Livestock Cropping & Pasture General Farm

Diarrhoea in family pets

What does it mean when your pet has diarrhoea?

Diarrhoea is a common and unpleasant condition in pets that can usually be easily controlled.

If your pet is bright and still wants to eat then the most important thing to do is to STOP FEEDING THEM!! If it doesn’t go in it can’t come out, and in most instances 24 hours without food is all it takes to starve the bug out. Make sure that your pet has access to fresh water and encourage them to drink regularly as dehydration can be a nasty complication of diarrhoea.

When you start to feed your animal again you are better to offer very small, easily digested meals first – just a spoon or two of chicken and rice is a good start. We can supply this ready made in sachets, or you can cook it up yourself.

All cases of diarrhoea aren’t that simple however, and if your pet is very depressed and lethargic or the diarrhoea contains blood or is accompanied by vomiting, then it is a good idea to make a trip to see your local vet. Dogs that aren’t vaccinated are susceptible to the life-threatening disease, parvovirus, which causes bloody diarrhoea accompanied by severe vomiting and depression.

Other viruses and bacteria also cause serious diarrhoea. Some such as Salmonella and Campylobacter can be passed on to humans and may need antibiotics to treat.

Worms and microscopic parasites may cause diarrhoea, as do poisons and spoiled food. Sometimes the problem may be as simple as over-eating or a change in diet, or it may be complicated by other diseases.

More often than not it is the complication of dehydration rather than the diarrhoea that causes sickness and death. If your pet is not holding down fluids, or the diarrhoea is so bad that they can’t keep up with fluid losses then they need to be admitted to hospital. We put them on a drip and administer fluids directly into the veins until they can keep up again.


For more information on vaccines and common treatments for diarrhoea, check out our Animal Health products for your pets to help maintain a healthy animal!