A sick black dog suffering from diarrhea with a thermometer in his mouth and cooling pack on his head.

Dog diarrhea is not fun for you or for your canine companion. Diarrhea might be a quick remedy. However, chronic diarrhea can require more treatment. Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital wants to help you determine if your dog’s diarrhea is cause for concern:

Cause of Diarrhea in Dogs

Diarrhea is caused by malfunction of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Here are a few reasons your pet might have diarrhea:

Infectious diarrhea: Can be caused by Viral (Parvo, distemper, coronavirus—NOT COVID-19), anthelmintic parasites (roundworm, hookworm, whipworm), protozoal parasites (giardia, coccidia), bacteria (clostridium, leptospirosis, salmonella, E.coli), or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)

Trauma: a foreign body, penetrating wound, toxin exposure, or ulceration

Autoimmune: Inflammatory bowel disease

Vascular infarction: blood clot blocking blood flow to the GI tract

Last, but not least:

Iatrogenic: Dietary indiscretion, stress, chocolate, or overfeeding

Human Food: A Lead Suspect

While it might be tempting to give your dog a bite of lasagna, foods high in salt or fat can lead to diarrhea. Human bodies are accustomed to this diet, but we assure you: your dog is not.   

Try feeding your dog some fruits and vegetables such as apples (no seeds), green beans, and carrots instead of a piece of a pizza slice or turkey breast from your sandwich. 

How Your Veterinarian Can Help

If your pet has diarrhea, your veterinarian at Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital will be able to help you determine the type and the cause of the issue. We can walk you through the difference between large-bowel diarrhea and small-bowel diarrhea and find the best treatment option to get your dog feeling like his normal self. 

When to Visit the Vet

We know, there is nothing cute about this, but acute diarrhea episodes often resolve on their own. Try giving your dog a bland diet for 48 hours.

However, if the episode is lasting longer than 48 hours or you see blood in the stool, or your dog loses their appetite or begins vomiting, call us for an appointment.

Chronic diarrhea is another reason to visit. 

Your veterinarian can help you determine if the cause is from any of the following:

  • Parasites such as whipworms
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency
  • Hyperthyroidism or other metabolic condition
  • Cancer
  • Dysbiosis

We are available to treat pet emergencies during the following times:

  • Monday–Friday: 7 a.m.–6 p.m.
  • Saturday: 8 a.m.–1 p.m.

Please call us before coming at (210) 681‑1391 so we can prepare to treat your pet.

For Emergency Veterinary Care After Hospital Hours

When you have a pet emergency after our hospital has closed, you can call our number for emergency information. Our recording provides contact information for nearby emergency facilities that can help you get the treatment your dog needs.