What can cause diarrhea in dogs? My dog has had a loose stool since being at a boarding facility.
Original Question: My dog went to doggy daycare and there was a gastrointestinal virus going around. He has not been there since Dec 11, 2018 but he was ill and I took him to the vet and got antibiotics for 5 days. His stool is still loose and I have just put him on probiotics for a day. Is this just a one-time thing? His stool was great before and I have him on IAMS puppy. Thanks. - Lynn
Thanks for your question.
Boarding facilities can be the source of many infectious diseases. Here are some possibilities, tests and points to consider:
- Intestinal parasites are common so I would recommend you perform a fecal test to identify if this is present. Be sure to ask that your veterinarian evaluate for Giardia which is the most common gastrointestinal parasite in an adult dog. There are many other parasites that frequently get diagnosed in puppies.
- Keep in mind that diarrhea can occur in a dog that is stressed. It would typically resolve on its own and given the treatment you performed it’s unlikely that it would persist but it could still be considered.
- It is always important to consider that the diarrhea may be due to an underlying condition that just happened to occur coincidentally during boarding. I recommend you have your veterinarian perform a thorough physical examination and consultation with you including some wellness diagnostics to make sure there are no indications of other underlying health concerns.
- Less likely would be a rare or resistant gastrointestinal bacterial infection. If symptoms don’t respond to regular treatment, you could consider performing a fecal culture to see if your dog encountered and contracted a bacterial infection that is unresponsive to the treatment that you have already tried.
- Be mindful that food alone is often considered by pet owners as a reason for diarrhea and you allude to that in your answer by mentioning the diet you have consistently used. If the boarding facility used a different food that your dog was sensitive to, then I would expect that it would resolve relatively quickly by returning your puppy to its regular diet and using the probiotics that you mention.
My best advice is to consider these points when you see your veterinarian about it.
I hope this helps.
Dr. Clayton Greenway
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