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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15678
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My dog has had diarrhea days now he is drinking water

Customer Question

my dog has had diarrhea for 2 days now he is drinking water but not eating plus his little bumhole is very red and sore what can i do to help him we took him camping over the weekend and he hasnt been right since we got home
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 months ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today. Poor lad!Based on the situation you have reported, I would be concerned that his lapse in appetite may be related to the upper GI being as involved in these signs as the lower GI. Often when they have profuse diarrhea, we can see nausea develop which can put them off food (where they do so to avoid vomiting). Therefore, we do need to tread with care and be proactive to ensure we break that fast and get him settled before this can start cause him to feel unwell and lose weight. Now to start, I would note that based on his signs, we do have a few concerns. Common causes we need to consider include bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, parasites/protozoa infections, general dietary indiscretions, and ingestion of harmful items (ie toxins, plants, non-edible items). Now hopefully the last one isn't an issue since that can sometimes require urgent care, but otherwise we can try some home supportive care to try to settle his stomach. To start, you can consider ruling out +/- addressing any lurking nausea by treating him with an antacid. Common OTC pet safe options would be Pepcid (More Info/Dose @, Zantac (More Info/Dose @, or Tagamet (More Info/Dose Here @ Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before offering food to allow absorption. Of course, do double check with your vet if he has a known health issues or is on any medications you haven't mentioned. Once he is more steady, we can focus on tempting him to eat. In this case, we'd want to try him on a light/easily digestible diet. Examples you can use are cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, cottage cheese, or scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk). There are also OTC vet diets that can be used (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity) too. The aim of these diets is that they will be better tolerated/absorbed by the compromised gut. Therefore, it should get more nutrients in and result in less GI upset and reduce the diarrhea load. And whichever you choose, you can even add some fibr (ie canned pumpkin, all bran, etc) to the food to help bulk up his stools. As long as improvement is being seen, I usually advise continuing this until the signs are settled, and then weaning him slowly back to his normal diet. Now since dehydration is a risk with diarrhea, we need to keep an eye on his hydration. To check this and ensure he’s not becoming dehydrated, there are a few things you can test. Further to checking for gum moisture, you will want to make sure his eyes are not looking sunken and that he doesn’t have a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a good video HERE ( If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, then that would be our cue to have him seen before this becomes an additional issue for him (especially as it is often dehydration that makes them feel unwell). Furthermore, as long as there is no blood in those stools, you can consider trying a pet safe anti-diarrheal. As I am sure you appreciate, these would not be a cure for infectious issues; but it can still be of benefit. It will reduce diarrhea load, allow the body to absorb more water/nutrients, and soothe the upset gut. In regards ***** ***** options, the one we most commonly use is Kaolin/Kaopectate (More Info/Dose @ This is available OTC at most pharmacies. Otherwise, Propectalin, Canikur, Fast Balance, and Protexin Pro-Fiber (which is available OTC at vets, pet stores, and even Amazon) would be another option. All will slow diarrhea and those last ones have the added bonus of providing support to the delicate good GI bacteria. So, these can be used as a short-term means of soothing his upset GI. Finally, since you noted that he ha some rectal inflammation, we can address that too. Slowing the diarrhea with the above will help but otherwise do consider salt water bathing the area a few times daily (ideally when there is feces present on the tissue or just after he goes). Further to this, you can also apply an OTC hydrocortisone spray or cream to the area to just reduce inflammation for him. Though if he is licking the area, we may need to use an e-collar for the short term to protect the skin from self-trauma and help it heal. Overall, a wide range of agents could trigger the signs we are seeing. Therefore, in his case, we’d want to start supportive care to settle his stomach. If he cannot keep that or water down, appears dehydrated already, or doesn’t respond to the above within 12-24 hours; then we'd want to get his vet involved. They can assess his hydration, test a stool sample, make sure there is nothing in his stomach that shouldn't be there or any sinister viruses present. Depending on their findings, his vet can treat him with injectable anti-nausea medication, appetite stimulants +/- antibiotics to settle his stomach, and get him back feeling like himself. Please take care,Dr. B. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 months ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?