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:

COLOR

  • Yellow stool — indicates rapid transit (small bowel). When the stool is loose, full of mucus and is yellow in color, it is typically the result of a food intolerance. Did you change foods recently?
  • Green stool — It could mean your dog has eaten a large amount of grass. It can also be intestinal parasites, rat poisoning or other internal issues.
  • Orange stool — It could indicate a liver issue or biliary disease, or it could just mean that your dog’s poop moved too quickly through the GI tract to pick up the bile which changes poop to the normal brown color we expect. If your dog has orange diarrhea, contact your vet.
  • Black, tarry stool — indicates bleeding in the upper digestive tract. It may be a sign of a gastrointestinal ulcer or a stomach ulcer. Many human medications can cause stomach ulcers in dogs, especially aspirin, so never give human meds without consulting your vet.
  • Bloody stool — red blood or clots indicate bleeding in the colon. Streaks of blood may be colitis (inflammation of the colon), a rectal injury, an anal gland infection or possibly a tumor.
  • Pink or purple stool — Anything that resembles raspberry jam could indicate hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE). A large number of dogs die each year from HGE but most will recover with prompt treatment. Seek medical attention.
  • Pasty, light-colored stool — indicates lack of bile (liver disease). While it could be a sign of liver or biliary disease, it could simply mean that your dog’s poop moved too fast through the GI tract to pick up the bile which changes the color to the normal brown you recognize.
  • Large, grey, rancid-smelling stool — indicates inadequate digestion or absorption (malabsorption syndrome). Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) is commonly referred to as maldigestion. Essentially this means the pancreas is not functioning properly. It is a common issue for German Shepherds and Collies. The good news is that this is a very treatable condition, but it is serious, so take your dog to the vet right away.
  • White specks — Worms often look like white grains of rice in your pup’s stool. Your dog needs to be de-wormed.

CONSISTENCY

  • Watery stool — indicates small bowel wall irritation (toxins and severe infections). When the stool is watery, it can be a sign of an upset stomach due to dog food or GI tract issue. If it continues, see a vet.
  • 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.

FREQUENCY

  • 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

CONDITION OF DOG

  • 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.

Treatment
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 eggs

    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

266 Comments

  1. Mandy says:

    My 6 month old great Dane puppy was throwing up- once at night n then 6 x the next day. I went to to Dr n he said she swallowed a foreign body. we did x rays n it showed positive n said that it seems to be soft in nature like fluff cotton etc. I know some of the toys she had shed rip an to pieces. Her demeanor n appetite are all the same. I found a recipe w cooled squash meat n flax seed to make a gelly mixture to help pass what’s inside. We have done 1 day of feeding her that mixture n it was good I could see fluff in her stool. Were on the second day and I took her to do her business n her poop was normal n then all of a sudden it looked yellow n gelly. I poked it round w a stick n it was covered in slime … What does that mean ? What do I do ? I’m so stressed out

    • isak says:

      The “jelly” you are seeing occurs naturally in your pup’s gut. It’s there to protect his stomach walls from the digestive acids. It is not uncommon to see this when they have an upset stomach.

  2. donnaregina says:

    my 2yrs old shih tzu was having the yellow poop with mucous for 3days. on the second day i already talked to his vet. he has been on rice-chicken bland diet on the onset of the yellow poop. its not very often(pooping) i may say,it is still the regular timing. vet says he will be okay but i was still stressing over it, until i read this page of yours somehow i am quite relieved. but, i am still worrying coz maybe he had too much chicken liver prior to that. i hope not. he is active and normal with food and liquid intake though. i live in a bit suburban area and we dont have much access to a lot of vet supplies. i just want to ask:
    1. yogurt. – would this be same as the one i eat? one i can get in the supermarket? (already noted the amount i should give)
    2. pro-biotics. – could i give him the one for human also?
    3. pepto-bismol- n/a here. any alternative?

    our family super love marlexi and i really wanna make sure he is healthy. btw, he have all complete shots and boosters.

    thank u so much Isak!

    • isak says:

      1. yogurt — you want to give him PLAIN yogurt. The flavored kind has sugar in it that he does not need.

      2. probiotics — yes, yours will do fine. You are just trying to get good bacteria in him.

      3. pepto-bismol alternative — actually, probiotics are an alternative! 🙂

      Good luck!

  3. Colleen Hutchison says:

    I have a 6-1/2 month old Beagle mix who started having mustard colored diarrhea overnight. She had a long play session at the dog park last night and has been acting like she doesn’t feel well,laying around and subdued which is VERY unlikely her. She is a dog that will eat anything including rocks, pieces of bark, etc. She is current on all of her vaccines and eats Royal Canin dog food. What do you think?

