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Posts Tagged ‘Diarrhea in Dogs’

Why Dogs Puke

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Dogs puke just like humans do if they’re overcome with nausea and acute indigestion.

If your dog swallows a solid object, it often vomits it back up. If the object is small enough it may pass through the dog’s intestinal system and be released in its feces. If the object is too large or it has sharp edges, you should plan on an emergency visit to the vet for x-rays.

If your dog has eaten leaves or berries from a bush you’re unfamiliar with, it’s important you know whether the plant is poisonous or not. The easiest way to check for poisonous plants is to call the ASPCA at (888) 426-4435.

If a dog eats table scraps that are high in fat content it can easily end up having intestinal distress. A dog’s digestive system was not designed to digest rich, fatty foods like humans eat. These types of food are often not healthy for us, let alone for our dogs. If your dog begins vomiting soon after scarfing down something from your table, it’s a clear indication that you need to avoid giving it any type of food you normally eat.

A dog may also puke because it’s allergic to certain foods. If you recently started your dog on a new diet and the vomiting began shortly thereafter, you might try mixing half of its old food with half of the new food and watch closely for changes in behavior or lingering illness. It’s possible that an intolerance or aversion to ingredients in the new food may be causing the vomiting. If you suspect this may be the cause, you can continue changing the ratio of old food to the new food to see if the vomiting goes away.

If your dog sometimes pukes due to any of the following, it will require a visit to the vet for diagnosis and treatment:
(1) Infection with parasites, viruses or bacteria can cause gastrointestinal infections also known as viral gastroenteritis. Diarrhea and vomiting are the most obvious symptoms. Many different types of bacteria and parasites can also cause GI infections and diarrhea but most of these are not serious and will go away on their own after a few days; however, others can be serious.

(2) Ulcers can be caused by anti-inflammatory medications prescribed for skin conditions, arthritis, or other chronic health problems. Pain relief medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen inhibit a hormone-like substance that acts as a protection for a dog’s stomach lining. Prolonged use of these medications can cause severe stomach ulcers in dogs. Another less common cause of canine stomach ulcers is a mast cell cancer in the dog’s skin. Mast cell cancers release histamine which leads to stomach ulcers.

(3) Kidney Failure early signs are increased water consumption and increased urine output. Signs of more advanced kidney failure include loss of appetite, depression, vomiting and diarrhea.

(4) Cancers signs that warrant a visit to your veterinarian include any new lump or bump; a change in size, shape, or consistency of an existing lump; a runny nose, especially if bloody; difficulty urinating or bloody urine; limping or a change in gait; foul breath and lethargy.

(5) Inflammatory bowel disease causes are unknown. Genetics, nutrition, infectious agents, and abnormalities of the immune system may all play a role. The most common signs of inflammatory bowel disease in dogs are vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss. Vomiting is more common when the stomach or upper portion of the small intestine are affected and diarrhea is more common when the colon is involved. There is an increase in the frequency of defecation, but less stool is produced each time. There is often increased mucous or some blood in the stool. Sometimes stools become loose. Many times the diarrhea and vomiting may be irregular.

(6) Liver disease early signs include chronic intermittent vomiting and diarrhea. Vomiting is more common than diarrhea, loss of appetite, or weight loss. Drinking and urinating more often than normal may be the first signs, and a key reason for visiting the vet.

If your dog pukes repeatedly and the cause is not readily apparent, you should schedule an exam with your vet. Your pet’s health and life may depend upon it.

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How To Treat Diarrhea in Dogs

Monday, January 30th, 2012


Diarrhea in dogs is actually more common than most people imagine. How to treat diarrhea in dogs will depend on what is causing the illness. Diarrhea can be either acute or chronic and in order to stop your dog’s diarrhea you first have to figure out the cause before applying a suitable treatment.


Photo courtesy of T. J. Dunn, Jr., DVM

Your dog’s diarrhea could be triggered by parasites, infections, ingredients in its food, or even the portions of food you serve. Diarrhea in dogs is seldom a serious condition and usually can be treated at home.

The easiest way to treat diarrhea in dogs is through the use of medication. However, before treating your dog with any medication you need to identify the cause of the diarrhea. You should never give your pet an over-the-counter medication without getting a diagnosis first.

The three most common medications used to treat canine diarrhea are:
1) Kaolin;
2) Pepto Bismol;
3) Metronidazole.

