Diarrhoea (the production of ‘loose’ stools) can have many causes and vary in degree and seriousness. Examples include:
One of the commonest forms of diarrhoea we see and often occurs when there has been intestinal irritation and inflammation in response to the animal being given either a new type of food, incorrectly prepared food, a type of food that the gastro-intestinal tract may have problems dealing with e.g. Chili or bones, or a large amount of rich food. The diarrhoea is usually sudden onset and sometimes may be associated with vomiting. There may be a decrease in appetite but normally the animal remains bright and active.
Withholding food for a period of 12-24 hours. It is important however that water should be provided at all times ideally with some electrolyte mixture added (some animals do not like the taste and so should be given the option of plain water as well).
In very mild cases you may find a significant improvement with just starving the animal and it may be acceptable to start feeding again with a small amount of the animal’s normal diet, increasing the amount gradually if it appears that the diarrhoea has resolved.
In more serious cases you may need to provide a bland diet for several days to allow the intestines to recover from the inflammation. This diet can be provided either by the veterinary surgeon as prescription cans or kibble for ease of use, or you can prepare a bland diet at home e.g. steamed rice with steamed chicken or fish (remove all bones and skin).
When introducing a new diet do so gradually, mix a small amount of the new food in with the old food, gradually increasing the amount of new food over several days Try to avoid certain types of food/liquid that may trigger episodes of dietary diarrhoea, such as milk based products. Do not allow your pet to scavenge from the bin or steal ‘human food’. Ensure that your pet is dewormed regularly, fully vaccinated and maintain good levels of hygiene when caring for your pet.