Diarrhea is the 2nd Most Common Dog ER Visit – What You Should Know

Dog Emergency Room Visits – What You Should Know

Even though most dog owners think it won’t happen to them, emergencies commonly occur. Many dog lovers guess that the most common emergencies are exciting and acutely life-threatening problems such as trauma from being hit by a car, gun shot wound, bite wounds, drowning, and other urgent problems. But those things aren’t the most common reasons dogs go to the emergency room.

Two Most Common Reasons Dogs Go to the Emergency Room

Here are the most common reasons dogs go to the emergency room. 1. The most common reason veterinarians see dogs in the emergency room is due to vomiting. 2.  The second most common emergency is diarrhea.

Because diarrhea is so common, it is likely that it will affect your dog at one time or another. Here are some tips on how to plan for, prepare, deal with and prevent this problem in your dog.

Dog Diarrhea Emergency – What You Should Do

1. Make sure you know where your local emergency room is or how your vet deals with emergency. Keep this information (phone number, hours, address and directions) handy.

2. Make sure you know your dog’s medical history and any medications he is on. They will specifically want to know if your dog is on heartworm prevention and if so what kind. Many brands of heartworm prevention medications also treat gastrointestinal parasites. The emergency veterinarian will want to know when it started, how many times your dog had diarrhea, what the diarrhea looked like, the last time your dog had diarrhea, and if there are any accompanying symptoms such as lethargy, weakness or vomiting. Observe your dog. If possible, take a sample of the most recent diarrhea with you.

3. What are you feeding your dog? Have you changed food? Added new treats? Has your dog gotten into the trash? These are questions your veterinarian may ask. Diet changes, new foods and exposure to trash can all cause diarrhea in some dogs.

4. Here are some tips to deal with the diarrhea at home. When an owner calls some veterinary clinics – they may hear some advice (depending on the clinic). If the dog is acting sick or the owner is concerned, the recommendation is always to bring the dog in for evaluation. However, if the condition does not sound life threatening sometimes a bland diet may be recommended for your dog.

A bland diet can be made form a boiled lean meat (chicken, hamburger or turkey) mixed 50/50 with boiled white rice. Do not use any additives such as butter, salt, garlic, or seasoning. Over a couple days, you can slowly decrease the bland diet and increase is regular food until he is back on his normal food.

5. Know when to see the vet. If your dog that has diarrhea acts lethargic, weak, the diarrhea has blood or vomiting begins, the recommendation is to have your dog evaluated by a veterinarian.

6. Prevent exposure of your pet to trash, table scraps and other foreign objects that he may be inclined to chew on. Make any food changes gradually and over a several day period. Buy only safe toys and ensure your dog does not chew on any objects around that house which he could swallow and be unable to digest or pass through his system.

Owners feeding table scraps and dogs having access to trash cause many emergencies. Don’t give your pet any table scraps and pay special care to toys that you give him to ensure they are safe and not accidentally ingested.