If your dog has diarrhea and flatulence, we outline the potential causes of dog diarrhea and flatulence, as well as what to do and when to seek help.
Here’s why dog diarrhea and flatulence occurs
Dog diarrhea and flatulence commonly occur together and are caused by many conditions including gastrointestinal conditions, diet, intestinal parasites, ingestion of toxins, bacterial or viral infection, stress, allergies, medication, and dietary indiscretion.
Dog diarrhea and flatulence
Flatulence in dogs is the presence of air or gas in the stomach or intestines of a dog which is then expelled from the anus. It is a normal bodily function, as dogs and other animals produce gas as a by product of digestion of food.
However, excessive gas or flatulence can be a sign of an underlying problem that can be caused by a variety of factors such as diet or intestinal issues.
Additionally, if a dog is experiencing diarrhea and is not able to properly digest their food, this can also lead to flatulence.
Diarrhea in dogs refers to the passing of loose, watery stools, several times a day. Diarrhea is a symptom of different diseases or conditions.
The severity of diarrhea can be severe or mild depending on the underlying cause.
Occasional episodes of diarrhea in dogs are common and normal, however, frequent diarrhea as well as other concerning symptoms can be a sign of a serious underlying problem.
When the intestinal tract is not working properly, it can lead to the buildup of gas and an overgrowth of bacteria, which can produce an unpleasant odor.
Other symptoms that may accompany diarrhea and flatulence in dogs include:
- Loss of appetite
- Dry heaving or retching
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss if it is chronic diarrhea
- Fever or hypothermia
Is it normal for dogs to have diarrhea and flatulence?
It is normal for dogs to experience occasional episodes of diarrhea and flatulence, however, if the diarrhea and flatulence become chronic or are accompanied by other symptoms such as vomiting, loss of appetite, or abdominal pain, it may indicate an underlying health problem.
Some dogs have a more sensitive gastrointestinal system and may be more prone to stomach upset and diarrhea. In these cases, it’s important to pay attention to their diet and environment and make adjustments as needed.
Causes of Dog Diarrhea And Flatulence
A change in diet, eating spoiled or unfamiliar food, or consuming table scraps can all cause an upset stomach and diarrhea, and flatulence in dogs.
It is therefore important to feed your dog a balanced and nutritious diet and to make any diet changes gradually. Also, make sure to keep their food fresh and stored properly to avoid spoilage.
Parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, and giardia can cause diarrhea and flatulence in dogs. These parasites can infect a dog’s intestinal tract and cause inflammation, which can lead to diarrhea and flatulence including other symptoms.
Gastrointestinal infections can be contracted through contact with infected feces, or through contaminated food or water.
Bacterial or viral infections
A dog can become infected by bacteria or viruses such as salmonella or parvovirus, which cause inflammation in the intestinal tract which leads to diarrhea and flatulence.
Ingestion of toxins
Poisoning can cause dog diarrhea and flatulence. Depending on the type and amount of toxin ingested, a dog can experience a range of gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and flatulence.
Some common toxins that can cause gastrointestinal symptoms in dogs include household products such as cleaning products, insecticides, and certain types of plants, food poisoning from eating spoiled or contaminated food, and accidental ingestion of human medications.
Health conditions can result in diarrhea and flatulence as symptoms. Certain gastrointestinal conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease or exocrine pancreatic insufficiency can cause diarrhea and flatulence in dogs.
These conditions can cause chronic inflammation in the intestinal tract, which leads to diarrhea and flatulence as symptoms.
Certain types of cancer such as lymphoma or stomach cancer can also cause diarrhea and flatulence in dogs.
Food or environmental allergies can cause diarrhea and flatulence in dogs. Allergies can cause inflammation in the intestinal tract which leads to diarrhea and flatulence.
Common food allergens include beef, dairy, wheat, and chicken. Environmental allergens include pollen, mold, and dust.
Dogs can develop diarrhea and flatulence due to stress caused by different triggers such as separation anxiety, and changes in their environment or routine.
Stress can cause changes in a dog’s gut bacteria, which can lead to stomach upset and diarrhea. Examples of stressors include moving to a new home, adding a new pet to the household, or changes in the owner’s schedule.
Medication side effects
Some medications such as antibiotics can cause diarrhea and flatulence in dogs as a side effect.
Common medications that can cause gastrointestinal symptoms in dogs include antibiotics, Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and chemotherapy drugs.
What To Do
When your dog has diarrhea and flatulence with no blood in the stool, the first action is to monitor them at home.
Withhold feeding them for 24 hours to allow their stomach to rest. However, make sure they have access to plenty of clean water to avoid dehydration.
Feed them a bland diet after this fasting period, which consists of boiled chicken and rice. This will help their digestive system to recover and reduce flatulence and diarrhea.
However, if diarrhea and flatulence persist and worsen, seek medical attention within 8 -12 hours after the onset of diarrhea.
When to see a veterinarian for dog diarrhea and flatulence
Consult your veterinarian if your dog’s diarrhea and flatulence persist or worsen, or if they are accompanied by other symptoms such as:
- Loss of appetite
- Blood in the stool
- Pain, discomfort, or distress
Your veterinarian will be able to properly diagnose the cause of your dog’s diarrhea and flatulence and provide the appropriate treatment.
Key Takeaway: Dog diarrhea and flatulence
Dog diarrhea and flatulence can be caused by a variety of factors and underlying health issues.
While occasional episodes of diarrhea and flatulence are common, it is important to seek veterinary attention if symptoms persist or are accompanied by other concerning symptoms such as vomiting, loss of appetite, dehydration, blood in the stool, weakness, or signs of pain, discomfort, or distress.