Ever been woken up at three in the morning by the cold nose of your dog, whining to go out? On the one hand, you want nothing more than to roll over and pull the covers over your head, hoping the moment will pass. But on the other hand, you worry about what your carpet might look like if you don’t get up … so, of course, you get up.
Diarrhea is an inconvenient, smelly, sleep-depriving condition resulting from abnormal gastrointestinal (GI) function. Poop comes in a variety of consistencies and colors. A scoring chart, like the Bristol Stool Chart pictured here, presents seven categories of stool, helping standardize parameters for consistency.
There are two types of diarrhea:
- Large bowel diarrhea: the most common type with signs of frequent straining (3-7 bowel movements/day), mucous, and soft-to-watery stool (which may contain blood).
- Small bowel diarrhea: less common, and results in once or twice a day large amounts of liquid stool.
Typically, these two types of diarrhea have quite different causes.
Causes Behind Dog Diarrhea
The role of the intestines is to break down food and absorb small nutrients, while the colon absorbs water and leaves behind excrement we call “poop.”
Diarrhea occurs when there is a disruption of the cells lining the gut and/or loss of the protective mucus layer. Without the protective mucus layer or fully functioning cells, large molecules are now able to enter the bloodstream and body, triggering the immune system and creating inflammation. This immune response leads to a malfunction of the intestines in which the water is not adequately removed, leaving behind a watery mess we call “diarrhea.”
Although you may never know the culprit, potential causes of K9 diarrhea include:
- Parasitic worms
- Bacterial or viral infections
- “Garbage gut:” ingesting plants, mulch, dead animals, and things outside
- Stress colitis: anxiety-inducing changes in the environment, people, loud noises, etc. (1) Even the stress and anxiety felt at the groomers or boarding kennels can impact and heighten stress-hormones (i.e. cortisol, adrenaline) that then alter the normal function and motility of the GI tract. (2) This stress, or disease, can also activate dormant infections in the gut, such as Clostridium Perfringens (i.e. C. Perfringens, which produces harmful toxins) or Giardia (which causes maldigestion and malabsorption) resulting in diarrhea.
Overall, although diarrhea can creep up suddenly (referred to as “acute”), if recurring or lasts more than 3 days (referred to as chronic), with no signs of improvement, it may be a concern. If your dog is experiencing chronic-recurring or ongoing diarrhea, visit a veterinarian to get a diagnosis of the problem and appropriate treatment.
The intestinal tract is a complicated organ. Recent human and animal investigations are revealing the important and positive interactions between helpful bacteria and fungi in the gut (the microbiome), hormones, and immune cells in contributing to a healthy life. (3,4)
When healthy and functioning normally, the gut contains a large variety of virus, bacteria, and fungi which live symbiotically (in a mutually beneficial way) within the body. The body provides food (i.e., fiber, starch, sugars) for the bacteria and in turn, they make healthy nutrients, such as Vitamin B, Vitamin K, and short-chain fatty acids, to be absorbed by the body. Studies have documented that in the presence of anxiety, depression, IBD, or chronic diarrhea there is also a disbalance of the microbiome (with significantly less bacteria variety) termed “dysbiosis.” (5)
“You Are What You Eat” Applies to Your Dog Too!
You’ve probably heard the old expression, “you are what you eat.” Well, that also applies to your pets! Food, chemicals, and medications all impact the health of the microbiome. Since the microbiome – which includes bacteria from the mouth to bum – plays such an important role in overall health, it is best not to treat diarrhea the traditional way using antibiotics such as Metronidazole unless it is absolutely necessary. (6) While antibiotics may be effective at treating diarrhea, they are also indiscriminate killers of bacteria and wreak havoc on the important bacteria of the microbiome.
Relieving Diarrhea And Restoring Normal Function
Mother Nature has her own recipe to repair and promote a healthy gastrointestinal tract called Colostrum, which is the first milk produced by mammals immediately after giving birth. It is a nutrient-rich fluid that contains immune, growth, and tissue repair factors. Colostrum contains a significant number of complementary components that act as natural anti-microbial agents to actively stimulate the maturation and repair of the immune system and “leaky gut.” (5)
A new twist on an old idea, Anubis Bio has harnessed the power of colostrum along with eggs and a variety of protective proteins to develop DoggyStat: an all-natural food supplement that has been used to quickly improve many causes of diarrhea with 1-2 servings within 36 hours.
What’s more, it is 100% made in the USA. Just one packet of DoggyStat works on any size dog at any age. Dogs think it’s a tasty treat; plus it’s easy to administer as a powder on their food as shown in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhM5-F2JLuQ. DoggyStat can also be dissolved in a small amount of water (1/8 cup or 15-20 ml) if you need to syringe feed.
Great results have also been achieved using DoggyStat in combination with a bland diet made of rice and boiled chicken, as well as prebiotic and probiotic supplements for a few days to address K9 diarrhea safely and naturally.
My suggestion is to keep DoggyStat on hand for those middle of the night diarrhea occurrences so you and your dog can get a good night’s sleep!
Meet our Guest Blogger: Dr. Khodakhah
Dr. Khodakhah works as a small animal relief veterinarian. Following her passion to help wildlife, stray animals, and owners in need, she directs international veterinary spay/neuter programs and works with the Wolf Conservation Center (NY). She leverages her entrepreneurial spirit and experience to drive meaningful change in the veterinary profession, becoming a Certified Professional Coach to help arm young doctors with the tools they needed to succeed. With a similar mission, she produces a podcast, Time to PAWS, which features common experiences in vet med, promoting opportunities, leaning into fear, while building strategies for resilience. She is an Advisory Board Member of several organizations and enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, good food, and scuba diving.
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