My dog has mucous diarrhea every 2 hours, what should I do?

Our question this week was:

My dog has had diarrhea for almost 1 week and needs to go to the bathroom every 2 hours. The discharge contains mostly mucous.

John Defrancisco

Answer

Hi – thanks for your email. Frequent diarrhea that is primarily mucous is most often from the large intestine referred to as "colitis". Colitis is the inflammation of the colon and can be associated with many different causes.

Colitis can be an acute sudden problem or a chronic problem (lasting 2 or 3 weeks). Some possible causes for colitis include inflammatory conditions of the colon infectious agents, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites, dietary intolerance or allergy, dietary indiscretion (dogs getting into the trash), and cancer of the colon. The treatment depends on the underlying cause. If it has been going on for a week, I'd recommend that you take your dog to your vet for evaluation. Sometimes an antibiotic e.g. Metronidazole can often clear it up but that depends on the underlying cause.

What you can do at home in the meantime is make sure your dog doesn't get into the trash, feed a consistent diet – maybe even a bland diet and make sure he is not having any other signs such as vomiting or lethargy. Make sure also that he is eating well. Provide plenty of fresh clean water.

An article that might be helpful to you is Colitis in Dogs.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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