Dog Smarts: Dealing with Diarrhea

Ah yes, a topic all of us can relate to but rarely discuss. Well, today, we get to discuss it with an expert—Dr. Evelyn Bock of Southwick Veterinary Hospital.

Dr. Bock opened Southwick in 1975 in the Old Central City South Shopping Center. In 1992, the hospital moved to 4814 Lemay Ferry Road. Before that, she worked as a staff veterinarian at the old Humane Society of Missouri after graduating from Kansas State University.

Southwick offers same-day lab services for many tests in addition to therapeutic laser treatments and cat boarding. Over the years, Dr. Bock has seen more than her fair share of diarrhea cases, but her special interests include dermatology and therapeutic laser medicine.

For now, we’ll stick to the runs.

TWB: What can cause diarrhea in dogs?

Dr. B:  Diarrhea in dogs have many causes such as bacterial (Salmonella), viral (parvo in puppies), diet indiscretions, diet sensitivities, allergies, pancreatitis, some liver disorders and intestinal parasites.

TWB: In your experience, what is the most common cause of diarrhea?

Dr. B:  Dietary indiscretions.

TWB: What are some dietary indiscretions dog owners can look out for?

Dr. B:  Dietary indiscretions can be bones, barbeque, dead things in the yard, fatty foods, and excess human leftovers.

TWB: Why do dogs tend to get diarrhea or loose stool after exercise?

Dr. B:  Dogs tend to get very excited while playing or exercising. That can decrease the transit time of food going thru the large and small bowels. Water from the intestinal tract is not absorbed which can result in diarrhea.

TWB: How can I help my dog if their stool is always loose?

Dr. B:  Make an appointment with your veterinarian. Something is not right if your dog’s stool is always loose. There are several newer test now such as whipworm elisa test and chronic diarrhea panels in addition to routine blood work that can help diagnose the problem.

TWB: Although diarrhea isn’t always an emergency, it tends to happen at the most inconvenient times. Is there anything over the counter that is safe for dogs?

Dr. B:  Do twenty-four hours of a bland diet such as boiled hamburger and rice fed as smaller, more frequent meals. If diarrhea persists, becomes bloody, straining occurs or if your dog won’t eat, make an appointment with your veterinarian. Bring a stool sample that is fresh as possible.

Thanks, Dr. Bock. This should be beneficial to our clients, and we appreciate your time! If you would like to talk more about your dog’s loose stool, feel free to reach out to Dr. Bock at Southwick Veterinary Hospital, or make an appointment with your veterinarian.