Diarrhea is probably something that we have all dealt with if we’ve had pets for any time and no it’s not pleasant to even think about but it is a reality and for a small animal, dog or cat, diarrhea left untreated if it has been going on for a period of time can be very dangerous, resulting in severe dehydration.

Diarrhea can be caused by any number of things, dietary upset, worms or parasites, food allergies, infection; Salmonella, inflamed bowel problems, pancreatic problems, etc. The most common cause would probably be dietary upset, maybe your dog or cat ate something that they shouldn’t have.

One of the best things you can do on a normal basis is to give your pet probiotics which will keep their gastrointestinal tract balanced and make their body able to handle small upsets normally.

If the dreaded diarrhea does strike, to start with you can add some fiber to the diet. Ground flaxseed works great for dogs and pumpkin works wonderful for both dogs and cats. This should firm the stools.

Another things that vets often advise is to keep your pet off of food for a 24 hour period to give their intestinal tract a chance to ‘rest’ and get back in order. After that feed a bland diet, chicken and rice in small portions. After about three days your pet should be back to their normal diet.

An over the counter that works quite well which I have resorted to on occasion is Pepto-Bismol. Works great for dogs. For cats you can try Immodium. For dogs the Pepto dosage is 1ml/10lbs of body weight given three times daily for no more than 7 days. For cats the Immodium dosage is .25mg/10lbs of body weight three times daily for 2 days. If you’re not comfortable with using OTCs, just double check with your vet. This advise actually did come from a vet.

Very important to keep in mind, the the diarrhea does not abate or it is happening to a young pet, you need to see your vet because the danger of dehydration is serious. On vet friend of mine says to offer pets suffering from this Pedialite and I have heard this often.

Hope this bit of advise helps next time you have to deal with this unpleasant problem. I can definitely vouch for this advise myself sharing my home with two dogs and two cats. :)

Copyright 2007 - Deanna Raeke

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