Maxwell poopin'

What Canine Stools Tell You About Diarrhea

By isak, June 10, 2009

Maxwell poopin'Diarrhea is the passage of loose, unformed stools generally occurring in more frequent bowel movements. It is the most common sign of an intestinal disease.

Diarrhea can be classified as acute or chronic, depending on its duration. Acute diarrhea comes on suddenly and is finished in a short period. Chronic diarrhea often comes on gradually and persists for three weeks or longer, or has an episodic pattern of recurrence.

Chronic diarrhea requires veterinary investigation.

Food in the small intestine takes about 8 hours to reach the colon. During that time, the bulk of the food and 80 percent of the water is absorbed. The colon concentrates the remainder. In the end, a well-formed stool is evacuated.

Transit time in the intestinal tract can be speeded up for a variety of reasons resulting in a large, loose, unformed bowel movement. This accounts for the majority of acute diarrheas of short duration.

To determine the cause of the diarrhea, it’s impoprtant to decide where the disease is located: small intestine or colon. This is done by examining the color, consistency, odor and frequency of the stools, as well as the condition of the dog:


  • Yellow or greenish stool — indicates rapid transit (small bowel)
  • Black, tarry stool — indicated bleeding in the upper digestive tract
  • Bloody stool — red blood or clots indicate bleeding in the colon
  • Pasty, light-colored stool — indicates lack of bile (liver disease)
  • Large, grey, rancid-smelling stool — indicates inadequate digestion or absorption (malabsorption syndrome).


  • Watery stool — indicates small bowel wall irritation (toxins and severe infections)
  • Foamy stool — suggests a bacterial infection
  • Greasy stool — often with oil on the hair around the anus: indicates malabsorption
  • Excessive mucus — a glistening or jellylike appearance; indicates colonic origin.

ODOR (the more watery the stool, the greater the odor)

  • Foodlike, or smelling like sour milk — suggests rapid transit and malabsorption: for example, overfeeding, especially in puppies
  • Putrid smelling — suggests an intestinal infection.


  • Several in an hour, each small, with straining — suggests colitis (inflammation of the large bowel)
  • Three or four times a day, each large — suggests a malabsorption or small bowel disorder


  • Weight loss, malnutrition — suggests small bowel disorder
  • Normal appetite, minimal weight loss — suggests large bowel disorder
  • Vomiting — small bowel origin, except for colitis

Common Causes of Diarrhea
Intestinal parasites are a common cause of acute and chronic diarrhea in puppies and adults. The greatest problems are caused by roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, threadworms, and giardia.

Most cases are caused by an irritation of the bowel lining from ingested substances or infections agents — in other words, something they ate. Any change in your dog’s diet could be the trigger: unfamiliar water; intolerance to certain foods like beef, pork, chicken, horsemeat, fish, eggs, spices, corn, wheat, soy, gravies, salts, spices, fats, and some commercial dog foods; excitement or emotional upset.

Dogs are scavengers and sometimes tend to eat things they can’t digest like:

  • dead animals, rodents and birds
  • garbage and decayed food
  • rich foods, table scraps, gravies, salts, spices and fats
  • sticks, cloth, grass, paper, etc.
  • parts of flea collars

Toxic substances causing diarrhea include:

  • gasoline, kerosene, oil or coal tar derivatives
  • cleaning fluid, refrigerants
  • insecticides
  • bleaches, often in toilet bowls
  • wild or ornamental plants, toadstools
  • building materials: cement, lime, paints, caulks
  • fireworks containing phosphorus

Many of these are equally as irritating to the stomach and will cause vomiting.

Diarrhea is a symptom. The first step in treating it is to identify and remove the underlying cause, if possible. If the diarrhea is caused by overeating, cut back the food intake and feed 2-3 times a day in controlled portions. If unfamiliar water is the problem, carry an extra supply with you. In the case where irritating or toxic substances have been ingested, an effort should be made to identify the agent as specific antidotes may be required.

Food allergies can be cleared up by removing the problem food. Sometimes changing a dog’s food can trigger diarrhea. The new food should be introduced slowly over a couple weeks to avoid this kind of diarrhea.

Most cases of diarrhea can be treated at home:

  1. Withhold all food for 24-48 hours. If your dog appears thirsty, give a small amount of water or ice cubes to lick.
  2. Administer lomotil at a dose of one tablet per 25 lbs of dog, three times a day. Or Kaopectate at 1/2 – 1 tsp per 5 lb, to a maximum of 2 Tbsp every 8 hours. Or Pepto-Bismal at 0.5 ml per lb or 1/2-1 tsp per 5 lb, to a maximum of 30 ml or 2 Tbsp.
  3. As the dog starts to respond, feed an easily digested diet that contains no fats:
    • boiled hamburger (1- to 2-parts cooked rice; discard the broth)
    • cottage cheese
    • cooked macaroni or soft-boiled aggs

    Prescription diets are available from your vet.

