A tell-tale symptom of diarrhea is frequent loose – or even liquid – bowel movements. Also, diarrhea might last for as little as one day or could even last for weeks. Since you know your dog best, you know what is “regular” for your own pooch.
For example, my dog Fenway alternates between hard and soft stools. Also, being a smaller dog, she uses the bathroom more frequently than bigger dogs we know (like Napa!). Because of this, I don’t get too concerned if I notice she has a few days of softer stools. However, if it continues more than a few days, or is extremely liquid, I would be nervous.
This is why we at Napa’s Daily Growl regularly talk about knowing your dog’s baseline. No two dogs are exactly the same, so if you’re aware of your dog’s health and behavior, you’ll be more attuned to when she’s experiencing an issue.
If you’re wondering “Why does my dog have diarrhea?,” there are many different factors that could be affecting her bowel movements.
- Changes in diet
- Eating food that was spoiled
- Ingesting foods that make dogs sick
- Unknown food intolerance
- Eating non-food items, such as toys, plastics, cloth, rubber bands, etc.
- Allergic reaction
- Parasites, such as roundworms, giardia, or coccidia
- Bacterial or viral infection
- Side effect of certain medications
- IBS, also known as inflammatory bowel disease (yes, dogs suffer from this, too!)
- Tumors or cancer in the digestive tract or stomach
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Suffering from Colitis
When You Should Contact the Veterinarian:
Consider bringing your dog to the vet if her diarrhea is consistent and bothersome for more than a day or two. However, you know your dog’s stools best, and if she occasionally has loose stools, you might be able to extend the amount of observation time before contacting your pet’s vet. If you observe lethargy, vomiting, dark-colored and/or bloody stools, straining while attempting to defecate, fever, or unexplained weight loss in a short time period, do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian. Finally, if her diarrhea is black, she could be experiencing internal bleeding and should be examined by a vet right away.
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