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. Ginny says:

    One of my dogs started having diarrhea when our vet put him on Rimadyl. We have since switched to CanineActiv instead, which works, without the gross side effects. Now, another of my dogs is having troubles, but I haven’t tried lomotil yet. So I will do that. Thanks for the info.

  2. Coopers mom says:

    I have a 13 week old puppy. He has had diarrhea for 10 days now. The vet put him on rx wet food and probiotics. That worked well. As we introduced real food back the diarrhea came back. I have been feeding him yogurt and rice. We have had pudding like stools and then tonight it was like mustard with seeds in it and it was a lot. He acts fine and eats and drinks and plays with no problem. Any suggestions??

    • isak says:

      Did you keep him on the probiotics? If not, you might keep that up. The real food you went back to — could that be the problem? Was the switch back to real food gradual? Mustard with seeds in it? What color were the seeds? How big were they? Could they have been worms? Has he been wormed?

      My suggestion would be a bland diet like boiled chicken or ground beef mixed with rice. The rice kind of blocks them up. You could also add some plain pumpkin (the kind with NO spices in it). And keep up the probiotics.

      The good news is that he is eating and drinking, but let’s get the diarrhea straightened out.

  3. Chayse Fulton says:

    Why would you offer cottage cheese/yogurt instead of a bland diet of boiled chicken, egg whites, rice, etc. as the majority of cats and dogs are lactose intolerant? Seems like you could just add to the GI upset on top of the issue.

    • isak says:

      Plain yogurt contains good bacteria which aids digestion. It’s easier for some people to give to their pets than acidophyllus, though acidophyllus bypasses the lactose issue. I don’t know many pets who will actually eat cottage cheese.

  4. Dave says:

    My black & tan blue tick hound has been constipated for three days. he won’t eat, but he is drinking water. this morning I noticed he had runny bright orange diarrhea. being sunday I can’t get a hold of my vet. what can I do to help him?

    • isak says:

      Bright orange? Could he have eaten something?

      So the constipation is now diarrhea? You might try to get some plain yogurt in him to add good bacteria to his digestive tract. This may even things things out in his gut. Then try a bland diet of plain rice and boiled chicken/hamburger (dry the meat with a paper towel so remove any excess grease).

      It’s a good sign that he is drinking as diarrhea can dehydrate him. It sometimes helps with constipation, too.

  5. Jordan says:

    I have a one year old German Shepherd. Near the end of July he managed to get ahold of and eat six Heartgard pills. That night and that weekend he experienced quite a bit of diarrhea but then it stopped and he appeared fine. A week later he had the diarrhea again but only for a night and then it stopped. Now, again, he is having the issue and has had diarrhea all weekend. We started feeding him rice and cut up boiled chicken breast and this has changed the color but he still had two accidents in the night (however the amount was less). At first we thought this was a reaction to the the extra pills he got ahold of but now I don’t know. He acts fine otherwise, very playful. I also have another dog that is not experiencing any issues.

    I think a vet trip is the next solution?

    • isak says:

      Sounds like a one year old. You have to be careful with those Heartgard pills, though.

      A trip to the vet wouldn’t hurt. They will probably take a stool sample and see if there is anything obvious in it. Has he been wormed? One of my pet responses when it comes to the digestive tract: You might add some acidophyllus to his diet. You can buy it in capsules most anywhere they sell vitamins. Then just sprinkle it into his food. It will add good bacteria back into his gut and help smooth things out.

      Plain pumpkin also helps — given his probable size, about a tablespoon. The plain kind, no spices.

  6. Jenn says:

    My 5 yr old pomerian (20lbs) starting throwing up and did so for 36hrs. We put on bland chix/rice diet and now has runny, yellow, putrid smelling diarrhea for the past 36hrs. .

    Can’t stop it. He still is playful & acts like nothing wrong.


    • isak says:

      Keep him on the bland diet. You might add some acidophyllus to it. You can buy it in capsules most anywhere they sell vitamins. Then just sprinkle it on his food. It will add good bacteria back into his gut and help smooth things out.

