Acute Diarrhea in Dogs - Page 2

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Acute Diarrhea in Dogs

By: Dr. Bari Spielman

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Although most cases of acute diarrhea are short-lived and self-limiting, there are some cases that require diagnostic testing to confirm an underlying cause. Such tests include:

  • Complete history and physical examination
  • Fecal studies - flotation, smear, and zinc sulfate for Giardia
  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Biochemical profile
  • Urinalysis
  • Abdominal radiographs (x-rays)


    Diarrhea is a symptom that can be caused by many different diseases or conditions. Specific treatment requires a diagnosis. The diagnostic tests described previously may reveal a diagnosis, however, in the interim symptomatic therapy may be helpful to reduce the severity of signs and offer relief to your pet:

  • Placing the intestinal tract in a state of physiologic rest by withholding food for 12 – 24 hours

  • Subsequent change to a bland, easily digestible diet
  • Fluid therapy
  • Antibiotic therapy
  • Intestinal protectants and adsorbents

    If Your Dog Has Diarrhea

  • Administer only prescribed medications.

  • Provide fresh water or oral rehydrating solutions to help prevent dehydration.

  • Temporarily change the diet to something bland. Bland diets can be made at home or prescription type diets can be obtained from your veterinarian.

  • Observe your dog's general activity and appetite, watch closely for the presence of blood in the stool, worsening of signs, or the onset of vomiting.

  • Have your pet examined by your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns.

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