Most puppies experience bouts of diarrhea at some point during their early years. Acute diarrhea is caused by a number of things including changes in diet, ingestion of contaminated foods and even stress. Chronic, long-term diarrhea lasting more than two weeks is greater cause for concern and can indicate a serious digestive problem. Although diarrhea in puppies usually goes away within a week or two, a number of treatments are available to alleviate the condition.
Feeding your puppy a bland diet is an effective treatment for acute diarrhea and helps the digestive system to recover. A bland diet consists of small portions of simple, easy-to-digest foods like cooked lean meats (chicken, boiled hamburger), cottage cheese and cooked white rice. One-third of the diet should be meat and the other 2/3 should be bland grains. Other foods you can add to the mix are yogurt (1 to 3 tbsp. per meal) and boiled sweet potato (2 to 3 tbsp.) Avoid oils or heavy fats when feeding a bland diet. Continue feeding a bland diet for a few days or until the diarrhea clears up. Temporarily cut the amount of food you are currently feeding your puppy in half.
This common veterinary medicine is used to treat both acute and chronic diarrhea. Gastriplex works by healing the inflamed intestinal tracts in your puppy's digestive system. Dogaware.com recommends it as a reliable supplement. Gastriplex includes many herbal and natural ingredients known for their soothing effect on the digestive system such as slippery elm, glutamine and licorice. Small dogs (up to 40 lbs.) should receive three daily doses while larger dogs (40 to 80 lbs.) should receive five a day.
If your puppy's diarrhea is accompanied by other symptoms such as vomiting, abdominal pain, lethargy, bloody stool and weight loss, a trip to the veterinarian is definitely in order. You should also visit the vet if the diarrhea lasts for more than two weeks, as this can be an indicator of a serious health issue. The veterinarian will perform a number of tests such as stool samples and blood tests to determine the cause of the diarrhea and other symptoms. Treatments might include antibiotics, dietary supplements or surgery, but this all depends on the underlying cause of the diarrhea.