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Vet Advice: Treating Your Dog's Diarrhea




This article first appeared in The Bark,
Issue 45: Nov/Dec 2007
Robert Silver, DVM, founder of Boulder's Natural Animal: A Holistic Wellness Center, is also a certified veterinary acupuncturist. He received his DVM from Colorado State University's College of Veterinary Medicine in 1982. bouldersnaturalanimal.com

Photograph by Jonathon Lim Yong Hian

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Submitted by mhitesman | March 4 2014 |

Quite possible that the anal glands are full and need to be expressed. You can do this yourself. A firm stool causes them to be released when defecating.

Submitted by Diane | January 2 2014 |

I have a husky, malamute, wolf mix dog that has terrible anxiety when ANY type of change occurs. The result of her anxiety manifests itself as diarrhea quite frequently. We have tried grain-free diets, roasted chicken, hamburger meat, meds of all types given by our vet, etc. She also often has fowl-smelling gas prior to the diarrhea. We have tried giving her all natural dog food with pumpkin and sweet potatoes to no avail. She is also a very picky eater. HELP

Submitted by Eva | February 3 2014 |

for anxiety there are some natural/homeopathic options:
1) Griffonia capsules 2x a day one.
2) Bach remedies "rescue"
3) a nest scent diffuser, available in larger pet stores. You plug them in in the electrical outlet in the room he/she spends most of their time.
As for behavioral changes. Try and ignore paying obvious attention to it when it occurs. "feeling" with the dog reinforces the idea that there s a reason to be anxious. Be steady and calm.

Submitted by Theresa | January 15 2014 |

I just did some rice water, following the directions above. Once boiling, I turned the heat down to simmer - after just 15 minutes the rice had absorbed nearly all the water. There was probably no more than about half a cupful! So I filled the pan up with water again and am continuing to simmer. One cup of white rice doesn't make 'a lot of rice water', I'm afraid! But I will keep trying...

Submitted by UncleBob | January 15 2014 |

I'm dealing with a dog that gets diarrhea with a sudden change in diet. Slow gradual introduction is important. Trying different , non-cheapo , kibbles and supplementing with never cooked chicken guts , drumsticks , and eggs. All are one third the cost of quality kibbles at $1/pound.

Submitted by tanya | January 22 2014 |

I have come home to find my dog outside trying to go poo but nothing will come out, he has alot of poo stuck to his hair around his bum and has recrntly had the diarrhea, what could be wrong

Submitted by Cathy | January 23 2014 |

My one yr. Old mini Schnauzer ate a whole dental stick yesterday and has had diarraah ever since this morning. She threw up once. I have been doing the rice water and a little bit of yogurt. I gave her a quarter of an Imodiem also just a few minutes. We are on vacation so trying to decide if I should find a Vet in the morning. Any thoughts?

Submitted by Jessica | January 27 2014 |

I just got a puppy and switched her food.... I was unaware that it should be done in a process because I got the same food the breeder told me to get. She has been eating the new food for 3 days now and her poop slowly started turning into diarrhea yesterday and she still has it. Should I just wait for it to pass or switch her to boiled rice and chicken until her digestive system settles

Submitted by Caleb | January 30 2014 |

I recently got a 6 month old puppy from a local shelter to be a companion to my 4 year old. A few days after the guy's arrival, I noticed that both the dogs now have diarrhea. It has lasted about a week now. But it's sporadic. Sometimes their stools are normal and sometimes they are very runny. The odor is horrible, but I don't notice any discoloration or blood in the stool. Also this is the only symptom they present, so I don't think it would be anything more serious (ie. Parvo) but it's odd to me that as soon as a new dog comes home, both he and my other dog now have this diarrhea. I'm still giving both dogs the same food (Blue Buffalo) that I have been giving them all along. Any tips/advice is greatly appreciated.

