Does my dog need a vet visit for diarrhoea?
If your dog suffers from diarrhoea, it can be distressing for both you and them, particularly if it’s severe or happens frequently. Animals with diarrhoea can be uncomfortable or have pain in their belly, become dehydrated and develop blood electrolyte imbalances that make them feel more unwell. If your pet’s diarrhoea contains significant amounts of blood, they can also become anaemic or go into cardiovascular shock (develop dangerously low blood pressure).
Common causes of diarrhoea in dogs include:
Infections such as E. coli, giardia, roundworm, whipworm and parvovirus
Toxins such as chocolate
Eating spoiled food or large amounts of unsuitable food (e.g. very rich food)
Food allergies or inflammatory bowel disease
Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
Dogs can also develop diarrhoea due to other significant diseases in the body affecting gut health, such as hormonal imbalances.
If your pet is suffering from a once-off bout of diarrhoea, it’s OK to monitor them for several hours, provided they seem otherwise OK, are still drinking and keeping down water, and are not passing blood.
However, if your pet is losing a lot of fluid, passing blood, seems lethargic or is otherwise unwell, it’s best for them to be assessed by our veterinary team as soon as possible. Dogs suffering these symptoms generally require supportive care such as intravenous fluids (a drip), pain relief, anti-diarrhoeal supplements and any appropriate direct treatments for the cause of the diarrhoea (e.g. worming medication if faecal testing indicates worms).
If your pet suffers regular bouts of diarrhoea, we may suggest further diagnostic testing, such as blood tests, faecal tests, abdominal imaging (e.g. abdominal ultrasound) or potentially a prescription digestive health dietary trial.
So, if your pet has abnormal poos, have a chat to our lovely team about whether a consultation is required. Let us help to solve a rather unpleasant problem!