  4. Continue the bland diet for three days, even if your dog seems better.

A diarrhea that persists for more than 24 hours, a bloody diarrhea and diarrhea accompanied by vomiting, fever and other signs of toxicity should be checked out by your vet immediately.

Source: Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook


  1. Malone says:

    Brought home an 7-8 yr old lab almost 2 wks ago. Yesterday while I was at work, family said he never pooped, having stinky gas. He finally pooped for me (after 8pm) and it was several piles of soft then liquid yellow in color. (I’m surprised he kept it in until I got home.) Lots of stinky gas. Gave him plain rice. I decided no dog food today. This morning around 5 I took him out and he’s still having the liquid running out kind of poop. Oh, I said yellow but the Wellness food is kind of yellow. I’m worried… Thank you for reading this!

    • isak says:

      Is he still eating, drinking and active? Could it be the change in his diet? Is Wellness food what he was eating before? Also, given his young age, could he have eaten something when no one was watching that is disagreeing with him? Because he is not vomiting, it seems more like a change of diet.

      Has he recently been de-wormed or vaccinated? That can sometimes affect them.

      The yellow color could be the Wellness food and/or digestive acids. You can add some plain yogurt or sprinkle some acidophyllus (sold in capsules you can open where vitamins are sold) on his food. This puts good bacteria into his gut and should help even things out.

      You can also give him a spoonful of plain pumpkin. This should firm up his bowel movements, too.

      If the situation doesn’t straighten out in a 2-3 days, then you should have him checked out with your vet.

  2. James says:

    Hi I have a 15 week old puppy who started to vomit a couple of days ago which has since stopped. However this then went into her having quite loose stools which have a bloody, greasy substance in with them. I’m not really sure what to do about it?

    • isak says:

      Sounds like she may have swallowed something that is not agreeing with her — first the vomit, now the diarrhea.

      The mucous naturally occurs inside their digestive system to protect the walls from digestive acid, however it’s not always obvious like you are seeing.

      How is her energy level? Is she eating? From what you describe, I think this will run it’s course, however you can add some plain yogurt or sprinkle some powdered acidophyllus (available where vitamins are sold) on her food. This will put good bacteria back in her stomach.

      The blood may be just because of the upset, but it might also indicate worms. Has she been de-wormed yet?

  3. Tracy says:

    Hi! I have a 13 week old Sport Retriever who we got about 3 weeks ago. Since we have gotten him, he has had loose stools. We have taken him to the vet, where he negatively tested for worms. She put him on a probiotic for 10 days, Metronidazole for 7 and a prescription wet canned food diet for as long as needed. He finished the medication, and was doing well on just the canned food diet (stools almost normal but smelled like the wet food). We were told to try to slowly transition him back onto the puppy chow his breeder gave him, but his stools became more loose and smellier as the percentages increased (only made it to 40% – 4 days). We put him back onto the prescription wet food, but did not want to have to pay for this forever. The vet suggested boiled chicken and rice in the short term as we transitioned him to another puppy chow. Unfortunately, she would not recommend a particular type of food which I find frustrating. We are up to 40% new puppy chow/ 60% boiled chicken and rice, and the puppy is starting to get a little looser and very light brown stools (does not smell bad like the last puppy chow). Nothing is watery, formed but very soft, but I am torn on what to do. Back to square 1? If this is a food intolerance, how will we ever find the right brand, or will he be stuck to a lifetime of prescription food? Could he have another problem? I feel like he has been to the vet enough in his first few weeks here, and would love to get past this so we can all enjoy his puppyhood with him. By the way, he is gaining weight and is energetic. Also, could this be a case of overfeeding? It is hard to manage all the percentages (especially with conflicting instruction on the chicken and rice) and puppy chow. I see another vet visit for him in the very near future. I want to head in the right direction, but I am not sure that we are headed that way now.

    • isak says:

      Having fun yet? :)

      Too much food can cause loose stools. However so can an intolerance/allergy to something in his food. Some dogs don’t do well on food that contains corn or other grains, so you might try something that is grain-free. You can also add some pumpkin — about a tablespoon full — to his food to help bulk up his stools a bit.

      As for finding the right food… some companies offer small bags (like a couple servings) of food for you to try. Sadly, it may be a matter of trial and error, but I would go outside the ones that contain grains. There are also some brands for sensitive stomachs. That may help.

      Good luck. Things will get better.

  4. Ash says:

    Sounds like EPI — Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency — my baby girl Bella a 11 month old German shepherd had the same issues. Check out a web site called google it. The information is invaluable and the people in the forums will save your sanity.

  5. Shannon says:

    Hello. My 4 1/2 month old daschund has been pooping slimy light brown/yellow stool, and the he drags his bottom across the grass. He only eats Science diet kibble. We recently changed from small bites to regular. He also only drinks bottled water. We try to monitor everything he plays with and chews. Is this something that will pass, or should we go back to the small bites?

