Digestive System: Home Remedies Treatment
The most common forms of dog diarrhea are caused by the ingestion of unusual, harmful and potentially pathogenic (disease causing) substances. These factors may include excessive fats intake, food contaminated by bacteria, viruses, fungus or parasitic eggs, poisons and potentially due to a change in eating patterns. some times feeding patterns too.
Different dog diarrhea cures have been identified, specified for each causative agent, however the basics remains same.
Basics of Dog Diarrhea Cures; The first step is to address the dehydrating effects of losing fluids due to the diarrhea. This is followed by stopping food and water for 24 hours, followed by a systemic therapy, and then addressing the cause of diarrhea. Fluid therapies are considered best for rehydrating affected dogs. Several Anti–diarrheal drugs can be included within the fluids being administered, but some specific drugs like antibiotics, steroidal components and some anti parasitic drugs can only be administered once a dog is rehydrated.
Cures - Parasites:
A diagnosis of dog diarrhea is based on where the dog lives due to the prevalence of certain intestinal parasites in some areas. A test of the fecal matter can determine if a parasite is the cause. If a dog is very sick, then tests such as blood tests, x-rays, and an endoscopy might be called for. Some veterinarians may choose to avoid extensive testing and prescribe a anthelminthic drug, which treats parasites (fenbendazole for 5 days).
Cures - Food Based Problems:
If parasites are ruled out, diet is suspected next such as a food allergy or food intolerance. Food allergy is an immune system reaction to a component of food such as a protein (eg; chicken) whereas food intolerance refers to the body having trouble digesting a specific food component. Food allergy can cause the gastrointestinal tract to become inflamed as a reaction of the body's immune system to a component of the food being eaten. Allergies are an immune system response using white blood cells, which usually attack a protein in foods.
In the case of food allergy,a hypoallergenic diet is prescribed where a dog is fed foods that it hasn't eaten before, thereby eliminating the food that is possibly causing the problem. For example, if a dog eats table scraps, try eliminating the scraps and see if there is a change. The food change should continue for several weeks. Foods are then reintroduced that were part of the original diet that was causing the problem. They are introduced one by one until a problem is seen, indicating that the last food introduced is the problem food. Food allergies are rare in dogs with most problems caused by a food intolerance.
Food intolerance can be triggered by a specific food or to any substances that are part of the way dog food is processed. Treatment is the same, where a diet should be simplified, such as to chicken and rice or to a commercial hypoallergenic diet, to see if the diarrhea subsides. Any change in diet should be gradual.
Most dogs will show some improvement in 7 to 10 days, although a longer period of time is not uncommon. One study showed that 79% of dogs can return to a commercial diet in 14 weeks, while 21% needed to stay on a restricted diet.
If the diarrhea subsides when on a hypoallergenic diet, but then returns, some veterinarians believe that the dog may have developed an allergy to one of the proteins in the new food. In this case, the dog may be helped by switching to an alternative hypoallergenic diet.
Cures for Dogs that Do Not Have Parasitic or Dietary Problems:
If a dog has a problem with large bowel diarrhea and appears to have colitis, then a veterinarian may prescribe metronidazole for 5 to 10 days plus fiber (psyllium at .5 tablespoon toy breeds, 1 tablespoon for small dogs and 2 for medium and 3 for large dogs).
Some dogs respond to antibiotic treatment which is called antibiotic responsive diarrhea (ARD). The reason for the response is unknown, although it is thought that if a dog does respond, that there is some type of bacteria at work that testing didn't identify. This type of diarrhea is often seen in German Shepherds. Symptoms of ARD include flatulence, weight loss and reduced appetite level. Treatment is with the antibiotics metronidazole, tylosine or tetracycline.
Cures for Inflammatory Bowel Disease Canine:
Canine IDB is a problem where the white blood cells multiply in the intestines causing diarrhea and possibly vomiting.
If a dog is suffering from inflammatory bowel disease canine, then corticosteroids are used for a few weeks to suppress the immune system and then reduced over times. The diet is changed to one that can be easily digested plus the addition of fiber such as psyllium or canned pumpkin.
