My Puppy Has Diarrhea - Causes And Treatment

By MarĂ­a Besteiros, Expert veterinary assistant and canine/feline hairdresser.. Updated: June 4, 2019
My Puppy Has Diarrhea - Causes And Treatment

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Diarrhea in puppies is a common health problem that naturally causes worry. Puppies are incredibly vulnerable as they have do not yet have a fully developed immune system. In addition, puppies are more easily dehydrated and are more prone to suffering from diseases and infections. This is why, if your puppy is suffering from diarrhea, you need to make sure that you consult your veterinarian immediately in order to treat this correctly.

For more about diarrhea in puppies, keep reading this AnimalWised article where we’ll be listing its most common causes as well as discussing the appropriate treatment.

You may also be interested in: Blood in Dog Feces - Causes and Treatment

My puppy has diarrhea but is acting fine

In general, diarrhea refers to the elimination of liquid stools numerous times a day. The appearance of this diarrhea can vary but can significantly help in providing a veterinarian with information about the diarrhea’s origin. This origin usually lies in small or large intestine and can appear acutely or chronically. The color of your puppy’s diarrhea can specifically offer you a lot of information which you and a veterinarian need in order to treat this gastrointestinal problem accordingly:

  • Puppy diarrhea yellow / puppy diarrhea green: indicates rapid intestinal transit.
  • Puppy diarrhea black: sign of digestive hemorrhage.
  • Puppy diarrhea gray or abundant: malabsorption.

In addition to the density and color of your puppy’s stool, one must also analyze your puppy’s general condition. For example, are we dealing with puppy diarrhea and vomiting or puppy diarrhea with blood? For more, we recommend reading our article where we discuss, why is my dog vomiting and has diarrhea?

Why does my puppy have diarrhea?

There are multiple causes of diarrhea in puppies, but the most common puppy diarrhea causes include:

  • Diarrhea in puppies caused by change in diet: have you just adopted a new puppy? Changes to a puppy’s diet can often lead to diarrhea. If your puppy is going through a diet change, you need to make sure that this change is applied gradually. You can do this by first mixing the old food with the new food for about a week. In addition, diarrhea can also occur if a puppy eats an indigestible substance or as a result of bowel obstruction. For more about a puppy’s diet, we recommend reading our article where we discuss dog food allergies and intolerance.
  • Diarrhea in puppies parasites: if your puppy has not yet been dewormed, it’s common that it may be suffering from diarrhea due to an infestation of intestinal worms. In order to avoid this, we recommend consulting with your veterinarian and establishing an adequate deworming calendar. For more, take a look at our article where we highlight everything you need to know about deworming puppies.
  • Diarrhea in puppies infections: any bacteria and/or virus can severely affect a puppy’s stomach as well as leading serious diseases such canine parvovirus. Gastrointestinal infections or viruses require immediate veterinary attention!
  • Diarrhea in puppies after vaccines or, in general, after a visit to the veterinarian: if a puppy is stressed or anxious they may also suffer from diarrhea, known commonly as emotional diarrhea.
My Puppy Has Diarrhea - Causes And Treatment - Why does my puppy have diarrhea?

Puppy diarrhea and vomiting

It is very common that diarrhea in puppies is accompanied by vomiting. This combination often indicates the presence of enteritis in dogs, otherwise known as intestinal inflammation in dogs.

Unless it is a mild problem that resolves spontaneously, your puppy is at risk of dehydration as the elimination of bodily fluids occurs more rapidly than its intake. Dehydration in puppies is incredibly dangerous and therefore, if your puppy is vomiting with diarrhea, we recommend consulting a veterinarian as soon as possible.

If your puppy is suffering from infectious enteritis, in addition to diarrhea and vomiting, you will notice signs of fever, apathy and depression. In severe cases, you may also notice blood in puppy stool.

It’s also important to know that intoxication or poisoning in puppies can trigger similar symptoms to canine enteritis. For more, we recommend reading our article where we discuss everything you need to know about enteritis in dogs.

Puppy diarrhea and blood

Blood in puppy stool is more often that not a sign of canine parvovirus. Parvovirus is an incredibly dangerous canine viral disease which affects a dog’s digestive system’s cells. Additional canine parvovirus symptoms include:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea with blood.
  • Fever.
  • Anorexia
  • Severe dehydration.

