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Diarrhoea is the passage of semi-solid or liquid faeces. When dogs have diarrhoea they usually need to pass faeces more frequently. Most of the commonly used symptomatic treatments for diarrhoea are available over the counter from the surgery.


Fast your dog for 24 to 48 hours or as directed by a vet or veterinary nurse. Fasting may not be appropriate for young puppies, especially those of the toy breeds.

Offer plenty of fresh water or ideally oral rehydration fluids (such as “Glutalyte”). Offering water does not make the diarrhoea worse. If your dog is vomiting seek veterinary advice.

Rest your dog by taking him or her on shorter walks. Increased physical activity can stimulate gut activity.

When food is re-introduced a highly digestible and bland food should be offered. Boiled white rice and boiled chicken are suitable as is scrambled eggs. Commercial diets such as Hills i/d are particularly suitable as they are easily digested and there is not much left to come out as faeces when they have been digested.

Kaolin based products are available to assist in the management of diarrhoea. They absorb toxins, soothe the bowel and help to form a more solid stool. The following are available from the surgery: Canikur® (tablets), Canikur Pro® (syringe) and Koagel® (liquid). The most appropriate form will depend on your dog’s size and temperament.

Your dog should be examined by a vet if

  • The diarrhoea persists for more than four days
  • Blood appears in the diarrhoea.
  • Your dog is also vomiting
  • Your dog becomes lethargic or seems in pain
  • Your dog is under 4-5 months of age

Antibiotics are generally not used in the treatment of diarrhoea unless the bowel is so inflamed there is a risk of bacteria leaking into the bloodstream. If the diarrhoea is mild antibiotics are to be avoided as they can further disturb the normal population of bugs. This can prolong the diarrhoea or even make it worse.

If you are in doubt about any aspect of your dog’s treatment please arrange for your dog to be examined by a vet.