Dear VetBabble: How Do I Address Diarrhea in My Older Dog With Kidney Failure?
Our fellow pet parents often wonder: “My 14-year-old Lab mix, who was diagnosed with kidney failure a year ago, has had diarrhea for the last 24 hours. What at-home remedies can I try?” As a devoted and loving fur-parent, it’s completely natural that you’re seeking ways to alleviate her discomfort. However, before we dive in to all possible homemade solutions, it’s important to remind you that persistent diarrhea or related symptoms could be indicative of a significant underlying health issue. In these cases, it’s paramount to consult with your vet.
Understanding Diarrhea in Dogs
First and foremost, let’s take a quick look at what could be causing the diarrhea. Though it may seem a common occurrence, diarrhea can be a symptom pointing to an underlying health issue—potentially one as serious as Liver Disease.
So, what’s the deal with diarrhea in dogs, anyway? Dog’s diarrhea can happen due to various reasons such as dietary indiscretion, stress, intestinal parasites, and systemic illness. In older dogs especially, the cause could be a chronic illness, like kidney disease or liver disease.
Addressing Diarrhea in Dogs
Let’s talk about what you can do at home. One of the most recommended solutions is introducing probiotic paste to your dog’s diet. Probiotics support dog’s digestive system by increasing the population of good bacteria – working to balance the gastrointestinal flora, which can bring relief to dogs with upset stomachs and diarrhea.
However, it’s essential to understand when such at-home remedies are suitable and when professional veterinary attention is necessary. If your dog’s diarrhea continues for more than 24 hours, or if she displays lethargy or any other worrying symptoms, it’s a clear signal that you need to make a visit to your vet. There is a comprehensive article on when to worry about diarrhea in dogs that might offer you more insight.
Chronic Illness and Diarrhea
For dogs with chronic diseases like your 14 yr old Lab mix with kidney failure, diarrhea could mean the progression of the illness. Diarrhea can over time lead to dehydration, which is especially dangerous for a dog with kidney disease as kidneys work to maintain the body’s overall fluid balance. Diarrhea could also be a sign of the progression of kidney disease, in which case a reassessment of her treatment may be required.
As caring and loving pet parents, it’s challenging to see our fur babies unwell. It’s crucial to arm ourselves with not only at-home remedies but also knowledge about what our pets’ symptoms could mean. With senior or unwell dogs, that caring must be taken up a notch, and watchfulness for potentially concerning symptoms becomes even more critical.
Remember, it’s always better to err on the side of caution, and your vet will be there to guide you and your fur friend on this journey. Sending warm wishes to your Lab mix and hoping she feels better soon!