in controlling symptoms and improving the quality of life of affected animals.

Chronic large bowel diarrhea in dogs can be caused by a variety of factors, such as food intolerances, infections, inflammatory bowel diseases, stress and diseases similar to irritable bowel syndrome. Identifying the underlying cause is crucial for effective treatment: which may include dietary therapy, medication, probiotics and stress management.

Dietary intervention plays a key role in the treatment of chronic large bowel diarrhea. A diet rich in highly digestible protein, low in fat and with both soluble and insoluble sources of fiber is recommended. In addition, supplements with probiotics, prebiotics such as Colitum from Dr+Vet can help restore intestinal balance and control symptoms.


Diarrhea in dogs is a common problem that can be worrisome for pet owners. However, with proper diagnosis and treatment, many cases of diarrhea can be successfully managed. It is critical to work in collaboration with a veterinarian to develop an individualized treatment plan that addresses your dog’s specific needs and promotes his long-term gastrointestinal health.

In summary, taking care of your pet’s gastrointestinal health is essential to ensure his overall well-being and quality of life. Whenever you notice changes in their behavior or symptoms of digestive distress, don’t hesitate to consult your veterinarian for proper guidance and care.

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