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What to Do about Your Dog’s Diarrhea

Most dogs get an occasional bout of loose stools. Although uncomfortable and undesirable, diarrhea may just be the body’s way of clearing the intestine of something disagreeable.

The best thing you can do for a simple case of the runs — other than giving your dog frequent access to the outdoors — is to fast your dog for a day. Missing a meal or two won’t harm your furry friend, but it will give her gastrointestinal tract a chance to repair itself.

Be sure to give her access to water to replace the fluids she’s lost in her feces. Follow the fast with a couple days of bland diet, and your diarrheic dog usually will be back to herself in no time.

If your dog continues to have diarrhea after a day of fasting, if there is blood in your dog’s stools, or if your dog has other signs of illness such as a fever, take her to your veterinarian. She may need intravenous fluids to replenish fluids lost in the stools and perhaps antibiotics to fight infection.

Finding the cause of persistent or severe diarrhea is important. Several viruses and bacteria passed among dogs can affect intestinal function and cause diarrhea. There are many other causes of diarrhea including impaired pancreatic function, autoimmune diseases, and food allergies. Your veterinarian can perform tests to make a diagnosis and come up with an appropriate treatment.

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