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Why is my pet having diarrhea?

Why is my pet having diarrhea?

Diarrhea in our pets can be very frustrating and upsetting when it occurs. Diarrhea is caused by increased fluid within the intestinal lumen. There are two sites in the intestinal tract that can cause diarrhea. The first is due to changes in function of the small intestine or upper portion of the GI tract. This can be due to liver disease, malfunction of the gall bladder or pancreas and certain types of cancer. It can also be due to parasites, particularly whip worms that live in the lower portion of the small intestine and are difficult to diagnose.

The second site for the development of diarrhea is the colon or large intestine. Diarrhea from this area of the intestinal tract may be due to parasites, stress, diet change, certain viruses or bacteria, food allergy/ irritable bowel syndrome, cancer (adenocarcinoma, lymphoma), many antibiotics or toxins.

With mild cases of diarrhea, we typically advise people to stop all food for 12 to 24 hours, but continue to offer water. After skipping 1-2 meals, introduce a bland diet comprised of mostly regular cooked rice with a small amount of boiled chicken. Feed as a small meatball every 2 hours on the first day and gradually increase the amount and time between feedings each day and slowly transition your pet back to his or her regular diet. If diarrhea persists despite the bland diet, or if your pet is depressed, vomiting, weak, or blood is noted in the stool, a trip to the veterinarian is advised. Any young puppy or kitten with diarrhea should be seen by your veterinarian, as they are at a greater risk of complications such as low blood sugar or hypoglycemia.

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How can I protect my dog from heat stroke?

How can I protect my dog from heat stroke?

Now that the weather is hot and getting hotter, it’s important to protect your dog from the effects of the heat. Unlike humans, dogs have very few sweat glands, so they have to regulate their body temperature by panting, which isn’t always effective. When a dog’s temperature gets too high, the result can be heat exhaustion or even heat stroke and possible death. Here are a few tips for preventing heat exhaustion:

  • Make sure your dog has access to cold water and shade while outside.
  • Try to schedule walks during the early morning and evening hours.
  • For very active dogs who are accustomed to long walks and/or runs, insist on regular breaks for water and rest in a shaded area.
  • Encourage your dog to swim and/or relax in the water.
  • Never leave your dog in a parked car, even with the windows rolled down.

If your dog shows signs of heat exhaustion, such as excessive panting, reluctance to drink water, bright red or blue gums, vomiting, or diarrhea, cover the dog with a wet towel and seek immediate veterinary care.