Diarrhea or loose stool is a very common ailment in dogs (less common in cats).
Causes for diarrhea can range from mild issues such as stress, diet changes, or intestinal parasites to more major issues such as inflammatory bowel disease, bacterial infection, or a symptom of disease in another organ in the body
Many times diarrhea, whatever the cause, occurs due to inflammation of the bowel that causes leakage of fluid out of the intestinal wall.
What Does It Look Like?
Diarrhea can range from soft stool that is like soft serve frozen yogurt to completely liquid.
The stool can also have mucous or even blood present
While blood in the stool is concerning for pet owners, it is commonly seen and usually due to mild-moderate inflammation in the bowel.
Dark or black stool can be a sign of more concerning bleeding in the intestinal tract.
What Do You Do?
As long a your pet is still eating and drinking with no vomiting, diarrhea can often be treated at home.
The initial strategy for addressing diarrhea in pets is to increase fiber content. This can be accomplished by adding canned pumpkin to the food (available in the baking aisle of your grocery store near the pie filler).
Another at home treatment option is to add a probiotic to the food.
Seek veterinary care If diarrhea does not resolve within a couple of days or there is any blood or dark stool.