    • isak says:

      It could be just an odd passing thing, but you can help it along by giving her some canned plain pumpkin (no spices) and even mix it with a little plain yogurt. The pumpkin adds fiber and the yogurt adds good bacteria. You can give this to her 2-3 times a day for a couple days. Maybe she wore herself out playing. How’s the weather? Was it maybe a bit warm and that has thrown her out of balance?

      If it doesn’t clear up in a couple days or seems to get worse, contact your vet.

  4. sarah says:

    my 7 yr old pekingese is having diarrhea for the past 3 days. the last one is a bit orangey but earlier in the day he had a lighter brownish and a little bit firmer with a mixture of watery stool. he eats normal and still plays and run around the house. last saturday, i left him at petsmart for his summer grooming and got stressed with me leaving him there so i figured his diarrhea could’ve been caused by stress.
    should i make an appointment with the vet? shall i observe him for a couple of more days? thanks!

    • isak says:

      Try adding a little plain canned pumpkin and/or some plain yogurt to his food (1-2 teaspoons of each 3 times a day). The pumpkin will add the fiber he needs to firm up his stools and the yogurt will add good bacteria back into his stomach. If it doesn’t start to work in a day, then it won’t hurt to get the vet’s opinion. Good luck!

  5. Reika says:

    My pup (7 months, small breed) is currently experiencing diarrhea, her stool is yellow now and have mucus. Its been 1 1/2 day since diarrhea started. She pooped 6 times and vomited 2 times but the vomiting stopped 8 hours ago. She lost her appetite this morning. I’ve been to 2 vets. First vet just injected her with antibiotics and vitamins then told me to bring her back tomorrow if she does not eat the whole day. The second vet gave me glucose monohydrate for hydration and colymoxyn for diarrhea and told me to force feed cerelac any flavor. They did not conduct any test to my puppy. I dont know what to do, the vets did not tell me what to do or not to do. What should I feed her and how often. Many people suggested tumeric mix but since she was not tested if it is parvo or other disease I can not do anything.

    • isak says:

      Mucus is a natural part of the digestive tract. It protects the stomach walls from the acid of the digestive juices. That’s the mucus you are seeing.

      Has your pup been de-wormed? This can cause stomach upset and is common in puppies. That may be one reason for what you are seeing.

      To settle her stomach, I suggest adding Acidophilus – Give her acidophilus capsules mixed with water, or a small amount of live cultured yogurt or kefir (see dose instructions below). Give yogurt once every hour (up to three times).
      1 -2 teaspoons for a cat or small dog
      1 -2 tablespoons for medium sized dogs
      2-4 tablespoons for large dogs

      You said that the vomiting and diarrhea has stopped, so now it’s a matter of finding food she is interested in. When all else fails in my house, my dogs will almost never turn away from canned cat food: Friskies Turkey and Giblets.

  6. Jessica Sandoval says:

    My 7 month old Shih tzu ended up having diahrrea from one day to another it first came in large portions then it became smaller. Then when he used the bathroom this time it was at first a bit normal then became yellow and full of mucus. The only thing he ate was his dog food, a bit of ice cream and cucumbers but the cucumbers were eaten the next day. Today I’ve started to give him just white rice with chicken. Should I wait and see if he gets better or take him to the vet? He’s been like this for almost 2 days now. And he also threw up a bit days before but that was because he ate dust that is in small places around my house.

    • isak says:

      Eating dust could be an indication of something going on in his stomach. Similar to how they eat grass to settle their stomach. Has he been de-wormed? A trip to the vet would be a good idea because this has been going on for a couple days.

  7. Rob says:

    My 11 yr old longhaired chihuahua has thrown up at least three times over the last week and appears to be yellow bile. She hadn’t touched much (if any) of her food and not sure if she’s been drinking much water. Over the last several days her stools have been rather sticky and light brown/tan in decreasing quantity over the last two days until tonight when it was very runny diarrhea (still light brown/ tan). She did eat her food tonight and has been her usual self, aside from the tummy upset) the whole time. She has always eaten only dry food since she was a pup. What’s your opinion?

    • isak says:

      It sounds like whatever was bothering her stomach is passing through. It would not be unusual for a dog to not eat if their stomach is bothering them. So if she is eating again and starting to feel like herself, I would say that whatever was bothering her seems to be passing.

      You can add some plain canned pumpkin (no spices) to her food to help firm up her stools — given her small size, maybe 1/2 – 1 tablespoon. The fiber in the pumpkin is the secret to why it works. Also some plain yogurt — it will put good bacteria back in her gut and that will help the upset. You can mix the yogurt and pumpkin together, then stir it into her food.

      I wonder if you might try adding a little water to her dry food and letting it soak a bit before feeding it to her. If you have ever added water to dry food and let it sit for a while, you will see how much it expands. This same expansion occurs inside our cats and dogs except that the moisture is being pulled from their digestive tract and sometimes this can be a bit much for them. It also makes the kibble easier on older dogs’ teeth.

      Good luck!

