Intestinal infections in dogs


Nothing stressed out a pet owner more than having a sick dog. And one of the most common illnesses your dog can suffer from is intestinal infections. These infections are often the main cause of dog diarrhea and vomiting.

In this blog post, we dive deeper into the world of dog intestinal infections and help you understand exactly what’s going on in your adorable dog’s gut. 

Let’s dive right in:


Gut related infections in dogs

These infections can be caused by various pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, worms, and giardia.

Gut related infections can be majorly divided into two categories that are small intestinal diarrhea and large intestinal diarrhea. Both these types have different causes and require different tests to diagnose and treat. Let’s see them one by one.

What causes small intestinal diarrhea in dogs?

This diarrhea is caused by viruses such as canine distemper, canine parvovirus, and canine coronavirus. Poorly vaccinated dogs are most vulnerable to these viruses. We are going to look at small intestinal diarrhea more closely next!

Being one of the most common types of dog diarrhea, small intestinal diarrhea are easy to spot. They are caused by bacteria such as salmonella, clostridium or campylobacter, and E.coli. Also parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, coccidian, and giardia also cause diarrhea. Or, it can be caused by fungal infection including histoplasmosis.


Common symptoms of small intestinal diarrhea

There are some common symptoms you will find to identify whether your dog is suffering from small intestinal diarrhea. These include:

  • A large amount of liquid or loose stool passed with the mild frequency of about 3-5 times a day.
  • The pet does not strain or have any difficulty passing the stool.
  • A dog may lose weight or may vomit.
  • Sometimes excessive gas can be produced and you may hear the rumbling of gas in the belly.
  • If there is blood in stool then it would be of dark colour blood.
  • The fur of your dog may look dull or brittle due to a lack of nutrients absorbed in the body.
  • In chronic small intestinal diarrhea, dogs may develop edema of the legs or fluid accumulation in the belly or chest. This water retention is due to the loss of small protein albumin, which acts like a sponge to keep water intact in blood vessels.

Diagnosis and treatment of small intestinal diarrhea

Causes of small intestinal diarrhea can be determined by blood tests, the examination of stool, x-rays or ultrasound of the abdomen, or endoscopy.

You may need to have your dog undertake surgery in case of changes in intestinal lymphosarcoma, the third most common cancer diagnosed in dogs. 


What causes large intestinal diarrhea in dogs?

Large intestinal diarrhea can be caused by whipworms, polyps, inflammatory bowel disease, colonic ulcers or colonic cancers.

IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) occurs commonly in dogs. Causes of IBD are not known but it is suspected to be an allergic reaction to components of food, bacteria or parasites.


Common symptoms of large intestinal diarrhea 

Just like small intestinal diarrhea, there are some common symptoms you will find to identify whether your dog is suffering from large intestinal diarrhea. These include:

  • The large intestinal disease includes the colon and the rectum.
  • Dog passes a small amount of loose stool and frequency is usually high more than five times a day.
  • Dog strains to pass stool. The stool may be slimy and with mucus.
  • Pet usually does not lose weight or vomit.
  • If there is blood in stool then it is usually red in color and fresh.


Diagnosis and treatment of large intestinal diarrhea

Causes of large intestinal diarrhea are finding out by blood tests and the examination of stool.

A qualified vet will perform endoscopy on your dog by using a rigid or flexible scope passed up the rectum usually performed under general anesthesia.


What about Leaky Gut Syndrome in dogs?

Leaky gut syndrome shares many of its symptoms with other health conditions which often makes it hard for vets to catch early. Leaky gut syndrome can cause chronic diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, skin problems and others.


If you feel that your dog might be suffering from having a leaky gut syndrome instead, check our blog on leaky gut syndrome in dogs.


We hope this blog post helped you figure out what your dog’s gut problems are. If your dog is sick, we wish it a fast recovery and are sending plenty of good vibes your way!


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