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What is Diarrhea (Long-term)?

Diarrhea is not a disease itself, but a symptom of illness or underlying disease. The increase of the passage of loose stool can come on as an acute episode, or be a chronic occurrence. Diarrhea also means a decrease in the bodily absorption of water, electrolytes, and required nutrients. How serious the illness is will be determined by how long the diarrhea has been going on, and what symptoms accompany it.

Diarrhea is a very common ailment for canines, and can range from a mild case to very severe. Described as frequent, liquid stools, diarrhea can be secondary to serious illnesses such as cancer, or milder causes like an intestinal infection. If your dog is suffering from diarrhea, consult a veterinary caregiver. If treatment is required to resolve the issue, and it is not started soon enough, the situation can quickly escalate to dangerous, due to dehydration and nutrient loss.

Diarrhea (Long-term) Average Cost

From 86 quotes ranging from $500 - $2,500

Average Cost

$1,200

Symptoms of Diarrhea (Long-term) in Dogs

The symptoms of diarrhea may vary according to whether the episode is of an acute nature, or whether your canine companion is having a chronic problem. If the diarrhea lasts more than a day or two, or if your dog really looks unwell, contact the veterinarian without delay.

  • Dehydration
  • Watery Stool
  • Explosive stool
  • Increased frequency of bowel movements
  • Urgency of bowel movements
  • Straining to defecate
  • Accidents indoors
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Fever
  • Listlessness and weakness
  • Fluid accumulation in legs, abdomen or chest
  • Weight loss
  • Dull and brittle fur
  • Vomiting
  • Blood or mucus in stool
  • Low appetite
  • Depression
Types

Diarrhea is typically classified in two ways.

  • Small bowel/small intestinal diarrhea
    • Stool is typically passed in large amounts 3 to 5 times per day
    • Is caused by an irritation to or damage of the stomach or small intestine
    • There may be accompanying vomiting and weight loss
    • There is no difficulty passing the stool
    • Gas may be heard
    • Blood of a black color may be seen in stool
  • Large bowel/large intestinal diarrhea
    • Stool is usually passed more than five times a day in small amounts
    • Involves damage or irritation to the colon or large intestine
    • The presence of vomiting is not usual, nor is weight loss
    • There may be straining to pass the stool
    • If blood is present, it will be red
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Causes of Diarrhea (Long-term) in Dogs

The causes of diarrhea can be numerous and range from mild to serious. Some causes are more easily treated than others, and the regimen for resolving the problem can be more involved. Do not delay if your canine companion is ill with diarrhea. Solving the problem, and getting your pet back to good health will be faster and more successful with prompt care.

  • Canine distemper
  • Canine parvovirus
  • Canine coronavirus
  • Irritable bowel disease (though diarrhea is not breed specific, the Basenji, for example, is genetically prone to IBD)
  • Systemic illness
  • Allergies
  • Whipworms or parasites
  • Giardia
  • Liver, kidney or pancreatic disease
  • Eating spoiled food or other garbage
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Ingestion of a foreign body such as a stick or bones that could become lodged in the intestine
  • Dietary change, poor diet, or high-fat diet
  • Sensitivity of the digestive tract
  • Toxins like lead or insecticides
  • Tumors or polyps
  • Stress, such as may occur when boarding, or when the home environment changes
  • Cancer
  • Infection caused by virus, bacteria, or fungus
  • Medication side effects
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Diagnosis of Diarrhea (Long-term) in Dogs

When you bring your dog to the clinic, the veterinary team members will be ready to assess the condition of your pet. Be ready to provide as much relevant information as possible. The veterinarian may ask the following questions.

  • How long has the diarrhea been affecting your pet?
  • Is his condition worsening, or staying about the same?
  • Has your dog had access to garbage or spoiled food?
  • Is there a presence of blood or mucus, and what color is the blood?
  • Can you tell us anything about behavioral changes such as activity level or appetite?

If possible, it'll greatly aid the diagnosis if you are able to bring a stool sample to the clinic. The veterinarian will want to test for illnesses such as parvovirus. A stool sample analysis can also point to a parasitic infection if that is the case.

A complete blood count, electrolyte panel, and urinalysis will be done. This helps the diagnosis because bloodwork is a great indicator of how well your dog’s organs are functioning. Results of these tests may also indicate if there is an infection of a bacterial, fungal, or viral type.

Radiographs, sometimes done with a barium contrast, can indicate abnormalities in the intestines. Further diagnostic imaging may include ultrasound or endoscopy. An endoscopy will be done under general anesthetic. Endoscopy through the mouth will show the condition of the stomach and intestine. Done through the rectum, the procedure can show the colon and large intestines, which may show signs of damage, cancer, or polyps.