      Glad to hear that he seems to be unaware anything is the matter. :)

  7. Erin Gregory says:

    I have a Great Dane who is 9 months old! Out of the blue he woke us up last night with projectile diarrhea. I gave him some pepto and went back to bed he had some more in the morning but was then fine during the day. Playing with the kids and other dogs. He ate a regular amount of food and we thought he was fine till, in the middle of the night again not a great wake up. Any suggestions?

    • isak says:

      Definitely NOT an enjoyable way to wake up, but how good that he lets you know.

      Has anything changed in his diet to create this?

      There area couple things you can do. You can add some acidophyllus to his food. You can buy it in capsules wherever vitamins are sold. Just open the capsules and sprinkle the powder on his food. It adds beneficial bacteria to his gut.

      You can also add a tablespoon of plain pumpkin — not spices — to his food. Pumpkin has a great way of helping with both diarrhea and constipation. It seems to stabilize things.

      Other then that, it should run its course unless there is something else going on.

      Good luck.

  8. tracy watzek says:

    My 15ish year-old Shar Pei, Honey, has developed loose stools with mucous. This past weekend was very stressful to say the least. Her best friend was at the hospital for 60 hours. Honey did not do well during this time. By the 48th hour, she was howling with sadness and not wanting to eat. Once her friend returned, she began eating again, but now the loose stools. Additionally, to entice her to eat, we introduced a small amount of wet food to her normal kibble. As of this morning, she didn’t want to finish her breakfast kibble, so I am transferring her to a bland diet of chicken and rice, which she gobbled up. Her behavior is fine – wants treats, bounces around… The color of her poo appears normal; it’s just loose and has mucous. Could this be related to stress and the wet food? She is VERY bonded to her friend and her normal diet has always very consistent (no human food, same treats). She takes 37.5mg of Rimadyl twice per day and has been for a few months.

    • isak says:

      Given all the stress she has been through, it may well be that. The rice should tighten up the stools a bit and get her back to normal. Because her behavior is good, I think watch her stools for a couple days and see if they return to normal.

  9. Mindy says:

    My 40 lb beagle ate a newborn baby bunny whole last night. He is eating and drinking regularly. Today’s poo was a little lighter in color and softer than usual and had a good deal of mucus. Is it safe to assume this is probably from an upset tummy?

    • isak says:

      How sad for the baby bunny. If you dog is eating and drinking regularly, then just keep an eye on him to be sure he doesn’t develop any kind of blockage. In general, the bones of the baby bunny are soft and pliable and should pass through your dog’s system. You may even see them. However, if they should be splintered and stick somewhere along the way, you want to know that.

      So keep an eye on him to be sure he continues to poop regularly for the next few days.

  10. Laurie says:

    My 12 year old Cairn terrier is having health problems. The vet suspects hepatitis, but was unable to confirm it Friday. Since yesterday (Saturday) she has been having black, runny diarrhea. She has been refusing to eat but is drinking water. She has also been vomiting. He’s run a number of tests but nothing definitive has shown up. She has grown weak and listless. Today is Sunday, and she had to be bathed because she had stool all over her hind end. Afterwards she just lay on the bath mat for a long time and didn’t even shake herself off. Do you have any idea what might be going on?

    • isak says:

      Your vet is the best source for what is going on because they have seen your pup. Blackness in a stool is generally blood. Has your vet x-rayed her to see if she has ingested something? Here’s a story about something that happened to means one of my dogs. The vet ran several tests and could not confirm anything, then took a guess… but missed (thank goodness).

      The two biggest things to address with your pup are hydration and diarrhea.

      If she has diarrhea and is vomiting, she could quickly become dehydrated, so it would be good to give her pedialyte. This will give her much needed electrolytes. For her diarrhea, make a bland meal from rice and boiled hamburger meat (dry the grease off it with a paper towel after cooking). If she eats it, add a small spoonful of plain pumpkin (NO spices) and/or sprinkle some acidophyllus on top. Pumpkin helps with diarrhea. Acidophyllus adds good bacteria to her gut. You can buy it in capsules that you can open where vitamins are sold. One way to assess hydration in an animal is to lift the skin over the animal’s shoulder and watch how fast it goes back to its normal position. In a normal, healthy animal, if the skin between the shoulders is lifted up and then released, the skin will pop back to its normal position immediately.