Submitted by Florence Gumagay | February 3 2014 |

I have a 6 years old west highland white terrier and he's having a diarrhea. I give him kaopectate last night and this morning it's not helping can somebody give me a good advice to prevent him having diarrhea? Florence of Reno, Nevada

Submitted by Doreen | February 14 2014 |

My dog is 15. She is on multiple medications which has caused gas. Up to this point she has not had any change in her bowl movement. This morning she was constipated; it took a long time with a lot of struggle to have a bowl movement. She seemed fine after and I kept a close eye on her. This evening she is very uncomfortable with diarrhea. It is late Friday evening so I am boiling rice to see if it will help. I am hesitant about giving her pepto or Imodium. Of course I will contact her vet if persists but I'm looking for ideas to help her not have the belly ache. It's going to be a long night. She is a small poodle mix.

Submitted by jeevan | February 16 2014 |

From 1year iam feeding rice to my pug ,bcoz he doesnt eat his food and i want to know that if there is no problem by feeding rice to him ,plsss can any suggest me.

Submitted by Debbie | February 23 2014 |

I have a british bull dog age 2 over the last few days he's bringing his food up,and today he has diahorea which is black in colour and he's looking depressed.taking him to vet in morning should I feed him today something light ?

Submitted by Val | March 1 2014 |

When my dogs both had diarrhoea I was advised by a breeder of great danes who is a facebook friend to give them condensed pumpkin soup solid right out of the can.It cleared the diarrhoea with a day.

Submitted by Fiona | March 5 2014 |

Hi, can I give my 7 year old Husky x Galpharm diarrhoea releif (UK product)? He has a runny stomach from change of diet.

Submitted by Jhoanamarie | March 5 2014 |

Help,,my dog have a diarrhea and she don't want to eat .

Submitted by Krista | April 15 2014 |

Hi there, love your magazine! I'm a researcher in dog cognition, and also a collie breeder...your article mentions that caution should be used when giving collies immodium. In fact, collies should NEVER be given immodium, unless they have received genetic testing to determine that they are not ivermectin sensitive (this testing is relatively new and so most dogs have not been tested). If a collie is homozygous for the deletion mutation in the MDR1 gene (which makes them sensitive to ivermectin as well several other medications, including immodium), the animal can become very sick or die. Other breeds (Australian Shepherds, Shelties, Border Collies, and Old English Sheepdogs) have similar sensitivities. I just thought this deserved to be clarified, as pet dog owners with these breeds don't always know that the sensitivity extends beyond just ivermectin, and they should be aware that a collie or any other ivermectin sensitive breed can have very serious reactions to immodium. I've seen it happen, but fortunately the dog was only given a low dose, and she was ok.

Just a thought--maybe you could do an article on ivermectin sensitivity in dogs?

Krista Macpherson, MSC
Phd Candidate, Psychology
Coordinator, UWO Dog Cognition Lab
University of Western Ontario
London, Ontario, Canada
Email: kmacphe3@uwo.ca

Submitted by Erin | April 28 2014 |

My 9-month-old puppy just got over a nasty case of diarrhea. This method worked like a charm. It was pretty fast too; he started having watery diarrhea on a Saturday morning and by Monday morning he was back to normal! I hope it works just as well for others:

1. Withhold food for 12 hours, but still allow your dog access to water. This is important because you don't want your dog to get dehydrated.
2. For the next 12 hours, feed your dog a 50-50 mixture of pumpkin and uncooked oats. You can cook fresh pumpkin at home if you desire or the simpler route is canned pumpkin. Just make sure that you DO NOT buy pumpkin pie mix or filling, the kind with the sugar and spices in it. The can should say 100% pumpkin or something along those lines. As for the oats, again, no sugar or spices. Don't get the instant oatmeal either, just plain 100% oats. Remember not to cook the oats.
3. Then, feed your dog equal parts pumpkin, oats, and their normal dog food. Keep feeding your dog this pumpkin/oats/dog food mixture until their stool firms up. It should take about a day to take a noticeable effect.
4. Gradually decrease the amount of pumpkin and oats you put in your dogs food until you are back to feeding them just their regular diet.
5. During this process, try to keep your dog from licking his bum or dragging it on the ground as this could irritate his bottom even more and worsen things. Your dog will probably have less control of his bowels so make sure that you take him out frequently to avoid messy accidents in the house.