    • isak says:

      Scooting his but generally is a way that dogs express their anal glands. This generally happens when the poop, but sometimes if their stool is not firm enough, the glands do not express. Scooting can also be a sign of worms. Has he been wormed recently? DO you have any flea problems? If he ingests a flea — by biting an itch — it can lead to tapeworms.

      If it is food related, it should pass. You can add a little acidophyllus (comes in capsules where vitamins are sold) or some plain yogurt. Or even some other form of probiotic. This will add good bacteria to his gut and help with digestion.

  6. sarah deleon says:

    I have a one year old female terrier mix. We just got back from visiting my family in Los Angeles a few days ago and she has been fine. I took her outside to go to the bathroom and noticed that she pooped normally and then a maroon liquid followed right after. I took her out about 10 minutes later and this time it was just the maroon liquid. This is the first time that this has happened and I am unsure of what to do.

    Also, my brother just got a 2 month pit bull puppy that only has one set of shots, could this be a reason for my dog to be having these maroon liquid poops?

    • isak says:

      The poop could be maroon because of the presence of blood in the stool. If the poop is very soft, you could give her a mix of plain pumpkin and plain yogurt to try and firm it up, but you should monitor it to see if the color changes to a normal color.

      At one year of age, could she have gotten into something she shouldn’t have? Is she eating and drinking okay? Is she active?

      If it does not improve in the next day or two, you should have your vet check a sample of her stool.

  7. Kayla says:

    My 3 year old Yorkie recently returned from three days of boarding with her regular vet. Since she’s been back she’s been lethargic and passing unformed stool– the stool is brownish yellow with an oily appearance. She’s passing the stool in two parts, the first part is more formed, the second part is very watery and oily. I’ve also noticed she’s trying to vomit but unfortunately nothing comes up instead she’s left with a choking/ hacking cough. After the choking session, her saliva has a very strong foul odor, foul odors are a never with my pup. I’m bringing her to the vet in the morning, but wondering if someone has experienced similar symptoms with their pup and able to give some insight.

    • isak says:

      Sorry we missed your comment. Can you tell us what your vet determined was the problem and what actions they took? It may help someone else in a similar situation.

  8. Kameko says:

    I have a litter of 3 week old puppies. Last night one of them started vomiting up what looked like curdled milk. We have been keeping an eye on him and it seemed to only happen after he ate. Otherwise he is happy and plays with his siblings. Then today he had dark green mucus like stool. And one of his sibling was dry heaving. They both are still happy and playful just like the others. The mother still cleans them and feeds them just fine. We are worried because of the vomiting mostly. But it is only a small amount after he eats. Do you have any idea what could be wrong? I have been looking everywhere. My friend is a vet and I asked him what could be wrong but he wasn’t sure.

    • isak says:

      It’s hard to say. The good temperament is a good sign. The vomit that looks like curdled milk makes sense because all he has had is his mother’s milk. Given his young age, do you think he could have eaten something when you weren’t looking? If so, the vomiting and the green stool should pass. The dry heaves as well.

      At this point, be sure they are fed, peeing and pooping, and happy. If the vomiting, strange stools and dry heaves continue for more than a few days, a visit to the vet may be in order. In the meanwhile, monitor them.

      Babies… they are so much fun to watch! Even when they are asleep.

  9. Megan says:

    Hey I have a 6year old female boxer mix. She has been house trained since about 6 months old and has all of a sudden began having accidents in the house. Her poops are very pudding like and smell horrible! Should I be concerned?

    • isak says:

      Are the accidents always poop? How long have they been occurring? If just a couple days, she may have ingested something that is disagreeing with her. You can mix some plain yogurt with plain canned pumpkin. This will add some good bacteria to her gut and some fiber to bulk up her stools. If things don’t change, you may need to see your vet.

  10. Sochil says:

    My puppy is about 9 weeks old. I recently changed her food to simply nourish salmon with sweet potato puppy formula. She was doing fine with it for almost a week and started with diarrhea. It started off dark colored and liquidy; and now it’s like a greenish yellow color and kind of mucus like. Not sure if I should be worried. She has an appointment on Tuesday not sure if I should rush it or wait till then.

    • isak says:

      Mucus exists in a dog’s stomach to coat it from digestive acids. Sounds like an upset stomach. The cause could be the food change. Or maybe she ate something when no one was looking. Or perhaps even worms (have you dewormed her?).

      It sounds like it is improving. You could give her some plain canned pumpkin and/or plain yogurt. The pumpkin will add fiber so her stools start to bulk up. The yogurt will add good bacteria back into her gut. You can also feed her boiled chicken mixed with cooked white rice.

      Is she drinking okay? With diarrhea, you want to be sure she is drinking water so she doesn’t dehydrate herself.

  11. Snow says:

    I have a 6 week old puppy that I have been bottle feeding(goats milk) since she was a day old because her momma died(from birthing complications). She has been eating great and doing well but 2 days ago she started having runny diarrhea. I have boiled chicken and rice and feed her the broth and also some boiled egg. She is still in a good mood, playful and acting normal other than that. What could be wrong? What else can I try?

