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Dr. Marcia
Dr. Marcia, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
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Experience:  companion animal medicine and surgery for 15 years
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My labrador has diarrhoea. He is still eating and full of energy.

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My labrador has diarrhoea. He is still eating and full of energy. We have not changed his diet and he is wormed every three months. His bowls are washed daily and he has not mixed with other dogs for a couple of weeks. I have been told by a couple of dog owners boiled chicked and rice to replace his regular diet will help. Do you have any suggestions please.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Marcia replied 8 years ago.
Good Morning, Mike, and thank you so much for your question!

I am glad to hear that your dog is feeling fine otherwise, but diarrhea can certainly be a worrisome problem!   It is one of the most common reasons that we see dogs at the veterinary clinic.

The good news is that if dogs are feeling fine otherwise and normal in all their other habits, there are some home care protocols that can often resolve the diarrhea. When these ideas don't help, or the dog starts to act more ill (not eating or drinking, vomiting, lethargic, etc.), or there is very bloody or black colored stool, then a vet visit is in order.

Here is the basic "diarrhea home care" protocol:

1) What many people don't realize is that the first thing that must be done is a FAST from food for 18-24 hours. People don't like to not feed their dog, but it is an essential step to stopping the diarrhea. This fast means no food, water only, for 18-24 hours. This allows the remaining diarrhea to clear out, and gives the gut time to rest. If the dog keeps eating, it keeps adding "fuel to the fire" of the diarrhea and it continues.
2) After the fast, this is when a bland diet should be introduced. The idea is bland protein mixed with bland carbohydrate. Protein options are cooked skinless chicken, hamburger, or low fat cottage cheese. Carbohydrate options are white rice, skinless baked potato, or cooked plain oatmeal. Give small amounts (1/4-1/2) cup every 2-3 hours for the first day. This can gradually be increased. The bland diet should be used for several days, and then the regular dog food can start being mixed in.

If the diarrhea continues in spite of the fast, or starts up again when the dog starts eating, then make a vet appointment and make sure to bring a sample of the diarrhea. Some dogs do need antibiotics or other medications to get the diarrhea corrected.
Here is some good information on diarrhea in dogs, and all the possible causes:

Most commonly dogs get diarrhea from eating something unusual, and these are the cases that tend to respond well to the home care protocol above. I hope this helps!

Dr. Marcia
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