Diarrhea is a very common condition among pets of all breeds and ages. If your pet has diarrhea, it typically means that there is something else wrong with your dog or cat. Loose stools in pets have many different causes, and while some of them are only minor pet health concerns, others can be quite serious.
How Diarrhea Affects Your Pet
What diarrhea can do to your pet depends on the severity of the condition and what is causing the loose bowels in the first place. In the best case scenario, diarrhea can be just a minor, albeit messy, problem. However, in severe cases, runny stools can cause varying degrees of dehydration and may even require administration of IV fluids.
Common Symptoms of Diarrhea
Diarrhea is not only a health problem with its own symptoms and treatments, but it is also commonly a symptom of an underlying problem. However, the following list includes some of the most common signs of diarrhea, and if your pet displays any of these symptoms, you need to take it to your vet right away. Common Symptoms of Diarrhea in Dogs and Cats: Loose, Runny or Even Watery Stools; Frequent Accidents; Urgency to Eliminate; Eliminating More Often Than Normal; Listlessness; Blood or Mucous in Stools; Strange-Smelling Stools; Apathy; Tender Abdomen and Loss of Appetite and/or Weight Loss.
Treatments for Diarrhea
How your veterinarian chooses to treat your pet for diarrhea will depend on why the animal has loose bowels. For example, sometimes all that is necessary is a simple change of diet. On the other hand, if a pet has worms or an infection, dewormers or antibiotics may be required. The first thing your vet will need to do is take a stool sample from your pet and examine it under a microscope. This will help determine the exact cause of the diarrhea. If the condition is severe, pets may need IV fluids or an electrolyte fluid such as Pedialyte. After your vet determines what is causing the loose stools, a treatment plan will be made.
There are many reasons that a pet can contract diarrhea. Additionally, any breed and age of animal can experience the condition.
When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.