Acute diarrhea in dogs

Sudden diarrhea is probably one of the most common pathological conditions seen in dogs. It is the symptom of a disease that should diagnose before posing a significant danger to your companion. The acute diarrhea in dogs is a common disease.

Definition and clinical manifestations

Acute diarrhea defines as a sudden softening of the stool that stops “molding”. They can then be soft or completely liquid, “watery”. The change in stool consistency may accompany by faster bowel movements, painful bowel movements, and the presence of blood or mucus.

This diarrhea can constitute a single symptom but, occasionally, it accompanies due to other digestive manifestations (such as vomiting). Its symptom signs also include abdominal pain (which can cause complaints or a state of prostration of the animal), even by a deterioration. general health if fever or dehydration occurs.

Origins of diarrhea

The causes of acute diarrhea in dogs are extremely numerous and, contrary to popular belief, not always associated with bowel function.

Strictly intestinal origins

Among these origins, we find:

  • Dietary causes (sudden change of diet, food allergies, or, more simply, unsuitable diet (for example use of growing food on an adult dog).
  • The infectious causes are multiple and sometimes formidable. These are viral (eg parvovirus ) or bacterial (eg salmonellosis) enteritis.
  • Intestinal parasitism, including certain microorganisms like Coccidia and Giardia, can also cause acute diarrhea.
  • Ingestion of foreign objects such as bones, causing damage to the intestinal lining as they move through the digestive tract.
  • Finally, certain toxic products (pesticides such as organophosphates) and certain drugs, in particular anti-inflammatory drugs, can suddenly degrade intestinal function.
Acute diarrhea in dogs

Extra-intestinal origins

Sudden diarrhea can see in situations where bowel function is not initially involved. This diarrhea encounter in serious disorders of the liver (hepatitis), kidneys (acute renal failure), and pancreas (pancreatitis). We should also mention a disease of the adrenal cortex (called hypocorticism or Addison’s disease) which, in its acute form, is accompanied by diarrhea.

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Diagnosis and treatment of diarrhea in dogs

This long list of possible causes should prompt the owner of a dog suffering from sudden diarrhea to present it without delay to his attending veterinarian, especially since the dog appears downcast or has severe abdominal pain. The clinical examination and the memorials (recent dietary change, up-to-date vaccination, etc.) will initially allow the simplest causes to eliminate. Additional examinations (blood test, coproscopic examination, ultrasound, etc.) will sometimes be essential to reveal the cause of diarrhea. Prompt management of viral enteritis or severe metabolic disease can effectively control diarrhea and compensate for rapid dehydration during onset.


There is, in some of the situations mentioned, a real danger in not taking the measure of the risk incurred by an animal presenting acute diarrhea. Self-medication is a frequent temptation that can, in some cases, prove to be “profitable” but in others, only artificially mask the seriousness of your dog’s condition and allow a potentially irreversible deterioration of the dog’s condition to set in. The general condition of your animal. Never hesitate to consult your veterinarian when your pet has acute diarrhea.