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Dogs diarrhea won’t go away

Updated on February 7, 2013

Diarrhea is common in dogs. One time or another, pet owners would be exposed to the frequent passing of unformed, runny and foul smelling stool of the pet. There are two types of canine diarrhea – the acute diarrhea and the chronic diarrhea. Per owners would always be concerned with the health of the pet. Diarrhea is not an illness. Rather the passing of soft stool is an indication that all is not well with the pet. Should you or should you not rush to the vet if the dog has diarrhea?

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Acute diarrhea

Acute diarrhea is often caused by the dog’s dietary indiscretion. A dog would ingest anything that catches its fancy be it edible or non-edible. Dogs would not stop eating until the stomach practically bursts. These situations would result to stomach upsets. Acute diarrhea is the stomach way of purging objects and substances that should not have been ingested by the dog. Acute diarrhea would start suddenly and when the stomach is “cleaned” the soft stool will be gone as well.

Chronic diarrhea

Chronic diarrhea is the more serious form of diarrhea. Diarrhea bouts would be recurring. The dog would have formed stool for a few days and then the condition will reappear. Dogs with strong constitution would seem not to be affected but eventually, the poor absorption of nutrients and electrolytes will take a heavy toll on the health of the dog.

Symptoms of chronic diarrhea

The most obvious symptom is the diarrhea that won’t go away. The diarrhea would stop for a few days if the dog owner has administered treatment and has fasted the pet. However, the passing of soft stool will recur. The frequent passing of soft stool will result to weight loss and lethargy as the needed nutrients are no longer absorbed. Poor coat quality will be noticed. Mucus and blood will be observed in the stool.

Causes of chronic diarrhea

Recurring bouts of diarrhea can be due to food allergies. The dog will continue to pass watery stool until the diet is changed. The condition can also be due to some diseases. The dog may have a maldigestion disorder, a short bowel syndrome or an irritable bowel syndrome. Pancreatitis, liver and kidney disease are systemic illnesses that can cause chronic diarrhea. Gastro intestinal cancer that causes a blockage in the intestinal tract can be the reason for the diarrhea that won’t go away. Recurring diarrhea can be caused by parasite infestation. Recurring diarrhea is one of the signs of parvovirus.


Acute diarrhea can be treated at home. Dog owners are advised against administering home treatments for chronic diarrhea as conventional medication would rarely resolve the condition of the pet. Moreover, giving the dog wrong medications can aggravate the damage to the intestines. As chronic diarrhea can be an indication of an underlying illness, a vet’s attention is imperative.  If the initial tests are inconclusive, the vet may administer empirical treatment that includes a course of antibiotic, deworming and replacing the diet with a high fiber one. Specific treatment will only be administered after the definitive cause of the recurring diarrhea is diagnosed. 

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