Although there are several treatment options available to treat diarrhea in dogs, you should first find out the cause of the diarrhea instead of merely administering over the counter drugs to treat the symptoms. Diarrhea is characterized by loose or watery stools along with symptoms of gastrointestinal upset. While most pets suffer from diarrhea occasionally, it`s important to conduct a prompt vet check if the pet passes bloody stools.
Causes of Diarrhea
Some causes of diarrhea aren`t serious. The dog may have ingested food that was lying on the flood or may have developed a bacterial infection after ingesting contaminated food or water. Other pets suffer from diarrhea when they start consuming a new diet. Foods that contain ingredients that are poor in quality are also likely to cause gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea in dogs. As a pet owner, read the labels of the food products you buy and avoid buying products that are high in fats, sugars and fillers.
Treatment of Diarrhea
It`s best to conduct a vet check to confirm diagnosis. Mild cases of diarrhea are treated with the use of herbal or natural remedies and certain prescribed drugs. Conversely, if the diarrhea is severe, the pet may require supportive care in the form of IV fluids to compensate for the loss of fluids from the body.
The vet may also ask you to avoid feeding your pet any food for a few hours in order to give the gastrointestinal tract enough time to stabilize. Even though food is withheld, the dog should be given plenty of water so that he doesn`t get dehydrated and suffer from electrolyte imbalance.
Treating Diarrhea with Imodium
Although Imodium is not formulated for use in pets, it`s often used as an over the counter medication for diarrhea in dogs. The medication shouldn`t be used in cats because it can cause severe side effects. Since Imodium is not ideal for use in all pets you must discuss the benefits of administering this drug with the vet first.
Imodium is a type of narcotic medication and it shouldn`t be given to pets that are allergic to this class of drugs. You should also exert caution when administering Imodium to your pet if he is being given other non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Imodium should be given according to vet instructions, but as a general guideline dogs should be given 0.05 to 0.1 mg of the medication per pound of body weight, every eight hours. If the diarrhea doesn`t subside 48 hours after taking the medication, it`s best to seek immediate vet help. Since the medication is known to cause certain side effects, avoid overdosing the dog.
Side Effects Include:
- Allergic reactions
- Stomach bloat
- Pet feels sedated
Tips for Pet Owners
It`s important to administer all prescribed medication on time and conduct fecal exams twice a year to rule out stomach infections and parasite infestations. Wash your dog`s food and water bowls daily so that he doesn`t come in contact with external contaminants.
If the diarrhea is accompanied by vomiting and other symptoms, avoid giving your pet any over the counter drugs or herbal remedies and conduct a vet check to rule out underlying medical concerns.