Sunday, November 28, 2010

Causes of Diarrhea in Dogs and Cats

Diarrhea is one of the digestive tract disorder the most common pet owners. Diarrhea itself is not a disease but a symptom that accompanies a disease or disorder in the body. Normally, adult dogs defecate once a day if fed one to two times a day. Changes in the form of increased frequency of defecation, stool volume and consistency from soft to liquid and can be accompanied with the presence or absence of stool discoloration is a common symptom of diarrhea. Although diarrhea easily recognizable, but to find the cause and treatment is quite complex because many factors influence the existence of the digestive tract function.

Factors that could cause diarrhea in dogs include:

1. Diet

Diarrhea caused by dietary factors may include the sudden replacement of food, overeating (the portion of food too much), food intolerance, the presence of foreign objects that can not be digested such as grass and unclean food sources such as from garbage.

Replacement food abruptly can cause disruption to normal flora balance in the intestinal tract so that food replacement should be done gradually by mixing the old food with just enough food within 1 week for normal intestinal flora to adapt.

Dogs may also experience intolerance to a particular substance or element content of foods is also influenced by differences in individual sensitivity. One of them that often occurs mainly in children where dogs are lactose intolerance can not digest lactose milk for lactase enzyme deficiency. The result is accumulation of lactose in the intestine and lead to excessive fermentation microbes that impact on osmotic diarrhea. Handling can be done is to give milk with low lactose content. In addition, dogs may also experience intolerance to spicy foods (lots of flavor) and are usually found in oily foods home.

Dogs who eat less than the net like the trash can cause diarrhea are also sometimes accompanied by symptoms of vomiting. This is because the possibility of bacteria or toxins in the food waste that can irritate the gastrointestinal mucosa.

Habits of dog bite hard objects or fibrous texture that is not including more food because of their behavior is indeed "like" it. Even a dog that is misbehaving in the stomach and feel generally uncomfortable urge to eat something that is fibrous like no other grass is one way of allocating the stress incurred by such discomfort. But the grass is irritating and can not be digested, so the impact a dog can vomit and the effect that further irritate the digestive tract can cause diarrhea.

2. Intestinal Parasites

Intestinal parasitic worms such as whipworms in dogs (flatworms), hookworms (hookworm), roundworms (worms gilig). Diarrhea that occurs due to the obstruction and mechanical injury by the infestation of worms in the mucosal epithelium of intestine and sometimes accompanied by blood. In a severe infestation of worms in the long run can also cause anemia, decrease in body weight, dull hair, decreased immune system, even perforations (holes) of the intestinal wall. For that dogs should be given regular worming every 3 months for prevention.

3. Bacterial infections and protozoa

Protozoa cause damage to intestinal epithelial cells because the intracellular and proliferate them are often attacked, especially in young dogs are giardia and coccidia. While the causes diarrhea by bacteria such as E. coli, salmonella and campylobacter. The specialty of bacteria in addition to causing damage to intestinal epithelial cells resulting in malabsorption, also can cause septicemia (the circulation of pathogenic bacteria in the blood vessels) and can result in enterotoxin as a result of metabolic waste. In general, bacterial and protozoan infections can occur through contaminated food besides that it also be zoonotic (contagious to humans).

4. Viral infections

The most frequently encountered and is usually fatal in children who have not vaccinated dogs are parvovirus and coronavirus. Infection by this virus causes acute bloody diarrhea accompanied by vomiting and severe dehydration. Unlike other infections, the virus is contagious (highly infectious) morbidity rate (virulence) and mortality (death) high, especially in young dogs. Prevention is by vaccination which could begin entering the age when puppies 6-8 weeks.

5. Drugs and toxins

Certain drugs can cause side effects of diarrhea, such as NSAIDs (non steroidal anti-inflammatory agents) such as aspirin, anthelmentik (de-worming), anticancer drugs and several types of antibiotics depends on individual sensitivity. For the toxin is generally not only cause diarrhea but also vomiting, even for toxin type organophospate (insecticide) can be accompanied by neurological symptoms (seizures).

6. Pancreatitis

Pancreatic inflammation can cause the production of digestive enzymes, so that ingesta in the intestine can not be digested properly. This condition affects not only the movement of ingesta normal motility but also the development of intestinal microflora. Consequently overgrowth can occur (excessive growth of microflora) that trigger diarrhea. Symptoms include abdominal pain, steatorrhea (fatty stools), decreased body weight as well as generally happens is chronic diarrhea and was not accompanied by blood or mucus (phlegm).

7. Gastrointestinal obstruction

Gastrointestinal tract obstruction can be caused by foreign bodies and narrowing of the gastrointestinal tract itself is caused by various factors such as torsio (rotation), gastrointestinal tract, intussuceptio (folded portion of the intestine into another portion of the intestine), abcess, intestinal tumors, as well as attachment channel for example by because of trauma. Symptoms other than diarrhea can also be accompanied by vomiting, anorexia (decreased appetite), depression and abdominal pain.

For intestinal tumors usually occur in areas often terminal colon and rectum and is generally found in older dogs. The tumor itself has a variety of types, but the most vicious among adenocarcinoma, and lymphosarcoma. Symptoms along with the development of tumors, namely chronic diarrhea, weight loss, low appetite, vomiting and black stools (due to blood mixed with gastric HCl in the gastrointestinal tract).

8. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

The occurrence of IBD or better known as the inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract suspected by the role of various factors such as nutrients, bacteria, genetic and immune system that causes a reaction resulting in disruption hypersensitif permeability and lesion (wound) mucosal tissue and eventually have an impact on the occurrence of chronic diarrhea.

In addition to the causes, you also need to recognize the duration of diarrhea in dogs that can be divided into 2 categories, namely diarrhea are acute and chronic. Acute diarrhea usually occur suddenly and lasted a short duration up to 1-2 weeks. Conversely, if there is persistent diarrhea (more than 3 weeks) or have a history of recurrent, it can be categorized as chronic diarrhea.

When your dog experienced a mild acute diarrhea, but his condition remained lively with a good appetite and without any other clinical symptoms of diarrhea that occur then the likelihood is more caused by dietary factors. Nevertheless both acute diarrhea and chronic nature still requires special attention when coupled with other symptoms such as decreased appetite, vomiting, fever, weakness, pale mucosa, diarrhea accompanied by blood or mucus, pain in the abdomen and so forth. In this condition you should immediately consult your animal to a veterinary clinic or a local vet to get immediate treatment and examination of the possibility of a serious illness.

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