Causes of Persistant Loose Stools in Dogs

James Glover
by James Glover
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QuestionWe have adopted a 4 year-old Labrador Retriever who had been in 3 homes previously and so was unsettled, but now he is quite relaxed and happy. The only problem he has is that he has very loose stools when he goes toilet in the mornings, we were told this could be because of the upheaval of moving and would settle but he has been here 3 weeks now and there is no improvement, can you please advise if there is anything we should give him to help with this. (Carol Holmes - United Kingdom)

Answer

In cases of extremely loose stools or diarrhea that does not go away within 1 to 2 days, or blood or mucus is present, a dog should be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. Your dog does not seem to be suffering from severe diarrhea and seems to be otherwise functioning normally and has not lost weight, but 3 weeks is a long time to be suffering from this complaint and there is a real risk that your dog will become dehydrated and therefore suffer from secondary complications. While it is quite normal for dogs who suffer from anxiety or a change in accommodation to suffer from mild loose stools, it is unlikely that this would last for 3 weeks. I would therefore recommend that you visit your veterinarian for a thorough examination.

The most common medical causes of diarrhea in dogs are coccidiosis and giardiasis. Both of these ailments are caused by protozoan parasites that live in the intestinal tract. Most dogs become immune to coccidiosis with age, and giardiasis is normally contracted by ingesting infected food or water. Because giardiasis can block the absorption of nutriets from the intestines, it is important to have this checked for.

Disclaimer: This service is meant to provide advice only and is not meant to replace an appointment with a registered veterinarian. Users should always seek a second opinion. Unfortunately we are only able to answer several questions per week so not everyone gets a published answer. And, unfortunately we can't answer by email.
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jodiehunt
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Added on July 7th, 2011
My old dog suffers the same,she is 15 1/2 yrs she is incontinent,blind in 1 eye and 50% blind in the other,she cant get up withuot help,takes 10 mins to lay because she has difficulty holding herself up to sit she colapses,she limps on her front legs the vet we see keeps giving he tablets foe a cyst in her bowel which re occurs and a cyst in her blind eye.She fogets where she is and loses direction and walks with a robotic gate and very slow,we dont know what to do???