      In dehydrated animals, there is less fluid in the skin and it is less elastic. When lifted off the back, the skin of a dehydrated animal will not immediately fall back to its normal position. If a pet has lost 6-8% of its normal fluid, there will be a definite delay in the skin returning to its normal position. If the pet is 10-12% dehydrated, the skin will actually look like a tent and not go back to its normal position. Signs of shock may be evident. If a pet is over 12% dehydrated, it is an extreme emergency.

      Other ways to assess dehydration are to examine the mucous membranes (gums); they should be moist. In a dehydrated animal, the eyes may appear sunken in. In very dehydrated animals the heart rate may be increased, but the pulse would be weak.

  11. flor says:

    My puppy is a mix of heeler and pit he’s about 4 months old… But not puppy size mind you… He started this morning with chunky vomit he vomited twice and right after had a foul smelly diarrhea milky and light.. Vomit showed no blood and neither does bowl movement… No diarrhea just the one time and vomit just twice… Now he is very lethargic and will not east or drink anything… Started syringes with pepto and pedialite since he won’t drink… Very concerned he’s always a playful puppy and never sits and now all he does is sleep… He isn’t dehydrated skin goes right to place after pinching.. Could be just upset stomach ache? Any info could be very helpful thank you!

    • isak says:

      If he does not bounce back in a day, I think a visit to the vet would be in order. Sounds like he ate something that does not agree with him and given his young age, that is very possible. Pups can eat things faster than we can catch them.

  12. Karan says:

    I just got a gsd from a local breeder 3 days ago.He is 40 day old pup.first 2 days he was fine but was having trouble with a little loose stool. But today he had a running watery diarrhea with a little mucus at the end. I even saw some ticks on him but I think it is not the cause.

    I gave him some cerelac with water as the vet told me but its not helping. Is it a matter of concern or is it normal??

    • isak says:

      It could be a simple matter of all the changes he has been through recently. You might add some plain pumpkin (NO spices) and/or some acidophyllus to his food. The pumping helps with diarrhea and the acidophyllus adds good bacteria to his gut. This can be purchased as capsules almost anywhere vitamins are sold that you open and sprinkle on his food.

      Do you know what food the breeder was feeding him?

  13. Ruth says:

    My miniature Dachshund caught and ate a small bunny about a week ago. She was fine, but now the last few days she has had runny and very dark, runny, greasy looking poop and tries to poop often, even needing us to let her out in the middle of the night. Very unusual. Seems to have trouble getting anything out. She has not vomited, but doesn’t seem to be eating the last couple of days and not drinking much. Acts fine, though. Concerned because we will be gone for a few days and are leaving her with friends. Sound like a concern?

    • isak says:

      It could be a concern if there is a blockage in her system. You said she has had runny poop, but you also said she is having trouble getting anything out. If she has a blockage, she may at some point stop eating until she passes whatever is blocking her. She may also not drink water.

      Often what a vet will do in a case like this is take an X-ray to see what is going on and where the blockage is. If there is not immediate danger, the general idea is to let the dog pass it on their own.

      If you can get her to eat something, you might add a little bit of oil to her food to help grease her digestive tract a bit. I went through this with one of my dogs a couple years ago. Here’s his story. It took a couple weeks for things to work out and him to pass the SOCK her had eaten.

      Good luck to her. Tell her to leave the bunnies alone.

  14. Karla says:

    My dog pooped today (2 times) and it was like green and very jelly-like and sort of greasy. He vomits sometimes, it doesn’t happen a lot, it can be random. He’s a yorkie-poo and about to be 10 months in 3 days. Do you think I should take him to a vet, and can this lead to more serious problems?

    • isak says:

      A trip to the vet wouldn’t hurt if this continues and you see changes in him: lethargic, losing weight, not eating, not drinking water, etc.

      If he has an upset stomach, he may have eaten grass and that may be the green color you are seeing. Given his age, he may have eaten something you are unaware of. Puppies can eat things we do not know about until it comes out the other end.

      What did his vomit look like? Does he eat fast and just inhale his food rather than chewing it? If you feed him dry food, you might add some water to it to soften it before feeding him. This will make him eat slower.

