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Pet Diarrhea

What Exactly is Pet Diarrhea?

All pets experience an episode of diarrhea at some point in their lives. Diarrhea usually occurs when the absorption of nutrients from the digested food material is impaired or interrupted. Digesta then accumulates in the intestines, leading to excessive water moving into the intestines. The end result is loose watery feces. In short anything that inflames or irritates the lining of your pet's intestines will cause diarrhea.

Most bouts of diarrhea are associated with a problem in the diet. For pets, who don't care what they eat (eating garbage, spoiled or rotten food, scavenging) is at the top of the list of probable causes of diarrhea. Other dietary problems include a sudden diet change, overeating, or consuming too much human food.

Mild cases of diarrhea, especially those triggered by dietary changes, are often self-resolving. If your pet is still eating and drinking, and not showing any other signs of illness such as vomiting or depression, it may not need a trip to the veterinarian.

Pets should still be offered small amounts of water at regular intervals as diarrhea can quickly lead to dehydration. Pets should be started on a bland, easily digested diet. Foods to offer are boiled chicken or fish mixed with rice, potatoes or pasta. Initially, offer many small meals (instead of one large meal) before resuming to a normal feeding schedule.

Some pets may require further treatment that can only be provided by a veterinarian: antibiotics, fluid therapy, etc. Never hesitate to call the vet if your animal's health seems to be getting worse, or if you simply want advice on what to do.

However, most cases of diarrhea can be treated with these supplements and medications: