Dog and Cat Diarrhea Symptoms and Treatments
Mechanism that leads to diarrhea
Cat diarrhea or dog diarrhea, which come under the category “Pet diarrhea” can cause serious concerns to the pet owners. Diarrhea occurs when the digestive process, which concludes in the absorption of the nutrients and the ejection of fecal matter, is interrupted. Large amounts of undigested matter are accumulated, resulting in a watery consistency to the stools. Irritation to the digestive canal through some foreign agent or by some internal breakdown in the metabolic activity results in the incomplete processing of the food.
It is indeed an alarming thought for the pet owners to think oh my dog has diarrhea. But is really simple to solve it too. This is because the dog diarrhea remedies also are there in plenty.
The same is the case with cats too, only they have a much cleaner feeding habit and are very difficult to control at times. The only way to cure the cat may be to starve the cat when the symptoms are too severe. Dehydration could also kill the cat easily enough.
Recognizing the symptoms of this disorder in the cat is easy enough. There will be large amount of fecal matter if the problem is at the beginning of the small intestine. However, if the problem occurs lower down then the cat will have frequent and uncomfortable bowel movement.
There is a chance that your cat has diarrhea and you have not noticed the watery or smelly feces. This is because the cat is trained and you hardly get to see the motion. However, there are other signs that you may watch out for. These are vomiting, high fever, loss of appetite, abdominal pain and lethargy.
If you have a dog with diarrhea it may sometimes run out of control and thus be the reason for accidents. Ordinarily the pet whether it is a dog or a cat will pass stools once if the feeding frequency is once per day and it will pass stools twice when it is fed twice. Now I will know that my puppy has diarrhea or that the kitten has diarrhea when it passes motion more number of times than the feeding frequency.
The disorder diarrhea in dogs can be understood to be the loose stools or smelly stools that are remarkably uncharacteristic. It is easy to see that the feline diarrhea needs to be handled with the same circumspection one uses when dealing with dogs.
The chances of rat poisoning could also be there for dogs. In this case Vitamin K will have to be injected and there may be the need for blood transfusion. Eating the bodies of dead animals or decaying garbage could give rise to illnesses such as histicocytic ulceracitive colitis, infectious enteritis and granulomatous enteritis.
Symptoms one could watch out for
Diarrhea occurring in very small puppies could prove to be fatal. It is necessary to be prepared. The presence of a parasitic infection called coccidiosis will manifest as green tinged fecal matter. It is easy to be prepared for canine diarrhea because one knows all the causes and the symptoms. You will know a puppy has diarrhea or that a cat has diarrhea when the stools are not firm. The cat or dog may strain to pass feces but only gas will be produced. When irritation is present in the digestive tracts of the dog vomiting and diarrhea manifests.
The various signs are listed below :
- Pain in the abdomen
- Watery consistency to stools
- Hair under tail is matted
- Very smelly feces
- Presence of skin disease
- Soreness in the rectal region
- Sudden weight loss
When treating diarrhea in dogs the vet would be anxious to know if there are related symptoms of other disorders such as loss of vision, increased breathlessness, signs of thirst vomiting and loss of coordination present. There might also be seizures present in the dog or cat. The pet will suddenly bump into objects (loss of vision), start licking the lips ( signs of thirst) or start panting (shortness of breath).
In those cases of dog diarrhea blood may be seen in the stools if the dog passes motion more than five times a day. When a dog has diarrhea probiotics offers one way out. Maintaining a good balance of healthy and positive bacteria would keep the metabolism ticking.
Now lets take a look at the cat kingdom and the problems that exist there. If you have a cat with diarrhea try to regulate its food intake for a day or two. There are many cat diarrhea causes and prominent among them are:
- Eating from garbage cans
- Intestinal parasites
- Stomach viruses
Cats that are fed in the house will not have the problem of contracting intestinal parasites from trashcans. However, they face the danger of overeating since the owners might pamper them with choice foods.