    • isak says:

      Congrats on all your work for this little baby! Given her young and curious age, is it possible that she ate something you did not see?

      You can add some plain yogurt or sprinkle some acidophyllus (capsules can be bought where vitamins are sold) on her food to add good bacteria into her stomach. You can also give her plain pumpkin — no spices: 1/2 – 1 tablespoon.

      You can make a mash of yogurt and pumpkin as follows:
      Mix up 2 tablespoons of plain live cultured yogurt with ¼ can pureed pumpkin (again, pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling.) Feed this in place of a regular meal, slowly introducing regular food over the course of several days.

      Has she been dewormed yet? It’s quite common for puppies to have worms and if left unchecked, they can cause diarrhea.

  12. Jason says:

    Hello, I have a 3yr old brindle Lab/Boxer/Australian shepherd mix. A couple days ago we were taking a walk and he produced a large peanut butter pudding poop. I didn’t think much of it because sometimes when we are walking he does a poop like that and then everything is normal. But that same night or next morning at 4am he woke me up because he had to go out. So I took him out and he did about 3 small poops of the same sort. Before I went to work I gave him a little of his normal lamb and rice food and then about 4hrs later I came home and gave him a plain egg that I had cooked up. He only did a small pudding poop that day and that was about it. For dinner I boiled up some rice and mixed it with cottage cheese. This morning he went out at about 6am and did a pretty big poop that was mostly a yellow gelatinous mucous with a little brown in it. I fed him the same rice and cottage cheese mixture for breakfast as well. He hasn’t shown any signs if pain or lethargy, he still wants to play and go outside and chase the squirrels. He still has his normal appetite and drools over peanut butter and yogurt. Is his change in poop a cause for concern? If this keeps up, how long should I wait before consulting my vet?


  13. Jason says:

    I have a 3yr old lab/boxer/Australian shepherd mix. A couple of days ago I was walking him and he did a large peanut butter pudding poop. That night he woke me up at about 4am and had to go out, so I took him out and he did about 3 smaller poops of the same. Yesterday he only did about 2 small peanut butter pudding poops and that was it. This morning he did a pretty good size poop but it was mostly yellow/clear gelatinous with mucous and a little brown. His last 3 meals have been boiled rice with cottage cheese and yesterday morning I gave him an egg. He hasn’t shown any signs of fatigue or pain. He wants to play and go outside and run around still and has been barking and going crazy at the squirrels like he normally does. He has been hungry and let’s me know when it’s his usual dinner time and still drools over peanut butter and yogurt. Is it a cause for concern that his poop has changed from pudding to more mucous and if this keeps up how long should I wait before going to the vet?


    • isak says:

      The digestive tract is naturally coated with mucous and I think this is what you are seeing. It is likely in a larger quantity because of the recent bout of “pudding.” You might add some plain yogurt or sprinkle some acidophyllus powder (comes in capsules you can break open, available where vitamins are sold) on his food to add good bacteria back into his stomach. Given that his activity level is normal and he is eating and drinking water, I think you are fine to monitor him for a couple more days. His poop should start to firm up. If this changes and his energy level drops, and he doesn’t eat and his poop goes back to pudding, then a visit to the vet would be a good idea.

  14. emilieedward says:

    My pup is 11 year old poodle, she’s been having this runny like yellowish poop for 3 days now, before that, she had diarrhea with some kind of tarry colored like some kind of rotten that was in it. Been giving her pepto-bismol and it turned yellowish, she’s still her old self though, eats and drinks, she only putty one time a day… I hope it has nothing to do with her pancreas coz she had pancreas problem before. I don’t know why she’s suddenly like that, I’ve been feeding her that pedigree, wagon train chicken treats and sometimes milk bones. Has anybody ever had this problem before, any idea what this is? Thanks in advance.

    • isak says:

      You might add some plain yogurt or sprinkle some acidophyllus (comes in capsules you can break open) on her food to add good bacteria back into her stomach. For the diarrhea, you could add a bit of plain pumpkin (no spices) to her food. If this doesn’t produce any change, you may want to have your vet check her out.

  15. Skylar says:

    Hello! I’ve been reading everywhere on trying to help my poor pup out and anything I’ve tried isn’t helping him. Thanksgiving day his stools became loose,then as the day went on they became more watery & he developed diarrhea. He was eating and drinking just fine,no change in his attitude. Later that night I found that one or both or my pups tore apart my mop that had been used..Yesterday his stools became more loose as if he was peeing. The color was normal. Last night he threw up dog food so he was eating. I left a little water out for him and took the food away. He didn’t seem to drink any over night. Now tonight he threw up and it was a light color like he didn’t eat anything all day(I did see him drink some water) so I boiled some rice and tried giving it to him.. Didn’t touch it. I gave him chicken noodle soup and downed it. About an hour ago he had an accident and his stools were light colored like dirty water and was loose like water and the smell was foul. Vet said last night to see if he’d keep anything down for 24 hours before taking him in…

    • isak says:

      What kind of mop? The sponge kind or the string kind? The thing to be watching for is if the mop gets stuck or slows down along it’s path through his stomach. In the beginning, it could allow liquid past it, but could begin to block his butt until he seems mostly constipated. If it’s the sponge kind, this may be easier to pass. With a stomach/intestinal obstruction, a dog will not feel much like eating. They seem to feel full, and can actually lose weight. You might try a bit of oil on a piece of bread to grease his tract.