Kaolin is a medication that can be administered if your dog has eaten garbage or swallowed any toxic materials. If the toxic material or liquid is poisonous, immediately contact your vet or an animal hospital. For non-poisonous materials, Kaolin will absorb the toxins and relieve your dog’s diarrhea, but too much kaolin can constipate your dog.

Pepto Bismol is a medication that is readily available at any drugstore and can be used to treat diarrhea cases caused by the ingestion of foods that don’t agree with your dog’s stomach.

Metronidazole, which is an antibiotic, is often used if the diarrhea is caused by an infection such as Giardia, Entamoeba, Trichomonas or Balantidium. It kills bacterial microorganisms by disrupting their DNA. It is absorbed rapidly by the GI tract, metabolized by the liver, and excreted in the urine and feces. It can also be used to treat colitis caused by other antibiotics like penicillin.

You may want to try feeding your dog some homemade food in place of its regular diet if you believe the diarrhea could be caused by the dog food or ingredients in the food. Homemade food gives you complete control over what ingredients your pet eats. Commercial dog food contains many ingredients that could cause further gastrointestinal distress and will not help stop the diarrhea.

Ask your vet for a list of ingredients that can be safely used in preparing food for dogs with an upset stomach. Avoid red meat and other fatty foods that can cause stomach irritation or diarrhea. Your dog’s portions should be smaller than usual, so the stomach can handle the food and allow the body to heal.

Fiber supplements are available at pet food outlets and can regulate your dog’s bowel movements and eliminate constipation. Fiber supplements absorb water from the dog’s intestines which causes the feces to return to their normal consistency.

Probiotic powder or digestive enzymes can also be added to your dog’s food to relieve its diarrhea.

During the time your are treating your dog for diarrhea, lots of fresh water is necessary in order to keep your dog hydrated, because diarrhea causes dehydration which can then lead to further complications.

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Prozac For Dogs?

Monday, July 4th, 2011


Prozac or its generic Fluoxetine is increasingly being prescribed by veterinarians across the country to treat behavioral problems in dogs like fear aggression and separation anxiety. This practice of prescribing human medications for dogs has created a lot of controversy because many dogs don’t respond to this type of medication and will experience intense side effects.

Unfortunately, behavioral problems are one of the main reasons dogs are euthanized in animal shelters or surrendered to dog rescue groups by their owners.

Prozac, or Fluoxetine, is an antidepressant that increases serotonin levels in the brain. It is frequently administered to dogs for treating separation anxiety, aggression, and other anxiety-related issues.

Prozac is usually prescribed in combination with a behavior modification program. Once the anxiety or fear levels diminish, dogs are able to learn the necessary skills to help them cope with the object or situation that is triggering their anxiety. For this reason Prozac is often prescribed for a short period of time until the behavior modification program takes hold.

Veterinarians will start a dog on a small dose of Prozac that is less than the dog needs and then gradually increase the dosage. Increases in dosage need to be done cautiously because any sudden increase or decrease in the dosage of Prozac can cause severe behavior changes in a dog.

Prozac has some serious side effects for dogs and cannot be given to a dog taking any of the following medications: monoamine oxidase inhibitors, diazepam, phenylbutazone, digoxine, or buspirone (a generic of Buspar, a psychoactive drug used to treat anxiety disorders such as severe anxiety separation issues).

Any dog who has a history of seizures should never be given Prozac and dogs on Prozac for a long period of time will need to have their liver and kidney enzymes checked regularly as long-term use can cause damage to these vital organs.

The most common side effects that dogs experience on Prozac are changes in appetite, weight gain or loss, lethargy, weakness in the limbs, or diarrhea. Unwelcome behavioral side effects include anxiety, panic attacks, hostility and aggression, restlessness, irritability, hyperactivity, trouble sleeping, or increased depression.

Some additional serious side effects that require a veterinarian exam are tremors, muscle twitching or stiffness, problems with balance or coordination, confusion, or a very rapid heartbeat. Some dogs also develop allergic reactions that cause a skin rash or hives, difficulty breathing, or a swelling of the dog’s face, lips, tongue or throat. Any of these side effects necessitate immediate discontinuance of the Prozac.

Treatment with Prozac can sometimes be beneficial in improving problematic behavior in a dog, but any dog being treated with this medication is always at risk of numerous side effects and must be watched carefully for any indications of a problem.

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