As a pet owner most of us at some point in time are faced with dealing with our dogs having the occasional bout of diarrhea. Most of the time it happens upon us by surprise. Well hopefully it doesn’t happen upon you, but at least it happens in your general vicinity.
So what do you do when one of your dogs presents with diarrhea?
Well, I can only speak for myself so here’s my DDP, Dog Diarrhea Protocol.
1. Find out who done it. If you have more than one dog and you didn’t see any of them do it. Keep a close eye on all of them. Each of my dogs have the own designated area in the yard where they poop so if I see a pile of diarrhea in the left corner of the yard it’s pretty safe to say that’s it’s Leroy. He’s the only one who poops in the left corner of the yard.
2. What does it look like? Of course it looks gross, but how gross? Is it soft like pudding or watery? Is there blood or mucus in it? Is there a foreign body in it, say like rocks or acorns? How much is there of it? Is it a small amount like your dog might be straining or is there a large amount?
3. Take inventory. What did your dog eat in the last few days? Any new treats? Did you add anything new into their food like leftover pot roast? Did you give him bacon left over from breakfast? Come on, be honest.
4. Know how the dog is feeling. Are the acting like normal or are they sluggish? Do they have an appetite or are they refusing to eat? Have they vomited?
Asking myself those 4 simple questions can sometimes keep me from making an unnecessary trip to the vet office.
Take the other day for example when I needed to use my DDP when I got a call from my husband at work.
“Leroy has diarrhea.” he said.
“Well hello to you too.” I responded.
“He had diarrhea all over the basement and the wall and the bar stool.” he said with a sad voice.
“How do you know it was Leroy.” I asked
“I saw him do it.” my husband replied.
“Gross, you watched him?”I giggled.
“No. He started dancing around the basement and by the time I got down there it was too late.” he said, again very sadly and maybe a little testy.
“That sucks. Do I need to come home and clean it up?” I asked sympathetically.
“I cleaned it up. It smelled horrid, I had to clean it. I need to know if I should feed him dinner.” he said.
Long pause from me as I was trying to think of why Leroy would have blow out diarrhea.
“Were there rocks in it?” I finally said.
“No, but I didn’t examine it like you do. It was probably from the giblets you gave him last night.”my very smart husband said.
“Oh! Yeah! Good call honey! No, don’t feed him.”
“He’s acting fine.” my husband said as if he was reading my mind.
Confirmed. Leroy had diarrhea. No foreign bodies seen. No blood seen. Acting fine.
Giblets are the enemy.
Leroy has a sensitive stomach when I give him out of the norm things. If I switch up his dinner like adding in some turkey or giblets in this case, it doesn’t always agree with him, which I find odd because his stomach handles rocks and batteries just fine.
Anyway, if Leroy gets diarrhea I take the reactive approach and follow normal DDP and……
Withhold food for 12-24 hours, then feed a bland diet until normal, formed stool returns. If I notice that the stool does not improve or if there is blood in the stool, if he starts to act lethargic, vomits or is not interested in eating, then that warrants a trip into the vet.
After 2 days the diarrhea cleared up and all was good. Being aware and having a protocol in effect for certain situations like this can make life a little easier, don’t you agree?
That’s my DDP, what’s yours?