      The vet may want to X-ray his intestinal tract to be sure the mop is moving and not stuck. Often, it can be a “wait and see if it passes” situation, but it will need to be monitored.

      My 35-lb dog ate a whole sock. It took a couple weeks to pass and he lost a couple pounds before it finally poked out his butt and I could help him ease it out.

  16. Jamia says:

    Yesterday my dog started pooping a runny tarry stool. She never has accidents in the house but this morning I woke up to accidents everywhere. She’s not eating. Hasn’t ate since Wednesday after she came home from the groomer but she is drinking water. On Wednesday her stool was formed and regular. Also, on Thursday morning. She is still barking and her pattern hasn’t changed. It’s just no eating and this dark runny stool. Almost like a burgundy color. She is a 6 year old Yorkie Poodle mix. Please help until I can get her to the vet on Monday.

    • isak says:

      The “tarry” color could be blood in her stool. Is it possible that going to the groomer stresses her or does she like it? Or maybe she ate something somewhere that doesn’t agree with her.

      If she is not eating, then I would guess her stomach is upset. You might try Pepto-Bismal at 0.5 ml per lb or 1/2-1 tsp per 5 lb, to a maximum of 30 ml or 2 Tbsp. This will coat her stomach. Do you have an oral syringe you can use to administer it? She is drinking water, so that is good.

  17. Glen Littell says:

    Good morning! I have a 11yr old rescue dog. She is part poodle and the rest is unknown. Her stool yesterday was watery, butterscotch in color and toward the end of the bowel movement there was a small amount of mucus and red blood.

    Today the same color and texture but no mucus or blood. She does not appear to be in any discomfort and still plays with our other dogs. Still eating and drinking normally. She is an “inside” dog but has access to a doggie door. We have a grass backyard. We feed her normal dried dog food.

    This morning I gave her a small piece of white turkey meat, no skin and snuck in an antibiotic; Amoxicillin.

    Not sure what else to do for her and any advice or guidance would be deeply appreciated.

    • isak says:

      While the mucous and blood in your dog’s stool can be an indicator of an underlying problem, usually, you need not worry about seeing a small amount in your pet’s stool. Dog stool normally contains some mucus — a slime-like substance made by the intestines to keep the lining of the colon lubricated and moist. And given your dog’s current happy attitude — eating, drinking and active — I’d say you can just watch it for now.

      But if you notice an excessive amount of mucus in the stool, or if it is accompanied with blood or a radical change in your dog’s bowel movements, visit your vet.

      Antibiotics generally kill all the bacteria in her gut. This includes the good bacteria as well and sometimes this will lead to soft stools. So you might give her some plain yogurt or sprinkle some acidophyllus on her food. It can be purchased in capsules where vitamins are sold. This will restore good bacteria.

  18. camille says:

    uhm hi. i have a 3 month old chihuahua pup and last night her poo was yellow. can someone tell me what’s the problem? i’m a little nervous cause its my first time taking care of a pup. ps her food is rice & sometimes i mix it with a small amount of soup. any advice with the food i give her? thank you so much!

    • isak says:

      Do you have her on regular puppy food or do you feed her just rice and sometimes soup? It would be best to feed her puppy food on a regular basis so her system can adjust to it. Also, as a puppy, she needs a puppy food for the extra nutrition it provides because she is young and growing. It’s not unusual for a dog to have a soft poop now and then. It is a problem if it persists.

      I think it would be good to get her on some puppy food. If you feed her kibble, wet it first and let it sit for a bit to soften the food. Good luck.

  19. Mario says:

    Hello, my little prissy has had diarrhea for a day now. Originally it was yellowy-brownish and foul smelling (she let loose on my face and sheets the other night while I was asleep). I immediately changed her diet to rice and water, the issue now is that her diarrhea is yellow and full of partially undigested rice. Please help!

    • isak says:

      Not the best way to wake up.

      This is a dog, right? If so, have you tried administering lomotil at a dose of one tablet per 25 lbs of dog, three times a day. Or Kaopectate at 1/2 – 1 tsp per 5 lb, to a maximum of 2 Tbsp every 8 hours. Or Pepto-Bismal at 0.5 ml per lb or 1/2-1 tsp per 5 lb, to a maximum of 30 ml or 2 Tbsp.

      Also sprinkling some acidophyllus on her food will boast the good bacteria in her stomach to combat what ails her. Acidophyllus comes in capsules that you can pull apart and is sold generally where vitamins are sold.

