There are many causes of diarrhea in dogs and cats. Parasites, stress, and environmental factors can cause an animal to experience diarrhea. Diarrhea can be caused by bacterial infections, viral infections and other diseases. Food allergies are a common cause of diarrhea in both dogs and cats. If you recognize some of the below-listed symptoms as a possible cause of your pet’s diarrhea, consult your veterinarian for proper confirmation and treatment.
COMMON CAUSES OF DIARRHEA IN DOGS & CATS
When your dog has diarrhea, it’s usually because he has eaten something that didn’t agree with him, or he has overeaten something and has stomach cramps. The best thing you can do is make sure your dog gets plenty of water and rest until the diarrhea subsides. If your dog is dehydrated, he could also develop other health problems.
Parasites such as worms live in the intestines, causing irritation and inflammation that leads to diarrhea. Parasites can be treated with appropriate medications from your veterinarian. Parasites are easily spread between dogs, so all dogs living in a household must be treated at the same time to prevent re-infection.
STRESS AND ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS
Stress can cause diarrhea in dogs, cats as well as people. Stress can occur if your dog or cat has recently been spayed or neutered, been boarded or hospitalized for surgery or illness, or received vaccinations. In that case they may have diarrhea due to the stress of these events on their digestive tract. Other causes of stress includes moving to a new home or introducing another animal into your household.
Bacterial infections are one of the most common causes of diarrhea in cats and dogs. Bacteria in the intestine may become overgrown with repeated passage through the digestive tract (colonization).
Viral infections are one of the most common causes of diarrhea in dogs and cats. Dogs can get a variety of viruses, including parvovirus, distemper, adenovirus, and coronavirus. Cats can also get these viruses and feline calicivirus and herpesvirus.
Diarrhea can be due to many diseases that affect the intestines, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), dietary indiscretion (eating something they shouldn’t have), parasitic infestation, and cancerous growths in the intestines.
Food allergies are one of the most common causes of diarrhea in dogs and cats. These allergies can cause gastrointestinal problems ranging from mild to severe. It is essential to rule out food allergies before trying any other treatments for diarrhea.
The immune system recognizes some ingredients as foreign invaders and triggers an immune response that produces antibodies. These antibodies recognize the invading protein and produce chemicals called histamines. This causes inflammation throughout the body, including in the digestive tract. The result is diarrhea.
Some common ingredients that can trigger an allergic reaction include:
- Dairy products
- Peanut butter
- Sweet potatoes
HOW PET PROBIOTICS CAN HELP WITH DIARRHEA
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria. They have health benefits, such as improving immune function and reducing allergies.
In pets, probiotics may be beneficial for treating diarrhea because they help to restore the natural balance of good bacteria in the digestive tract after being upset by an illness or antibiotic treatment. This helps prevent future episodes of diarrhea from occurring because there are enough good bacteria present to fight off bad ones before they cause problems.
Be sure to invest in a prebiotic probiotic and antibody supplement such as Intesto-Guard triple-action probiotic!
WHEN UNSURE – CONSULT A VET
If you’re unable to determine what is causing your dog’s diarrhea, a veterinary examination is needed. Treating it will depend on the underlying cause, which can be difficult because many of the reasons are interrelated.