Understanding Diarrhoea and Common Causes

Understanding Diarrhoea and Common Causes

What is Diarrhoea in Dogs?

Diarrhoea in dogs is a common problem, especially when there is a change in the dog’s environment or other stressors. Causes of diarrhoea in dogs can include respiratory infections, dietary changes such as sudden introduction to new food types or food allergies, parasites, and gastrointestinal infections, such as worms.

There are many reasons that your dog may develop diarrhoea but fortunately for you it almost always passes within days to weeks. There are some dogs that do not get better with time and they require further treatment from a veterinarian.

What Signs Should I Look For?

Your dog will usually have soft, loose stools that are often watery or runny. You may notice your dog eating less or losing his appetite altogether and even getting depressed. These symptoms can be very alarming, and you should consult a veterinarian immediately.

What is the treatment for diarrhoea in dogs?

The veterinarian will need to examine your dog and do blood and stool test. A faecal examination will reveal parasites, such as worms or other foreign bodies or grasses that have not been digested. Further testing may be required to determine the cause of the diarrhoea. Treatment depends on the cause but may include antibiotics, anti-parasite medications, intravenous fluid therapy and even surgery, in extreme cases.

Diarrhoea in dogs is very common and can be treated quickly with the right help from a veterinarian. If your dog is suffering and his diarrhoea seems to be getting worse, contact your veterinarian.

Top 10 Causes of Dog Diarrhoea

We have gathered together here some of the most common causes of diarrhoea in dogs. Some of them are preventable, and some of them are not.

Dietary issues

A sudden change in diet can result in diarrhoea. Many dogs are picky eaters and will skip meals when they do not like what you have prepared for them.

Some dogs will not eat unless you cook for them. If your dog has never eaten raw food, you should cook it especially for him. The same goes if he has a sensitive stomach. You should always consult with the veterinarian before changing his diet.

Any transition that results in a change of diet can cause diarrhoea in dogs. This includes some types of supplements such as high protein dog food and other soft chews and treats. Sometimes the change is not as abrupt as a dietary change, but it can still result in diarrhoea. You should always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your dog’s diet.

If you have a dog that has not eaten in several days and is vomiting and having diarrhoea, you should always consider the possibility of food poisoning. Pet insurance can be expensive, but every time your dog visits the vet for diarrhoea and vomiting, it will be covered by their plan.

Erosion of the intestinal lining and absorption of toxins

Sometimes dogs can develop a condition where their intestines weaken or become inflamed. The result can be diarrhoea with vomiting in certain cases. The cause of this condition can vary from an underlying issue which can be treated to a severe case of intestinal distress. Some dogs have had issues where they have had a loss in their intestinal tract which results in vomiting and diarrhoea.

Any dog that has been sick for more than a week should get checked by the vet. Any chronic problem should always be evaluated by a vet to make sure no lasting effects are present.

Food allergies & Food Poisoning

Food allergies are not uncommon in dogs and can lead to vomiting and diarrhoea. Dogs can have a sensitivity or even an allergy to a particular food. The most common foods that cause issues are meat, dairy, grains, and gluten. The first step is to make sure your dog eats a diet that contains high quality ingredients that are free from artificial dyes and preservatives. Make sure all of the ingredients match up with what is listed on the dog food bag. If you cannot see those things listed on the bag, and little or no mention of what is in the food, then it’s a good bet that your dog is eating a product with nothing but filler in it. You can follow the link for this article to learn more about how to read labels and be an expert label reader.

Food poisoning is a very common condition that occurs in dogs and can cause vomiting and diarrhoea. It can usually be identified by the ingredients and preparation of the food. If you notice that your dog is vomiting and has diarrhoea, it’s a good idea to look into what he has eaten in the past few days. It’s also smart to keep an eye out for other symptoms such as fever, lethargy, and weakness. Always be on the lookout for dog recall news as if it’s the brand and package you currently use, it’s best to know early than much later.


Parasites are picked up in a variety of ways, but the most common is through food and water. If you notice that your dog is vomiting and has diarrhoea, it is a good idea to search the environment for parasites. A faecal test can be done at the vet to see how many parasites are present. If a parasite is identified, there will be a treatment recommended to treat the dog.

Some parasites such as the tick paralysis will infect the dog, whether it’s through bushlands, wildlife or even if they are only present in the faeces. If you do not keep your dog on a leash while outside, then always clean and check your dog after finishing the outdoor activities.

Gastrointestinal Worms

Gastrointestinal worms are present in many dogs and are caused by roundworms and tapeworms. The symptoms of these parasites include vomiting and diarrhoea with or without blood in vomit more than once. Some dogs can have severe symptoms while others might seem healthy with this parasite present. If the worm is identified, then your dog will be prescribed the right medication to eliminate it.

Toxic Plants

There are many plants that you should avoid feeding to your dog. Some of them can cause more than just vomiting and diarrhoea, while others have very mild effects on the dog. One of the most common plants that causes vomiting and diarrhoea is ragweed. Ragweed can be found in much of North America and is a weed that grows everywhere.

The symptoms of ragweed poisoning include vomiting, diarrhoea, and a mild fever. Depending on the amount that your dog has ingested, it can result in more severe conditions such as anaemia and liver failure.


When a dog has diarrhoea, it is possible that it is the result of a digestive tract bacterial infection. You can take your dog to see a veterinarian to have him tested for these bacteria. The most common ones include e-coli and campylobacter. E-coli will cause severe diarrhoea in dogs, while campylobacter will cause more than just vomiting and diarrhoea. It can also cause your dog to have vomiting and diarrhoea accompanied by fever, lethargy, and abdominal pain.


Candida is a common yeast infection in dogs which can lead to vomiting and diarrhoea. It is usually caused by eating foods such as sugar, yeast found in bread products and other carbohydrates.

Vitamin Deficiency

There are some vitamins that are very important for your dog to get from his diet. Understand if your dog lacks vitamins, since it may be the cause of vomiting and diarrhoea. The most common vitamins that are essential for dogs are A, D and E. The most common vitamin deficiency is a lack of calcium which can also lead to vomiting and diarrhoea.

Your dog needs to eat the right amount of food, as this can lead to several different issues such as vomiting and diarrhoea. If your dog is eating too much food, then it’s a good bet that your dog is experiencing some sort of health issue.

Excess iron

If your dog has taken in too much iron, then it can cause vomiting and diarrhoea. If there is a large amount of iron in the body, then it can lead to anaemia which can cause severe vomiting and diarrhoea. Dogs with kidney disease also have an elevated amount of iron in their bodies after a blood transfusion which can lead to vomiting and diarrhoea.

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