Does Your Dog Have the Runs? 4 Causes of Diarrhea in Dogs

Diarrhea is a common condition that can happen suddenly, without warning. Your dog may not even show any other signs of being sick, and that can make it difficult to diagnose exactly what's causing your dog's runny stools. While your vet will likely have to perform a stool analysis to find out the exact cause of your dog's abdominal distress, there are a few things that are often at fault. The following are four common causes of diarrhea in dogs.

Food Intolerance

Food intolerance can occur for a wide variety of reasons. Your dog may simply not be able to digest the food that you are feeding them, or they may have developed an allergy to it. Suddenly changing the brand and type of food that you give your dog can lead to diarrhea as well. Treats may even be at fault, as can other items that your dog eats on their own. For example, if your dog gets into the garbage, they may eat something that doesn't agree with them.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Just like humans, dogs can develop IBS or other similar bowel diseases. Tumors in the colon and large intestine can affect older dogs and usually have the same symptoms as IBS. Irritable bowel is caused by chronic irritation in the lining of the bowels. If your dog has IBS, they may go very frequently but only release a small amount of feces at one time.

Parasite Infestation

Dogs can become infected with parasites simply by being in an environment where parasites are present. For example, some fleas can cause tapeworm in dogs. Other parasites, such as roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and giardia can be passed from dog to dog. Your dog doesn't even have to come in contact with another dog directly. If your dog plays at a park where another dog with parasites plays, your dog could become infected. A stool sample is required to diagnose parasites.

Bacterial Disease

Dogs can get sick with bacterial disease as well. Bacterial diseases that affect the bowel include E.coli and salmonella, among others. Again, a stool sample is usually required to figure out what type of bacteria is affecting your dog.

As you can see, there are many causes of diarrhea in dogs. Therefore, it's almost impossible for you to diagnose the condition on your own unless you know your dog has eaten something they shouldn't have. If your dog has chronic diarrhea, be sure to take them to the vet for treatment.