Michael Goldberg, DVM, CHom
Pet diarrhea is not exactly dinner conversation, but itâ??s so common that it needs to be addressed. If your pet is very lethargic, there may be something serious going on.
Pet diarrhea is not exactly dinner conversation, but it’s so common that it needs to be addressed.
If your pet is very lethargic, there may be something serious going on. If there is no response to home treatment, seek the advice of a veterinarian. Let common sense prevail.
If there is constant straining for periods longer than a few minutes, there may be an obstruction. If there is a large amount of watery diarrhea, then your pet may be dehydrated.
Diarrhea is usually the body trying to rid itself of unwanted material (toxins or parasites). The more chronic diarrheas are often food intolerances or stress related. A weakened immune system may also be the culprit.
The first thing I usually recommend is to fast the pet for 24 hours to see if the diarrhea will stop or firm up a bit. Then follow with a very bland diet of boiled meat (usually chicken) with boiled rice. Slippery elm can be used as well. Boil a teaspoon in a cup of water then turn the heat down and stir until it is thickened. Let it cool, then add honey. Give a teaspoon to small dogs and cats and four tablespoons to giant breed dogs. Repeat up to four times daily. Other useful ideas are to give a pinch of acidophilus and/or another probiotic (which aids in recolonizing of the good bacteria) for about 10 days.
Arsenicum album: is good for diarrhea that may be due to food poisoning in which there is restlessness and chilliness. The diarrhea is often very smelly, like that of rotten meat. These pets also feel better in the heat. The remedy is especially useful when there is diarrhea accompanied by vomiting.
China officionalis: good when there is feverishness alternating with chill and there is weakness with the diarrhea from loss of fluids.
Colocynthesis: useful when there are cramps associated with the diarrhea. These may be noted when the pet must curl up in order to be comfortable (the cramps are better when legs are bent upwards). This is also useful when only a small amount of food will cause the diarrhea.
Mercurius: these pets are usually shifting from colder to warmer areas, as temperature extremes are difficult to endure. There is also a lot of straining and there is usually mucous associated with the diarrhea. They are commonly irritable as well.
Nux vomica: for the effects of using a lot of drugs. There is usually a strong urge to eliminate. The causative factor is commonly getting into garbage or overindulgence. There may be thirst and irritability as well.
Phosphorus: useful for sudden, forceful diarrhea. The pet is usually thirsty for cold water.
Podophyllum: useful when the diarrhea is gushing and forceful. Commonly there is mucous in the diarrhea.
Pulsatilla: for diarrhea which changes every time there is a bowel movement. The pet is whiny and clingy and feel better when in the fresh air.
I usually use 30C or 200C for an acute problem. As a general rule, you can repeat the remedy as frequently as every 10-20 minutes if it is a very sudden onset. If the pet is comfortable then use it every few hours, for a total of three doses unless there is dramatic improvement after one dose (then I stop). If there is no improvement after three consecutive doses I usually try a different remedy.