  20. Katy says:

    Hey there, I have a 5 month old lab/hound puppy mix. It’s 3am and he just started having this runny green diarrhea, that smells absolutely terrible. He went and pooped allllll over the whole house with this green, foul smelling diarrhea. We put him outside now. I’m not sure what the problem could be. Please help me.

    • isak says:

      One common cause of green diarrhea is a parasite called giardia. It lives in open groundwater, such as creeks, ponds and puddles. Giardia is common in rural areas where there are many mammals sharing space. White tail deer are carriers, as are coyotes, wolves, rabbits, raccoons and any mammals that share a groundwater source.

      If your dog’s stool is bright green or neon green, the dog may have eaten rodent poison, or a rodent that had eaten the poison. The consistency of diarrhea from giardia is often like pea soup. A flare-up is usually accompanied by abdominal pain, tenderness and gas, and will often progress to blood and mucous in the stool. A single fecal sample may not show any cysts, and samples need to be taken for two to three days to get an accurate check.

      The medication given for giardia is metronidazole. It kills down the population during a flare-up, and it seems to boost the dog’s immune system.

  21. jeni says:

    My 9 year old lab has had diarrhea for the last 22 hours.(I was out from 9am-2pm and it started during that time). He never has accidents, and he went near the door. It reeked. Was completely liquid with little white specs (not worms) yesterday, also a little blood. I first thought it was vomit. He got up every 1 hr 20 minutes to go all night. It has gotten a little more solid today. He is alert and hungry. I made him rice with chicken for breakfast, but he just passed some of it (orange and rice consistency) with some blood. I don’t know how long to wait to go to the vet. He is sleeping now, but that’s normal for him. I have another dog and she is fine and symptom free. He always eats things he shouldn’t, like socks and paper towels.

    • isak says:

      A little blood can be normal when their digestive tract is in stress like this. You could give him some acidophyllus or even some plain yogurt to add good bacteria back into his gut. Plain pumpkin can help firm his stools, too.

  22. Carmen says:

    My 10.5 yr old Rott has had diarrhea more than a week. The episodes have been like water. We took him to the vet in which they did all tests and all were negative for cancer, infections, worms…etc..they kept him for 2 days and did several X-rays that did not show any obstructions at that time. They sent him home with several antibiotics and a deworming liquid. And a weight management diet. He didn’t want to eat at first,but he ate chicken and rice for 2 days followed by diarrhea,. This morning it seemed as though there was some blood in one of his episodes of diarrhea. The vet said to let medicines work, but we are now on 5 days with no sign of improvement. What the next step we should follow? We plan to take him back to vet who took our money with no diagnosis….any ideas?

    • isak says:

      I always recommend acidophyllus to people in this circumstance because it works well for me. It comes in capsules that you can pull apart and sprinkle on your boy’s food. It can be purchased where vitamins are sold. I imagine some of the diarrhea might be related to de-worming and the antibiotics. Antibiotics destroy all the bacteria in the stomach, including the GOOD bacteria. Acidophyllus is good bacteria.

      Have you tried pepto-bismol? That’s pretty fast working for me, too. Did the chicken and rice slow him up at all? Traces of blood in his diarrhea could be a result of having diarrhea.

      Is he drinking a lot? If he is drinking more than normal, this may be contributing to the diarrhea, too. Good luck.

  23. Caitlyn says:

    Also she is a chewer, but is usually crated when we are not home so she can’t get into anything. She usually chews on blankets. Her level of anxiety is up right now because she doesn’t feel well so she had chewed parts of two blankets in the past two days… And she is still on her anti-anxiety meds.

    • isak says:

      Well, you would think the blanket parts would have slowed things down. Have you checked to see if the anti-anxiety meds have any side effects, like soft stools?

  24. Caitlyn says:

    I was giving her ground beef and brown rice for days and it didn’t help at all. She is now on prescription food for GI problems but that isn’t helping either. I want to get her probiotics, not just acidophilus. There are so many more good bacteria strains in the gut and I fear that she has now lost all of them.

    • isak says:

      It does sound like her food is passing through too quickly.I’m surprised the rice didn’t slow things down.

      I have had a lot of good results with acidophyllus so I am quite pro-acidophyllus/probiotics for their gut. Good luck.

  25. Caitlyn says:

    1 year old German Shepherd/Whippet mix. Began having diarrhea 2.5 weeks ago suddenly. Had been on same food, same brand, same flavor since January. Only difference is that I bought this new bag at a different store and she started with the diarrhea within 24-48 hours of eating the new food. Also we had a water main break nearby the night before her diarrhea started. But I didn’t give her any of the tainted water. I gave her water that we had from the Keurig tank and bottled water until it was safe to drink again. Have been to the vet twice now. Stool samples show nothing. She is on her second course of Flagyl and is now on special food but it is not helping. Her stool is still watery and disgusting. Doesn’t seem like she is absorbing anything. She is still acting like her normal self but I’m worried sick about this. It needs to stop. Please does anyone have any insight?

