Puppy Diarrhea Treatment

Puppy diarrhea is more common than diarrhea in older dogs, as puppies have a weaker immune system and are also exposed to several parasites. Puppy diarrhea may also be a consequence of an inappropriate diet. Puppy diarrhea may be treated once the underlying cause is detected; however, you need to pay great attention to avoid the puppy from getting dehydrated, which can have serious consequences at an early age.

Causes of Puppy Diarrhea

Knowing the possible causes of puppy diarrhea is important to identify the best course of treatment. The possible causes of puppy diarrhea include:

  • Intestinal parasites, which affect puppies that don’t receive preventive tablets and are also more exposed to contracting parasites
  • Bacterial infections
  • Fungal infections
  • Toxicity
  • Food allergies
  • Food intolerance
  • Overeating, as puppies tend to eat more than they need
  • Parvovirus, especially in unvaccinated puppies

Puppy Diarrhea Diagnosis

A puppy that has diarrhea eliminates feces that are softer than usual.

A puppy that experiences chronic diarrhea should be immediately taken to the vet.

If you only notice an isolated episode of diarrhea, you can try fiber supplementation or probiotic powder and eliminate the diarrhea. If the puppy doesn’t respond well to the treatment, he should get a consultation.

The vet will examine a stool sample and look at the overall condition of the puppy. Blood tests may also reveal infections or whether the puppy is affected by the parvovirus.

Treatment for Puppy Diarrhea

The veterinarian will recommend a treatment according to the diagnosis:

  • Bacterial infections may be treated with antibiotics such as Metronidazole, Tylan or Tylosin, but the dosage depends on the size and age of the puppy
  • Fungicides, if the diarrhea is caused by fungi
  • Kaoline or pectin for diarrhea caused by toxicity, however, the vet will also need to remove the toxins from the puppy’s system with activated charcoal or surgery
  • Pepto Bismol, which can be given to puppies with unknown causes of diarrhea, especially if the diarrhea is severe
  •  A change in diet (i.e. to hypoallergenic diet), if the vet suspects food allergies or food intolerance
  • Fiber supplementation (i.e. corn or canned pumpkin), if the diarrhea is caused by a deficient diet or has no detected causes but is not serious
  • Probiotic powder, which is also efficient in relieving isolated episodes of diarrhea in puppies

The puppy should also get less food than usual, which should be no more than half his regular portion for the first 2 days of the treatment, to allow his digestive system to recover.

If the puppy refuses to eat, allow him to fast, but not for more than 24 hours.

Keep a fresh water bowl available for your puppy and encourage him to drink, as diarrhea can easily dehydrate a puppy and the puppy may even die of dehydration.