Although it can appear either mild or severe, intensive veterinary treatment is always required. This virus can only be treated through fluid therapy and appropriate professional prescribed medication. Canine parvovirus holds a high mortality rate and therefore, a preventative vaccination schedule is incredibly important and should be administered at 6-8 weeks of a puppy’s life. For more, we recommend reading our article where we discuss everything you need to know about canine parvovirus, in addition to why won’t my puppy eat?

My Puppy Has Diarrhea - Causes And Treatment - Puppy diarrhea and blood

8 week old puppy diarrhea

Is your newborn puppy is suffering from diarrhea? It’s important to know that newborn puppies do generally tend to defecate more than older puppies or dogs. The onset of this diarrhea can, however, also indicate a problem of overfeeding, which will prevent a puppy from gaining weight. In mild cases, these stools will appear loose and yellowish and in more serious cases, they will appear greenish.

If your newborn puppy’s poop begins to turn gray, it signifies that the puppy is no longer taking in any nutrients and that the case has worsened. If this diarrhea does not remit, veterinary attention is required for all of the above. One way of detecting a problem is by weighing your puppy, if they are losing weight, this is a sign that professional consultation is required. When it comes to nursing puppies, acting quickly is very important to avoid fatality.

Additionally, diarrhea in puppies accompanied by anorexia, abdominal distention, temperature decrease, incoordination and pain may be indicative of the canine herpesvirus. Canine herpesvirus is a serious pathology which is capable of killing an animal quickly. A veterinarian will likely prescribe intensive treatment and those puppies that do survive tend maintain neurological ramifications. For more, you can take a look at our article

My puppy has diarrhea: what can I give him

Diarrhea in puppy treatment largely depends on its cause. Mild cases should remit spontaneously after a few hours, such as the previously mentioned emotional diarrhea. Diarrhea in puppies caused by diet should remit once the puppy has adapted to its new food. Diarrhea in puppies can be treated at home as long as:

  • Your puppy is not suffering from dehydration.
  • The diarrhea is mild.
  • The diarrhea does not persist for more than a day.

There are, however, very helpful antidiarrhoeal products that are only prescribed by a veterinarian.

Diarrhea in puppies parasites: treatment

Diarrhea in puppies caused by intestinal parasites are treated with the appropriate antiparasitic medication. It is also possible to sometime visibly see the worms present in a puppy’s diarrhea (which can help for diagnosis). If this is not the case, a veterinarian will examine a stool sample under a microscope in order to identify the cause. Some parasites are not easy to detect and thereby require coprological tests.

Diarrhea in puppies infection: treatment

Diarrhea in puppies caused by an infection requires antibiotics. If applicable, additional treatment such as fluid therapy may be administered, especially in puppies that are vomiting with diarrhea. After a process in which the digestive system has been altered, food and a proper diet needs to be restored. For more, we suggest taking a look at our article where we offer a soft diet for dogs with diarrhea.

In the case of obstruction or the ingestion of indigestible objects, the puppy may require surgery.

As a precaution, never forget the importance of regular deworming, vaccinations against canine parvovirus and safety measures taken to prevent poisoning or foreign body ingestion.

Puppy diarrhea: home remedy

As we’ve already mentioned, diarrhea in puppies requires veterinary attention, especially in the case of dehydration in puppies. When it comes to mild cases of puppy diarrhea, there are some home remedies for puppy diarrhea which you could try. However, it is incredibly important to remember that these remedies DO NOT replace veterinary attention, but should rather be used as an aid in relieving symptoms:

  • Pay attention to how your dog reacts to food and water intake. Allow the puppy’s digestive system to rest well in between meals and drinking.
  • If your dog is reacting badly, allow it’s digestive system to rest for longer.
  • After resting, introduce easy-to-digest soft foods which are low in fat, such as cooked white rice, cooked minced meat or chicken (without skin, salt or sauce).
  • Other foods that you can offer your puppy include cottage cheese, cooked pasta or hard-boiled egg.
  • Always offer this food in small quantities well divided throughout the day.
  • As your puppy improves, you can gradually return back to its normal diet.

For more about these such homemade dog diets, take a look at our following articles:

My Puppy Has Diarrhea - Causes And Treatment - Puppy diarrhea: home remedy

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to My Puppy Has Diarrhea - Causes And Treatment, we recommend you visit our Intestinal problems category.

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