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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

What Causes Diarrhea in Dogs?

By Anton Hout, author of The Guide to Aussie Training & Care

Diarrhea in dogs can indicate a wide range of problems and diseases. It might be the result of something your dog has ingested and could range from a new food to a toxic or poisonous substance they've gotten into. On the other hand, it could also be a symptom of a serious internal health problem.

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Because it can be a symptom of a variety of different diseases, it's important to look at diarrhea in conjunction with other symptoms your dog may be displaying, and seek the advice of your vet if you have any doubts about your dog's condition. Virtually every dog has a bout of diarrhea at some stage, so it's best to remain calm and take a systematic approach to determining the cause.

Foods That May Cause Diarrhea In Dogs

Because dogs react differently to particular types and brands of dog food, it's hard to say exactly which foods to avoid – but if you've just introduced your dog to a new food, this is the first thing you should consider. Don't just look at the food you give your dog for her meals, but also foods you're using as treats for training, or food scraps she might have picked up off the floor or out of the trash.

If you haven't made any recent changes to your dog's diet and she hasn't swallowed anything unusual, the diarrhea is possibly a symptom of a parasite infestation or other disease.

Photo for article about Diarrhea In Dogs of Australian Shepherd laying down.

Jana Behr /

While there can be many causes of diarrhea in dogs it's important to make sure it's not something serious and to get your Aussie feeling better as soon as possible.

Diseases That Include Diarrhea As a Symptom

Some parasites, like worms in dogs, can cause diarrhea. If your dog's diarrhea isn't caused by something she's eaten, it's possible that it's the result of parasites. On the other hand it may also be the result of an infectious disease like Parvo. This is a particular concern for a puppy who hasn't yet had her full round of vaccinations. In either case, the medical cause will have to be determined by a visit to the vet. However, by keeping an eye on any other symptoms your dog is displaying along with diarrhea, you can get an idea of how severe and urgent the problem is.

Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Other Symptoms to Watch For

There are a range of other symptoms that come along with many of the infections that can cause diarrhea in dogs. Vomiting is one of the more obvious ones, but other symptoms can include shivering, lethargy, loss of appetite and excessive drinking. Usually a dog with diarrhea will be particularly thirsty as she tries to replace lost fluids – make sure you provide plenty of water, as dehydration can be a hazard.

There are a few other things you should take note of that will help your vet to diagnose the cause of the diarrhea. You should pay attention to the frequency of the diarrhea, the time between diarrhea and your dog eating, and the color and consistency of the diarrhea. All these factors will help your vet figure out exactly what the problem is. icon

Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

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