Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
How long has she had diarrhea?
Has Mia had any vomiting?
What does her diarrhea look like (color, consistency, any blood)?
When you say her stools are covered in bile, do you mean yellow tinted mucus?
Thank you Alison,
Now as I am sure you can appreciate, we do see diarrhea in dogs (just as in people) for a range of reasons. Common causes at her age include bacteria, viruses, parasites, protozoa, and dietary indiscretion. And while toxins and foreign bodies could also cause these signs, we'd not suspect them at her age (since she is hopefully older and wiser).
Just to note, the mucus isn't a worry but instead just a sign that the colon is a bit irritated by the diarrhea being passed. As well, it isn't uncommon to see more signs at night as opposed to the day, since there are no distractions to get her mind and body off her GI upset.
Now in regards ***** ***** to her diarrhea, since this has just started, there are some supportive care measures that you can try to settle this with. First, consider putting her on a light/easily digestible diet. Examples of this would be cooked rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk), or cottage cheese. There are also veterinary prescription diets that can be used in cases of gastroenteritis (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity). The easily digestible diet will be better tolerated and absorbed by the compromised gut and should get some nutrients in and result in less diarrhea. You can also feed this as small frequent meals to further decrease the volume of diarrhea she is producing. I usually advise that the diet be continued until the vomiting is settled, and that they are then slowly weaned back to their normal diet over a week.Since diarrhea can quickly dehydrate a young dog, so we need to keep an eye on her hydration. To check her hydration status to make sure they are not becoming dehydrated there are a few things we can test. One is whether the eyes appear sunken, if the gums are tacky instead of wet/moist, and whether she has a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a wee video on this HERE. If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, since she is so young, then you do want to have her seen by the vet before this becomes an additional issue for her. (since it is often the dehydration that starts to tap their energy level and depresses them)
If you are concerned that she is becoming dehydrated, you can try and encourage her to drink but offering fresh water or even low-sodium chicken broth. If she isn’t amenable to these, you can syringe feed her pedialyte. Pedialyte is nice (though aim for a flavorless one) because it will get some of those lost electrolytes back into her as well. A typical maintenance rate for hydration in an animal is 48mls per kilogram of weight a day. If you do give syringe pedialyte, this should obviously be divided up into multiple offerings through the day rather then all at once. This value will give you the total she needs for the day and is a good starting point to give you an idea of her daily requirement. (we aren’t calculating losses, so you can add an equivalent volume to match how much diarrhea she is producing). If she vomit when you have given pedialyte, then therapy should be discontinued (since we don’t want her vomiting because of our intervention).
Furthermore, there are some anti-diarrheals that can be used in dogs to slow things down for their gut if her stools are very runny. As I am sure you appreciate, these would not be a cure (since cures would depend on the culprit and might include antibiotics or anti-parasitics, etc.) but would slow the diarrhea to aid the body potentially absorb more water/nutrients then it would have if the diarrhea were unchecked. Furthermore, these treatments will coat the GI and could just settle the GI upset. In regards ***** ***** options for your wee one, the one we most commonly use in dogs is Kaolin/Kaopectate (More Info/Dose) or PeptoBismol (More Info/Dose) available from your local pharmacy. Furthermore, Protexin Pro-Fiber (which is available OTC at vet practices; example) would be another option. All will slow diarrhea and the Pro-Fiber has the bonus of providing support to the delicate good bacteria of the GI.
Overall, diarrhoea in dogs at Mia’s age is not uncommon. Therefore, our approach at the moment is to make sure that Mia isn't getting dehydrated and that we are supporting her with both fluid and nutrition through this bout of diarrhea. As well, if she isn't up to date on worming, you can address that at this stage as well. If this is just a bit of benign upset, then we'd expect our supportive care to settle it for her. Of course, if she doesn't settle in the next 24 hours or so, then we'd have to assume she has picked up a GI bug and would want to follow up with her vet. If we need to do so, do consider taking a fecal sample with you to her vets for evaluation. This can help you pinpoint the cause for her diarrhoea and treat her effectively. Depending on your vet’s findings, they will be able to provide antibiotics and supportive treatment to settle this for her and get her back to normal for you.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,