  8. Paulette Klein says:

    I have a 3 yr old mixed breed (pappion, terrier and maybe shitzu. She was fine, however the past 3 days, we have been waking up to multiple tiny liquid stool, color of rustyorange. She goes out and also had liquid stools but continues to arch up want to continue but nothing comes out. We have fed her rice, boiled hamburger and cottage cheese that last 2 days and she continues to have this issue. I’ve noticed since she was about 2 yrs she belched alot. She has seperation anxiety issues also. What else can we do to avoid high cost of Vet bills?

    • isak says:

      Sounds like she is constipated or trying to pass something? Try some moist food with some plain canned pumpkin (no spices) or green beans (no salt or low sodium). If she usually eats canned food, add some water to her canned food. Not enough that it is runny soup, but enough to soften it even more. If she usually eats dry kibble, add water to it and let it set for about 5 minutes until it softens. Stir in either some plain canned pumpkin or some green beans. This provides the fiber she need to move things along.

      Keep an eye on her stools to see if they normalize. If not, there may be something else going on.

      Has she been de-wormed?

  9. Stewie says:

    Hi, I ha e an 8 year old staffy who has diarrhea for the last 36 hours it’s just a yellow waterie poo little bit of firmness in it but this morning she struggling with her back legs just stiff once gets moving moves alright, she still seems bright. Gave her a bone witch is only different thing I’ve given her.gave her some chicken n rice last night, just at a loss with what to do.
    Thanks stewie

    • isak says:

      I’m not sure about the back legs being stiff. For the diarrhea, add some canned plain pumpkin and keep her on the chicken and rice for a couple days. The pumpkin adds the fiber she needs to add more bulk to her stools.

  10. Taylor says:

    Hi! I am really worried about my eight year old shih tzu. He’s normally a very healthy pooper and doesn’t usually poop inside. Monday morning, we awoke to two slimy piles. He then vomited bile. He seemed okay after that, had a few normal bowel movements throughout the day, kept his appetite and drinking up, but started vomiting in the evening again. Monday evening, the bowel movements became more like pudding. Tuesday morning, we awoke to many piles of pudding. They appeared to be dark brown, but upon cleanup, were very yellow. Also noticed what appeared to be bloody diarrhea on the porch. Appetite was gone, but thirst was okay in the morning. He has also developed a rash all over his body. He doesn’t itch at all, but it is red and covers his body. I took him to the vet where they weren’t concerned about the rash and said he may have contracted giardia. We recently got back from camping; we returned Saturday afternoon. He was playing in the stream, and he could have had some of the water. There were also pesky tent caterpillars all around, and I pray he didn’t eat any. He’s usually not a curious guy and doesn’t eat random things. It’s Tuesday evening now, and the bowel movements have progressed to a red color. He hasn’t been interested in water since this morning, and he sniffs food but isn’t interested. I’ve tried feeding him kibble, bland foods, milk, treaties…anything he might be interested in, but he doesn’t want any of it. The vet has him on a pill antibiotic, but I am afraid I may have seen it come out in the last diarrhea I cleaned up. I also gave him an oatmeal bath for the rash, but it didn’t clear it up at all. Does this sound like something that will pass? I am worried that my little guy isn’t eating or drinking!

    • isak says:

      Quite the camper, isn’t he? The biggest concern is being sure he stays hydrated. With not drinking, vomiting and diarrhea, he is not maintaining his hydration. A dog drinks about 1/2 to 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight per day. So if this situation doesn’t start to pass in a day, you may need to hydrate him with an oral syringe.

      The progression to red stools is somewhat to be expected given his stomach upset and should also pass. You might try some Pepto-Bismol for his upset stomach.

      At my house, when I have a dog who doesn’t want to eat, the food that generally gets them eating again is canned cat food. For whatever reason, they will eat it when they won’t eat anything else. The favorite here is Friskies Turkey flavored cat food.

      Once he is eating again, it would be good to add some plain yogurt or other probiotics to his food to get good bacteria into his gut. Plain pumpkin is also beneficial in adding fiber and leveling out the consistency of his stool.

      The rash is odd, especially because it does not itch. You might try a mix of vinegar and water applied a couple times a day on one area of his body to see if that will clear it up. Applying it to just one area gives you the chance to see if it is working.

      Good luck.

  11. Geoff says:

    12yo, female black lab, slightly overweight. Spent last three days visiting family in a familiar setting but was stressed about being away from home and constant fireworks from the long weekend. She had ‘pudding’ type diarrhea on Saturday, several occurances on Sunday and less on Monday (fewer occurances, much less volume). We returned home very late Sunday and started all- rice diet on Monday and she’s drinking water and urinating fine. However, her last bowl movement was strained and now yellow. Thoughts? Thanks in advance.

    • isak says:

      Give her a couple days to settle back into her routine.

