Diarrhoea is when animals have runny or watery faeces. Diarrhoea is not an actual disease but rather a sign of some other problem. I usually means something is irritating your petís bowel.
The most common cause of diarrhea in dogs is dietary indiscretion. If a pet eats too much, or eats food that is too rich, spicy or rotten, it can cause diarrhoea. Even simply eating a type or brand of food they are not used to can cause mild diarrhoea (especially tinned food).
Cats are usually much more cautious eaters than dogs. So when cats develop diarrhea it is more likely to be caused by an infectious agent such as worms or coccidia.
Diarrhoea in all species, including humans, tends to be more common in the buildup and wet season.
Most cases of diarrhoea are mild and resolve quickly once the irritating food or organism has been flushed from the body. Unfortunately some causes of diarrhoea can be very serious and even fatal, especially in puppies and kittens. Parvovirus, hookworms and some poisons are a few of the diseases which can cause fatal diarrhea in animals.
Adult pets with mild diarrhoea can be successfully treated at home. Itís mild diarrhoea when the pet is bright, happy, not vomiting and the diarrhoea has no blood or mucous in it. Fast the pet (withhold food) for 12 - 24 hours. Always make sure they have access to plenty of water as animals with diarrhoea can quickly become dehydrated. Then for 3-4 days feed them just a bland diet. Bland prescription diets are available from veterinary clinics. Boiled or roast chicken (no fat, skin or bones) and rice is also a good bland diet.
The disease is more serious if your pet starts to vomit, or look sick and uncomfortable, or if there is any blood in any poo or vomit. If this happens then your animal needs to be seen by one of our vets. Puppies and kittens with diarrhoea should always be treated immediately as their bodies are much more fragile with far less reserves. If you are unsure whether your pet needs to be seen, it is always safest to have them checked out.