Going for a walk is a great source of fun and enrichment for your dog. Families are heading out for camping weekends and taking their dog with them to enjoy the great outdoors. Ahhh, fresh air, lakes, ponds, walking in the woods....ahh ticks, parasites, mosquitos, standing water, fresh smells that equal poop! It is this time of the year that we see many dogs with intestinal issues and frequent stomach upset including diarrhea. You may get a friendly note that your dog has loose stool, or stool that doesn't look quite right. I see more poop than many. We see poop all day - so we know what your dogs poop looks like. Yep - poop investigations happen daily. Loose stool isn't always a cause for concern, but this time of the year, in our wetter than wet spring, is a hot bed of standing water that may contain parasites that your dog can injest. All the good things that haappen in spring are happening. Bunnies - those cute critters your dog is chasing - appear to have amazing tasting poop (according to my sources - I do not have actual documentation). Deer are out and about with poop, squirrels and birds too. And your dog may be sampling those things in your yard. This is also the time of the year that we are ok with leaving our dogs out for long periods of time unsupervised since it is so nice out. So when dogs get some extra alone time, they may go sampling. Sometimes they will eat their own poop too. Your dog can be the most well behaved non-poop eating pal, but when you went on that extra long walk, they cold have easily stepped in contaminated water, or bird poop and then licked their paws - this can also lead to the injestion of parasites -specifically Giardia. This is also common in places like dog parks - yes, us included. Which is why we are bringing it up. Please pay attention to your dogs potty habits and we will too! If after a couple visits the loose stool gets worse or doesn't clear up - we may recommend a visit to your vet.
So it's not dire - but if found through a fecal exam, it will be treated with antibiotics. The retest is a stool test and usually a negative fecal exam performed by your vet within a week or two after treatment. You can help your dog naturally as well. Search for Holistic treatment of loose stool in dogs and you will find many ideas. One we use is adding Silver Colloidal to a dogs water to boost immunity. Also, you can give coconut oil on their food, plain greek yogurt and a high fiber diet which can help. Also, if your dog is treated with antibiotics, ask about a good probiotic for them to take while being medicated. Be sure to keep an extra close eye on puppies and older dogs or dogs with lower immune systems for dehydration, lethargy and/or refusal to eat and drink!
We try as hard as we can to ensure your dogs best well being and as a caregiver to them, it's in our interest for your dog to be super healthy and happy when they are with us! So, sorry for the crappy (haha-was not letting that one go) blog post this week! But #Yourslikeours includes poop talk too!
According to PetMd.com:
Giardiasis in Dogs: Giardiasis refers to an intestinal infection that is caused by the protozoan parasite giardia, which is the most common intestinal parasite that is found in humans. Dogs develop the infection by ingesting infectious offspring(cysts) that are shed in another animal's feces. The contamination can be from direct or indirect contact with the infected cysts. The organisms, once ingested, make their way into the intestine, often causing diarrhea. The treatment is typically performed on an outpatient basis with a good prognosis.