How To Treat Dogs With Diarrhea

dog looking at toilet sign

The answer on how to treat your dog’s diarrhea comes with certain questions. As you know there are several over-the-counter medications for people, so how do we treat diarrhea when our dog gets hit with it?

Last week my dog, a darling Basset Hound named “Vegas” was sick. I felt so bad and I had no idea what was causing her to have a belly ache. Keep in mind I also have a teenage daughter and I guess the dog lover in me feels as bad when my dog has a belly ache. I don’t know if I should take some of the blame because I did share a delicious piece of aged cheese with “Vegas”. (I know! Bad! Bad! Bad! But she really wanted some!) After an entire day of diarrhea my dog was at the vet the next morning. She received a shot for hydration along with some antibiotics. Whatever made her sick was knocked out about 36 hours after her vet appointment. (But as she was on the mend her gas was knocking me out! Yikes!) So what should you do when your dog has diarrhea?

Every dog gets diarrhea at one point or another, they are omnivorous. Don’t panic! Dogs may get diarrhea from an infection, something they ate, or an underlying disease. Typically the dogs stool is much softer than usual, or may present a fluid like or watery appearance. Common sense will often tell you whether or not your dog has diarrhea.

When I called my Mom and told her about my hound dog’s situation, she said to me “give her a little bit of Pepto-Bismol.” I raised an eyebrow and said, “are you crazy? I cannot give my dog Pepto-Bismol!”

I was wrong!

It turns out that a small amount of Pepto-Bismol can be used to treat diarrhea in dogs. I am not a veterinarian so I am going to advise you to call your veterinarian before administering any over-the-counter medications to your pet. From the research I’ve done,  it turns out that over-the-counter treatments for diarrhea are typically safe for dogs, but the only one I would personally trust is Pepto-Bismol. CALL THE VET FIRST. (On a side note: One medication that is an absolute no-no is anything containing acetaminophen. NEVER give your dog Tylenol or any medication with acetaminophen.)

Mother always knows best and I wish I would have given my hound dog just a small amount of Pepto-Bismol to make her feel better. For as much knowledge as I have about dogs like treatments, training, breeds– I always feel more comfortable taking my dog to the vet when she is sick. In a situation where you are in a financial bind and your dog has diarrhea, your veterinarian should freely tell you what dosage of Pepto-Bismol to give your dog for diarrhea if you cannot afford a vet bill. My trip to the veterinarian with “Vegas” was nearly $140.

When Is It An Emergency?

If you notice your dog’s diarrhea has red streaks or resembles a tar like color, contact your veterinarian immediately. This may be a sign of internal bleeding. If your dogs diarrhea continues for more than two days it is imperative that your dog sees a veterinarian. Dehydration, if left untreated, can lead to death. Veterinarians have the ability to administer medications for dehydration. ( My Basset Hound received an injection for it.)

“Vegas” ended up sleeping all day after she saw the doctor. I would imagine it was because she was so exhausted from constantly going outside. (Even when she is sick she refuses to poop in my apartment. I would have been fine with it!) Though it did cost me almost $140 it was worth it. My dog he is indeed a family member and her health is important to me. Never take your dog’s health lightly because we often cannot treat them with medications that we take when we are sick. Just because they are dogs doesn’t mean they will get over it. Be aware of your dogs behavior. The payoff? A healthy dog that will love you to pieces!

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