      You could add a little plain yogurt and/or plain pumpkin to her food. The yogurt adds good bacteria back into her gut and the pumpkin adds fiber that tends to balance bowel movements whether her stools are soft or hard.

  12. Anitha says:

    Hi I give my dog Meat 800 gms (400gms minced beef and 400gms minced mutton, 400gms rice 300gms veggies (carrot n peas) and 2 tsp of turmeric powder boiled together and before storing I add 5 gms coconut oil to each serve. Now I have a doubt how much of this food should I feed him. He is 7-8 kgs weight and has a normal amount of activity. I am currently feeding 230gms in morn and 230gms in the eve. Is this the correct amount or should I alter it?

    • isak says:

      You didn’t say how old your dog is, but based on his weight of 7-8 kgs and normal level of activity, I think he would require between 3/4 cup and 1 cup of food per day, or between 175 gms or 236gms per day. You can adjust the amount if it seems too much or too little.

  13. Donah Zack Beale says:

    He gets 1 cup of dry food with a couple of spoonfuls of wet food mixed in per diem.

    • isak says:

      That doesn’t sound like too much food. Is this the way he has always been or is this something new? Has anything changed — his diet, anything in his environment? Does he seem like himself? Has he been de-wormed recently?

      What is the consistency you are seeing (you said it varies)?

      You could add some probiotics or some acidophyllus or yogurt to his food — these add good bacteria to his stomach — to see if that changes anything. If his weight seems good and he seems healthy and happy and has no problems pooping, he may be fine. But as a senior dog, if it concerns you, have your vet check him out in case there is any problem with colitis or inflammatory bowel disease.

  14. Donah Zack Beale says:

    Our 11 year old corgi poops far more than one would think possible. In a single session he can go 3 to 6 times, and stools can vary greatly in size and consistency. No diarrhea,or vomiting. He eats a mix wet lamb and veg and Senior dry salmon and sweet potato both by Simply Nourish. I appreciate your attention. Kindest regards.

    • isak says:

      Based on the quantity of poop you mentioned, is it possible that he is eating too much food?

      On the up side, at least he is regular, eh? 🙂

  15. Tricia says:

    I have an 8-year-old Chihuahua Pomeranian who has been having some diarrhea for the past 3 days. The day before the diarrhea started she pooped in her cage sometime during the night. Cleaned her up and she seemed to do ok. She was a bit lethargic initially, but bounced back as the day went on.

    The next day she pooped in the house 3x which is highly unusual, diarrhea and dark brown. She also puked up food that my fiance fed her that day. After going online and reading about bland diets, we gave her white rice for dinner.

    The 2nd day she had white rice for breakfast. Both myself and my fiance had to work and she was in her cage for several hours. She did not poop in her cage and when I took her out she had bright orange diarrhea. It looked like butternut squash and had what looked like rice grains in it. There was a lot of jelly stuff in it. She had rice for dinner and no additional issues.

    Today (3rd day) she had rice for breakfast, was in her cage again for the day, and had no accidents. When I took her out after getting home, she was straining a bit and had small amounts of yellow/orange diarrhea squirt out. After she ate her dinner (white rice again) she asked to go outside. I took her and she kept straining without any success. We went back inside and 20-30 minutes later had pooped in our kitchen. It was watery, but a bit of a thicker consistency, mostly yellow gel, with a little bit of brown and bright red.

    I’m not sure what to do from here. I was thinking the vet,but would like to offer her some relief before that! She has been her normal spunky self the last 3 days so I’m not sure if this is something to worry about or not? She did not get in to anything that I’m aware of. I’m not sure if I should stop the rice, keep going with it, or something else. Her appetite has been great. She has been eating everything we put in front of her and drinking water regularly. No puking since day 1.

    • isak says:

      Try adding a bit of plain pumpkin (no spices kind) to her food to equalize the rice. Rice is slower to digest and it may be holding her back from pooping — that may be the straining you saw. Pumkpin will add some fiber to her diet and should even things out. You can add some plain yogurt to the food as well to put good bacteria back into her stomach. That is probably shot right now.

      Mucous is naturally occurring in the digestive tract as a way to protect the lining of the stomach from digestive acids. The bright red is probably blood, but may well be a result of her current issue and not a symptom of something bigger (unless it continues and increases). The yellow is stomach bile, also naturally occurring. You are seeing it because of an imbalance in her system right now.

      Sounds like she is moving in the right direction right now.

  16. Julie says:

    My dog got his second (final) booster for Lyme on Wed morning. Then we went to the dog park for a bit. The park is clean and covered in woodchip. That night he had very watery diarrhea in large amounts. It then firmed up to pancake batter, but became more yellowish. We switched him to boiled chicken and rice, per the vets suggestion. He still has diarrhea, and today mucus as well. I’ve added probiotics to his food as of today,as well as a pumpkin oatmeal supplement for dogs, but I am concerned he still has loose stools and the size of the movements are smaller compared to his usual amount. Our vet is closed on Sundays, is there anything else I can do for him? He’s a 38 lb border collie. Day 1 and 2 he was very quiet. His energy is back but his stomach is still messed up.