A biopsy of the small intestine or large intestine may be recommended. It must be noted that a biopsy of the large intestine must be done surgically. If warranted, your veterinarian may suggest getting the opinion of an internal medicine specialist.

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Treatment of Diarrhea (Long-term) in Dogs

Treatment protocols will always begin with treating any underlying illnesses or diseases that may be affecting your furry canine friend. This is paramount to resolving the diarrhea.

If your dog is very sick or dehydrated when you arrive at the clinic, hospitalization could be how the treatment commences. Intravenous therapy is the best way to stabilize your pet and return system levels to normal ranges.

If there is a presence of bacteria or worms, appropriate medication will be prescribed in the form of antibiotics or deworming drugs. Antidiarrheal medicine could be given, or depending on the cause; there may be the administration of medications to control the motility (movement) of food through the intestine.

Some protocols can be followed at home, with the direction and support of your veterinarian. For example, acute small intestinal diarrhea can be treated by withholding food for 12 to 48 hours (but never water). If the diarrhea stops, you can slowly reintroduce bland foods such as rice, potatoes, chicken, or cottage cheese in small portions 3 to 6 times per day. The veterinary caregiver can also prescribe a commercial intestinal diet.

Large intestinal diarrhea may be resolved with a high fiber diet, combined with anti-inflammatory drugs.

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Recovery of Diarrhea (Long-term) in Dogs

Keep the veterinary team up to date on the recovery of your canine family member. Improvement in the diarrhea should be seen within a day or two. If your pet is not getting better, a change of treatment may be necessary. Perhaps additional medication is needed, or further testing is required. Chronic diarrhea could necessitate lifetime dietary management or medication.

Taking care to keep your pet away from garbage, unsuitable foodstuffs, and items that may look like fun to ingest or chew is important. Do not make sudden dietary changes, or feed your dog table scraps. As well, regular visits to the veterinary clinic (for example, to check for parasites or worms) are part of the preventative measures you should take against the recurrence of diarrhea.

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Diarrhea (Long-term) Average Cost

From 86 quotes ranging from $500 - $2,500

Average Cost

$1,200

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Diarrhea (Long-term) Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Doberman Pinscher

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Six Months

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea

Puppy acting funny. Watery poop. Moaning a lot. Just laying around

Dec. 29, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello so sorry to hear that your dog is not feeling good. Since he is young I really worry about parvo. It would be best for your vet to see your dog and test him for parvo. At home you can give boiled chicken and rice. Also try to syringe water to keep him hydrated

Dec. 29, 2020

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Yorkshire Terrier/Maltese

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Eight Years

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

It seems once a month (for the past 5 months) my dog will experience urgency and diarrhea throughout the night every beginning at 2AM and continue on every 2 hours (4AM, 6AM). This will typically last 2-5 days. Once she wakes in the morning (8AM) she’s completely fine she has no urgency and regular stool. I’ve taken her to the vet she’s received an antibiotic in the past that helped, they’ve done a X-Ray & said everything looked perfect. At this point I’m noticing a pattern & wondering what the cause could be. She currently does not take any medications & no changes have been made to her diet.

Dec. 17, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

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1 Recommendations

Hi there, I'm sorry to hear you are having this issue. There are many possibilities here including colitis, food intolerance, Addison disease etc. If the vet hasn't run some basic tests such as blood work and a stool analysis, this would be worth doing. Xrays are not very sensitive when it comes to the gut; an abdominal ultrasound would be preferable. Consider a hypoallergenic diet and make sure your dog is up to date with a good quality wormer.

Dec. 17, 2020

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Eskimo Chi

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5 months old

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea

Stooling and pooping at the same time

Sept. 26, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Puppies are very prone to parasites and infectious diseases, and It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get treatment for them.

Oct. 14, 2020

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Mixed terrier

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Eight Years

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea

My dog has had diarrhea every five days for the past two weeks. It’s never lasted more than 12 hours he’s got no other symptoms and he’s fine every day in between. What is going on? She had no changes in lifestyle or diet recently and it’s strange that this is all happening in a perfect pattern.

Sept. 25, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. Without being able to see your dog, I don't have any way of knowing why this is happening, but you can try feeding a bland diet of boiled white chicken and boiled white rice for 2-3 days and see if that resolves any intestinal upset. If they are still having problems, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get any testing or treatment taken care of that might be needed.

Oct. 21, 2020

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Corgi pitbull mix

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Two Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea, Gurgly Stomach

About once a week my dog gets a really loud stomach, has diarrhea, And eats a lot of grass. Not sure why

Sept. 24, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. I hope that your pet is feeling better. If they are still having problems, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get any testing or treatment taken care of that might be needed.