      You can also add some plain yogurt or acidophyllis to his food to keep the good bacteria in his gut in good shape.

  15. Arlene says:

    My ten year old you Yorkie suffered with pancreatitis at the start of the year. She seems to have developed an intolerance to manufactured dog food since then and so gets a home made mix of chicken, rice and veg. She’s full of energy and drinks normally, but her stool is always very soft and either yellow or very light brown in colour. Prior to the illness her stools were firm and dark brown. Is this something that we should be concerned about?

    • isak says:

      How long has she been on the home made diet? Could she still be adjusting to it? What vegs are you using? Vegs like beans can soften a dog’s stools. So if you are including fiber-rich vegs, that may be what is causing the stools to be soft. You might also add some acidophyllus to her food. You can buy it powdered or in capsules (from most grocery stores and pharmacies) that you can open and sprinkle on her food. This adds good bacteria to her digestive tract and that may help her stools as well.

      Stool color is generally influenced by what we eat as well as by the amount of bile — a yellow-green fluid that digests fats — in our stool. Same for dogs. So chicken and rice being light colored may the the reason her stools are light colored.

      If the stools are consistent and don’t smell like something is horribly wrong, and she is acting fine and drinking normally, I think she is okay.

  16. Pam says:

    I have a 7 year old morkie he has had a few bloody stools but they seem to be getting less blood in them. He’s acting fine. Should I worry

    • isak says:

      You didn’t mention how bloody. Has he been wormed recently? If he has worms, they could create bloody stools off and on. Otherwise, keep an eye on his stools for both consistency (too soft?) and blood.

  17. Lisa Rodriguez Perez says:

    My dog was taking dexamethasone eight days for a spinal injury. She improved and was starting to act like her old self, then she got diarrhea. I called the animal hospital that treated her and they said to stop the dexamethasone. At first her diarrhea was an orangy color and now its a light brown. What should I do? Should I be worried?? Please help.

    • isak says:

      Try adding some powdered acidophylus to her food. This will restore good bacteria in her digestive tract and hopefully restore normal bowel movements.

      You can usually purchase this in capsules from most any store that sells vitamins.

  18. Nicola says:

    My sensitive teacup Yorkie is a rescue dog with severe colitis and bowel dis ease. He’s 9 and only learnt about the outside world 3 yrs ago when I got him. Regularly I see small white lumps in his stool and don’t know what they are or what causes them. I cook his meals with fresh fish veg and turkey. What are they. Please

    • isak says:

      Kudos to you for saving a life! I bet his first trip outside was something to see!

      Sounds like he may have tapeworms. If he has had a flea that he has ingested, this could turn into tapeworms. You can buy wormer at your pet store or feed store. Make sure the label says it is for canine tapeworms. Or you can add some food grade diatomaceous earth to his food — maybe 1/4-1/2 tsp.

  19. Jeanice says:

    My dog Bear has had the runs off and on now for the last week and a half,and only yesterday i noticed blood in it. Also it is a yellow in color with a sometimes translusant mucis. He. Is still happy. Active.eats and drinks just fine but his nose and ears have been really warm. Any ideals on what could be going on with him.

  20. Ashley says:

    I have a question my great dane always ate raw hides sense he was a pup he is almost 7 months now, yesterday I woke up and seen he had puked a little in his kennel and there was a piece of raw hide in it. Then when I took him outside he completely threw up his whole meal from the morning , he didn’t eat at night but threw up 2 more times . So today I woke up , no puke but took him out side he pooped there was watery /blood then a little poop. I was told they don’t digest raw hides so I know that’s it. But in the mean time what should I do.. he is just picking at food. just wait it out ?

    • isak says:

      If he is picking at his food, he may still have some rawhide in his system that is making him not feel well. You need to monitor this in the event it gets stuck. He “should” pass it, but things can become stuck. If you can get him to eat, it might be good to give him a little oil — like cooking oil — to grease up his digestive tract. Maybe about a 1/2 tablespoon. The hope is that this will help ease it out. The blood could be a sign that it is getting stuck somewhere.