    • isak says:

      You might try some boiled chicken and rice for a couple days. The rice is slower to digest and should slow the diarrhea until her stomach gets straightened out. Also sprinkle some acidophyllus on her food. It can be bought in capsule form usually where vitamins are sold. Just pull the capsule apart, sprinkle the powder on her food and stir it in. It will add good bacteria back into her gut and smooth things out. Plain yogurt will also help, but the powder is usually easier to get in them and seems to work faster for me.

      Given her young age, is there something she is getting into that you don’t know about yet?

  26. Kim says:

    I forgot to mention my pup is a garbage picker, she is always looking for something to get into.

    • isak says:

      Then giving her some acidophyllus once or twice a week may be a good idea for her. It keeps the good bacteria active in her gut.

  27. Kim says:

    My 7 yr old miniature poodle mix had been vomitting and regurgitating food for a few days it took a few for me to figure out which pup was getting sick since we have 2 and neither seemed to look ill. I started feeding her boiled chicken and rice 2 times a day in place of her normal kibble. The vomiting has stopped but now she has loose mustard yellow stools. She seems to have perked up a bit but you can still feel her tummy rumbling. Is there anything else I should be doing or is it time for a trip to the vet. Thank you

    • isak says:

      You can sprinkle some acidophyllus on her food– about 1/2 capsule once a day. It can be bought in capsule form usually where vitamins are sold. Just pull the capsule apart, sprinkle the powder on her food and stir it in. It will add good bacteria back into her gut and smooth things out. Plain yogurt will also help, but the powder is usually easier to get in them.

  28. Lyndsey says:

    Hi there, I have a 3 year old pit rotty mix and is in very good health she is very active and upbeat. Yesterday she was very whinny and began to have diarrhea. Today it continues and has gotten to point where she needs out every 2 hours to poop. And now her poop is simply a slimy yellowy Orange Mucas looking substance . Any idea of a cause and should I wait 48 to 72 h to see if it passes or is this more serious then a case of the blues pooes

    • isak says:

      I think you can give her some powdered acidophyllus or plain pumpkin or even some plain yogurt to see if this helps firm things up over the next day. You might also feed her some boiled chicken and rice. It’s bland and rice slows things down.

  29. Lou And Apollo says:

    I have 2 standard poodles. Apollo is rescue I’ve hS him for about 2 years Now, he has been having soft orange poops, for a couple weeks now. Took him to the vet fecal showed nothing,
    his sister same age (3 years old) always has perfect poops.
    ((( What could cause poops that are orangy looking, very stinky like vinegar smell almost, consistency of canned pumpkin – I have not given him any pumpkin for a few days now))))

    • isak says:

      Prior to giving him the pumpkin, where his bowel movements regular? I am wondering if he was constipated and this is the pumpkin finally passing through. I always recommend adding acidophyllus to a pet’s food on a regular basis. I buy it in 4-lb containers and sprinkle it on my pets’ food a few times a week. You can also buy it in capsule form from most any store that sells vitamins, then break the capsule open and sprinkle the powder into his food. It adds good bacteria to their stomach and helps keep them regular.

      Because vinegar is acidic, it sounds like his stomach may be a bit too acidic. The acidphyllus will help balance the acidic levels. Plain yogurt will work too, but it doesn’t seem to be as fast working to me as the capsules.

  30. Miller says:

    My 10 week old puppy is having diarrhea every other night, about every hour for 4-5 hours and then relatively normal stool during the day. I’ve stopped giving him any treats, just the same food he’s been on, but no change. The stool is mucus-y and foul smelling but the vet said the fecal was negative (although he’d just come off a ‘good’ night for the one I took in). Any ideas?

    • isak says:

      I suggest you add acidophyllus to his food to balance out the good bacteria in his stomach. It can be purchased in capsule form from almost anywhere that vitamins are sold. Just open a capsule, sprinkle some of the powder on his food and stir it in. As this is beneficial bacteria, you can add some to his food fairly regularly.

      Once you get the diarrhea issue worked out, you might try a different food in case there is something in the food you are feeding that he is reacting to. Maybe there is grain in his food that his system doesn’t like? I don’t know, but given the consistency of the diarrhea, that would be a possibility.

  31. Michael says:

    Year old beagle, lethargic, shaking, vomiting bile, bowel movement is greasy and slightly bloody. Very little scent. Help

    • isak says:

      Given the age, it could be something he/she ate that is disagreeing. Make sure the dog stays hydrated — maybe some pediolyte or Gatorade — and you could add some plain yogurt or powdered acidophyllus to a meal of boiled chicken and rice. Let us know how things progress.

  32. Travis says:


    we recently brought my dog to the vet because she had diarrhea. they prescribed her an antibiotic and probiotic. all tests were normal. we are feeding her boiled chicken and rice so its easy on her stomach. she just had a bowel movement and the stool was neon yellow. should I be concerned?