This may seem strange, but my friend (who is also my vet) suggested it it. When my dog had a bad case of the runs, I dampened a paper towel with cold water and gently wiped his bum with it after he went potty. It would help soothe his irritation and discomfort, and not to mention clean off his bottom so if he did drag it across the ground he wouldn't leave a poop streak on my carpet.

Submitted by Kathy | May 20 2014 |

Hello, I have a 9 year old beautiful boxer girl name Bree. We took her with us out of town this past weekend to the lake and when we got back she was not her self, she stayed inside most of the time at the lake, but now she has diarrhea that is black and will not eat unless I rub it on her lips or squirt the water in her mouth with a syringe. She still gets up and moves around, but for the most part just lays there. I did give her some pepto to help settle her stomach. Should I let this run its course or take her on into the vet. Thank you.

Submitted by Carol | May 26 2014 |

If it happened after the weekend at the lake you should really get her checked by the vet. There could be something in the water/she could have eaten something - which could result in parasites

Submitted by Katy Garrett | May 21 2014 |

we go a puppy from are local rescue centre about 2 months ago. she's had diarrhea since we got her, we thought that it was being cause by the stress of being in a new home but she is now well settled but the diarrhea still hasn't got any better. we have been given pro-kolin by the rescue centre but didn't seem to help.

please feel free to comment.

Submitted by debbie | May 31 2014 |

just got this beautiful boy boxer to be about 1yr to 18 mos old vet thinks, but has severe diarrhea still after vet gave him an injection and 2 bottles of meds. one for the diarrhea and the other one for possible parasite, had him on chicken and sticky rice, ate it up but stool was still runny and still is and a dk brwn color. money is way tight cuz I had recently put down my golden of 11yrs and still trying to catch up with that, now yesterday Ranger will not eat and threw up twice yesterday. gave him kaopectate today, drinking very little, ate a tiny bit of cheese, won't touch anything else,Now he is acting lethargic and is walking sideways, if he gets up I am really scared, he is already 20 lbs under weight , cuz we found him roaming streets. what do I do now? he is so sweet, sooo skinny I am just so worried.don.t wanna loose him too? will he be ok after kaopectate? he tried going to bathroom and this is the first time nothing came out, please help..thank you

Submitted by ogates | June 2 2014 |

my 5 pound Chihuahua has had diarrhea for a couple of days--he seems okay otherwise--eating, playing, running but his stools are soft and wet--he doesn't seem to be in any distress so am at a loss of where to begin to help him because of his size...

Submitted by maria | June 3 2014 |

Thank you so much! My 6 lb Chi puppy (15 weeks old) had vey loose stools and diarrhea for almost 2 weeks. I had a fecal run and there were no worms or parasites. I finally realized it was that I was feeding him too much and it was going right through him. I finally did the 24 hour fast and then did the rice/water/baby food meals and he is back to normal in one day! Thank you so much! Great article!

Submitted by josh | June 7 2014 |

We have a puppy and we have been giving her a 1/2 tsp of yogurt each meal, so 4 times a day because she loves it. Its fat free and plain so not extra sugar, it has a lot of probiotics. Is this bad to do?

Submitted by Etereta | June 13 2014 |

This helped soooo much today! My baby was terribly sick (im exaggerating ofc) but i hated even diarrhea and i made her a white rice and chicken bisque and she was better in no time!! Thanks!!

Submitted by Gunner | June 20 2014 |

For those of you feeding chicken and still having problems, switch to lamb and rice foods! I had a pure bred standard dachshund who lived to be 22, but when She was still a pup, we were having all sorts of problems with skin problems, diarrhea and a terrible case of bad breath and gas! I spent thousands of dollars on allergy testing to find out she was allergic to chicken, cheese, and egg. So I would make her food at home so she had no more problems....Boil up some lamb, sirloin or pork roast in a big pot with fresh carrots, green beans and peas. After done, set it to the side and let it cool, debone and shred or cut into small hunks/pieces, cut veggies into small pieces and boil some rice....when the rice is done, mix everything together and place into small freezer containers. You can pull them out and let them thaw in the fridge or cook them in the microwave...the dogs eat better and you know what is in their food! I know China isn't going to kill anymore of my pets! I was giving her the treats and that is what ended up killing her. I now make my own jerky for the dogs I have now and make their treats from scratch!

