Originally Answered: My puppy is suddenly having diarrhea?
The vast majority of dog owners have experienced an animal’s unusual bowel movements, namely diarrhea. Although some causes of diarrhea are easily fixed, some cases require immediate medical attention.
Although diarrhea is more common in puppies than adults, irregular bowel movements in adult dogs need to be addressed as soon as they arise. When combined with other symptoms, diarrhea can be a sign of very serious problems, especially if it is ongoing.
Adult dogs, however, can experience occasional diarrhea. Common causes for occasional diarrhea in adult dogs include:
* Sudden changes in diet or food (can cause diarrhea for days)
* The dog chewed and ingested outside material such as grass and twigs
* Rich treats
* Change of owners
* New people or places that cause stress
* Irritable bowel syndrome (causes chronic diarrhea)
If the dog is always outside, he or she may have access to dropping of other animals. Besides keeping the dog fully vaccinated annually for disease, you should also deworm the dog every year as well. Annual dewormers kill intestinal parasites such as hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. All of these parasites can cause diarrhea if your dog has a severe infestation.
Puppies usually have worms and get regular doses of dewormer when they are young. Puppies that have a lot of worms in their intestines usually have a very swollen abdomen and bouts of diarrhea.
Beware of blood in the feces. Although blood can be a result of a irritated intestine and resolve on its own, bloody feces should always be addressed by a veterinarian immediately. Blood in diarrhea can be a sign of injury to the intestine, disease, parvovirus, or a high infestation of worms.
Keep your dog vaccinated annually with a DHPPV vaccine to keep him or her safe from parvovirus – a deadly virus that causes bloody diarrhea. You can also protect your dog by monitoring his or her rawhide intake and gradually switching to new foods over a long period of time (7-10 days).
Also, if your dog is prone to chewing, keep any small objects out of reach. Even ingesting spare change can result in severe diarrhea and an expensive surgical bill.
Always consult a veterinarian if you have questions or concerns regarding your dog’s health.
This information is not meant to be a substitute for veterinary care. Always follow the instructions provided by your veterinarian.
Canine Coronavirus (CCV) is the second leading viral cause of diarrhea in puppies with canine Parvovirus being the leader. Unlike Parvovirus, Coronavirus infections are not generally associated with high death rates. Canine Coronavirus is not new to the canine population; it has been known to exist for decades. Most domestic dogs, especially adults, have measurable Coronavirus antibody titers indicating that they were exposed to canine Coronavirus at some time in their life. Its importance as an infectious disease and killer of dogs has probably been overestimated by vaccine manufacturers and some veterinary authorities.
Canine Coronavirus is a single stranded RNA type of virus with a fatty protective coating. Because the virus is covered in a fatty membrane, it is relatively easily inactivated with detergent and solvent-type disinfectants. It is spread by virus shedding in the feces of infected dogs.
What are the symptoms?
The primary symptom associated with canine Coronavirus is diarrhea. As with most infectious diseases, young puppies are more affected than adults. Unlike Parvovirus, vomiting is not common. The diarrhea tends to be less profuse than that associated with Parvovirus infections. Although canine Coronavirus is generally thought of as a milder cause of diarrhea than Parvovirus, there is absolutely no way to differentiate the two without laboratory testing. Both Parvovirus and Coronavirus cause the same appearing diarrhea with an identical odor. The diarrhea associated with Coronavirus usually lasts several days with low mortality. To complicate the diagnosis, many puppies with a severe intestinal upset (enteritis) are affected by both Coronavirus and Parvovirus simultaneously. Mortality rates in puppies simultaneously infected may approach 90 percent.
What are the risks?
As previously stated, canine Coronavirus has been widespread among the canine population for many years. Many dogs, especially adults, are either naturally immune and not susceptible, or develop a very mild, oftentimes unnoticeable, case of the disease. Puppies less than twelve weeks of age are at the greatest risk and some especially weaker ones will die if exposed and infected. Most puppies, however, will recover after several days of mild to severe diarrhea.
What is the management?
As with canine Parvovirus, there is no specific treatment for canine Coronavirus. It is very important to keep the patient, especially puppies, from developing dehydration. Water must be force fe