CAN DIARRHEA BE CONTAGIOUS? ONE DOG HAD IT NOW THE OTHER ONE HAS IT TOO!

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Customer: CAN DIARRHEA BE CONTAGIOUS? ONE DOG HAD IT NOW THE OTHER ONE HAS IT TOO!
Answered by MD for Pets in 26 mins 13 years ago
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MD for Pets
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Specialities include: Dog Veterinary, Dog Medicine, Dog Diseases, Small Animal Veterinary

Hi thereCustomer

Yes, diarrhea absolutely can be contagious, especially if it is secondary to a viral or bacterial cause. We can also see multiple pets in the house get diarrhea if they both get into something they shouldn't (high fat food, spoiled foods, etc.)

If both of your dogs are otherwise healthy, up to date on vaccinations (such that parvovirus is not a concern, which it usually isn't in older dogs), and if they are still willing to eat, drink, and are otherwise themselves (aside from feeling off from diarrhea), I would try conservative management with both of them for the next day or so.

By conservative management, I mean a bland diet of either ground beef/ground turkey/chicken/cottage cheese (any one of these proteins are fine) mixed with white rice. I would feed eat dog 3-4 small meals daily for the next 2-3 days. If their diarrhea improves or completely resolves, you can re-introduce their normal diet by gradually phasing out the bland diet and mixing in their normal food over the course of another 3-4 days.

If at any time they develop lethargy, vomiting, worsened diarrhea, anorexia, blood in their stools, changes in water consumption or urination, or any other concerning changes, I would have them evaluated by a veterinarian right away. Additionally, if their diarrhea does not resolve (or isn't significantly improved) by Tuesday, I would also have them evaluated by your veterinarian. Bringing a fresh stool sample with you to look for parasites may also be helpful. In additional to a fecal examination and fecal smear evaluation, and after a complete physical examination, your veterinarian will likely need to perform complete bloodwork (complete blood count, serum chemistry, and urinalysis) and may recommend abdominal x-rays and/or ultrasound.

From there, they may recommend further testing or treatment, which may include deworming medication (even if no parasites are seen), antibiotics (especially one called metronidazole, which has good activity against bacterial overgrowth in the intestines and anti-inflammatory properties within the intestines), and a prescription diet.

I hope this information is helpful and that your dogs are back to normal soon. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Dana
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