Submitted by Carie | July 7 2014 |

I have a 5 math old collie. We recently fed her some fried chicken. Now it's been 2 days of soft stools and now we are in diarrhea. Poor little thing even woke us up at 2am because she couldn't hold it. I read I could give her Imodium so I did. I also made her rice water and took away her food tonight. Anything else I should be doing? Worried about her, she is still drinking water but seems to be a lethargic.

Submitted by alicia | July 8 2014 |

I have a 1 1/2 year old boston terrier pug mix, on Saturday he threw up and pooped in his kennel. The poop was pretty normal looking but his vomit smelt like.. straight up poop. Since then he hasn't thrown up again but now he has basically liquid stools that smell something terrible. What could be going on? Hes not lethargic, he still eats, im at a loss and cant really afford to bring him to the vet for something that could be nothing.. any suggestions?

Submitted by Melissa | July 10 2014 |

Help! Bought a cockapoo puppy at8 weeks for Christmas. He has had diarrhea since we own him. Vets are stumped. Multiple opinions. Puppy has been on and off prednisone/flagyl. Everyonce in a while will have some sort of form to his stool but with no rhyme or reason. Finally gave in to the ultrasound and showed he has inflammatory bowel disease. Lining of intestines and stomach are thickened. Upped pred to 10mg a day. It's been almost 10 days still diarrhea. He can control it, so whenever he has to relieve himself it's liquid or pudding at best. His behavior is fine, no lethargy that I notice and he's hydrated. He is always ravenous... Even before pred. I have him on "hypoallergenic" food, sweet potato and salmon limited ingredient food. Vet has no idea what is causing the inflammation. Could it take this long for pred to take down inflammation that has set in for 7 months? Mind you we have tried hills w/d most dog foods out there that should have helped and at 3 months fed him rice and chicken for 4 weeks with no formed stool. I am at my whits end and feel so awful for my boy. It doesn't seem to bother him but no one should live this way! Any suggestions?? I lose sleep and care for him like my kids. I fear I'm sitting on a time bomb that something worse is brewing??

Submitted by Alyssa | July 13 2014 |

My dog has had diarrhea and loose stools for 10 days now. He's completely normal. Nothing had changed with him. I think it was wet food that messed him up. But I gave him pumpkin and yogurt, hasn't made much difference. I don't know what to do.. Can I give him pepto bismol? He's a 4 month old purebred golden retriever.

Submitted by Melek | July 21 2014 |

Am I suppose to boil the rice then give my puppy the water?

Submitted by Cate | July 30 2014 |

I have a 6-year-old chihuahua and he has a very sensitive stomach. I have him since he was a puppy.
Because of his chronicle bloody diarrhea , We have been to ER so many times, so many... and nothing has ever found. We went to ER few days ago too. They just prescribe medications like flagyl, Pepcid, and probiotics all the time. I searched on diarrhea in dogs and have tried everything that I heard was good and works, but nothing really works continually. I'm very stressed out over sleepless nights and thinking about when does this stop??? Even rice doesn't work for him... I don't know what else I should do and I feel so bad for him suffering from this condition.

Submitted by Patty | September 2 2014 |

I can feel your stress! My 123 LB. German Shepherd had this problem,minus the blood, for over 2 years. I moved out of state and my new vet prescribed her Tylosin powder. I believe it is used for birds is what the vet said. Her diarrhea was gone in 3 days. Kept her on it for 2 1/2 years then took her off and she was fine! HALLALUHIA!!!! I put 1/4 teaspoon on her daily meal. Tylosin is very inexpensive too.

Submitted by Ell | August 1 2014 |

Hi my dog spent time with a 6 month old puppy who had diarrhoea (but the owner did not tell us at the time). The dog he was with is fully vaccinated as is my dog. My dog has had loose stool for 4 days, stomach not tender to touch, he has vomited yellow in colour a couple of times (presume that's because he has an empty stomach). He is drinking water and still happy in mood. Should I be concerned or will this pass soon? Thank you

Submitted by jamie | August 7 2014 |

I have a dachshund how much pepto should have give him he weighs around 27 pounds.Thankyou

Submitted by LT | August 7 2014 |
Submitted by wendy | August 9 2014 |

I have a 2 month and 3 week old husky puppy and he has diarrhea then he started vomiting saliva or something like that and now he has rheum in his eyes, is that bad, what should i do.