During some seasons, there is the chance for being affected by the stomach viruses due to change brought about the climatic variations. This happens during the rainy seasons mostly and the water carries pathogens that find their way to the food.
Major illnesses causing diarrhea in cats are:
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Bacterial infections
- Viral infections
- Feline immunodeficiency virus
- Pancreatic function loss
- Fungal infection
Knowing about the diseases and their causes helps prevent the onset and thereby helps the pets a lot. Though all pet owners are careful, sometimes there are things that are not really in their control. These things like weather or seasonal virus could upset the applecart if one is lax in keeping a watch over the hygiene.
There are many people who try the home cat diarrhea treatment. Among these the plantain, lady’s mantle and PetAlive RunnyPoo relief are widely used. Mullein and myrrh are known to have analgesic properties as well as anti-bacterial properties. Some people also use peony for the same reason.
The chronic diarrhea in cats fall into two categories those that are caused because of the irritation to the small intestine canal and those that target the large intestine.
One of the causes of chronic diarrhea in cats is the kidney disease. Overactive thyroids could also cause chronic diarrhea.
The kitten diarrhea may also be caused by some worms infestation, in which case you must deworm the cat. Cat diarrhea medication for bacterial, parasitic and viral infections are available.
Causes for the disorder
Most common causes are the ingestion of small stones , leaves and sticks along with the food. The block of the passage of the food is responsible for the disorders like vomiting and diarrhea in dogs and cats. Pets that have maximum risk are those that eat garbage or sick puppies and sick cats and kitten.
The reasons for diarrhea are:
- Presence of foreign particles in food
- Bacterial infection
- Viral infection
- Secondary medical conditions which cause diarrhea
- Travel sickness
- Parasite infection (Giardia Protozoa, coccidia)
- Valley fever
- Feline distemper virus (for cats)
Rarely there may be instances where the foreign object actually punctures the walls of the intestine causing the matter to leak out. This will cause the matter to accumulate in the abdomen region.
The stomach or some portion of the intestine of the pet becomes irritated through a change in diet, an infection or some other metabolic problem and reverses the peristalsis movement. Thus, the food, which ought to go on to the small intestine and get digested, instead gets pushed out through the mouth and comes out as vomit.
The most popular among the dog diarrhea causes is swallowing of foreign indigestible object. bloody diarrhea in dogs can be a result of trauma in the intestine or the anal regions or due to inflammatory bowel disease.
For the dog bloody diarrhea could manifest in two ways. It could be present as hematochezia or as melena. In the first case the blood is red as it usually is. In the second case the blood passes through the digestive tract and so will manifest as black stools.
It is more alarming to find puppy diarrhea present because puppies are not fully aware of what they should eat and what they should not. It is only when we understand the causes of diarrhea in dogs we are in a position to give effective treatment.
When you find blood in the stools you need to rush the dog to the vet immediately. He would conduct tests like CBC , rectal examination, fecal exam, urinalysis, biochemical profile of the dog’s blood and test for dog blood clotting.
Ultrasound and colonoscopy is also done for cross-examination. Food allergy is one possible cause that puppies would show. In the case of old dogs the possible causes include cancer, clotting disorders and colo-rectal area polyps.
For cats with watery runny stools if there is blood present in them it is indicative of bloody diarrhea. The treatment starts with the assessment of the symptoms that puts the allergy to foods and temporary disorders arising from seasonal changes to the mild forms of diarrhea while those resulting from infections and physiological disorders to the serious type of diarrhea.
There are cats that eat garbage regularly and sometimes there may be rotten stuff in them that upsets the entire metabolism of the cat. The changes in pet food are also sometimes responsible for creating disturbances strong enough to upset the metabolic activities of the cat.
