Your dog can experience diarrhea because of many different conditions or diseases. It isn’t a disease unto itself, but simply a symptom of an underlying problem. If left untreated, diarrhea can lead to dehydration and eventually death. Keep reading to learn about five common causes of diarrhea in canines.


One of the first causes of diarrhea is an intestinal parasites known as giardia. Dogs can be infected with this parasite through contaminated water, food, or soil. Giardia can also be transmitted via direct contact. Many dogs that are infected won’t show any symptoms. When symptoms do appear, the main one is diarrhea, ranging from mild to severe.


The parvovirus, which usually affects younger canines, can also cause diarrhea. An infection prevents your dog from absorbing liquids and nutrients from the food he eats. This happens because the virus damages the intestinal lining. Most dogs die when infected with the parvovirus. It causes severe dehydration, bloody stool, and bad breath. Vaccination shots prevent this virus from affecting most adult dogs.


Another reason your dog may experience diarrhea is because of a worm infestation. Roundworms and hookworms cause the most problems. Roundworms are intestinal parasites that usually infect puppies. In addition to diarrhea, your dog will also have vomiting, poor growth, dull hair, and a pot-belly. These worms can cause a variety of problems if left untreated. Possible complications include pneumonia, intestinal obstruction, and death.

Dogs of any age can be infected with hookworms. These parasites begin sucking on blood after attaching to the lining of the intestinal tract. Puppies can even be infected before they’re born. If the hookworms are allowed to multiply unchecked, your dog may experience severe anemia.


Dogs can also suffer diarrhea because of distemper. This is an extremely serious disease that is highly contagious. The virus responsible for causing distemper infects the brain, intestinal tract, and upper respiratory tract. When the intestinal tract is affected, your dog will experience vomiting, dark diarrhea, coughing, and green discharge from the nose. In the final stages of the disease, the brain is affected. This causes dogs to experience seizures. In the rare case where the dog survives, he will be prone to various nervous system disorders such as seizures.


Eating certain foods can certainly lead to a case of diarrhea in canines. Eating human food is a common problem. Diarrhea may also develop if your dog’s diet changes suddenly. The good news is that diarrhea caused by food can usually be resolved within a day. It would be a good idea to withhold water to allow the digestive system to calm down. Plenty of fresh water should also be given.

All owners should know a little something about canine illnesses. Fortunately, provides a wealth of information on a range of these conditions. So, come by right now to become informed.

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