      Rawhides aren’t the best for dogs, especially puppies. Puppies tend to eat them faster rather than chewing them. They make these white bones called sterile bones that are good, but you have to watch them and throw them away if they become brittle or get small enough that they could become a choking hazard and could be broken.

      Good luck and keep us posted.

  21. elle says:

    my dog was pooping nasty horrible smelling diarrhea that night and by the morning she was having just a thick yellow mucus like stuff mixed with blood coming out. no poop.

    • isak says:

      How is she acting? Is she eating and drinking? Is she active and happy? Have things straightened out with her?

  22. Andreesha perry says:

    Hey I have a question my dog is a jack rustle terroir and he’s 3 months. He just started eating puppy chow last Wednesday and a week later he’s coughing up white foam and his pop is watery like a orange brownish color and sometimes it’s like egg whites but the same color what do I do ? Help me please this is my baby Shoñè …. Thank you

    • isak says:

      The color of his poop may be related to the color of the food he is eating. Does it resemble the puppy chow?

      The foam can be caused by several things and if it persists, you should have your vet take a check. It could be that he has eaten something like grass/leaves that have stuck in his gums or back of his throat or it could be parasites — has he been wormed. Or in some situations, it could be something more serious.

  23. Laura says:

    Thank you isak! :)

  24. Laura says:

    Hi I had a question i recently got a 7week puppy and first day he has a runny poop and next day seeemed to get better. Got him on Thursday today is Monday and he still is pooping watery and color looking orangish. Idk what to do I already got him a new type of food and gave it to him in small portions to start he drinks water regularly gets exercise. Not sure what might be the problem. Plz help

    • isak says:

      It could be the change in food, the change in water and just the change to a new home. You might give him some plain yogurt (unflavored) or some acidophilus (comes in capsules that you can open and sprinkle on his food). This will put “good” bacteria in his stomach to smooth the transfer.

      Also, maybe he needs to be wormed? Check with the folks you got him from to see if he has been wormed yet.

      Congrats on your new baby!

  25. Jade Quinn says:

    My 13 week old american staffy ate a small amount od lidocaine ointmwnt yesterday and the fibr filling from one of his stuffed toys. He threw up for the first time ever this morning which was watery and contained a small treat and this filling. His poop yesterday wouldnt release entirely from his bottom amd I had to assist in removing the very dry crumbling fibre filled remanents and now this morning he has had a combination poo! The first part was black and almoat normal solid consistency, a little tar like, and contained fibres from the toy in it but the second half of his poop was bright yellow with thick clear mucus!!! Freaking out!!

    • isak says:

      Sounds like he is still passing all that stuff he ate. Keep an eye on his next bowel movement. It will hopefully be pretty much normal. Make sure he has fresh water available and take his stuffed toys away until he is much older. That stuffing could get stuck inside him and cause big problems. Try to find some indestructible toys (though I’m not sure anything is indestructible to all dogs).

  26. Cris says:

    Thank you!

  27. N. Jones says:

    My male Akita is 6 yrs old and has had diarrhea for about, 2 months. He is due to get his shots but, can not get them until his diarrhea is over. He has been wormed and the vet gave him 2 different antibiotics to take for 12 days, twice a day. I changed his food within the last 2-3 weeks, nothing is changing, the vet said it will take a little time before I start to see a difference. He NEVER lost his appetite BUT, he is not himself. He’s still a little active still like to wrestle. I think he’s trying to be strong because, that’s just his personality. He has SEEMS to be a LITTLE better since the antibiotics. There has been no blood or vomiting but, he is EXTRA thirsty. I had a female Akita years ago, same prob but was better after a bland diet and some energy drink for a few days. He has lost a little weight. I AM PULLING MY HAIR OUT!!!!!!!

    • isak says:

      I don’t know what antibiotics your dog is on, but they generally tend to destroy the good bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract. You might try some acidophilus (you can buy it in most grocery stores and pharmacies in capsules that you can open and sprinkle on his food) or some good quality PLAIN yogurt a couple times a day. The plain yogurt is a little bitter, so he may not eat it unless it is hidden in his food. Or give it to him by mouth via an oral syringe.

      What kind of food are you feeding now?

