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What To Do if Your Dog or Cat has Diarrhea

What To Do if Your Dog or Cat has Diarrhea

A pet's diarrhea is one of the messiest and most distressing symptoms that pet parents need to deal with. In today's post, our Albany vets discuss what to do if your cat or dog has diarrhea.

If your pet has diarrhea you are bound to want to know why and how to stop it fast. Below are some reasons why dogs and cats suffer from diarrhea and when it's time to head to the vet.

Dogs, Cats & Diarrhea

Mild bouts of diarrhea are very common in both our canine and feline companions and may be caused by mild intestinal distress due to your pet eating a small amount of something that doesn't agree with them, such as table scraps, or just from the simple act of switching to a new brand or flavor of food.

That said, there are also a number of more serious health issues that could lead to your pet suffering from diarrhea. 

What causes diarrhea in pets?

Below are some of the most common reasons for cat or dog diarrhea:

  • Stress or anxiety
  • Change in diet or treats
  • Eating garbage or spoiled food
  • Ingestion of foreign objects such as toys, bones and fabric
  • Ingesting toxins or poisons
  • Viral infection
  • Parasites
  • Bacterial infections
  • Pancreatitis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Colitis
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Intestinal cancer
  • Medications such as antibiotics

But how do you know whether your dog or cat's diarrhea requires a visit to the vet?

When to contact your vet about diarrhea in cats or dogs?

If your pet has a single episode of diarrhea and is otherwise acting normal, it is likely not a cause for concern. Monitor your pet's bowel movements to see if things clear up. More than 2 episodes could indicate a problem, so it's a good idea to contact your vet if your animal companion has two or more bouts of diarrhea.

If your pet appears to be straining to pass a stool but only passing small amounts of watery diarrhea, they could be experiencing a painful blockage due to the ingestion of a foreign object such as a toy. This is a very serious concern and needs urgent veterinary attention, contact your vet right away or head to the nearest emergency animal hospital for care.

Recurring bouts of diarrhea over a short period of time could be a sign of a very serious health issue, particularly if your pet is very old, very young, or has a compromised immune system. A number of infections can be very serious, contagious, or even life-threatening. Contact your vet right away if your pet is experiencing repeated episodes of diarrhea.

Dogs and cats that are showing other symptoms as well as diarrhea should also be seen by a vet as soon as possible. If your pet has any of the following symptoms contact your vet right away to make an appointment:

  • Blood in stool
  • Unusual drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of Appetite
  • Weakness
  • Signs of dehydration (Sunken dry-looking eyes, dry nose, or dry, sticky gums)

If your cat or dog is displaying any symptoms that cause you concern, contact your veterinarian. Your vet will let you know whether your pet's symptoms indicate that an examination is necessary.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Does your dog or cat have diarrhea? Contact our Albany veterinarians today to book an examination for your four-legged friend.

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