    • isak says:

      If the vaccine is a “live” version, it generally causes a dog’s body to react as your body would to fighting a cold or the flu. This reaction builds the immune system to better fight the real thing, if it occurs. Because of this reaction, you can see symptoms such as you are seeing. They should pass after 2-3 days, once his body has overcome the “virus.”

      The smaller stools could be an indication of the change in food. Rice is a little slower to pass which makes it slow the diarrhea, so perhaps the smaller stools are due to that. It sounds like he is progressing.

      What you are doing with the probiotics, the boiled chicken and rice, and the pumpkin oatmeal supplement are great. Now you just need to wait for this reaction to pass. If it doesn’t after 5 days or things seem worse, have your vet check him out.

  17. China says:

    Recently got a new 6 week old puppy turned 7 weeks a few days ago. He wouldn’t eat the dry food the previous owner said he was on (think she lied) and the only thing he will eat is wet food with some dry food mixed in. He had loose stools since we got him but the past two days they’ve been a mixture of super runny to shots of liquid. He is energetic and acts like a normal puppy but does sleep a lot but I suspected that was from him being so young.

    • isak says:

      In nature, dry food would not be a dog first choice. It was actually developed to be a convenience. However, I feed a mix of wet and dry, but I soak the dry with some water before feeding it to my dogs. I would suspect that the loose stools are a combination of a new home plus new food. You can add a small amount of canned pumpkin (not the kind with spices) to firm up his stools.

      Has he been de-wormed yet? It is common for puppies to have worms and that can lead to soft stools, not eating, and a general listlessness.

      Puppies need lots of sleep, usually about 18-19 hours sleep every 24 hours. So only expect 4 to 5 hours of being awake and only about an hour at a time.

      Good luck with your new bundle of joy!

  18. YvetteWilson says:

    Female Rottweiler runny brown stool started Sunday. Pepto bismol has been given, no change. Imodium Ad has been given, no change. Just started her on probiotics.
    Help!! This is really stressful for her and me.
    Thank you

    • isak says:

      Has there been a change to her food or water? Has she been de-wormed? Is she eating and drinking regularly? Is ANYTHING different?

      You might feed her some boiled chicken or ground beef with some white rice and add a spoonful of plain pumpkin (no spices). This should bulk up her stools.

      The probiotics are a good idea, too.

  19. Little one says:

    My 8 month old jack Russell for the past 2 days has been shaking on and off, sleeping a lot and either producing green jelly based or orange jelly based poos. He also has gone off his food.
    He got into some pate 2 days ago could this be the cause and how can we make him better ?

    • isak says:

      Known causes of green feces in dogs are intestinal disorders and parasite infections. The stool appears slimy and green in color. Watch for symptoms of constipation, straining to defecate or diarrhea, as it helps the vet establish a correct diagnosis. In certain cases, parasites go undetected in the first fecal exam, and the vet may recommend a second stool examination. Green feces in dogs could also be attributed to ingestion of grass or allergies caused by certain ingredients in food.

      The orange colored stools could be caused by several different bacteria, as well as changes in his diet — like the pate.

      You can try boiled chicken or low fat hamburger for a day or two. If that does not improve it, you should take him to the vet for a stool test and they will likely prescribe an antibiotic called metronidazole.

  20. Josey Holiday says:

    Hi I have a 6 month old pomeranian mix and she is always full of energy. For the past day and a half she has not been her self . Woke up to two black spots on the carpet and went to clean them and they were nothing but black blood. She won’t eat. And will only drink water and throws it up. She keeps looking around like she is alert. No discolor of her mouth. She hasn’t went to the bathroom for 9hrs.what should I do? Helloooo please I feel helpless

    • isak says:

      Has she been de-wormed? If not, it could be worms and she should be de-wormed. However if she is not drinking or is drinking, then throwing it up, that is concerning as a dog can quickly dehydrate and possibly die. You said that she hasn’t gone to the bathroom in 9 hours. Do you mean to pee or to poop? You might give her a bit of plain canned pumpkin (NO spices) or some green beans to see if that will soften her stool a bit and pass whatever she has in her. You can also buy an oral syringe and give her some pedialyte to replenish and hydrate her.

      But if she does not start drinking or eating on her own today, it would be a good idea to have your vet take a look at her. Better safe than sorry.

  21. Leslie n Nala says:

    My 5 month pit is pooping. What looks like red jello and it’s smells so bad she had been puking for 4 days yellowish stuff we she had been eating and drinking and is still playful. She got in trash a few days ago n I believe possibly Could have got a chicken bone. I can sit by her and hear her belly gurgle. Help

    • isak says:

      If she has been throwing up for four days, there is certainly something the matter. How much is she throwing up? Is she losing weight from throwing up? Does she drink a lot or a little water? Has she had her puppy vaccinations? It would be a good idea to have your vet check her out in case she has a chicken bone stuck somewhere. It may not pass on it’s own.

