Dog Diarrhea

The causes and treatments of diarrhea in dogs.


Nutritional/Metabolic disorders: Sudden change of diet.

Infectious diseases: Parvovirus infection, salmonellosis, giardiasis, histoplasmosis, or coccidioidomycosis.

Parasites/Parasite-borne diseases: Hookworms (especially in puppies), coccidiosis (especially in puppies), roundworms, whipworms, strongyloides (usually in young dogs), Rocky Mountain spotted fever, hepatozoonosis (a tick-borne protozoal disease), or Salmon poisoning disease (a bacterial disease contracted by eating salmon, trout or Pacific giant salamanders parasitized by flukes that carry the infective organism).

Allergies/Hypersensitivities: Food hypersensitivity.

Toxicity: Ethylene glycol (antifreeze) or metaldehyde (slug bait).

Tumors: In intestines, colon, or rectum.

Drug reactions: Azathioprine and cyclosporine (immunosuppressants), griseofulvin (antifungal), or tricyclic antidepressants.

Endocrine disorders: Hypoadrenocorticism (Addison’s disease).

Miscellaneous disorders: Gastric dilatation-volvulus, inflammatory bowel disease, colitis, pancreatitis, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, or certain types of liver disease (idiopathic chronic hepatitis, idiopathic hepatic fibrosis).

Foreign bodies: In intestines.

Congenital diseases: Various types of enteropathy (commonly in Irish Setters, Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers, Basenjis), chronic hepatitis (Doberman Pinschers, Labrador Retrievers, American and English Cocker Spaniels, Bedlington Terriers, West Highland White Terriers), or pancreatic insufficiency (German Shepherd Dogs).

What to do: If your dog has a single, mild episode of diarrhea without other signs of illness, no action is necessary. If the diarrhea seems to be related to a change of diet, discontinue the new food. If your dog’s diarrhea persists but is unaccompanied by other signs of illness, call your veterinarian during regular office hours to make an appointment for diagnosis and treatment. If your dog has diarrhea three or more times in 24 hours, passes blood or shows other signs of illness such as vomiting, contact your veterinarian or emergency clinic immediately.

Disclaimer:’s Dog Medical Conditions are intended for educational purposes only. They are not meant to replace the expertise and experience of a professional veterinarian. Do not use the information presented here to make decisions about your dog’s ailment. If you notice changes in your dog’s health or behavior, please take your pet to the nearest veterinarian or an emergency pet clinic as soon as possible.

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Eileen - 249708   Port Perry, ON

1/18/2013 6:43:48 AM

I have had to deal with this allot when my dog was younger until we found she has food hypersensitivity and food allergies. Even now I have to be very careful because it does not take much to have it flare up. I have found with my dog pumpkin is very effect diarrhea setting it down.

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Leslie - 233329   Lakeside, AZ

11/15/2012 1:26:13 PM

Good information. thanks

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Ann   San Carlos, CA

5/25/2011 5:00:01 PM

Can dogs be lactalose intorlerant. I give my 3yr. old yellow lab mix cottage cheese with his dry kibble sometimes. He has episodes of diarrhea,have taken samples of his stool 3x to have it checked for parasites-none found. This is the last rule out I can think of that may be the problem.

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3/13/2011 11:34:27 AM

Thank you for this information. Good to know.

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