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Acute Diarrhoea in Dogs – When to Worry?

Acute Diarrhoea in Dogs – When to Worry?

Acute diarrhoea in dogs is a common problem seen in pets, but it’s so important for pet owners to know when veterinary treatment is necessary. While mild cases of diarrhoea can often resolve on their own, it’s essential to recognize the signs that warrant professional care. In this blog post, we will explore when veterinary treatment is needed for acute diarrhoea in pets. By providing helpful guidelines we can help you make informed decisions and support your furry friend through their recovery.

What causes acute diarrhoea in dogs?

Acute diarrhoea in dogs can be caused by various factors, and understanding the most common causes is key to addressing the issue effectively. Dietary indiscretions, such as consuming spoiled food, foreign substances, or very fatty foods, are frequent culprits. In addition, viral or bacterial infections, such as parvovirus or salmonella, can also lead to acute diarrhoea. Lastly, stress, sudden dietary changes, allergies, and certain medications can contribute to gastrointestinal upset.

The most common signs that owners would see is runny or watery stool. Dogs could often also beg to go outside more. In severe cases, acute diarrhoea could also be accompanied by vomiting.

When should I take my dog to the vet with acute diarrhoea?

Acute diarrhoea can often resolve by itself if it is mild in nature, and not accompanied by persistent vomiting. However, some diseases such as parvo will not resolve by itself. So how do we determine when medical intervention is required? Here are a few guidelines, but above all, if you are worried, rather err on the side of caution and seek medical advice.

  1. Persistent or Severe Diarrhoea:

If your pet’s diarrhoea persists for more than 24 to 48 hours or becomes severe, it’s time to seek veterinary care. Persistent diarrhoea can lead to dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and nutrient deficiencies. We will perform a thorough examination to try and identify the underlying cause and recommend appropriate treatment.

  1. Blood or Mucus in Stool:

The presence of blood or mucus in your pet’s stool is a concerning sign that requires immediate veterinary attention. It usually indicates a more serious underlying condition such as intestinal infections, or inflammatory bowel disease. Diagnostic tests and treatment options can be initiated to address the specific cause and alleviate your pet’s discomfort.

  1. Lethargy and Loss of Appetite:

If your pet is experiencing acute diarrhoea along with lethargy, weakness, and loss of appetite, it may be a sign of a more systemic issue. These symptoms can indicate a broader illness or an infection affecting multiple organs. Prompt veterinary care is crucial to assess the overall health of your pet and provide appropriate treatment.

  1. Vomiting and Diarrhoea Combination:

When vomiting accompanies diarrhoea, it can quickly lead to dehydration and nutrient depletion. This combination can be indicative of various conditions such as gastroenteritis, dietary indiscretion, or even more severe issues like pancreatitis. With prompt treatment to alleviate the vomiting, and tests to determine the underlying cause, we can quickly and efficiently provide the necessary treatment and supportive care.

  1. Preexisting Health Conditions:

Pets with preexisting health conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, or immune disorders are more susceptible to complications from diarrhoea. If your pet falls into this category, it’s important to seek veterinary advice promptly. Waiting one or two days could have a significant impact of their welbeing. These underlying conditions may require specific management strategies to address the diarrhoea effectively while supporting the overall health of your pet.

By being attentive to the severity and duration of your dog’s diarrhoea, as well as accompanying symptoms, you can make informed decisions about when to seek veterinary care. Some information that would help us to determine the underlying cause include; how long the diarrhoea has been present, if the dog ate anything different 24 – 48 hours before the diarrhoea started, and vaccination status. But above all, if you are uncertain in any way, rather reach out for veterinary advise. And don’t hesitate to reach out if your dog’s diarrhoea persists, worsens, or is accompanied by concerning symptoms. By seeking timely veterinary treatment, you can ensure your dog receives the necessary care, alleviate their discomfort, and promote a speedy recovery. Your furry friend’s well-being is our top priority!

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