  22. Hallet T. says:

    Hello. My 5 year old chihuahua started having a watery and sometimes mushy stool. Some are dark colored but most are light brown/tan. She had some boiled peanuts this weekend and on Tuesday night licked hamburger grease off of the floor. She is still acting normal and drank some water yesterday that I know of. Should I take her in or wait it out (if so, how long?).

    • isak says:

      Sounds like something going on in her digestive track. You might give her a little bit of plain canned pumpkin (no spices) or some yogurt mixed into her food to firm things up. If it continues for a couple days and her behavior changes, have your vet check her out.

  23. Destiny says:

    Hi my 5 month old pup juat started throwing up yellow chunky stuff, i have not changed his food but did change the treats we buy him. He is also straining to poop and it come out as a clear jelly. Please help!

    • isak says:

      You might give him a little bit of plain pumpkin (canned, no spices) or even some green beans. Has he been de-wormed? If not, you should do that, too.

  24. Mikaela says:

    Hi Isak,

    We have an 8 week old goldendoodle that just started having really runny stool last night. Around 8 pm it was an orangish color and in the middle of the night it was a dark brown.
    His appetite is still there and he’s extremely playful and in good spirits.
    He did just get his second Parvo shot yesterday around 630 pm, runny stool started about 2.5 hours later. I wasn’t sure if this was a side effect or not? I appreciate any advice! Thank you

    • isak says:

      It could be a side effect. If he still has soft stools, you could give him some plain yogurt or some plain pumpkin (no spices).The yogurt will add some good bacteria to his gut and the pumpkin will add some fiber.

      I bet he is handsome!

  25. Juliet says:

    My almost 3 year old german shepard mix has had brownish yellow loose stools for the past day every hour last night. I withheld food for 10 hours then tried rice. It has gotten some substance back (a little more bulky I suppose would be the word?) I did switch her food quickly due to necessity. I am trying the yogurt now. How long should it take to see her feel better? Thanks!!

    • isak says:

      It can take a couple days depending on what she is eating. Maybe you can add some rice to the new food as well?

      You can also add a tablespoon of plain pumpkin (no spices) to her food. That might bulk up her stools, too.

  26. angela says:

    He doesnt want to eat. Its too hard to feed him and he is getting weak. His last poop we saw a long white worm. And his poop has really a bad smell. What should we do?

    • isak says:

      De-worm him. That sounds like a tape worm. These come from fleas and, if he is loaded with worms, he may not want to eat. So de-worm him asap. If he doesn’t start to eat — like tomorrow — then you need to get him to a vet else he could die for something that might be easily treatable.

  27. angela says:

    Hi isak. My 4month old lab is sick again. He is vomiting and has a brownish watery stool. It also has a foul smell. He doesnt want to eat but i am forcing him to drink water once in a while using my baby vitamin dropper. What can i do to help him.? Should i abstain him from food? But he will get weaker, what should i feed?

    • isak says:

      Sounds like he may have eaten something he shouldn’t and it is either disagreeing with him or maybe it is stuck.

      You can try Pepto-Bismol: 1 teaspoon per 5 pounds or 1 tablespoon per 15 pounds every 2 hours. If vomiting/diarhhea does not improve after 3-4 doses, you should see a vet. Some dogs do not take well to Pepto-Bismol due to allergies or blood disorders, so if she seems to get worse after the Pepto-Bismol, stop using it.

      Have you ever de-wormed her? Worms can cause stomach upset. I would start there. You can buy de-wormer from your vet or at a pet supply store.

      If you have to give her liquids via an oral syringe, consider how much you are giving her. The average dog needs between half an ounce to one ounce of water per pound of body weight per day. If your puppy weighs 20 pounds, for example, she’d need between 10 and 20 ounces of water on a daily basis in order to stay hydrated. This is done throughout the day. It’s easy to give too little and you don’t want to.

      Try other foods like boiled chicken and rice or even canned cat food, like Friskies Turkey flavor.

      Good luck.

  28. Miranda says:

    We adopted a 10 month old St Bernard mix just over 3 weeks ago. When we first brought him home, he was on a low quality chicken formula food. We switched him over to the grain free beef formula we feed our other dogs over the course of about a week. He had loose stool when he came to us, but the stool gradually became more soupy and runny so we took him to the vet. Turns out there was bacterial overgrowth. He was given antibiotics for a week. During that time, we discovered that the beef formula food we were giving our dogs was no longer being carried at our retailer, so in a pinch we ended up abruptly switching them all to this new turkey grain free formula. Of course, his diarrea has continued and tonight was bright yellow and very watery. I cut him off of kibble and boiled chicken and white rice and have given him that for 3 meals now. What is the best way to help him reset his system? I feel awful for switching the food so quickly. Now I’m wondering if he shouldn’t be on a grain free food at all? Should I make him fast for 24 hrs? He is still a large breed puppy and I’m worried about him going hungry. Is it possible that I’m feeding him too much rice/boiled chicken/yogurt as well? I don’t know what the recommended amount would be. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks so much.

