Diarrhea Dog!

When I got Skye (a Lab mix) 4 years ago, I noticed he had a very Toilet Dogsensitive stomach. What made matters worse, he was the type of dog that would sniff out dead critters or discarded food on the street, whenever we took our walks, and tried eating them. There were multiple occasions where I would stick my hand inside his mouth to pull out anything he grabbed so he wouldn’t digest it.

One walk, in particular, Skye found a dead squirrel and helped himself to a small sample, which ended up as a disaster. He got deathly ill with chronic diarrhea and vomiting. Six hundred dollars later, with zero diagnosis from the Veterinarian, I figured out through a ton of my own research that the only thing wrong with Skye was the dead squirrel he picked up. The squirrel caused toxicity to his system.

Since then, I continued to conduct research on the causes of doggy diarrhea and how to prevent through natural remedies. More importantly, I’ve learned mostly, how to prevent it.

Although doggy diarrhea is varied and sometimes mysterious, 75% of it can be remedied at home. Certainly, you can run to the Vet who will often prescribe an antibiotic, but a lot of the time the diarrhea will come back because you really haven’t found the cause.

By the way, stopping diarrhea through drugs isn’t really a healthy way to go. Diarrhea is the body’s way of getting rid of pathogens. Suppressing the “natural flow” won’t cure your dog in the long term.

So, what do you do to get rid of the problem once and for all?

First, let’s examine what’s normal and what isn’t. The following are Poop Types:

  • Crumbly poop is normal for dogs on a raw diet that contains plenty of bone.
  • Poop that looks like “Play Dough,” is also normal.
  • Cow Pie is poop that is usually due to faster digestion, but isn’t really diarrhea.
  • Poop that has the consistency of ice cream is true diarrhea. This occurs when your dog has to poop very urgently and is unable to control his bowel movements.
  • (Enough said.)

There’s also a difference between Acute or Chronic diarrhea. Acute diarrhea is short lasting and non-repetitive. It’s usually caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites, dietary indiscretion, allergies or toxicity.

For acute diarrhea, fast your dog for 24 hours. Then give him cooked rice, squash and boiled chicken for 3 days. That should put him back to normal and you can resume his regular diet. Remember, this is cooked squash, rice and chicken WITHOUT SALT or anything else added. Salt will just aggravate the problem.

Chronic diarrhea may go away briefly, but comes back over and over again. Chronic is caused by parasites, toxic materials, wrong diet or a combination of various factors. If it’s parasites, it’s most likely Giardia. Giardia can occur if you give your dog raw meat. So, it might be a good idea to freeze the raw meat first for a few days to avoid roundworms and tapeworms. (Tapeworms can also come from fleas.)

A good diet is extremely important and will help your dog avoid most health problems early on in his life. Consider, some dogs (specific breeds) have very specific diet needs. The wrong diet will most always result in diarrhea. A lot of these “kibble” diets (although very cheap in price) include ingredients like corn. Remember, you get what you pay for. (Read my previous blog on “Good Food” published August 16th).

Allergies, whether from food or not, and toxins also cause chronic diarrhea. Since 80% of a dog’s immune system lives in his gut, diarrhea can be a sign that the dog’s immune system is being over reacted. Toxicity can result from food, water or treats; or from the environment. Make sure your dog is restricted from yards that have just been treated with yard chemicals. Also some rice diets contain high levels of arsenic. When in doubt, your Vet should be able to test for toxicity.

Over vaccination is also a problem and can cause diarrhea. If the dog received multiple vaccinations at one time, it could overwhelm the immune system and lead to chronic diarrhea. I don’t know of any situation in nature that a dog could get 4 or 5 diseases at once. So make sure that the vaccinations are being spread out reasonably.

Finally, your dog may simply have digestive problems. This could be inherent from the breed. There could be some stress on the pancreas (for whatever reason) or liver weakness. If that’s the case, you would need to involve your Veterinarian to diagnose and treat the problem.

The good news is, 75% of diarrhea problems are acute, meaning the problem can be treated at home. Make sure his diet is good. Avoid dairy, grains, beef, bison and buffalo. Feed rabbit, chicken, turkey or lamb. Choose treats carefully and research the country of origin of the food and the manufacturer’s quality control standards.

And whereas exercise is important, exercise your dog in ways he would do in nature. It’s natural for a dog to run and trot, but it’s unnatural for a dog to perform repetitive activities. Endurance exercise is preferable to high intensity (which can also cause diarrhea).

The bottom line is, most diarrhea can be treated and prevented at home. Wait a couple of days before running to the Vet.

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