Symptoms of Small Intestine Diarrhea in Dogs

Diarrhea in dogs is generally a symptom of underlying disease. Although most causes of diarrhea are related to the pet's gastrointestinal tract, diarrhea often occurs due to the side effects of certain medication and severe conditions such as lymphosarcoma. The vet will identify the origin of diarrhea, as the cause differs if the condition stems from the small intestine, large intestine or other parts of the pet's digestive tract.

Small Intestine Diarrhea in Dogs

The small intestine connects the stomach to the large intestine. Due to the length of the small intestine, there are three terms used to describe the three parts present. Disorders of the small intestine are usually termed as enteritis. In order to treat pets suffering from diarrhea, it's important to identify if the dog is suffering from a viral infection, such as parvovirus or certain bacterial infections. Pet owners should monitor the pet to differentiate small intestine diarrhea from large intestine diarrhea, as the diagnosis and treatment vary for each condition.

Symptoms of Small Intestine Diarrhea in Dogs:

  • Vomiting
  • Slight increase in bowel movement
  • Weight loss
  • Tarry stools
  • Increase in the amount of stools passed

Causes of Small Intestine Diarrhea in Dogs

During vet examination the dog's clinical symptoms are evaluated and a fecal examination is conducted. The feces should be fresh and free from external contamination. A fecal exam reveals the presence of bacteria or parasite infection. Apart from fecal examination and routine blood tests, the vet may use an endoscope to determine internal intestinal abnormalities. Samples of cells obtained from the small intestine are also helpful to detect lymphosarcoma or malignant cells. However, endoscopic examination may be performed only if preliminary medication fails to treat diarrhea. Puppies that suffer from persistent diarrhea require prompt diagnosis and treatment to prevent death. Puppies are also at high risk of contracting intestinal parasite infections and giardia. Apart from other diagnostic tests, the vet has to rule out conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and food allergy during diagnosis.

Treatment of Small Intestine Diarrhea in Dogs

Diarrhea that subsides within 2 days is mild. However, pets require medication to stop diarrhea that persists over 48 hours. Anti-inflammatory medication and antibiotics are prescribed for a specific duration of time, decided by the vet. Dogs suffering from dehydration caused by diarrhea often require IV fluids to maintain electrolyte balance and speed recovery. The vet may also recommend a bland diet that's easy to digest.