    • isak says:

      Too much food can cause diarrhea, so you might try smaller portions several times a day until you get things under control. You can also add some plain pumpkin (the kind you would use to make pumpkin pie, but without any spices). It’s good for both diarrhea and constipation. Stir about 1 tablespoon of pumpkin into his yogurt, then dress his rice with it. If the diarrhea doesn’t slow down in a day, reduce the amount of pumpkin until you find the right balance.

      You can also sprinkle acidophyllus capsules over his food. It’s really similar to the yogurt, but can provide more beneficial bacteria to his system than just the yogurt does. It’s sold where vitamins are sold.

      Once you get him leveled out, you can see what diet works best for him.

      Good luck.

  29. Zach Hardy says:

    I have a 13 week old German shepherd puppy and his stool has been really really light brown, almost yellow and on and off it is really runny. We changed his food when we got him but kept the type of protein and the content the same, this was just over a week ago. Even though it’s runny it seems like he is having trouble getting all of it out because he tries 2-3 times to complete his bowel movement. Sometimes if we don’t see it or does it out of sight he will eat his own business, will this perhaps make it runny? Also my backyard is full of firewood and he tends to chew on birch bark, could this effect it?

    • isak says:

      Lots going on, eh? The softness could be from the food change as there are other products in the food that could cause a reaction. If he is new to your household, some of it could be the change in his life, too. For the consistency of his stool, you might sprinkle some probiotics on his food. This will add good bacteria to his gut. Second, you can put a little canned plain pumpkin (no spices) on his food to firm up his stools.

      Some dogs are poop eaters. It seems to be related to the smell. There are products on the market that you can add to their food to discourage this action and I recommend discouraging it as soon as you can to break this habit. Eating poop can and often does extend beyond their own poop or even other dog poop to include cat poop, rabbit poop, etc. Parasites eliminated in an animal’s poop will be ingested by a dog eating that poop and infects that dog. So given your pup’s young age, you should find a way to break that habit now.

      Pups will chew on just about anything. It’s a good idea to provide them with a variety of options so you can control what they are chewing on. There are hard rubber chews and sanitary bones and various cloth toys. Provide your pup with variety and keep him away from the firewood.

      Good luck. This is a fun time in his life. Enjoy.

  30. Karen says:

    Hi I have an 8 yr old Pomeranian. She’s been eating the same food since I got her 3 years ago. About once a month lately she’s been having loose gooey yellow diarrhea. Should I change her food? We live in an area where there are lots of dogs. Is it possible that when she’s sniffing the ground she’s picking up contamination of some sort? She has had all of her shots etc. Thank you.

    Karen

    • isak says:

      You could sprinkle some probiotics on her food and see if that helps. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria for the stomach. It will not hurt to add it to her food daily.

  31. Dita says:

    I’ve never heard of an animal communicator before. I’ll google more into it. Thanks for your suggestion.

    • isak says:

      I have used this woman a couple times: once for my lost dog and once to save the life of a rescued dog. I think she is great!

      http://www.dianesamsel.com

      I used an animal communicator to help with a horse found on the side of the road who was just a bag of bones. It was quite interesting what we learned. Here’s her story: http://beingstray.com/sadly-signs-times/ and http://beingstray.com/update-hungry-horse/

  32. Shelby says:

    Hi,
    My puppy Felix is apporximately 6-7 months old (he was a rescue), and starting two days ago, I notice a decline in appetite until yesterday when he would not his food at all. I got him to eat some chicken and broth as well as some of the dog food soaked in broth and he seems to have more energy. However, is poop is green and foamy and is straight liquid. After being on a bland diet and pepto, he’s not better. The vet said he could have just eaten a frog, but I think it may be more than that.

    • isak says:

      If the foaminess continues, it could be an indicator of a bacterial infection. The green could be from eating grass due to a stomach upset. Given his age, he could have eaten something he shouldn’t have and ate some grass to settle his stomach. It could also indicate internal parasites. Has he been de-wormed recently?

      Try offering food he cannot resist — even canned cat food (my dogs will eat Friskies Turkey) and either add some plain yogurt or mix a capsule of acidophyllus (sold where vitamins are sold) into it. This will add some good bacteria back into his gut.

      Is he drinking water?

