By Dr. Sherry Weaver

Diarrhea is the frequent and repetitive passage of loose, watery stool. Your judgment regarding the health status of a pet with diarrhea is critical. Bloody diarrhea with severe straining may be an emergency especially for small dogs. Diarrhea along with vomiting can be signs of serious intestinal obstruction that may even need surgery. Weakness, pain, vomiting, or agitation are serious signs that the pet needs medical attention-not simply a little first aid!

A pet with diarrhea but with few other signs of distress may sometimes be treated at home, but the variables are so numerous that it is best to call your veterinarian regarding the situation. Always have a fecal sample checked in case worms or other parasites, such as giardia, are a factor. Chronic or frequent episodes of loose stool may be a sign of inflammatory bowel disease with often requires veterinary attention. Because diarrhea can turn deadly very fast, it is best to avoid first aid remedies and call your veterinarian for advice.

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