Submitted by bianca | August 9 2014 |

What if the puppy is just 1 1/2 month is it okay to give imodium?

Submitted by Dolores. | August 11 2014 |

How much Imodium or pepto to a 4lb. Maltese.

Submitted by Tabitha | August 14 2014 |

Our Border Collie is 8 years old. He is vomiting water and has diarrhea. What could that be or is there anything we can do.

Submitted by Stephanie | August 22 2014 |

Do you give them the water or the rice
Im confused.

Submitted by Gail | August 28 2014 |

Please be aware that collies and sight hounds, like greyhounds can react badly to immodium. Find a vet who knows about these breeds. Some good articles if you search the vet journals. (vets only)
Hope this helps.

Submitted by Kelly Flath | September 2 2014 |

My dog went from loose pudding stools and throwing up to not going@ all? Did stool cultures and blood work to rule out any internal problems. Has eaten and now seems to have no appetite at all and has not had a stool for a few days, is this just a part of all of this? Concerned he should have did something by now?

Submitted by Patty | September 2 2014 |

My 123lb. german sheperd had chronic diarrhea from 2 years old. this went on for over 2 years with some disastrous "home from work" scenes. I tried everything. Fish and rice mixture were her daily meal and seemed to calm it down the best but not perfect. Moved to Florida and the vet gave me Tylosin powder, an antibiotic for birds. She got 1/4 teaspoon on her food daily. Diarrhea was gone in 3 days. I kept her on it for 2-2 1/2 years then took her off. She was perfect! That vet has a place in heaven if you ask my dog and I!!! The Tylosin is very inexpensive too.

Submitted by Susan | September 8 2014 |

Dear friends at Bark, thank you so much for all the time and effort you have spent in setting up this site. I have always been advised to give my dog "rice" and "chicken" after she has been unwell (usually an upset tummy, after she has had a drink from some disgustingly polluted water.) HOWEVER ... I did not know how to prepare the rice until I read your instructions. THANKYOU, my dog Betty would not eat rice, she spat it out and got I a terrible mess with it.(dogs cannot move their jaws from side to side as I expect you already know, they can only move their jaws up and down.)Someone might find that useful to know, they are not always enjoying their food..things do get stuck sometimes! Well anyway... Thankyou.

Submitted by Kimmie J | September 11 2014 |

Great article, bookmarked! I'd like to add that when my dogs had loose stool, one due to being on antibiotics and another due to eating feces, my vet recommended give a gentle probiotic for both. Doing that helped resolve the symptoms in both dogs within a few weeks. The dog probiotic we used is this one (coincidentally, I just noticed it's also 60% off today) at http://bit.ly/dog-probiotic

Submitted by Martha L Bloch | September 18 2014 |

Now my dog has not pooped since am 2 days ago, he does not seem bloated and eats and drinks...when will he poo?? He is on Flagyl, and has had white rice and boiled chicken.

Submitted by Brandy | September 21 2014 |

I always call my vet before providing OTC supplements/medications to my dogs. I'm glad I did, as my vet informed me that dogs should not be given ANY OTC diarrhea relief medication (e.g., peptobismol), and, since dogs are naturally lactose intolerant, giving a dog yogurt is a horrible idea.

I'm frustrated with websites such as this providing misinformation that wastes time and money, and, even worse, can put my dog in danger.

Submitted by Sandy | September 21 2014 |

Herding dogs may have a specific gene mutation that could cause a fatal reaction if Imodium is given. Most other dogs do fine with it, and in fact many herding dogs do not have the gene mutation, but you don't want to find out if your dog has it with a reaction to a drug. Kaopectate is what is usually given to herding dogs. (herding breeds include Australian Shepherd, Shelties, German Shepherds, Border Collies, Corgies, etc). I've learned this because I've had Australian Shepherds for many years and my vets over the years have warned me off the Imodium.

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