  33. Dita says:

    I suspected it’s stress too but it’s stressing me out even more. The transport agent mentioned that if I wanted to give her personal affects, I need to deliver it myself to the quarantine. Since I was already in New Zealand at the time of her departure until now, that wasn’t possible. I did manage to put her smaller bed inside the crate so she has that at least and there should be a little bit of my scent as I was always the one cleaning and tidying up her space. Too bad that this “transit” is necessary as she’s coming from a non-rabies free country. I can’t send her off directly to New Zealand. Praying for the best.

    • isak says:

      Yes, I can imagine your stress level is through the roof. It certainly seems like the quarantine could be done another way.

      As far out in left field as this may seem, have you contacted an animal communicator so they might let your dog know what’s going on? I used one a couple years ago when my deaf dog got out of the yard and took off — chasing a deer maybe. I live in a very wooded area. He’s deaf! I couldn’t even call out for him. The communicator told me he was near a garden where someone just put out new mulch. I was sure that was not something you would see in my neck of the woods until I saw a freshly mulched flower bed down the road a bit. I spoke with this communicator every morning for four mornings until I finally found him. Each morning, she told me what he was seeing. And it seems she was spot on. Incredibly, she lives about 1400 miles away and has never been to my town.

      But in your case, communication goes both ways. A communicator can speak on your behalf to your pet. Let her know she will be with you again soon.

      Just a thought.

  34. Savannah says:

    My dog recently started having diarrhea since last night/this morning. It started out a super soft solid poop (last night) that slowly became a watery yellow diarrhea (this morning). I did switch her brand of food a few days ago…could this be the reason why? I only want to make sure because I feel like she should have already had diarrhea when I changed the food sooner rather than now. I also have a second dog that adjusted to the new food with no problems whatsoever.

    • isak says:

      We all react differently to food, so it’s quite possible that it’s related to the change in her food. You could add some probiotics to her food. This will put good bacteria into her gut to even things out. You can do this by adding some plain yogurt (not flavored as it has sugar in it) or mix a capsule of acidophyllus (sold where vitamins are sold) into her food.

  35. Dita says:

    Not sure how to reply to your reply, but here’s my reply.

    I ended up sending a vet to analyze her. She’s under medication now and he also prescribed her some probiotics. She didn’t touch her food the other day but today I received an update that she’s eating again. Hopefully she will continue to get better.

    She needs to be in quarantine for 30 days. She’s half way to the release date which is May 11th.

    • isak says:

      Thanks for the update. This may all be related to her stress — separated from her family, in an unfamiliar place and also the trip there. That’s a lot. Does she have something that smells like you with her, like a t-shirt or a pillowcase or blanket? Are you able to visit her? Two more weeks…

  36. Ashley says:

    My 7 week old puppy started having diarrhea yesterday very early in the morning. Every hour on the hour. It was green and foamy. I’ve been giving him a little rice and ground turkey every couple of hours, about 1/4 cup each time. The consistency changed the green and lumpy. This morning it’s been straight yellow and watery! But not as often! Help!

    • isak says:

      Keep him on the rice and turkey and maybe add some plain yogurt or acidophyllus to put some good bacteria in his gut.

      Is he drinking and playing normally?

  37. Dita says:

    Hi.. My dog is currently transiting in Singapore and in quarantine. She’s a 3 year old Maltese. She’s been in for 2 weeks already. Today I was informed that she’s been having diarrhea since yesterday, yellow color and watery, but no blood, appetite is still normal, and that’s all the info I got. I’m wondering what could cause the sudden diarrhea? I was thinking because of change of food (Science Diet Small & Toy Breed prior to shipping her to Science Diet Lamb & Rice at the quarantine) but if she’s having upset stomach because of that, shouldn’t she be having diarrhea much earlier? I doubt that it’s hygiene issue, but I’m worried if it’s something more serious than it seems. Is it crucial that I send a vet right away or should they observe her for another day or so?

    • isak says:

      It could be the change and being separated from you and her normal routine. If it is stomach related, some probiotics in her food may help. Sprinkle some on her food and monitor her for another day. If that helps, it will not hurt to keep her on probiotics.

      How long does she have to be quarantined?

  38. Jessica Murphy says:

    I believe my dog has over eaten she’s been throwing up and have loose stool. She is in heat as well could that also be a source of this ?

    • isak says:

      There are a number of reasons why a dog throws up. Over-eating is one of them. It could be that something she ate is not agreeing with her. Did you notice anything unusual in her vomit or her diarrhea that might point to something else? Has she been wormed?

      You said that she is in heat. Could she be pregnant? Morning sickness affects some dogs, but only for a few days during the 3rd or 4th week. (It’s caused by hormone changes.) Your pet may seem tired, and she may eat less than usual. Some dogs throw up a little.

      Are you planning to breed her? If not, please keep her inside and away from male dogs for about 2 1/2 weeks. There are so many dogs in shelter and rescue that are looking for homes.

  39. Paul says:

    cooked macaroni or soft-boiled aggs

    Please advise:: what are AGGS? or is it supposed to be EGGS?

    thanks

    Paul

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