Stress is a major player in the metabolic activities. The cat can get stressed out if there is music playing loudly in the next room or if there is a sudden leak in the roof that lets water drip somewhere nearby. The disorder could also result from medicines like antibiotics and sulfonamides that are given to kill the harmful bacteria but they also kill the good bacteria at the same time. Killing the good bacteria could result in stomach disorders.
Campylobacter and salmonella are bacterial infections that cause diarrhea in cats. This gets in the food via poor cooking of chicken and meat products. Another organism known as bartonella causes gastrointestinal disturbances in cats.
Treatment of the disorder
Treatment consists of two-fold measure to:
a) Keep control of the diet
b) Control the body metabolism
Use the well-known and customary approach if you do not know how to treat diarrhea in dogs. For a period of two days do not give anything to eat when the dog has diarrhea. Give water to drink and one may also add some probiotic powder since it will help. This would be the period when the cat diarrhea or the dog diarrhea begins to resolve.
When the diarrhea stops for a few days at least the pet should be fed small amounts of bland diet 5 -6 times a day instead of the regular 3 times or 4 times. You could also give it tofu with boiled rice and pumpkin without any spices or sweetening. Home boiled sausages are also good.
The dog diarrhea treatment primarily consists in watching over the diet and brings the diarrhea under control. Food intake is regulated and the water amounts given as specified. Antibiotics may be given if necessary. Knowing how to stop diarrhea in dogs is paramount.
If the same condition is seen in a puppy diarrhea treatment is carried out in a similar fashion. However, you will need to watch out for loss of continence due to frailty. Suitable nourishment and regular feeding of small amounts of water will carry the day. If there is chronic diarrhea in dogs one should consult a veterinary doctor.
Medicines used for treating diarrhea in dogs
The pets that have had diarrhea for several days would have lost a good amount of water and nutrients. The pet vet will start them off on fluid therapy and antibiotics as required. For dogs with diarrhea Fast Balance – G.I is to be given daily till the diarrhea is cured completely. Enteritis requires antibiotic and corticosteroids for the swelling.
Diet control and regulations
The diet should be split into 2 or 3 smaller portions instead of the 1 large meal. Water should be given in copious amounts since dehydration is always a threat. Typically a meal could consist of boiled meat/fish with rice, pasta or potatoes. This kind of bland and easily digestible meals will soon restore order in the pet’s metabolism.
Preventive measures to be undertaken
The pet owner needs to keep these things under control at all times.
- Dog behavior
- Regularity of exercises
- Check for local outbreak of diseases
- Visit to the pet vet
Be sure to maintain absolute hygiene when your pet has diarrhea. The cleaning process consisting of washing of the pet and the cleaning of the area where your pet resides and the thorough cleaning of the hands and arms should follow.
It is not unusual for the pet to feel a little down in the dumps since the nourishment it is getting is not complete. Be sure to take special care of the puppy with diarrhea.
Regulation in the diet is the best way of controlling the disorder. There may be outbreaks of diseases in the locality. By inoculating the pet one is reasonably sure of avoiding the risk of infection. Taking preventive medication will help you to tide over till the disease has passed.
You know your pet and know what it is likely to do when it is let loose. The corners it goes to and the types of activities it indulges in will tell you of the kind of action you need to take to be free from infection and disease. Some pets are well behaved and will hardly be a bother at all.
Making timely visits to the vet ensures the health of the pet and its continued well-being. Also, the vet will be able to tell you all the latest developments, and the diseases that are afoot. Keeping in touch with the medical practitioner will help you to beat the disorders and illness every time.
Prognosis for Pet Diarrhea
In general this is a common occurrence. It will resolve by itself, and within a few days the pet will be walking tall again. There is no need to be alarmed since the cause may easily be identified and eliminated.
There will be no side effects unless it has been brought on by some secondary infection or illness. Treating the illness will cure the diarrhea automatically. Pet diarrhea is as common as the hair on it head and is cured just as easily.
Watch the diarrhea for a few days. If it prolongs then we should immediately take the matter serious. Approach the vet and get advice to start treatment immediately.