Oct. 23, 2020

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Rudy

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Bernese Mountain Dog

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9 Months

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Serious severity

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea

Rudy has been an energetic and happy puppy. He has also had a problem with loose stools/diarrhea for the past 5 months. My wife and I have brought him to 2 different vets; one of which gave him metronidazole which was working while he was on the medication. The second he finished the meds, the diarrhea would start up again. We then switched vets because the original one would just continue to give him the metronidazole and not try to figure out what was the main issue. With the new vet, we had allergy tests done which came back positive for beef, barley, flax, and peas but were not serious allergies. He had multiple stool samples tested which came back negative for parasites. We then got a limited ingredient food for him which worked sometimes but then eventually the diarrhea would start again. We then began giving Rudy distilled water which worked for about a month where he was having solid stools. Just recently he started having diarrhea constantly (waking up multiple times throughout the night). He usually would not poop during the day and once it was night would have excessive diarrhea. He doesn't get into any garbage or other objects/food that would upset his stomach. He eats a normal amount and drinks a normal amount so I don't know where to go from here.

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Freya

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Siberian Husky

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15 Weeks

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea

My 15 week old Siberian husky purebred has had diarrhea going on about a week now my vet can’t get her in immediately unless it’s an emergency liquid stool brown no blood or anything she has been happy and playful no pain or discomfort no vomiting or anything else. I gave her a dose of Pepto and her stool firmed tenporarily the food the breeder fed her isn’t available in my region she has been on diamond natural puppy with pumpkin purée added with no effectual change. Is it possible she is having a hard time with the food shift and would probiotics help?

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Dixie

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Rottweiler

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1 Year

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Mild severity

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Red Blood In Stool
Long Term Watery Diarrhea
Severe Thirst

Hi my one year old Rottweiler grand puppy has been having diarrhea for several months. Nothing seems to help it, she does see the vet regularly and they have tried chicken/rice diet as well as pure pumpkin switched to food for sensitive stomach. She doesn’t seem sick as she is active,and happy. She seems thin and always hungry, and thirsty. Today my son called and said she had red blood in her diarrhea last night and this morning. They are seeing their vet tonight. What Could be her issue?

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Rainee

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Beagle

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9 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Blood In Poop
Acting Normal
Yellow Poop
Poops Once Or Twice A Day

My beagle mix is 9 years old and had bloody diarrhea a couple months ago. I do not know if this is coincidental but this happened right after we gave her a panacur and for 2 weeks ago she had lethargy and very watery mucous like yellow feces followed later by red tarry poop. We took her to the vet and they gave us some antibiotics and told us she must have just gotten into something, they said that she may have pyrometra or worms but the UV they did said that those were not the issues. This goes away for a couple months with my dog happier and more energetic. Skip to current time and she has it back again but much different. As I stated before she was tired and had panting vomit with much more poop. But now she is still energetic and the poop appears to be yellow watery with some lumps in it and it will occasionally have blood in it but not near as much. The only symptom that I've seen is yellowy mucousy water feces but as much as that she acts fine eats fine and she will only poop this about once/twice a day. I should mention she likes to get into scraps alot and with all the food laying around she occasionally gets into it and it makes her a little sick so maybe thats the problem. We also give her Purina and when we gave chicken and rice it firmed up then no poop came for a couple days then right back to water. Eventually we found a medicine that cured it but now its back again. We don't have much money for the vet but we need quite a bit of help. Just lucky she doesn't seem to be in distress or anything like before.

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Rainee

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Beagle

dog-age-icon

9 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Watery Stool
Acting Normal
Yellow Diarrhea
Blood In Poop Occassionally

Hello, I am curious about my dogs health as she has had some issues with watery diarrhea for a while now. So a couple of months ago my beagle mix had some very bad issues with watery diarrhea and it appeared very watery and mucous like and after a while it was bloody/tarry. This happened after we gave our dog a panacur dewormer, as we suspected she had some worms in the stool Our vet gave us some meds and said that she must have just gotten into something bad, they first assumed she had pyrometra or worms, but they did an UV and both came up negative. The diarrhea luckily went away for a while after that incident and we used these gold meal supplements that helped for a while. Skip to a couple months now and its back but its much different now. Back then I would have to wake up 5 times or so to walk her but now its mucousy with occasional blood in the poop. She acts normal and plays and the poop appears yellow. We have tried many medicines that worked for a while but it came back anyway. I don't see what's wrong as my dog is primarily inside and we walk her quite a bit. One thing odd that I noticed is that she seems to get into a lot of scraps at points and gets sick around those times and also when I give her the bland chicken and rice it helps the poop for a while and come back but her regular food(Purina) seems to not make this any better either. As far as I'm concerned she's quite happy and acts normal with no symptoms except the poop now. If someone could give me clarity on this I would much enjoy it, we don't have much money for the vet but we are trying our hardest.

Diarrhea (Long-term) Average Cost

From 86 quotes ranging from $500 - $2,500

Average Cost

$1,200

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