Diarrhoea is a really common problem that we see in both dogs and cats. Sometimes it is as simple as too sudden a change in diet that leads to an upset stomach, but other times it can indicate something more serious.
If your pet is bright and happy, keen on eating with no blood or mucous in the stools, then feeding a bland, easy to digest diet for a few days may be enough to settle things down. At Pittwater Animal Hospital we always stock very tasty low residue diets that are an excellent diet for dogs and cat that have had diarrhoea. We recommend feeding smaller quantities of food more often and continuing this bland food for at least a week after symptoms resolve.
When signs of diarrhoea persist, there is noticeable blood in the stool, your pet is vomiting or your animal is unwell it is definitely time to see the vet. All our vets are very experienced in treating these common gut problems.
If you come for an appointment when your pet has diarrhoea, it is a great idea to bring a stool sample with you. Any clean glass jar or takeaway container is suitable, but you can always come in to get a sample jar as well. We may then recommend either sending the sample away for a Canine Diarrhoea Panel at the laboratory or running a faecal float in house. This can give us much more information about the reasons behind the diarrhoea, and enables us to tailor treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.
The Canine Diarrhoea Panel is used to diagnose bacterial diseases such as campylobacter and salmonella which carry a potential risk to humans, as well as many other bacterial and protozoal infections. It also checks for parasites that if undetected can lead to serious disease.
Sometimes the diarrhoea is so severe that it can quickly lead to dehydration, and your pet will need to be hospitalised at Pittwater Animal Hospital and placed on intravenous fluids. This is much more likely in very young or more elderly patients, so we need to be particularly careful with them. We will administer medication to slow the diarrhoea and carefully regulate their hydration, until they are well enough to come home.
If you are concerned about diarrhoea in your pet please