      Have you tried a tablespoon of plain canned pumpkin (not the kind with spices in it) a couple times a day for his diarrhea? You might also try a bland diet. What was your female’s diet? You can boil some ground beef to get the grease out of it and mix it with cooked plain white rice. The meat provides protein and the rice just kind of gums up the works… in a good kind of way for now.

  28. Suzanne says:

    I am finishing raising 5 week old Maltese pups. They immediately took to weaning formula and Blue Buffalo soft DoD food. One of them had 1 episode of yellow runny stool with small white curd in it. What would cause 1 to have it and not all 3. They are all on the same diet. My husband did give them all some water earlier, today. Could it be something in the water?

    • isak says:

      Puppies can so easily get into things when we look away for an instant. That could be why one has a different bowl movement. Or it could just be the way the food affected this one. Could the white curd be milk?

  29. Stephanie says:

    My puppy has been having yellow diarrhea since sunday night or monday morning(today is friday) he is eating fine and playing. Still drinking water. For a little i was giving him rice water and some of his food mixed in to make sure he is getting hydrated. Before that we did rice for a day and a half and still yellow. It looked liken had white sprinkles in it. Not long white like littlw round white balls. I did recently switch my birds food up (wich he tries to get in the pan). Could that be it? Or can someone help otherwise. Also yesterday and today we put him on his regular food and this morning his stool was a little more shapely and darker like normal then i brought him in and he had pooped again 10 min after in the house… that was somewhat shapely but still yellow brown and a little runny. We gave him some pepto bismal. He also has been having alot of gas. After work he pooped and it was shapley but not as hrd as normal. Then 20 mins later i took him out again and it was less shapely like this morning. I need help!

    • isak says:

      Puppy’s get into a lot of things and eat them. Maybe the bird feed has upset his stomach or maybe something else that he found. Try to stick with one food for a while to let his system get used to it and see if that helps things. You could also add a bit of plain yogurt to his food to add some good bacteria to his digestive tract.

  30. Joyce says:

    The individual who posted this information named the source. It’s a book called the Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook written by three DVM’s and an MD

  31. lydia says:

    My poor baby has yellow diarrhea and i think its due to her bone we are giving her. Is there anything i can do she used to chew on bug femur bones when she was a puppy but now when she eats them she gets this hard bright yellow poop and then after that its the nasty runny stinky yellow diarrhea. Is the bone safe for her? We have tried differnt brands of bones and still the same result please help

    • isak says:

      Have you tried those white sterilized bones (I think they are actually called “sterilized bones”). They seem to last a long time and I’ve never seen any diarrhea from the dogs who chew them.

  32. Anna says:

    I’ve read from a lot of websites that we should fast the dog for 24-48 hours but when I called the vet and asked if I should do that, they said that I should definitely not starve the dog like that. They said that I should just feed a bland diet (chicken & rice or boiled hamburger).

  33. […] to, Dog diarrhea can be classified as acute or chronic, depending on its duration. Acute diarrhea […]

  34. Tammie says:

    Withholding food for 24 hours is not going to hurt the pups or the dog. electrolyte or high calorie supplement will be fine, if you are worried. The bowels need to be empty to help stop the inflamation, like taking a vacation for some r and r. Stop and think what you would do if it was you or one of your kids.

  35. Mathilde says:

    It is not a wise thing to hold all food for 24-48 hours. The cells of the intestinals will need food for their recovery, and by withholding all food, they will not get any. So, with that recent insight, this is an advice which is not given anymore.

    • isak says:

      Can you provide a source for your info? It makes sense and there are other options to handling diarrhea, but I would like to know more.

  36. Paul says:

    My dog is seeing a vet today as has had diarrhea for nearly a week, worrying he is 11 years old. Just one point, giving ice cubes to dogs can be extremely dangerous so I am surprised this was suggested??

  37. BB says:

    My mother took my shih tzu, bichon frisse mix out to the bathroom this morning and took a picture of his stool. The color of the stool and consistency seem fine. However, it is covered in white foam.