In severe cases steroids are used such as prednisone for several weeks or months. Some dogs have a relapse after treatment. These dogs also have serious side effects.
Natural and Home Remedies:
Initially, if a dog reveals only signs of limited diarrhea, with few complications, such as a soft stool, and nominal level of dehydration, it may be treated with raw natural and home remedies.
Stop Feeding for 24 Hours: If a dog isn't eating, then less should come out. Continue to provide water. If you don't see improvement after 24 hours or after trying some of the dog diarrhea cures listed below, see a veterinarian. If the dog improves after 24 hours, feed a bland diet consisting of boiled hamburger or skinless chicken and white rice. Lightly salt the food. Feed small amounts every 4 hours in the ratio 2 to 3 parts rice to 1 part meat over 2 days. After 2 days blend the bland diet with the regular diet, continually changing the ratio until you are back with the regular diet (eg; on the 1st day serve 3/4 bland, 1/4 regular diet, then 50/50 etc.).
Other foods that could help include cottage cheese, cooked macaroni, cooked oatmeal and soft boiled eggs.
Fiber; Adding fiber to the diet may help firm the stools. Fiber helps with digestion and absorbs water. Metamucil is a convenient source of fiber. Mix it into water and food, starting when a dog is switched to the bland diet. Feed a dog fiber 1x per day for 1 to 2 days. The serving size should be 1 and 1/4 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon, depending on the size of the dog. A guideline is 1 teaspoon per 11 to 22 pounds of body weight. Check with your veterinarian.
Yogurt; Yogurt is considered the best available home remedy for simple dog diarrhea. Yogurt along with other ingredients also has probiotics. These probiotics are actually nourishing microbes, which helps with digestion. These enhance the physiology of digestion through the fermentation of food . This not only makes food more digestible, but also helps in improved absorption of fluids into body.
White Rice; Simple boiled rice also helps in curing dog diarrhea. Boiled rice helps in slow down intestinal motility by condensing the contents. Boiled rice mostly contains tough fibers which act as cure.
Gatorade or Pedialyte; dogs with diarrhea are at risk for dehydration, so drinking water is important. Make sure fresh water is always readily available. Gatorade can help to boost electrolytes if the dog likes the flavor. Experience shows that fruit punch flavor is preferred. If using Pedialyte, dilute it with water by 50%.
Eliminate Dairy; Most dogs cannot digest milk. Eliminate milk from the diet and see if there is any improvement.
Walking; If the diarrhea is due to anxiety or any other nervous system problem then increased walking could help. Walks help calm a dogs stomach. Only try added walking if a dog appears to have the energy.
Natural Remedies; Different plants and natural preparations may control dog diarrhea. Pumpkin, maple tree products and different legumes have been used as dog diarrhea cures. Amounts to be delivered usually depend upon severity and duration of dog diarrhea. One natural remedy made for this purpose is RunnyPoo Relief.
Over the Counter Medicine Dog Diarrhea Cures:
Dogs can safely use the over the counter diarrhea medications Imodium, Pepto-Bismol or Kaopectate. Typical doses of pepto-bismol for dog diarrhea are suggested below. Only use under the direction of a veterinarian who will confirm the dosage for your specific dog:
Pepto Bismol for Dog Diarrhea - .5 to 1.5 ml per pound of body weight. Administer orally every 12 hours.
Kaopectate (bismuth subsalicyclate) - .5 to 1.5 ml per pound of body weight
Summary - Dog With Diarrhea
Simple forms of dog diarrhea usually resolves by use of natural and home remedies, but if dog diarrhea is a complicated form, i.e. it contains blood, is acute, caused severe dehydration etc, then a veterinarian must be consulted at once. The procedures for diagnosis and then immediate response are very important.
Fluid and supportive therapies are usually preferred at once combined with symptomatic treatment options. Use of specific drugs like antibiotics, anti-helmintics, anti-protozoals, anti–dotes are needed to bring these types of diarrhea under control.