    • isak says:

      Not yet, but keep an eye on her. What you may be seeing is the tail end of what has been bothering her. If it continues, then call your vet. You can keep her on probiotics regularly in the form of acidophyllus capsules that you can open and sprinkle on her food. They sell them wherever they sell vitamins. It keeps good bacteria in her gut so it generally helps with a dog’s stools.

  33. Jennifer says:

    Hi my puppy is a chihuahua , he is only 2 months & isn’t getting up , isn’t eating , is drooling , and has diarreah I am scared for the worst someone please help me I am scared he may die :'(

    • isak says:

      If he is drooling, it sounds like he may have eaten something that is not agreeing with him. If so, this could be the cause of his diarrhea. It could also be why he doesn’t want to get up — because he just plain feels bad. I’m sorry I am just getting your comment. How is he doing now? If he still has diarrhea, you could try some plain pumpkin or some plain yogurt mixed into his food. If he won’t eat, try giving it to him with an oral syringe. You can usually buy them for less than $1 at many pharmacies or a feed store.

      Also make sure he is getting liquids. They can dehydrate easily with diarrhea.

  34. Jason says:

    4 month old boxer has had what I guess is diareha for a few days. She is eating fine. Happy and bouncy. She eats all natural lamp and rice food. 2 weeks ago she had all her booster shots. Deworming,Lyme, kennel cough. Etc. Stool is a little slimmy at times. Smells like poop. Lol. Normal colour. Not sure what to do.

    • isak says:

      You can give her some plain pumpkin or plain yogurt or break open an acidophyllus capsule and sprinkle that over her food. All those meds probably killed the good bacteria in her gut. Glad her poop smells like poop. :)

  35. Kaileigh says:

    My 5 month old lab/german shepherd mix just today started showing some blood in her bowels. The first time she passed was right after she ate and it was very compact, yellow in color and very rotten smelling. There was just trace amounts of red (blood) on the outside of the bowels. Next was about 6 hours later and it was 2 separate piles. The first was compact like the first and the second was runny, still yellow in color with the blood more mixed in. She has not had a change in diet or gotten into anything that I know of. This weekend was her first weekend home with me at my parents house (I live up at school) and my parents have 3 dogs of their own and 3 cats. I don’t know if it’s something I should be concerned about or if it is just caused by the stress. About a month ago she was having problems with diarrhea and the vet prescribed an intestinal medication that was given orally and seemed to solve the problem. Hoping for some input, thanks!

    • isak says:

      I think at this point, it’s a “watch it” thing. By compact, do you mean hard? If so, that may be contributing to the blood you are seeing. You might sprinkle some acidophyllus on her food (capsules can be bought where vitamins are sold) or add some plain yogurt to her food to add some good bacteria to her gut. This may even things out. Is she drinking plenty of water?

  36. Jennifer says:

    I have a 6 year old, 9lb Chihuahua who has bright green diarrhea. Last night it started. He also vomited 2 times last night. Mostly just liquid, frothy from drool. This morning he did push out a little diarrhea again, just 3 small little spots. Should I be concerned?

    • isak says:

      It sounds like his stomach is upset. At this point, I think you can “wait and see” if it improves. If you have some plain yogurt or some acidophyllus (can be purchased in capsule form wherever they sell vitamins), add that to his food to put some good bacteria beck into his system.

  37. Emily says:

    My pup is a year and a half. He’s 120 lbs and is pooping orange diarrhea. It’s been 36 hrs and he’s still going even tho I with held food and tried immodium and rice. What does ‘pumpkin orange’ stool mean? And a very sour sauerkraut type smell.

    I’m so tired of cleaning rugs…
    Thanks Emily

    • isak says:

      Given his young age, could he have eaten something you did not notice? You might actually feed him some plain canned pumpkin for his diarrhea and sprinkle some acidophyllus or plain yogurt on top to add good bacteria into his gut. Give him boiled rice and boiled chicken for 72 hours, then slowly re-introduce his regular food.

      I certainly understand getting tired of cleaning rugs. Good luck. Keep an eye out that he does not get dehydrated from the excessive moisture loss.

  38. Marissa says:

    My 2 year old mix breed woke me up last night 2 times and both times went diarrhea. This AM she went diarreha again. I stayed home and fed her rice with water and a little bit of her food. I took her temp (101.4) and she played ball and drank lots of water. When she went this evening, she had creamy yellow diarrhea and was mildly moaning while pushing it out. She’s still lively and temp is the same but what should I do now? I am going to withhold food until tomorrow morning (which will be 24 hours). Any advice? Thank you so much.

    • isak says:

      You might feed her some plain boiled rice with some boiled chicken. The rice will slow down her digestion. You can also give her some plain yogurt or sprinkle some acidophyllus (found where vitamins are sold) on her food to put some good bacteria into her gut. Also plain canned pumpkin helps — just a tablespoon in her food.

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