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Diarrhea

 

There are a number of things that can cause diarrhea in your pet. Diet, a food sensitivity, toxins, infections or other diseases are a few possible causes. Diarrhea can quickly lead to dehydration, especially in kittens and puppies. See our page on treating dehydration.

Food - We have had cats and dogs who's diarrhea went away when we found the right food. For them, the only treatment that worked when all other treatments and medications failed was the switch to Wysong pet foods. For more information, read our page on nutrition.

Toxins - Chemical cleaners and certain plants can cause diarrhea in animals. We avoid all chemical cleaners (go to our page on cleaning to see what we use) and don't have plants in the house (even the non-poisonous plants just get eaten around here). The ASPCA has a list of toxic and non-toxic plants for reference.

Treatments

Slippery Elm - powder of the bark from the slippery elm tree contains mucilage. When it is mixed with water, it becomes gel-like and is great for soothing and coating the digestive system. This treatment works best for diarrhea caused by diseases such as kidney or liver disease, irritable bowel, or hyperthyroidism. 1/4 teaspoon of powder can be given for every 10 lbs pounds of body weight per day. It can be broken up into 2 doses to be given in the morning and night. Mix the powder with a small amount of water and give it by syringe or mix into canned food.

Metronidazole - prescription medication. It is both an antibiotic and antiprotozoal, and it reduces inflammation. Metronidazole has been our best treatment option for pets who may have parasites or other digestive system infections. We have needed it several times for kittens who came from poor conditions and had chronic diarrhea. It is a bad tasting medicine, so it can be difficult to give. It comes in a tablet form, although your vet can make it into a liquid suspension. The form depends on the preference of the animal. We have had cats that take it better when we put it in a syringe and squirt it in their mouths. Others will drool it right back out, and respond better to the pills (We use the 250 mg tablets and cut them into quarters for the correct dose for an average size cat).

Probiotics - rebuild the beneficial bacteria in the digestive system. Sometimes, the probiotics will work on their own, or they can be given in conjunction with the antibiotic, Metronidazole. A good probiotic for pets is Wysong's Pet Inoculant. It replenishes the good bacteria that is lost through illness or antibiotics. Give probiotics and antibiotics at separate times of the day to let each one do their job.