Raising puppies can be very stressful. There are so many things to monitor, from following vaccine schedules to removing socks and other toxic objects from the puppy’s mouth. One of the most common diseases experienced by puppies is diarrhea.
Diarrhea results from rapid movement of fecal matter through the large intestine without adequate absorption of water and salts. The World Health Organization defines diarrhea as the passage of three or more loose or liquid stools per day (or more frequent passage than is normal for the individual).
It is caused by an infection in the gastrointestinal tract and usually results in loss of water and important salts from the body. Diarrhea is not a disease but rather a sign of many different diseases. It may become serious or life-threatening if treatment did not begin early enough to prevent severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.
Diarrhea is a common canine affliction and it varies in frequency, duration, and intensity from dog to dog. However, if your puppy has any of the following signs and symptoms, call your veterinarian immediately:
- Bloody diarrhea
- Pale gums
- Discomfort or pain
- Black stools
- Hearing rumbling of gas in the belly
- Passes larger amount of stool with increase in frequency