Diarrhea in Puppies
By Ed Frawley

Read All About Ed Frawley

As a dog breeder, I've dealt with my fair share of puppy diarrhea. It is a common problem that many people have to deal with. Having bred over 300 litters of pups, I have a few tips on diarrhea in puppies and how to deal with it. Please note that this article isn't to diagnose or cure the problem. This is an article to pass on the knowledge of diarrhea that I've gained in my years of breeding.

There are 4 types of stool:

  1. Normal logs
  2. Pudding diarrhea (stools that will mound)
  3. Brown water diarrhea
  4. Brown water diarrhea with blood

A good, healthy dog will have normal stool. To know that a dog is healthy, their normal temperatures will be 101-102 degrees and will also have normal stool. However, there are exceptions to this rule such as cancer. Sometimes you won't know if your dog has cancer despite their seemingly healthy temperature or stool texture.

Parasites & Diarrhea

Coccidia and Giardia are the most common parasites in diarrhea. Both of these require different medication.

All dogs will have some level of Coccidia in their gut but stress can cause the coccidia to flare up which results in diarrhea. Usually, the solution is "albon." Your vet will know how much is needed to help clear up the diarrhea.

Giardia can occur in humans when they drink water with fecal matter. When dogs get Giardia, they need to be treated with "metronisazole." This must be prescribed by the vet (same as Coccidia). Giardia is difficult to diagnose from looking at stool alone.

Pudding Diarrhea

When a dog has pudding diarrhea, there is definitely something wrong with the dog. Usually, the problem is one of the following:

  1. Changing the food our dogs eat
  2. Overfeeding the dog
  3. Eating garbage
  4. Exercise or excitement

Add a little canned pumpkin to your puppy's food. It is easy to add this with an all-natural diet. Dogs will easily accept the pumpkin while those with a kibble diet may not eat it. You'll need to think about medication now (either kaopectacte or imodium AD or DiaBac).

Brown Water Diarrhea

Brown water diarrhea is a serious situation and a sign of a sick puppy. You shouldn't ignore a puppy with brown water diarrhea. You should be careful that the puppy doesn't get too dehydrated. If you cannot stop the diarrhea within 24 hours, you need to get it to a vet.

Get familiar with what a healthy puppy feels like. Learn how loose his skin is. A healthy puppy will have loose skin on his back. WHen you pull on it, it will pull away from the muscle structure of the dog. When a pup begings to dehydrate, this area will feel tighter. It is more difficult to pull it from the body mass.

If this happens, rehydrate the puppy as soon as possible. Make sure he has plenty of water to drink. Grab an unflavored Pediatric Electrolyte. If the puppy won't drink, try adding a litle chicken broth.

Put the dog off solid food for a day. This allows the gut to rest. Most dogs and pups can go easily for a day without food but they cannot go without water. A dog that is drinking plenty of water is not as serious as a dog that will not drink.

If your puppy won't drink, then take it to your vet. Your puppy will need to go on IV fluids and receive the appropriate medical treatment.

Brown Water Diarrhea with Blood

If you see brown water diarrhea with blood, then it is a medical emergency. You need to get this puppy to the vet now. Waiting a day or two could result in a dead puppy. Puppies can dehydrate and die within 24-48 hours. It is beyond ability for pet owners to deal with blood in diarrhea so please take your dog to the vet.

General Commens

Don't let your vet give any vaccinations while your dog has any kind of issues with loose stools. You do not want to give vaccinations while your dog is taking antibiotics either. Long-term health problems can occur if this happens.

If your puppy continues to have long term soft stoold, you need to look at what you are feeding your dog. Dogs can be sensitive to certain types of food. Try to isolate the problem (the way you would if you might have an allergy). If you dog is eating only a natural diet, then stop feeding grains and veggies and only meet. If you feed kibble, find one with a small amount of ingredients.



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