  38. Stephen says:

    Greeting from England, I have a diarrhea problem with my 5 week old husky pups, there stools are watery yellow and very often, they are 100% weened and are eating porrige, milky scrambled eggs ( both made with goats milk ) and goats milk soaked bakers dry puppy food, I wormed about 2 weeks ago with drontol puppy syrup, they are due to be wormed again but I’m not to sure with them having this diarrhea, it’s lasted for 3 days now, any advice welcome cheers

    • isak says:

      How long have they been weaned from their mother’s milk? If not long, then the diarrhea could be due to the switch to new food.

      You might add a bit of acidophilus to their food. It’s a naturally occurring bacteria that balances the flora and fauna in the digestive tract. This is especially helpful when drugs are administered orally because the drugs affect the level of the good bacteria in their stomachs. Also follow the suggestions in this post about withholding water and feeding them a bland diet until their stomach catches up.

      If the problem persists, contact your vet.

  39. Kim Wilson says:

    Rawhide ‘treats’ should never be given to your dog as they are very hard to digest, easily choked on, and if you have more than one dog can cause aggression. I have a canine companion, and this was heavily discussed during team training.
    I am having a problem with our small dog-a Silkie Terrier-who has been at the vet for five days now because he has yellow diarrhea. The vet had him on an i.v., has checked his bloodwork, his stool, and even did an x-ray in case there was a bowel obstruction (he ate a dead bird about 10 days ago). Nothing seems to be helping, and as of this morning he has stopped eating. I am getting a bit frantic, and wonder if anyone else has had this problem, and if so, what did you do?? I want my little guy home and don’t know what else to have the vet check. I’ve been told his bilirubin count is normal also.

    • isak says:

      Are they giving him anything to balance the flora/fauna in his digestive tract, like acidophilus? It’s commonly found in yogurt, but can be purchased as capsules that you can open and put on food. If his stomach is upset, he may not want to eat. This can neutralize the acids in his stomach. As for eating, have you tried any of these?

      • boiled hamburger (1- to 2-parts cooked rice; discard the broth)
      • cottage cheese
      • cooked macaroni or soft-boiled eggs

      Sometimes dry or canned food doesn’t appeal to them. Or maybe even Gerber baby food — like Step 2 Chicken & Gravy (make sure it has no onions in it!).

      Also, canned pumpkin (without any spices or flavorings) does great for diarrhea OR constipation. Just a small spoonful 2x a day over a couple days.

      Best to you!

    • Lisa says:

      Could be exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. Have your vet try to treat him for that and see if he gets better!

  40. Victoria robb says:

    I have not fed rawhide to my dogs for about 20 years. We had a german shepherd who chewed her rawhide and then started gagging. My husband and I opened her mouth and looked down her throat with a flashlight. My husband managed to pull out of her throat a very long length of the rawhide.

    • diana says:

      rawhide is not good, good thing you guys stopped giving it to your dog and kudos to your hubby for pulling it out of the dogs mouth

  41. Emma says:

    After my 80 pound dog got diarrhea one time (that’s all it took for me) I got him on a grain-free Alpha diet with prebiotics and never, ever give him anything unless I know it’s safe and won’t cause him to get sick again. I stick to a line of food and treats that Natural Balance makes that are safety tested by the company and posted on their website. He never gets table scraps, strange random dog chews or treats, and hasn’t had diarrhea since we got strict about that.

  42. Mae says:

    My Great Dane is over 10 yrs. old. Healthy, no problems noticed. However, I purchased one of those “rawhide” chew “things”. It had a list of various ingedients, mostly normal food items.

    He chewed it and ate it. The first “rawhide” he ate several weeks ago caused the same thing. Loose stool, unable to “hold it” to get across the room to the outside door. I purchased a 2nd on recently at a different store. The same thing occurred.

    He may (may not) be the only canine affected by this “rawhide” product.

    Is this reaction common?

    • isak says:

      You can google the brand of rawhide that you are feeding your dog and see if there are any reports about that brand. Certain countries use chemicals in the process of creating or acquiring the hide that disagree with dogs. Some dogs may be more sensitive to the chemicals than others. And there are rawhide recalls from time to time.

      It could also be that because he rarely eats them, his digestive system is sensitive to them. But a loose stool is not a common reaction.

  43. first aid for usmle step 1 » Blog Archive » First aid companion for dog and cat says:

    […] 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 First Aid News […]

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