27 September 2020

Why does my pet get diarrhoea?

Claire Smith, Vet

Diarrhoea is a very common complaint in our furry friends but is a clear sign that your pet is out of balance. We know that diarrhoea can be very frustrating and can happen at the worst time; just as you’re about to go on holiday or when you’ve just refurbished your house!

The gastrointestinal gut is a hugely complex and fascinating system, when it’s working at 100% it is a true wonder of biology, but when it’s out of balance the resulting diarrhoea can be dramatic. Faeces can have a broad spectrum of abnormalities and diarrhoea can feature a variety of textures and colours. From water and brown to pasty and yellow. Sometimes there can be blood or mucus as well. 

If your pet experiences diarrhoea we recommend coming in for a veterinary consultation. All veterinary appointments at Beacon View Vets feature a thorough clinical examination and allow plenty of time for you to explain the problems you have seen. It may sound gross, but photos of diarrhoea and a diary of when it’s happening can help us greatly.

Diarrhoea is a common symptom but has a long list of possible causes so we will work hard to narrow this list down and formulate a treatment plan. Causes may include, but are not limited to: 

  • Inappropriate or sudden changes in diet e.g. when you take on a new pet and change brands of food
  • Parasites such as intestinal worms and protozoa
  • Bacterial imbalance or bacterial infections
  • Viral infections such as Parvovirus in dogs and Coronavirus in cats
  • Ingestion of toxic substances
  • Dietary indiscretion e.g. a dog scavenging rotten food on a walk
  • Medications
  • Obstructions of the gastrointestinal tract e.g. a cat eating a needle and thread or a dog swallowing a golf ball
  • Pancreatitis – much more common in cats and dogs, than in humans
  • Colitis and inflammatory bowel disease
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Tumours of the gastrointestinal tract

All pets, especially young and old or those suffering from other diseases, can easily become dehydrated from diarrhoea and vomiting. If you have any concerns about your pet then please contact us in the first instance so that we can help your pet get better and get back to feeling on top form again. 

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