Diarrhea in Dogs-Giardia

A parasite that can cause diarrhea in dogs is Giardiasis, a single celled organism. These internal parasites are typically picked up from areas of water such as a small pond or lake. Your adult dog or puppy can accidentally pick up this creature from swimming and swallowing water containing the cyst of the parasite. Once ingested, this microscopic parasite clings to the surface of the intestine, or floats free in the mucous lining the intestine. This causes inflammation, mucus covered stools, weight loss, and bloating.

How Widespread is Giardiasis Infection?

Research suggest that 10% of “family” dogs carry giardia. These are the dogs that are well cared for whether they are indoor or outdoor dogs they are in frequent contact with humans that love them. Puppies have a higher infection rate and some research suggests that is as high as 50%. Kennel dogs have an even higher rate a whopping 100%.

Why is the Rate so High?

Giardia live and reproduce in the small intestines of the host animal, dogs and humans. The infective cysts are passed out of the body in the feces and the cyst can survive in a wet or damp environment for several months. The infection is transmitted when an animal swallows a cyst in either contaminated food or water. Unlike most bacterial illnesses, just one giardia cyst needs to be ingested to cause an illness. Not surprising it is highly contagious and prevalent throughout North America.

How does the Parasite cause Illness?

Giardia reproduces rapidly and becomes an obstruction in the intestine. The microorganism lines the inner wall of the intestine preventing absorption of nutrients. The food then passes into the lower intestines undigested resulting in diarrhea in dogs.

How is an Infected Dog Treated?

A number of Antiprotozoal drugs are available through Vet Supply Stores and the cost varies depending on where you purchase the dog medications. The most common drug used for treatment is Metronidazole. Shop around for the best price for this drug. Building your dogs immune system naturally is helpful as well. Look for holistic dog herbs and homeopathic remedies that build the immune system and support the gastrointestinal tract, thus relieving dog diarrhea .

Diarrhea in Dogs-Viral Diarrhea

Dog Diarrhea Causes

Dog Diarrhea Causes

Diarrhea in dogs is a loose stool, while colitis is severe diarrhea with straining to defecate and the stool may be bloody. When stool material passes to quickly through the colon, the body does not have the opportunity to absorb the water from it and the stool will be watery and loose. There are many different types and causes of diarrhea in dogs and Viral Diarrhea will be discussed. The most common viral intestinal infections are Canine Parvovirus and Coronavirus.

Canine Parvovirus

This virus is widespread in canine populations throughout the world after first recognized in 1978. Clinical signs of this viral infection are most severe in pups 6 to 14 weeks old. Although the disease effects on an older dog is milder, fatalities have been seen in dogs of all ages. The earliest signs of the disease are often fever, depression, and abdominal pain. These are rapidly followed by vomiting and diarrhea. The stool can range from semisoft, in milder cases of infection, to a diarrhea in dogs that is watery, bloody, and has a putrid smell.

Shock caused by fluid and electrolyte loss from the diarrhea is a serious and life-threatening complication that requires intravenous fluid replacement. This virus is highly contagious to other canines through the feces.

Canine Coronavirus

This intestinal virus of dogs is less devastating as the parvovirus. Typically cases of infection of coronavirus begin with vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. There is usually a fever, lack of appetite, uneasiness, and dehydration. The diarrhea may not be as watery as in parvovirus, but is light-colored or yellow-orange and occasionally bloody. It may or may not have a putrid smell.

The treatment is similar to that for parvovirus: intravenous fluid therapy, electrolyte and vitamin replacement, antibiotics, and antispasmotics to calm the intestines. The success rate in coronavirus is higher than in parvovirus, only the very young and weakest puppies don’t survive.

A veterinarian will use a few diagnostic tests to determine if the symptoms are causes by a viral infection. These include checking for a fever, history of exposure to other dogs, viral titers, and fecal viral isolation. Dog diarrhea with a viral infection will likely be watery, bloody and may have a distinctive putrid smell.

Dog Diarrhea-Bacterial Diarrhea

Dog Diarrhea Treatment

Dog Diarrhea Treatment

When stool material passes too quickly through the colon the result is dog diarrhea . There are a number of reasons that dogs may have diarrhea and bacterial infections are a common cause, particularly in puppies. Puppies tend to eat any- and everything they can get their mouths around and often these items lead to a bacterial infection.

Dogs that are allowed to eat indiscriminately from “garbage” are likely to eat food that is rotten and end up with a bacterial infection of the intestines, known as enteritis. Salmonella is the most common and is found in bad food, raw chicken, and animal feces, notably barnyard animals. Bacterial diarrhea in dogs may be accompanied by vomiting, fever, abdominal pains, and dark, bloody stools.


This diarrheal disease is caused by members of the Salmonella bacteria. There are nearly two thousand different member types, and they are wide spread throughout the environment. Infection is usually acquired by swallowing food or water contaminated by Salmonella-laden feces. The most common clinical signs of affected dogs include a lack of appetite, lethargy, fever, weight loss, vomiting, abdominal pain, and a watery to bloody diarrhea.

Diagnosis is made based on the animal history, clinical signs and identification of the bacterium through cultures and sensitivity. Treatment is usually directed at treating the dehydration and loss of electrolytes through intravenous fluid therapy and oral fluids containing electrolytes. Antibiotics should administered only if it is apparent that the Salmonella organisms have spread beyond the intestinal tract and are producing severe, life-threatening systemic illness.

Caregivers of dogs with Salmonellosis should be aware that it is a zoonotic disease. Meaning that humans can get the disease from accidentally ingesting the organism present in the diarrhea from dogs and other body fluids. Thus, you must observe strict hygienic measures when caring for a sick animal. This includes frequent hand washing when in contact with the ill dog, his toys, food and water containers, and bedding. Disinfectants such as chlorine bleach (diluted 1:32 in water) can be used to clean surfaces where the dog may eat or sleep.


This is a diarrheal disease caused by members of the genus Campylobacter. They are widespread in the environment and in animal and human populations. Some members of this genus are part of the normal flora of the intestinal tract in many species, while others can cause disease conditions in humans and dogs. The most common problem bacteria in dogs is Campylobacter jejuni which can lead to no symptoms in adult dogs, but will make young dogs ill. Fecal contamination of food and water is the usual way it is spread and a young dog may have fever, some appetite loss, and watery stools covered in mucus.

What Causes Canine Diarrhea in Dogs and Puppies

What Causes Canine Diarrhea in Dogs and Puppies

Diagnosis is made by an evaluation of the history, clinical signs, and bacterial culture of the feces or a swab of the rectum. Most mild cases of the illness will clear up without any treatment, although if enough fluid is lost by diarrhea in dogs, fluid replacement therapy may be needed. This is also a zoonotic disease and caregivers should observe strict hygienic measures when caring for an ill animal.