When you get a puppy the question is not, “Will my puppy get diarrhea?” it’s, “When will my puppy get diarrhea?”
Diarrhea is a common problem with puppies, but should not be taken lightly.
Dog Diarrhea – Dr. Greg McDonald [VIDEO]
Dog Diarrhea – Dr. Jerry Klein [VIDEO]
What Causes Puppy Diarrhea?
Curious puppies will put nearly anything in their mouths, and unfortunately, that’s often what causes diarrhea.
Our puppy, Oliver, went through what we called the vacuum phase, where he tried to eat nearly everything outside (which was probably the reason he got two stomach bugs).
Some examples of things to avoid are:
- Standing water
- Other dogs’ poop
These and other objects can transmit diarrhea-causing bacteria to your puppy.
Bacterial infections aren’t the only potential cause of diarrhea.
- A viral infection
- Something they ingested (like a poisonous plant or something that’s obstructing their bowels)
- Change in diet
Because there are so many potential causes, it’s important to follow the instructions in the next section.
What Should I Do If My Puppy Has Diarrhea?
1. Grab a sample
In the first video, Dr. McDonald says that your vet is likely to do a fecal sample, so this is a good time to pick some up with a plastic bag.
At 1:02 in the first video Dr. McDonald shows what the vial looks like, so you know about how much of a sample you actually need.
The first time this happened with Oliver, I wasn’t sure how much the vet would need, so I brought three bags full of stinky diarrhea.
Needless to say, it was unnecessary (and 3x more stinky).
2. Clean it up
Like Dr. Klein says in the second video, by properly cleaning up the diarrhea you can disinfect the area while getting a good look at it.
Is it bloody?
Is there mucus in it?
These are things to note for when you call your vet.
3. Observe your puppy
Dr. Klein advises you to assess your pup.
Is he happy and alert?
Or is he sulking?
Is she eating and drinking normally?
These are questions your vet might ask you to help diagnose your pup.
4. Call The Vet
Dr. Klein advises that almost always with puppies you should call your vet.
Since they are tiny and not fully developed, you don’t want to take the risk and let a small issue turn into a larger one.
And by being prepared with a sample and answers to the questions above, you’ll be better able to help your vet help your pup.
Depending on the cause of diarrhea, there are several different solutions.
If it’s a bacterial infection, your vet may give you antibiotics, like the Metronidazole Dr. McDonald talks about.
Other solutions may be a bland diet like Dr. Klein mentions.
A bland diet is:
- 2 or 3 parts white rice
- 1 part boiled chicken or hamburger
My puppy Oliver has had two bacterial stomach infections, and each time the vet has recommended antibiotics and a bland diet for several days.
Thankfully, in just a few short days he was right as rain.
However, since a diet of white rice and chicken diet is very low in fiber, Oliver has always been constipated while he’s been on a bland diet.
After two or three days he’s gone back to his normal habits, but just be aware that this can happen.
Of course, if you have any questions about your puppy’s tummy issues, call your vet.
Diarrhea in puppies is common, but should not be taken lightly.
It can be caused by:
- Bacterial infection
- Viral infection
- Diet change
- Something they ate that they weren’t supposed to
If your puppy does have diarrhea, here’s what you should do:
- Clean it up and disinfect the area
- Observe the diarrhea and grab a sample (is it bloody? is there mucus?)
- Observe your pup (is he happy and alert? or lethargic and clearly sick?)
- Call the vet
If you follow these instructions and work quickly with your vet, your vet should be able to help you avoid any complications and your puppy will go back to his crazy, adorable puppy ways in no time.
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Disclaimer: we are not veterinarians and this article is not a replacement for veterinary care. Please call your veterinarian for help.